Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rippin' Another Blog: Poulet au Riesling

Good morning darling readers!

I was thinking this morning... How often do we food bloggers - and food blog readers - prowl the internet in search of the most amazing looking, sounding, tasting recipes, only to bookmark or pin or comment on them...and then they go forgotten...?

They go unmade.

And as a food blogger myself, I rarely make the same dish more than once, even if it was fucking spectacular. The exception being of course, if I have company over for dinner and I want to share a recent culinary success story with them.

But because I need new posts, I need new recipes. New ideas. New new new! So I prowl. We prowl. We find inspiration in each other. But rarely, do we actually follow someone else's recipe. We think it makes us more distinguished if we create our own. What food masters we are! Yeaaahhh.....

That's why I love Haydn and my series, Rippin' Another Blog. I actually get the opportunity to make someone else's dish. Of course there are the odd modifications or substitutions based on availability and personal preference but generally, it's their recipe. And what makes a food blogger feel better than when someone actually makes their dish? Pretty much nothing. Except letting them know you made their dish. Comments my friends, we all love comments. We pine for comments!

Something else I pine for? More of Katie's Poulet au Riesling. Chicken? Good! Riesling? Good! And I relish the opportunity to use a sweeter white wine in savory cooking than a dry one. Why the heck not, right?

I first became acquainted with Katie's blog, So Tasty, So Yummy, through The Secret Recipe Club - another fantastic medium I participate in @ Gastronomical Sovereignty through which I make recipes from other people's blogs. And let me tell you, I'm glad I did. She's clever, inspiring and kind of hot. And by kind of, I mean the chick is smokin'.

...and so is this dish. Bland chicken? Hells no! Sweet, creamy, herby, fantastic chicken? Yes!

Poulet au Riesling
(printable recipe) - serves 4.
Recipe c/o So Tasty, So Yummy


3 Slices of Bacon, chopped.
4 Pastured Chicken Thighs.
1 Medium Onion, peeled and chopped.
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and thinly sliced.
½ Lb Forest Mushrooms, thinly sliced.
6 Medium Sized Carrots, sliced.
2 C Riesling.
2/3 C Heavy Cream.
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped.
1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Nutmeg.
Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

What to Do:

Heat a Dutch oven or enamel roasting pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.

Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Arrange skin side down in the bacon fat and cook until brown and crispy. Remove and set aside with the bacon. 

Discard all but 4 tablespoons of the fat. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté onions and garlic until soft. 

Add the mushrooms and carrots, stir and continue cooking until heated through, approx. 3 minutes. 

Turn the heat to high and pour in the wine. When it comes to a rolling boil put the chicken and bacon back in the pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until the chicken is cooked through, approx 45 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from the pan. Add cream and boil until sauce is reduced somewhat and starting to thicken. Return chicken to the sauce. Add parsley and serve.


Do you ever actually make the recipes you find online? Or do they get lost in Pinterest land?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Homemade Naan (Indian Flatbread)

The Lowdown:

I'm not sure why, but Rippin' Another Blog is always the hardest post to do. When it comes to cooking I am nothing more than a carbon craving-based lifeform. I never have a plan, just a general idea. For the most part, this suits me just fine. Scrambling last minute looking for an ingredient I thought I had is common place, and substitutions are even more common.

Finding a recipe on another blog, with this in mind, can be quite a daunting task. Chances are that they will not have the same problem as I do. Chances are their tastes will be a lot different than mine - especially considering mine change on a day to day basis. And chances are I wont have the proper ingredients on hand, which makes for an annoying trip to a child infested grocery store. Don't get me wrong, I love grocery shopping... at 9pm. Also, don't get me wrong, it's not that I think I'm a better or more creative cook, I just have a very finicky (and at times odd) sense of taste.

This week, Kristy informed me that So Yummy, So Tasty was our mission (if you so choose to accept) for the week. Her page seemed good enough. It definitely has variety and a lot of lovely looking meals. Luckily for me, she had one recipe that struck my heart strings. Naan. I love every Indian dish I've ever eaten. Multiply by pi, carry the one, then subtract by 47... by my calculations that is 32 Indian dishes. Many of them I have recreated myself. Naan; however, is not one of those. I'm not adverse to the idea of making bread. In fact, I love it, which makes the fact that I've never made naan that much sillier. I guess this was that kick to the nuts that gets the balls rolling. So thank you for that So Yummy, So Tasty. 


