Fish Sauce A reader of foodiePrints requested a recipe for “lotus salad.” The recipes that I found thus far are primarily Vietnamese, so that means my pantry is sadly lacking of a necessary ingredient: fish sauce. The picture on the left comes from flickr.com. Fish sauce is a characteristic condiment of Thai, Malaysian, Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese cuisine. Fish sauce is to Vietnamese cuisine as soy sauce is to Chinese cuisine. According to Kasma Loha-unchit, a Thai cooking instructor and author, genuine fish sauce is the water, or juice, in the flesh of fish that... | Continue reading article
Nachos Close Up Personally, I feel that nachos-making is a required skill. When the chips (pun intended) are down and you have a crowd to feed, nachos can be a very versatile dish. It is just one step beyond chips and salsa. It can incorporate meat to become a hearty meal. It can be served in a large communal dish on a coffee or picnic table. It can even be an a posh appetizer if you go so far as to separate, top, bake, and serve individual tortilla chips. More importantly, with some fresh ingredients,... | Continue reading article
Prepared Hummus Hummus is essentially a puree of chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. It is typically seasoned with lemon juice and garlic. Served alone, it can be a spread or dip. In recipes, it can actually be used as a thickener. Though hummus in various forms can be found in many Mediterranean cuisines, it most likely has middle eastern origins. For me, I associate this versatile sauce with Lebanese food, where I most often see it served as a dip, garnished with olive oil and sumac. Authentic recipes usually start by purchasing dried chickpeas, the... | Continue reading article
Canner Lobsters Supermarkets are again selling these little lobsters. The advertisement on the left comes from this week’s Superstore flyer and states that its catch is the first of the season. Living somewhat island on the seafood supply chain, lobster is rarely economical. However, canner lobsters (aka: canners) can provide a more reasonable quick fix. Canners are physically small, usually weighing less than 1 lb, and are harvested between 5 and 6 months of age. Unfortunately, they are also usually cooked and flash frozen before shipping. The ones under the glass in the fish department... | Continue reading article
Grilled Pork chops Alright, my inaugural run at the barbecue this year was with pork chops. Though, I prefer pork loin chops because there is mostly one muscle, I just picked up a couple thick (1″ or so) shoulder chops from the local mega-mart. I know, I know, shoulder chops have a lot of connective tissue that won’t dissolve with hot fast cooking like grilling. And, there’s a lot of muscle groups connected together, but for $1.99/lb, I couldn’t resist.
Pork Tenderloin With the first of May come and gone, barbecue season is now officially open. Two weekends ago, I concocted a pork tenderloin recipe that should work equally well in an oven or on the barbecue. However, if you decide to make this recipe on the barbecue, I strongly recommend you not brown the apple sauce on the tenderloins. The sauce may drip onto the grate and into the barbecue, causing one rightful mess. Please note that this was a “necessity is the mother of invention recipe” that I cobbled together because a certain... | Continue reading article
Pan Fried Tofu No one ever said that tofu was boring. Its uses and applications abound. At the mega-mart, you can find tofu in many products from roasts and burgers to vegan cheese. In the kitchen it can be just as versatile. Depending on what preparation you purchase, tofu can be used to make sauces, milk shakes, pie fillings, or even cakes. Of course, if a savory preparation interests you, traditional Asian cuisine dictates that tofu be deep deep fried, pan fried, or mixed into various stir-fries. For Asian dishes, the tofu of choice comes... | Continue reading article
Baby Cakes Chocolate + Cream = Ganache. Ganache is the stuff of dreams to chocoholics everywhere. It is used in chocolate truffles, glazes, frosting, and, if you’re Alton Brown, fudge pops. Ganache also happens to line the middle of chocolate babe cakes. According to the Holiday 2003 edition of LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine, baby cakes are small cakes that serve 1 or 2 people. In this recipe, the destined size of the cake is small for good reason. These cakes represent the zenith of chocolate decadence. Gift I made these cakes as a gift... | Continue reading article