banjoman2375's Profile

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making "prairie" pizza at home? [moved from Prairie Provinces]

Thanks! Toppings will definitely be below the cheese. If only I had an industrial oven at home haha. 500 degeees will have to do.

Jan 11, 2014
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

making "prairie" pizza at home? [moved from Prairie Provinces]

Does anybody have an suggestions for making pizza similar to that king of pies that one often finds at the g typically greek owned family restaurants on the prairies? Being from Sask. I'm thinking of Houston or Western pizza, but I have heard it's not uncommon in Alberta and Manitoba.

Thanks!

B

Jan 10, 2014
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

stuff to do with cashew cream?

Hey guys!

So I just made a bunch of cashew cream for some fake macaroni and cheese, but I have a bunch left over.

Ideas?

Nov 09, 2013
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

President's Choice Memories of Argentina chimichurri sauce

Hey Chowhounds,

I just wanted to give anybody a heads up if they were curious about aformentioned sauce... I was really excited when I saw it, because I really love chimichurri sauce, and in general P.C.'s products are pretty good I find... Well, it's TERRIBLE! It tastes like cheap bottled italian dressing. I don't think I can even finish the bottle.

Sincerely,

- So disappointed I resorted to venting on the internet

Jun 11, 2012
banjoman2375 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Cheap Eats in Toronto?

Village by the Grange! There's a very run of the mill looking chinese place in there that serves a great big portion of excellent BBQ pork, a big ol' pile of noodles, and fresh, still crunchy steamed vegetables for UNDER $5 with tax! For something late, a Gyro from Alexandros is crazy good! I don't understand how they can make pork that tender and juicy.

Aug 06, 2011
banjoman2375 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What's For Dinner, Part 95 [old]

It's Canada Day! So I asked my fish eating roommate what she wanted, and she said something Candian.

Roasted salmon with onions and maple syrup, and a hash of smoked salmon, baby potatoes, and zucchini.

So, I started by marinating some perfect salmon in maple syrup and some chopped garlic. I also set some baby potatoes boiling. When the potatoes were done, I halved them, then cooked them painfully slowly in butter and oil until they were deep brown and the skin was blistered. I set the potatoes aside. Then I took an onion, and sliced it into about 5 thick slices. I buttered my cast iron skilled, studded the bottom with chopped rosemary and garlic, then nestled the onion slices amid all the goodness. Then I started cooking the onions on low heat in the oven. When the onions were soft, I drizzled some maple syrup over, and rested my seasoned salmon on top. I followed it with a few dabs of butter, and tossed it back in the oven, basting/glazing occasionally. Then, in the same pan that I cooked the potatoes, I sauteed onion, red pepper, yellow and green zucchini, garlic, and rosemary. When the vegetables were soft, I added the reserved potatoes, and a handful of thinly sliced smoked salmon. When the salmon was done, I put the hash on a plate, topped it with the salmon, then a few onions, and drizzled the maple/butter/sauce on top.

Seriously guys... knockout!

Then had an old style IPA from a pioneer village that my roommate works at, and afterwards we headed to Greg's Ice Cream (toronto) for Roasted Marshmallow Ice Cream.

going to a concert tonight, then fireworks... best day EVER?!

Jul 01, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

What do you think are the important factors in making great food?

Sorry, honestly a lot of the reason why I started this thread is because I thought "why do we have to make fun of bad cooks, and why don't we just think of how we can all become better at what we love?"

And all I meant by number two is that sometimes pulling off a big meal (like a christmas dinner or something) Means that you have to have a number of things going at once, which can be difficult I think... at least I've always felt it's difficult...)

Jun 23, 2011
banjoman2375 in General Topics

What do you think are the important factors in making great food?

I definitely see what you mean about Cook's Illustrated, although I would never actually use many of their recipes because they are exceedingly complex. I understand that their goal is to create "the best something," but sometimes it seems like a bit much...

Jun 23, 2011
banjoman2375 in General Topics

What do you think are the important factors in making great food?

