Maple Bourbon Dairy Free Waffles Re-Boot · 28.12.12 by colin newell
I love breakfast. And waffles or french toast – well, they are the breakfast food of life. And there are no more popular recipes than my waffle recipes – the single most requested page on this blog!
1 3/4 cup of all-purpose unbleached white flour
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a pinch)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Egg yolks
1 3/4 cups premium quality Soy or Almond milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 fluid ounce Makers Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, or your favorite bourbon
1 Tablespoon Pure Canadian Maple Syrup
2 Egg whites
In a large mixing bowl (which will ultimately hold your several days worth of waffle mix) stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a smaller mixing bowl beat egg yolks. Add Soy milk, cinnamon, maple syrup, bourbon and oil.
Add to flour mix all at once. Stir or fold til mixed but still slightly lumpy.
In yet-another-bowl whip egg white to form a stiff peak.
Gently fold egg whites into soya-flour-oil mixture leaving a few peaks of egg white visible.
Heat waffle iron letting waffle mix work for about 7 minutes.
Pour batter onto greased and preheated iron. Do not open while the waffles are cooking! Timing will vary depending on your iron. Assume 3 minutes til golden brown.
Serve with butter, more maple syrup, fresh blueberries and hot, hot coffee on the side!
Cooking Northwest - Cajun Gumbo by Andrea and Colin · 26.06.12 by colin newell
Northwest Cajun Gumbo – a spicy recipe by Andrea and yours truly…
Andrea and I have always had a soft spot for Southern and Cajun cooking – this one incorporates meat, shell fish and chicken – it’s hearty, stick to your ribs good and cooks up in about 1.5 hours of effort. This batch makes enough for 10 – 12 servings and it freezes well in Ziploc containers. This version is hot and zippy. Pull out whichever peppers you find the most intimidating.
6 links of Chorizo sausage – cooked
150g of boneless Chicken thighs – saute and set aside
1 250g container of fresh Oysters
1 cup of diced celery
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced green pepper
1 Anaheim, 1 Pablano, 1 red chile, 1 Habanero
2 small Zucchini – chopped
6 cups of chicken stock
Saute celery, carrots and green peppers for 10 minutes in Veg. oil
at 5 minutes add diced Poblano and Anaheim pepper – continuing
for another 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of butter + 1/4 more oil
Add 7 heaping tablespoons of white flour
Mix for ten minutes incorporating the oil, flour and butter to create a roux.
Stir for 10 minutes
Should reach a light caramel color (Note: This is a down & dirty roux)
Add 1 tablespoon of creole mix Emeril spice mix into the roux
Combine the chicken stock slowly over medium heat – stirring
constantly to mix it into a nice stock/stew
Once all the liquid is combined, stir in the sliced sausage, saute chicken,
zucchini + chopped Oysters and their liquor.
Add minced red chile pepper and habanero chile pepper – stir to combine.
Add 2 more tablespoons of Emeril Creole spice mix
Add following spices based on your preference:
1 tablespoon of Onion powder
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of chile powder
2 tablespoons of smoked Paprika
And pepper to taste.
Simmer for 1/2 hour. Serve with white rice.
In town eats Victoria - Pig BBQ versus Smoking Bones · 11.06.12 by colin newell
In a city seemingly built for meat eaters, there are a couple of stand outs – with a caveat or two. And they are Pig BBQ at the Atrium and Smoking Bones at the Hudson.
Chatting on the social network (twitter) today, I mused that in an active comparison between two of the more visible and successful smoked meat vendors, one of them kind of stood out.
But seeing how limited Twitter is for a truly meaningful conversation – or as a medium for getting ones complete opinion out, I offer this additional analysis.
On one hand, Pig BBQ is more of a no frills joint with semi-communal seating, order at the counter, take a seat and wait for your grub to be called out. What they do: pulled pork, pulled brisket, pulled chicken, specials like a yummy schnitzel sandwich or the frequent fried chicken on a waffle. Sides include palatable if slightly sweet baked beans and satisfying blocks of deep fried mac n’ cheese and the predictable corn bread and slaw. The digs are not fancy. In fact, they initially felt “cold” to me the first few visits. Repeated visits… well, I felt more at home.
Andrea and I can have a very satisfying quick lunch by sharing one sandwich, 1 mason jar of home brewed ice tea and two sides – typically the beans and the mac n’ cheese. This mid-day repast sets us back under 15$.
