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Friday, December 3, 2010

To bake or not to bake... apples are the question!

Some apples are for eating, and others are destined for even more delicious adventures.  I'm doing some baking today and I usually defer to my sissy (sister) for an answer to the ever popular question of "which apples are good for baking?" I've come upon this great article on allrecipes.com. This is a great go to list of which local apples are for eat, and which are for bake! I encourage you all to print out this article and save it with the rest of your food files and recipes. You can always ask your local grocer if you have to make a quick shopping decision and want to be sure. Identifying which apples are suitable for a sauce or tart is extremely difficult since there are 7500 different type of apples around the globe. Rest assured not all of them are available for commercial consumption. If you are curious to know more about these 7500 varieties go to www.allaboutapples.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Side dish delight - suteed brussel sprouts with red onion

A beautiful combination as a side dish or topping for a pan fried protein. Brussel sprouts are one of those love em or hate em vegetables. We just love em! They are a super veg meaning they have so many healthy properties including antioxidants and can actually prevent cancer. They are very high in fiber as well as vitamin C, A, E and K. Brussel sprouts are best enjoyed slightly cooked to bring out the most of their nutrients. This recipe is simple and delicious, you may even be able to win over some of the haters. 
INGREDIENTS: Suteed brussel sprout and red onion
brussel sprouts - large bunch about 4 cups & blanched                  
1 red onion - thinly sliced
2 small cloves garlic - minced 
red wine vinegar - 2 tbs
olive oil  or butter - 2 tbs
s&p
PREP: quickly blanch & shock your brussel sprouts ie. toss them in boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes. then immediately transfer into ice cold water to halt the cooking process. Then pat them dry and  thinly slice. 
COOK: in a medium hot pan sutee the onion in butter or olive oil add garlic s&p and cook until slightly transparent add splash of red wine vinegar allow the alcohol to cook off (about a minute or two) before adding the brussel sprouts to the mixture, cook for another minute or so and you're done!
SERVE: Over pan fried nile perch:
- for pan fried nile perch - season fish with salt and pepper then lightly dust fish with potato flour and fry in a small amount of vegetable oil, serve with lemon. 

Baby steps to eating organic

I know it can be extremely difficult to shop all organic. It is expensive and some people would rather wear fancy shoes as opposed to eat fancy fruits and vegetables. Our bodies are what get us through life so we should pay some attention to what makes us feel good and look good on the inside as well as the outside. This is a beginner list for eating and shopping organic. You will see that you don't have to take the full plunge and eat completely organic. In fact some believe that eating local is more important then eating organic. What I can confidently say is that eating a combination of local, and organic is probably the best nutritionally, sustainably and definitely economically. For the full list of why these fruits and veg are better enjoyed organic please go to everydayhealth.com.
ORGANIC:
potatoes
kale/ collard greens
cherries
spinach
bell peppers
imported grapes
nectarines
blueberries/ strawberries
apples
peaches
celery
NON ORGANIC:
kiwi
pineapple
banana
asparagus
eggplant
mushrooms
tangerines
green peas
cabbage
broccoli
cranberries
raspberries
papaya
mango
watermelon
orange
grapefruit

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First times a charm - 5 Spice tofu with over Asian slaw

This was a stumble upon delicious recipe yet again. I always break the golden rules of entertaining. NEVER MAKE SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME WHEN THROWING A DINNER PARTY!! For me it ads a sense of adventure, plus it really wows your guests when you tell then it's the first time you've made the dish and they ooohh, and aaahh over your amazing accomplishments. Recipes definitely make this dangerous party trick easier, but since I rarely use them I want you all to pull this off with ease.  5 Spice tofu with over Asain slaw INGREDIENTS:
firm tofu - cut in half width wise so you have 2 large steaks
1 yellow pepper - cut in to thin strips
1/2 english cucumber - " " "
2 large carrots - " " "
handful of fresh mint - chop into thin strips
chinese 5 spice blend - for tofu
sesame oil - for dressing small drizzle
soya sauce - light 2tsp
rice wine vinegar - 2tsp
hoisen sauce - 2tsp
grape seed oil - or other mild flavored oil - 2tsp
sesame seeds - black is preferred but it's optional.
PREP: dust both side of tofu with the 5 spice. For salad place all veggie in bowl and toss with dressing. 
COOK: in a hot pan drizzle some grape seed oil then fry tofu until golden and slightly crisp on each side.  Remove from heat and cut into cubes. 
SERVE: tofu on top of salad with sprinkle of sesame seeds and mint ribbons. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beginning of the end of summer wrap up