The Playlist:

2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 tsp Organic cane sugar

½ cup water, tepid
3 cups Chickpea flour
½ tsp salt
¼ cup Vegetable oil
1/3 cup Yogurt
1 egg

The Skinny:

  1. In large measuring cup: combine water, yeast, and sugar. Allow to prime for 10 minutes then add yogurt, egg, and oil. Mix until smooth.
  2. In large mixing bowl: combine liquid mixture, flour and salt. Mix until dough begins to form a unified ball (only partially sticks to edges of bowl), then cover with a warm towel and let set for 45 minutes.
  3. On a well floured surface roll dough out and cut into 8 equally sized strips. Form these strips into balls, then form into 6-8 inch circles. 
  4. Oil a heavy pan and heat on medium. Cook dough on each side until browned.   

Stay Rad -h
Featured on: Premeditated LeftoversFood RenegadeChef in Training33 Shades of Green

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

(Traditional) Sweet & Sour Pork

The Lowdown:

Firstly, I don't really have the right to call this traditional sweet & sour pork. I don't have a clue what traditional Chinese food entails. I'm not going to lie, I was not there hundreds of years ago to deem this dish as traditional. Also, I do not know what traditional ingredients are. I only know what is produced there now, in the import/export economy. However, I do know the Americanized version you get for take-out (when you order by number and not dish name), and this recipe is much different. In fact, the only reason I called it "traditional" is because Chef Martin Yan, from The Yan Can Cook Book (1981), asserted that this was the traditional Cantonese style of sweet & sour. I also felt that 1981, being lightyears ago, was before the large influx of American-Chinese food restaurants that have taken over.

I don't normally make this style of cuisine, because I'm not a huge fan of deep frying. Really, all it is is a potential explosion waiting to happen. But really, when you have a pineapple and a pork roast that have to be used what else is there to do? It was only natural that I make this dish. Almost as though the stars aligned perfectly for this to happen. Or, in reality, I made a few silly shopping errors and ended up with pork and pineapple that sat in the fridge. Potato potato (that really doesn't get the point across when it is typed out).

The Playlist:

Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 cup Rice wine vinegar
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/3 cups Water
1 tbsp Canola oil
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Ginger, finely minced
3 tbsp Corn starch
1 Tomato, blended until smooth (optional)

Pork Marinade
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp White wine
0.5 kg Pork, cut into 2 cm cubes

1/4 cup Cornstarch
1/4 cup Rice flour

2 Carrots, sliced thin
1 Onion, sliced thin
1/2 Pineapple, 1 cm cubes

Oil for frying

The Skinny:

  1. Marinade pork in a shallow dish for 30 minutes, then dredge with flour (I reuse produce bags from the grocery for this step as you can shake the pork and flour vigorously ensuring all is coated).
  2. In medium pot: combined all ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and allow to simmer while the rest of the meal cooks. If the sauce is too thin add more corn starch.
  3. In large wok: heat oil to frying temperature then cook pork for 5 minutes, or until golden brown on the outsides. Once cooked, remove pork and allow oil to cool.
  4. Once oil has cooled put it in a glass jar for safe keeping (or disposal) then clean the wok. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the wok and turn heat to medium-high. Cook your vegetables, mixing often so that they do not burn.
  5. Mix the vegetables and pork and generously glaze with the sweet & sour sauce.

Featured on: Premeditated Leftovers, 33 Shades of Green, Chef in Training, Simple Living

Stay Rad -h

Thursday, November 15, 2012

RPI: Maple Syrup - Christmas Caucasian

Hey man, there's a beverage here*!

This month's Rock Paper Ingredient challenge was certainly that. A challenge. Thanks to Haydn. He's a good man; and thorough*. I mean, what the ef do you do with maple syrup??

Pancakes*? Check. Bacon? Check. Sugar substitute in baking? Check. It's been done, lovelies.

Then it hit me. Vodka*.

So I infused that shit and within a week I had sweet maple vodka. I was worried though - would it work? Would it be a complete disaster? Would the vodka/maple experiment end up fucking me in the ass*? Then I thought, fuck it. Let's go bowling*.

