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Need potluck dish using Parmigiano-Reggiano

Stuff chunks of it into medjool dates, or...

Wrap chunks in proscuitto and secure with a pick, or...

Make a platter with chunks of the cheese, some rolled up proscuitto, and figs or any fruit of your choice. Drizzle the entire platter with a really good quality balsamic vinegar (reduce a cheap vinegar to a syrup if you don't have a good one on hand). Have picks on hand for people to serve themselves.

1 day ago
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Help with reheating rice - no microwave

You don't need to steam it in a perforated steamer. Just put the bowl of rice in the pot of water. Raise the bowl up out of the water by setting it on top of an overturned bowl on the bottom of the pot.

1 day ago
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
2

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

Nick Liu also did a Caplansky spring roll with smoked meat, cabbage and mustard in a rye spring roll wrapper. Good stuff.

Apr 14, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

Here are the dishes that were missing from the first shot.

Apr 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

It was really excellent. The limit on the tickets made for a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere. There were never crowds and going back for seconds and thirds of favourites was totally painless. The food offerings were all good, with my favourites being the crazy good crispy pork belly buns from Babi and Co., the platters from Canoe and Linda, and the dumplings from FeasTO.

This photo has most of the dishes in it. I think there were 3 or 4 dishes that came in after this photo was shot.

I can definitely recommend hitting up the next one in May.

Apr 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

FYI, I guess there was so much demand for tickets, they've added a second Yum Cha! on May 4:

https://www.uniiverse.com/listings/yu...

Apr 13, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Easy-peasy candied nuts?

If you have a non-stick pan, this is what I do (I totally wing this every time, so I don't have exact measurements, but it's pretty hard to mess up):

Put a bit of butter (a Tbsp or so) and a bunch of brown sugar (maybe a half cup, loose). Melt the butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat. Toss in about a 1.5 - 2 cups of raw unsalted nuts of your choice. Stir gently. The melted sugar will cool down when the nuts are added, so you just need to stir gently until the nuts are heated up enough to let the sugar melt again. This usually takes about 10 minutes, in which time the nuts get nice and toasted. During this time, add the seasonings of your choice. I usually do salt and cayenne pepper. Cumin or curry powder are really good, too.

Once the sugar has melted/caramelized and coated the nuts, pour the nuts onto a sheet of parchment, non-stick foil or a silpat and quickly spread them out to cool. The more you separate them at this stage, the less you'll have to break them up later.

Cool, break apart any big chunks and store in an airtight container at room temp.

Apr 08, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Making Italian "tacos". What should I fill my focaccia "shells" with??

Ragu Bolognese, sauteed rapini and grated parm. reggiano.

Apr 06, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Freezable brunch dishes for 80 people

Quiches and stratas are both good out of the freezer, and you can make some vegetarian and others with meat (vegans are out of luck with these, though). I would imagine that hash brown casseroles would work as well, since most of the recipes call for using frozen hash browns anyway.

Biscuits freeze beautifully, as do cooked breakfast meats (sausage patties, bacon, ham), so maybe you could do a make-your-own breakfast sandwich line? Set out sliced biscuits with meats, cheeses and veggies (roasted veggies would be nice, but might be a challenge to do too far in advance) and let people build their own sandwiches. You could try to make folded plain omelets for the sandwiches, but that might be too time consuming to deal with the day of. Though I wonder if you could beat the eggs, pour them into a rimmed baking tray and baked them, then just slice and fold them?

Apr 05, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
2

Cities and Their Famous Foods

Though funnily enough, not as old this thread! :0)

Apr 05, 2014
TorontoJo in General Topics

Dessert recipes like Eclair Cake

Yes, thank you! I honestly was trying to remember who I got the inspiration from and it was Paula Deen!

Apr 02, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Dessert recipes like Eclair Cake

I made a version of Southern-style banana pudding a couple years ago that went over well at Thanksgiving. Standard versions call for Nilla Wafers, bananas, instant vanilla pudding and Cool Whip or whipped cream. I used Pepperidge Farm Chess cookies (any shortbread-style cookie would do, including homemade), made my own bourbon vanilla custard and made a whipped cream with mascarpone cheese. Topped with crumbled cookies. Gotta say, it was pretty damn tasty.

Apr 02, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Trip Report (long): Lotus of Siam, Sweets Raku, Blossom, Border Grill, Bouchon Bistro, Noodles

Oh, I can attest to that. It took exactly 40 minutes to get from The Venetian parking garage to the Mandalay Bay to pick up my husband.

Mar 30, 2014
TorontoJo in Las Vegas

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

Tickets actually went on sale a few weeks ago, Toronto Life was just a bit slow on the uptake.

