I’ll mention right off the hop that this concept is from the brain of Emmanuel (Manu) Thériault. He might have made this when he was at Woodwork, but I’m not sure. He calls it “Butcher’s Cake”. He told me about it and I think it’s one of the most brilliant food ideas I’ve heard in a very long time.
Part of the reason I am so enamored with butcher’s cake is because I work in a sandwich shop. When you work in a sandwich shop, you have at least three significant sources of possible waste. The first is bread. Bread is a problem ingredient because it has such short shelf life. It can be difficult to maintain fresh inventory, and … Continue reading.
Schmalzfleisch is one of the staple Aufstriche (spreads) at an Austrian Heuriger. If that sentence made absolutely no sense to you, read this post before proceeding.
Schmalzfleisch literally means “fat-meat”. It is one of several dishes Austrians have developed to use up irregular scraps of cured meat, like the very end of a ham that can’t quite be passed through the meat slicer.
The process for making Schmalzfleisch is simple: pieces of cured meat are ground, then mixed with rendered lard to form a cohesive paste that can be spread on bread. Traditionally cured meat and fat are the only two ingredients. I like to add a touch of mustard for balancing acidity.
If you grew up in … Continue reading.
In the extremely unlikely case that you have leftover cornbread that is a couple days old and a bit too dry to be enjoyed, you have two choices.
Look deep into the tepid pond of your soul and ask, sweet or savoury?
If the response comes back sweet, you make cornbread pudding. If the answer is savoury, you make cornbread stuffing.
Leftover cornbread and the dishes made therefrom are quite different than stale bread and its children. As cornbread is a quick bread, the baker went out of his or her way to avoid gluten development, and no doubt added sugar and fat in the form of butter or buttermilk or sour cream. This kept the fresh cornbread tender, but … Continue reading.
I say this without exaggeration: I hold stuffing as one of the greatest culinary traditions of the New World. I know the British and French and many others make similar dishes, but stuffing, or dressing, is an indispensable dish for the Thanksgiving table. Technically it is an accompaniment to the turkey. I often have to remind myself of this.
So. What is stuffing? Stuffing is bread. As the name implies, it was originally crammed into the cavity of poultry, absorbing the juice and fat exuded from the bird during cooking. While this method is still common in Canadian homes, it is giving way to “stuffing” that is prepared in a casserole instead of a bird. There are two reasons for … Continue reading.
It’s amazing how a dish that is considered boring, almost proverbially boring, can be so good when it’s made properly.
Yes, chicken salad is boring when you buy it in a tub. But when you have the cold leftovers of a properly roasted bird, and thick, homemade mayonnaise, nothing beats the clean flavours of a chicken salad sandwich.
Sure, the chicken skin is no longer crisp, but it’s still tender and salty. Besides, the crispiness comes from the celery.
And the round creaminess of the mayo is spiked with raw onion, and black pepper, and vinegar, and herbs.
It’s good when the leftovers are as coveted as the original dish.
I’m starting my foray into cheese-making with a few simple, fresh cheeses. First I’d like to cover the basics.
Cheese: A Blunt Introduction
Cheese is curdled dairy. “Curdling” is the coagulation of proteins. In cheese-making, heat, acid, and certain enzymes are used to coagulate the major protein in dairy, casein. Subjecting dairy to heat and acid or enzymes (or both) will separate the mixture into solid curds and liquid whey. The curds contain most of the protein, fat, and nutrients of the original dairy product. From an anthropological perspective, the principle benefit of cheese-making is that most of the energy and nutrients of the milk are solidified into a longer-lasting, easily-transported mass (that happens to taste amazing).
The whey, while … Continue reading.