Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pasta With Zucchini and Chicken Garnish

I often get blown away by what a meal costs in a restaurant, particularly if it's something easy to put together with cheap ingredients. This meal at home took 20 minutes to prepare and the cost per serving is somewhere less than a dollar. Zucchini squash is deliciously in season and dirt cheap. Pasta, red onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper... nothing exotic, but the ensemble is mighty tasty. And I had some leftover chicken salad in the fridge so I sprinkled some of that on top. I love a little irony.

pasta with zucchini, chicken garnish

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Leftover Pork Butt Tacos

These tacos made from leftovers have a remarkable semblance to the tacos I originally made with the roasted pork butt on Saturday. Fresh corn is missing and the chopped onion got mixed in with the meat when packing it away, so those got cooked in the reheating. The turmeric pickled zucchini I made is the same. Sriracha is an addition. All leftovers are delicious when you know what to do with them...

pork shoulder tacos with house-pickled turmeric zucchini, sriracha

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just Popped My Ice Cream Cherry

For years I've been putting off making ice cream because I don't have an ice cream machine. I finally sat down and did some research and found a way to do it manually. Actually, it's a brilliant technique that involves no churning except at the very end, and with a food processor! By reducing the water content of the solution and increasing the rate of chilling, there's absolutely no hassle while it's in the freezer. Minimal ice crystals form. Set it and forget it. Will post on this some more later. For now, I'm just enjoying some of the best vanilla ice cream I've ever had, topped with some macerated cherries. Dense, smooth, creamy...

homemade vanillla ice cream with macerated cherries

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sopressata and Something Else

Spent the weekend up at a friend's house on Lake Lanier. Each of us brought food for one of the meals. I roasted a boston butt (how predictable) for some tacos with red onion and some homemade turmeric pickled zucchini. Connie brought some fresh cut sweet corn that went absolutely wonderfully with the tacos. They actually didn't photograph well in the evening, but here's a pic of the sandwich spread David brought for lunch. Ciabatta, sopressata and all sorts or other tasty things.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Poutine Part Deux (ou trois)

Where there's a will, there's a way. It's not on the menu at Ormsby's (it wasn't at Cypress, either), but I put together an ad hoc version. They've got a selection of sauces to dip fries into, so I chose the pot roast gravy, the housemade Cheese Wiz and the server got me a side of mozzarella, too. I should've ordered the sausage, but by the time I realized that, the order was already in.

ad hoc poutine at Ormsby's

We were on a roll by that point, having drank at Abbatoir's 2yr anniversary party (free booze and food) and then more drinks at Ormsby's. Poutine, however unorthodox, was perfect. Is Leon's the only place in the city that has poutine?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quick Pickled Carrots

I hate the look of grated carrots, whether with a hand grater or a food processor. They look sloppy. Furthermore, I feel like you lose a lot of the crunch. Whatever. I'm personally a fan of hand cutting them, and depending on the purpose, I'll slice them very finely. Like for my quick pickled carrots. 3:1, sugar to salt. 30 minutes.

quick pickled carrots

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Rice Bowl Saga Continues

I have a bunch of ground pork and napa cabbage left over from the dumplings I made yesterday. I also had a bunch of jellied sauce left over from this chicken with fermented black beans and basil I had made last week for a departing friend. Browning the pork with some onions and deglazing with that chicken sauce and some dry sherry turned out to be fabulous over some rice. For the napa, I toasted up the usual ginger/garlic/scallions on the pan, but this time I added some small dried shrimp (it's a Chinese thing) before adding the vegetables. Tossed it around, added a little water and covered it to pan-steam. And that's an early lunch.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CleaverFever Returns

Years back, I had created a food blog called CleaverFever, much in the same vein as FelixFood. It was a little less focused and in my attempt to drive hits, I posted all sorts of random crap on a daily basis. I eventually forgot about it because the blogging became tedious. FelixFood, on the other hand, has so far worked for me because I'm not seeking hits so much as just recording what I'm doing in the kitchen with the hopes that it will become useful in the future.

CleaverFever is returning, though. This time around, I'm hoping to curate something much more like a magazine with editorials and recipes. And merchandise, of course. Girl's gotta eat!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Linguini + Caramelized Tomato Oil

For the past few days I've been caramelizing tomatoes to bring over to friends' dinner parties. The process is simple, but takes a while. Fill an oven-safe dish with small, ripe summer tomatoes (campari, cherry, etc..). Add red wine vinegar and olive oil at a 1:6 ratio to at least half the overall height of the tomatoes. Add a spoonful of brown sugar (maybe half the amount of the vinegar? I didn't measure). Fresh thyme, salt and pepper round it out. Place in the oven for at least two hours at 275F.

linguini with caramelized tomato oil

The resulting globes of caramelized fruit collapse with the slightest amount of pressure, oozing sweet juices and eliciting all sorts of pleasurable noises and "omg summer." They went great on homemade pizza on Thursday. On Friday I reused the caramelizing liquid with more tomatoes to serve with steak (amazing) and that further intensified the flavors.

In my typical fashion, I reserved those liquids for another purpose and in my hungover state today, that purpose was linguini. Browned some garlic in butter, added the caramelizing liquid and reduced it to half. Tossed it with hot linguini pasta and chopped parsley. It was a little on the sweet side, so I added more salt and pepper, but my god did it taste amazing.