Archive for April, 2012

BLT

Posted: April 30, 2012 in cooking

There are many sandwiches in this world. There’s the reuben, the grilled cheese and the PB&J, or the tuna melt, egg salad and chicken club. But none can really hold a candle to the infamous BLT. And no BLT can hold a candle to the one my Mom makes me for lunch on sunny days in the spring or summer. The trick; THICK slices of a hearty bread, slices of fresh tomato with a sprinkling of salt, and crisp evenly smoked and salted bacon. Need I say more? The anser is yes, it is not that easy to make the prefect BLT, it is also crucial to lightly toast the bread and spread it with a thin smear of mayo. And the best way to eat it? Either with potato chips or some thick wedge fries.

Stuffed Chicken

Posted: April 24, 2012 in cooking

Tonight, I made spinach and bacon stuffed chicken. It was soooooo AMAZING!!!! The chicken was moist, the filling was fantastic. Accompanying it is a pastitsio that my Mom’s boss made (she just happened to have extra and she gave it to me) it was also super awesome because she is a total gourmand. I was lucky because I was able to use local, organically grown vegetables to stuff my chicken with (I just wilted the spinach). Since I didn’t have any panko bread crumbs I just crushed up some crackers. This stuffed chicken was great because I made it in under an hour and it tasted superb! Another cool thing is that you can stuff it with almost anything therefore there are endless variations.

  Quote of the day:

 “Peasant food is not elegant, but it is earthy and delicious”

                                                                                     My Mom’s boss, Gourmand Extrordinaire. Judy. P.

Ingredients

  • 1  box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
  • 2  tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2  cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
  • 4  boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 to 5 oz each)
  • 1/2  teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2  cup Progresso® panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 2  tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2  tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Directions

  1. 1Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix spinach, onion and mozzarella cheese.
  2. 2Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
  3. 3Place 1/4 of the spinach mixture on center of each flattened chicken breast. Fold in sides; fold up top and bottom, overlapping in center.
  4. 4On shallow plate, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Roll chicken in melted butter, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place seam sides down in baking dish.
  5. 5Bake 30 to 35 minutes, turning chicken over after 15 minutes, until light golden brown.

Boston Cream Pie

Posted: April 22, 2012 in cooking, treat

The other day  I made an amazing boston cream pie. Ironically, this desert is not filled with cream, but with custard. Also, it is not a pie it’s a cake. So really it should be called a Boston custard cake. That aside, the heavenly sandwich was totally amazing in every way possible; the custard was creamy, the frosting rich. I didn’t have a piece of it untill the second day and it was still super moist even though it was left uncovered all night!

Fried Chicken

Posted: April 18, 2012 in cooking

Last night I had a totally awesome dinner of fried chicken. It was so good. When I did it I didn’t soak the chicken as long and I used my own seasoning mix and it was AMAZING!!! So if you get the chance you should definitely try this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable shortening, for frying

Directions

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/3-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.

Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don’t drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it’s a gas oven.

Giant Marshmallows

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

This weekend I went to one of my friend’s birthdays. It was at a bay, Spring Bay to be exact. It was a pretty average party: bonfire, water guns, pizza-pretty run of the mill if you ask me. Or at least it was, until the marshmallows came out. They were literally the size of my fist. It was ridiculous. You could completely char the outside but once you peeled off the burnt layer, the center was completely raw! I just thought it was the weirdest thing. I’d never seen a marshmallow that big. I tried to make a smore and I needed 4 graham crackers just to get all the marshmallow in, and there was still some drooping out the end after that. So this is a message to all the marshmallow lovers out there that just don’t have time to make them yourselves, try to obtain theses GIANT marshmallows for your next camping trip because they are just so cool.

P.S. I think they got them from Mexico (maybe, no promises) so it might take some jet-laggy-ness to get them. 

Easter

Posted: April 12, 2012 in cooking

I think Easter is one of the coolest of holidays. Why? It’s simple really. For starters, I get a 4 day weekend, wich is always enjoyable. Secondly, I have this tradition where me and one of my dear friends have a totally brutal, savage and barbaric Easter egg hunt, with tripping, pinching and on occasion biting – it’s the only real way to have an egg hunt. Finally, possibly the best part of easter (yes even better than my egg hunt), is the amazing food that is made to be shared with friends and family. For example, some of the highlights this year were: a ‘almost vegan’ carrot cake, a shiitake mushroom and sake pate, caramel pecan sticky buns and miniature creme caramels (or caramel flans, whatever floats your boat) and dyed flowers (yes I know it’s not food but my Mom insisted).

Caramel pecan sticky buns

I think my favourite thing this easter were the caramel pecan sticky buns, the dough used was soo good, it was buttery moist and it pulled apart nicely, the buns themselves were completely delicious, they were so rich that I  could barely eat one. For the recipe go to:http://www.bonappetit.com (you can also find the caramel flan recipe there)

The pate and cake were made by my mom from the ‘ExtraVeganZa’ cookbook. And let me just tell yo they were both phenomenal. The cake was super moist and flavourful, and the sweetness balanced perfectly with everything, but get this (it was even a shocker to me) there was no sugar in it! Oh, the ‘almost vegan’ in my mom’s name for it came from the cream cheese frosting. The pate was so delectable, it was nutty at all the right times and the sake was not overpowering – it was one of those things that after you have one bite you just have to have another!

Arent these daffodils cool? I made them turn green by adding some food colouring to the water. Neat huh!

Sugar Pulling

Posted: April 7, 2012 in cooking, Skilz, treat

A few days ago (while in Vancouver) I purchased a silicon mat. “Why did you get a silicon mat Max?” The answer is simple, pulling sugar. Pulling sugar is when you add a stabilizer such as corn syrup to a sugar-water mixture. It makes the sugar molecules take longer to line up and crystallize, thus giving you a product that can be manipulated to your will. After a little while it will become solid. I will not yet tell you how to do it because, well… I’m not too sure myself, yet… So anyway, here are some pictures from my first couple of tries!