I was a regular visitor to the “Bones” when it was out in the West Shore – initial impressions were: “This is the best stuff I have put in my mouth…” over time some of the small things started to slip – but it was not the meat. I loved ribs. And I do have one or two favorite recipes I do at home – The long marinade grilled ribs that I do at home I am particularly proud of – but this isn’t about me. “Bones cook shack” does the meat quite well – where it falls off the bone for me are in the sides and some of the foundation items… like the bread. Ah. The bread. Here is the thing folks – if you are offering things like hush puppies, fried oysters, and good ole deep baked beans and Po’ Boys… well get the ingredients right.
To me (and this is just my opinion) the fried oyster basket tasted suspiciously like previously frozen bad boys from CostCo. And the cocktail sauce on the side seemed like it came out of a bottle. If it did not come out of a bottle, fine – at least formulate it like it is unique and attention getting… not like it was done on the cheap with too few good ingredients. I had a Oyster fry up at the “Crow and Gate” pub south or Nanaimo near Cedar, B.C. yesterday. 6 plump oysters fried to perfection served with two kinds of salad, a home made tartar sauce, a fresh but mass produced large dinner roll and a pad of butter. The Oysters from the Crow and Gate are light years ahead of the somewhat overcooked mini-oyster nuggets that “Bones” tries to pass off as an appetizer.
To their credit, “Bones Cook Shack” does a lot of things… well, OK – but they do not leave me gasping for joy. My thought is that perhaps they are trying to do too much with the space that they have – and it is a big space.
In all visits I have found the service to be spot on, the wait staff are well informed, knowledgeable and friendly. So, it is not about what’s happening on the floor – it is a bit of a disconnect in the kitchen – perhaps with the quality of some of the supplies.
In summary, I think that Smoken Bones Cook Shack could be consistent and amazing. Their signature meats are generally pretty good – well prepared, sauced and presentation. The most common complaint that I have heard that I do not necessarily agree with is with the plating… or the lack of it. I have heard it said that everything is served in plastic containers on wax paper – have not noticed this particularly – nor would it bother me if they did.
In comparing the two; PIG BBQ and Smoken Bones Cook Shack… it has to be acknowledged that they are two distinctly different “beasts” – and in the end analysis, PIG wins by not trying to be too many things with too many big ideas. The meat is tasty and is presented commensurate with the environment in which the products are prepared and delivered.
How could Smoken Bones Cook Shack step up? A: Take a good look at the menu. Trim it a bit – maybe a couple of items – or rotate some things and do them with a bit more authenticity and a dollop more pizzazz.
B: Step up on the bread. Bake it yourself if possible. Nothing destroys an Oyster Po’ Boy sandwich or pulled pork than dull tasting factory bread.
C: A message for all restaurants – outsource your sauces and breads at your peril. Think we do not notice? We do.
Colin Newell is a Victoria resident, IT Guy and food/drink writer – his writing has graced the internet since 1995
Steamed Halibut with Mango Teriyaki by Eric Akis of the Times Colonist · 26.03.12 by colin newell
Steaming a fish, like Halibut, has some distinct advantages – you can cook it precisely without using any oil or on a grill or flat-top – and all you taste is the delicate nuance of the fish – no distraction. Perfection!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 10 minutes
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce – most brands are OK – watch the salt content!
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or broth
2 Tbsp honey or corn syrup
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp Asian-style chili sauce, to taste
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped fresh grated ginger
1 small, ripe mango, peeled and cut into small cubes
4 (5 to 6 oz.) halibut fillets
2 green onions, thinly sliced
The side – we prepped a 1/2 cup of cooked Basmati Rice – the perfect compliment to this dish.
The sauce – Place the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved.
Heat the oil in small pot set over medium-high.
Add the bell pepper, garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes. Pour in the Teriyaki sauce mixture, bring to a simmer, and simmer 1 minute until lightly thickened. Be careful not to burn the garlic – burnt garlic changes everything!
Stir in the mango, turn the heat to low, cover and set aside the sauce until needed.
The Fish – Get out a large bamboo or stainless steel steamer. We used a steel one and used some parchment paper in a perfectly cut ring (of paper) in the bottom with around 10 pin holes punched in the paper.
