Month: September 2013

Waiting on the weather…

Weather Waiting 01

Well, this was pretty much the view I had from my accommodations in Hall Beach for 6 days of this past week… last year’s pack ice and lots of fog. The only change, from day to day, was the amount of ice (which varied with the wind and tide), and how much of it could be seen through the ever present ground-mist.

My colleague and I arrived in Hall Beach on the Friday and interviewed court-bound clients over the weekend. The plan was for the rest of the court party to arrive on the Monday, conduct court for two days, and then de-camp for Igloolik to repeat the process for the rest of the week. The Court party managed to land, during a brief respite in the cloud cover, but then, after we finished court, as scheduled, we waited (and waited… and waited) for the fog to clear enough to complete the rest of our circuit. It never happened…  Continue reading “Waiting on the weather…”

Notable Nosh: Ankimo (Monkfish Liver)

Nosh - Ankimo 1

This is an interesting little item I tried at Wasabi during my last visit to Ottawa. I had never heard of this delicacy before and, according to Wikipedia, CNN Go rated it as number 32 on the list of world’s most delicious foods.

I have eaten Monkfish before (which is delicious, although the fish itself is just about the ugliest you can find), but I was very curious to try the liver. The menu at Wasabi, described it as Monkfish ‘foie gras’ but I think a little bit of poetic license is at play with that usage. Foie Gras means ‘fatted liver’ and, in the case of geese, is obtained by force feeding the birds to the point of obesity. I am not sure, though, how you go about force feeding a fish…

Anyway, the liver I was served had a curious two-tone color, as you can see. I have noted this in a few other pictures (but not in all cases), and I wonder if this reflects different regions of the liver. Apparently, the organ is cleaned, rinsed with sake, and then rolled and steamed. Ponzu sauce is typically served with it, as it was in my case, and caviar seems to be a popular garnish. Here there were red and black lumpfish caviar as well what I believe is ‘tobiko’ or flying fish roe (here dyed green). It makes for a pretty presentation although, on this occasion, I thought the choice of platter was a poor one.

As for the taste? Well, to be honest, I am not sure if I would put this in the top 50 most delicious foods. For me, the closest comparison I can make is with ‘tomalley’ or lobster liver, which has a delicate ‘sea’ flavor and is actually quite nice once you get past the mushy green appearance. Most people tend to shy away from tomalley because of the soft, pasty texture but the monkfish liver is much firmer and also has a more generally agreeable appearance. I like this well enough, although I thought the Ponzu sauce made by the kitchen at Wasabi was not a really great accompaniment. I’ll try it again though, and I would be very keen to try using it in my own kitchen as I would like to see how it might pair in combination with other foodstuffs…

Dunya™ Vindaloo Masala

Dunya Vindaloo Masala 01

Most everyone with even a passing acquaintance with Indian cuisine will be familiar with the very popular Vindaloo style curry, and regular readers will recall the loose interpretation of the basic dish I made with my Gomanchala Pork Curry some time ago.

The commercial Vindaloo spice powder you see pictured above was a gift from a visitor this past summer. I have not come across the Dunya brand before (they are an Indian company) but I note that their packaging is very similar to that of Sharwood’s, whose Tandoori Masala I reviewed last year. In any event, I thought that the best way to test this product would be to try out the recipe the manufacturers thoughtfully provide on the label of the container…  Continue reading “Dunya™ Vindaloo Masala”

Fire-pot Stock Project Part 3- Fried Poached-Chicken

Fried-Poached Chicken 1

Some time ago, I used some leftover chicken that had been red-cooked by poaching in my Chinese Master Sauce and deep-fried it to very a very delicious result. Since then, I have wanted to try the same technique with a western style poaching medium and my ongoing Firepot Stock seems an ideal choice for this experiment.

My firepot stock is now almost three weeks old and this will be the second use of it as a cooking medium. I have also brought the stock to a boil on several occasions to keep it fresh and, in some of those instances, simmered it with the trimmings of beef, ham and pork from other dishes. The depth of taste is gaining complexity and I think it will add a nice flavor to the chicken as well as derive a little more depth in return… Continue reading “Fire-pot Stock Project Part 3- Fried Poached-Chicken”

Foodstuff: Daikon

Daikon 01

For many people, daikon is largely only familiar as the small pile of glistening white shreds artfully added as a garnish to plates of sashimi or sushi. This is a shame, though, as the giant white member of the radish family,’ Daikon’ in Japanese,’ Mooli’ in India and ‘Lobok’ to the Cantonese, is a very versatile vegetable and well worth incorporating into one’s regular menu.

Today’s post will not only allow us to take a look at this useful foodstuff, but will also allow me to share with you an update of my wife’s (now concluded) Greenhouse Project …  Continue reading “Foodstuff: Daikon”

Fried Potato Patties

Potato Patties 1

I occasionally make ‘Latke‘ style potato pancakes for breakfasts or brunches. They are very nice but they are also a bit of a pain to make. After grating the raw potatoes, they need to be vigorously squeezed to remove excess water, care has to be taken to form them so they aren’t straggly nests of loose shreds, and they can’t be too thick or the middles end up being partially raw. One Saturday, I decided to change the routine a little and use pre-cooked potatoes instead… Continue reading “Fried Potato Patties”

Roast Pork with Crackling II

Crackling Pork II 01

When I posted my Spicy Crackling Pork Appetizer recipe not long ago,  a fellow blogger followed up with comments which linked me to one of her own posts entitled: Roast Pork: Two Homemade Recipes. This very interesting article provided two different, but somewhat similar methods for achieving the lovely puffed, crispy skin on roast pork that I have always known as ‘crackling’. I was also interested to see that both methods incorporated an Asian technique for adding flavor to the meat as well.

Anyway, I was quite intrigued and, when I came across a pork roast with a good thick skin, I decided to take a look at the techniques. Although I began the process with some steps I outlined in my basic method for making crackling outlined in my earlier Roast Pork with Crackling post, I then followed up with something of an amalgam of the two processes outlined in my friend’s post…  Continue reading “Roast Pork with Crackling II”

Notable Nosh: Gio Brand™ Spanish Deli Sampler

Spanish Sampler 1

Just the other day, out local Co-op started stocking a whole range of deli meats and cheeses all packaged under the Gio trademark, which, I discovered is associated with Daniele Foods of Pascoag, Rhode Island. As you can see, the Spanish Deli sampler package I ended up buying contains Salchichon, which I have never heard of, Serrano Ham, which I have heard of but never tried, and Chorizo, of which I have eaten many varieties. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting too much from a vacuum-sealed deli product but, aside from the fact that the purportedly self-seal package ripped badly on opening (thus rendering it un-sealable), I was very impressed and pleasantly surprised indeed… Continue reading “Notable Nosh: Gio Brand™ Spanish Deli Sampler”

Tandoori Masala – Kissan™ Brand

Kissan Tandoori Masala 01

Not long ago, a visitor from down south brought my wife a ‘care package’ of various Indian food products which included the commercial Tandoori spice blend you see pictured above. I have not come across this particular brand before and I thought I might test it with a very simple Tandoori Chicken preparation on my barbecue… Continue reading “Tandoori Masala – Kissan™ Brand”