Mar 28, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Food Events - 2014 (Toronto area and rest of Ontario)

Unfortunately, they are already sold out for both sessions. The organizers of this one actually care about the experience and kept a low cap on attendance.

Mar 28, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Easter Brunch

What price point are you looking for? Near Hamilton, I would probably look at Spencer's on the Waterfront in Burlington.

If you want to look at winery restaurants nearby, I'd look at Peninsula Ridge or The Good Earth. A bit further afield but still within your parameters would be the restaurant at Vineland Estates, which a lot of my friends enjoy.

Mar 28, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Trip Report (long): Lotus of Siam, Sweets Raku, Blossom, Border Grill, Bouchon Bistro, Noodles

I want to eat nam kao tod every day. Or at least once a week.

And yeah, I avoided driving on the strip when at all possible. Tried to use 15 as much as possible. But the couple of times it was unavoidable? UGH. So. Frustrating. And walking the strip isn't any more pleasant.

Fortunately, there was good eating and good company to make up for it!

Mar 28, 2014
TorontoJo in Las Vegas

Blossom then Sweets Raku - enough time?

Hello, helpful peeps! Just wanted to let you know that Blossom, Sweets Raku, MGM Grand worked out just fine fro a timing perspective. The cab ride was about 10 minutes and Sweets Raku was pretty empty, so we were done with dessert by about 8:30, leaving plenty of time to get back to the strip for Ka.

My full trip report here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/970418

Mar 27, 2014
TorontoJo in Las Vegas

Trip Report (long): Lotus of Siam, Sweets Raku, Blossom, Border Grill, Bouchon Bistro, Noodles

Just returned from 3.5 days in Vegas and wanted to report back on my experiences:

LOTUS OF SIAM
The highlight of my trip. Had lunch here two days in a row and had:

#11 Garlic Pepper Chicken Wings
#14 Nam Kao Tod (ordered this one both days!)
# 56 Nua Sao Renu
Northern Larb
Sea Bass on Drunken Noodles
Panang Short Rib

Everything was really, really excellent. The wings were addictive with the fried garlic/salt/pepper seasoning. The crispy rice in the nam kao tod had me swooning -- it was like an entire plate of the crunchy rice from the bottom of a bowl of bi bim bap, but bursting with a dozen flavors. The Nothern larb was very different than the larb I've have in the past, but I loved it. The sea bass was fried perfectly and the dish was wonderful, though I would have liked the noodles to have been easier to separate. The panang curry instantly converted my sister and niece into Thai curry lovers. My least favorite dish was the nua sao renu -- I felt the flavors to be too one-note compared to the other dishes we had. Service was efficient, though slightly scattered. The place was packed both days. I have NO idea why anyone would waste their time on the lunch buffet there. I wanted to shout at everyone that they were wasting their time. But I refrained. :)

SWEETS RAKU
The other highlight of my trip was definitely the desserts at Sweets Raku. I loved the space and am intensely envious of the frickin' awesome convection and steam ovens they have. Enjoyed watching the pastry chef prepare everything (definitely sit at the bar, not the tables!). Had the 3-course prix fixe and supplemented with an extra dessert (plus I sampled my 2 DC's desserts, of course). The last course, labeled "petit four", is actually a cream puff. It was the single best cream puff I've ever had -- hot, crispy, flaky pate a choux with ethereally light pastry cream. Once again, swoon worthy. The "main" desserts were all very different and all excellent. A special shout out to the "Angel Cream" which is the lightest, airiest cheesecake you will ever encounter.

BLOSSOM
Blossom was fine. The highlight was the fresh Goby fish, steamed and served with ginger, scallions and a lightly sweet soy sauce. The fish was perfectly steamed and the classic sauce really let the fish shine. Expensive at $60/lb, but it was loved by all. Garlic stir fried ong choy, shredded pork with dried tofu and Chinese sausage fried rice rounded out the meal. All the other dishes were prepared very well with quality ingredients, but the dishes lacked any hint of wok hay. But it fit the bill, and was followed by dessert at Sweets Raku, so there were no complaints about our evening of eating. And truly, that fish was excellent.

BORDER GRILL
Border Grill was in my hotel and satisfied my rather desperate need for Mexican food. The Yucatan pork tacos were a very respectable version of cochinita pibil and my DH enjoyed his brisket taquitos very much. The one fail for me was the "black bean stuffed corn tortillas" used for my tacos. A completely superfluous flourish that made the corn tortillas a greasy mess. But given my complete lack of good Mexican food in my current locale, I quite enjoyed my lunch here. Though it's quite possible that my enjoyment stemmed from being able to sit outside and look at blue sky and palm trees a half hour after flying in from a cold, snowy clime.