Set the halibut in the steamer.
Cover the steamer, set over simmering water, and steam until the fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Plate the fish on top of the rice pilaf – top with sauce, sprinkle with green onion, and serve.
It’s delicious, it’s healthy and it has a zesty chili kick that you can regulate entirely to taste. Enjoy! Thanks to Eric Akis at the Times Colonist for this great recipe.
Click on the photo below for the bigger view.
2012 Variation of Alton Brown Texas Chili · 25.03.12 by colin newell
Here is a another subtle variation on Alton Brown’s classic – it is not vegetarian but you can easily take out the sirloin and pitch in some firm tofu (grilled in advance of course…)
Use a 4L or 4-quart stock or stewing pot minimum – the biggest you have.
2 pounds Sirloin tip or lesser grade of beef (or pork… or Tofu)
4 tablespoons Canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 bottle of beer, medium pale ale (I used Philip’s Slipstream Cream Ale)
2 (16-ounce) container medium or hot salsa
60 tortilla chips (really! 60… not 59 or 61!)
1/2 cup chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, chopped
2 medium onions – chopped
1 Yellow pepper chopped
1 Red pepper chopped
1 small Zucchini
1 large Pablano pepper chopped
2 Anaheim peppers chopped
1 chopped Habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers (be VERY, VERY careful with these peppers! There is a real risk of burning or blistering if your skin comes in direct contact with the seeds or chopped pepper flesh.)
2 medium carrots shredded (adds sweetness!)
2 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers in adobo)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
Heat your stewing/cooking pot (largest one your have!)and toss/brown meat with the Canola oil and salt/pepper in smallish batches. Add the meat in 6 to 8 batches and brown on all sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per batch. Once each batch is browned, place the meat in a clean large bowl or plate.
Once all of the meat is browned and set aside, add several tablespoons of beer to deglaze the pot.
Depending on how dry your pot is, add a tablespoon or two of your favorite canola oil.
Put in onions, yellow and red peppers, zucchini and carrots to brown for around 5 to 7 minutes.
Add Pablano and Anaheim chopped peppers – cooking an additional 5 minutes
Add Chipotle peppers and adobo sauce – stir in well.
Add bottled salsa (1 bottle at a time) and beer gradually.
Add tomato paste and ground spices
Add corn chips.
Return meat to the mix.
bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, reduce heat to LOW, cover
and simmer for 1 hour (minimum) 2 hours = better!
Depending upon how hot your Habanero, salsa and chilpotle chilis are will dictate how much of a sweat you will work up – add sour cream to serving for the more delicate among you! Be warned: Habanero chili’s are among the hottest chili peppers on the planet – they are easily hundreds if not thousands of times hotter than the lowly jalapeno pepper. Use extreme caution with these orange peppers. If you are not prepared to assume the risk, leave this pepper out.
After the chili has stewed for a few hours, a lot of the extreme edge of the peppers have been tamed – including the habanero chili’s – that said, this is a very, very hot and spicy disk: Want it milder? Back off on the chili powder, use a mild salsa and avoid the Habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers.
Serve with ice cold beer, corn chips and a cotton napkin for wiping your brow.
This batch would easily serve 16 to 20 hungry folks – I freeze the chili in plastic containers for frugal hot lunches!
2nd day of Spring 2012 wonderful pizza · 21.03.12 by colin newell
Colin and Andrea’s Amazing Pizza
Fresh dough from Ottavio.
Out of the fridge for 20 minutes minimum.
Caramelize 2 medium onions in olive oil/canola oil/butter mixture for 1/2 hour.
Roll dough on counter lightly dusted with flour.
Prepare pizza pan with PAM anti-stick product & light dusting of oil.
Transfer dough to pan.
Add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of your favorite organic pizza sauce.
Add 2 cups of grated good quality Mozzarella cheese.
Add rings of sliced Chorizo sausage (in our example, a great sample
from Oyama, Vancouver.
Oven pre-heated in advance at 450 degrees.
Drop oven temperature to 425 and Put pizza in oven for 20 minutes.
Remove pizza from oven and gently add Bündnerfleisch cured meat (It is like proscuitto) – do NOT bake the pizza with super-thin Bündnerfleisch charcuterie – it will “kill it” – not good.
To be honest folks: This is the single best pizza I have ever had in my life! What a great day!