Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Cheese Cornbread,Now with EXTRA Cheesy Goodness

Allow me to introduce you to the magic cheese cornbread. Your wife will be satisfied. Your friends will be satisfied, you will be satisfied and you will be grateful for the ritual that lies within this sacred text that will elevate, motivate and precipitate the love you share through cornbread.
Get your self ready with
Cheesy Crusted Cornbread 
1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c plain nonfat yogurt or buttermilk
1  egg, beaten (or 1 egg substitute)
2 TBSP oil
1/3 c milk 
1/2 c whole kernel corn (optional)
2 - 3 medium jalapeño peppers (1 red, 1 green looks great)
1/2 c shredded sharp cheese 

Need: mixing bowl for drys
mixing bowl for wets
1 loaf pan lightly greased
assorted mixing and scraping tools
400 degrees oven

1  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2  In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
3  in wet bowl stir in yogurt, milk, egg, corn & jalapeño
4  mix wets into dry with minimal folds
5  pour into a greased loaf pan, or use cast iron skillet like a pro
6  spread cheese over the top evenly, use a knife to cut the cheese into the batter
7  bake for approximately 30 minutes.
8  marvel at your delight
Jalapeño peppers make the batter looks so pretty
Remember the sacred rite of cutting the cheese (pffft!) is the key to the delicious crust.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy New 2013

Merry Christmas to all.
Mayne Christmas Bonfire 2012
We hope you are up to some serious good fun today, 
enjoying some well earned rest, and being spoiled with terrific surprises. 

Fondue Voodoo and the gang are held up in a cabin in the woods, getting drunk on fresh air, high on hard work and living large and eating well. Just as expected. 

We have discovered some valuable life lessons over the course of 2012, 

1. No matter how much he promises, our canine 
companion BentleyBeans cannot guard food without sampling. 
"This beer is tasty, I will guard it for you"
With Indy photo bomb

2. My furry feline companions are no better at guarding the food than the canine, I sniff a conspiracy.

3. Falling in a ditch (I'm looking at you Damon) and turtling is an art, a hilarious hilarious art

Bentley, Opal, Indy
 & photo bomb Damon (with ears) 

4. Photo bombing holds it's own as comedy gold.

5. Do not make fun of the Dooms Day people at the gun show. 

6. That Mayan apocalypse was like a giant Acme Fireworks pile that fizzed like a day old soda. Shouldn't have bought that underground bunker in Alberta. 

7. Only drink good, preferable local, craft beer. Just one and savour the taste, getting drunk is so 2011. 

8. If your gonna blog, tell people about it, so they can's a public blog not a private diary.

Our guard dog taking care of the cupcakes

9. Yep still true,
Sonja & Damon. Mayne Island, Dec.  2012
the canine BentleyBeans really can't guard the food without sampling, he prefers the good stuff best, fresh baked bread & cheese.

10. The Beatle's were right all along, all we need is love.

Hope you all have a terrific restful holiday, and best wishes in 2013.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Cauliflower Blue Cheese Soup

Winter is here and in my neck of the woods that means rain, rain and more rain. By the end of winter Fondue Voodoo has sprouted webbed toes, a feathery rain coat and has a relentless urge for paddling around the local duck pond. Before that metamorphosis happens, I try to comfort myself with a giant bowl of soup. This blue cheese spiked soup is an excellent example of how to improve on cauliflower - the veg that hasn't the decencey to produce chlorophyll, seriously, it's basically a failed cabbage, time for redemption through blue cheesy goodness.
A Fondue Voodoo duck after months of rain.

You'll need:
1 head of cauliflower
1 onion
2 stalks of celery
2 extra large cloves of garlic
1 litre of veggie broth
500 mls water
seasoning - thyme, pepper, bay leaf, salt if necessary
1/3 cup or more blue cheese
Topping: Sour cream for decedents and toasty croutons floated on top.

Step 1. Cut one head of cauliflower
into 2 x 2 chunks. Toss with a little oil and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet & roast at 475 degrees. Roast until golden brown and cooked through. The cauliflower can burn quickly at this high temp, so keep your eyes's on it.

Step 2. Sweat the veggies
In a big heavy bottom pot sweat the following in a little oilve oil:
1 onion
2 stalks of celery
2 large cloves of garlic

Step 3. make soup
Add in the roasted cauliflower to the onions, celery and garlic
add 1 litre of veggie broth
1/2 litre water
season as desired - thyme, pepper, bay leaf, salt if necessary.

Step 4. Blend
Using an immersion blender to blend the soup throughly. The goal is a thick velvety soup that grips the spoon.

