Monthly Archives: April 2013

Braised Pork Tenderloin with Honey Apple Chutney

Exams are when the true procrastinators come out to play. Ever since classes ended I’ve been braising everything. This is pork tenderloin braised in a honey apple chutney. As one can see, I’m still obsessed with the combination of apples and pork that I mentioned in this earlier post.

Pork Tenderloin

I serve the pork tenderloin with steamed green beans and sautéed mushrooms.

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Chicken Curry

One of the many great things about living with an Indian who liked to cook was that I got exposed to new food. I grew up in Mississauga so it is not like I’ve never had Indian food before. I, however, had never really seen it being made from scratch. Growing up, curries were a mystery to me. It turns out they aren’t very hard to make.

Chicken Curry

 

All I did here was sweat out some chopped onion with garlic and ginger before I add the chopped tomatoes. You don’t need to be very careful with the tomatoes because, once heat is brought into them, it doesn’t take them very long to disintegrate into a liquid. My favourite spices to add to a curry when chicken is involved are cumin, paprika, ground coriander, chilli powder, and turmeric. I usually add equal quantities of each (about 1 teaspoon).

I also like to use dark meat over white. It is just so much more succulent. I regrettably haven’t learned how to make naan yet so I’ve been popping store bought naan in the oven to re-heat them.

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Lamb Chop

Meat on the bone > Meat off the bone. There is a reason why everyone loves chicken wings and ribs. Meat that has been cooked on the bone has had the chance to develop more flavour.

Lamb Chop

 

This is just a simple lamb chop I did in a pan. The pan tends to hold on to bits and pieces of the lamb that fell off during the cooking process. After taking the lamb out to rest, I like to add a bit of water to the pan and dissolve all those bits and pieces into a nice and flavourful jus.

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Eggs & Bacon

This is the ultimate classic breakfast. There isn’t really much to say about bacon and eggs that hasn’t been said before. It is a combination that just works. Throw in a piece of toast and you have such a tasty breakfast for so little work.

Eggs & Bacon

 

I did take the time to go and get smoked bacon though. Also I had the bacon sliced about twice as thick as you would find in any Schneider’s package.

My tip for cooking bacon is to start the bacon in the pan cold, which goes against the golden rule of cooking on a stovetop. This is for two reasons. First, bacon is made up of a lot of fat. When the fat of the bacon hits intense direct heat of the pan if you wait for the pan to get hot first, it will curl. This makes cooking your bacon evenly pretty much impossible. Second, bacon has a lot of fat and if you throw it in a hot pan the fat will be sealed in which is not nice. Starting the bacon in a cold pan and then turning on the heat allows for the inedible fat to be rendered out so your bacon can end up crispy all over. The last thing you want is chewy bacon.

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Thịt Kho | Braised Pork Belly

This was one of my favourite things to eat growing up. There are many Vietnamese classics such as Pho and Goi Cuon but those dishes were usually reserved for more special occasions. Thịt Kho however, was your everyday meal for your everyday family. What is more cost effective than a cheap meat, a cheap carb, and a cheap vegetable? What you see infront of you costs about $1. It is unbelievably yummy though so you might find yourself stuffing yourself full of about $2s worth.

PorkBelly

The pork belly is braised with caramelized onions and garlic in coconut juice, orange juice, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. For me, this beats a honey roasted ham any day.

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Pancakes with Maple Berry Compote

Earlier in university I remember a phase when my housemates and I used to make pancakes every Sunday. One of my housemates was obsessed with traditions and pancakes on Sundays in my opinion was on the threshold of becoming one (much to his delight I’m sure). Few things were more exciting than pouring Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix into a bowl first thing in the morning after what was usually a more rowdy Saturday night. It was so exciting that we always made way too much. We then had our little quibbles over whether pure maple syrup or Aunt Jemima table syrup was better while we ate. Being a Canadian a ton of generations deep I would have had expected our tradition loving friend to prefer pure maple syrup but in the end it turns out hes insane.

Pancakesw:Berry Compot

The berry compote is just a medley of cooked berries with some maple syrup. Reducing this down intensifies the sweetness.

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Pork Tenderloin Medallions

The first time I ever cooked pork tenderloin was in my 2nd year of University. My then housemate and I used to google recipes almost every time we had a group cooking session for dinner. One of the recipes that stood out was this roasted pork tenderloin served with apple sauce. Coming from eating only Vietnamese food my entire life and only being subjected to bits and pieces of western cuisine I thought it was strange putting apple sauce on a roast. In the end we stuck to the recipe and it turned out amazing to my surprise. We liked to change it up so the next time we had pork tenderloin it was back to google. I soon found that A LOT of the recipes paired the pork with something apple. This might be obvious to some of you but for me it was a mind blowing moment when I learned that apple and pork was a classic combination. I’ve been pretty obsessed with the combination ever since!

Pork Tenderloin

Here I’ve cooked the pork in a pan with just salt. After I get the colour right I turn down the heat and baste butter over the pork like you would a roast to keep it nice and moist. It is important to do this with pork tenderloin because it hardly has any fat on it and therefore dries up easily. I sit the pork medallions on some mashed potatoes and some yellow beans that I cooked in a water and butter emulsion. The beans add a bit of crunchy sweetness that reinforces the sweetness of the jus. The jus is an apple cider jus just made from adding apple cider to the pan drippings from cooking the pork tenderloin and then reducing that down a little.

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How to make Mayo

It took a while for me to decide if I wanted to prank you all. For those of you who know me it may be hard for you to believe that I decided not to. Instead, my page on how to make Mayo is up in my “how” section. Enjoy!

Stuffed Pepper

I was in Toronto the other day and stumbled upon a Whole Foods which is a nice change from my usual Metro. I walked up to the butcher and saw that they were selling stuffed peppers. They looked all neat and tidy making it hard for me to not buy them…. but I didn’t! Right before I asked to buy some I realized a problem with pre-bought stuffed peppers; the stuffing. When you put a ball of ground meat in a pepper and throw that in an oven, you are going to end up with a meatball in a pepper. So…

Stuffed Pepper

…What I ended up doing was throwing the pepper in the oven to roast while I prepared the stuffing separately. I threw in some spices and herbs into some ground beef along with a bulb of garlic, some chilies, and some diced onions. I then throw in some diced tomatoes and some beer (the darker the better) and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. I then just put the stuffing in the roasted pepper and top it with grated parmesan. One of the most simple but one of the most yummy lunches I’ve had in a while.

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