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  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on March 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Daring Cooks 23rd Challenge: ¡Me Encanta Perú! – Ceviche and Papas Rellenas 

    Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra. Ceviche, I’d done before, but the Papas Rellenas were a definite first. The recipe was straightforward and delicious. We do our frying outside, and as a tribute to the Andes, the Vancouver weather contributed some snow to make the whole experience even more relevant. Very nice challenge.

    Cheviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche):

    Serves 6 as a “starter” or lunch portion. Serves 2 as a dinner.


    2 lbs. (about 1 kg) firm white fish (scallops or other seafood may be substituted)*
    2 garlic cloves, mashed
    1 chili pepper, minced (I recommend Aji if you can find it, but Jalapeno or other peppers can sub)
    1 cup (240 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (between 8-12 limes)
    Fresh juice only, no bottled. Can use lemons in lieu of limes.
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) (4 grams) (1/8 oz) fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
    1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
    Salt and pepper (to taste)

    1 large sweet potato
    1 large ear of corn
    Lettuce leaves


    1. Boil sweet potato and corn (separately) if using for garnish. Allow to cool. (Can be done hours or even a day in advance)
    2. Wash and trim your fish. Slice into pieces between ½ inch (15 mm) cubes to 2 inch (50mm) pieces, depending on taste.**
    3. Place fish in a non-reactive, shallow pan in a thin layer. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Combine lime juice, chili pepper, coriander and garlic. Pour mixture over fish. Stir lightly to expose all the fish to some of the lime juice mixture.
    5. Put sliced onion on top of fish as it “cooks”
    6. Let fish stand for 10 minutes.*** Lift fish out of the lime juice and plate individual portions ,**** garnishing with lettuce, slices of sweet potato and slices or kernels of corn if using.
    • It is important to use high quality, really fresh fish. You can use previously frozen (I’ve been using it because I am too cheap to buy this much sashimi grade fish), but it’s not as good. The better your fish, the better your ceviche.

    ** The fish is going to “cook” in the lime juice – how thick you make the pieces will determine how much the fish cooks, so keep your own preference in mind when you are cutting the fish up.

    Papas Rellenas (de carne):

    Makes 6


    For the dough:
    2¼ lb (1 kg) russet potatoes
    1 large egg

    For the filling:
    2 tablespoon (30 ml) of a light flavored oil
    ½ lb (250 grams) ground (minced) beef
    6 black olives, pitted and chopped (use more if you love olives)
    3 hard boiled large eggs, chopped
    1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup (240 ml))
    ½ cup (120 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) raisins, soaked in 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced
    1 finely diced aji pepper (ok to sub jalapeño or other pepper – if you are shy about heat, use less)
    2 cloves garlic, minced or passed through a press (if you love garlic, add more)
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) (1/8 oz) ground cumin (use more if you like cumin)
    ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) (2 gm) (1/16 oz) sweet paprika
    ¼ c. white wine, water or beef stock for deglazing
    Salt and pepper to taste

    For the final preparation:
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour
    Dash cayenne pepper
    Dash salt
    1 cup dry (240 ml) (110 gm) (4 oz) or fresh (240 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) bread crumbs (you can use regular, panko, make your own or use store-bought)

    Oil for frying (enough for 2” (50 mm) in a heavy pan like a medium sized dutch oven)


    In order to save time, you can boil the potatoes, and while they are cooling, you can make the filling. While that is cooling, you can make the potato “dough.” In this way, little time is spent waiting for anything to cool.

    For the dough:

    1. Boil the potatoes until they pierce easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and cool.
    2. Once the potatoes have cooled, peel them and mash them with a potato masher or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).
    3. Add egg, salt and pepper and knead “dough” thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.

    While the potatoes cool down before finishing the dough, you can make the filling:

    1. Gently brown onion and garlic in oil (about 5 minutes).
    2. Add the chili pepper and sauté for a couple more minutes.
    3. Add ground beef and brown.
    4. Add raisins, cumin and paprika and cook briefly (a few seconds).
    5. Deglaze the pan with white wine.
    6. Add olives and cook for a few moments longer.
    7. Add hard boiled eggs and fold in off heat.
    8. Allow filling to cool before forming “papas.”