Step 5. Assemble
Crumble a table spoon, or more of blue cheese in your bowl and pour the pipping hot soup on top. Give it all a swirl as the cheese melts to incorporate the cheese. You can consider a spoonful of sour cream on top to add a rich creaminess, your preference.
Top with a float of croutons.

Something transcendent happens when the blue cheese melts, it's magic, it's a miracle, it's a mystery and it's fabulous.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Salad dressing for adults: Warning mature content

Fondue Voodoo enjoys adults content, in my salad dressing. Strong intense flavours can take a side dish from a wimpy pale nerd to a sophisticated man of mystery. Patum Peperium Gentleman's Relish is the key here, it's an anchovy based paste deep in umami flavour and not for the faith of heart. If you loose all self control and start rolling around your dinning room floor licking your plate, please, take photos and send them to Fondue Voodoo.
Warning: Adult Content

1 tsp Patum Peperium Gentleman's Relish
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp dill vinegar
    any herb vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp drilled dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup Olive Oil

Whisk Patum Peperium Gentleman's Relish in the lemon and dill vinegar. 
Add the herbs and garlic
While whisking, slowly drizzle in the oliver oil - don't slow down, you don't want to have it break apart.
Dress salad lightly and garnish with good olives, tomatoes, and grate parma cheese on top. 

Salsa Roja - Red Hot Sauce

Guest post from Jar Head:

This past spring I posted Fondue Voodoo's take on Picante Verde. Today we reach out to the red devil with Salsa Roja.

It's a bonafied certified herbal tonic, proven to expectorate, exonerate and pontificate. It works on fleas, bees, peas, on your scabby knees and your sure to be pleased.

What you will need:
  • 6 red peppers - we used thai red chilli's and cayenne that we grew
  • 4-6 dryed mild fruitier peppers (we used gaujillo, pasilla and mulato) re-hydrated in hot water
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 cups vinegar (used 50-50 mixture of white and rice)
Take all of the above ingredients and place in a blender and blend on high until you get a good smooth consistency. Depending on the heat level you may need to thin with more vinegar. Once satisfied with the result pour into bottles.  Dash on eggs, potatoes, on grilled cheese sammies, or between your toes to kill off any unwanted foot fungus. (note one of these statements may not be true.)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Neapolitan Pizza

Guest post from Jar Head:

Better than delivery...

There is nothing better then pizza - sweet, chewy and crusty bread with tomatoes, cheese and basil. Combined with a good beer you hit all of the required food groups (well, at least the important ones).

First you need the dough - start with my pizza dough recipe. Remove the dough from the fridge 2 hours before making the pizza. Dust your counter with flour and place the ball on top and press into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and cover with a tea towel. Leave for 2 hours to rest.

Preheat the oven about 30-45 minutes before making baking as high as the oven goes and use a pizza stone if you have one.

After the 2 hour rest, begin to gently stretch the dough out until it is about 10-12 inches in diameter. Place on a pizza peel and top with ingredients of your choosing. Less is more here - we like to use crushed canned tomatoes for a sauce topped with garlic and buffalo mozzarella and sometimes anchovies.

Slide onto pizza stone and bake until browned on top. Serve with freshly chopped basil.

Pizza Beer Pairing: Pizza and beer just seems to be a match made in heaven and you cannot really go to wrong here. IPA's, belgians, pilsners and even sours would work well against the sweet tomato sauce and yeasty bread. Tonight we went with Steamworks Pilsner.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Pizza Dough - The Bread of the Gods

Guest post from Jar Head:

As every fan of good pizza knows, the starting point is the dough. You cannot have a great pizza without first having a great dough - without it you might as well cover a cardboard box with tomato sauce and cheese.

This recipe has gone through many adaptations over time and I am very happy with the results. Patience is a virtue here as this recipe uses a delayed fermentation technique, using a small amount of yeast to work with the natural sugars in the flour which are released as the dough rests in the cold fridge. This concept came from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Bakers Apprentice, which is a great book on everything to do with bread.

What you will need:
  • 3.5 to 4 cups of flour*
  • 1.75 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1.75 cups cold water
* I use a mixture of 3 to 3.5 cups of bread flour together with 1/4 cup rye and 1/4 semolina. You could use all bread flour (or all purpose) but I prefer the slight nuttiness and texture that the rye and semolina adds.

Add 75% of the flour together with the water and bring to a paste - the mixture will be very wet, almost pancake batter in consistency. Let sit for about 20 minutes. This is known as autolyse which allows enzymes break down the proteins in the flour so they can reform as gluten and amylase enzymes convert the broken starch into sugars. Add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining flour, and kneed in a stand mixer for 5-8 minutes (10-12 by hand).

Separate the dough into 4 balls and place in lightly oiled containers. Place in fridge for 1 to 3 days (you can place in freezer after 1 day in the fridge and save for 3 months).

