Tag Archives: parsley

Timing

The tricky thing about cooking more than one ingredient is that they often do not take the same time to finish cooking. For instance, in this dish I serve carrots, asparagus, and potatoes along with the steak and all three cook at different times. This makes timing difficult as the goal is to have everything finish around the same time. This way nothing becomes dry or gets cold.

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Little things to note when calculating when to start what ingredient are things like the time it takes for meats to rest, the time it takes for potatoes to reach an edible temperature, etc. When everything finishes at the same time you get the maximum flavour out of every ingredient. Timing is often overlooked and underrated. Getting it right makes a massive difference.

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Father’s Day Dinner | Chicken Tagliatelle & Insalata Caprese

One of my father’s favourite dishes is Fettucini Alfredo. So, for father’s day I decided to make him Fettucini Alfredo. Unfortunately for me, some complications along the way meant that I had tagliatelle at my disposal instead. I had to improvise. Luckily, my house is always well stocked with fresh ingredients which made the improvisation a lot easier. This is what I ended up with: Chicken Tagliatelle & Insalata Caprese.

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Chicken Tagliatelle

The chicken portion of the dish is quite simple. It is just pan fried chicken finished with some parsley. The caprese salad which separates the deconstructing of a Chicken Alfredo is classically made and finished with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and basil that just became harvestable from my garden. The tagliatelle is cooked al dente and lightly coated with some white sauce and then finished with some ground black pepper.

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Chicken Tagliatelle

He was quite the happy father.

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Eggplant Dip

Today, I have to work on an assignment that is due tomorrow. If we’re honest, we all like a good study snack. After half an hour of fighting off the temptation to go get french fries I opted for a more healthy alternative: eggplant dip. Sadly, my good intentions might mean little because at some point, if you eat enough eggplant dip it ends up being less healthy than a plate of a fries. I think I passed that point about half a bowl ago.

Eggplant Dip

The actual dip is easy enough to make. First, slice the eggplant in half. Second, season the inside of the eggplant with salt and pepper. I like to also rub in some garlic and some fresh thyme although other herbs like rosemary would work brilliantly as well. Third, put the two halves back together and wrap in tin foil. Now just pop it into the oven at 375 for a good 40 minutes. Next, unwrap the eggplant and scoop out the flesh and put it into a hot pan for 15 seconds or so just to release some water content. By doing this you intensify the flavour of the eggplant as now it is less watered down. I finish with some lemon juice for the acidic component to wake up the dish as well as some sour cream to add some richness although if you want to be healthy be careful with this.

I served the dip on top of asiago crackers. I’ve chosen to finish them a lot of different ways. Plain eggplant dip made it onto the plate as well as lardons, thai chili, onion sprouts, parsley, parmesan, and cherry tomato. The only downside to this was that every bite was just different enough that the dish held more of my attention than my assignment did. Best mid-day study snack I’ve ever had.

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Sunny English Muffin

Today I woke up to a very depressing, grey view from my apartment. There is a chance it might not be cloudy and rainy when this post is published but I assure you it is grey and rainy right now. If there is one thing that is sure to dampen my mood, it’s rain. I dragged myself out of bed and made it to the kitchen after what I’m now estimating was 20 minutes. All the signs pointed to cereal. First, I felt really lazy. Second, I had just enough milk for one last bowl of cereal and I was going grocery shopping later that day. Third, I felt lazy.

But there was something special about today. I have no idea what happened to me but as I went for the milk I stopped. Without even thinking about what I was going to make I went for the eggs. While I was taking out the eggs from the fridge, without any thought at all, I grabbed the english muffins sitting on top of the counter with my other hand. This kept happening over and over again with more ingredients. Before I knew it – and without much forethought – I had something sitting in front of me that definitely wasn’t cereal.

Sunny English Muffin

The secret ingredient here is love. That may sound corny but there really is no other way to describe what it takes to make this.It is extremely simple. It’s just an egg cooked sunny-side up on an english muffin and topped with onion sprouts. I finished with a little parmesan. The sauce is really just two sauces. I “sit” the creamy parsley vinaigrette on top of a creamy mushroom sauce. The rest is love.

The thing about food is if you show it enough love it will love you back. That is much more than you are ever going to get from cereal. My grey day suddenly looked a bit brighter.

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Salmon with Tartar Sauce

Growing up in a Vietnamese household I’ve tried a lot of different seafood. For some reason at an ambiguous point in my life I stopped eating lots of different fish. My mother became obsessed with salmon and so from a seafood point of view I was exclusively being fed salmon throughout high school. Needless to say I felt extra bad when I learned about the overfishing of salmon for the first time. On top of the new found guilt I had just grown sick of the taste. This was too bad for me because once upon a time all I knew how to cook was salmon when it came to fish. I did eventually discover how to cook other fishes. I experimented with as many different types of seafood as possible! Well I guess this post is really just an announcement to those who knew what salmon and I used to have. I may not be ready to settle down but we are getting back together!

Salmon on Asparagus w/ Tartar Sauce I must admit I don’t usually make tartar sauce or mayonaise by hand but after this experience I think I am going to have to. I’m not sure I can go back. When its homemade you have total control over the taste letting you get it to exactly how you like it.

As for the salmon I prefer cooking it with the skin on. The skin protects the salmon from the direct heat of the pan and to me is quite tasty when its crispy. Sitting this on top of a bed of asparagus spears and under a lemony tartar sauce was good enough to make me forget about the overfishing problem for a bit. Hey… at least this was Wild Caught Alaskan.

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Pasta & Meatballs

Starting out as a beginner cook, pasta seemed less intimidating. My old housemates and I loved pasta night. We had Penne and Sausage, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and even Chicken Alfredo whenever we felt more adventurous. We would eat until we were too full to move. Our friends were not impressed when they came over Friday night to hang out with borderline vegetables. I’ve come a long way since our carb inhaling days. Here is my more refined take on our old favourite…

Penne with Meatballs & Roasted Tomatoes

By only coating the penne in my classic white sauce finished with green onion, I make it easier to appreciate each ingredient involved. My inspiration was how much effort I put into making the meatballs. Right when I finished forming them I decided I wanted to actually taste them. Riddling them with sauce was not an option. Tomato sauce is often found accompanying meatballs but I decided to roast tomatoes on the vine instead. I love oven roasted tomatoes and since a lot of effort were put into them I decided to let them shine on their own as well. I sat both the meatballs and the tomatoes on top of the penne which I put on top of layers of onion. The layers of onion act almost like little bowls which I roasted in the oven with the tomatoes. I finish the dish with some black pepper and Italian parsley. That last part I kept from the old days.

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