PoppiYYZ's Profile

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Best Nachos in Toronto?

Very thorough review. Have to give Mexitaco's a try. Personally I gave up on restaurant nachos when I decided not to eat anything I can make better at home...

On the more serious issue of inferior TO food. It is a case of Demand and Supply. Recently walked by a packed lunch time McDonalds (all adults) on my way into a quiet but great Bahn Mi joint (Nguyen Huong Banh Mi on Spadina). I guess we get what we wish for.

Thanks for the nacho review.

Jul 22, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Soft shell crabs in Toronto?

I thought the season was late spring to early fall with summer months as the peak. Should be at the height of season now. I'd guess though that even in season SS crabs in TO have been frozen if only for a short time.

Check regularly with Diana's, SLM, T&T, First Choice, and Taro's. Seafood Depot could also be a likely source of fresh.

Jul 21, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

First date - Need a recommendation where to go tommorow

Too late I know, but maybe for your second date : Picnic in High Park.

Assorted goodies from the many food places on Bloor West, discretely served wine, sparkling water, and a sweety or two...

Work out more than great for me !!

Jul 17, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Hard Cider? [moved from Spirits board]

What? Do I know where Stingray is from? Most definitely ! Didn't you get my FAB (Fully Advised and Briefed) reference !

As a wee lad I was fed a regular diet of Thunderbirds, Jonny Quest, and U.F.O. Still a fan of all three !

Remember : "Anything can happen in the next half hour"....

Jul 12, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer

Tour de France

Hate to see a TdF fan hanging without a reply...

Stages start early our time so watching live is in the early morning, well before most places open. There are SOOOOO many commercials that this is a perfect event to record and skip the commercials later in the day.

Find a friend with a PVR and bring a six pack and snacks !

PS Can't believe Ryder isn't in it. Gooooo Svien Tuft and Christian Meier AND Team Garmin-Sharp on Cervelos !

Jul 05, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

When can we expect fresh strawberries in Toronto

The June Bearing varieties really started to ripen a couple of days ago and are really producing hot and heavy now. Should be seeing them available everywhere.

Jun 16, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sorghum - what to do with it? Any recipes you like and can share?

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

I have made it substituting honey for the sorghum and using a good quality commercial curry powder and it was excellent too.

Jun 14, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Home Cooking

Need Chowhound Help: Work/Public Park/BBQ Event

How does a wood fired pizza party in a park sound ? Maybe bake some bread too ?

Plan on holding it at one of the wood fired Community Bake Ovens located in many parks around Toronto. I believe each park makes their own arrangements. Here is the list of locations and contact info.

http://publicbakeovens.ca/wiki/wiki.p...

Some parks will have BBQ facilities too.

If it works out, I'd be glad to be an honorary employee for the day !

Jun 12, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sushi - Kaji plus....

I think Yuzu has new owners and staff and the place has slipped alot. Sad, since that was my go to place....

Jun 12, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sushi - Kaji plus....

After some excellent meals at Yuzu no Hana on Adelaide, a recent visit was extremely disappointing with mediocre sushi and even the green tea was cold.

What was more worrisome was I didn't recognize any of the staff and the two gents making sushi looked very inexperienced and appeared overwhelmed even for a slow Thursday night. Didn't make an issue of it since we were there with out of town guests (figures huh).

Anyone else been there in the last two weeks ?

Jun 10, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where is good BBQ food in Toronto?

Bought some fresh seed of Golden Bantam from OSC and it's in the ground. Damn fine corn. Thought you might be interested in the availability.

First mentioned in Canada in 1906.
https://www.seeds.ca/hpd/cv.php?speci...

Jun 04, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Craft Cider Week. June 2-7!

Any comments on the cider tastings ? What were the winners and losers ?

I've had West Avenue Heritage recently and thought it was fantastic. It's available at Bar Hop (tomorrow's event location) and many other pubs. I also heard that West Avenue makes - get this - a CASK version of the Heritage Cider !