After a day in the fridge you are ready to make pizza - I will be doing a posting on that step soon.

Now I only need to get going on that wood burning pizza oven in the back yard...

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Clam Chowder

Gnome approved
As soon as the leaves turn and the beginning of rainy season takes hold here on the west coast my thoughts turn to warm soups on a dark night. One such soup is a clam chowder with lots of clams and fish - not that tomato based kind (tomatoes and clams...blasphemous) but the creamy New England variety (note clam chowder beer pairing below).

What you will need:
  • 1 can baby clams
  • 1 can clam juice
  • about 400 grams of white fish of your choice
  • 1 leek finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup cereal milk or sour cream
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • Fresh chopped herbs (such as parsley and chives)
  • Salt (smoked) and Pepper to Taste
Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Add water to cover and bay leaves, and cook over medium heat until tender.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in milk/cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir into vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil. Add fish to cook. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with herbs and salt and pepper.

Clam Chowder Beer Pairing: There are a few different ways you can go with this type of soup. An IPA with its bitter hoppiness will cut through the creamy soup nicely while a dark or brown ale would also pair well. You can also go with a thick stout or porter. This time I went with a west coast crossover - a Cascadian Dark Ale (sometimes also called a Black IPA or an American Black Ale) which is a dark malty beer with a high amount of west coast hops.

Coq au Vin - Chicken Swimming in Wine & Bobbing for Mushrooms

Chicken swimming in wine
We here at Fondue Voodoo tend to enjoy our beers more then our wines, see my beer reviews at Beer Advocate here. Having been gifted wines we must preserver and endeavour to put them to good use.  Since it just happened to be dark, wet and cold outside (rain in Vancouver...who knew) my thoughts went to stew, specifically my take on Coq au Vin. Traditionally you include bacon and skip the potatoes, carrot or celery but I don't follow follow instructions well...

Here's what you will need:
  • 3lb Whole free range chicken - butchered into parts (we gave the wings and part of back to the Hell Hound)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped into large chucks)
  • 1 extra large clove garlic (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 5 small potatoes
  • 1 1/2  cups brown mushrooms (quartered) 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh herbs (thyme, savoury etc)
  • 3 cups red wine (such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomates
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil
  • Flour for coating chicken
  • 3 TBSP beurre manie
Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then coat lightly in flour. Heat the oil in a large cast iron casserole dish (such as le creuset) and brown the chicken in batches on both sides over a medium high heat. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Reduce the heat, fry the mushrooms. Once browned remove and set aside. Next, add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and then add the garlic and fry for about 1 minute.

Add back in the chicken, mushrooms, bay leaves, herbs, crushed tomatoes, red wine and stock. Bring to a simmer making sure all ingredients are well covered with the liquid. Once the broth has come to a slow boil turn the heat down and cover. Allow to simmer go for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and tender. 

Remove the chicken and set aside once done. Taste the sauce and season as necessary. Remove from heat and whisk in beurre manie to make a lightly thickened sauce. Bring back to the heat and bump the heat up to medium to thicken - it should just cover a spoon slightly. Serve the sauce over with fresh herbs.

Coq au Vin Beer Pairing: You need a strong heavy beer to pair with this meal as anything light will not hold up to the red wine sauce. Belgian Strong Dark Ales or Belgian Quadrupel's would work great here as they have rich flavours of dark fruit, earthiness and spices that are reminiscent of red wines. We went with Unibroue's La Terrible which was a great match (my review here).

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Mushroom Powder - Crimini Crack for Foodies

Neglect is the word of the day.
Mystery yard mushroom - 2010
I'm a bit of a masochist when it come to veggies, particularity mushrooms. Those little fungi's are up for neglect and just a little abuse when they get tossed to the back of my fridge. After months of neglect, I rediscovered the multiple brown bags to find wrinkly little dried mushrooms, a la "Return of the Mummy"style, except much more tasteful and without all that campy acting.

All hope seems to be lost, but wait - all hope isn't lost,  a little once over with a mushroom brush, and a round in the spice grinder and you've got a beautiful fine mushroom talcum powder,  fragrant and big on taste. A happier case of neglect has never been boosted about.

Mystery yard mushroom - 2010
How to raise your 'shrooms from the dead - Mushroom Powder

Purchase crimini or shitake mushrooms.

  • Pro tip, skip white mushrooms, they have no flavour.

Place them in a lose brown paper bag, back of the fridge
Check occasionally to ensure no mold is growing. Wrinkles good, mould bad. Once dried, brush with mushroom brush to get clean and break off the stems. Break them up a bit and buzz them in a spice grinder until they reach a fine powder stage.

Place the powder in air tight jars and store in the pantry.

