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Everything posted by Rover

  1. Dolores's Brokenhearted Chicken from Saveur Magazine ... I couldn't resist the name and this simply prepared dish is so delicious, it might just be my personal choice for best mid-week dinner that Rocks for all of 2012. There are subtle hints of Spanish flavour from the sherry and caramelized garlic but it's unexpectedly sophisticated. I used chicken thighs instead of a cut up chicken, because that's what I had. Including prep this took me just over an hour and it perfumed the whole house.
  2. The location is now taken over by former La Régalade staff. BB was one of my favourite Bistros in Vancouver - great prices and service and I'm so sorry they seem to have vanished! Does anyone know what happened?
  3. I'm planning on taking an apple tart to the office tomorrow and while I don't mind rising early to bake it, I don't really want to have to peel and slice apples at dawn. I prefer to bake pies and tarts fresh and avoid "soggy bottom" syndrome. I generally prep everything the night before, quickly pull it all together early morning and bake it - the tart is often still warm as I'm driving into the office. My concern is that prepping the apples the night before and immersing them in acidulated water, will leach the slices of flavour. What d'you think?
  4. Roasted Chicken Breasts w/Green Beans & Potatoes Delicious, easy and a one-pot-meal that is embarrasingly easy.
  5. I've been using an inexpensive induction cooktop for exactly this purpose notwithstanding the instructions inform us not to use it outside. My range hood is ghastly and simply ushers cooking smells into my house and I end up sleeping with panfried fish perfume. My way of addressing this is to do as much of the panfrying outside on my deck which isn't big enough to house my in-the-garden bbq. The induction cooktop works very well and I use my all-clad pots and my cast iron. It's a solution to my stinky kitchen issues until I can afford to reno the kitchen.
  6. I've had mine a lot longer and it does get heavy use. I take a bottle of water (sometimes 2) every day to work plus personal use at home. I wondered recently what I would do if it broke down and have concluded I'd instantly replace it. Notwithstanding, I don't use any of the flavourings/syrups - I just want sparkling water. It's a small "appliance" and I don't think we can expect such things to last a lifetime, but I try to make sure I keep mine very clean, blotting up wet or dampness and washing the bottles and caps in not-too-hot water. As far as I know, SodaStream doesn't come with a guarantee - may be it's worthwhile contacting them.
  7. I did a mushroom/basil tart at the last one and Alice Medrich's heavenly macaroons. Someone else brought along their crockpot and heated up a chili they'd made the day before. One of the most popular things was a rather nice cheese tray that 2 people collaborated on - I don't mean the cut up cubes from the supermarket, but they chose 3 or 4 nice cheeses with a small selection of good crackers and a baguette. The runaway hit was devilled eggs!, However, by far the most loved potluck at work was a very spontaneous breakfast/brunch one. 2 days notice and people didn't have a chance to overthink it. I made a couple of batches of mini crustless quiches, someone else brought blueberry muffins, there were waffles of various kinds from the Belgian Waffle place, cheese & fruit plate, croissants, Lox, cream cheese, bagels and the fixings. We made it a point that there was no pressure on the home-made-from-scratch thing and the response was terrific. For a small office or department - this is just the thing.
  8. It's a little side table, I think I saw it promoted both as a sewing table and/or a craft supply stash/table. I don't know if IKEA is still carrying it, though.
  9. andiesenji - as soon as I read curved grapefruit knife, I could see immediately it would be right, serated and shaped - might have been designed for the job. I wonder if there's still one tucked away at the back of the drawer... On the topic of corn and gadgets, the best method/tool I found for buttering corn on the cob is to take the heel of a baguette, spread thickly with butter and apply to still warm corn cob.
  10. I bought an OXO Good Grips corn cob stripper. It was 25% off and I was very much in corn mode as I've made Food52's showstopper Summer Corn Chowder 3 times in just couple of weeks. I think it's a good tool/gadget, but I'm not quite convinced that it's any better than a heavy, well-sharpened knife.. Perhaps I need to make more chowder ... just to be certain.
  11. I've got a few methods. I have a blog/website (private) of all my tried and true recipes complete with pictures, preferably my own. I laboriously transferred years of MasterCook cookbooks to my blog after finally coming to terms with its instability. I have been slowy, but surely purging all the photocopies, clippings, pages and magazines because I simply can't house them (and their dust) any longer. In addition, I realized that I never really revisit those paper collections, they become outdated and I never do actually prepare any of those recipes. Online, I use SpringPad to capture and save anything I think I might want to try or to remember; I stay on top of organizing my SpringPad notebooks. I have a large collection of cookbooks and I'm one of the very early members of EatYourBooks which has made me value and use my books far more than I ever did before.
  12. Any chicken purchase I make is free-range and part of my reason, apart from quality/flavour/ethics is that I use every single aspect of it. I do eat a lot of chicken, so knowing that nothing goes to waste is important. I read a Nigella Lawson remark where she declared that she even scraped the bones from the plates of dinner guests to stash away in the freezer for stock. I've been doing that and more for a long time. For me, it's actually an economy, not an expense. I get great chicken and fantastic stock, no waste and I'm happy with those choices. In addition, my office is one of those where there's always a bunch of catering deliveries going on. The leftovers are massive and I always scoop up the carrots, celery, etc., from the discarded veggie trays and they form the nucleus of my stock making. I always save onion trimmings, etc. from my routine food prep and, like others here, I have the makings of great stock in the freezer at a moment's notice.