Turns out, the process couldn't be simpler. Just make sure to use real maple syrup, not corn syrup. There should be one ingredient, and one ingredient only on the label: maple syrup.

This is what happens when you meet a Russian* in Canada my friends. Even Jesus* would be impressed.

*Two points to the person who can name which movie this drink was inspired by.

Christmas Caucasian
(printable recipe) - serves 1.


1.5 Oz. Maple Infused Vodka.
1 Oz.  Kaluha.
1 C Egg Nog.
5-6 Ice Cubes.
2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon + Pinch of Cinnamon.
2 Tbsp Sugar.
1 Home Baked Apple Chip for garnish.

What to  Do:

To infuse the vodka, dump a mickey of vodka and 1/2 C real maple syrup into a sterile mason jar. Shake. Place in the back of the fridge and ignore it for 2 weeks. Pull from the fridge after those 2 weeks and it should be completely emulsified. Voila!

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together on a shallow plate. 

Wet the rim of a glass and gently place in the cinnamon/sugar mixture to rim the glass. Set aside.
Dump the rest of the ingredients as well as the pinch of cinnamon in a jar and shake baby shake. Pour into prepared glass. Serve with an apple chip.

Bottoms up!

Did you catch the movie references? 


Monday, November 12, 2012

RPI: Maple Syrup Mulled Wine

The Lowdown:

Apparently in the world of internet, there is a heated debate over mulled wine/hot punches (I'm not pardoning that pun, so just accept it). Everyone seems to have a different idea of what is acceptable, proper, or at the very least, tasty. All this means to me is that I can slip my version somewhere in that mix unnoticed and sneak away unscathed. Really, this is one punch you wont mind taking in the kisser. So for the time being, we'll just accept the fact that bickering over hot punch recipes is silly and childish. Well, I'm not sure how childish, because if any child inquired about my mulling abilities I would seriously question their upbringing. Then again, here I am sitting at 11am sipping on mulled wine.

I'm not much for Christmas spirit. Don't get me wrong, I love the tree full of memories, seeing family, getting hit in the head by freezer doors at Christmas dinner (don't think I forgot about your lovely hospitality Kristy), Baileys and coffee, mulled wine, the jazzy old Christmas albums, and a select few movies (Charlie Brown and National Lampoons Christmas). But the rest of it has gotten out of control. I'm not a present person in the first place, so this added presence of presents really kills me at this time of year. Not to mention, I swear everyones' IQ plummets into some intelligence-draining abyss when they enter the little pockets of hell known as the shopping centre.

No thank you, I'll sit here and sip on my mulled wine. Meanwhile, the commercially aspired "Christmas spirited" people can get mauled in malls, because I prefer to get mulled within my walls. So here's to one of those things that we can hopefully agree upon. Cheers, and enjoy your holiday season.

The Playlist:

1 bottle Red wine
3/4 cup Maple syrup
2 sticks Cinnamon
10 Cloves
6 Allspice berries
1 pod Cardamom
3 slices Ginger
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Mandarin, peel and juice
1/2 Lime, peel only
2-4 oz Yukon Jack (optional)

The Skinny:
  1. In large sauce pan: add citrus peels, 1/2 cup of wine, maple syrup, and ginger then bring to a boil on high heat. Boil for two minutes, as this really brings out the oils from the peels.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Serve warm by a fireplace.

Stay Rad -h

Featured on: Premeditated Leftovers, Food Renegade, Chef in Training, 33 Shades of Green,

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Nuts in My Mouth (keepin' it sweet & spicy!)

Holy Christmas batman!

...oh, and hello!...

I've been catching up with all my blog reading and blog writing and photography editing and pinterest ogling and everything else that keeps my computer turned on and running 12 hours a day and I am floored by all the Christmas that has infiltrated my computer already!

It's only the first real week of November and already it's like Christmas has puked all over my computer. Luckily, Christmas is puke that I welcome with open arms. And an open mouth!

That's right. I love me some Christmas. And I hold no shame when I say I am pleased as a pickle in punch at a party to put my tree up the day after Halloween. 