How to raise the crimini powder form the dead:

Gravy, Stew, Soups, Scrambled eggs, Meatloaf & burgers, Veggie loaf, Pasta sauce and mixed with salt to season french fries.

Who's up for a little abuse?

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The dark spell of Savoury Buckwheat Crepes

Buckwheat crepes, post sacrifice.
The world is a better place with flat breads in it. Childhoods are made better with pancakes slathered in maple syrup and butter.  Lovers languish over breakfast waffles, well, I've heard they do, anyway, and even the French are tolerable when it comes to crepes. Fondue Voodoo has been under the spell of crepes since before these sausages I call fingers could roll them. Try them yourself and feel the satisfaction of the magic that happens when simplicity meets the frying pan.
Begin your adventure our here:
Savory buckwheat crepes          Special tools
1.5 cups buckwheat flour             Immersion blender    
1/2 cup whole wheat flour           Non stick pan
2 cups of milk                              Hungry belly
1 cup of water
2 eggs
butter for frying
The batter
-Mix the flours together
-whip up the eggs and add the milk and water
-add the flour to the milk, water eggs mix and quickly use an immersion blender to mix the batter up very well.
-place the batter in the fridge for at least 2 hours or over night
To fry
-scatter a tiny bit of butter across a hot pan
-pour the batter into the pan and immediately start to roll the pan to encourage a batter circle
-expect the first crepe to die, it's a sacrifice to the crepe gods, make the sacrifice with your whole heart. Then try again.
Makes somewhere around 18 - 20 crepes, depending on the number of sacrifices you make.

Cheese   Mushrooms   Spinach   Fried egg   Shredded veggies  Ham  Smoked fish    Bacon    Herbs on top of course.

Enjoy and don't forget the sacrifice is all part of the bigger plan.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Multigrain Beer Bread

Guest post from Jar Head:

There is nothing like a good home made bread. This one uses multiple grains and beer which results in an amazing crust and taste.

Use a dark beer for this recipe such as a stout or a porter.  I love to use St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout which is an amazing beer and adds an enormous amount of taste when paired with dark fruits (reviews here).

What you will need for one 2 pound loaf:

  • 3 TBSP grains (quinoa, polenta, millet etc)
  • 3 TBSP rolled oats, buckwheat etc
  • 2 TBSP wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1.5 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP yeast
  • 3 TBSP cooked riced (brown is best)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark dried fruit (figs, dates, prunes or cherries)
  • 1.5 cup beer (room temperature)
Combine the soaker ingredients the day before you plan on making the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature. If you cannot do the night before heat the water to a slight boil and pour over the grains and let sit for about 2 hours.

Add all of the dough ingredients together in a large bowl with the soaker. Mix well until you get a rough ball. Kneed by hand for about 12 min (or 8-10 by machine). The dough should be tacky but not sticky. Add a few drops of water or a bit of flour to get the right consistency. If using a machine kneed for an additional 2 min by hand at the end. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and let ferment for 90 min until doubled.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Gently form into a rectangle and fold one side halfway over. Do the same for the other 3 sides. Place seam side down on a floured surface and cover with plastic wrap to rise for 45 to 60 min.

Preheat the over with a large heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) at 500F. Remove the pot from the oven and carefully drop the dough into the pot seam side up. Place the hot lid onto the pot and place back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, if the bread is golden brown it is ready. If the dough is still white you can remove the lid and continue to bake for another 10 to 20 min. Bread is done when it is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when thumped at the bottom. Internal temperature should be 185F to 190F.

Let rest 1 to 2 hours before slicing.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Breakfast of Champions - Cereal

Admission: Fondue Voodoo hasn’t always been a culinary snob. Breakfast for young Voodoo consisted of children kibble from the big yellow box or toast & the whiz of cheese.

I’m not knocking cheese from a jar or children kibble, it did enough to get me to school where I promptly discovered how to avoid being caught counting on my fingers, singing the entire alphabet to recall what came after H and develop coping skills to deal with a crippling fear of left vs. right.

Since those development years I’ve learned the best part of breakfast is coffee, and may have done better on the multiplication tables had I had a cappuccino in me to start. But coffee isn’t enough to make it through the day, try this cereal that should help bolster the confidence, fill the belly and clear the brain, although left and right is still a mystery to me.

1 c chia
1 c hemp seeds
1/2 c buckwheat grouts
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1/2 c bran flakes
1/4 c flax meal
2 TBSP cinnamon

Add ons:
1/2 c nuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 c chopped dried apples

Serve 2 TBSP of cereal with either milk, almond milk, yogurt or hot water with fresh cut fruit.
Easy on the sugar, high on the finer and blessed by black magic.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Sunshine Bread

Banana Pineapple Coffee Cake

Pineapple Swan Boat
Summer is around the corner and after a few hesitant looks into the mirror in daylight, I'm getting to see that I'm gonna need to kick off winters hairy-legged coat. No more polar fleece, no more multiple layers,  no watching too much TV and ease up on the fatty bum-bum desserts. Like, NOW.

