Sunday, 29 December 2013

Biscuits - the final frontier

Biscuits are my nemesis.

They've eluded me for more years than I dare to count, they've taunted me with their doughy softness and flaunted their delicious smell in bakeries for what feels like eons.

Biscuits of Glory
Today was my day of reckoning.
Today I make a decent biscuit.

This recipe is solely for my own personal reference it worked for me and I will never, ever deviate. Well, thats wholly untrue, but for the time being I'll stick to it religiously until I feel brave.


1 c all purpose flour
1 c bread flour (makes a crispy top and bottom)
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 TBSP butter
1 c buttermilk + a little more if the dough needs it
1/3 c shredded cheese
  • Pre heat oven to 450 degrees, lay a sheet of baking paper on a baking sheet
  • Measure flours, salt, BP, BS & sugar into a bowl & whisk throughly 
  • add shredded cheese and stir to coat with flour
  • mash that butter in well - get your hands right in there and make a mess 
  • Fold in the buttermilk, the dough may be a little dry, dribble in a little extra buttermilk to make a ball of all the dry ingredients. 
  • on a floured surface kneed the dough only briefly enough to make it a dough mass 
  • flatten into a disk, thickness depends on how large you want your biscuits - i went with a solid inch of dough
  • cut out rounds of biscuit with a cup or cookie cutter, no twisting allowed - just press down firmly. OR cut the whole mess into squares, this ensures you don't need to handle the dough too much.
  • place the doughy disks on the baking 
  • bake for between 10 - 13 mins - watch carefully as they bake very quickly. 
  • when them come out of the oven, do a dance of thanks and joy to the doughy god of biscuits for granting you a delicious bready treat.
  • hi-5 ever person within shouting distance of your kitchen - as they'll automatically become your new BFF's when the see the inherent deliciousness. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Chick Pea Salad

The Fondue Voodoo household are big fans or the brown bagged lunch, or dinner for the matter. Making a lunch for work is part of the routine and gives me the satisfaction of feeling like a smug S.O.B when I show off...I mean pull out lunch in the staff kitchen. Who in the world would like competitive lunching?...well me of course. While I won't give away my competitive edge entirely, I'll to share this simple chick pea salad that operates as a side dish, topping for a green salad, or layer for a burritos or sandwiches.

chick pea salad needs to start with a kitchen chick

Chick Pea Salad
1 cup frozen chick peas
1 diced tomato or cucumber
1 green onion sliced
Herbs - handful of chopped cilantro, parsley or both
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp hot chili flakes - or more
Salt as necessary

add all the ingredients together and toss about.
mash & smash a 1/4 of the chick peas in order to create a paste that will bind the remaining chick peas together & absorb any left over dressing.
show off your mad skills to friends and coworkers and use on salads, sandwiches in burritos or on top of nachos.

Home made Horseradish - only 365 days to make

365 days to delicious - some things are
worth waiting for.
Guest Posting by Jar Head

Homemade horseradish is extremely easy to put together and once you've tried it you'll never go back to store bought.

I grew a plant this past year I purchased at the end of last season. It was planted and promptly forgot about until this October. I dug the gnarly root out and left a small chunk behind to hopefully propagate for next year.

If you don't grow your own horseradish root, then store bought roots will do just fine, check for it at farmers markets and finer grocery stores locally.

Peel the outside hard skin off and grate the horseradish - I found a microplane works best. Be careful, it can be more potent than onions on the eyes.

Once grated, heat up a mixture of vinegar (apple cider is best, but white will work just fine), salt and sugar. Use about 1/2 to 1 tsp of salt and sugar for 1/4 cup of vinegar or to taste.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the horseradish and mix. This will keep 3-4 weeks in your fridge, if it lasts that long, as it tastes great on everything.

eat and be merry

Brassneck Brewery & Yolks Food Truck - The Reclaimed Wood of Heaven

Fill and Enjoy at home (picture courtesy of Brassneck)

It's not often that Fondue Voodoo hands up the kitchen utensils and let someone else do the cooking. Primarily because 1. I'm cheap  2. I'm picky  3. Bentley the not-so-wonder-dog controls my every move.

That said, in an unusual turn of events I scurried away with a good friend for tasty Chicken and Waffles and a few tiny sips of Brassneck beer flight. We knew we were in the right place when out front of the brewery was "Yolks" the cutest tiny baby blue food truck and the intoxication waft of fried chicken & waffles floated like holy incense in the East Van air. With those glorious scents surrounding us, we knew exactly what to range and organic chicken and waffles & a stick of truffled hash browns. As soon as the doors opened to Brassneck we were distracted by the unexpected beauty inside. The reclaimed wood, warm brass accents, apothecary like display of beautiful boston rounds and unbleached cotton totes for your brew. From the smallest attention to the details to the partnership of great food trucks like Yolks this pared down version of simply good offerings makes for a comfortable, community minded approach to a gathering place...with good food and beer and good company.