    Forming and frying the papas:

    1. Use three small bowls to prepare the papas. In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt. In the second, a beaten egg with a tiny bit of water. Put bread crumbs in the third
    2. Flour your hands and scoop up 1/6 of the total dough to make a round pancake with your hands. Make a slight indentation in the middle for the filling.
    3. Spoon a generous amount of filling into the center and then roll the potato closed, forming a smooth, potato-shaped casing around the filling. Repeat with all dough (you should have about 6 papas).
    4. Heat 1 ½ – 2 inches (4 – 5 cm) of oil in a pan to about 350 – 375° F (175 – 190°C).
    5. Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread crumbs.
    6. Fry the papas (in batches if necessary) about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip once in the middle of frying to brown both sides.
    7. Drain on paper towel and store in a 200ºF (95ºC) (gas mark ¼) oven if frying in batches.
    8. Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately.

    Salsa Criolla:


    2 medium red onions, cut in half and very thinly sliced (as half-circles)
    1/2 chili pepper (your preference)
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    Juice from 1 lime
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Soak the onions in cold salt water for about 10 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine the onions with the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper.
    3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the onions to macerate and the flavors to combine
    • sacrifice.wow.free.fr 9:45 am on May 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

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  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on May 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chile, enchiladas   

    Daring Cooks 13th Challenge: Stacked green chile and grilled chicken enchiladas 

    Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on http://www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh. Grilled chicken, melted cheese and spicy salsa, how can you go wrong. I was on this challenge in no time. Hun did the grilling and I assembled the salsa and final dish. We couldn’t find any Anaheim chiles, so used Poblanos instead, spiked with a few jalapenos.  It packed a kick in the end, but what’s Tex-Mex without some heat. Great recipe!

    Stacked green chile and grilled chicken enchiladas

    Preparation time: Below are the approximate prep times for each step of the process. The sauce is the most time-intensive, but it can be made ahead and several of the steps can be done simultaneously. See additional information below for more preparation times and tips.

    Roasting/preparing chiles and tomatillos: 30 – 60 min.
    Assembling/simmering enchilada sauce: 30 min.
    Grill chicken: 10 – 15 min.
    Assembly/ baking enchilada stacks: 30 min.

    Equipment required:
    • Grill, broiler, or gas stove to roast Anaheim chiles
    • Grill, broiler, or saucepan to cook tomatillos
    • Bowl and plastic wrap to cover the bowl or a paper bag to steam Anaheim chiles
    • Blender or food processor to puree tomatillos (or very finely chop)
    • Small frying pan (for frying tortillas)
    • Baking dish – either one large (10×15 inch) or individual gratin dishes
    • Cheese grater
    • Knives for cutting chicken and roasted chiles
    • Spoons for stirring sauce
    • Tongs are helpful for turning chiles as they roast, chicken as it grills and tortillas as they fry


    1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams – roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely. Other green chiles (NOT bell peppers) could probably be substituted but be conscious of heat and size!)
    7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium)212 grams – peel, remove stems
    4 cups Chicken broth (32 ounces/920 grams)
    1 clove Garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    ½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)
    ¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)
    2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
    Hot sauce, your favorite, optional
    2 Boneless chicken breasts (you can also use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs)
    3 tablespoons Olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil (use more as needed)
    Kosher salt and pepper
    12 Small Corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)
    6 ounces grated Monterey Jack, 170 grams (other cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican cheeses) can be used. Just be sure they melt well and complement the filling)
    Cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled optional


    Roasting Fresh Chiles

    1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
    2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
    3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
    4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.
    5. DO NOT RINSE!

    Green Chile Sauce

    1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
    2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor.
    3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
    4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
    5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
    6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.

    Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

    1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.
    3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
    4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
    5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
    6. Drain on paper towels.
    7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
    8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
    9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
    10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
    11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
    12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
    13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
    14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.

