Posted at 12:31 am , on September 6, 2019
Each summer, I work on a plan to better our existing culinary program at Jean Augustine Secondary School. Since the school first opened in the fall of 2016, I have been taking steps every year to improve the delivery of the program, and ensure that it is engaging and enjoyable for the students. We started off slowly, setting up our new kitchen and preparing meals for staff and minor events. Soon after, we were able to make a connection with a local food bank and our students are now serving the community by preparing meals for those in need. This year, I plan on introducing a few new things to challenge them: fermenting and preserving, glazing mini cakes and entremets, and artisan bread baking. Continue reading
Posted at 7:53 pm , on September 4, 2019
What is gelatin mass?
Gelatin mass consists of two ingredients: gelatin and water. The ratio is usually 1 to 5 times its weight: i.e., 1 part gelatin to 5 parts water. For example, if you are using 10 grams of gelatin powder, you would use 50 grams of water to hydrate the powder to make the mass. Continue reading
Posted at 6:55 pm , on May 5, 2019
Are you a juice person or a smoothie person? Royce likes juice — fruit juice but also veggie-forward juice…especially on those days when we haven’t been eating very healthy. Personally, 9 times out of 10 I would rather have a smoothie than juice. I have a couple of issues with juice. First, from a health standpoint I’m suspicious of the nutritional value because it’s missing so much of the original fruit / vegetable. And second, something just seems really wrong about pulverizing all of these vegetables, only to drink the liquid and toss the rest. Especially given the statistics we see nowadays about food security and food waste! Continue reading
Posted at 11:15 pm , on April 28, 2019
Who doesn’t love an Aero Bar, am I right? I’m not sure who came up with this technique, but I first learned about it from John Placko, many years ago when I was helping out with his modernist technique workshops. It’s a pretty easy technique: melt chocolate, thin it out, put it in an ISI, add nitrous oxide, dispense, and vacuum. But in order for you to do all those things, you need some equipment…
Posted at 11:25 pm , on April 20, 2019
This is one of my favourite desserts at dim sum. We came across a recipe when we were researching snacks for Chinese New Year, so of course we had to try it! The first recipe we found used only agar to set the jelly. It held the liquid, but the texture had way too much crunch and not enough of a softer jelly feel. We decided we needed a mix of gelatine and agar — it turned out that finding the right proportions were a lot harder than we thought. After numerous trials, this is the recipe we settled on! We are pretty happy with it, but I guess it all comes down to personal taste. If you like a bit more crunch, then you can add a little agar and take out some of the gelatine mass. If you don’t like any crunch at all, you could try using only gelatine (though we’ve been strongly cautioned that is not authentic). For a little more firmness, you could reduce the amount of tea (or simply simmer for a bit longer to reduce the water content). There are so many variables! Continue reading
Posted at 3:13 pm , on February 17, 2019
I am guilty of many things in life – one of which has been, until recently, neglecting my sourdough starter with varying degrees of severity. I mean, if wild yeast abuse was an actual thing, hoo-boy would I be in trouble! Sure, there were weeks at a time when Chad (my starter) would be happy, healthy, and well-fed. Unfortunately, equally frequent were the spurts when I just didn’t have time to make or think about bread, and Chad (as we like to call him) would become lost to the oblivion that is the back of our fridge. When I did eventually rediscover his existence, I would find him in a sad state indeed: slumped, sour, and malnourished. I would then nurse him back from the clutches of death – only to repeat this rather demented cycle a short time later. Now, it’s not like I’m a bad person. This wasn’t intentional torture, it’s just that sometimes Chad just didn’t make it onto my priority list – life, amirite? Well, let me tell you – these sourdough waffles have changed all that!
Posted at 12:48 am , on February 4, 2019
Last week, we wrote about making peanut puffs, a treat from Royce’s childhood. Siu hao jo, or “laughing balls” are another snack traditionally enjoyed around Lunar New Year. These balls are basically sesame fried dough, and are so-named because they split open when fried, which I guess someone decided looked like a laughing mouth. We first made these a few years ago, with a recipe passed along from a friend’s dad, and we were thrilled with how they turned out. It was particularly rewarding, as that year we had experimented with several other treats without much success. Continue reading
Posted at 8:58 pm , on February 1, 2019
Happy Lunar New Year! Sometimes you can’t help but reminisce about the good old days, especially with traditional celebrations just around the corner. For me, part of the good old days was making treats with my family on the roof of the building where my po po (婆 婆) lived. Continue reading
Posted at 1:45 am , on September 12, 2018
Photo Credit: Ruth Skiba
Recipe Adapted from Farmer Karin
2 cups of water
2 cups of white distilled vinegar
1 green chili pepper
4 tablespoon sea salt
4 teaspoon sugar
1. In a sauce pot, combine all ingredients, except tomatillos, and bring to a boil.
2. Carefully pour hot liquid over tomatillos in sterile jars.
3. Place the lids on the jars and close fingertip tight. (Alternative to sealing the jars, you can cool the mixture and and vacuum seal it.)
4. Place the jars in the pot of water – water should be one inch below the top of the jars. Bring the water to a boil, once the water reaches a full rolling boil, boil the jars for 10-15 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and remove jars with lifters or tongs.
Posted at 12:33 am , on May 25, 2018
I first saw the play on soap and bubbles as a dessert by Andoni of Mugaritz. Inspired by this, for some time now I had been meaning to work on a rubber ducky and bubbles dessert. I finally got around to putting something together the other day. The resulting dish was nostalgic and playful — and it gave me the chance to try out a fun application of an aquarium air pump.