So you all know I neglected the blog this summer with moving and wedding planning and all, I've decided that instead of celebrating the fall any further I'm going to do a summer recipe wrap up. There are a bunch of dishes we enjoyed this summer that were blog worthy and I think you loyal readers deserve to know about them. We going to get it started with this quick soup served cold. It's an apricot gazpacho with mint. INGREDIENTS: 
a dozen fresh apricots - rough chop
1/2 English cucumber - de-seeded and skinned then rough chopped
1 shallot - rough chop
1 celery stocks - rough chop
1 yellow pepper - rough chop
1/2 or more lemon- juiced or any citrus 
mint - few leaves (5) for blending mixture and some for the garnish
s & p
olive oil 
PREP: Using a hand blender or whatever appliance you choose blend ingredients together roughly - you don't want a smooth blend rather little bits still visible. 
SERVE: in a glass with a small spoon drizzled with olive oil and fresh mint. Summer in a glass - a wonderful way to start a backyard BBQ! 

I got the beet - marinated beetroot salad with ricotta and basil

I LOVE beets! Also know as beetroot they're a delicious healthy LOCAL sweet vegetable that we eat all the time at home. There are so many ways to enjoy beets, and I better not see any of you throwing away the tops. The tops are the leafy greens you see on top of these beautiful burgundy bulbs. They are wonderful - kind of a cross between spinach and swiss chard, but that not what I'm here to talk about today. Today we are talking marinated beet salad served cold with ricotta,  fresh basil and a orange marinate for the dressing. INGREDIENTS:
beetroot - thinly sliced and boiled until tender
1 orange - juices 1 cup of tropicana will also do
1/2 lemon - juiced
salt & pepper
drizzle of olive oil
ricotta cheese - feta or goats cheese will also work
fresh basil sprigs
PREP: You can boil your beets whole and peel the skin off, or you can peel and slice your beets and then boil. Its really up to you. Once beets are tender place them in a bowl with orange and lemon juice  enough to cover them completely and sprinkle of s&p. Lets beets sit over night.
PLATE: Sandwich dollops of ricotta between slices of beets, use the beet marinate as the dressing for the salad and top with a drizzle of plain or flavored olive oil and some fresh basil. Simple and delicious.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

22 Pounds of Turkey bliss

Love Thanksgiving.... love love love... turkey mash stuffing the whole shabang. This year a group of my friends decided we would do a hungover thanksgiving potluck. We were all at a wedding the night before, so I preped my mash a day early in anticipation of the hangover. I was going to show the host my good friend Whitney how easy it is to make a turkey. I was a bit nervous as i've never roasted the whole turkey before, and I had no thermomiter. But as always I like to live on the edge, and be fearless in the kitchen. Thankfully for all of us my love of that bird paid off, it was delicious moist and cooked perfectly. I decided to stuff my bird with sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic, shallots, orange, and lemon. I rubbed Lawrys seasoning salt all over the turkey with some olive oil and pepper. I initially would have loved to brine my bird in water with salt and sugar overnight, but its was so big and not in my fridge, so I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get a moist bird. I left the turkey neck in the pan as well as some extra orange slices and shallots and herbage. Put the bird in at 350 for the first hour, then covered it with tin foil and cooked at 325 for the next 3.5 hours basting with juices every 45 mins or so. For the last 30 mins I uncovered the turkey in hoped of crispy chewy delicious skin, and thats exactly what I got. Everyone was urging me to cut into the bird to make sure it was cooked properly, but I said hellz no! This sucker will rest until I say so, and after 35-40 mins I made the first cut. It was gorgeous! Aromatic juicy turkey perfection. I even carved the damn thing - never done that before either, but It seems I did an excellent job with my helped Kelly who was very good at removing those wings. I didn't bother with gravy, we enjoyed the pan juice and all of the other delights. The compliments keep pouring in, and we can't wait for November to do it all again Americano style. 
Menu: 
22 pound roasted turkey with pan jus
fluffy mash potato
roasted cinnamon sweet potato
corn bread
roasted veg - squash, peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, onion etc...
salad
stuffing and bacon wrapped stuffing balls
squash soup
pumpkin cheesecake
ice cream pie
chocolate peanut butter cups
I'm sure there was more but I just cant remember



