Monday, May 19, 2014

Rosemary Chimichurri

While in New Orleans a couple months ago we went to Emeril's Delmonico  and enjoyed a variety of sauces that came with my steak dinner. There was herb butter, Emeril’s Worcestershire, béarnaise and chimichurri sauces. I loved all of them and decided that I needed to start making some to elevate my food. 
This weekend we had a birthday feast for Jess and she wanted a roast to pair with Yorkshire pudding. We were eating at her parents and I wanted to BBQ because we don't have one. I ended up making a delicious top sirloin roast that became an unbelievable roast once we covered it in this rosemary chimichurri.

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsp rosemary
  • 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley

  1. In a small sauce pan heat the rosemary and oil for a couple minutes then set it aside to cool.
  2. Add the parsley and garlic in a food processor and start to puree.
  3. Add the vinegar and oil mix and continue to puree.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.


Ricotta Gnocchi

I love to make food at home that I would order in a restaurant because you get an idea of how much you are getting ripped off and how much effort goes into something. I find most Italian/American foods to be easily reproduced at home without too much trouble. I think a lot of Asian foods are worth going out for because the variety and number of spices used will be beyond what most people have at home.
Most people know of gnocchi and associate them with potato's. There are actually a ton of varieties including cheese based gnocchi. For this batch I went traditional and didn't add much to the gnocchi to flavour it. I let the sauce bring the taste and used the gnocchi to transport it. Next time I think I will kick up the ingredients in the gnocchi and have a lighter sauce.
I don't have a very large cookbook collection because my interests change faster than I can research and buy a book, but I do have a couple that I use every once in a while. The first cookbook in my collection was a Christmas gift of Mario Batali's Malto Italiano. In it is a Ricotta Gnocchi with Sausage and Fennel that I have had dog eared for a decade. I took the gnocchi recipe and swapped out his ricotta recommendation for my own homemade cheese which ended up being a perfect swap (I didn't add the dill that is in my original recipe).


  • 1 1/2 pounds cheese (I used 8L of 2% milk to get this much cheese)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

  1. Drain the cheese until it is dryer than wet.
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients together.
  3. A soft dough will form.
  4. I rolled tbsp sized balls and rolled them off the back of a fork to get the ridges.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. Boil the gnocchi for 7 - 8 mins until they are cooked through.
  7. We sauced and served immediately.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Banh Mi - Meatball Sub

This was easily the most satisfying sandwich I have eaten all year. Freshly ground pork meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce on a homemade crusty bun with green onion, cucumber, cilantro, cheese, and a chili garlic aioli. The sweet and sour meatballs have become a staple recipe for me because they are dead easy to make.  I made these with some extra pork I ground to make hot Italian sausage.
Here is the link to the last time I made them: Two Bite Asian Meatball Tacos.



  • Half pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 jar Heinz chili sauce
  • 1/2 jar grape jelly
  • bun
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • handful of cilantro
  • two carrots shredded
  • sliced cucumber
  • mayo
  • garlic chili sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds  
  • chopped green onion

  1. Mix the pork, egg, and bread crumbs (you can add a tbsp of the garlic chili sauce to spice up your balls).
  2. Brown the balls.
  3. Add the chili sauce and grape jelly.
  4. Simmer the sauce until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thick.
  5. Put the cheese on the bun and toast it in the oven until the top is brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  6. Mix the mayo and garlic chili sauce and spread it on the top of the bun.
  7. Add the meatballs and the rest of the fixens.
This was the gooey mess you want in any meatball sandwich taken to the next level with the sweet and sour sauce.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vietnamese Sub Buns - Banh Mi Baguettes