Since I can't drop this much leg hair in one session and can't quit rich and delicious cold turkey, I've got a delightful vegan banana pineapple coffee cake to help easy the pain in between waxing sessions.

Golden Delicious
1.5 c whole wheat flour
1.5 c white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp white vinegar
4 ripe bananas
1 cup fresh cut pineapple
¼ c oil
1/2 c brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter up your dish, "aren't you a pretty dish, I bet you wake up looking that good."

Bowl 1 - mash the bananas, add oil, sugar and vinegar.

Bowl 2 - mix flours, B. soda and powder, salt and cinnamon.

Add the 2 bowls together and fold the batter on itself 4 - 5 times. Add the pineapple and fold until just incorporated. Bake until it passes the toothpick test. Eat soon and without guilt, guilt is such a bad way to ruin good food.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Sugar and Spice - Maple and Pepper Baked Salmon

Veggie-vores look away, meatitarians get ready to swoon.

This marinade is dead simple and will not your fishnets off. Adapted from Bob Blumer's recipe here.

Your needs:
  • Suitable marinating bag (should be air tight) 
  • Salmon or arctic char (fillets or steaks)
  • Marinade - equal parts maple syrup and soy sauce ( ~1/4 cup each) 
  • 24 hours for a fridge nap.
Combine the soya sauce & maple syrup in the bag, slip the fish in and close the bag being sure to squeeze out all the air. Now, for a 24 marinate in the fridge.

Place the marinated fillet on parchment lined cookie sheet and liberally cover with cracked fresh pepper - use much more then you think is necessary - it mellows out when cooked.

Bake at 350 for about 10-15 min until firm in the centre. Don't forget the booze, we went with Russell's Wee Angry Scotch Ale (my review here), it's neither wee nor angry, it's fantastic.

Picante Verde

Tempted by the devil? Willing to try something that'll hurt & get the endorphins rushing? Fondue Voodoo supports your need for self inflicted pain, we'll even give you a recipe to help you along. Remember kids, we're not responsible for your injuries - but feel free to send us the pics.

What you need:
  • Peppers, about 8 in total. A combo of jalapeño, serrano & habaneros, go with the level of heat you might like.
  • Garlic, 2 cloves
  • Vinegar, 2 cups. Try 50-50 mixture of rice and white
  • Cilantro, a good handful
  • Salt, about 2 - 4 tsp
The addition of cilantro adds a herb-y freshness that bumps up the flavour. It could be substituted with parsely, chives or any combo of herbs of your choice.

Hot and herb-y.
Take all of the above ingredients and place in a blender and blend on high until you get a good smooth consistency. The cilantro will not completely blend in but should be fairly broken down. Depending on the heat level you may need to thin with more vinegar. Once satisfied with the result strain into bottles. Rather than discarding the pulp I like to reserve and use for marinades etc.

This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 months - ours never last that long. 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Passion of the Trifle

Fondue Voodoo loves any holiday were the dead come back to life, it's like black magic for the masses, and we support that. In honour of this venerated Easter holiday we created a trifle inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar's Grapefruit Pie which you can find in their cookbook here. This trifle combines angel food cake, grapefruit/passion fruit custard and a sweet grapefruit cream. 
Trifle jar for excellent storage 

What you need for the custard: 
  • 1/4 cup seville marmalade (see our recipe here or use any marmalade you like)
  • 1 passion fruit innards
  • 1 cup of instant milk custard (follow the recipe on the box)
  • 1 segmented grapefruit
  • 1 tsp oil (such as sunflower or grape seed)
Cut the rind from the grapefruit and segment each piece from the membranes (slice down each side of the segment). Place the grapefruit segments in a saucepan with the oil and gently heat. Once the grapefruit is warm (about 2-4 min) gently press the segments with the back of a spoon to release the threads.  Set aside to cool.  While the grapefruit cools make the standard issue instant custard, add the passionfruit and marmalade to the warming milk and continue to cook as usual. Once the custard has thickened, gently fold into the custard together with the cooled grapefruit threads and place in fridge.

What you need for the sweet grapefruit cream:
  • 3/4 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 TBSP grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp citric acid
  • Optional, 2-3 drops red food colouring
Combine all ingredients and fold over until completely mixed. Place in a container and put in the fridge to set.

Layer the trifle in a non reactive bowl cake, cream, cake, custard, cake...etc...and send to the fridge for a little nap.

Upon eating this heavenly dessert, your friends and family will think they died and went to heaven.