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Desperate For Poutine

























No recipe here. This is a delicious snack I made for myself one day before I moved. I was desperately craving poutine, but couldn't afford the calories. I had a few potatoes left in my pantry some local mushooms, shallots, beef stalk, rosemary, mozzarella and a splash of wine. I baked the fries, and used 
a low fat mozzarella to make this gluttonous delight a little less guilty. I actually have no right calling this poutine but it sure satisfied the craving. Chow for now

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Challenge #2: The Classics - Ode to Arthur Wellesley The 1st Duke of Wellington

What an exciting day. I'm so thrilled to have moved into round 2 of this amazing food blogging challenge. I had a lot of trouble deciding what would be the perfect follow up post for todays challenge. THE SPECS: My own representation of a classic dish, not Italian and not French - keeping in mind I have to be cooking outside of my comfort zone. Hmmmmm what to do, what to do. After racking my brains out for two days, and driving my sister and friends all crazy. I decided that I was going to attempt an elegant British dish I have heard so much about, but have never tasted. Beef Wellington is totally blog worthy, and is definitely out of my comfort zone. I've never used prosciutto, or puff pastry, and i've certainly never wapped a filet of beef in this combination of delight, smothered in spicy mustardy goodness and then baked. Sounds sinful right? This popular dish is said to be named for Arthur Wellesley the first Duke of Wellington know as the Iron Duke. It's a timeless dish in Gordon Ramsey's repertoire - an ace in the hole when executed perfectly. I've also been watching a ton of Masterchef Australia and America, beef wellington is always a challenge for the contestants and the judges are always excited to see how they do. Today my beef wellington recipe is based on two different recipes one by Gordon Ramsey and the other by Tyler Florence. The main difference in these two dishes is the addition of shallots, and the type of mustard used. To keep things as authentic as possible I will be using English mustard which is bright yellow and hot. The wellington will be served with baby veg of golden beets, purple carrots golden pearl onions and roasted fingerling potatoes. I will also make a red wine pan gravy with a touch of cream. The dish is broken down into steps and begins with a mushroom duxelle. Right now there are two hours left on my clock to cook, and thats the only step I've completed. Still have to sear off my beef, wait for my puff pastry to de-frost, photograph and finish blogging... holy &^$^%#%$#@. Now it's really starting to feel like a competition. Hope I make it to the finish line...
Beef Wellington: 
INGREDIENTS: 
For the Duxelles: 
2 cups white button mushrooms - rough chop
2 cups oyster mushrooms - rough chop
4 cloves garlic - rough chop
2 shallots - rough chop
thyme - about 10 sprigs 
2 tbs butter - for sutee
2tbs olive oil - for sutee
s & p - for sutee
PREP/COOK: In a food pro combine thyme shallots garlic and mushrooms blend until smoothish. Remove from food pro, and sautee for 8 - 10 mins in butter and olive oil. Leave to cool in a fine mesh sive  so that excess liquid drains out. 
For the beef: 
center cut beef tenderloin (filet mignon), trimmed 4 oz per serving
thin slices parma prosciutto
thyme - 3 sprigs leaves only
English mustard - 2 tbs
flour - sprinkle for rolling out puff
1 pound puff pastry - thawed room temp
eggs - 2 beaten lightly
olive oil - for searing beef
s & p 
PREP/COOK: Depending on the size of the beef - I'm only making 2 portions (each 4-6 oz per) tie the tenderloin in a few places so it holds its cylindrical shape while cooking. Season beef lightly with salt and pepper, and heat a few tbs of olive oil in a heavy pan. You just want to sear the beaf on the outside - for better flavor. Prep your wrapping station by setting out your prosciutto on a long sheet of plastic wrap (approx. foot and a half). Overlap the prosciutto so it forms a large rectangle big enough to wrap around the entire filet of beef. Then cover evenly with a thin layer of duxelles finish with more s&p. After beef is seared, remove from heat, cut off twine and smear lightly all over with English mustard. Allow to cool slightly, then roll up in the duxelles covered prosciutto using the plastic wrap to tie it up nice and tight being sure to tuck the ends of the prosciutto as you roll to completely cover the beef. Roll it up tightly in plastic wrap and twist the ends to seal it completely and hold it in a nice log shape. Set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to ensure a lovely round log shape. Pre Heat Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly flour your surface to roll the puff pastry out (1/4-inch thickness). You may have to overlap 2 sheets and press them together depending on size of tenderloin. Remove beef from refrigerator and remove plastic. Set the beef in the center of the pastry and fold over the longer sides use egg wash to seal. Trim ends if necessary then brush with egg wash and fold over to completely seal the beef - you can save those ends to use as a decoration for the top for shmancy presentation. Place the beef seam side down on a baking sheet and brush the top of the pastry with egg for  beautiful shiny golden crust. Make a couple of slits in the top of the pastry using the tip of a paring knife - to allow steam to escape when cooking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is golden brown and beef registers 125 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and rest before cutting into thick slices. Serve with simple roasted fingerling potatoes baby veg and pan gravy - or enjoy the beauty that is the beef wellington as it stands alone. 
The verdict: Beef perfectly pink...puff pastry gorgeously golden... taste...damn good! Next time use less mushroom, and make sure duxelle doesn't go all the way to the end - leave a bit of prosciutto peaking off the edge. I think I wrapped the beef in the wrong direction, maybe should have placed it horizontal instead. It's okay to have minor setbacks in cooking. Learning is part of the game. 
Ps. I didn't realize I had until 3:00 pm PST, in all of my panicking my fiancee pointed out that I actually had a few more hours to have everything ready. I've never been happier to be on the east coast. 
All in all everything went pretty well. I think I deserve an A ! 
Chow for now - happy voting :)














Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Low fat idea of the day - Indian Saag Paneer with tofu

Saag paneer is one of my all time favorite Indian dishes. It's rich and creamy and a little bit spicy and totally satisfying. Saag which means spinach and paneer which means cheese is best enjoyed over perfectly fluffy basmati rice or scooped up with fresh garlic naan. It's not fat people kinda food, purely a gluttonous delight to be eaten once in a while definitely a treat. I had been trying to stay away from Indian food for a while. It's deadly very high in fat and oh so delicious, when I eat it I crave it for days, and smell of it for the next 24 hours at least. It's kind of funny how it seeps out of my pores during spin class. I had a brick of lonely tofu in my I'm so busy I have no time to grocery shop fridge. Along with a package of fresh spinach, half an onion some minced garlic and ginger cube I had left in the freezer. This was one of those survivor kind of meals I've told you about in the past. See how long you can hold off until buying groceries, living off pantry items and canned goods. It's kinda fun, you should all try it sometime. Test your skills in the kitchen for sure. Anyways I thought this lonely brick of tofu would be a great substitute for paneer in this low fat version of my saag dish. I don't remember what my recipe was, but I substituted low fat coconut milk instead of cream, and I used a great spice blend I got at the Indian Bazar on Gerrard St. E. I served the dish with a homemade vegetarian biryani. Pretty good for my first attempt at Indian food. Next time I'll be sure to write a recipe. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear Loblaws, shame on you!

I came upon this article on my cousins fb page today. It's the very reason why i've pretty much given up shopping at large grocery stores and favor smaller ethnic grocers or farmers markets. There is nothing I hate more then going to your local grocer and seeing fruit and veg from the USA or Mexico when that very item is in season right here in Canada. I'm always excited to see baskets of stunning produce with the little white and green Ontario logo peeking around the sides. I've said it before, and I'll say it again Go local whenever you can! If you're not sure where something comes from check the label or ask one of the people in the produce section. Nine times out of ten they can tell you if it's local or not. I hate having to buy garlic from China - it totally weirds me out! Although I must admit I can't resist Mangosteen and Rambutan season in China Town. Once in a while I have to splurge, but all in the name of fine fooding. For more information on sustainability and going green go to http://www.treehugger.com.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ready Set Blog: Challenge 1 - Who is the Tomato Snob?


