Month: June 2012

Experiment: Pasta all’ Amatriciana

Years ago, while I was an impoverished law student, I was often forced to improvise meals with just a few ingredients. One evening, having just some bacon, tomatoes and spaghetti, I threw together a simple dish that was so good I have continued to make it to this day. I often add to the bare-bones recipe these days, but the simple preparation of bacon and tomatoes fried together and then tossed with pasta is still a favorite. For the longest time, I thought that I had invented something truly unique and it wasn’t until quite a few years later that I discovered that the Italians had long ago beaten me to the punch. My ‘invention’ is actually over a century old and is known in Italy, and now Italian restaurants everywhere, as pasta all’ Amatriciana…  Continue reading “Experiment: Pasta all’ Amatriciana”

Travel: Midnight in Igloolik (and a narrow escape!)

Readers of my blog will recall from my posts Incommunicado and Green-stickered that I was due to be away all last week visiting the little communities of Igloolik and Hall Beach for the quarterly Court sessions. Despite an aborted first attempt due to bad weather I finally made it to Igloolik a day late and, yesterday, I just managed to beat the weather and make it safely home again.

Anyway, I know the picture you see above is not particularly exciting but I include it here for your interest because I took the shot from the window of my lodgings in Igloolik at midnight!

Most southern Canadians will have at least heard of the Arctic ‘midnight sun’ (even though few will ever experience it), but I expect that for some of my readers, this will be something of an unheard of novelty. For those of you who fall into the latter category, a little explanation might be in order… Continue reading “Travel: Midnight in Igloolik (and a narrow escape!)”

Experiment: Grilled Beef and Jicama Salad

Not long ago, I posted a ‘Foodstuffs’ article featuring Jicama and I included links to a couple of recipes for this interesting vegetable I came across at a blog called ‘Sally’s Place’.  One was just a very simple method for ‘Grilled Jicama’, while the other was a delicious sounding salad incorporating beef and snow peas. I wanted to try making a salad with the Jicama I purchased when I first wrote my introductory post but I also wanted to try cooking it (having sampled it raw already), and I thought that a fusion of the two recipes might prove interesting… Continue reading “Experiment: Grilled Beef and Jicama Salad”

Foodstuff: Pearl River Bridge Brand Light Soy Sauce

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who is not familiar with soy sauce but few people actually appreciate the considerable diversity of this interesting condiment. Most people tend to regard one soy sauce as being pretty much like another but, in truth, there are many varieties, each with their own character and uses. The variety you see pictured above, manufactured by the Pearl River Bridge Company in southern China, has been available in Canada for at least a couple of decades now and is one of the best I have ever come across… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Pearl River Bridge Brand Light Soy Sauce”

Review: Food Art – Garnishing Made Easy

By John Gargone

2004, Schiffer Publishing Ltd.  ISBN-13: 978-0764319600

I own quite a number of books dealing with the related topics of plating, garnishing and carving foods. This little volume touches on all three aspects of food presentation but, while it is fairly interesting to look through, it is definitely not one of the best in my collection…  Continue reading “Review: Food Art – Garnishing Made Easy”

Experiment: Clams with White Wine and Basil

I have three bags of the Mirabel Brand Frozen Clams I featured in a recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post and I thought I would use a couple to make a nice light meal for me and the wife. The first time I used this product, which was only a few weeks before I started writing this blog, I steamed a bag of the clams in a rich liquor made up of soy, ginger, garlic, sugar and rice wine, along with a small bunch of fresh basil. For this experiment, I wanted to use Basil again (as I still have some which needs to be used up) and I thought I might try something a little more delicate using white wine…  Continue reading “Experiment: Clams with White Wine and Basil”

Experiment: Spicy Roasted Cassava (Yuca Root)

In my ‘Foodstuffs’ post featuring Cassava, I noted that, not only is the vegetable widely used in Latin America (where it originates), it is also very popular in Indonesia. I looked at quite a few recipes when I was trying to decide how to prepare the root I purchased and I finally decided to do a dish that incorporated the cooking methods and seasonings of both regions.

In Indonesia, the vegetable is often boiled with spices and then deep-fried afterwards. I, however, thought it might be nice to boil it first and then roast it, South American fashion, using spices from the Indonesian flavor palette… Continue reading “Experiment: Spicy Roasted Cassava (Yuca Root)”

Foodstuff: Salted Duck Egg (鹹蛋)

Salted duck egg is a Chinese delicacy that is not especially well known amongst westerners. This is a bit of a pity really, because the eggs are really quite tasty and not nearly as alarming in appearance as the other preserved variety known as ‘Thousand year old eggs’. They are, as the name suggests, nothing more than duck eggs that have been preserved with salt, and they can be purchased raw (like the ones in the box you see above), or pre-cooked (as is the one in the plastic wrapping). The cooked ones are the most convenient in that they can be eaten, or added to some dishes right away, but the raw ones are definitely more versatile…  Continue reading “Foodstuff: Salted Duck Egg (鹹蛋)”

Travel Update: ‘Green-Stickered’ for Igloolik!

Well, so much for my flight to Igloolik today! Traveller’s in the North are used to getting the notorious ‘green sticker’ affixed to their boarding passes meaning that a flight may well not land at its intended destination. Usually, this means you take off, fly for several hours and then return to wherever you started from, but, occasionally, you can end up somewhere you didn’t expect to be…

Continue reading “Travel Update: ‘Green-Stickered’ for Igloolik!”

Notice: Incommunicado in Igloolik

I am doing this supplementary post this morning to let my regular readers know that in about 6 hours or so I will be flying off to the tiny island of Igloolik  and spending a week in the community of the same name you see pictured above. Indeed, you would be almost able to see the building I will be staying in except that it is obscured by the large stone Inuksuk in the foreground…

The Nunavut Court of Justice will be sitting in the community for the regular quarterly circuit and we will spend several days in Igloolik before flying off to the even smaller community of Hall Beach on the mainland. During the week I will be gone, my accessibility will be very limited as the Internet connections in both places is very slow and not all that reliable. My posts will continue, however, as I have pre-posted articles for each day I will be gone and they will be automatically published at 4am each morning. Unfortunately, since my connection will be so slow, responding to comments etc. will be quite difficult. If you don’t get timely replies from me to comments or e-mails, please be assured that I am not ignoring you and will do my best to catch up when I return.

Finally, quite a few readers have expressed an interest in seeing a little more of Nunavut and life on the Arctic Court circuits. The picture above isn’t wildly picturesque or dramatic, I’m afraid, but I will be going through my photo collection over the next few weeks after I return and will do my best to put together a few posts that can properly introduce you to the world ‘up here’.

Until then …