I read the thread-turned-article about the signs of a bad cook, and although it was fun scoffing at our imaginary idiots... what are the signs of a GREAT cook?!

here are mine:

1. Absolutely infallible, unfaltering patience
2. Comfortable multitasking (especially under pressure and time constraints)
3. A working knowledge of cooking basics acquired by effectively using recipes (for a while, at least)
4. A healthy curiosity towards restaurant menus and cookbooks (for inspiration)
5. A respect and excitement towards good quality ingredients
6. Understanding that something is ALWAYS lost when corners are cut
7. A heavy hand with salt and pepper :)

thoughts?

B

Jun 22, 2011
banjoman2375 in General Topics

True hang over (hangover) remedy

haha I guess I'd get the oxygen from the tanks that I keep on hand at all times?

Jun 21, 2011
banjoman2375 in General Topics

What's for Dinner - Part 93 [old]

that's so funny! I just decided to make tacos for myself tomorrow night!

Jun 21, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - Part 93 [old]

Risotto!

Brown Rice, Shrimp, green + yellow zuchini, parm, fresh parsley and basil, pine nuts. Pretty off the hook, and now I have lunch for the next two days!

Jun 21, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Why are pine nuts so FREAKING EXPENSIVE?!

They are really delicious, but so are things that cost way less! I bought some today, and it was kinda too late for me to go back when I realized I paid like $8 for what was around a cup maybe... they were organic, but they were in bulk too...

Jun 21, 2011
banjoman2375 in General Topics

GO TRY THIS RIGHT NOW!

Probably the most incredible tasting dessert I've ever had!

Chocolate Ice Cream, Honey Roasted peanuts.

That's it! It's hard to describe how good this tastes. It's mind-bendingly, eye-poppingly delicious! It tastes so good it hurts!

You guys need to experience how amazing this is!

- B

Jun 19, 2011
banjoman2375 in General Topics

Dinner in Hull/Gatineau

Hey Chowhounds,

I'm staying in Ottawa with my mom and sister, and we're thinking about going over to the other side of the river for dinner tonight.

Suggestions?

mid-price range, pretty open to different food, we don't have a car, but taxi is okay.

Thanks!
B

May 14, 2011
banjoman2375 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

the grange

I was just there yesterday for lunch! I stopped by urbane cyclist to get some air for my bike tires, and I asked the dude behind the counter where I should go for lunch. He told me "across from OCAD, there's a food court in Village by the Grange which is a lot better than it sounds"

I took his advice and checked it out. Much to my delight, there was nary a boring chain in sight, except for ugly old MacDonaldos, which still seemed to be attracting a lot of customers (so sad)

I was extremely torn, but I was eventually won over by some extraordinary looking BBQ pork in the Chinese stall. I have to say, that pork was a freaking revelation! Crispy, sticky and sweet on the outside, moist and tender on the inside... And it came with some noodles which were decent, and some *gasp* actually fresh and crispy mixed vegetables. I got a V8 with is, and the whole thing was like 7 bucks!

What a catch! I'm going to be frequenting this place more often, I think... but I want to try some of the other places, they all look so good!

May 12, 2011
banjoman2375 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Calorie-Dense Food: Ideas needed. Help!!

Also, Beef Short Ribs with Risotto

May 12, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Calorie-Dense Food: Ideas needed. Help!!

I have a few suggestions, generally very high in carbs and/or protein...

Firstly, on some special occasions, my dad will make jerk chicken (sometimes over an open fire... AH!) and then he'll make some rice with some spices, refried beans (yeah, not that authentic, but so good) and he'll buy some naan bread. It's an amazing meal, and very, very dense.

You could make a big batch of butter chicken or beef vindaloo, then have loads of rice and naan to go with it. Another extremely dense meal... very satisfying.

There's always lasagna and garlic bread

Along the same vein, there's moussaka (which I happen to love, but it's not everybody's favourite...)

Again along that vein, there's enchiladas... very dense, very tasty!

