Poached Oyster with Cream and Champagne

I am just thrilled to be hosting this month’s Food ‘n Flix for the first time. I have to tell you it was not easy picking a new food film with all the great ones this group has already covered over the last three years. I was stumped for a while until a friend of mine suggested the film “Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?” I had never heard of it before. This is an oldie dating back to 1978, one of the oldest films picked for this fun monthly challenge.

I decided to give a curious dish mentioned right at the beginning of the movie a try. Max claims that the Poached Oyster with Cream and Champagne were spiritual! Shall we give them a try?

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CCC: Cured Pork with Caramelized Apples on a bead of Potato Paillasson

Welcome to the second Creative Cooking Crew challenge. The theme of our first round was vegan, so when it was announced that this month’s theme was meat and potatoes…I thought that was a bit of a sarcastic choice. Opposites attract right? Well I have to say it left me really uninspired at first. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a concept.

Nothing was appealing until I came across this clever way of serving potatoes. Originally it was going to be a bigger serving with the potatoes serving as a crust for an exotic pizza-like dish. But an energy took over me: an artsy-farsty, 1960s style on a plate. The result looks both cool and silly to me but I decided to just go with the flow. After the photo shoot I could not help myself from laughing at how certain pictures looks like objects or animals. I had a little fun with those pics and photoshop, you will see below. I had fun like a child with crayons and paper, the time in my life I associate the most with meat and potatoes.

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Is it a bird?
meat and potatoes 001
Is it a candle?
meat and potatoes 002
Is it a fish?
meat and potatoes 004

No it’s Cured Pork with Caramelized Apples on a bead of Potato Paillasson of course!

Paillasson is a French word that means straw mat, just like a Welcome mat that you place at your front door. The grated potatoes imitates the straw.  The recipes for the potato and apple below will make one portion in total. If you want to make more just multiply. You may remember this cured pork recipe which was seasoned with Parmesan, Garlic and Basil. This is a new version with a change and flavor.

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Ξ Pommes paillasson Ξ

1 yellow gold potato
2 tbs unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper

Peel, wash and dry the potato, then grate coarsely using a mandoline or a grater. Gather grated potato in a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much liquid as possible.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over a moderately high heat and then reduce to moderate. Add the grated potatoes in a pile about 3/4 inch thick, salt and pepper. Cook until bottom of cake is golden brown and crisp, pressing down with a spatula once in a while, about 10 minutes. Flip the cake back into the skillet, adding a little bit more butter in the skillet if necessary. Cook until bottom is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes more.

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Check out the Creative Cooking Crew Pinterest board to see the other participant’s creations on the Meat and Potatoes theme.

Ξ Caramelized Apples Ξ

1/2 apple, cored and sliced thin
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 tablespoon Sugar

In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter and reduce to moderate. Sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter. Cook the butter and sugar for 1 minute or so.

Add the sliced apples to the skillet. Cook until they are golden and tender but not soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

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Ξ Cured Pork Tenderloin with Garlic, Black Pepper and Oregano Ξ

1 small slim pork tenderloin
4 tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano

Prepare the pork by removing any fat or membrane. In a flat dish mix salt, garlic powder, pepper and oregano. Roll the pork tenderloin in the mixture, pressing hard and ensuring the the meat is well encrusted. Lay out a thick cotton cloth (or other natural material), spread any mixture left on the cloth and wrap the meat carefully and fairly tight half way, fold in the ends and continue wrapping , secure both ends with a rubber band. Put the wrapped tenderloin in the fridge and leave it for at least 5 days (maybe a little more if the tenderloin is thick). Slice thinly and serve chilled.

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You Deserve It

Before I share today’s very ‘special’ recipe I have a few little things (ramblings) to share!

– Hey have you entered my giveaway where 2 gift baskets worth 75$ will be won. Full of neat kitchen toys and a gift certificate. And it’s open to everyone world wide. So go enter now…well after you have read this post. You have till October 15th 2011, 23h59 EST to enter.

– 43 hours left till I host my 12 hour long Food Film Marathon. Yikes, Getting excited and nervous! OMG OMG OMG!

– I was approached by hostelbookers.com to submit recipes for a cookbook specially aimed for youth hostel kitchens. Recipes will be up for public vote on their Facebook page and the winning recipes will be published, winner’s blog links included. Check out all the details on how to enter. It’s a great idea as I have my fair share of stories from meals I have prepered while traveling in your hostels. Yep those will be coming up here real soon!

– Got my new point & shoot camera which is considered low end for what is on the market, half the price of my 2 year old camera but twice the mega pixels and more functions, go figure! Can’t wait to see how good it is in the kitchen!