Seville Marmalade - Spreadable Love

Guest post from Jar Head:

In January-February seville oranges come into season. Time for Fondue Voodoo to become assistant kitchen servant and aid in the making of the yearly batch of marmalade. FV's main squeeze is a jar-head for home made marmalade, even though it kills him a little every time.

Ingredients are fairly simple, lots of seville
oranges and a couple lemons
To make marmalade get yourself about 1.5 kg of oranges + a lemon or 2, 5 cups of water and 4 to 5 cups of white sugar and let the magic begin.

Scrub your fruit. Slice in half and juice, saving all of the liquid, seeds and membranes - you will use these later to thicken the jam.

Now comes the difficult part, scrape out the as much of the white pith from each half rind, compost the scooped out white pith. Julienne all of the rinds for the marmalade.

Place the rinds in a large pot with the reserved juice, the saved seeds and membranes in a cheesecloth or muslin bag and 5 cups of water. Slowly bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20-30 min until the rinds are softened.

Remove the membrane bag and let cool in a bowl.  Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out all of the thick pectin that has developed and add to the pot.  Add your sugar and taste - the end product will be sweeter than it tastes now, so error on the side a just a bit tart.

Bring back to a boil and leave at a high boil until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  This will take about 30 min. If you don't have a thermometer you can also test by placing a plate in the freezer - test the jam by dropping a small amount on the chilled plate and see if it wrinkles when pushed with your finger - if it does it is done.

When the jam is set, you can either place in fridge or can - this recipe makes about 4-5 500 ml jars which I like to can for later (go here for canning instructions).  I process my jam for about 10 min in a water bath.

In addition to being tasty on toast, I like to use this as a base for salad dressing and anything else where sweet but tangy oranges might feel at home.

Love on a spoon

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Black Bruschetta - Black Garlic & Black Magic

My local smug food store, which I have a love/hate relationship with  carried Black Garlic for a short week or 2 back in Febuary. Like a piggy rooting for truffles, I sorted through the basket of what looks over-baked bulbs for so long I draw a crowd of on lookers

Black Garlic is a unique flavour, sweet, deeply caramelized and earthy, like balsamic vinegar in paste form, but better. The taste is so deeply mysterious, I felt that it was best left to a simple dish, that would allow the flavour come through.

Yeah, black garlic + black magic = Fondue Voodoo.

Black magic for foodies 
What you'll need:
2 large heirloom tomatoes
2 cloves of black garlic
3 TBSP balsamic (black) vinegar
5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
handful of fresh basil - chiffonade
1 small clove of fresh mashed garlic
salt and black pepper to taste

chopped the tomatoes in small cubes
Next time, purple tomatoes for
ultimate blackness
chiffonade the basil
smash and grind the garlic
add the balsamic & black garlic to a bowl, mash the black garlic until it dissolves
add the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and store to combine
season as you like.

Now go out and work your black magic with a little black Stout (Howe Sound's Megadestroyer) to warm your black little heart as you stroke your black cat and daydream about the inky blackness of the night.

Sorta Pizza for Hungry Kids

Who invented pizza? I hope it was some drunk Ancient Roman, tunic in shambles,  stumbling home in the wee hours of the morning boozy and got a bad case of munchies, only to find bread and tomatoes and herbs to make a quick snack....ok unlikely - but a girl can dream. 

Whatever the case, pizza can inspire great debate between thin crust vs thick crust, deep dish vs. minimalist toppings, and gourmet vs. late night by the slice greasey a la carte.  This is our quick toss together version that some how managed to look and taste incredible  - I love it when your expectations are so overwhelmingly exceeded you even surprise yourself. 
Pea Shoots on Pizza? Hell ya...

What you'll need:

  • Flatbread - thin or thick will effect how long it cooks, I used a thick middle eastern bread coasted with sesames.
  • Tomato paste - yep, straight from the can (stay classy Vancouver)
  • Basil flakes
  • Grilled veggies - eggplant, sweet potato, asparagus, peppers (not the jarred ones - belch) or grilled tomato.
  • Greens - spinach, arugula, sprouts, I used pea shoots.
  • Cheese - stray from traditional mozza, you'll be happy.
Consider the bread and toast as necessary -  you may want to toast the bottom to ensure even heating.  I broiled the bottom and then flipped and layer the toppings. Use your best judgement. Lather the flat bread with tomato paste, I think less is more - but use your illusions. 