This is a story i've wanted to tell you all for quite some time. Those of you that know me well have heard it before, the tale of how I became the Tomato Snob. Five years ago I lived in Miami. It was fabulous the food, the flavor the weather.  The building I used to live in is now the very posh Mondrian hotel but when I was living there it was just 1100 West Ave. A studio apartment with a double bed and a broken futon. I shared the flat with my dear friend Elliot. Although I do love him dearly, he has an amazing ability to drive me completely mad - enraged in seconds. Learning how to live with a roomate is one thing, but learning how to live with your gay best friend that your share 440 square feet, a sink, a fridge and a bed with was nearly impossible. But we did it, and most of the time we had a blast. We had opposite schedules and worked crazy hours but we always had breakfast together every Saturday. I would usually insist on cooking because it was really the only time I ever got the chance to make anything. The rest of the time I lived off frozen chicken cutlets, Pasha's Healthy Mediterranean breakfast burritos and Pizza Rustica salads, not to mention my twice a day habit of Cortadito's at David's Cafe. I couldn't wait to make a home cooked meal once a week. I was probably pretty bossy about getting to be the cook, but I thought Elliots cooking was pretty dodgy back in those days. I was also obsessed with frittatas, in fact I think I made one every week - my culinary arsenal was not as developed back then. The day The Tomato Snob was born I wanted to make a lovely tomato and basil frittata. I had just bought the most beautiful vine ripe tomatoes at Wild Oats the day before and I couldn't wait to use them with creamy goats cheese in fluffy egg custard baked to perfection. Everything was going great. My sister was visiting us from Toronto and I was so excited about the delicious meal we would enjoy together. I went to chop up my tomatoes and I couldn't find them anywhere. I look on top of the fridge, in the pantry and every cupboard, I even checked under the sink. I screamed to Elliot who was in the bathroom using the shower "hey boogar where are my tomatoes" a muffled noise came from the steaming hallway. I looked at my sister, and she shrugged - obviously she had no clue what he had said. I yelled at him again this time moving closer towards the bathroom door so he could hear me more clearly "where are my freaking tomatoes booo-gar - I just bought them yesterday!" I was getting angry at this point, thinking he better not have eaten my beautiful ripe tomatoes. About a minute later the door opened with a cloud of thick moisture. Elliot appeared in front of us in a towel with toothpaste foaming around his mouth "they're in the f----" "The WHAT" I said "the fridge...the fridge" he shouted while the tooth paste was frothing down his chin. This just sent me over the edge. Once I realized he said the tomatoes where in the fridge I lost it. I have no idea what I said from there. All I remember was a lot of shouting and yelling "they're ruined! You ruined my tomatoes!" I said furiously. I may have even thrown a tomato out of the window in my fit of rage. At this point his toothbrush was gone, and he was screaming at me to relax " they're just tomatoes" he screamed at me "who do you think you are throwing tomatoes out, they are still perfectly good, what are you a tomato snob" At this point everyone went silent, it was intense, there was nothing for like five seconds, and then my sister broke out laughing. The laughter was contagious we were all in sitches seconds later. And so from then on I became the Tomato Snob. I took my love of tomatoes very seriously, you better not F%#&@ with my tomatoes!


So what defines The Tomato Snob as a foodbloger? I'm passionate about cooking, eating and story telling not to mention my fascination with aesthetics. I have a great love for food, and a deep respect for beautiful ingredients and tradition. I should be the next food blog star because I'm entertaining, creative and I make fooding (eating, cooking, enjoying food) accessible for anyone and everyone. I want to inspire my readers, and teach them to be fearless in the kitchen. I would love to be the winner of this food blog challenge.
It's an honour to be part of this amazing contest.
Please vote for me! 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

End of summer roasted corn soup - heaven

I love corn, who doesn't right? Fresh from the farm summer corn pure bliss. Well I decided that yesterday was the day I made soup from my lovely yellow kernels of sweetness. It was fantastic!
Sweet Summer Corn Soup: INGREDIENTS:
3 years of corn - roasted
honey
1/2 onion - sweet onion chopped
1 clove garlic - fine chop
celery salt - pinch
red chili flakes - optional 
2 bay leaf
s&p
1tbs butter
2 cups water or veg stock
1 cup butter milk 
PREP: roast corn on cob glazed with 1 tsp honey, canola oil and red pepper flakes for 30 mins until bright yellow or starting to golden. Let cool then cut corn off cob - put to side. Chop onion and garlic. 

