House Guest - A left coast road trip. · 13 April 2015 by colin newell
Celebrated Tofino Chef Lisa Ahier brings her SoBo Cookbook to Spinnakers to launch new Victoria dinner series; Houseguest.
OnTheLeftCoast.com and EAT Magazine present a three part dinner series and industry outreach program featuring edible highlights from Tofino, Portland and Vancouver at a rotating host of local venues in an exciting pop-up format on the third Sunday of each month.
It started with a road trip down the coast. Then a scenic drive through the Pacific Northwest to enjoy the culinary highlights of a nearby city. Inspired by a warm welcome and a unique local connection with our new friends. We decided to invite them to visit us back home.
The idea was simple. Our group of industry professionals will curate a guest list of exciting talent from the west coast with presenting partner, EAT Magazine. A pop-up style program, serving as a catalyst for edible journeys to the coastal communities within reach of a road trip along the Left Coast.
Houseguest is a new series that will challenge diners to discover the hidden treasures close to home, build new creative culinary partnerships in nearby markets and showcase the quality of the burgeoning Vancouver Island culinary scene.
Read the entire media release below!
Good Eats - Masala Lamb meatballs. · 17 February 2015 by colin newell
We shared a 1/2 lamb with my sister and brother-in-law – and with that package came from great ground lamb. This was the perfect recipe for lamb. This is a fascinating mixture of spice with an intriguing Mediterranean flavour and a nice bite. This recipe was inspired from the latest issue of EAT Magazine in Victoria B.C. Canada – but we mixed it up just a little bit. You can serve it with polenta, rice or pasta. We chose pasta. Overall, it takes about an hour to prepare so make sure you have a glass of red wine in your hand while you work!
3 Garlic Cloves chopped
1 Onion chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds
28 ounce canned plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 green onions shopped
1 slice brown bread
1/4 table cream
2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a food processor, puree 3 garlic cloves with one chopped medium onion and
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in Dutch oven on medium heat.
Add 1 tablespoon cumin seeds and heat until they start to sizzle. Then add onion/garlic mixture.
Stir often until mixture softens and is translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low to prevent browning.
Cook 8 – 10 minutes.
Puree canned plum tomatoes with 1 tablespoon garam masala and 1 teaspoon ea. Turmeric, Cayenne and Salt. Pour into pan with Onion and Garlic mixture. Stir in one cup water. Simmer 20 minutes to blend flavour.
For the meatballs, in a food processor puree two chopped green onions with two eggs, one slice of brown bread torn into pieces and 1/4 cup table cream.
Turn this mix into a large bowl – add 2 pounds of ground lamb. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground cumin and cinnamon. Add a pinch of salt. Gently mix until blended. Then shape into balls. Aim for a chubby golf ball size.
Makes about 20 meatballs.
Bake meatballs on baking (cookie sheet) brushed with oil. Broil until brown (6 – 8 minutes)
Then reduce heat to 375.
Add meatballs to sauce in Dutch oven. Cover and bake until sauce is bubbly and meat balls are cooked through. 10 – 15 minutes.
Finish with fresh mint and crumbled feta cheese.
We served over Penne pasta. Serves 4 – 6.
Thai coconut Turkey soup - it's spicy · 27 October 2014 by colin newell
It is a cool October evening and what better way of heating it up a notch than with some Thai turkey soup.
Granted this is a variation on the old classic Chicken soup… but it prepares well and is mighty spicy.
Strap yourself in.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (3-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
3 cups Turkey stock
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups shredded cooked Turkey breast (about 8-12 ounces)
1/2 cup green onion strips
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1. Heat a stock pot over medium heat. Add oil to pan.
2. Add mushrooms, red bell pepper, peeled ginger, garlic and lemon grass – stir constantly for 3 minutes or so.
3. Add chile paste; stir for another minute.
4. Add Turkey Stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar;
5. Ease to a simmer.
6. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes. Add turkey to pan
7.) Simmer for a few minutes. Discard lemongrass. Top with onions, cilantro, and lime juice.
Serve with bread.
French toast in the comfort of your country kitchen · 26 October 2014 by colin newell
I have this thing… about French toast… and I am not even French.
I have searched nation wide and out into the Pacific for the perfect serving of French toast – and I have found it in places like Hawaii, on the Big Island… like the Holualoa Cafe .
But here in Victoria? Not so much. There are promises of a great French toast. Hints of a French toast. I have been promised French toast, but the truth is, it is rarely delivered. I feel that on some menus here in the city, that they should have a French toast offered at one price… as is… and $5 more for French toast prepared lovingly or with a little passion. Because that is what it takes. It’s not rocket science but you need to pay attention to get this item right.
Normally what I get around town is French toast prepared by people clearly angry with the French people for some inexplicable reason. I don’t get it.
