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Brining and food safety

Im taking a wild shot in the dark here, and Im guessing the pork wouldnt be pulled until after it went on the smoker, so there is no comparison to ground beef.

Oct 01, 2012
RodVito in Home Cooking

Breville Mini Pie Maker question

My wife recently got me one of these, and I'm curious about the logistics of it. Preferably, I'd like to do a larger batch of pie fillings, and make the
Pies and freeze them. Would it make sense to cook them first in the pie maker, then freeze? I am thinking that from there I'd just pop one in the toaster oven, like any frozen pie from Safeway or wherever.

I could just form the pies in mini pie forms, not cook, and freeze. But that defeats the purpose of the pie maker...

Anyone have any experience with this appliance?

Aug 07, 2012
RodVito in Home Cooking

French Onion Soup - Keller recipe

Sorry for the delayed response!!! A Crown Float is a beer glass filled about two thirds full of a Cider (typically Strongbow up here in Alberta), and topped off with Guiness. Amazing. Bittersweet perfection.

Jan 26, 2012
RodVito in Home Cooking

problems with caramelized onions

As some of the other posts have suggested, I am a huge fan of low heat, long cook time for my carmelized onoins. I slice in half, and cut pole to pole. I use this in my Onion Soup, as a sandwhich topping, in Bacon Jam, in quiches, etc, etc.... The pole to pole cut makes for very even slices, and the fibres are stronger, resulting in a very good mouth feel.

I fill the dutch oven with the sliced onoins, 2 tbs of butter, and a bit of Salt and Pepper. Medium Low heat until I hear some action (slow bubbling), stirring every few minutes. Once the onions have released enough water to bubble, I turn to low, and stir every 15-20 minutes or so. This goes on for about 5 hours, maybe 8, depending on the day.

Yes, its a long process, and its absolutely no good if you want it done quickly. But the smell throughout the house, and the relative lack of involvement required means I can do yardwork, housework, work work, watch a movie.....anything around the house. And of course enjoy 4 or 5 Crown Floats. This is a perfect winter Saturday or Sunday. The smell in the house, and the payoff at the end.

The onions freeze very well, so Ive been known to have two ductch ovens bubbling away on the stove.

The picture is after 5 hours or so. Heaven in a Le Creuset.

Jan 26, 2012
RodVito in Home Cooking

Seaweed for Clambake in Calgary?

Does anyone know where I can get some Seaweed for a clambake? I've tried google, to no avail...any help is appreciated!

Aug 03, 2011
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

Dinner at Blink (YYC)

I agree! I think the best single meal I have ever had in Calgary was at Blink. It was my wifes main, which was what you ordered. The Dashi broth is mind expanding. Life changing. Luckily she had quite a bitr of the appies, so I could eat her main with gusto...

The service there is always spot on, you can always expect a visit from the owner to ensure everything is ok....Does she ever go home???

We had a reservation for 8, showed up at 7:30, but were shown to a table at the front beside the window immediately. We would have been happy to sit at the bar, but it was great that the best table in the house was open for us. After dinner we lingered over cocktails for a couple hours, people watching and trying new drinks untill 11 or so, and never once felt rushed or pressured to leave...Eating at Blink, because of the service moreso than the food, reminds me of eating in Seattle or San Francisco, in that they treat you like their livelyhood deponds on you being happy, as there are hundreds of other places you could go.

Glad to see Blink is still alive and well, and will be returning for that dish soon!

Jun 29, 2011
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

Top 10 Signs of a Bad Cook

Where are the moderators on this story??? They are first to jump all over you when a review of a restaurant goes too far, or it is put in the wrong catagory, but where are they when one of their own writes such a stupid article?

This article is extremely pretentious, to the point of being insulting. This is Chowhound, not a forum for professional chefs only.

Im sick to death of all the "Trendy Food" Bashing that goes on. An ingredient becomes famous and well used (trendy) because it TASTES GOOD, and is being used in new and exciting ways by many people.

The same Too Cool for School D'bags that claim Bacon and Siracha are too trendy to use are the same ones who diss a band for selling out, when they sign a major record deal.

Light Beer has a place, as do Bacon, Siracha, and Truffle Oil. Yes I know Truffle Oil is made by perfumers in some cases, but if it tastes good when used the right quantity, WHO CARES?

Jun 27, 2011
RodVito in Features

Raincoast Crisps

I vouch for this recipe!!!! Ive made it many times, at a fraction of the cost of buying a box from the grocery store.

You need a good serated knife though.