It isn't about the gifts - though there is nothing better than sitting in the dark with the glow of the tree lights radiating off beautifully wrapped presents. It isn't about the Jesus - I'm no Christian, swear to god. And it's definitely not about the fruit cake - blech! It's about the feeling that comes with the season.

The warm sparkle that flurries inside me and pours out of the shops and garland and cookies and crafts and music. It's about warm fires, glitter and Garfield's Christmas Special. 

BTW - I haven't been able to catch that particular show the past couple of years - if anyone has a copy I'd kill for it. Or at the very least send you a brilliant thank you card. 

Yes. I love me some Christmas.

Which is why I'm throwing a holiday recipe at you at the beginning of November. Because while John won't let me put the tree up until December, I can still make holiday friendly food. 

Sweet & Spicy Nuts
(printable recipe) - serves 6.


2 C Mixed Nuts - I like cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans and walnuts.
1/2 C Brown Sugar.
1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper.
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon.
1 Tsp Salt.
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract.
1 Egg White.
1 Tbsp Water.

What to Do:

Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F.

As your oven heats, gently beat the egg, water and vanilla together until lightly frothy.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, save for the nuts.

Dump the nuts into the egg wash and then add the dry stuff. Mix well.

Pour onto a baking sheet and spread out so the nuts are one layer.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir. 

Allow to cool completely - stirring every once in a while to ensure even coating of the sugar/spice mixture.


Do you love Christmas? Loathe it? What about it? 
 Is it too early to start celebrating?


Monday, November 05, 2012

Rippin' Another Blog: Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikash)

The Lowdown:

Paprikás Csirke is a delicious (traditional?) Hungarian dish. It's silky smooth, creamy texture and mildly sweet, aromatic flavour is quite a formidable foe against blandness. It is simple to make, yet has a complex, heart warming flavour, that defeats even the most severe cases of the winter blues.

I'm not sure what Hungary's climate is like, but I can discern from their cooking style that it must be cold a lot. Seriously, all of my favourite cold weather comfort foods seem to be from that general region. This dish, which I've cooked periodically throughout my life, is no exception. Every winter I find myself craving the satisfaction that it provides -- savoury, aromatic, and comforting. Throw in a side of brussel sprouts, winter squash, or sauteed cabbage and you're in for a night of comfort. Seriously, bust out those paint covered sweat pants (that you always promise your significant other you'll throw out one day) because you'll need them to reach the maximum comfort level. While you're at it, light a fire and dust off that old copy of Home Alone. Despite my best efforts, I can't stress enough how comforting this dish is.

I'm not sure if I should be proud or ashamed. I went into my spice cupboard and noticed that I have four types of paprika. It is just one of those spices that I always find myself using. The "fake" stuff for adding colour to dishes or garnishing. The hot, smoked variety for adding a bit of zip and aroma to dishes. The rest, for various uses as I see fit. With the mercury dropping at a steady rate, I'm sure I'll have no problem making dishes that require paprika; after all, I always find myself craving these sorts of dishes around this time of year.

I've never used a recipe to make this dish; however, it is hard to write a post when there is no recipe to follow. So today, for the first time, I am following a recipe (sorta, kinda). The Domestic Man has provided me with said recipe. This also fits perfectly into our latest scheme. No, not taking over the world... the other one: rippin' another blog.

The Playlist:

3 Chicken breasts, bone in
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp Goose fat*
2 tbsp Hungarian paprika (sweet)
1 tsp Marjoram, dried
2 cups Chicken broth
1/2 cup White wine (optional)
1 cup Sour cream
Water, to cover chicken
Pepper, to coat chicken

* Any form of lard can be substituted for this (after reading other sites and blogs, butter is not an acceptable replacement).

The Skinny:

  1. Debone the chicken breasts, then generously cover chicken with fresh, fine cracked pepper.
  2. In large skillet: heat goose fat on medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and brown the side with the skin (the skin should be crisped up). Brown the other side of the chicken, as well as, the onions and garlic.
  3. Move the chicken and onions to the side and put the paprika into the spare portion of the skillet. Cook the paprika for 30 seconds then add the chicken broth, water, white wine, and marjoram. Cover tightly and simmer for an hour. If your lid does not perfectly fit the skillet, place a sheet of wax paper between the lid and the skillet to ensure that steam doesn't escape.
  4. Remove chicken and cut into the desired size. While chicken is out of the skillet you can simmer, on high, the liquid until it reaches the desired consistency (I prefer mine to be quite brothy, as opposed to stew-like).
  5. Reduce the heat and mix a few tbsp of the liquid into the sour cream until there are no clumps, then put the sour cream mixture and the chicken into the skillet.
  6. Serve on spetzle, egg noodles, or rice.