Jun 04, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Cider Map

Ment to update this since I have had an EXCELLENT cider called West Avenue Heritage. Very lightly coloured, very slightly carbonated, with a crisp dry apple flavor. Very tasty stuff !

Available at many pubs, but sadly not at the LCBO / Beer Store.

http://westavenue.ca/where-to-find-us/

Jun 04, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

When can we expect fresh strawberries in Toronto

I buy and enjoy excellent Florida strawberries for about $2 - $2.50 a quart (many times cheaper at the end of their season) in TO in April. My local strawberry producer sells extremely horrible flavorless strawberries for $5 a PINT in June and July ! NEVER understood this price and quality difference.

BTW in a round about way, when asking about wilt and other strawberry problems, the local producer lamented about the mass spraying of fungicide on the fruit he was needing to do...

Beware, and ask a few questions. Seriously.

Jun 03, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where can I find fresh Crawfish for a traditional boil?

BTW, Off a boat is fresh, off a plane isn't.

Jun 01, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where can I find fresh Crawfish for a traditional boil?

Dude, Fresh Crawfish, really ? Naw-leans.

They are as rare (I mean really rare) as fresh Stone Crab or Honeybell Oranges in TO.

Jun 01, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

FINALLY have a Sourdough Starter, now what ?

Hi pagesinthesun,

I started with 4oz whole wheat flour (apparently it's important to start with WW) and 4oz slightly warmed (85F) unchlorinated softened well water (don't know if this is important but I'd assume chlorine is a bad thing). Per the instructions of a wise old sourdough baker, I also added a tiny pinch of commercial yeast (I used a fresh yeast from a European market because I had it). Put all in a 1 quart mason jar, stirred thoroughly with a plastic chopstick, put a lid on loose, and put in the oven with the light on (75F).

Next day, there was some activity (bubbling/rising). I discarded half and retained about 4oz of the sourdough and added 4oz each AP flour (not WW from now on) and 85F well water. I repeated this every day for a week and it was going strong and it smelled great but not sour. Each day, it would rise by more than double, but fall back down by morning.

I didn't do two a day feedings, missed a couple of days feedings, started leaving it out on the counter, and week by week it developed a nice sour smell. I transferred to a clean jar every few days or so.

To try using it after a couple of weeks, don't pour out half but feed as usual and wait a few hours to get it going good, then remove the extra for use, retaining 4oz to feed again the next day. Works a treat, so far....

It has been about six weeks and it is super, almost scary active and very nicely tangy / sour. Didn't mean to be so long winded, but I just wanted to be as exact as possible in case something is important. Good Luck !

Now ALL I need to do is learn to bake bread !! :-D

May 29, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Home Cooking

FINALLY have a Sourdough Starter, now what ?

Thank you for all the suggestions. Been trying some different uses with mixed results.

My small loaves and buns were tasty but a little dense and the crust was too thick (although super crispy/crunchy). I might have overdone the water spritzing thing while baking. Best results were using 2C fed active starter, well kneaded dough rising overnight, form and rise again 5 hrs, then bake. From the "Chef John" Allrecipes Sourdough Videos - pretty good info there.

However, the biggest success was Sourdough Naan Breads cooked in a cast iron pan. Soft, tangy, and very tasty ! Almost restaurant quality !

The experiment continues...

May 28, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Home Cooking

Ontario Wild Leeks (aka Ramps)

First of all, since they grow almost everywhere, have you really looked for them on your land ? Best time is late April. They are the first things up and their brilliant green is easy to spot in the completely dull grey/brown forest.

Secondly, I saw TONS of wild leeks at the Byward market a week or so ago. What astonished me was they all had the full bulb and were all the same size. I didn't ask why but that made no sense to me, since my wild harvest is anything but uniform. Don't know if those could be planted since I dont recall much root on them.

Lastly, I'm afraid seeding and waiting is likely the best way to propagate them. To paraphrase an excellent old saying "it's a wise man who plants wild leeks from whose bounty he will never eat".

