Author Archives: tph

Braised Vegetables + Food Mill = Rich Velvety Sauce

summary: “Catering Line” stainless steel food mill; making a smooth sauce; hazards of too much Szechwan Pepper; (click on image to see larger views and more photos)

salmon After lots and lots of blatant hinting about how useful it would be, I recently gave T this beautiful shiny foodmill. The next day, I left very early in the morning to be out of town for most of the day. While I was gone, he slaved away in the kitchen and at the keyboard writing up the following. I waltzed home just in time for The Most Brilliant Dinner. Ha! Did we take photos of the actual dinner? Are you kidding? We were far too busy with our knives and forks! :-) -ejm

(continue reading )

Holy Mackerel!

summary: salmon steaks and whole mackerel; follow-up to indirect smoking on a gas bbq; (click on image to see larger views and more photos)

When I was in grade school, we had a multiple choice test with the following question.

What is the correct word to complete the following idiom? "He smokes like a _______."
a.) fire
b.) chimney
c.) fish
d.) furnace

Well, as you know, when in doubt, choose C. The correct answer is always C.

Yes, indeed. T’s been smoking again! How lucky am I? -ejm

Smoking on the BBQ: Part 2
Nothing Succeeds Like The Taste (And Smell) Of Smoke; Smoking on the BBQ: Part 1

salmon Having decided on smoked salmon for dinner, we took an early morning bicycle ride to our favorite Osler Street Fish Market. It was a lovely morning. We followed a newly built bicycle trail that runs alongside some unused railway tracks. It took us directly to the back door of the market. It was a perfect ride.

The market is owned by a Portuguese family and although it’s mainly a wholesaler they have an area set aside for the retail crowd. At the back of the building, in the big refrigerated room lay huge selections of whole fish. Vats everywhere; sardines, bass, red snapper, grouper, shellfish, squid and all at good wholesale prices. And all as fresh as we get here in Toronto. Many vats were labeled with Portuguese names that I didn’t recognize. (continue reading )

where there’s smoke, there’s…

go directly to the recipe

Chicken!! Or Pork!!! (You thought I was going to say “Fire”, didn’t you? While it’s true that we HAVE played with fire, this time we chose to play with smoke.) And when I say “we”, of course I mean “he”… look who did another writeup. Zowie!! -ejm

summary: recipes for indirect smoking on a gas bbq: chicken and pork butt; includes a thrilling video;

he’s the best smoker ever!!! -neighbour
No load or slow load? Please go directly to YouTube: smoking on a gas barbecue (click here to see photos of what’s being smoked and a larger view of smoking video)

Nothing Succeeds Like The Taste (And Smell) Of Smoke

In 1994 I went in search of smoke. It hadn’t started out that way, but that’s how it ended up. Originally I’d just planned to motorcycle along the Ohio river to Cario where it meets the mighty Mississippi but the route proved very industrial and not much fun. Instead I turned south into Kentucky. I spent a few days in Lexington where, for the first time, I tasted real pit BBQ. I’d never had anything so good and I was hooked. When I came back to Toronto I bought a bunch of specialized smoking gear. But as I found out much later good pit style BBQ can be reproduced much more easily. (continue reading )

Beans rock, don’t they? (real food)

summary: cleaning and sorting kidney beans; links to bean recipes; information about “Two For Tuesdays! (click on images to see larger views)

Hey!!! Look who did a writeup. Whoohoo!! -ejm

kidney beans We both think that beans rock, but really now…!

We buy most of our beans in bulk, usually from stores in Toronto’s India town. It’s both inexpensive and we are assured that the product has a good turn around and hasn’t been on the shelf for too long. (Yes, it’s true. Even dried goods taste better fresher.)

Years ago in India I noticed that housewives would spread dried legumes on to a tray or tali to sort through before cooking. They would often find small stones, pebbles and/or bits of grit.

kidney beans When we set up our own kitchen 20 years ago, we always followed suit. We don’t always find anything dangerous but every now and then we do. What surfaced yesterday is by far the biggest jaw dropping jaw-breaker I’ve ever come across.

The system we use in our kitchen is shown in the photo. When we’ve finished sorting it’s an easy step to just pick up the edges of the placemat from the tray and funnel the beans into a pot. Saves time and teeth.

-tph (continue reading )

The Miracle Cake

go directly to the recipe

(click on image to see larger view)

chocolate cake

The following is a guest post by T, who decided I was taking too long to post the amazing cake recipe. -ejm


The miracle cake (or the perfect cake recipe)

– Followed the recipe (see below) and placed everything into two buttered cake pans.

– Placed cake pans into a pre-heated 350F degree oven. Set timer for 35 minutes.

– Left the room feeling happy.

– Came down 10 minutes later and realized I’d forgotten to add the flour to the recipe.

  • #$%x$/#@

– Took the cake pans out of oven.

– Emptied their contents into my just washed and dried mixing bowl.

– Added 2 cups of flour and using our new Mixall hand blender and combined the flour into the already begining to cook mixture.

– Hastily washed, rebuttered and refloured the cake tins.

– Added the mix (with flour) to the cake pans (again) and placed in the oven.

– Left the room feeling somewhat happy.

– Came down 20 minutes later and realized that in the previous flurry of activity and the missing flour I had turned the oven off.

  • #$%x$/#@

– Took cake pans out of the cold oven and re-heated oven.

– Re-introduced cake to the pre-heated oven.

– Cooked for 25 minutes.

  • Perfect cake

***** **** **** **** **** **** *****

Under the circumstances this recipe seems fool proof. (continue reading )