TorontoTuna's Profile

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Mushrooms are up!

Great year for mushrooms. I got over 15 pounds of yellow Morels in the Spring and am now picking Parasols and giant Puffballs (great dried for soup!) I see very few Porcinis at my farm near Tweed, though I have several dozen Blue Spruce. What part of Ontario did you find them?

ISO Chianina beef

Dario Cecchini in chianti has the real deal, both at his famous butcher shop and his restaurant across the street. I bought two 3 inchers in 2009...not cheap but real Chianina. If you're in the small town, make sure you get the 11 course, all-beef feast in his restaurant.

ISO potato hot-dog buns.

I've given up searching for a real Coney-Dog this side of Michigan, but don't mind making my own sauce. What really sets off a Coney, however, is a steamed potato bun. Is there any bakery in the G.T.A. who makes these? A potato bun on a burger or dog is a real plus. By the way, the all-pork Berkshire dogs at Cumbraes really rock.

Sour Cherries

I do the same...but use ground tapioca as a thickener in everything. Cornstarch is too much like Chinese take-out.

Jun 21, 2014
TorontoTuna in Home Cooking

Where can you buy Dairyland 3.25% Buttermilk in (Toronto,ON)

...and by the way, Harmony is 3.8%...richer than Dairyland, which I had in Banff.

Where can you buy Dairyland 3.25% Buttermilk in (Toronto,ON)

I use buttermilk in everything...from biscuits to pancakes to fried chicken.. Harmony is the real McCoy. My grandparents ran a dairy farm, so I know from buttermilk.

What to do with a goat or two...

My Moroccan wife loves goat and here is a great recipe in the North African tradition.

Jun 21, 2014
TorontoTuna in Home Cooking

Where can you buy Dairyland 3.25% Buttermilk in (Toronto,ON)

Harmony dairy has whole, organic buttermilk. Their web site will give you a listing of their stores. 1% really sucks!

necessary to remove chicken giblets?

I 'beer can' my bird on my Green Egg, so no room in the cavity for the offal. However, I chop the innards up, add six oysters, a cup of fresh sourdough, a handful of fresh herbs, sea salt, ground Tellicherry and lots of cultured butter and put all this in foil as I cook the bird. Yum!

Jun 21, 2014
TorontoTuna in Home Cooking

Anybody remember Switzers on Spadina?

Friday night with the old gang was Corned Beef and Dills at Switzers, then the Victory Burlesque across the street for the great pit band and comics (not!), then Grossman's for bad beer and Blues and then the Silver Dollar for a nightcap and more good sounds. All within three blocks. Spadina back then really was the real deal.

Where can I find fresh Crawfish for a traditional boil?

I grew up in Indiana and have eaten bushels of the mud-bugs. Find a rocky stream and get buddy and a seine net and a few chicken livers and you will bag tons of 'em. But I am now into spot prawns big time and they are every bit as tasty as the crawdad. The fish guys at St. Lawrence have them live and kicken'.

Best Doughnuts/Donuts in Toronto: 2014

Although I consider the elusive Toronto Spudnut akin to the communal wafer, I feel rather effusive after bagging a wild turkey on Monday and will thus share an actual path to a doughnut ritual that will inspire. Travel to Epi on a Saturday morning and be there when they open. Their just-out-of-the-oven jelly doughnuts will await you. Grab a coffee and a stool overlooking Bayview. Now take that first bite. Like putting one's lips to an angel's wing.

ISO of catfish fillet in Vaughan or even Toronto if there is no place in Vaughan

Farmed catfish are not all that tasty. Try Hooked for some good line-caught catfish (and perch), or else get a bamboo pole and some chicken livers and go out around midnight to the many rivers east of you and catch some lunkers.

Pork Belly Pricing

I make my own lard from pork and the fall bear kill. The belly at the north market at S.L.M. on Saturdays (south end) is never more than $3.75, is organic and well worth the price. The resulting cracklin's are damn good too.