Heavenly Combo (picture courtesy of Yolks)
Yolks: Firstly, I had the good pleasure of having a chance to chat with the Dad of the Yolk's chief. Clearly he held a tremendous amount of pride for his son's accomplishments. Yeah dad! We talked about the food of course and he offered some insight in the use of a sous vide to cook the chicken prior to frying and the home made ketchups and mustards Yolks specializes in. Personally, I thought the truffled hash brows on a stick, just lightly salted, were like an adult savoury lollipop. The complimentary flavours and textures of the crunchy & savoury chicken and the sweet and tender (but not chewy) waffles were a match made for drinking with beer. Food was stellar!

Brassneck Flight: We tried a flight and as I'm not currently a drinker, I only sipped and sniffed my way through a flight of Passive Aggressive ale, Joe's Barn Sasion, Prohibition style corn ale and the Imperial Stout. The brews were bold and assertive for a brewery so new, they offered well developed flavours and an impressive amount of body. My friend is a big fan of the passive aggressive, with notes of grapefruit & pine and a smooth malt base, while the Imperial Stouts malty coffee notes and warm dark chocolate flavours impressed me the most.

Looks like my Bentley! (picture courtesy of Brassneck)
What we liked best: the opportunity to gather with family, even kids & a real live dog to share in 2 terrific ventures that genuinely support the local community. This atmosphere opened up the way for conversation among the "diners" which is how I had the good luck to learn more about how terrific Yolks truck people are.

We loved the interior and how the smallest detail speaks to simplicity and the honestly of Brassneck's product. We loved the "choose- your-own-adventure-beer-flights and the beautiful interior that embraces simplicity and natural beauty. I hope we can go back soon, even thought that means one less home cooked meal, and have a chance to learn more about the brewing process. And of course, more truffled taters on a stick.

Get out there and enjoy!
Go here for Brassneck
Go here for Yolks

yours in wintery glow - Fondue Voodoo

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Mushroom and Rice Soup - the Wild Edition

Lobster Mushrooms ready for cleaning
The double edged sword of living in the temperate rain forrest that you have to live with Mother Natures bipolar side. It's her way of reminding the mortals that her treasures come with strings attached. So it's gonna pour buckets of rain at times, but when it doesn't, the forrest is a gracious provider. Surviving the wind and rain pays off, today it paid off in the form of 5 lbs of wild lobster mushrooms.
Glory be to her flip floppy ways! Tonight we give thanks to Mother Nature and dine on mushrooms in honour of our great mothers bounty.

ingredients ready
to roll 
You'll need the following
butter and oil for frying
2 lbs lobster mushrooms, wild harvested, cleaned well and diced small
1/2 lb small criminis, washed, trimmed and diced
divide all the mushroom in 3 equal piles

3 small leeks
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup brandy

1.5 liter stock - pre heated
1 - 1.5 cup of pre cooked wild rice blend (wild and brown rice)
2 tsp thyme & savory
2 tsp porcini powder

125 ml half & half cream
salt to taste
butter and oil for frying
1 TBSP beurre manie

Wash and trim your mushrooms - lobsters can be dirty & wormy so this is a labour of love and a commitment of your time. Be sure to cut the mushrooms up to check that no worm(s) have burrowed in an unchecked location.

Fry a third of the mushrooms in a little butter and oil. Plenty of liquid will be released by the mushrooms, this is fine, just allow the liquid to pool. Once cooked, remove the 1st third of mushrooms and continue to cook the 2nd and the 3rd batch of the remaining mushrooms with fresh butter and oil.

Something to be thankful for, tasty beer &
wild lobster mushroom & wild rice soup
In butter and oil cook the leeks and garlic, deglaze with the brandy a couple of splashes at a time.

Add the stock - Heat the stock prior to adding in order to continue the cooking process. Add a small amount of the stock first to deglaze the pan, add the remaining stock and bring up to simmer.

Add the cooked mushrooms back to the pot

Season the soup with the herbs and porcini powder

Once hot, remove a cup of stock and incorporate the beurre manie and mix until thick.

Return the butter, flour, stock mix back to the hot soup and stir immediately to thicken the soup.

Add the cream to the soup, stir and heat until it's ready for serving.

Top with thin sliced green onions, chopped parsley and pepper.
Serve with plenty of fresh bread.

And importantly drink with wonderfully tasty drink of your choice, see our review of the delicious Pliny the Elder, discoverer of the wondrous hop. Would go equally well with a simple cocktail of sparkling water and lime for those of us off the booze.

Banana Bread - the Double Down Version

It's a well established fact that Fondue Voodoo is a neglectful and abusive mistress of all produce. A bunch of browning bananas stranded on the kitchen counter, forgotten and overlooked is kinda status quo. Which just means that becoming an expert at making banana bread is basically a necessity. The Double down banana bread is a chocolate bread topped with a blonde bread, as such it requires that you make at least 2 loaves of the good stuff.

