Alligator Bites

Alligator Bites 1

Today’s dish is my own rendition of the way I have most commonly been served Alligator in restaurants… that is to say, deep-fried with Cajun spices. Sometimes, I have had appetizers with chunks of Alligator meat that were first battered but I prefer to have them very lightly breaded as I have done here. The process is not difficult, and the result is very nice indeed… Continue reading “Alligator Bites”

Foodstuff: Bothwell™ Horseradish Cheddar

Bothwell Horseradish Cheddar 1

I can’t say I have ever thought about pairing horseradish with cheese before so I was curious to see what this product might be like. I have tried quite a few different Bothwell brand cheese products and, so far, they have been pretty good. I have to say, though, that this particular idea didn’t work that well.

The cheese itself is very good. It has a very nice texture that is a bit creamier than many cheddars and the basic cheddar flavor is apparent, albeit quite mild. Unfortunately, the horseradish component, which is plainly identifiable, gives a very harsh, bitter note to the overall taste. I don’t want to discourage others from giving the product a try, but I didn’t care for the effect overmuch.

To properly assess the product, I also tried cooking the cheese. I added small squares to pre-grilled rounds of zucchini and then put these under my broiler until the cheese was melted and a few brown spots were beginning to appear. When the cheese was very hot, there was no horseradish taste that I could discern (and the normal cheddar notes were diminished), then, as it cooled, both the signature cheddar flavours and the harshness reasserted themselves.

In all, this was rather an interesting idea but I can’t say I will bother with this particular product again…

 

Pan-Asian Lamb

Pan-Pacific Lamb 1

I’m really not sure how to classify today’s dish… It draws heavily on the Rendang style of curry in that the main ingredients are cooked in coconut milk which is reduced to form a very thick sauce but beyond that, it has a little bit of India and other parts of east and south-east Asia. The name, admittedly, is not very inspired, but it turned out nicely… Continue reading “Pan-Asian Lamb”

The Instant Pot® Immersion Circulator

Instant Pot Immersions Circulator 1

I am the sort of cook who would generally prefer the traditional simplicity of open fire cookery over the hi-tech methods of molecular gastronomy, but I have been reading so much about Sous-Vide cookery over the last few years that I have been dying to give it a try. The basic idea, I was surprised to learn, has been around for over 200 years but it only seems to be in recent years that it has become widespread, not only in restaurant but home kitchens as well.

Although interested in this form of cookery, I was not quite ready to throw my heart and soul into it and so I limited my expenditure to just the ‘Immersion Heater, which is essentially the device that keeps the sous-vide water bath at a constant temperature and creates a current of circulating water. One can, of course, buy vacuum-sealing equipment and other bits and pieces, but the home cook can make do without these well enough without these and I decided to keep my purchase to the basics. The Instant Pot® model Accu SV800, which you see pictured above, is a Canadian product and retailed at Amazon for $199.95… Continue reading “The Instant Pot® Immersion Circulator”

Chilli-Basil Lobster

Chilli Basil Lobster 1

I bought some frozen cooked lobster back at Christmas-time to use in a seafood stew and I kept a couple for future use. As the ‘keep-until’ date is drawing near I decided to use one of them in the little appetizer dish you see above. In some ways, given the use of both chili and basil, the dish has a Thai flavor to it but, aside from this, it could easily be incorporated into a more western dinner menu.

After chopping the tail, claws, and main ‘arm sections’ into small pieces, I made a stock using the body and little legs, then reduced this to a very concentrated liquor of no more than a quarter cup or so. After, I fried some garlic puree in a little oil and added the stock along with a splash of sherry and some Sriracha sauce. When this was steaming, I added the lobster chunks and cooked for a few minutes until the sauce was almost a syrup then added chopped basil leaves, plating as soon as these were wilted.

This turned out to be a really nice dish. It was a bit messy to eat but sucking the sauce from the shell before teasing out the flesh from within was delightful. In a future evolution, I would like to try doing this with fresh, raw lobster as I think the result would be even more succulent than this…

Review: New Mitzie’s Restaurant

179 East Pender Street, Vancouver

New Mitzi 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

New Mitzie’s is almost dead-center in the middle of Chinatown. It has a large menu that is pretty well equally divided between Chinese and Western cuisine and the Chinese selections are largely the sort you find in any westernized Chinese restaurant across the country. While perusing restaurants online, I saw that they have General Tao’s chicken listed and, having still never had this popular favorite yet, I gave the place a try… Continue reading “Review: New Mitzie’s Restaurant”

Review: Kent’s Kitchen – Vancouver

232 Keefer Street – Chinatown

Kent's Kitchen 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I passed by Kent’s several times while wandering around Chinatown and wanted to give it a try but it always seemed to be packed. One morning, just after 11am I happened to catch it when there were only a few patrons present. It was a little earlier than I had intended for my lunch but I didn’t want to lose the opportunity and so I stopped in for a quick bite… Continue reading “Review: Kent’s Kitchen – Vancouver”

Review: Juniper – Vancouver

185 Keefer St, Vancouver – Website

Juniper 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I happened to stop by at Juniper for a beer after traipsing around Chinatown on a hot afternoon. The place has a huge list of unique cocktails, a pretty decent wine list, and also a handful of craft beers. I ended up having two beers and, after perusing the menu, I decided to come back for a meal… Continue reading “Review: Juniper – Vancouver”

Review: Goldstone Bakery and Restaurant

139 Keefer Street, Vancouver (604) 688-9328

Goldstone 1

Date of Visit: July, 2017

I failed to notice this place in several walks around Vancouver’s Chinatown, rather, I came across it while doing a Google search for places to have breakfast within walking distance of my hotel. What I liked about this place is that it opened at 7:30am, which suited me down to the ground… Continue reading “Review: Goldstone Bakery and Restaurant”