Now this is unhealthy, but typical southern food is very good at delivering LOTS of calories... Fried Chicken, Mashed potatoes, Coleslaw, Biscuits...

also, here's a thread where I talk about a meal I made a few days ago, which would also be very good for this... calorie dense, not THAT unhealthy :) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783478

May 12, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Great Regina Style Pizza

I would have to agree with that unfortunately, except that the Pizza is actually AMAZING! - even though th rest of the food is actually terrible. It's rather odd. Also I hate the decor... they tried to go upscale and trendy, but it's just cold, uninviting, and insincere now. So basically it's only good for takeout. But BOY! it sure is good for takeout... they do have one of my favourite pizzas ever...

May 11, 2011
banjoman2375 in Prairie Provinces

Great Regina Style Pizza

me too! haha

May 11, 2011
banjoman2375 in Prairie Provinces

Regina Downtown Core Groceries

Whereabouts are you going to be living downtown? The closest grocery store is off the south west corner, and depending on where you are it could be a 15 - 20 minute walk. Regina is a real wasteland for somebody without a car. I'm from there originally, but I live in Toronto now. ...I see the error in Regina's ways... it's a bit of an abomination actually. Public transit is a joke, and there are no services downtown whatsoever pretty much.

May 11, 2011
banjoman2375 in Prairie Provinces

Potluck

By the way, my mom makes that Ore-Ida casserole every once in a while, and I LOVE IT!

May 11, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Potluck

apologies for the obscureness of the measurements... I don't pay much attention to measurements really... I just go with my eyeballs :)

I probably used about 3 cups of uncooked macaroni, and I probably ended up with about 4 cups of sauce, minus the shrooms...

May 11, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Potluck

Well, it was a roaring success!

I went for something along the lines of the cheesy potato casserole actually, but I was thinking of doing something totally homemade. The whole baking dish thing appealed to me, because I ended having to carry the damn thing a long ways between subway rides. Here's what I made (approximately... I didn't use a recipe)

Mac and Cheese with Sage and Mushrooms

I started out by making a nice roux, and adding a mixture of milk and chicken stock, to make a sort of half bechamel, half veloute sauce. Then to that I added a whole bunch of shredded Parmesan and nice orange english cheese. (I really don't remember what it was called, I basically took what the cheese guy suggested at the cheese store haha) Then, in a saute pan, I softened some sliced shallots and garlic. To that, I added a whole whack of chopped shitake and cremini mushrooms. It probably ended up being well over a pound. When the shrooms were nice and soft, I added a bunch of chopped sage and italian parsley, and dumped it into the sauce, along with a bunch of cooked macaroni. I promptly spread the works into a buttered baking dish. Then, I ripped up a couple of nice crusty buns into bite sized pieces, and toasted them up. I spread the toasty bits over the top, then topped it with more herbs and finally a nice grating of parm. The whole thing didn't even get all the way cold while I traveled over, and I just popped it in the oven for 20 mins when I got there.

I have to say, the thing that separates this from a lot of good mac and cheese is the croutons on the top. I've never been a fan of dusty, powdery bread crumbs on something creamy, I prefer smallish pieces of fresh breadcrumbs which are toasted. Then, its crispy on the outside, still a little soft and chewy on the inside, and not hard/tooth killing...

May 11, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Chicken Casserole

oops, that's *chicken

May 09, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Chicken Casserole

Holy cow guys, I had a longish day at work, and I just got my groceries and made the thing and ate it without checking out what you guys said.

BUT!

I am happy to report that this was one of the best things I have EVER EATEN! I bought three beautiful free range chicken thighs, (They were a little different though, the backbone was still attached... ) and started out by trimming them, seasoning them generously and searing them in my cast iron skillet. When the chicken was sufficiently golden, I took it out, and set it aside. Then I drained most of the fat out, and threw in one sliced onion, 2 cloves of sliced garlic, and some fresh(ish) thyme. When the onions were softened and a little brown, I added some chicken stock, (would have used white wine, but didn't have any) and a little dijon mustard. Then I gathered up my slightly gelatinized, leftover cream of mushroom soup, (a little over 2 cups-ish; recipe in OP) and plopped it down into the skillet. When it had melted and I mixed it in with the stock, I added about 3/4 of a cup-ish of brown rice. I made sure that the liquid was a bit too runny to be a nice chowder, but not yet watery. Then I nestled my eagerly awaiting bird parts amongst the rice and onions and creamy soup. Then I popped the works into the oven at 375, topped off with the lid to my skillet. I proceeded to almost forget about it for an hour, and upon my arrival was greeted with a positively intoxicating aroma! I was a little worried about the rice soaking up all the liquid too, which was why I added a bit more liquid than I thought I ought to. Much to my excitement, the rice was the consistency of a perfect risotto! Very saucy, very slumpy, studded with mushrooms and onions. And emerging from this hottub of deliciousness was my thicken, absolutely falling off the bone and dripping with shimmering juice. I just ate it as is. I felt like cheese or herbs would have done nothing but take away from the sheer simple beauty in this dish. It was honestly one of the best things I've ever eaten!