So tie your apron strings tight, turn up the tunes and get your ingredients lined up, you're in for a terrific ride. Thanks to Kitchen Scraps foodie guru Pierre A Lamielle, who's terrific muffin recipe is top notch and my go to for all muffins and loaves.

Get yourself ready:
You'll need 4 mixing bowls - medium size
2 loaf pans, lined with parchment paper or oiled and floured
heat the oven to 375
 I forgot to take a pic of the mixing process
so heres a cute pic of Bentley Beans

Bottom layer - Double Chocolate Banana Bread
1.5 c Flour
.5 c coco powder
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix all the drys and set aside 

Wet ingredients
1 c yogurt
1/4 c melted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 c white sugar
1 egg beaten
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla 
1& 1/2 c extra ripe mashed bananas 
Mix all the wet ingredients and set aside

Top layer - Blonde Banana Bread with Strudle topping
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chopped dates (could opt for nuts or raisins)
Mix all the ingredients and set aside
Banana Bread Super Star - get out there and
impress your friends

Wet Ingredients
1 c yogurt
1/4 c melted butter or vegetable oil
3/4 cup white sugar 
1 egg beaten 
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 c mashed extra ripe bananas. 
Mix all the wet ingredients and set aside 

1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c rolled oats
1/4 c vegetable oil
mix well and set aside

how to: 
1. have your loaf pans prepped with either parchment paper (my preference) or oil and flour the insides
2. heat oven to 375 degrees
3. mix the wet and dry ingredients for the bottom double chocolate banana bread layer 
4. give the pans a little giggle to settle the batter evenly
5. quickly mix the wet and dry ingredients for the top blond banana bread layer
6. smooth the batter out with a couple of good giggles
7. sprinkle the studle topping over the loaves evenly and using 2 fingers poke the strudle down into the batter a little, this helps it adhere to the finished loaf. 
8. bake your loaves at 375 until they pass the toothpick test, approximately 50 mins. 
9. marvel at the wonders you've just created - cause baby your a banana bread superstar. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Potato, Green Bean & Anchovy Salad

I don't know what it is about those tiny little salty fishes - but anchovies are so packed full of salty fishy goodness it practically oozes out. Once I became a convert to anchovies, I can't figure how I made anything tasty before. Mixed with a pile of new potatoes and fresh beans from a friend's garden (thanks nitaj), spiked with herbs, garlic & made delicious with anchovies, you'll become a convert too.

Go get yourself:

Potatoes, beans & anchovy salad, it's what's for dinner.  
1.5 lbs of new potatoes - steamed or boiled
.5 lb of string beans
3 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 green onions- chopped
3 TBSP of Olive Oil *
1-2 TBSP dill vinegar
handful of cilantro - chopped
smallish handfull of chopped dill
5-6 anchovy fillets chopped 

* for creamy version cool the 'taters & beans and make a mix of mayo (2 TBSP) & grainy mustard (1 tsp), anchovies lemon juice and lemon rind and herbs and dress the potatoes cold.

The how to:

Cook your potatoes to a soft tender stage, add the beans to the boiling water for a coupe of minutes until tender. 

Drain all the water off and set the beans and taters aside. Add the cool oil to a cold pan along with the garlic & anchovies. Set to medium low and slowly warm the mix to release the flavours. *Do not brown.*

Toss the potatoes back into the pot and smash a couple of potatoes to gather all the lose oil. Tumble the potatoes into a bowl and stir in the herbs, vinegar and cracked pepper.

Taste and salt only if necessary. 

Beer pairing: This salad is hearty and would pair excellently with a saison like Logsdon Oaked Bretta, or Weizen Bam Bière.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Eat your Greens - Collard Green Rolls

You maybe one of those practicing an alternative lifestyle, gathering together in small pasty-faced groups, bantering about the difference between your buckwheat and teff, discussing your gut flora and waxing poetic about the passages between your chomper to dropper. Good for you - you're Gluten Free! Fondue Voodoo is a proud supporter of the gluten free lifestyle, mainly because of social pressures.  In support of Gluten-Free Pride enjoy this gluten free recipe, 

bunch of large leaf collard greens
large pan for steaming greens
Pre-cooked quinoa 
Pre wrap - layered up and ready to roll 
For the stuffing 
1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
1 green onion - thin sliced
1/2 c red pepper - chopped up very tiny weeny (culinary term)
1/4 c shredded carrot
1/4 c almond slices/chopped
1/4 c crumbled feta
1 TBSP oliver oil
splash of flavoured vinegar or lemon juice
splash of hot sauce 
assorted spices, basil, oregano, cilantro, chives, parsley 
any other additive of your choice is welcome, just be sure the texture will hold it's shape
-olives        -crumbled feta      -pickled veggies      -boiled egg
-fennel        -tomatoes, sundried or fresh get the idea, it's not rocket science here it's just lunch.

In a large pan bring an inch of water to a low simmer. Meanwhile wash the collard greens and remove the stem, starting halfway up leaf ensuring to allow the leave to remain intact  at the half way point to the tip. 