COOK: Add 1tsp oil and butter to pot add in onion and garlic cook a minute or two. Add celery salt pepper and chili flakes cook another few minutes until onions are translucent. Add corn - then water/stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then drop the heat and let simmer about 10 mins. Remove bay leaf from the pot before blending the soup. Blend until semi smooth. Then add the buttermilk to the mixture after (off the heat of will separate). You can put the bay leaf back in and leave the soup to stay warm on a very low heat.

GARNISH: to be fancy chop parsley or cilantro on top with drizzle of chili oil & few corn nibblets. Or to be totally gluttonous some cheese shavings pecorino/spicy calabrese/even blue would be nice.  Serve with zucchini muffins for a really delicious lunch. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

aaaaaROMA

I've been bad! Real bad. I haven't grocery shopped in over two weeks. I've been working like mad, and lucky enough to be invited up to cottages the last two weekends. Today was the big day. The day I finally fill my fridge back up. I just love my new grocery store. Lady York on Dufferin st. just north of Lawrence is great. Inexpensive, lots of local produce and filled with awesome Italian treats. I love going to the cheese or meat counter "eh bella what can I get for you today" says an old Italian mama. It's definitely an experience since almost everyone is Italian and they just assume I'm one of them as well.  Jews and Italians go together like spaghetti and matzo balls, same European family values, and a great love of food.  Anyways back to my post. At the end of the vegetable isle where these amazing baskets of roma tomatoes for 1.99, they also had a jumbo basket for 6.99 half the price of Fortinos - another Italian grocery store near by.  I just had to buy a  bunch. Roma tomatoes are the perfect choice for canning or sauce as they have a thick flesh and very few seeds. They are also know as Italian plum tomatoes and can come in red or yellow. I know it's the perfect weekend to make a huge batch of "red sauce" (tomato sauce). Something most Italian families do at the end of every harvest. They make batches of the stuff and freeze it for the winter.  If  only I had a nona (Italian grandma) she would be so proud. I also scored a huge bunch of fresh basil for my sauce now all I need is a bottle of vino - Salute! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cumbraes Farm

I'm totally obsessed with Cumbraes another great Toronto butchery. Locally raised antibiotic free meats. Their cowboy cut rib steak is like 5 inches thick - heaven!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Birthday Pie?

Why is cake always the center of every festivity? Who died and made cake the boss at birthdays, wedding and anniversaries. Why is there no birthday pie? Pondering all these fine questions as I plan my best friends birthday dessert. He's a pie kinda guy so I figure a birthday pie would be just perfect. I've also decided to use nectarines instead of the ever popular peach. This year nectarine and blueberry pie will take the cake at Loone Lake in Muskoka for Mr. Bills birthday cottage extravaganza. I'll let y'all know how it goes.
- chow for now
UPDATE: Pie turned into hung over birthday crumble but was no less delicious!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tomake over

Yes I have yet again been neglecting you Tomato Snobs and Snobettes, but for good reason. I've been planing a big overhaul - a new look for The Tomato Snob. I've also been super busy working on decorating my apartment coordinating three advertising campaigns and planning an engagement party as well as wedding, not to mention my new business The Fooding co. I'm sure you're all as excited as I am. All  said things are going well. Once I find my camera cable that connects my digi cam to my computer i'll be back with pics and recipes and tales of delicious delights. For now i'll leave you to enjoy the new look. Comments and criticisms welcome of course. Ps. i'll need you all to cross your fingers for me there may be a chance for The Original Tomato Snob to be on tv ;)
- chow for now

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baked Mixed Fries


One of my favorite Food Rules - Eat all the junk food you want if you make it yourself. These delicious potato strips can be enjoyed guilt free if baked or if you're feeling glutinous go hard and fry em. I like to use sweet potatoes and Yukon Golds - Russets and Purples are great as well!
BAKING: season w/ s&p fresh rosemary and drizzle with olive oil. On a baking sheet bake @ 400 degrees for 45 mins shaking the pan every 15 mins so fries don't stick. 
FRYING:  soak in cold water for a few mins and pat dry before frying. Use peanut or canola oil for frying in a deep pot with a few cups of oil - do not fill more then half the pot and be careful of splattering oil - it will burn the crap out of your poor hands if not careful. Use a slotted spoon or a small frying basket. Only put a few handfuls in at a time They need room to fry and maintain the right temperature (about 365 degrees for 2-3 mins) and place on a rack or paper towel for excess oil to drain. You should fry each batch twice to make them perfectly crispy (until golden brown) and season after frying. You can also blanch your fries in water before frying - you will only need to fry them once for this. Seasoning: salt, celery salt, paprika, chili powder, cayan powder, cumin black pepper - or you can buy a pre packages spice blend cajun is one of my faves. 

