Let’s Eat: Brown Rice Mushroom Pilaf

Brown Rice Mushroom Pilaf - USA RiceBrown Rice Mushroom Pilaf - USA Rice

All About Rice

There are very many types of rice: long, medium and short, each can be used in many different ways, from a savoury pilaf, to a creamy risotto, to a dessert rice pudding!

This week, I had the opportunity to go a different route with rice. I’m very familiar with the good ol’ medium grain white rice, I’ve eaten a bowl for a day for at least 3/4 of my life. My choice between white or brown rice? White, please! I’ve never cooked brown rice for myself and can’t count more than 5 times that I’ve voluntarily eaten it.  It may be because of the difference in look, texture and taste, but with a quick search, there’s nothing lose, but all to gain with brown rice! U.S. Rice describes brown rice as:

Brown rice has the outer hull removed but still retains the nutrient-dense bran layers that give it a tan color, chewy texture and nutty flavor. Brown rice is a 100% whole grain, rich in minerals and vitamins, especially the B-complex group.

In variants of either long-grain or short-grain rice, the colouring you see is simply nutrients! The flavour profile is nutty with more of a bite than white rice. Once cooked, brown rice can keep in the fridge from 3 to 5 days and up to 6 months in the freezer.

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Let’s Eat: Jalapeño Mac & Cheese Latkes with Italpasta

Mac & Cheese Frittatas- Instalpasta

Although box mac & cheese is such an inexpensive pantry item, it seems like such a luxurious snack to me. Mainly because the first time I had one of these was three years ago during the period of my low-carb days. I would only have one wheat meal a week or a fortnight where with a dash of chili flakes, the mac & cheese would occasionally be an indulgent sider along with a protein and some veggies, I would eat each macaroni tube one by one until my plate was done.

The Meet: Italpasta Macaroni & Cheese

When I was sent a care package for Italpasta’s new Macaroni & Cheese range, I leaped for joy. Aside from being free of artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, it’s also supportive of our Canadian farmers! I feel better about this treat this time around as it’s made purely of Canadian wheat!

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Let’s Eat: Lamb Lollipops

Lamb Chops

Fresh food produce, it’s here! Apart of this “let’s eat” series, I’m making a stop at my local grocer each month to pick up the next seasonal produce in line and discovering ways to experiment with it. Saute, bake, or in a salad? There are so many methods. Let’s see how they each go!

Anything lollipops is bound to be good. I love lamb. The extra step to turning regular ol’ lamb racks to the star of the show, lamb lollipops is with a method called ‘frenching’. This is to fully expose the bones to be the sticks of the pops, done by cutting through the fat. I, myself prefer the fat staying on but lamb lollipops are fun and cleaner to handle! If  you ask the butcher to french a lamb chop for you, you can keep the extra (best) piece for yourself – after all, you are paying for the whole thing.

Tonight, we went the same ol’ route to crust our lamb. Since it was frenched, we had less surface space to work with. With a combination of chopped garden herbs (rosemary and thyme) as well as mustard, garlic and salt & pepper, it was ready for a roast in the oven. After the oven, a sear, and it was put on the side to rest then sliced to serve.

For sides, we got experimental for the sake of colour. A bacon potato mash and carrot with jalapeno. I may have been stubborn this time around and took the seeds out of the jalapenos with my hands… Then rubbed my nose and took out my contacts shortly after. With no pain looking to be insight, I was burning, like little flames propped under my nose to suffer.

The technique we used was reverse-searing the lambracks first roasting it then searing it.
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Let’s Eat: Peaches

Fresh food produce, it’s here! Apart of this “let’s eat” series, I’m making a stop at my local grocer each month to pick up the next seasonal produce in line and discovering ways to experiment with it. Saute, bake, or in a salad? There are so many methods. Let’s see how they each go!

Food Alert August - Peach

The Meet: Peaches

I’ve grown up eating all hard fruits one way: a mortar and pestle mix of chili and salt. So, coming up with a way to use these peaches that required more than two steps was a bit of a pickle for me. Sweet? No. Savoury? It’s got to be. Remembering that we purchased jalapenos the previous week, I knew I had to have it in the mix.

In discovering peaches for this edition, we have, Peach Salsa for our tacos and we made a bowl of Quick-Pickled Red Onions for a suitable top-off which tied into the fresh taco flavours wonderfully! To finish, we had to make a Peach Mojito, keeping everything the same ol’ way with the added flavour of muddled peach.

As for our regular ol’ taco sides, we had guacamole, sliced olives (I especially love the cocktail olives for this, the red bugger on the inside is a treat to me!), pork mince, shredded cheese and the keg seasoned pork jowl.

Now, look ahead for all three of the recipes that would be perfect in a taco and on a patio!

The Eat: Peach Salsa

1/2 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
2 peaches, diced
1/2 lime
handful of cilantro
1 small red onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chili flakes, to taste (optional)

Steps: You’re aiming for the peaches and tomato to be the same size. The jalapeno should be in smaller cubes. And the red onions to be inbetween the size of both. Keep mixing and tasting, add in salt and pepper. Chili flakes for heat! Lime to be squeezed in last.

Let it chill in the fridge while you take on the other taco-stuffings.

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Let’s Eat: Sockeye Salmon

Fresh food produce, it’s here! Apart of this “let’s eat” 9-month series, I’m making a stop at my local grocer each month to pick up the next seasonal produce in line and discovering ways to experiment with it. Saute, bake, or in a salad? There are so many methods. Let’s see how they each go!

The Meet: Sockeye Salmon

I’m a newbie with the ol’ fish markets. All I know is that fresh is delicious raw, and a good go-to is steaming up a white fish with ginger, scallions and fish sauce. With some research to this newest introduction of Sockeye Salmon, I’ve found that sockeye is the premium of all salmons. High in all nutrients, they have high fat content, a proposed cleaner flavour and firm texture. Availability of this king of salmons is May through August.

With such a great quality fish, it’s important to let the flavours of the meat shine itself, not much seasoning is required. When I initially laid out the fish, I scoured the house for fish seasoning and cumin… Then cut it back to my new rosemary sea salt, pepper and an aroma of rosemary.

The weather was beautiful, and it was a day to grill! Along side, if all doesn’t go well, we have bone marrow – cooked as is without any seasoning, and some sausages we grabbed from Taste of Toronto over the weekend.

The Eat: Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Crispy Skin

We did a quick grill until just-cooked, then separated the skin from the fish itself to allow it to crisp up and not become soft with the rest of the moist fish. This was a brilliant move, as we snacked away at the skin and broke apart at the soft flesh of sock eye itself. To swipe the fish, we used out wasabi pesto sauce which was received as a gift from Te Restaurant on Ossington Avenue.

Look ahead for pictures:

Salmon - Food Alert, July 2016

Salmon - Food Alert, July 2016 Continue reading