All I want is French toast prepared well and tasting like it should; fluffy like a cumulus cloud or a souffle and not drier and chewier than the soles of an army boot.
So here is Andrea’s and my home country kitchen French toast recipe.
Buy one loaf of braided egg bread or a loaf of Challah bread from your local bakery.
It should be bread on the white side – fluffy and fresh to begin with with enough density to absorb the egg batter thoroughly.
Anyway – here goes…
Mix together your egg mixture which consists of:
2/3 Cup milk (which would be a blend of 1/4 cup half-half and the rest skim)
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
Put a frying pan onto medium-high heat.
Pour your egg mixture into a shallow pan (like a lasagna pan…)
Take 6 thickly sliced pieces of the bread and place them in the egg mixture – for 10 minutes soaking on each side… that is 20 minutes of soaking!
Put a large dollop of butter into the hot frying – about a tablespoon (heaping)
Put three of the soaked slices of bread into the pan.
Cover loosely with a lid that is slightly ajar – and cook for around 2 minutes each side… until each side is golden brown.
Note: Using a pan cover helps keep the toast from being undercooked or soggy in the middle.
Served with butter, maple syrup, Hawaiian coconut syrup, fresh fruit or sauteed apples in simple syrup – only limited by your imagination!
Oh yes. This toast goes great with a darn fine cup of hot black coffee!
8 years ago I wrote this blog about dairy free waffles. It turned out to be the most popular blog entry here. You can find that recipe over here – enjoy.
Cuban influenced BBQ Rotisserie Chicken · 3 September 2014 by colin newell
My wife’s gal-pal Sheila A. got us a Weber Rotisserie attachment as a house warming gift.
A suitable grilling recipe seemed in order — and to have her over to treat her to the dish.So off to the Weber recipe guide – which is very expansive. Original link here
The Dry Brine
Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges (around 3 tablespoons of zest)
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon Old Bay® Seasoning
1 whole free-range chicken, about 4 pounds, neck, giblets, wing tips, and excess fat removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl combine the dry brine ingredients. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Brush the chicken all over with olive oil and season evenly, inside and outside, with the dry brine.
Refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 to 36 hours.
Next day – Rinse the chicken briefly under cold running water to remove most of the dry brine.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with the pepper.
Prepare your grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
Truss the chicken: Slide a four-foot length of butcher’s twine under the legs and back. Lift both ends of the twine and cross them between the legs. Then run one end under one drumstick. Run the other end under the other drumstick and pull both ends to draw the drumsticks together. Bring the twine along both sides of the chicken so that it holds the legs and wings against the body.
Tie a knot in the ends between the neck and the top of the breast. If necessary, push the breast down a little to expose more of the neck.
Following the grill’s instructions, secure the chicken in the middle of a rotisserie spit, put the spit in place, and turn on the motor.
Place a large disposable foil pan underneath the chicken to catch the drippings.
Cook the chicken over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the surface is a deep golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 160° to 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone), abut 1¼ to 1½ hours. Make sure you use a digital thermometer – and make sure you achieve these internal temperatures! Food safety!
When the chicken is fully cooked, turn off the rotisserie motor and remove the spit from the grill.
Tilt the chicken upright over the foil pan so that the liquid that has accumulated in the chicken’s cavity pours into the pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes (the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees during this time).
The chicken was melt-in-your-mouth tender, juicy and gently fragrant with the sublime influence of the spice rub and brine. We served this wonderful chicken dish with pasta salad and BBQ corn on the cob (about 10 minutes on the grill while the chicken rested) – apply a garlic butter mix to the cobs while turning every two minutes. Serve with the beverage of your choice; beer, wine, fruit juice, tropical cocktails, or whatever you like.
And Enjoy! This chicken could have easily served 6 – 8 people with various sides.
Coming to Cobble Hill - Amazing Pizza - chef and name sought · 24 March 2014 by colin newell
Who doesn’t love a good pizza place in the neighborhood? You know the kind of home grown, mom and pop operation that makes their dough in house from genuine Italian pizza flour…
and bakes the pizza in a 500-650 degree oven… in and out of the oven in 3 minutes or less.
To be savored in a comfortable pizzeria or taken home to enjoy…
Where the pizza recipes are not your standard multiple toppings, but healthy and fresh ingredients from a menu designed by an actual award winning chef and food expert?
Well, there is one such place only weeks from opening on the Cowichan Bay turn-off on the Island Highway – in the Valley View Mall – where the Country Grocer and Drumroaster Coffee are located…
They need two things:
They need a name.
And they need a Pizza chef!
The name needs to be short, catchy and original – and they are putting out a little contest to reward the person that comes up with a name that sticks.
And they need a passionate and motivated self-starter Pizza chef that is going to love the rural life in the Cowichan Valley as well as the upscale vibe of this new pizza joint.
Jump in with your ideas in the comment field or send me a note!