Feb 25, 2011
RodVito in Home Cooking

On Wasteful, Costly Braising Liquid

YES!!! I have made the ADAH recipe many times, and save the braising liqud for Onion soup. I enjoy a day of cooking, so a Dutch Oven full of slowly caramelising onions on a cold winter day is wonderous to me. 7 or 8 hours, typically.

Add the reserved braising liquid, left over short ribs, and some cream- Boom!!! Amazing soup.

Keller does not ever suggest to throw out the braising liquid, he simply says to reserve for another use. I typically go for the $15 range for a bottle of wine, but I live in Alberta Canada, so that accounts for the additonal 50-100% increase per bottle...

Braising is one of my favorite winter methods to cook, and this recipe is definately one of the bes tI have ever tried.

Feb 18, 2011
RodVito in Home Cooking

Beef Stroganoff, my take on Thomas Kellers Ad Hoc Recipe

Wow. The nitpicking that went on this thread is amazing. So heres a bit more. How in the hell does this dish even remotely resemble a stew?

Keller states many times how dish is a variation on the classic AMERICAN Version of Stroganoff that was popularized in the `70s by thousands of housewives using Cambells Cream of mushroom soup. Have I had version he refers to?

Yes, many times.

Would I ever make it myself?

Not a chance.

Did my childhood seem `seriously deprived`in any way because sometimes Mom whipped this off in between coming home from work and driving us to baseball or soccer or hockey games?

Hell no. What an utterly snobbish thing to suggest.

Kellers VERSION of Beef Stroganoff is amazing. the pieces that compose the dish are, each one, a revelation. If you ordered this in Ad Hoc, and had the willpower to send it back after tasting it, then you are ........(I was going to say an incredibly strong person. But I will say what Im thinking, and finish the sentance with)....a complete idiot.

Feb 18, 2011
RodVito in Home Cooking

Regina- Dim Sum?

Im in Regina from Sunday afternoon untill Thursday, and want to try Dim Sum. Google doesnt really tell me much, so here I am. What are the options, if any???

Jan 21, 2011
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

Spencers Spokane dissapointment

I come to Spokane once a year for an Industry Conference held in the fall. Each year we go to Spencers the night we arrive, with about 10 guests. Each year the service and food is very good, what we come to expect from any restaurant in Washington. So, when my wife and I decided to take a drive from Calgary to Seattle, we stayed in the Doubletree, and ate at Spencers.

Im still aplogizing to her.

The Waiter was extremly unattentive; he must have been distracted by the football game booming in the lounge. Our drinks were empty for far too long when he came around to ask if we wanted another round, which to me is the biggest amateur move a server can make. Booze is EXPENSIVE. SERVE LOTS!!!!! MORE BOOZE=BIG TIPS.

The entrees came together, but minus the sides we ordered. We asked about them after we were halfway through the entrees, which is when he came back to check up on us. He went to the kitchen, and came back a few minutes later, and said they would be right out. "We burned the first plate of loaded hash browns.....those guys really need you to pay attention to them!" His words. As a diner, I kind of want the poeple preparing my food to pay attention to it. But thats just me.

The sides showed up after my wife was done her meal.

I was hoping for Spencers to gain redemption by offering the sides for free, or at least a free desert, but nothing was said.

Its a shame that this restaurant, who does serve a great steak, will not be on my list for bringing clients too next year.

Spencer's Restaurant
322 N Spokane Falls Ct, Spokane, WA 99201

Dec 29, 2010
RodVito in Pacific Northwest

Ad Hoc At Home by Thomas Keller.

Look for one of these Book Holders. I have one, it is very usefull for large cookbooks on my small counter.

I love the size of the book, and the amount of "fluff" is negligable. As AndrewK512 says, its mostly cooking tips and usefull ingrediaent information.

The Shortribs are unreal. Simply the best shortribs I have ever tried, let alone made. And of course the Buttermilk Friend chicken is amazing. And the Cream Corn...the lime makes it sublime.

Sep 02, 2010
RodVito in Home Cooking

French Onion Soup - Keller recipe

Life is too short to be tied to a stove for 6 hours if you believe that spending 6 hours of your life at the stove is a waste of time.

For me, a day at the stove is a very special day. Life is so busy that finding a reason to slow down and spend it strirring onions is a beautiful thing.

I dont care if you have a way that it can be done faster, to me its about the process and the end result. I love the fact that it takes 8 hours to make the onions for the soup. While Im doing this, I will also make something else, or a few other things....maybe get some Short Ribs in a braise, which will take a bit of time. After that, maybe make a huge batch of ravioli to freeze...all the while having movies on the TV or music playing, and of course Crown Floats going down the gullet.

