Thursday, April 30, 2009

The garden is growing

lettuces and cucumber
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
Last year (near the end of summer) my daughter decided she wanted to plant a garden. We had talked about it before, but she finally decided that it was time, she had cared for some orchids and a terrarium in her room, and she was looking to expand. Needless to say that last years harvest was pitiful
Two tomatoes


and a tiny onion.

onion harvest

This year we did a little research and tried to plan our garden better. We planted seeds in trays, selected what should grow. And so far we are optimistic of actually bringing some plants to harvest. Currenty growning, (although not all in the same box) Pole beans, peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, lettuce greens, cucumber, squash, garlic, corn, eggplant, and assorted herbs.

the box is growing

Still a long way till harvest and plenty of opportunity to do something wrong, but I've got my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Potato encrusted fish

ready to serve
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
This probably isn't too far from a latke with white fish, it takes a little bit of prep time to slice the potato, but it turned out quite good.

for potato crust
3 medium potato or 4 smallish, (I used red, but a less starchy variety may turn out crispier)
half of a large onion
Fresh chopped parsley
3 cloves of garlic (extra for oil)
The juice of one lime or lemon (could use a dissolved vit C tablet)
Salt and pepper
Egg wash (I added a bit of turmeric for flavor)

I used Tilapia filets as my fish, but I suspect any firm white fish would work. A smoked fish would have been amazing.

tilapia filet

Grate the potato, onions and garlic in a food blender and quickly add the lime juice, salt and pepper and set in a colander as it will lose some water. Add chopped parsley.

grated potato

Heat a generous amount of oil in a pan (may add butter for flavor) and quickly fry another clove of smashed garlic to flavor the oil.


carefully place a thin layer of the potato in the oil about the size of your filet and allow to brown.

potato browning

place filet of fish in eggwash,
Flip over and then add the filet and another layer of potato over this. Flip carefully and brown the other side.

potato + fish nearly done

Keep them warm if you are cooking in batches, and enjoy.

ready to serve

We served them with broccoli, would have been nice with a side of creme fraiche as well.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Burgers = Summer

Originally uploaded by chuborupert
Nice weather equals cookout! Some burgers and a chicken breast... for some reason my daughter doesn't like hamburgers.


Some bacon and onions for toppings

onion and bacon

Great warm summer day, with good food and family. Once again all pics by my daughter


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pizza with the kids

pepperoni spinach pork
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
The kids and I made pizza. I started out planning to make some flat bread to eat with pasta, but as I got going and my daughter wanted to help, we switched gears and decided to go with pizza. My daughter took most of the pictures (except the ones she is in)
The dough was made with

one cup of yeast starter
2 cups of all purpose flour
one sprig of rosemary
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of salt
one teaspoon of sugar

Everything was combined the dough was kneaded for 10 minutes and then left to rest and rise

pizza dough ball

While the dough rested we prepped a little
sauteed one large bunch of spinach in olive oil with salt, dehydrated onion and granulated garlic


Then drained it and set it aside (It was really good just like this though)


We shaved some parmesan


Once the dough had doubled in size we split it in half to make two pizza's
My daughter demonstrates three methods of spreading the dough out.
Pressing it with her fingertips...

pressing pizza

rolling it with a rolling pin...

rolling pizza

and tossing it all fancy like...

tossing pizza

We ended up with two very thin pies, so they would cook quickly and try to minimize the pizza being raw in the middle and burnt on the edge.

we loaded up the pizza's with toppings. On the pizza destined for myself and my wife we put down sauce, parmesan, spinach, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and some leftover Chinese takeout pork (why not), The kids split theirs with one side including spinach and pepperoni the other just with some precooked chicken.


and the finished products after 10 minutes in a 500 deg oven. (Fahrenheit)

half chicken half pepperoni and spinach

pepperoni spinach pork

They turned out very good, even despite lacking a pizza stone and having to juggle the pizza around in the oven to keep it cooking even.
The crust was crispy with a nice rosemary fragrance that did not overpower the pizza. The biggest surprise was how good the spinach tasted all by it's lonesome as well as on the pie. That and the Chinese takeout pork worked very well with it's addition of some sweetness. And as usual it's a lot of fun to get the kids involved in what's for dinner.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shrimp stir fry - Date Night

