It’s Noir or Never!

At the end of this past growing season, we were blessed with (among other things) a harvest of garlic, apples and chestnuts from Katsumi Farms, (Megan’s parents homestead). With minimal fridge space and an eagerness to learn more about preserving and fermenting stuff, Megan and I decided to try turn them black before they turned bad. Let’s start! To make black chestnuts, black garlic and black apples, we vacuum sealed them in bags and placed them in a dehydrator at 60°C/140°F for 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks, respectively.

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Shio Koji

Shio Koji. Lately, I have been putting that $H!T on everything. Ever since I finished the Koji Alchemy book, which I highly recommend, I have been trying to get my hands dirty with koji. No deep dive here yet, just small baby steps. It started with just seasoning with a bottle that you can just buy and use it right away like any type of seasoning. I would use it as a marinade or as a finishing when sautéeing vegetables, (Nicholas loves it). Everything came out pretty tasty so far, and I’ve found there’s less of a chance of over-seasoning as long as it’s used sparingly. Note that shio koji has both sweetness and saltiness, and the commercial ones tend to be a little bit on the saltier side.

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Did you know we can grow persimmons in Ontario? The trees have been on the farm for some time, but you wouldn’t know it until this year now that the fruit has finally started to appear! The fruits were quite small and some had fairly large seeds without much meat, but it was still such a thrill to see them on the trees for the first time. They tasted pretty good too! With the first harvest of fruit this year, we thought we’d try to preserve some as hoshigaki for fun. We strung them up and left them to hang in our garage – which has a little airflow, but not much. Due to lack of planning, we didn’t get the process quite right. We should have peeled and hung them earlier (they were already starting to ripen) and the temperature of the garage ended up being a bit too cold. Hopefully we will get another shot at it next year!

Supper Club (Christmas Eve Eve)

We had 3 dinners lined up for Christmas this year, back to back: my sister wanted me to do a 7-course meal, we were going to do our own sushi train (not for the kiddies, but mainly for the adults), followed by a delicious porchetta by Karin. I was the first to go! The meal was supposed to be French with Japanese ingredients, I thought that some of the courses were ok, but most of them needed more work. With 2 kiddies under 4, we were trying our best to pace the dinner properly so that they the bedtimes fit in between courses. I’m not sure if they went well or not since I was pretty full before our main and was ready for bed, but of course I had to stay up and power through for dessert. Dinner started around 4:45 and ended around 12 – one of the longest I’ve been to, and keep in mind I’ve had a 100-course dinner.

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Wedding Pizza

This post has been in the draft section for a few years now! Hell, Megan and I just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary this past summer and little Nicky is now 18 months. With both of us currently on holidays, and since I’ve tested this recipe with the kiddies at school a number of times with great success, I figured it’s time to finally get around to publishing it. Wait! Did I also mention that we recently received a donation of the whole modernist cuisine collection? Modernist Pizza (MP) is definitely going to be integrated into my curriculum in the upcoming semesters. It’s time to step up our pizza game at school!

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