Gently lay a single leaf in the boiling water for a couple of minutes until it's just barely cooked, remove carefully with tongs, removed as much water from the leaf as possible.

Lay the leaf flat with the tip facing you, cross the cut part of the leaf over itself closing up the the cut out you created when removing the stem. 

Collard Green Wraps with Quinoa - like a boss
Next, form a compacted cigar shape with the quinoa mix that will fit well inside the widest part of the leaf. Place the cigar at the tip end, roll the tip up and over the quinoa and begin rolling, while folding the edges in, this insures the quinoa won't wall out the ends. 

Voila! Marvel at your vibrant green little beauty, cut in half to show off your awesome culinary skills. 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Perfect Pressure Cooked Quinoa

Quinoa featured in Collard Green Wraps - Recipe Coming Soon
Quinoa - chewy grains of seedy goodness, you know it and like it. It's as though millions of people have gotten together and collectively dumped gluten. "Hi Gluten, it's over. No, it's me, not you. You make me fat, and feel bad about myself and I've found someone new...oh and I want my records back".

Having tried every cooking technique out there, I've finally come to think this method makes a consistent el dante quinoa, but your gonna need to get yourself a pressure cooker.

What you will need:
  • 1 cup whole grain quinoa
  • 1.25 cup water
Rinse the quinoa well in a fine mesh strainer with cold water and drain. Put into the pressure cooker and dry fry on medium heat stirring often. Cook the quinoa until it is brown and you hear the kernels popping - about 5-7 min.

Next pour the water overtop the quinoa and close pressure cooker lid. Turn heat to high and allow pressure cooker to hit high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 1 minute. Allow to release using the natural release method (set aside and allow pressure to come down naturally).

Once pressure has been fully released open lid and gently stir to fluff the quinoa. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Duck à l'Orange Crème Brûlée

Thanks little guy
Guest post from Jar Head:

One of the pleasures of being out on Mayne Island is picking up fresh local ingredients directly from the farms. This past weekend we came across fresh local duck eggs, something that we have not previously used. Once we cracked one open and saw the huge size of the yolk relative to the white we immediately realized that these were made for custards.

Combined with the fact that we just recently acquired a pressure cooker - which we heard makes great custards - we were set to go.

Ingredients and Equipment
What you will need:
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 duck yolks (4 if using chicken)
  • 2.5 TBSP white sugar
  • 2 TBSP raw sugar (for caramelizing)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeded
  • zest of one orange
  • pressure cooker 
  • trivet
  • ramekins
  • tinfoil
  • torch 
Add the creme, vanilla and orange zest to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Once the milk begins to boil and froth remove from heat and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Once the creme mixture is at room temperature prepare your pressure cooker. You want your ramekins to be above the water - I raised the steamer that came with mine by arranging 4 empty ramekins on the bottom of the pot with my steamer sitting on top. Add water to just below the steamer.

Ready to Cook
In a mixing bowl add the white sugar and the egg yolks and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the yolk mixture to the cream mixture and incorporate. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve into your ramekins and cover tightly with the tinfoil. Place the ramekins onto the steamer insert, cover and lock. Turn heat to high and once at low pressure turn down heat and maintain at low pressure for 8 minutes. Once the time has elapsed remove from heat and allow pressure to come down naturally.

Topped with fresh berries...mmm

Remove the ramekins and check to see if they have set - they should be jiggly in the middle but not liquid. If they are not set return to the pressure cooker and repeat at low pressure for an additional few minutes depending on how loose they were.

Once cooked allow to cool 30 minutes and then place in fridge for 3-4 hours. 

Before serving remove from fridge, cover the top with the raw sugar and torch to caramelize. Serve with fresh berries and mint leaves.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Grilled Beer Sandwich

As you can tell, this blog has taken either a tragic or delicious turn for the better by featuring beer in multiple recipes. After a peek into my incredibly well stocked pantry, and a spin of the imagination wheel, I landed on a grilled cheese sandwich, but beerified. If fried sandwiches are good enough for Elvis…well they're good enough for me.

It's about to get all gooey
Gather the following:
  • 1 loaf of multigrain beer bread 
  • 1 jar of beer mustard 
  • 1 block of beer washed or beer infused cheese
  • 1 giant pile of beer glazed onions (see below) 
  • Coconut oil, or butter if you’re a traditionalist
  • 1 solid fry pan 
Pull your beer mustard out of the fridge and allow to warm slightly. Slice the bread into fry-able slices and shred the cheese.

For the Beer Glazed onions you will need the following:
  • 2 large onions 
  • 2 tsp of butter 
  • ½ c water 
  • ½ cup beer 
A quadruple beer threat of awesomeness
Thinly slice the onions, use a mandoline if you happen to have one. Warm your pan at medium and add the butter. Add all the onions – yes all of them and cook until they just become translucent, a little golden browning is okay, just don’t burn these guys. Stir as often as is necessary. Once the onions are translucent and the pan is mostly dry begin adding the beer a couple of TBSP at a time to deglaze the pan, allow the beer to fully evaporate. Continue this process alternating between beer and water deglazes until the onions are brown and sticky.

