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olivergail's Profile

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A Great New Sushi Restaurant on Eglinton near Allen Road

Wow! I haven't had the time to Chowhound for awhile. I'm delighted that each of you has had as great an experience as I have had at Sado Sushi.

I've been there a total of four or five times now, and I've found more to love about the place with each visit. This restaurant deserves a lot of respect and, hopefully, more attention.

Nov 16, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Peel Pub on O'Connor Dr.

It is my understanding that anything called "Peel Pub" nowadays is in no way affiliated with the Peel Pub that was on King, or the original Peel Pub in Montreal.

Oct 22, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

JK Wine Bar - meh

He's managed to sell his product, but anyone with any sophistication and discriminating taste would not bite more than once.

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

JK Wine Bar - meh

Normally I'd agree with you that one should give a restaurant a second chance. However, not one of the dishes we ate last night was better than mediocre. If we'd had one or even two duds, I'd be more forgiving. But each and every dish?

If the restaurant were owned by a novice restaurateur, I'd give it the benefit of the doubt. But, in my books, there's no redeeming an establishment that is owned by a pro who's obviously not spending much time in this kitchen.

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

JK Wine Bar - meh

Nyleve, I "chowhounded" Jamie Kennedy Restaurant as soon as we got home last night. Lo and behold, there was your beautifully written post about Jamie Kennedy; what a relief it was to read your piece and validate our own disillusionment.

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

JK Wine Bar - meh

That comment was uncalled for. Just because some of us can and do cook, and some of us may even be culinary professionals, does not mean that we should be lambasted for telling it like it is. Whether our meal cost us $15 or $150, the point of the matter is that we feel we deserve decent food, especially when it's at a restaurant that gets a 3 1/2-star rating in Toronto Life.

Our meal at JK Restaurant last night was pitiful and totally uninspired. From an awful amuse bouche onwards, nothing was prepared with any of the brilliance that I was expecting; and the execution, as mentioned in a previous post, was almost amateurish.

A few examples:

My Mushrooms on Toast appetizer should have been delicious - a selection of locally foraged mushrooms in red wine sauce served over toasts. The wine sauce had an acrid taste, and it didn't help that the alcohol had not been sufficiently cooked off. Massacred mushrooms, anyone?

My husband's order of caribou (the caribou itself prepared properly, but accompanied by a wishy-washy blueberry and juniper sauce) came with a side of "savoy cabbage bundle"; a variation, in essence, of a cabbage roll. What was presented on the plate was a somewhat sloppy looking package filled with unappealing bland rice and WHOLE torpedo onions (slightly larger than pearl onions) which were cold and barely cooked. Appealing?

For dessert, the Beignets du Jour beckoned. We should have ignored them. The daily special was apple beignets. What we got were two huge thick slices of hard matsu apples surrounded by doughnut batter. Does anyone out there really want to bite into a doughnut filled with an uncooked apple slice? As I mentioned to the waiter when asked how the dessert was, a variety like the simple yet delicous macintosh would have cooked down a bit while the beignet was in the fryer. He said he'd inform the kitchen (as this was the first night using this dessert menu), then proceeded to comp the item. A nice gesture.

Needless to say, I will not be trying the new Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner anytime soon.

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Your best "healthy" banana bread recipe please

I use organic whole spelt flour, organic canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling), and erythritol (a polyol sugar substitute) instead of sugar (I'm diabetic). This is a recipe I developed. It's extremely easy, and healthy, to boot.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread

Recipe By :Gail Gordon Oliver / Flavours of Home Inc.
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 ripe bananas -- mashed
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole spelt flour
2/3 cup erythritol (or granulated sugar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large loaf pan (approx. 8 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 2 1/2.

In a large bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, erythritol (or sugar), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt.

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in large bowl and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until top is deeply browned and springs back when touched gently, about 70 to 85 minutes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 221 Calories; 9g Fat (34.3% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 53mg Cholesterol; 278mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 84 4653 0 0 5403 26182 2130706543 0 0 0 0 0 0

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

JK Wine Bar - meh

We went to Jamie Kennedy Restaurant adjacent to the Wine Bar for a celebratory dinner last night. The service was impeccable; the food, however, was amateurish. Our dishes were devoid of any balancing of flavours, textures and colours. One would also think that in a restaurant of this calibre, the alcohol in the wine sauce would have been totally cooked off before the dish was served; pretty basic stuff.