  13. Michael Rhulman makes a very good case for cooking with water in this post. I belong in both camps using stock when I deem it appropriate and water when not. Years ago when making a German short rib recipe (Beef Short Ribs w/Spiced Lemon And Caper Sauce) I thought I knew better than the instructions. Where asked for water, I used stock and the result was great. I had no stock available when I next went to make it and there was absolutely no difference in the quality of the dish, nor the flavour. There is always stock in my house, but I no longer use it unthinkingly.
  14. Another Food52 new favourite Summer Corn Chowder - there's even a video if you'd like to check it out. This corn chowder recipe blows all the others out of the water for me; it's chunky and soupy, just filled with the fragrance and flavour of summer. Obviously the fresh corn is the star, but the technique for the supporting cast of vegetables and the sneaky, subtle heat from the poblanos and jalepenos make this one is my best summer recipe, so far.
  15. Over at Food 52 Alice Medrich's New Classic Coconut Macaroons. I made these for a gluten-free friend at work and there was practically a stampede. It was a fun technique and I was certainly happy with the response - nothing left except the plate. Coconut Macaroons
  16. Chicken with fennel, lemon and thyme from "Good Things to Eat" by Lucas Hollweg. This book is a recent acquisition for me and I'm both charmed by his relaxed approach to food and his writing style. This simple recipe is a dream come true for a mid-week no-fuss meal that tastes like you fussed a lot. Lots of sliced fennel tossed with sliced lemon,garlic and some olive oil in a roasting pan. Add skin-on chicken thighs (skin up) with lots of sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast in 400F oven for 40 minutes, baste & add a splash of white wine. Increase heat to 450-475 and give it another 10 minutes. The chicken is golden and crispy and the thyme-flavoured fennel/lemon mix a delicious accompaniment. Although the recipe called for 8 chicken thighs, I halved the amount and regretted it as soon as I tasted it. Serve in wide bowls with a couple of pieces of chicken atop the fennel/lemon mixture. Lucas suggests serving after it cools slightly for 5 minutes and he was right.
  17. Note Bene looks ideal, Wine_Dad - thanks for the suggestions! Rover
  18. Searching for a restaurant preferably with a private room for a dinner for my Board of Directors in April. Canoe is already booked, unfortunately, so I'm looking for a place with great food & service, in the downtown core and not a hotel. My group is staying at the Harbour Castle and there will be between 35-40 attendees. Any suggestions are gratefully received! Thanks, Rover
  19. Pepper-Crusted Salmon Cakes with Horseradish Sauce I made these Salmon Cakes twice recently to rave reviews and they are ridiculously easy as well as delicious. They're about to become a standard around here. I'm looking forward to making appetizer-size cakes - they'd be snapped up in no time!
  20. You're quite right - absolutely not butane, I should have said CO2 cartridge. I get the refills for both my butane torch and the SodaStream at the same place which I did yesterday. I've never had any issues with the bottles; I have 4 of them all in use for well over a year now.
  21. I recently saw an ad for a new model of SodaStream which has digital controls and allows you to monitor the level of the gas. Not knowing how much butane is left is probably the only disadvantage as far as I'm concerned; I tend to try to keep two canisters on the go. Special K - I did use chilled wine. I think when I next try it I'll fill the bottle only to the 3/4 level.
  22. An interesting Spaetzle post this week on Smitten Kitchen - lots of detail and information, including the struggle to get it just right. Somebody must have declared Spaetzle Week.
  23. I forgot to mention Patricia Wells' Vegetable Harvest - Vegetables at the Centre of the Plate. This isn't strictly vegetarian, but the recipes do celebrate vegetables and has some lovely presentations. I'd almost forgotten about this book so I'm glad this topic was posted; now I'm reminded to cruise through its pages.
  24. You might like to check out Nigel Slater's Tender I - Vegetables. I really love this book which traces Slater's experiences and preferences in his own vegetable garden and in his kitchen. I also have Tender II - Fruits which is a gorgeous book. These books are filled with information, ideas and recipes. I recommend them both, but suggest you check out the vegetable volume from your local library to see if it meets your needs.
  25. Interesting topic! I've found that people love to talk about food and cooking but it's often very different my views on the topic. When chatting about recipes, for instance, a former colleague always asked "Is it easy?" - Well it is for me, but probably not for you would have been the honest answer. "Is it fast?" was almost always the next question. Generally, people at the Fast-And-Easy level are looking for short cut, no labour, no effort ways to put something together that looks like a magazine shoot. I've subsequently stopped responding to requests for recipes/ideas that fill this particular niche and why would I - the web world is filled with them. I recall the reaction of a long ago dinner guest when she learned how long the braised short ribs had taken to prepare; I think she was incredulous that someone would actually take the time and effort to do it and thought it mildly hilarious that they would do so. I've adjusted my expectations and simply acknowledge that most people don't approach food and meal preparation at home the way I do. Those that do are like a gift.
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