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Easy meals for a young guy on his own for the first time

Perhaps I'm reading between the lines a little bit, but perhaps the thing that's spurring your son's interest in cooking is either a girl he wants to impress, or wanting to cook for friends.

In which case, start easy. A few pasta dishes, stir fry, roast chicken and a few simple sides plus a purchased dessert (or one that's just assembly like banana pudding). Focus on things that can be prepared ahead of time in case he's needing to be social at dinner, and that have few pots and pans on clean up. A few veggie options are good (especially if there might be a young lady invovled!)

Jul 31, 2013
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking
1

How to start drinking wine

No one has suggested it so far, but a REALLY interesting book on the pairing of food and wine is "Tastebuds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food and Wine" by Francois Chartier. It gets into the flavor and aromatic compounds found in various food and wines, and how they can work together in so surprising combinations. Anise flavours and Sauvignon Blanc? Rosemary and fino sherry? Amazing.

But most important for someone just getting into wines - taste, taste, taste! The most important thing is what YOU like.

Jan 29, 2013
bonefreakchef in Wine

James Oseland of "Saveur": Don't Judge, Just Eat

Yes! Yes! Yes! Perhaps if the editor of Saveur is saying it someone will listen.

Nov 11, 2012
bonefreakchef in Features

Swing State Menu for Election Day

You can get cookie cutters in the shape of every American state (except Hawaii) from Hill's Kitchen in DC. They also have elephant and donkey cutters as well. Might be a fun dessert idea.
http://www.hillskitchen.com/products/

Oct 04, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

Office fridge etiquette

In my past life working in an office, I learned that a combination of shame and humor were rather effective. In one office, they had let the fridge situation deteriorate for WAY too long. Some horrific things were found that defy description. So we sent the office designer/webmaster to take some pictures off the clean up horror and this was emailed to everyone in the office:

Jun 13, 2012
bonefreakchef in Not About Food

Vancouver 4 night schedule

You might also consider http://www.salttastingroom.com/

Jun 05, 2012
bonefreakchef in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Your favorite 'road trip' food

Tim Horton's Bacon B.E.LT. (Bagel, egg, lettuce, tomato, and cheese slice) sandwich on a whole wheat bagel. Because that makes it healthy... right?!

May 30, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

Canadians--tell me your favourite recipe from Mom or Grandma

You mean "cretons", a pork spread that is in every grocery store in Quebec! It doesn't look great (kind of grey and chunky), but is divine! I'll get you a recipe if you want!

May 28, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

Are You Snacking on Anything Right Now?

Leftover risotto milanese and a Screwdriver. I started work today on UK time (though I'm in Canada) so I'm done for the day.

May 28, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

In need of some introductory recipes to cooking with kidney and heart, pork or beef please! Beginner offal dishes . .

I actually made it last night and was eating it while I came across your OP.

Make sure you soak the bones for 24 hrs or so before you use them. Easiest way to get the marrow out is to drop them into boiling salted water for 2-5 mins until it loosens a little. Way easier than getting it out in little bits.

The only thing the link I posted seemed to skip was adding about 2/3 cup white wine before you start with the stock. I guess you could skip it if you had people who can't have wine, but a better flavour if you add it.

Good luck - let us know what you make!

May 28, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

Canadians--tell me your favourite recipe from Mom or Grandma

The most authentic "Grandma" recipe is her bread recipe. She's 92 years old this year and learned it from watching her Austrian aunt (with whom she was sent to live with after her mother died) more than 80 years ago. Makes 5 or 6 loaves.

12 cups all-purpose flour (and possibly as much as two cups more)
1 heaping tablespoon yeast
7 cups water
1/4 melted butter
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt

-Dissolve the yeast in warm water with the sugar. Verbally abuse it from time to time, preferably in Low German.
- In the largest vessel in your home, combine the yeast mixture, water, salt, melted butter and most of the flour. Work it until you get a dough that holds together. You may need more or less flour.
- Knead the dough about 8-10 mins (in my house, that's as long as the extended version of Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" extended version). Periodically, pick up the dough and whip it at the counter like you're throwing a fast ball. Trust me.
- Cover dough in a bowl and set it on top of an old tube TV or someplace warm. Wait until it doubles in size or until the next re-run of The Sopranos is over (about 90 mins).
- Punch down dough and knead it again for about 5 mins (helps if you complain about family members during this time)
- Cover and let rise another 90 mins or so.
- Cut dough into 5 or 6 even pieces. Shape into loaves and drop into buttered loaf pans
- Watch another couple of Sopranos re-runs (let the loaves rise another 90 mins)
- Bake at 375 F for about 40 mins (check on them at 35 mins) or until golden on top and hollow sounding if you tap the bottoms.
- Brush tops of bread with more melted butter and turn out of loaf pans to cool ASAP.
- Pour yourself a glass of rye.

May 28, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

What does Montreal have to offer? June 30 - July 3

Open on Saturday now? Excellent!

May 27, 2012
bonefreakchef in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What does Montreal have to offer? June 30 - July 3

If you want a truly Montreal experience (not gourmet in the slightest, but VERY authentic) get a sandwich at Wilensky's. Only open weekdays. And don't dare ask them to cut the sandwich in two....

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette...

May 27, 2012
bonefreakchef in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

In need of some introductory recipes to cooking with kidney and heart, pork or beef please! Beginner offal dishes . .

I think one of the easiest (and least freaky) offal dishes to try is risotto milanese (with bone marrow). It's not hard to make, pretty inexpensive, and even non-offal eaters can usually enjoy it.