In preparation for a Mothers Day feast I started cooking yesterday and ended up getting involved in numerous projects. The main goals were to make ricotta cheese for ricotta gnocchi and grind pork butt to make hot Italian sausage. When I was starting out we didn't have dinner plans and tried to make my efforts stretch over a couple meals that were totally different but still used some of the base components of each other. When making fresh cheese you end up with the cheese curds and liquid whey. I had read somewhere that the liquid whey is great to use when making bread as opposed to just water. I am glad that I read that because I made amazing baguettes for Vietnamese subs.
The buns had a great golden crust and light fluffy middles.
Here is the link for making cheese to get the whey:   Homemade Cheese 
Something magical happened when I was making the dough for these buns. I added all the ingredients to the stand mixer and started the dough hook. When it got going it formed a dough ball that cleaned the sides of the bowl and proofed quickly doubling in size. I have always had to play around with the liquid/flour ratio to get a nice consistency, (this could probably be avoided if I weighed and sifted my flour instead of flinging it into the bowl straight out of the flour bag).

  •  4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm whey (I took it from the pot right after I was done heating the milk)

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and whey in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to double in volume (10 min).
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix with the dough hook for a around 10 mins.
  3. When a smooth dough ball forms, lightly oil the bowl and place the ball in it to proof until it doubles in size. I covered mine with plastic wrap and a tea towel then left it in the warm oven for an hour.
  4. Punch down the dough popping all the little bubbles that have formed.
  5. Divide the dough into however many baguettes you want, then form them into the baguettes. I made four (there is a technique of rolling the dough but I didn't bother with it as I already was struggling with making about 4 other things at the same time).
  6. Put the loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise for another 30- 40 mins. Cut a line down the middle of the buns.
  7. Bake at 425, for 20 mins, or until they are golden brown. I put a little water in another dish in the oven to get more moisture into the buns.
I baked all four buns on one baking tray and there were too close to each other so the sides didn't get as golden as I wanted.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hollandaise Sauce

We've been pretty busy the last couple weeks, trying to make space in our apartment for a new addition to the family in September, so I haven't been cooking much. Tonight the fridge was pretty bare so I had to be creative to elevate my eggs on toast to another level. The best way to do this was to whip up some creamy dill hollandaise sauce.
I've tried making it before but it never really turned out. Tonight I had perfect buttery sauce that wasn't too time consuming. I also perfectly poached a couple eggs.


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 pinch paprika

  1. In a metal bowl mix the egg yolks like a maniac until they double in size.
  2. Bring a couple cups of water to a boil in a pot smaller than the bottom of the egg bowl.
  3. Put the egg bowl over the pot and continue whisking like crazy.
  4. Melt the butter and slowly add to the eggs. Keep mixing.
  5. When it is thick and doubled in volume pull it off the heat and mix in the salt, dill and paprika.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Massaman Beef Curry

Having never been to Thailand I don't really know what Thai food should taste like but I have eaten a ton of Thai food in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. My favourite is Pad Thai with Massaman Beef being a close second.
A couple of our friends recently came back from a trip to Thailand and brought me some packaged curry pastes. I normally like to try and make my own pastes but find that it is too expensive and time consuming to try and track down all the ingredients especially when you can buy a a prepackaged paste that is packed with flavour.
This is pretty much just a meat and potato stew on rice. The coconut milk and bright flavours from the cilantro really make this a dish that you keep going back for. I added some spinach and pepper to get some veggies in my life. This could be a good slow cooker meal or you can rush it out in around an hour.


  • cubed beef (I actually chopped up a couple steak that were on sale)
  • a few cubed yellow potatos
  • 1 package Blue Elephant yellow curry paste
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 Thai chili peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • l/2 bag of spinach
  • 1 large handful of cilantro
  • 2 squeezed lime
  • 3 cloves carlic
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • cooked rice (to serve with)
  • 1 cup beef broth


  1. Heat a pan to medium and add the meat. Brown the exterior of the meat.
  2. In a food processor blend the garlic, chili, ginger, and lime juice.
  3. Add the mix to the meat.
  4. Pour in the broth and turn the heat to low.
  5. Add the potatoes.
  6. Mix in the paste and peanuts.
  7. Let this simmer for 25 - 30 minutes (you want the meat to fall apart if you press on it with a fork and the potatoes to be soft).
  8. When the meat and potatoes are soft throw in the coconut milk, spinach, and peppers.
  9. Serve with additional peanuts and the cilantro.