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Adam Protter

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  1. Ooh! I use Cavender's too. It is awesome sprinkled on asparagus with EVOO. I roast the spears exactly 10 minutes at 400º, they end up mildly caramelized, plump, juicy and still just a bit crisp inside. It's also great on new potatoes with tons of butter and/or EVOO.
  2. Each winter holiday season, I collect and store in my freezer a year's supply of beautiful, white, Goose Fat and cook with it guilt free. I am very fond of Spam and have it for breakfast or a snack often. In the spirit of this discussion, while I am a disciplined "scratch" food guy (I roast my own coffee beans, I make my own yogurt, I always have a jar of homemade Salt Pork on hand in my fridge along side my home-cured Guanciale) there is an oft used box of Sauzon Goya in my cupboard beside the 5 or so packets of Swiss Chalet dipping sauce for chicken.
  3. Way back in the 80’s, Julia Child wrote what I consider to be her best book “The Way To Cook”. She had already dispensed with the notion that North Americans didn’t know how to cook, so she wrote one for those of us who could. One of her many promotional stops was in Toronto. A local radio station held a contest for tickets and I got a pair. Julia made Duck Three Ways, a recipe I had already practiced. The skinless breasts are sautéed and sliced into medallions then served with the legs, roasted in a dijon, crumb crust and a frisée salad with crispy duck skin lardons. Julia was mesmerizing, totally in control and so formidable. Age had stooped her, but she still was bigger than anyone in that room. At one point she imperiously proclaimed that the knives weren’t sharp. When a paper touqued instructor presented her with another, she thumbed the edge, hurrumphed, threw it on the floor impatiently demanding another. That knife went on the floor too. Her highness, the goddess of French food was not amused. I’ll never forget the site of three sweating instructors feverishly sharpening knives for Julia while their students gleefully smirked from the viewing stand. It was thrilling. I was meeting a rock star, a star chef before there were any others. Then it was over, pffffffttt! the air was let out and I got a little, innocuous chat time with her before she signed my copy of the cookbook. To this day, “The Way To Cook” is my go to book for any challenging recipe. Every Christmas I make her Steam Roasted Goose dressed with Fois Gras stuffed prunes. Before I start one of her recipes, I detour to the front leaf, and smile a little smile at her autograph. I pictured her then, not the tired old lady with the curved back signing my book, but the towering Empress of the Kitchen, throwing knives and striking fear and doubt into the hearts of lesser chefs and, as it turned out, into the heart of a blogger named Julie.
  4. It's been 16 years since I moved from Toronto to Whistler, in BC and I still have vivd memories of Perola Market on Baldwin. The closest thing we have to that magical place is Los Guerreros on the The Kingsway in Vancouver and El Comol, and Mexican and Central American food supply company. There was always a huge array of great fresh and dried latin ingredients, plus the trays of crispy, greasy chunks of fresh Chicharron that I would buy by the sack full, damn the consequences. The magic there happened on Saturdays, when Irma and her adorable daughter (who has grown into a lovely young lady on my last visit) prepared Papusas from a little stand she set-up in the middle of the store. Oh my! They were the best, crispy hot, never dry, chicharron, beans and cheese oozing out the cracks and that delicious lime slaw on top, contrasting the hot savoury with cool and crispy. It's a good day when I can make a batch of Papusas half as tasty.
  5. I've got one week left 'til I start my new job. I'm house bound, wasting time, not unpacking the boxes that are demanding my attention. I have found time to cook, but Monday's are left-over days in this household so I got busy: I shelled the bowl of edamame, sliced some chinese sausage on the bias and mixed it into the vinegared Haiga rice. I miked it hot and folded in some sliced scallion. I filled my bowl, topped it with Nori/Sesame rice sprinkles, a piece of broiled Unagi and two fried eggs. In hindsight it should have been chinese sausage OR Unagi and not the two combined. This dish is a variation of my Hawaiian Eggs, which omits the Unagi and Chinese sausage and replaces it with small chunks of Spam fried in sesame oil and lots of scallions garnishing the top. Truly delicious if you dare to open a can of Spam let alone be caught buying one. I managed to stick to the fruit bowl for the afternoon then dinner was reheated Cochinita Pibil, plain rice and cilantro lime Slaw. I almost made it to bed before I opened the Ikea Amondy: a butter cream, almond, Daim chocolate bar, mini cakey thang we bought on our last furniture splurge. My kids caught me, and it was "Gone in 60 seconds".
  6. The Webber Performa is the right choice. I am on my 2nd unit. I won it at the Canadian National Barbecue Championships for my "Anything Goes" appetizer entry (I gave my old one to a team member whose situation was similar to that of the original post). I compete with a Good One Model 60 (Trail Boss) and at home I use the Performa, my wife and kids use it too. Grill, smoke, rotisserie, it does it all.
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