Best recipe I've found is from Jennifer McLagan (author of "Fat", "Odd Bits", etc). Here's a link to someone that seems to have broken it down pretty well.

http://www.cynicalcook.com/2009/03/ri...

May 27, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

What else can I brulee besides creme brulee?

+1

May 25, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

Another "what is this?" posting

This is exactly my problem. I'm usually very good at handling odd ingredients, but this one has me a little stumped.

May 25, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

Another "what is this?" posting

So do I stir it into some hot water or what? A chef friend of mine suggested trying to make a meringue out of it. There's not much info out there about it.

May 25, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

Another "what is this?" posting

A friend of mine brought this back from South Korea. I have no idea what it is, other than that it is apparently made with cactus. It tastes like some kind of honey/syrup. Does anyone know how it is normally used or have some interesting ideas on how I can use it?

May 25, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

Does anyone know what this is?

Thanks! I just checked some pictures and I think you are right!

May 15, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

Does anyone know what this is?

May 15, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

What Foods Do You Hate/Dislike that Most Hounds Probably Love?

+1 on breakfast cereal. I can't stand almost any of it. Probably a result of eating it every single day as a kid.

Other items:
-ketchup (I won't scrape it off a burger, but don't you dare put it on fries we're splitting)
-turkey (awful, boring buzzard that's a pain to cook. Only redeeming feature is the gravy)
-pumpkin/squash of all kinds
-maple syrup (I may have my Canadian citizenship revoked for admitting that)
-sea urchin
-octopus (I keep trying, but I can't make myself like it)

May 14, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

Do you have family/friends who don't appreciate good home cooking?

Alcohol free family get together. <shudder!>

Sometimes a glass of wine is just what the chef needs to get dinner on the table.

Apr 23, 2012
bonefreakchef in Not About Food

Do you have family/friends who don't appreciate good home cooking?

I agree with the OP, and with much of the sentiments here. Those of us who are truly passionate about food deal with this all the time.

A love of food and cooking can cut both ways. Some people will never appreciate the love, effort and knowledge put into a nice meal and will just chew it back like hounds around a gut wagon, and others will complain that "you made too big a fuss", and then get intimidated and in my case (a family situation) forever leave me with all the cooking duties for big holidays because I'm "the food person". Somewhere in the middle are a handful of my friends who really appreciate food and want to talk about it, try new things, and are truly good guests.

The greatest compliment, to me anyway, is when someone asks me about a dish, the flavors, the ingredients, etc. and then ask me how they might be able to work that kind of flavor into something they make at home. Or if they ask me for a recipe, or a suggestion about some ingredient they've seen and don't know how to use. When they do that, I feel like I'm sharing something - like my love of tarragon/star anise/puff pastry, etc and maybe, just maybe, someone will try something outside of their usual zone and get bitten by the food bug too.

But even when they are ungrateful, I'll still do it. An expensive trip to the grocery store and an afternoon in the kitchen is a great way to clear the mind, and much cheaper than an hour at a therapist's office.

Apr 23, 2012
bonefreakchef in Not About Food

Rangoon Restaurant Ottawa (Burmese) - anyone been?

Perhaps this is too late, but I was just at Rangoon last week, and can't believe I hadn't been before!

It was only a quick lunch, so I didn't get to try the tea leaf salad or a few of the other items that I would have liked to. But I did have a spring roll (good, if slightly greasy) and the mohingha fish noodle soup. Very mild (unless you gas it up with extra fish sauce and chile) but good, and very much the kind of thing I had at homes in Asia.

Apr 21, 2012
bonefreakchef in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Date night dinner

Again - I do very much appreciate all the suggestions. I'm going to go with the French(ish) menu.

The reason I suggested both of the menu ideas is that he's been a great dinner companion, adventurous, always willing to share bites of his plate and steal some of mine (a very sexy trait), and not easily grossed out (we have both lived in Asia and had amusing conversations about odd things we've seen/tried).

The last time we were out he ordered a sherry and juniper roasted chicken. The time before that, cheeseburger. The time before that, we wrecked some stuff on the raw bar. And he actually eats his vegetables.

I'll save the meatloaf and the like until I know if he's a "boxers or briefs" kind of guy.

Apr 21, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

Beer for a bad day

Way late to this discussion, but nothing like Unibroue's "Maudite" (aka "Damned") for a bad day.

Apr 21, 2012
bonefreakchef in Beer

Bad beer trends.

Flavored beers. In Canada we recently had the dubious honor of being the test market for "Coors Light Iced T".

Don't drink this, under any circumstances. Worst characteristics of Coors Light, mixed with overly perfumed, citrus, sweet iced tea.

The person who convinced them to market this should be fired.

Apr 21, 2012
bonefreakchef in Beer

Date night dinner

Thanks all.

I was leaning toward the French idea. No problem on the frites - I've got those down to a science (I do them twice cooked and only need to crisp them up at the right time). If I time everything right, I'll only be crisping the frites and making the sauce at while he's there. He's also (or claims to be) decent in the kitchen, so I can perhaps put him to work on some small task like chopping herbs or the like. Not much sexier than cooking together.

Now I just need to think about what to make in the AM if the date "goes well" <ahem!>

Apr 21, 2012
bonefreakchef in Home Cooking

What did you have for breakfast today? [old]

Leftover pizza that my very drunk roommate brought home last night. Actually not bad. Thin crust, wood burning oven, prociutto (I think) and mushrooms.

To bad for him he doesn't remember eating any of it - LOL.

Apr 21, 2012
bonefreakchef in General Topics

Critique my "must try" list for Toronto!

I would add Sher-E-Punjab and Saravanna Bhavann for Indian.

Apr 20, 2012
bonefreakchef in Ontario (inc. Toronto)