Shake on some basil, this isn't rocket science. Spill on your veggies, oops veggie avalanche, too many veggies is never a bad thing Greens - topped with greens is just healthy. Coat with cheese - cheese layer of gooeyness is goodness. Seriously tasty goodness, now go out and surprise yourself - you deserve it. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Mushroom Sheperd's Pie

I wish I could shepherd mushrooms. I'd wander through the highlands whistling to keep the flock steady and stand watch to protect against  the mushrooms natural enemy, hippies.
But I'm just an office drown. Copy making, pencil pusher, spending company money the best way I know how. Lunch was the best opportunity to spend time daydreaming of being a wandering sole while I chowed down on mushroom shepherd pie.

1 onion chopped                        3 cloves garlic
2 carrots small chopped            2 stalks of celery
3 cups brown mushrooms         1 cup shitaki mushrooms
1/2 c.  cooked pearly barley     1/2 c. lentils
2 c. shredded cabbage
Gravy    1/4 c. powdered mushroom      1.5 c stock
              1/2 bottle of dark beer              1 TBSP cornstarch
              1/4 c. cream             Rosemary, thyme, oregano
Mashed taters

  • Fry the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and remove from the pan 
  • Fry the mushrooms on high heat, 
  • Add the cabbage and allow to cook for a few minutes 
  • Add the veggies back in along with the cooked barley lentil mix
  • Gravy - Add the beer and allow to deglaze
  • Add stock, the herbs and mushroom powder
  • Bring to a low boil
  • Mix the cornstarch with a little water to make a slurry and add, stir to incorporate
  • Lastly top up with a little cream
  • Slop all of that into a WARM casserole dish and top with some yummy mashed taters. 
  • Bake at 400 until the potatoes get a sun tan. 

Serve with Gulden Draak - Belgian strong Ale and get tipsy on one bottle of beer. Good times.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Thai Peanut Satay, Multi Purpose Peanut Buster

Interested in a time saver? Who isn't - this will help make a least a couple of meals quick and easy. Here's the list so far
1. Coconut Curry             2. Chicken Satay
3. Curry Soup                  4. Peanut Satay Dip
5. Spicy Rice

Thai Peanut Satay (TPS)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
Cilantro - chopped stems and leaves, about a cup, eyeball it.
1 lime rind and juice
1 large clove of garlic
1 thumb size piece of peeled ginger
3 bird's eye chiles - or less depending on your heat tolerance
3 TBSP Honey or similar sweet flavouring (teriyaki, brown rice     syrup)
1/2 tsp fish sauce

how to make this delicious:
1. place all the ingredients in a food process
2. blend until smooth

how to use:
Coconut Curry
 add 2 TBSP of TPS with a can of coconut milk
 + veggies & meat or tofu + rice

Chicken Satay
skewer boneless chicken and coat with peanut satay
broil, bake or bar-b-que the chicken satay and service with steamed veggies and extra peanut sauce dip

Coconut Soup
3 TBSP TSP + 1/2 can coconut + 500 mils water or veggie stock and tamarind sauce if you got it.
add extra fish sauce and sugar. add fresh veggies and fish or tofu, boil until just barely cooked. Finish with lime juice & rind.

Peanut Sauce Dip
4 TBSP TPS + splash of fish sauce + lime juice + honey + water to thin to a reasonable dip. Serve with raw veggies, grilled meat or spring rolls.

Spicy Rice
Fry onions, ginger, garlic. Stir fry eggs. Toss in frozen peas left over jasmine rice and 2 TBSP TPS. stir well and top with fresh cilantro and lime.

I stored this in the fridge for a week and we ate like kings.  Pictures to come

Brains with nachos - 7 layer brains dip

Is there nothing as fun as playing with your food?
Admit it.
You make mash potato mountains with gravy lava,
put little blueberry happy faces in your pancakes
and jam a quarter section of an orange in your gob and make groaning sounds cause it's plain good fun. No context, pretext, or subtext necessary - just imagination land for kids and adults.

Here's my kick at the fun zone
7 layer brain dip

Here's what you'll need:
1 halloween brain jello mould
Spray oil
radish eyeballs
7 layer dip in this order
      1. mashed black bean layer - spiced appropriately
      2. shredded cheese           3. warmed cream cheese  
      4. avocado slices                           5. salsa
      6. chopped tomatoes                     7. black olives
      8. cap off with another layer of mashed black beans
Eyeballs - wash the radish, ensure to leave the radish root on, it looks like an optic nerve. Use a paring knife to remove some of but not all of red skin.  Carve out a hollow and slip in a pitted black olive.  Cut a thin slice of red or green olive and slip it in the hollow of the black olive, these were so creepy not a single colleague of mine wanted to eat them!

