All posts by allansuddaby

Cheese Crackers

Cheese crackers made with Gruyère

These are gluten-free crackers containing only cheese and egg white. My recipe closely follows the Cheese Crackers in the Eleven Madison Park cookbook, which are a component of the Goat Cheese and Lemon Galette (photo pg. 242, recipe pg. 330). I love the clean look of these crackers. I also thought they could be a viable crust for a cheese tart I was hoping to put on a menu this winter. This is a versatile preparation that could serve as a bar snack, a canapé base, or a crispy garnish much like a frico.

While the recipe in the EMP cook book has a good core ingredient ratio and general procedure, when I made the crackers myself there were … Continue reading.

Goat Cheese Mousse set with Gelatin

This is effectively a no-bake cheese cake mixture made with goat cheese. Other cheeses with a similar consistency can also be used, such as mascarpone, cream cheese, and ricotta. I particularly like Lakeside Farmstead fromage blanc in this recipe. Unlike the Goat Cheese Mousse from Whipping Siphon, which has the texture of whipped cream and is spreadable, this is a set mousse that is sliceable.

I adapted my recipe from the Goat Cheese Mousse in the Eleven Madison Park cookbook that is a component of the Goat Cheese and Lemon Galette (photo pg. _ recipe pg. 330). I made the following changes:

  • All volume measures have been converted to metric weight measures for consistency.
  • I opted to use powdered gelatin
Continue reading.


A plate of canapés that use chicharrónes as a base.

Buying whole hogs, the one thing I had trouble using up was the skin. Then finally someone explained chicharrónes to me.

I have always associated chicharrónes with Mexico, but apparently they are common throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and happen to be wildly popular in the Philippines. Even though it is usually a very casual snack, served at bars or sold at gas stations, making chicharrón has become an essential technique for me, even in a fine-dining restaurant. I often have pork skin on hand, and while I’ve discussed some of the ways to use it, nothing is as satisfying and delicious a transformation as chicharrón.

They are surprisingly versatile. In the photo above they act as a canapé base, topped … Continue reading.

And Now for Something Completely Different

Well, not completely different. But for sure different.

For reasons that I can’t fully explain at the moment, I am going to be posting about the following:

  • professional cooking in restaurants,
  • fine-dining,
  • composed dishes,
  • “modernist” cooking, including: equipment like immersion circulators and Rational ovens; ingredients like xanthan gum and agar agar; preparations like gels and foams; concepts like fusion or making one ingredient look like another,
  • food presentation and plating, and
  • foreign/global ingredients, cuisines, and concepts.

…which is the opposite of what I have done for the last thirteen years.

Also there will be many, many references to Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook, which I will variously refer to as the EMP cookbook or EMP. Just a heads up!

English Bangers

Homemade English bangers and mash.

One of the reasons I love teaching sausage-making classes is that I often learn something from the students.

There was a time when I assumed “banger” was just the British dialect word for sausage, and that it didn’t necessarily imply anything about the ingredients or technique any more than “sausage” would in North America. Turns out that is not quite true. One Scottish student of mine asked where he could procure the rusk necessary to make bangers. I had never heard of rusk. The word can refer to two different things: sliced bread that has been baked or toasted until crispy throughout (like a Melba toast), or crumbs that have been made from such a bread.

I have eschewed … Continue reading.

Chicken Sausage

Homemade chicken sausage with mashed potato and squash
Chicken sausages with mashed potato and squash, braised red sauerkraut, apples, and gravy

Every Saturday the owner of Sunworks Farm is at the Strathcona Market griddling his chicken sausages and doling samples to passers-by.

I’m usually wary of chicken sausages. They’re often dry and mealy with no structure. The main difficulty in making sausage from poultry is the very low ratio of fat to lean, nowhere near the desired 1:3 that is easily achieved with pork.

Anyways many years ago I gambled on the Sunworks chicken sausage sample and was happy to find it was one of the best I’d ever eaten. My pleasure quickly turned to curiosity and I wondered aloud how they made it so juicy. Was there … Continue reading.

Fermented Chili Paste

A bowl of fermented chili paste.

With so many peppers coming from the garden and fermentation on the brain I wanted to try my own fermented chili paste. My recipe is very much like sambal in terms of ingredients and consistency, though sambal isn’t usually fermented. Korean gochujang is a fermented chili paste, but it includes a large proportion of starches like rice, soybean, and malted barley and is not a straight lacto-fermentation. So this preparation isn’t really of a traditional style, but it turned out quite good and I can definitely see it becoming a pantry staple.

One of the main reasons I think I’ll make this every year: you can process a large quantity of peppers very quickly. Simply chop coarsely, pulse a few … Continue reading.

Austrian Fruit Cake – Obstkuchen

An Austrian fruit cake made with plums (Zwetschgenkuchen)

Kuchen (“cake”) and Obstkuchen (“fruit cake”) can refer to many different desserts and pastries in Austria and Germany.  By Austrian fruit cake I am referring to a very simple, very common preparation of a dense but tender cake that is topped with seasonal fruit before going in the oven.  It’s made throughout the year with whatever fruit happens to be best that day.  I was in Austria in May, June, and July, and saw it made first with rhubarb, then cherries, then apricots.  The fruit settles into the cake nicely during the bake, but is still visible from the top.  I think soft fruits that get a touch jammy when cooked work best for this (as opposed to, say, apples … Continue reading.

Green Plums Cured like Olives

Green plums cured like olives

Right off the hop: I stole this idea from Ben Staley. He made “Green Plum Cured like an Olive” at Alta (RIP) and it really blew my mind. Not sure if he is serving these at Yarrow or not. After my meal at Alta I talked to Ben briefly and asked how he made the plum olives. If I remember right he said they were fermented in brine, then pressure-cooked with a bit of vinegar. I’ve since done some research and it turns out that pickled green plums are actually quite common across North Africa and the Middle East. Still, I owe Ben for introducing me to the concept.

To be clear we are talking about plums that are … Continue reading.

Plum Jam with Japanese Plums Prunus salicina

Three types of plum jam made with Japanese plums (Prunus salicina).

Can you make plum jam with Japanese plums? Of course! However as we’ve discussed several times this season, when you cook the flesh of Prunus salicina some powerful sour flavours develop.

Out of hand the flesh of a Japanese plum is so mild you might consider dialling back the sugar for a jam recipe. You definitely should not! First, the sugar is essential for the mixture to actually “jam” or set, but also that generous dose of sweetness balances the acidity that is unleashed during cooking. I ended up using the same ratio I use for raspberry jam: 2:1 fruit to sugar. Even with this high sugar content, the jam is quite tart. We noticed that of our two … Continue reading.