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Hunan Dumplings

Hi ande8150. As a former Montrealer here 10 years, I too would like to find a place that has the type of Hunan dumplings found in Szechuan restaurants in Montreal. Then again, I have yet to find a great Szechuan restaurant in Toronto.

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Urgently seek help: Chinese Hot Pot Dinner this weekend

We had an amazing dinner the other night at Big Mouth Kee on West Beaver Creek just north of Hwy 7 (just underneath Ambassador Restaurant). We didn't order any hotpots, but there are many on the menu, and the ones we saw being served looked delicious.

Big Mouth Kee
280 West Beaver Creek, Unit L13-15
(905) 881-8821

Oct 21, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Brown vs. White Rice

You can buy short-grain brown rice, which tends to be a bit stickier.

Oct 20, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

The best place for smoked meat

My vote goes to Snowdon Deli or Lester's. I find Schwartz's smoked meat to be dry and chewy.

Oct 20, 2006
olivergail in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Where in Ontario can I get Rabbit Legs?

They sell rabbit at Lady York Foods on Dufferin a few blocks south of Lawrence.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Sushi - Dynamite and Spider Rolls

It's a bit north of downtown, but I had the best spider and dynamite rolls ever at a new place on Eglinton between Bathurst and Allen Rd., called SADO SUSHI. The maki rolls are very reasonably priced, the fish is glisteningly fresh, and there are some dishes I've never seen on other sushi menus.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

can someone tell me why my garlic turned blue when i made shrimp scampi?

Was there lemon in the scampi recipe? I've had the same outcome when I've stuffed the cavity of a chicken for roasting with chunks of garlic and wedges of lemon and herbs.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in General Topics

dry cottage cheese - what can I do with it?

Make cheese blintzes. I don't have a recipe offhand, but google "cheese blintzes" and you'll probably get dozens. A blintz, if you're not familiar with it, is a crepe. It's a Jewish/Eastern European specialty, usually served with sour cream, plus anything from fresh berries to apple sauce to maple syrup.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Brown vs. White Rice

My Loblaws carries the brand, but not the jasmine variety.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Ribs at the Bar-B-Barn

The Real Jerk on Queen East has really good jerk ribs.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Egg Rolls

Oh, I suddenly have a craving for the eggrolls from 3 now-defunct Montreal restaurants:

Ruby Foo's
Pumpernick's
House of Wong

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What does my dip need?

It seems to me that this must be a pretty thick dip; probably the texture is more suited to a spread. I'd add some sour cream or yogourt or mayo to thin it out, salt and pepper to taste, perhaps a bit of hot sauce and some crushed/pureed garlic.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Brown vs. White Rice

Hi mrsleny. I bought the brown arborio at San Antonio Fish Market in Woodbridge, in the Langstaff and Weston Rd. area.
Address and tel: 130 Creditview Road (905) 850-4088.

I've bought the brown jasmine at Whole Foods and other natural foods stores. If I remember correctly, I think Highland Farms carries it, as well. It's made by Lundberg Family Farms (www.lundberg.com) and they have organic and conventional versions.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Best CANADIAN chain finds?>

Hi HungryAbbey. I notice that you seem to be from the Toronto area. There are a number of Applebee's restaurants in the GTA, in suburbia. I "dined" at one once in Mississauga, I believe, and was not impressed.

I, too, am a fan of Milestone's. They have some great salads, their babyback ribs are quite good, and their desserts are fabulous. They have a separate seasonal menu, as well, with choices such as grilled wild salmon.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Chains

MOIST POUND CAKE

Here's a recipe for a lemon pound cake that I developed for "Maran Illustrated Cooking Basics" (Thomson Course Technology PTR, 2006).

It has a very nice "crumb", slices beautifully, and was tested by amateur home cooks, for whom it worked perfectly.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Lemon Pound Cake

Recipe By :Gail Gordon Oliver/developed for Maran Illustrated Cooking Basics
(Thomson Course Technology, 2006)
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 2/3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
4 eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Optional Glaze: 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease the bottom of a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Grease and lightly flour pan (or spray with baking spray) and parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and grated lemon zest; set aside. In a small bowl, gently whisk eggs; set aside.

In bowl of stand mixture or large bowl, add butter. Using an electric mxer (preferably a stand mixer) beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. While continuing to beat, slowly add all of sugar. Then beat more vigorously until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. This "creaming" step is very important. Do not under-beat.