The sandwich fry:

Assemble the sandwich, collect your 2 pieces of beer bread, slather one slice with beer mustard, top with beer glazed onions and as much cheese as your heart can handle. Place those sandwiches in a preheated & buttered pan and fry with the lid on to encourage the cheese to melt and flip at your leisure.

You should turn up with something like what's in the picture - be classy and top the whole business with some chopped parsley. Serving a grilled beer sandwich with a glass of craft beer is a centre field home run for anyone looking to impress their beer inclined friends. Now get out there and knock one outta the park.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Curried Lentil and Cauliflower Soup

It's not yet past soup season and given the days here on the wet coast plague us with the "Damp" something warming is a welcome relief. It doesn't need to be fancy or French to sooth the hunched back surly symptoms of the Damp, just a solid stew/soup that'll fire up the burn from the inside out. 

Get some:
The soup horizon  - there's no going back
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander 
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups low sodium veggie broth
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • use all the soaking water from lentils
  • 2 thai chilli's or 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Fresh herbs cilantro, parsley, fennel or chives
  • Sour cream or yogurt
  • Lime juice
  • sprinkle of salt
Rinse the lentils multiple times in cool water to remove the outside starches place in the cooking pot & cover with boiling water by at least 2 inches. Allow to stand for at least 15 mins to soak. Meanwhile sweat the onions with a sprinkle of salt. Add the garlic and ginger briefly sweat. Push veggies to the side and dry fry the coriander, cumin & curry powder. Add the stock, & lentils with all the soaking water.

Bring the soup to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, add carrots and clamp the lid on and cook for 10 mins. Feel free to add more stock or water to loosen the soup up of it's getting too thick. After the 10 min has elapsed add the cauliflower and cook for another 10 mins. Stir often to stop the lentils from sticking to the bottom. Lastly add a chopped chilli pepper & stir well, cook for another 5 mins. 

Add the fresh toppings, these brighten the flavour and add dimension to the soup
try:  chopped fresh, cilantro, parsley, fennel or chives and a spoon of sour cream or yogurt.

Like all good soups this get better when it takes a little fridge nap over night. Excellent for freezing and nomnomnoming at a later date when your world is inside out and upside down and eating is just a matter of getting through the next 8 hrs.

Beer Pairing: A Belgian style triple works great here. L'Herbe à Détourne matches well with its sweet creamy malts and dry bitter hops that compliment each other perfectly. The sweetness of the triple is present and the addition of bitter hops accentuate the creaminess of the soup perfectly.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Beer Marshmallows! Yup you read that right.

Our ingredients including DDC's Aphrodisiaque.
Beautiful Vancouver in the background
We here at Fondue Voodoo like to see great craft beer put to use, primarily put into our beer glasses where it can go to a very good cause, our bellies.

While sitting in front of a wood fire late one night with my stout nightcap in one hand and a slowly roasting marshmallow in the other, booze induced fireworks of imagination blasted off in my head...ok so maybe more like a click of a burnt out lightbulb, but that's hardly the point...and so beer marshmallows were born.

Choose a good, heavy flavoured stout or porter so that the beer shines through.

In multiple trials we've used these solid offerings with great success, Dieu du Ciel's Péché Mortel or Aphrodisiaque, Powell Street Craft Brewery's Dive Bomb Porter and Parallel 49 Brewing Company's Ugly Sweater. Yeah, product testing is the worst... ;)

You could let your beer go flat first so that all you get is the beer flavour, but we prefer to enjoy our marshmallows with all of the beers bubbly characteristics so we left it fully carbonated. You will thank me later when you have your first beer marshmallow burp while giggling to yourself...

What you will need:
  • candy thermometer
  • 1 large bottomed, well greased baking dish or cookie sheet with tall edges
  • 1 cup stout or porter, divided into two 1/2 cup portions
  • 3 tbsp gelatin powder (equal to 3 packets or about 12 sheets)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites (I prefer to use dried egg white powder for this)
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or 1/2 stem vanilla pod, seeded (optional)
Dusting powder for the set marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn starch

Mix the icing sugar and corn starch together in a bowl and set aside for later use.

Powell Street's growler dispensing great
beer and wisdom
Add gelatin to 1/2 cup of the beer in the bowl of your stand mixer, gently stir and set aside.

Pour the remaining beer into a large heavy stock pot together with the white sugar, corn syrup and salt. Warm the sugars over medium low heat and occassionaly stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Once dissolved, increase heat to medium, and slowly bring to a boil. Do not stir during this stage. Allow the sugar mixture to boil until it reaches 118 degrees celcius (245 farenheit), just between a soft and hard ball on your candy thermometer.

