31 Jul 2015
in Eating Out, On the Road, Recipes
Tags: Au Pied De Cochon, Canada, food, Montreal Poutine, poutine, Poutineville, Quebec City, Quebecois cuisine, Ruffles, Trader Joe's
It began with our first meal in Quebec City at a joint across the street from the loft where we were staying called Poutineville — our love affair with the uniquely French Canadian comfort food called poutine.
Poutine with smoked meat and jalapeños at Poutineville in Quebec City
I had heard about poutine and read more about it while researching for our trip — it is, in its simplest form, french fries, gravy and cheese curds. As you travel through eastern Canada, you will see all manners of creative and — in some cases — obscene variations.
09 Apr 2015
in Cooking Tips, Food, Humor
Tags: Better Than Bouillon, Caesar salad, Casa Tres Coronitas, chilaquiles, fish tacos, Knorr, margaritas, nasi goreng, tacos, Trader Joe's
I’m one of those fancy chefs who serves small portions, treats the plate like a canvas and uses flowers and ingredients you’ve never heard of. But I’m also a fan of shortcuts.
Many of the world’s best chefs will readily admit to resorting to shortcuts when they’re cooking.
While we were staying at the Casa Tres Coronitas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, last October, I asked the house chef, Marilu, to show me how to make her famous salsa. She was giving me a lesson and it was nothing out of the ordinary — tomatillos, onion, garlic, chiles de arbol, salt. And then she reached into the cupboard to pull out her “secret ingredient” — Knorr powdered chicken bouillon. Sure enough, when I tried it at home (with the bag of Knorr powdered chicken bouillon Marilu picked up for me at the supermercado), it contributed a salty umami depth that was missing before I added it. Couldn’t have been the MSG, could it?? More
07 Mar 2014
in Observations, Recipes
Tags: barramundi, food, gluten free cooking, humor, Italian cooking, polenta, recipes, shrimp, Trader Joe's, Tuscan kale
Even the best cooks get into ruts.
Tomato saffron scampi with polenta and sautéed Tuscan kale
For all the diversity in my weekly menus, I often find myself bored with my cooking. What sounds like an unimaginably exciting and exotic week of dinners to most — for example: Venetian cecchiti with hand-tossed pizza on Monday, sushi and tempura on Tuesday, Wednesday queso fundido and Mexico City-style tacos, Thursday tea-smoked duck and lo mien, and so on — can seem like “same old, same old” to me. More
28 Feb 2014
in Food, Humor, Observations
Tags: 99 Ranch Market, food, humor, Kasugai, msg, peas, snacks, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, wasabi
My wife recently asked me to pick up some wasabi peas for her. Or more precisely, she said, “Put wasabi peas on your list.”
What’s wrong with this picture?
My list, of course, is the running grocery list I have going at all times. It’s a square post-it note that sits on my desk and which everyone knows not to touch lest the provisions and dining schedule be thrown into chaos. My list will usually have several categories: “Japanese market,” “TJs” (Trader Joe’s), “Grocery” (general), “Sprouts,” and sometimes the odd addition such as “Persian market” or “99 Ranch”. Lacking specificity, I put my wife’s request under “TJs”. More
27 Aug 2013
in Markets & Stores, Recipes
Tags: Anarhichas minor, cous cous, food, humor, Norway, Norwegian wolf fish, recipes, Trader Joe's, yoga
Here’s what happened:
I was strolling through the aisles at Trader Joe’s, thinking about a meal I was making for some clients of ours. Being that they were vaguely yogic people and I didn’t want to send them into a premature savasana pose by serving them something that had once been living — other than fish, that is, which somehow doesn’t count as having lived in those circles — I decided to do an all seafood dinner.
Norwegian wolf fish
So as I browsed the frozen fish aisle look for something inspiring, dark spots caught my eye — Norwegian wolf fish, a species I had never seen nor even heard of before. And I’m a sucker for new stuff. More