While continuing to beat, add one-half of eggs. Beat to combine. Add remaining eggs and beat for 1 minute.

Add in lemon juice and one-half of flour mixture and blend well at slow speed. Add in remaining flour and blend well. Add vanilla and increase speed to beat well for 2 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, spread batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with back of a spoon.

Bake until cake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 65 to 70 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and place pan onto cooling rack. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Run a knife carefully between cake and sides of pan to loosen cake. Invert onto a large plate. Carefully invert right-side up.

Allow cake to cool completely on wire rack. When completely cooled, wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap. Cake is best the day after it is made. Slice thinly and serve with a mixture of equal parts sour cream and berries, adding sugar if desired.

FOR OPTIONAL GLAZE: While cake is cooling in pan, in a small saucepan, heat together 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup granulated sugar, until sugar is dissolved. After removing cake from pan, invert right side-up. Using a toothpick, immediately make holes over surface of cake. Spoon 3/4 of warm glaze over surface of warm cake. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining glaze onto edges and sides of cake. Allow to cool completely and wrap as directed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 299 Calories; 17g Fat (51.2% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 112mg Cholesterol; 155mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 3 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 239 0 0 802 0 1553 0 5403 0 0

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Favorite cooking word or phrase?

Caramelize.
Montee au beurre.

Oct 19, 2006
olivergail in Not About Food

pot roast- on the stove?

I'd have to agree with themis. I've worked in a magazine test kitchen and we instructed our readers to cover any plastic components with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

As for stove vs oven, I'm a proponent of oven pot roasting and stewing. On the stovetop, the risk of scorching the bottom of the pot is too high; most stoves can't keep a braise/stew at a low simmer for 3 or 4 hours. I love being able to put my beef stew into the oven and remove it 3 1/2 hours later, ready to eat with no checking or babysitting.

I use red lentils as a thickener right from the beginning of cooking, so don't even have to fiddle once it comes out of the oven.

Oct 18, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Short Ribs

Hi Diane. I grew up in a kosher home, as well. The best short ribs ("flanken" in Yiddish) dishes were the soups my grandmother made: pea soup with flanken, and cabbage borscht with flanken. I make cabbage borscht with flanken occasionally and cook the short ribs in seasoned (salt, pepper, onions, carrots, celery) water for a couple of hours the day before - essentially making a beef broth. Then I refrigerate the broth, scoop off the fat the next day, and continue making the borscht using the defatted broth and the almost-tender short ribs.

Oct 18, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Garlic: crushed or chopped?

I've never frozen garlic for my own use - I just don't see the point. I have seen the litle cubes discussed by SuzMiCo above, and I think they're probably a wonderful alternative to the inedible stuff in the jars.

The "cube" company also makes cubes of frozen basil, dill, ginger, etc. I have used the dill cubes and I've been really happy. The colour is still a vibrant green and tastes very fresh.

Oct 18, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Garlic: crushed or chopped?

You're absolutely right, asdfasdf.

Oct 18, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Brown vs. White Rice

I no longer cook white rice, white pasta or white potatoes.

I've tried many different brown rices, and my favourite is brown jasmine rice; next in line is brown basmati. And I do season with salt prior to cooking with no ill effects - they cook up in about 50 minutes.

Just yesterday, I was thrilled to discover an Italian supermarket north of Toronto that sells BROWN ARBORIO rice! So, there is an alternative to white rice for risotto and paella. I haven't tried it yet, but here's some info:

It's organic and made in Bologna, Italy, by a company called "Natura e" www.naturae.it. It comes in a 1 kg (2.2 lb) box, and cost me only $3.39 Canadian. The front of the box is marked "Tradizione Riso Baldo - Sottovuoto - Integrale - ideale per risotti." Fibre content is 3.19g per 100g.

Re the difference in fibre between brown and white rice - as a diabetic I don't just look at the fibre content, I check out the glycemic index to see how the product is metabolized with regard to blood sugar levels. In the case of rice, it does make a difference if a diabetic eats brown or white rice.

Oct 18, 2006
olivergail in Home Cooking

Garlic [Moved from the Florida board]

Hi Yaela. Yes, garlic, when roasted or cooked in a liquid, becomes sweet with cooking and loses its pungency. When garlic is sauted/fried, however, it becomes bitter if allowed to brown.

Oct 18, 2006
olivergail in General Topics