May 27, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Asparagus

We have some asparagus plants that are many many decades old. They produce the jumbo asparagus. Many believe that large asparagus is inferior, however I can attest that it is the tenderest and most flavorful by far.

Give the jumbo a try if you can find it fresh.

May 26, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hamilton near Courtyard by Marriott

Hamilton is a food waste land. They are just starting to get decent burgers.

Good Pub with decent food : The Ship
Decent restaurant but with multi star prices : Rapscallion
Wings : Anchor bar

Unfortunately all are driving distance.

If you are interested in European food products, one of the Denningers is near by.

May 25, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Asparagus

Been eating (really gorging daily) on it for about a week from the garden in the Kawarthas. It is coming in hot and heavy now, so it should be everywhere now/soon.

If you really want fresh local, use this and get it from your farmer :

http://www.foodlinkgreybruce.com/find...

Many other counties have similar local food websites.

May 25, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Best Nachos in Toronto?

I have been DYING to start a thread about "dirty little (food related) secrets". I really believe there are many gems out there that people are reluctant to share. Either they are embarrassed to admit it, or just want to keep them to themselves...

Thanks for the nacho tip.

May 21, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Maple Sap Beer ?

Fermentation at 68-70F.

Used 2oz Cascade hops in boil, 1oz Citra hops finish in a 20L batch. The hoppy/mapley/caramelly flavor is very good and I'd do it again, but agree on a less hopped batch next year too.

May 20, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer
1

Bread Lovers Rejoice ! (and get your car keys).

Bravo ! Well done. That should put you in the running for the special dedicated Chowhounder award !

What breads did you try ? Did you meet or talk to the owner ? Check out that oven ?

May 19, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ontario Wild Leeks (aka Ramps)

No problem, I'll try it first though.

Probably shouldn't give out your harvest hot spots. CSIS/NSA/Foragers are listening !

May 19, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Maple Sap Beer ?

Actually that beer tasted great (IMHO). I now use a 23L carboy to brew a 20L batch. No more foam overs !

May 19, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer

Maple Sap Beer ?

OK ! The Sap beers are ready !! 21 day ferment, 14 days in the bottle, primed some with sugar and some with maple syrup.

Sugar Primed : Very enjoyable beer. Amber red color, slightly sweet hoppy nose, nice frothy head, and a bitter pale ale flavor with a slight maple / caramely flavor. Definitely repeating this next spring.

Maple Syrup Primed (I assumed a 67% sugar content in the syrup so I increased the amounts used in the prime accordingly). Very little difference to the Sugar primed. Slightly darker and slightly more of a rich caramel flavor, as you'd expect I guess. Also very good.

I prefer the sugar primed since it has a slightly cleaner taste. Really like these beers but might also try a less hoppy recipe next year to let the maple flavor stand out more.

Gotta go now, cheers !

May 19, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Beer
1

FINALLY have a Sourdough Starter, now what ?

Thanks,

Over the past four weeks I have saved two batches from the discarded portion. One is in the fridge, the other in a 50F/10C cold cellar. I have been resuscitating them weekly and feeding them, so far successfully.

I also read one can take small samples of the sourdough, dry them out, put in sealed bags, and then store them in the fridge indefinitely as a backup. Haven't tried that yet.

My main objective is sourdough bread. Naturally, after I successfully got a sourdough going, a local bakery introduced an excellent sourdough bread. Figures...

May 18, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Home Cooking

FINALLY have a Sourdough Starter, now what ?

After years of many miserable failures, I finally have a sour dough starter (almost four weeks old now). I have even tried neglecting it by not feeding for two days, and it still erupts when I do feed it.

So, now what do I do ? I'm not a baker, but know my way around a kitchen, and wondered if anyone has a favorite recipe they could share.

I'd also like to know when should I use the starter (immediately after feeding, waiting a few hours after feeding, or the next day ?). And if I have a dry yeast recipe, how much starter do I substitute and do I need to adjust the rest of the recipe ? Do you still use dry yeast for leavening too ? So many questions...

May 18, 2014
PoppiYYZ in Home Cooking