Immediately, and very carefully! pour the hot sugars over the beer and gelatin in your stand mixing bowl and incrementally, but swiftly, turn it to high. Add the vanilla to the mixer and continue to whip the sugars and gelatine on high until it almost triples in volume and lightens in colour, approximately 10 minutes.

Almost there...
While the sugar mixture is being whipped, beat your egg whites in a separate bowl until they reach stiff peaks.

At the 10 minute mark add the egg whites and continue whipping until they are incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes.

As soon as the egg whites have been incorporated pour into the greased baking dish and use a greased spatula to spread. Use some of the cornstarch and icing sugar mix to lightly cover over the marshmallows.

Place in fridge to set for 4 hours.

Parallel 49's Ugly Sweater dude gives the thumb's up
Once the marshmallows have set, remove from fridge and place on a cutting board dusted with the icing sugar and corn starch mix. Cut the marshmallows into cubes and generously dust each cube in the icing sugar mixture. Place on a wire rack and allow to sit for 3 to 4 hours to dry.

Once dried, put the marshmallows in a sealed container in the fridge. These are best within the first few days but can last for up to a me, there won't be any left...

In terms of serving you can have them as is, but we have also experimented with covering in chocolate and cashews, melting in hot chocolate, floating in a morning coffee for a breakfast beer chaser and charring with a blow torch which was both recklessly fun and delicious.

Now be careful kids, these surgery pillows of beer joy are additive, for good beer karma be sure to spread the joy around - your friends and family will approve.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Craft Beer Mustard

Mustard is the golden standard for everything in the Foundue Voodoo house, salad dressing, sandwiches, marinades and everything in between. I'd wash my hair with it if I could. I learned about DIY mustard using beer, and gave up buying mustard in favour of the tarragon pickled flavoured home spun version. The magic here is the love that goes into the craft beer and the patience required to leave the finished mustard in the fridge for 24 hrs while it settles down.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup stout - we used Central City's Red Racer Oatmeal Stout
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric (for colour)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (for heat)
  • 2 tbsp honey
In a sauce pan warm the vinegars, stout, mustard seeds and mustard powder to simmer (Do not boil!) to soften mustard seeds, between 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients and use a food processor to process the blend until it reaches a consistency you're happy with. Cool and place in a glass jar and toss it to the back of the fridge for a little rest.

Test the mustard after 24 hrs, if it's bitter allow it it continue to rest - the bitters will mellow after a proper chilly nap.

Once your happy with your mustard adjust the flavour by adding more vinegar and honey to your preference.

Enjoy on everything.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Ants on a Log - Now for Adults

Warning - this post may contain nuts, deliciousness and double entendres.

Occasionally the Fondue household has a snack attack - which often ends in a salty sweaty mess of stale nachos and questionable salsa.  Ants on a log seem too childish to indulge in, and yet too delicious to give up on. Who doesn't like peanut butter? (blahblahblahAnaphylactic shock).
In the best interest of matching adult behaviour with childhood memories, peanut butter is getting a make over.

March sunshine in Vancouver is the best.
Get some:

  • Clean, trimmed and dry celery ribs
  • 1/2 c Organic peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP honey 
  • 1 TBSP Sriarcha hot sauce - or your favourite pepper based hot sauce
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp splash of fish sauce or soya sauce
  • Nuts - salted peanuts, cashews, almonds walnuts 
  • optional: cilantro & 1/4 tsp powdered garlic

Assembly - this is the easy part
Pile the peanut butter, honey, hot sauce, lime juice, fish sauce & optional garlic powder into a bowl and stir to incorporate.
Stuff your celery ribs with the spicy peanut butter topping.
Place the nuts securely in the peanut butter and place cilantro artfully on top.
Serve the remaining peanut butter with apple slices for a sweet salty spicy taste sensation.
This snack attack is great with a delicious Driftwood White Bark Witbier.
I wouldn't have been a happy child if I could have drank Driftwood with my after school snack.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Stout Infused Mushroom Lentil Shepherd's Pie

St. Patrick's day is by far one of the best celebrations of a Saint that has ever existed since the Pagan's were throwing party's...those guys did it up right. But celebrating with beer and parades, random strangers demanding kisses a la "Kiss me I'm Irish" T-shirts and silly green costumes gets a Fondue Voodoo seal of approval. We celebrate the best way we know how with beer infused veggie shepherd's pie, until the Pagans comeback...

What you will need:
humble beginnings
  • 2 cups diced mushrooms (mixture of cremini and trumpet or others of your choice)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cups green cabbage
  • 1 TBSP oil, best choice - coconut oil
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup lentils (see cooking instructions below)
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 1 bottle (340 ml) stout. We used St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout by McAuslan Brewing
  • 3 TBSP mushroom powder
  • 1 TBSP umami paste (can be substituted with 1 TBSP tomato paste or 1/2 TBSP anchovy paste
  • 1 cup veggie/mushroom broth
  • 3 TBSP tomato paste, or more depending on your preference
  • 1 tsp rosemary powder
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • crack of pepper
  • 3 TBSP beurre manie
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 TBSP freshly chopped herbs such as flat leaf parsley
Prior to starting, have on hand 2 cups of mashed potatoes, warmed up with speed up the process.
To cook the lentils first rinse with cold water, drain and then place in a stock pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches and add bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes. Once cooked pour into strainer and rinse with cool water.

