Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
- she lists the shrimp lollipops at wild tangerine (several people have told me they’re overrated, although i haven’t tried them myself to find out)
- the turkish egg and spinach pizza at sofra (tried it; WAY better choices at sofra to choose from)
- and other picks she makes seem scandalous in other ways (read: culina highlands)
i don’t know what to feel other than saddened that of all the culinary wonders edmonton has to offer – and it has a lot, believe me – she chose to highlight some of edmonton’s less than stellar choices.
do you think i’m crazy? let me know what your favourite gelati in edmonton is and why, or what your thoughts were on avenue’s 25 best things to eat in edmonton.
Monday, March 9, 2009
do you have a delicious recipe idea? if you do and you’re celebrity chef art smith, you’d preserve it for future generations by burying it in salt. delicious, mouth-watering salt…
i’ve heard of art smith before – his famous 'table 52' restaurant in chicago, and his numerous appearances on oprah (he was her personal chef apparently). i tried one of his dessert recipes a few weeks ago (a nifty thing called hummingbird cake) which turned out well, so i thought i’d attempt to make one of his provocative main courses: crushed pistachio chicken with spicy coconut curry ginger sauce.
this also was the most extravagant recipe (more than just one stop at a grocery store) that i've attempted, which was obtained from oprah’s website: http://www.oprah.com/recipe/food/recipespoultry/food_20071002_chicken.
4 brined (no! i'll explain later...) boneless chicken breasts
1 quart buttermilk
1 pound salted pistachios, shelled and toasted
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh thyme
1/3 cup chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (again, no!)
grape seed oil to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
2 blades lemon grass, chopped
3 pieces (1/2-inch) fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 cup sweet white wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons chinese black bean chili sauce
1 can (8 ounces) coconut milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
salt (no! damn-it!) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
brine ingredients (don’t do this!)
1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
5 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
place the salt, sugar, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and 2 cups cold water into a saucepan over medium-high heat. stir constantly until the sugar and salt dissolve. remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
when brining chicken use a non-reactive pot or plastic container. completely submerge the poultry in cold water and weigh it down with a plate. add the brine and cover. let the chicken sit in the brine for at least two hours, preferably overnight (to prolong your lifespan by 10 years, skip this process entirely).
remove the chicken from the brine and cut in half. with a meat mallet, pound until 1/4-inch thick and place in a non-reactive bowl. pour the buttermilk over the chicken, cover, and let sit for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
in a food processor, place half of the pistachios, half of the parmesan cheese, and half of the herbs. pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture is finely chopped. transfer to a bowl. repeat this step with the rest of the pistachios and combine with the other pistachio mixture.
place the flour in another bowl and season it with salt (no!!) and pepper. remove the chicken from the refrigerator and prepare it for assembly. pre-heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat with a thin coating of grape seed oil. remove one breast, shake off any excess buttermilk and dust the breast with flour on each side. dip only one side of the chicken back in the buttermilk and press pistachios onto that side. repeat that step with all the chicken. place the chicken in the sauté pan, pistachio side down, and cook for 2–3 minutes. turn and cook the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. place in the oven to finish cooking for 8 to 10 minutes. remove, let rest for 5 minutes and then slice to serve with the coconut chili ginger sauce.
in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the tablespoon of butter, the shallots, lemon grass, ginger slices and wine. reduce to half. add the broth, red curry paste and chinese black bean chili sauce and reduce to half again. add the coconut milk and reduce to half a third time. remove from the heat and whisk the bits of butter into the sauce until all the butter has been incorporated. season with salt (wtf?!) and pepper.
if you re-heat, do not allow the sauce to boil or the butter will separate.
my guest brought a spinach, blackberry, and tear-drop tomato salad with a delicious maple vinaigrette bought from the strathcona farmers market. it was an excellent starter – light and slightly sweet with just the right amount of tartness from the berries.
this was the saltiest meal i have ever tasted (editor's note: that's what she said), and i once ate a big heaping bowl of salt! well, maybe just a tablespoon, and i was six years old... but trust your instincts when trying a new recipe – it would have been saltier, as art smith calls for salt to be added in the battering flour and curry sauce - which i didn’t do thankfully. still, the brined chicken was so salty, my vision started to fade, and i swear i could see through time and space to see art smith laughing menacingly at my hallucinogenic sodium trip.
you like-a da sauce? the sauce is good? i'll get-a you more sauce...
this is a good 1 - 1½ hour sauce, because after adding each group of ingredients, you need to reduce to half every time. worth the effort. imagine the best butter chicken curry sauce you ever had, then add ginger with some rich coconut goodness, and two small rocks of crack.
the dessert: avocado pie
1/3 cup lime juice
1 regular can of condensed milk
1 pie crust (graham cracker crumb)
1 1/2 lbs. salt (just kidding)
mix avocado pulp, lime juice, and condensed milk in a bowl until it resembles a green and slightly lumpy pancake batter, and pour into a graham cracker crumb pie crust (i bought a pre-made one). chill for half a day or overnight. outstanding!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
finally, here’s a recipe for you to show you just how cheap cooking at home can be.
lemon-rosemary roasted chicken.
1 fryer chicken (not on my bill because no frills ran out. luckily my uncle bought four of them and i bought one off him (full-price) for $3.78.)
1 lemon (i bought 3 lemons for $1.00)
fresh sprig of rosemary (i had this on hand)
1 onion, quartered (90 cents)
salt, pepper and oil.
1. wash chicken inside and out. pat dry and put in a roasting pan.
2. cut up lemon and stuff into chicken as much as you like. add rosemary sprig and onion as well.
3. rub top skin of chicken with mazola oil, then salt and pepper.
4. roast chicken in oven at 350F until done. juices should run clear, and skin should be crispy.
this dish cost me $5.01. if i had steamed a package of broccoli and seasoned it, and then roasted my yam with seasoning and oil, my dinner would have come to $7.20 and served 4 people. i could have prepared my duncan hines devil’s food cake mix and had dessert for 4 for 99 cents. yes, i’m well aware of how much you hate me right now.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
- food that is cheaper than borscht. (by the way, i bought a beet for 18 cents.)
- it’s a bit of a trip to get there, but make a day of it and go visit rumor board shop in leduc or go for a trip down ukrainian lane to vegreville, or do whatever it is that you do in fort saskatchewan.
- the selection might not be as vast as in edmonton, but it’s pretty decent.
- the prices are so good that sometimes the shelves can get a little bare.