Shrimp stir fry
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
For this week I stir fried some shrimp with noodles and vegetables

12 large shrimp (for two) peeled and the skins reserved
1 one small onion diced
about a cm knob of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
tablespoon of flour
soy sauce
oyster sauce
half of one chinese pork sausage
Very thin rice noodles
mong bean sprouts
handful of fresh basil

I set the noodles to soak for 5 min while I started the cooking

soaking noodles

I toasted the shrimp shells along with the flour till the shells turned pink and the flour dark brown.

shrimp shells

with the pan hot I added about a cup and a half of water, a dollop of oyster sauce and a shot of soy sauce and let it reduce by half. The broth becomes dark and slightly thick from the flour (but also the soy and oyster sauce). I then drained it setting the stock aside and discarding the shells.

In the same pan back to temperature I added olive oil and the onions and ginger with a pinch of salt.

onion and ginger

Then I added the sausage chopped in bits, the mong beans, and half the basil chopped. when the onion just began to brown I removed and set aside.

bean sprout onion and sausage

Again in the same pan I added the shrimp and drained noodles. (this may not be the best way to do this, as the noodles are difficult to toss, well at least in my pan, likely a wok would work much better)

Rice noodle

when the shrimp where about half done I deglazed with the shrimp stock and returned the vegetables to the pan. Most of the liquid either evaporates or gets sucked in by the noodles.
I served it with some fresh basil over top and Siracha on the side.

Shrimp stir fry

Turned out very good, cooked in about 40 minutes total prep and cook time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Multigrain Bread

Originally uploaded by chuborupert
I have been keeping a yeast culture going for a couple of weeks now. I needed to make some bread after separating and refeeding the culture. I didn't measure or weigh anything for this and it turned out surprisingly good.

I mixed instant oats, all purpose flour, olive oil, honey and salt with the starter till it came together in a rather wet dough, I did not kneed it.
I left it to rise for around 3 hours in a glass baking dish (greased) at which time it had slightly more than doubled in size. I covered the top with pine nuts and sunflower seeds and baked it at 450 till brown and hollow sounding (when tapped).


A shot of the crumb


With the wetter dough I think it makes a better crust on the bread, I was very happy with the crumb, but I did burn the bottom a little. The pine nuts browned without burning and add a nice sweetness.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Feeding women

beef sandwich fodder
Originally uploaded by chuborupert
My wife had a very impromptu gathering last night.
I made small beef sandwiches;
Flat iron steak seasoned in butter, garlic, pepper (a lot), salt, parsley, and worcestershire sauce

beef marinade

beef for sandwiches

shrimp toast

I ground some small shrimp into a paste with basil, cilantro, egg, sesame seed oil, and fish sauce

shrimp in the blender

ground shrimp

I loaded a slice of baguette with the ground shrimp and a piece of shrimp

preparing the shrimp toast

Then dipped them in sesame seeds and fried them.

shrimp toast



and people brought more food ended up being very fun

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Asian Short Ribs Mike Lyn Style

My friend Mike sugested a recipe for short ribs. I modified the recipe somewhat to fit my schedulle. Instead of brasing the ribs, I cooked them in a pressure cooker.
I first seasoned the ribs with
soy sauce
oyster sauce
(and I added black bean paste)
In the cooker I browned ginger, garlic, bell peppers and onions


I added the short ribs, beef bones,

beef bones

left over grilled chicken, white wine, cilantro and black pepper
(you won't need salt cause the soy and oyster sauce are really salty) and chinese sausage.

chinese pork sausage

(I bought the sausage at Tan-Am)

pork sausage

Asian Short Ribs close

Asian Short Ribs with sausage

I covered the pressure cooker and cooked for an hour on high pressure and half an hour on low pressure.


I served it over somewhat bland (what my son said) white rice, but the sauce is very rich.

rice with spare ribs

very rich, tasty dish, with plenty of leftover spare rib meat for another couple of dishes. I think the marrow from the beef bones addes a lot to the sauce. plus the dog got a bone for the evening.