Chow time
In a separate stock pot add the oil and gently sauté the onions, carrots, celery and cabbage for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and then add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Remove from pot and add the mushrooms. Sauté until browned. Deglaze the pot with the stout. Add the stock, mushroom powder, umami paste and tomato paste and bring to a boil. 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. Add in the mushrooms, vegetables and lentils back to the pot.

Once the mushroom-vegtable mixture is heated through pour into a casserole dish and cover with the mashed potatoes. You could proceed to bake for 20 - 25 mins to heat all the layers evenly, or place on top rack under the broiler until the potatoes are browned.

To serve, scoop a 1/4 cup of peas on the dish and then add a layer of the Shepherd's pie on top. Finish with herbs, cracked pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Shepherd's Pie Beer Pairing: Best to pair this meal with the same beer as you used for the deglazing. An oatmeal stout works great here as the creamy oatmeal and toasted malts balances perfectly with the richness of the mushrooms and lentils.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Guest post from Jar Head:

Cold dark winter nights call out for a hearty soup. This soup definitely is the ticket, the earthy, meaty flavours that the wild rice and mushrooms will stick to your bones and warm you up from within.

What you will need for the rice:
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda *
  • 3/4 tsp salt
* Baking soda breaks down the pectin seed coating of the rice and also lowers the temperature necessary for Maillard reaction (browning) to occur. This leads to a nuttier tasting wild rice and a deep brown more complex stock which we will use to enrich the soup.

What you will need for the soup:
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 600-700 grams of cremini mushrooms
  • 1 leak chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2/3 cup brown ale (such as a Belgian Dubbel like St. Bernardus Prior 8)
  • 4 cups low sodium broth
  • 4 TBSP dried mushroom powder (we used a mixture of cremini, matsutake, chicken of the woods and bear's tooth mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced chives or green onions
  • 1 TBSP umami paste (can be substituted with 1 TBSP tomato paste or 1/2 TBSP anchovy paste)
  • pepper
Start with making the rice. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bring the water, bay leaf, salt and baking soda to a boil over medium-high heat in a stock pot. Add the rice and return to a boil. Cover and transfer to the heated oven and bake until rice is tender - approximately 35-50 minutes.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer and reserve the liquid which we will use for our soup. Top up the liquid with water until you have 3 cups.

For the soup, first make a slurry of cornstarch and 4 TBSP of the stock you plan to use - set aside for later use. Next melt the butter over medium high heat in large stock pot. Do this next part in stages, add the mushrooms, garlic and leaks to form a small layer on the bottom of the pan and sauté until browned - feel free to use the ale to deglaze as needed. Remove the mushrooms from the pot once browned and start with a fresh batch, continue until all the mushrooms are browned. Return the cooked mushrooms back to the pot and add in the stock, remaining ale, mushroom powder, thyme and umami paste and bring to a hard simmer. Add the cooked rice and the cornstarch slurry and stir until the soup thickens. Stir in the sour cream and serve topped with green onions.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup Beer Pairing: A dark brown ale works best here with the meaty flavours of the mushrooms. We went with the St. Bernardus Prior 8 which is a strong abby Belgian dubbel which we also used for deglazing the pot.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Naan Bread

Guest post from Jar Head:

This is a recipe that I adapted from Peter Reinhart's recipe for pita bread in his book The Bread Bakers Apprentice Extraordinary. It is extremely simple and delicious with any Indian food (recipe for Chana Masala coming soon!).

What you will need:
  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 TBSP plain yogurt
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp melted butter for brushing
Mix all of the above ingredients and kneed for approximately 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Ferment in a warm place for 90 minutes or until it doubles in size.

Transfer the dough to a counter and separate into approximately 150 to 175 gram balls. With you fingers flatten the balls into 20 cm diameter circles. These should be about 1/2 cm thick.

Bake at 500 degrees F on a baking stone or cookie sheet. Bake until they begin to brown. Remove and brush with the melted butter.

Alternatively you can cook these in a cast iron skillet. Simply heat until very hot - add the dough and cook covered for about 1 min. Flip and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove and brush with the melted butter. 

Hot Stuff Popcorn

Every once in a while I suffer a sever relapse and go into a snack attack. Salty is the only solution to cure me of the snack shakes. Top all this off Sriracha is my new bestie and we do everything together - so it's only natural that we enter into a snack attack together. 
just a mouthful

Sriracha Spiked Popcorn
8 Cups popped popcorn
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Sriracha hot sauce 
2 tsp Creole spice mix, "Slap yo Mama" is a good choice
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
2 tsp black sesame seeds

In a sauce pan heat melt butter with olive oil, Sriracha, creole mix, granulated garlic & sesame seeds.