Food for thought - Cooking Class

I'm trying to gather some information about cooking learning and exploring. If you were to go to a cooking class what would you want to learn? How much or how little do you know about food, ingredients, techniques etc...? Are you culinarily challenged, are you Tomato Snob looking for new ways to spice up your repetoire? Do you have a list of signature dishes you make all the time - is your family sick of your signature dishes that you make all the time. Are you the type of person who buys cook books. Have you ever watched an online tutorial on how to _____? Do you follow recipes? Do you write your own recipes? How do you decide what's for dinner? Tell me more... Do you watch the Food Network? If you do watch the food network who's show do you love? Who's show do you hate? What style of cooking intrigues you most? What type of food do you like the best? Have you ever been to a cooking class? If so what was it like? What did you make? Did you enjoy the experience? Did you wish you had spent your money on fancy dinner out with a lover instead. Did you learn things you could apply in your everyday cooking. Did you find you knew more then the person teaching you? Please tell me! Write me @ thetomatosnob@gmail.com or click comment and give us some insight. Looking forward to your food for thought. Chow for now!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

sweet cedar plank salmon

So I was just watching Grill it with Bobby Flay - I just love him. 
His guest made a delicious sounding cedar plank salmon filet. He created a dry rub of brown sugar, tumeric, cumin curry, cofee and s&p. Bobby wad drooling over the dish and so am I. Dad  I think this recipe is perfect for you - he loves his cedar plank. Put it in the recipe file and let me know how it goes. 
Chow for now. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

top 5 farmers markets in GTA by sweetspot.ca

sweetspot.ca has recently posted their pics for the top 5 farmers markets in Toronto. I haven't tried them all yet, but by the end of the summer i'll have plenty to report. Have a delicious weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CONTEST: by chefshaunice


A chance to win a set of Paula Deen prep bowls by fellow foodbuzz blogger
chefshaunice. Good luck yall

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cupcake heaven - ming makes cupcakes

Holy cupcake food porn, I 'm salivating all over myself.  The site of these sweet treats are almost satisfying enough. Everyone loves cupcakes and there is this ongoing battle for the best of. I would love the chance to try these cupcakes from mingmakescupcakes a site of amazing recipes by one very skilled cupcake baker.  I may just have to blog my way through their recipes a la "Julie and Julia" style. Maybe not such a great idea since i'm in the thick of my fat off. Must look fab for my engagement party in August. Will have to make these over the next few years or something... I usually try and make recipes healthier and less fattening, but that would just be wrong in this case. I challenge any of you to try some of these recipes - but please invite me over! Look out for my upcoming trip to NYC and my Magnolia Bakery review. Chow for now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spring Veg- Buckwheat noodles with spring veg

This post should have been published a few weeks ago. I just love the spring! Seriously my friends are starting to think i've gone nuts - I get so excited to welcome asparagus and obviously tomatoes to Ontario. Being seasonally obsessed i've been deprived from my red seeded friends since I was in Mexico in december and oh how i've missed them. In tomato season I usually enjoy them raw since they are so sweet and delicious. This recipe should come right after my fiddle heads post as I used the left overs in this dish as well. Buckwheat noodles with spring veg INGREDIENTS:
left over fiddle heads - finely chopped (see Hey Diddle Diddle some shallots and some fiddle post)
Japanese buckwheat noodles - boil and rinse in ice cold water
1 garlic clove - minced
1 head of asparagus - blanched and trimmed
1 bunch of campari tomatoes - cut in quarters
1 bunch of cherry tomatoes - cut in half
handful of crumbled Bulgarian feta cheese
handful of parsley - rough chop (optional)
1/2 lemon - juiced
olive oil
salt
pepper
PREP: cook noodles in boiling water - then shock in cold water when cooked. Keep the boiling pasta water to 
quickly blanch the asparagus (1-2 mins) then add them to the chilled pasta water. Drain well. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and give a quick toss. Easy breezy fresh and fabulous food. Enjoy