Next time, I'll use white wine to thin the soup, and maybe a tad little bit less of dijon mustard. Or, one could just make the soup/sauce extra thin by adding some wine in the first place... More mushrooms would have been nice as well.

I urge all of you to try this! It was hella cheap, pretty darn easy considering I had the soup leftover, and not even THAAAT bad for you... (brown rice, milk in the soup, "at least it's chicken"...) I think the brown rice also aided in the sauce making, I've always found it a bit starchier, so I would definitely use the brown rice.

May 09, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Chicken Casserole

Hey Chowhounds,

I have some beautiful leftover cream of mushroom soup that I made two days ago. Roux, milk/stock, shallots, garlic, cremini mushrooms, sage, parsley. Simple and delicious. I have about 2 cups left, give or take...

Here's what I was thinking... a kind of throwback to the old campbell's mushroom soup chicken casserole, but homemade, and actually good.

I'll probably get some thighs, sear them off, but where do I go from there. I'd like to include some brown rice, maybe even some broccoli. And I have some nice english cheese that I could put on top...

Thoughts?

May 09, 2011
banjoman2375 in Home Cooking

Toronto's most boring resto: your nominations, please

Precisely the reason why the first thing I want to do when I go to Montreal next is go to Au Pied Du Cochon... perhaps the most unboringest-looking restaurant in canada?

...spelling faux-pas totally intentional, by the way... :)

May 08, 2011
banjoman2375 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto's most boring resto: your nominations, please

I would agree with that about a place like Pangea... Although Canoe was just an amazing experience, and Mistura truly serves some of the most beautiful (not artsy) food I've ever had.

I totally get what you mean though... the bland, "all we do is cater to rich businesspeople" type atmosphere and menu. Very stuffy, very contrived, very fake. The other day I went to a friend's birthday at Panorama, in the Manulife center. Now admittedly, nobody is treating that place on the same level as Pangea, but it was one of the most unpleasant places I've been. It's completely lifeless, just a room pretending to look like something out of a commercial, or a magazine. The food was completely uninspired and uninteresting (Not that I ordered any of it anyways, since it was so expensive.) Our waitress treated us like dirt. (Not that I blame her, since a couple of us didn't order anything) But I'm sorry, I didn't feel like paying $13 for a pint of steamwhistle.

I'll take a trip to an Ethiopian place, or some Souvlaki on the Danforth over an overly plush, waiters either kiss my ass or shun me like a hobo place any day. Very ironic, but true... I can make wild mushroom risotto and braised short ribs at home, but its the slightly gnarly, sometimes (but not always) slightly sketchy character that I can't re-create in my barely satisfactory apartment kitchen.

-----
Mistura
265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

May 08, 2011
banjoman2375 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Do you keep secrets?

Sounds like foodie hipsters... The "I was into them BEFORE they were cool, but now I hate them" crowd. All I can say is, I guess I understand where you're coming from - I see the validity in your concerns, but at the same time, sentiments like that are very destructive. Attitudes like that do nothing but build barriers between people and breed elitism. Soon we'll have a whole group of people who (like hipsters did with music) attach a huge amount of value to something based on its obscurity. The ultimate foodie hipster paradise... a hole in the wall that serves great food that nobody else knows about... Better to share the love with everybody. Besides, if a business really cares the way it should, it shouldn't let a little success corrupt a strong sense of purpose.

May 08, 2011
banjoman2375 in Site Talk