I have tried many different methods for carmelizing the onions for Onion Soup, and my favorite is the long way. Is this the best way? Hell yes it is, for me and mine it is. But its a process, and the finished product speaks to the work I put into it.

Is my soup better than yours? In a blind taste test, who knows? Possibly not. But I will be extremely satisfied eating mine after the day preparing it. For a home cook, thats all I care about.

Aug 24, 2010
RodVito in Home Cooking

Cooking on Vacation- Paris and Barcelona

We are going to Paris for a week, then a small town just south of Barcelona, Sitges, for a week each. Im both places we have a full kitchen, so Im wondering if anyone has any recomendations for what I should try cooking? We will be doing a couple dinners in each place, and a lot of lunches, snacks.

I guess the questiuon is, if you had access to a full kitchen and the markets of Spain and Paris, what would you make?

Aug 22, 2010
RodVito in Home Cooking

Pool party foods to sit at ambient temperature

This is a great one to briong for outdoor parties. Roasted Beet stacks with Goats Cheese and Cranberry Pistaccio pesto.

1/2 cup toasted pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cloves roasted garlic
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1/2 cups olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the pistachios, cranberries, garlic and parsley into a food processor and process until very finely chopped. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spoon out the pesto into a bowl and stir in remaining olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. The pesto should be slightly sweet and salty.
Meanwhile, roast beets for an hour or so in a 425 oven, peel, then slice in abou t1" thick rounds.

Top beet slices with a dollop of Goats Cheese, then Pesto.

Amazing flavour combo.

Jul 02, 2010
RodVito in Home Cooking

Wild Mushrooms in Calgary


I meant 80 grams!!! Not 800!! It was just enough for a nice pasta with Egg and Pancetta for two.

Jun 21, 2010
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

Wild Mushrooms in Calgary

Mercato has some very nice looking fresh morels and porcini mushrooms, for $10.00/100g. Pricey. I picked up about 800g of the morels, and they were very good quality. But the price makes me want to join a local foraging club, if one exists.....

Jun 09, 2010
RodVito in Prairie Provinces


I recently had the Black Cod here, and it was one of the best meals Ive ever had in Calgary. It was in a Dashi Broth.

I would be interested in knowing exactly what kind of dashi broth, as research shows there are many....

Has anyone else had it, and can identify which type of Dashi broth it was?

For anyone else who hasnt been, I highly recommend trying this dish out. It blew my mind, and Im not usually into ordering fish when theres amazing things like Ox Cheeks on the menu, I ordered the ox cheeks, and tried my wifes Cod, and tried to change plates with her.

Apr 05, 2010
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

French Onion Soup - Which Recipe do you Recommend?

Ive tried about 5 different recipes/methods....hands down, for me and mine, the Bouchon recipe is the best. I usually go longer than it calls for; about 8 hours or so on lowest heat. The depth of flavour is incredible.

Jan 13, 2010
RodVito in Home Cooking

Unusual Eggs Benny? (YYC)

Unless they have changed it, Belmonts does a croissant instead of an english muffin, and the crab cakes replace the back bacon. Crab cakes are pretty popular as a fill in for the back bacon, but I really think that the croissant is a horrible idea for Eggs Benny.

It gets soggy very quickly, and doesnt have the "crisp bite" of the traditional english muffin.

Jan 12, 2010
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

Beet recipes - other than roasted or in a salad?

This is from Jeffrey Steingardens book, It Must Have Been Somethign I Ate. I have made this dish numerous times now....the way the lemon juice in the Red Onion base plays with the beets...amazing.

Take the time to make it.....

• 3½ lbs Beets with Greens on, or just under 2lbs trimmed

• 2 Tbs granulated Sugar

• 2 Tbs white vinegar

• ½ lb white onions

• 6 tbs salted butter

• 1 cup jus de legumes

• 2 medium size red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced

• Juice of ½ lemon

• 1 Tbs very fine balsamic vinegar

• Trim the beets, removing the greens and roots, but leaving about ½ inch of stem.

• Wash the beets very carefully, then peel and quarter each beet.

• In a pan, cover the beets with cold water by about ½ inch, then add the sugar and vinegar. In order to reduce evaporation, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit snugly on the surface of the water.

• Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer, cooking for 2 hours. Check the water level often, and top up when necessary, to ensure the beets stay under the water. Remove from heat, keep parchment lid on, and leave the beets in their juices until you need them, as long as several hours.