Featured on: 33 Shades of Green, Premeditated Leftovers, Chef in Training, Food Renegade

Stay Rad -h

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Rippin' Another Blog: Shepherd's Pie (Not Cottage Pie)

I don't talk too much about my romantic relationship on my blogs.

But John is instrumental in helping me get my posts done. He is endlessly supportive in his words, unquestioningly generous in his efforts to help me get the shots I need and constantly puts up with being served cold food because of said photo needs. He also eats everything. Good or bad. And he's honest too.

Honest about shepherd's pie.

I know right? In this moment you're like, wtf?

I grew up eating shepherd's pie. Or so I thought I did. Fast-forward 15 years or so and I learn that what I thought I was eating all those years was a farce. Or at the very least, a cultural hiccup.

Cottage pie V. shepherd's pie. 

Cottage pie is what we typically call shepherd's pie in North America. Ground beef, carrots, peas, onions, potatoes, baked in the oven and (hopefully) smothered in gravy. Uh, yes. Yum. Yes? Yes. 

But what this very clever and sexy beer-drinking physics-loving film-geek Brit told me was shepherd's pie must entail lamb. Hence the shepherd. Baaaahhh! (sheep noise). With beef it's simply cottage pie. And with the dish being of the English variety, he should know.

Rug. Ripped. Out. From. Under. Me.

Luckily he was there to catch me and I've been calling a spade a spade ever since - cottage pie = cows, shepherd's pie = sheep. Unless of course I want to give him a hard time... and then I conflate the two. Because I'm a bitch like that.

Speaking of bitches .... this recipe comes courtesy of a little blog titled The Domestic Man. It's okay to segue bitches because men can't be bitches. Can they? I followed his recipe to a T - actually, I followed it right into my stomach because it was Ah-mazing! Thank you Domestic Man for making my mouth happy and my blog a space to speak out about a very important issue. Baaaahhhh!

Shepherd's Pie (Not Cottage Pie)
(printable recipe) - serves 6.


1.5 Lbs Ground Lamb.
3 Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped.
1 Small White Onion, diced.
1 Medium Carrot, diced.
1 Celery Root, diced.
2 Cloves Garlic, minced.
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste.
1/2 C Chicken Broth.
 2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce.
1/2 Tsp each fresh thyme and rosemary, stemmed and chopped.
1/2 C Frozen Peas.
3 Tbsp Butter .
1/2 C Heavy Cream.
Coarse Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

What to Do:

Fill a large saucepan with the potatoes and cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are fork tender - approx 20 minutes.

Drain and return the potatoes to the empty pot. Add 2 Tbsp of butter, the cream (starting with 1/4 C and adding more if necessary), and a good helping of salt and pepper. Mash until smooth but be careful not to over mash or you'll end up with a sticky gooey mess. Cover and set aside.

As the potatoes boil, heat a large pan over medium heat. When hot, add the lamb and brown, stirring often. When it is almost entirely cooked drain the meat, reserving the fat. Set the meat aside and add a couple of Tbsp of fat back into the pan, along with the rest of the butter. Melt and add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook until softened (approx 8 minutes).

Add the tomato paste and garlic and massage into the mixture. Saute a further 2 minutes.

Dump in the herbs, broth, Worcestershire and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and simmer until the liquid thickens slightly - approx. 3 minutes.

At this point you can turn your oven on to 450 degrees F.

Remove from the heat and reintroduce the lamb to the mixture as well as the peas.

Dump the lot into an 8" baking dish or roasting pan and spread even.

Gently top with the mashed potatoes - little bits at a time until it's even all over. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 30-45 minutes or until the top of the potatoes gets crispy and slightly golden.

Pull from the oven, let rest 5 minutes, and then dish up! Feel free to serve with your favorite gravy recipe if you like gravy. Who doesn't like gravy?

How do the people in your world make your life better?
Can men be bitches?