    • Olive 5:30 pm on May 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love this month’s DC challenge too.. your enchiladas looks so yummy! 🙂

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on January 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , satay, thai   

    Daring Cooks 9th Challenge: Pork Satay 

    The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day. The main challenge of this dish was the marinating of the meat. I opted for the traditional marinade and chose pork as the meat. The weather was nice and mild this year, perfect for a charcoal bbq. So we kicked off the new year with pork bbq satay. A nice and relaxed way to celebrate a new decade of, what I hope will be, many more cooking and baking challenges.

    Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce

    Satay Marinade

    1/2 small onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 T ginger root, chopped (optional) (2 cm cubed)
    2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
    1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 tsp ground coriander (5 mls)
    1 tsp ground cumin (5 mls)
    1/2 tsp ground turmeric (2-2.5 mls)
    2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (30 mls)
    1 pound of pork (loin or shoulder cuts) (16 oz or 450g)

    Feeling the need to make it more Thai? Try adding a dragon chili, an extra tablespoon of ginger root, and 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz or 15 mls) of fish sauce. (I keep some premature (still green) dragon chili peppers in the freezer for just such an occasion.)

    1a. Cheater alert: If you have a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the pork and blend until smooth. Lacking a food processor, I prefer to chop my onions, garlic and ginger really fine then mix it all together in a medium to large bowl.
    2a. Cut pork into 1 inch strips.
    3a. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

    Chill Chart

    Pork Beef/Lamb Chicken Vegetables Tofu (no oil)
    4-8 hrs
    Up to 24 hrs
    6-8 hrs
    Up to 24 hrs
    1-4 hours
    Up to 12 hrs
    20 min – 2 hrs
    Up to 4 hrs
    20 min – 4 hrs
    Up to 12 hrs

    Faster (cheaper!) marinade:

    2 T vegetable oil (or peanut or olive oil) (1 oz or 30 mls)
    2 T lemon juice (1 oz or 30 mls)
    1 T soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 tsp ginger powder (5 mls)
    1 tsp garlic powder (5 mls)
    1 tsp cayenne pepper (5 mls)

    1b. Mix well.
    2b. Cut pork into 1 inch thick strips (2-2.5 cm thick), any length.
    3b. Cover pork with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.

    Cooking Directions (continued):

    4. If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.
    5. Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.*
    6. Broil or grill at 290°C/550° F (or pan fry on medium-high) for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.

    • If you’re grilling or broiling, you could definitely brush once with extra marinade when you flip the skewers.

    Peanut Sauce

    3/4 cup coconut milk (6 oz or 180 mls)
    4 Tbsp peanut butter (2 oz or 60 mls)
    1 Tbsp lemon juice (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 Tbsp soy sauce (0.5 oz or 15 mls)
    1 tsp brown sugar (5 mls)
    1/2 tsp ground cumin (2.5 mls)
    1/2 tsp ground coriander (2.5 mls)
    1-2 dried red chilies, chopped (keep the seeds for heat)

    1. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.
    2. Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and your soy-lemon-seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.
    3. All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.

    • Frenchie 1:26 pm on January 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I would have loved to barbecue my satay to get that nice char on it, too bad I live in Montreal, where the brutally cold whether would not permit that. I am sure your satay was delicious.

    • Audax Artifex 1:50 am on January 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Love that 2nd photo and the purple flame coming though. Great you liked it so much. In Australia it was 40C so so so hot LOL LOL LOL. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  • pixeltheatre 12:01 am on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dosa, Indian, , vegan   

    Daring Cooks 5th Challenge: Indian Dosas 

    This month’s challenge was hosted by Debyi, of the The Healthy Vegan Kitchen. She chose a dish I recently discovered, the dosa. Dosas are crispy indian crepes, traditionally made of lentils and rice, stuffed with a savoury filling. Thanks to an important East Indian population in Vancouver, there is a fair amount of restaurants offering this dish. My mouth fell open the first time I saw one of those. They look huge, extending well beyond the plate. The filling however is usually just in the middle of it. We had our choice of filling for this challenge, so long as it remained vegan. I stayed with the one Debyi suggested, a curried garbanzo filling, accompanied by a coconut curry sauce. The pancake batter introduced me to a new ingredient: almond milk. Didn’t even know that existed and managed to find some in my favorite baking supplies store, Famous Foods. What don’t they carry?… The results were very flavourful and healthy. Very nice recipe. Thanks for the challenge!