• While the beets are cooking, make the white onion mousse/foam sauce. Slowly cook the sliced white onions in 1Tbs of the salted butter until they are very soft and limp, about 20 minutes. Puree in a blender, adding jus de legumes to thin the sauce and make it foamy. Strain into a pan and salt to taste.

• Melt 2 tbs. of salted butter in a sauté pan and add the sliced red onions. Press a sheet of parchment paper down into the pan, touching the onions and the sides of the pan, and slowly cook until the onions are slightly crisp, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat, discard the paper, and stir in lemon juice.

• Meanwhile, with a slotted spoon, move the beets to a sauté pan, leaving the juices behind. Over high heat, reduce the juices to about ¾ cup. Reserve ¼ cup juice to decorate plates, and pour the rest over the beets. Add 3tbs of the salted butter, and over medium high heat shake the pan and toss the beats until the juices have reduced to a tbs or two and the beets are shiny and glazed, about 4 minutes. At the last minute, stir in the balsamic vinegar.

• Warm the white onion sauce and blend with a hand mixer

• Divide the red onions among the heated plates, and cover with glazed beets.

• Spoon a circle of White Onion puree around the red onions and beets, some on top, and add the remaining beet juice to look awesome.

• Sprinkle with chives.

Dec 07, 2009
RodVito in Home Cooking

Investing in

Selling Cutco knives was my first job....and what a scam. Im not here to talk about my experiance withy them, but I did sell quite a few knive sets. They are fine for general purpose use, but not for someone who takes cooking seriuously, and wants to invest in a set of knives. The price vs quality is just not there. I still have a bunch of them, in my drawers, and I started this thread because I wanted advice on buying some very good knives. Sure, the kitchen shears DO cut through pennies with ease, but how often do you really have to do that?

Dec 07, 2009
RodVito in Cookware

The Chicken Nugget. . .

Make sure you include some small pieces of the Chicken cartilage from the joints on the legs....that way you can get the amazing, last in your mouth all day, morsels that McDonalds have....

Dec 07, 2009
RodVito in Home Cooking

Ad Hoc At Home by Thomas Keller.

I made the Split Pea Soup last night, and it was quite good. Loved the texture of it, but I would have added more ham, and possibly potatoes, as I like my SPS to be a bit 'meatier'. ....That said, Ive got a lot leftover, so I plan to add these additions tonight and pack for lunches.

The addition of the mint, creme fraiche, and the fresh spring peas was fantastic.

Dec 07, 2009
RodVito in Home Cooking

Breakfast near the Calgary airport

Moxies on Barlow and McNight has a very good breakfast.......Id take that over Perkins or White Spot any day. Very good hash!!

Nov 27, 2009
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

Ad Hoc At Home by Thomas Keller.

Ive done the Beef Stroganoff, which was unreal. Did the shortribs for this one, they were perfect, and made my own paparadelle for it. Amazing comfort food.

Also did the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, which is unreal...the amount of times the recipe has appeared on the net should speak something ot it taste. The brine is out of this world.

I love this cookbook......and when cooking from a cookbook such as CANNOT be worried about the calories or fat content. There are plenty of diet cookbooks tro choose from, this is not one of them.

Nov 23, 2009
RodVito in Home Cooking

Brining a Turkey. HELP

I used to use bags, but after an unfortunate puncturing incident, I decided to look for alternatives. What Im currently doing, is emptying out the bottom drawin the fridge, and using it. This works for most medium to large birds. And, it is a always a good reason to clean the fridge.

If Im not at home, I use a cooler.

Nov 23, 2009
RodVito in Home Cooking

Calgary - Noodle King is back!

A bump to this one.....I work about a block and half away, and have been an avid fan of Noodle King since it opened. Best Satay Beef soup in town, hands down. With the decline of originallity in the Thai Boat Buffet menu, its a welcome addition to the area!!!!

Nov 11, 2009
RodVito in Prairie Provinces

Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff!

We just had our wedding at Buffalo Mountian Lodge, and I was blown away by the food. We went for a tasting a few months ago, and were stunned by the Rack of Lamb and Salmon, so that is what we decided to order for the Entree choices.

The meals on Saturday were unreal....its one thing to serve a table of 4 a perfectly cooked rack of lamb, but to pull it off for a simultaneous serving of 60 Racks of Lamb and 30 Salmons is a different story. Both were cooked perfectly, the service was very good...(ie, there was never an empty wine glass the whole night, which might account for the 60 bottles of wine consumed over the night).

The appetizers served during cocktail hour were also out of this world....a quail breast wrapped in Smoked bison with berry relish was unreal.

I highly recommend BML for large events up to 90 people.

Nov 10, 2009
RodVito in Prairie Provinces