How to build a brain:
1. Generously spray the mould with oil
2. Carefully smash the mashed black beans into your greased mould
3. begin layering the remaining ingredients - use just enough to create a stable layer.
4. Leave dip moulded to set overnight in the fridge
5. place a serving plate on top of the mould and quickly flip
6. you may need to tease the brains away from the mould
7. cram the eyeballs in the frontal cortex for optimal braininess

When I plopped this on the table for my colleagues, a heard a chirp from the back, "What goes on in your brain?". Wonder no longer, hairless cats in top hats and monocles singing Gilbert and Sullivan show tunes while slapping each other with trouts.  Nah, just enough imagination to enjoy playing with my food - just like you.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Borscht - dedicated to Nita

Who doesn't love borscht? Each time someone in our office pulls out a bowl full of the hearty ruby soup ohs and ahs erupt as if a puppy had been pulled out fresh from the fridge. While I don't necessarily condone chilling your puppy, I do condone a healthy bit of office envy during lunch time, I'm a bit of a jerk like that. I've listed my own recipe that I've been using to promote office envy for the past 10 years.
Meat free too,  you can load up on our vitamin (S)mug.
This should take you about 30 mins start to finish, don't over cook it - flavour will develop once your borscht takes a fridge nap overnight.
1 onions
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
2- 3 cloves of garlic
3 large potatoes
3 large beets
1 large 900ish mls tin of tomatoes
1 liter of low sodium veggie broth
2 cups chopped kale or red cabbage
1/2 TBSP oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 TBSP dried dill or a handful of fresh dill frowns.
vinegar to taste -
cracked pepper
topped with sour cream

5 mins     Heat a sturdy pot and sautee onions, celery
                        and carrots.
3 mins     Add garlic for a short warming
1  min      add the tin of tomatoes and broth
1 min       crank the heat up and toss in the cubed
                    potatoes and beets
1 min       add spices EXCEPT vinegar, dill and pepper
10 mins   clamp the lid on and boil the whole mess until
                     the potatoes
                    and beets are nearly tender
5 mins       add the chopped kale or cabbage and
                       cook until tender
TOTAL: 26 mins
5 mins
Remove 3/4 of the cooked veggies and using an emersion blender blend it up to baby food consistency.
Return the blended veggies to the pot
To finish add vinegar, dill and pepper to taste
GRAND TOTAL: 31 mins

Serve with heavy bread and consider trying it with a Tripel style can be sure to make coworkers envious if you pull a beer out at lunch.

When drama and cuteness met April 2008
Dedicated to Nita, who makes ever Monday a great day to go into work. She keeps my ship steady, taught me the importance of details and supported me through all the own puppy problems. Your the best!

Greens - aint not big thing

Too many iceberg heads of lettuce out there blanding the whole world up with their tastelessness. If your in the grocer and your buying iceberg, please for the love of sweet bearded baby Jesus remember this ...
                    you CAN buy good taste.

There is no reason for this leafy treason, it's time to be introduced to the new green in town. Time to give up on the regular leafy ho hum, and approach the greens as an experiment in developing new flavors and combinations. Salads, cole slaws, fresh veggies and cru de tay it can all be better when your try something new.
Here's a simple chart to help you start your picking, of greens…I don’t even what to think about what else your picking sitting in front of your computer, alone, without anyone watching …ewwwwww. 
Black Kale
Brassica-spinach x brocolli
Health food stores
Dark purple to blue often dusty looking
Red Cabbage
X-crunchy slightly sweet, brassica finish
Widely available
Dark purple, sometimes shiny and sometimes dusty
Bitter & Herby
Widely available
Dark purple and white, shiny
Beet Greens
mild beet root flavor with boost of grassy
sold attached to beet roots & in mixed greens packs
Shiny green and deep purple, stems are deep ruby red leading to red veining.
Green Kale
Like seaweed without that ocean flavor
available easily
deep green/blue, should be even in tone. May even look dusty
fresh green grass – cud
available everywhere
shiny vibrant green
Arugula or Rocket
Green + pepper or horse radish
you might need to ask for it.
shiny vibrant green
Swiss Chard
green and earthy – same taste regardless of stem colour
green grocier
leaf is shiny green, stems range in colour form white, yellow orange and red
green and bitter
health food stores
vibrant green, pale green and white stems
Horseradish and greens
health food stores
less vibrant green than above, but still grass green
Greens and celery – crispy
green grocier
Shiny vibrant green and white stems, paler as the leaves go into the centre
Butter Lettuce
tender fresh green, mild
Seasonal, dependent on location
Shiny vibrant pale green
Green Cabbage
so many varities!
mild broccoli lots of crunch
easily available
Variable from emerald to pale green to white
mildly bitter
available in small quantities
variable dependent of light source white to pale yellow and tinted green
Sprouted Seeds
mild and crunchy
dependent on location can be available
variable dependent of light source white to pale yellow and tinted green
mildly bitter
dependent on location
White to pale green
Time to go out and turn over a new leaf.