Place your oven to warm, or 200 F for 10 mins,
Turn the oven off and keep it closed while the popcorn pops.
Meanwhile pop your popcorn.
Divide your popcorn in 2 batches. Quickly pour half of your hot oily topping over the first batch quickly agitate your popcorn to distribute the topping. Repeat on the second batch.

Stop and smell the deliciousness you just created - a hot popcorny salty mess. Place the popcorn on cookie sheets and toss in the oven and try to stop yourself from eating all of it. Leave the popcorn in the oven for at least 30 mins until the oil soaks in and popcorn dries out. Be sure to check your popcorn to make sure the oven isn't so hot that it's toasting your corn to a burn.

Eat it all...cause you won't be able to stop...your lips will burn and be puffy, but you'll love it.

Did it work? Hell yes!  The magic worked - like it always does.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Thai Red Curry

Spicy goodness
Sweet, salty and savory, fresh and creamy, Thai curry uses some sort of magic of "opposites attract" that no one here in this house can explain with science, mystisicism or religion - so we duduce this must be black magic. I'm certain everyone has a recipe of their own they prefer, so take this with a grain of salt, it's a guideline to dinner and represents what happens in my cauldron. Find your personal sweet spot, add your own ideas and your own favourites, Thai curry is a forgiving god, Thai chilis are not - watch out for those guys!

What you will need:
  • 2 TBSP red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken or veggie stock
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 stem lemon grass, optional
  • thai chilis if you want to breath fire
  • 1-2 medium onions (diced)
  • 1 knob of ginger (ground)
  • 3-6 lime leaves (to taste)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1 bunch broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1 package firm tofu or meat, chicken or shrimp
In a large heavy pan heat the curry paste for 2-4 minutes until the oils are released. Add the coconut milk, stock, brown sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and add the onions, lemon grass, lime leaves and ginger for 5 minutes to allow the flavour to infuse. Lastly, add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and add more sugar/fish sauce/curry as needed and top with cilantro and extra limes. 

Serve with jasmine rice and thank your gods if you managed to avoid the stinging burn of the deliciously evil Thai chills. 

Thai Red Curry Beer Pairing: IPA's and Thai are a match in heaven in my humble opinion. My go to's are Central City's Red Racer or Driftwood's Fat Tug

The Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

Guest post from Jar Head:

We here at Fondue Voodoo are always in a quest for the perfect egg. Previously we have given you what we consider the perfect poached egg and today we aim to bring you the perfect soft boiled egg.

This method comes from Cooks Illustrated. It is simple and has become our go to egg method (even surpassing our once pedestal poached method).

All you do is bring about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of water to a boil. Once you have a rolling boil gently add in cold eggs and continue to maintain a rolling boil for exactly 6 minutes. As soon as the 6 minutes have elapsed remove the eggs and transfer to a cold water bath for about 1 minute. You can then peel the eggs and immediately serve.

The trick to the success is the half boil half steam method which reduces the temperature variability allowing this recipe work every time regardless of whether you are using 1 or 6 eggs. We can confirm that it has worked perfectly in different kitchens, different stoves and pots as well as any number of eggs.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Squash Coconut Curry Soup

Spoiler Alert: I keep my favourite potion in sinner/dinner sized servings in the freezer in suspended animation ready to come to the rescue when this sweet poor maiden hasn't the time to slave over a hot meal.  Make ahead meals are the soup de jour in order to make it through the week with our sanity intact. To stay sane you'll need:
  • 1 cup (heaping) diced celery - 2 ribs   
  • 1 cup(heaping) diced carrots - 1 large carrot
  • 1 cup (heaping) diced onion - 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 1.5 Kg. roasted squash - butternut is my preferred choice 
  • 1 liter broth - veggies, or chicken
  • 1 liter water
  • Soup de jour
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk   
  • 2 TBSP Red curry paste
  • 1 stick lemongrass, swacked and chopped fine
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 1 dried thai chili 
  • couple of dry or fresh lime leaves
  • Grated - rind of one lime  + juice 
  • cilantro - chopped
HOW TO: In a giant soup pot
  • Sweat the onions, the add the carrots, celery & garlic to sweat
  • Push all the veggies to the sides and fry the curry paste until fragrant
  • add the broth and water and drink to a boil
  • add the squash, coconut milk & ground lemongrass  & lime leaves
  • bring up to a simmer
  • add sugar, fish sauce & dried chili 
  • allow to simmer until flavours come together
  • remove from the heat and remove the limes leaves, 
  • using an emersion blender, blend the entire soup 
  • add the grated lime rind & juice and serve with a topping of cilantro. 

Squash Coconut Curry Soup Beer pairing - consider a hop forward brew - the spicy thai flavours and hop profiles are BFF's, try Russell's Hop Therapy for a sure hit. 

Marvel at your capacity to freeze your own miracles, you'll be happy and your belly will thank you.