– Finally…yes yes I am considering joining the band wagon and make my own cookbook. Nothing official but starting to look into it. This is an old idea, a cookbook of ethnic recipes (no big surprise), and at that time I had asked for recipe contributions from members of the now defunct Cheap Ethnic Eatz dinner group. So I was browsing the contributed recipes and I fell on a joke recipe which is quite funny. I had to share it:

photo credit: livingonadime.com

Ξ You Deserve It! Ξ

1 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp margarine
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 small onion

Set onion aside. Combine remaining ingredients in medium saucepan and cook on high for 35 minutes prior to spouse coming home. Make sure to use old pan. Burn concoction to an unrecognizable blob. If stench isn’t bad enough, add vinegar.

As you see spouse’s vehicle approach, cut onion to produce tears. Sob, “I’ve burned dinner and there’s nothing left to cook.”

Make such a fuss about the day’s misgivings that spouse whisks you off to the restaurant of your choice. Comb hair, apply make-up, adorn beautiful outfit and enjoy!

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April Fools Faux Cappuccino and Contest

April Fools is a very special day for me. Not only is it the day where you can be a naughty (but still nice) prankster for 24hrs….it is also my mom’s birthday. So she does not usually get a trick played on her (always) but we do remind her of the funny coincidence.

This year my mom might get a surprise trick at the dinner table though. The folks over at the California Walnut Commission have come up with a great recipe for a trick. It is a dessert made to resemble as a cappuccino. This Faux Cappuccino is one of 100s of amazing recipes with walnuts found on their website. I just might make this one on April Fools day. One lucky winner will win a sample bag of California walnuts and that is no joke. Just check the entry rules at the bottom of the post.

April Fool’s Faux Cappuccino

1 cup California walnut pieces 250 mL
10 oz soft or silken tofu 300 g
3 tbsp honey 45 mL
2 oz milk chocolate, melted 50 g
2 oz dark chocolate, melted 50 g
1/4 cup whipped cream 50 mL

1. With a hand blender or food processor, purée walnuts, tofu, honey and chocolate until smooth.
2. Divide among 6 cappuccino cups and refrigerate to set. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Would you like to win a sample bag of California walnuts?

– Leave a comment in this post telling me if you have ever played an Aprils Fool’s trick and what was it.

Extra entry…
– Tweet about the giveaway, copy paste…1 entry per day
California Walnut Contest at @cheapethniceatz http://www.cheapethniceatz.com/?p=5376

Alas, this contest is only open to Canadian residents. You have till April 1st 2011, 1 AM EST to enter.

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Iron Chef Longueuil: Chef Evelyne VS Chef Stef

I am in a bit of a blogging blah…or end of winter blues. So things are quiet…even if I have a backlog of posts to do. But today I have a little picture essay post from an event that goes back quite a bit actually…Stef and I were just friends still at that time. So anyways we planned a day of shopping and cooking at his place afterward. But he had a trick up his sleeve for me.

He said we were doing a spin-off dinner on Iron Chef America. He had purchased plenty of food ahead and each service had a main ingredient. So it was not a meal from a secret ingredient but each service was a non-secret challenge ingredient. No written recipes to be consulted. So I have no recipes to share….just pictures and the notes we took that night.

1st service: soup and lobster claws

Chef Evelyne: Sea Route to the Land of Silk

Coconut base soup with curry paste and lobster stock served with pan fried quinoa flour breaded lobster claws and quinoa pancake.

Chef Stef: Nut Medley Lobster Bisque

Coconut base soup with peanut butter and fresh basil served with lobster claws, chopped bacon and roasted cashews.

2nd service: pork tenderloin

Chef Evelyne: Dijon VS Texas

Pork tenderloin stuffed with garlic, lacquered with Dijon mustard and crusted with hazelnuts, served with a hickory smoke tower of rep pepper salsa.

Chef Stef: Red Sea of Love

Seared pork tenderloin served with raspberry demi-glace, pan roasted red peppers and pomegranate seeds

3rd service: beef blade roast

Chef Evelyne: Three S’s

Sweet, Sour & Sliced. Seared blade roast slivers marinated with olive oil balsamic vinegar and pomegranate juice.

Yes there is only one version of the 3rd service. Honestly after each eating 2 soups and 2 dishes of pork tenderloin we hardly had room for the beef. This was a challenge but a really fun one. Do it with friends or your loved one, it really makes for a fun night and let’s everyone shine in their own way in the kitchen. Salud!

Chef Stef: Pomegranate and Raspberry vodka shooter


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Blackberry Sketch

Brilliant, as only the Brits can do it!

From the The One Ronnie Clips over at the BBC

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Confucius Food

Is it food or is it something else?

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