    Indian Dosas
    This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting (I forgot & didn’t start making the rice until everything was ready, oops).

    Serves 4

    Equipment needed:
    large bowl
    griddle or skillet
    ladle (or large spoon)
    vegetable peeler &/or knife
    large saucepan
    food processor or bean masher

    Dosa Pancakes
    1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
    ½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
    ½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
    ½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
    ½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
    ¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
    cooking spray, if needed

    Dosa Filling
    1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

    Dosa Toppings
    1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
    ¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
    ¼ cucumber, sliced

    Dosa Pancakes
    1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
    2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
    3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

    Curried Garbanzo Filling
    This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don’t be afraid to make a full batch.

    5 cloves garlic
    1 onion, peeled and finely diced
    1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
    1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
    2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
    2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
    1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
    1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
    1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
    4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
    ½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

    1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
    2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

    Coconut Curry Sauce
    This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

    1 onion, peeled and chopped
    2 cloves garlic
    ½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
    ¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
    3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
    3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
    3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
    2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
    3 large tomatoes, diced

    1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
    2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
    3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
    4.Let it simmer for half an hour.

    • Simon 4:49 am on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I was new to almont milk as well. Don’t know if I’ll ever use it again but it was interesting while I did.

    • Lauren 7:25 am on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      my husband drinks almond milk because he is lactose intolerant. he loves it! —the recipe looks fantastic!

    • Mary 2:28 pm on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your dosas look beautiful. I hope you enjoyed them. I loved the challenge but thought it was a lot of work.

    • Lauren 3:08 pm on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge!! Your dosas look amazing =D. I love almond milk, and have it from time to time as a treat (especially the vanilla kind =D)

    • Heather B 6:08 pm on September 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Great job on your dosas! They came out perfectly!

  • pixeltheatre 4:52 pm on August 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cookout, Foodists BBQ Bootcamp, grilling,   

    BBQ nirvana 

    For the past year and a half, since I met my honey, we’ve been getting deeper and deeper into the art and science of grilling. We both had gas grills and used them year-round (this being the west coast), but had little experience with charcoal grilling. We invested a whopping $19.95 last year and bought a small kettle charcoal bbq from Superstore. Reminiscent of sputnik, this little guy helped us experiment throughout the summer and fall and convinced us that grilling with charcoal is the way to go. Along the way we also experimented with smoking, thanks to the “loan” of  a Little Chief Smoker from my hun’s brother (Will, you’re never seeing this smoker again… 😉 ). Salmon, salt, almonds, cheese, pork, turkey, bacon explosion, vegetables, we were game to try it, playing with various wood chips and rubs along the way.

    The winter was a particular trying one this year. Gas grilling is more convenient when it’s cold and rainy, but we were looking forward to going back to charcoal. The size of our sputnick didn’t allow much in terms of direct vs indirect heat — an inverted aluminum pie plate on top of the charcoal was the best we could really do. So, when the weather finally turned, hun splurged on a true Weber charcoal grill. Let the games begin!

    We hosted my mother and hun’s family for a bbq, cedar planked some halibut cheeks (our discovery of the year, recommended by our fishmonger at Granville Island. Cheaper than the steak, with wonderful moist texture), had fun with huge beef ribs, and the usual chicken and pork loins. Always on the lookout for good recipes and tips, I had RRS’d foodists.ca‘s blog a while back. Three weeks ago the following post fell into my inbox:

    Foodists brings you Barbecue Bootcamp

    Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuck is running a special version of his acclaimed BBQ Workshop for Foodists. Whether you are already well seasoned on the grill or afraid of fire, this is an amazing opportunity and great value. We are rather excited to be sharing this with you. Here are all the details:

    Barbecue Bootcamp

    Join international barbecue champion Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk for this outdoor cooking extravaganza featuring the essentials of grilling and southern-style barbecue. The three-hour cooking and eating demonstration will include an overview of tools and equipment, rubs, sauces and marinades, techniques for quick and easy grilling and slow-smoking, plus tall tales and legends from the world of competitive barbecue. You’ll learn from and enjoy cooking demonstrations and samplings of great dishes from Ronnie’s bestselling new book, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, including:

    • Grilled Asparagus with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Aioli
    • Grilled Quesadillas
    • Seared Calamari with Tomato Basil Salsa
    • Rack of Lamb with Balsamic Reduction
    • Classic North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Tidewater Coleslaw and Baked Beans
    • Grilled Beef Tenderloin Steak with Gorgonzola Butter
    • Real Barbecued Pork Ribs
    • Cedar-planked Salmon with Whiskey-maple Glaze
    • Planked Grapefruit with Grand Marnier and Honey

    Not only is this incredible value on its own, we will be including wine tastings, pairing each of the dishes with wines courtesy of Ravenswood California Zinfandel.

    Barbeque Bootcamp promises to be a celebration of gourmet backyard cooking. If you want to seriously upgrade your grilling and barbecue skills, don’t miss this.

    My jaw dropped as I started salivating, reading the menu. In two clicks I had forwarded the email/post to hun with a simple note of: “!?”. To my joy he responded with: “!! Eating demonstrations!! I’m in! I’ll order tickets if you wanna go.” Ah, yeah!… Thanks hun!! 🙂

    And so there we were, on a hot Saturday morning in Burnaby, in a gorgeous private garden (thanks again to the hosts of this bbq demo), with 36 other bbq fans for a 4-1/2 hours tour of bbq tips, dishes, and stories on the competition circuit. It was a perfect day. Ronnie was a great guide. If you have a chance to see him in action, don’t hesitate to go. He’s well worth the price of admission. We left that afternoon with full stomachs, an autographed copy of Ronnie’s latest book and a smile on our face. Thank you to foodists.ca, Johnstone Barbecues & Parts and Ravenswood for sponsoring this event. Pictures available on this slideshow.

    • lisamichele 6:33 pm on August 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I love your BBQ menu, especially the halibut cheeks. I did some uhhh, BBQ myself, but the ‘shortcut’ way..lol Definitely NOT authentic, albeit tasty! That said, I saw your photos of this month’s DC challange at the DK Kitchen, and can I saw, wow? Looking forward to your whole post!

  • pixeltheatre 10:27 pm on February 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bacon explosion, , sausages,   

    Bacon Explosion – Westcoast style 

    I came across this post this past week. The food blogosphere was abuzz with a recipe overloaded with pork, as in bacon and sausage. Dubbed the “Bacon Explosion“, it consisted of a mat of bacon stuffed with sausage meat and more bacon, and smoked. It just sounded too good not to try. Superbowl Sunday was right around the corner, a great time to do this while watching the game. I sent a copy of the recipe to my partner in grillin’ and smokin’. Over dinner that night I suggested we try it on Sunday. He looked at me and said: “You’re kidding, right?….” When I just smiled, he smiled and laughed. “Did you see how many calories there are in this thing?!…” “Yeah…. But we’ll just make a mini one. We’ve got to get our smoking muscles back in shape…” Besides, I thought, this gives me an excuse to shop at Oyama’s, my favorite charcuterie.

    Prep was simple enough. We used double-smoked bacon and Okanagan wine and herbs sausages. The rub (hot and spicy) came from the Char-Broil website. I used half paprika and half smoke paprika to give it an extra kick. We started the cold smoking (hickory chips) at 3:30, in the rain. By the time the game was finished (go Steelers!), we still hadn’t reached the right internal temperature, so we finished it in the oven. Being stuffed from the rest of the Superbowl spread, it was tough to force one more morsel of food down, but we did.  The taste was surprisingly not as greasy as I thought it would be. Might be interesting to see how slices of these will be, fried once more and served with eggs for breakfast… Stay tuned…

  • pixeltheatre 12:58 pm on October 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Toasted Pepita Dip – Weekend Cookbook Challenge #21: Hallowe’en 

    From wikipediaHallowe’en may conjure up thoughts of candies and cookies, but after doing three cooking challenges in a row involving sweets, I needed a break. Luckily the Weekend Cookbook Challenge #21, hosted by mlb of Je mange la ville blog this month, was pretty liberal in how we tie our recipe to Hallowe’en.