The weekend brunch looked quite appealing, but I didn't have the appetite for an all-you-can eat lunch.

NOODLES
Noodles at the Bellagio was a quick, light meal before seeing O. Nothing to recommend this place other than its location and wide variety of mostly Chinese menu items and pseudo-reasonable (for the Strip) prices.

BOUCHON BISTRO
Last meal in Vegas was lunch at Bouchon Bistro. As with all Keller restaurants, it was reliable and tasty. Having recently made his quiche Lorraine, it was nice to be able to try his quiche in a restaurant. The croque madame was lovely, as were the sourdough waffles. The sticky pecan bun was sticky goodness and the cinnamon sugar beignets were...not. They were basic cake doughnuts. Delicious, freshly fried cake doughnuts, but doughnuts nonetheless. Fortunately, my niece loves doughnuts. Also picked up a couple of sandwiches at the bakery for my flight home. Way better than anything one could buy at the airport!

So that was my brief trip. The food made up for my intense frustration related to staying on the Strip (and lack of direct route from any point A to any point B). Thanks to all the previous 'hounds for posting about their experiences at various places over the years! Researching Chowhound is one of my favorite parts of trip planning.

Pictures are from Lotus of Siam and Sweets Raku.

Mar 27, 2014
TorontoJo in Las Vegas
3

Niagara Fall Ontario Chow

My recs for the area, though not necessarily matching all your requests:

Pho Vietnam 999
http://www.theniagaralocal.com/review/pho-999/

Moksha for really excellent Indian.
http://www.mokshaniagara.com/

The Regal Diner for breakfast or lunch (closed Tue/Wed
)http://www.theniagaralocal.com/review/the-regal-diner/

All of the above are reasonably priced and good to excellent.

I haven't done any fine dining in the Falls, as you will pay a premium and I prefer fine dining in Niagara-on-the-Lake. But if I had to choose in the Falls, I would look at AG or Windows by Jamie Kennedy.

http://www.agcuisine.com/
http://windowsbyjamiekennedy.com/

If you have a car, I would consider driving the 25 mins to Niagara-on-the-Lake, which has many more (and better) options, including some decent fish and chips.

Mar 22, 2014
TorontoJo in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Pot roasting

What does "is it ness" mean?

Mar 22, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #285 - Harbingers of Spring Edition! [Through March 22, 2014]

I had every intention of making chopped kale salad and roasted cauliflower for dinner. But a friend called and wanted to celebrate a good day over a glass of wine. So dinner will more than likely be wine and the best frites (yeah, ok, french fries) in town.

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
4

stovetop grill

Oh, I also found this one that is enameled:

http://www.amazon.com/Mario-Batali-82...

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Cookware

stovetop grill

Reasonably easy to clean, since there are no worries about scratching the surface. On the flat side, I might use some coarse salt and paper towels, or just throw it in the sink and use a green scrubby on it (no soap). The griddle side is a bit harder because of the grooves, but I don't bother to get it pristine in the grooves, and just make sure I get the food off of the raised edges. When I do want to really get into the grooves, I use a coarse brush. After washing, to keep it from rusting I put it back on the burner to dry it off and will do a quick wipe with some oil and a paper towel.

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Cookware

Desserts that can be frozen

If it's casual, I would do a series of bars: brownies, blondies, lemon squares, nanaimo bars, etc. Easy to make in large quantities and easy to serve and eat (no utensils required).

Another option, if you're feeling more ambitious would be cream puffs. You could just do the classic pastry cream filling or have a variety of flavored fillings (chocolate, coffee, hazelnut, etc.). Cream puffs freeze well, even filled.

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

stovetop grill

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Cookware

stovetop grill

Does it have to be enameled? Is plain cast iron ok?

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Cookware

Desserts that can be frozen

I think the OP just left off a "d" and meant to write that it can't be a dessert that has to be completed AFTER defrosting. It needs to be something that can be frozen and ready to eat once it's thawed.

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
1

Heavy Appetizers for Wine Club

Bagna cauda is delicious and simple. Serve with hunks of bread and raw veggies of your choice. People will be fighting over the garlic and anchovy bits at the bottom of the bowl.

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking

Desserts that can be frozen

As you can see from the other answers, most basic desserts can be frozen and thawed at room temp with little loss of quality: cookies, cakes/cupcakes, pies/tarts, and cheesecakes are all fine to make ahead and freeze.

Mar 21, 2014
TorontoJo in Home Cooking
2