Back of House - Leslieville

I think you meant the River Rock cafe. The Riverside was on Queen and is now Ruby Watchco.

This BBQ pork bun almost made me cry!!!

Yum! Nothing like a little Red 40 dye and M.S.G. to get that old hypersensitivity business happening. Washed down with a few Monster Energy Drinks and who needs Meth?

ISO really freshly made Ras El Hanout.

Thanks Prima! New source for me. Made my own last night, but if their site is any indication, this will be a great destination...their salts look good too.

ISO really freshly made Ras El Hanout.

Thanks F.D., but I was thinking maybe a small North African store where they make the fresh stuff each morning, like in the Goutte d'Or district in Paris. However, my ship having been righted after an excess of Bookers, I will sally forth to the spice lady at K. Market and make my own.

ISO really freshly made Ras El Hanout.

My good farmer friend near Guelph asked me to help him a few days ago in the sacrifice, eviscerating and feathering of 60 Muscovy ducks, free range and organically fed. My wage was a good bottle of bourbon and all the duck testicles I wanted...which was all of them! They're about the size of a kumquat, (escarpment oysters?) and really tasty when battered with Moroccan spices.I could make the Ras El Hanout myself, but am a bit lazy due to that Kentucky Kool Aid. Anyone?

Duck Eggs Toronto?

You can get these really fresh blue dudes at the egg guy's stand on Saturdays at the North farmer's market at S.L.M. If your into making pastry, these eggs are way better than chicken eggs as they are fatter and with more albumen. They make much better custard as well. As a hunter, I have quarts of bear fat in the freezer from last fall's kill and along with the duck eggs, make for the lightest pastry this side of Paris.

Question about Rowe Farms

Considering what they charge for their meat and veggies, not to mention their condiments, that's pretty mean spirited.

Paganelli's Pork Offerings

Been eating there for 15 years, back when Gabe's brother worked with him. Real classic Emilia Romagna food, which means cured pork and cheese. You can buy all of Gabe's meats for take-out. His Coppa is especially tasty. I spend time in Bologna every spring and Gabriele's cooking is authentic, as is his accent. He also doesn't cheap out with his shaved truffles and his Rissoto is literally award winning.

Seared Duck Breasts with Raspberry-Honey Glaze

Can't be. On the Q I do them to 120, resting till they come up to 125. You want those breasts pink.

Mar 31, 2014
TorontoTuna in Recipes

Best cookies in Toronto

On the shelf on the western wall near the cupcakes. C-chip, oatmeal/raisin, etc. Very fresh and well-priced Had a six-pack of their raspberry macaroons a few hours ago...NOTHING in Toronto comes close.

Best cookies in Toronto

Bobbette & Belle. Best cookies, best macaroons and best cupcakes. No contest. Real French confectionery that would not be out of place on Rue Cler in Paris. They also make the best Wedding Cakes in the city. Big fan.

Heading to Ottawa

Some pretty decent restaurants there, but for a family I'd go with the Vittoria Trattoria at the Byward Market location. Excellent Italian dishes and pasta/pizza for the kids. Big bonus is you can stroll a very good market prior to noshing. And no, pulled-pork rizzoto is not on their menu.

Cake flour (NOT "cake & pastry" flour) in the GTA!

My wife makes Angel Food cakes so light they need ballast. She uses her mom's recipe for making her own cake flour. Simply use all purpose flour, then substitute two tbs. of cornstarch for two tbs. of flour. Sift at least 5 times and you're good to go. She also makes her own vanilla from Cognac and Madagascar Vanilla beans.

Which is the LOUDEST restaurant in TORONTO??

Lotsa yelling over at Gale's joint....course most of the regulars are deaf, but

corn tortillas

Hooked has them too, as does Rowe Farms across the street.

Canned hominy

Sorry for the's actually posole. You might want to check out those yummy chemicals and preservatives in that convenient can. Canned goods, of all stripes, are pretty damn suspect, and I'm not just referencing the 'Franklin expedition.'