    After flipping through countless pumpkin recipes, most involving breads or muffins, I finally found something interesting in The Whole Foods Market Cookbook: Toasted Pepita Dip. It had some of my favorite ingredients, namely, jalapeños, cilantro, cayenne, cumin and lime. A pleasant surprise with this recipe was how low in fat pepitas are compared to other seeds and nuts (eg: 1/3 cup: sunflower seeds: : 24 g. fat; almonds: 24 g. fat; cashews: 21 g. fat; pepitas: 4 g. fat. from Whole Foods Market website)
    Toasted Pepitas Dip
    The results were a nice, spicy, crunchy and refreshing dip. A nice change from the usual cream cheese (though there is some sour cream here) and artichoke, crab or spinach dips. Another keeper. Thanks for the challenge MLB!

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    • michelle 8:57 pm on October 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Ohhhhhh…. that looks good and sounds healthy — always a great combination! 🙂

      Thanks so much for joining in this month!

    • pixeltheatre 10:40 pm on October 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome, Michelle. Thanks for hosting this challenge!


    • Sara 8:15 am on October 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      What an interesting sounding dip! I had no idea that pumpkin seeds were so much lower in fat, I’ll be keeping that in mind. Thanks for joining WCC this month, hope to see you again!

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  • pixeltheatre 4:16 pm on October 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Thai chili recipe lead to road closures in central London 

    An acrid smell emanating in the famed Soho district in London brought out a chemical response team from the London Fire Brigade last week. Passers-by were reporting a burning throat sensation as a result of the smell.

    Steve Bird of The Times of London reported:

    “As the ambulance service sent in its Hazardous Area Response Team Unit, firefighters wearing specialist breathing apparatus entered the deserted streets to seek out the source.
    Soon after 7pm on Monday they emerged from the smoke carrying a huge cooking pot containing about 9lb of smouldering dried chillies.”

    Turns out the chilies are used in the preparation of nam prik pao, “a super-hot Thai dip to accompany prawn crackers.”

    The Thai Cottage restaurant’s chef, Chalemchai Tangjariyapoon, explained:

    “I was making a spicy dip with extra-hot chillies that are deliberately burnt. To us it smells like burnt chilli and it is slightly unusual. I can understand why people who weren’t Thai would not know what it was. But it doesn’t smell like chemicals. I’m a bit confused.”

    The owner then further explained that due to the rainy weather, the smoke hadn’t dissipated as usual.

    I wonder if Chef Heston Blumenthal was in the area?…

    (Image courtesy of Daniel Risacher/Wikipedia)

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  • pixeltheatre 11:56 am on September 24, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Assault in the first degree, by means of chilli oil?!… 

    A recent story in the UK’s Daily Mail describes how Chef Heston Blumenthal monitored the effect of chili oil, chillibeing directly injected into his head chef via an IV drip, to determine the effects of spices on the brain. No picture of the resulting scan, from a “£5million MRI scanner” was offered in the article, but according to Blumenthal

    “You could see all his brain cells light up on the screen and it helped me understand how chilli works.”

    Now, if this experiment is not creepy in itself, Blumenthal’s confession to rigging the dosage definitely is:

    “…I sneakily switched the dosage when nobody was looking so he was getting double the chilli the doctors deemed safe.”

    This can’t be legal?….There’s experimentation and experimentation. There’s no mention if the head chef suffered any post-experiment trauma. I would love to know what his reaction was when he found out the switch in dosage…

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    • lucy 9:06 am on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi – I saw the programme last night. Heston Blumenthal didn’t “inject chili oil directly into his head” – he rigged up a drip that dropped chili oil in tiny amounts onto his head chef’s tongue for the purpose of seeing how it affected the brain. Just to set the record straight… It was a fascinating programme although the word “endorphins” was oddly never used…

    • lucy 9:33 am on December 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry – misread your initial para! Although it was indeed a drip onto the tongue rather than intravenous…. Lucy

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