Prime Rib

For this assignment, I chose a prime rib bought from The Meat Department.

You can check out their Facebook group here.

I was told that all their beef are bought local and lambs are bought from Stratford. Personally, I’ve never really paid attention to the quality difference when the meat comes from a foreign place. Perhaps I should start…

The prime rib is a cut of beef from the primal rib. This particular piece of meat cost $30CND and it was definitely worth it. img_2978-e1496269112209.jpg

Opening the packaging, you instantly see all the fat starting to marble the meat.

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For this particular steak, I decided to pan sear it with:

  • Half a spoon of rosemary
  • A teaspoon of thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 150g Butter
  • Tbsp of Olive Oil

Dry the piece of steak and dust salt and pepper.

I started by coating the skillet with vegetable oil, butter, and my rosemary and thyme. I would have done it with just butter but I was afraid of the butter burning and changing the taste of my steak. Once the pan is hot, I place the steak and hear the most beautiful sizzling sound. Each side was cooked around 4 1/2 – 5 minutes. I then covered the steak in tin foil and let it rest for 15mins before cutting into it.

Here’s how it looked:

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Overall, I was pretty happy the way it turned out and I definitely prefer pan seared than grilled steaks. I would like to try sous vides one day, but that’s a whole other post…

Thanks for the read.

Fruit Hunter

For this blog, I have decided to go to Superking Supermarket located at 1635 Lawrence Ave W, North York, ON M6L 3C9. The reason I went there is because is when I was younger, I used to go there to do groceries. There are a wide variety of produce and the price is cheaper compared to other markets. I am also very familiar to the place and area. IMG_2904[2]Here is a picture of me holding probably the biggest jack fruit I have ever seen.

Here is a short video that I made throughout my day:

http://www.kizoa.com/Movie-Video-Slideshow-Maker/d104798689k9342642o1l1/fruit-hunter

I have decided to choose dragon fruit because I have never tried it and the fruit itself is very eye-catching. The colours of the fruit is just so fascinating. It was also a pleasure to see what was inside when I had finally sliced it open.

1st Step:

Wash your dragon fruit

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2nd Step:

Slice it in half. Lengthwise.

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3rd Step:

You can use a spoon to just scoop out the fruit, but I used a knife to slice along the edge of the fruit to separate it from the skin. Then I just pulled the fruit out. Then sliced it.

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A little bit of facts about dragon fruit or also known as pitaya:

The fruit I bought was about $6 at the market I went to, but if you watched the video, Metro at Bathurst & Lawrence was selling it for about $9.

The fruit itself didn’t really have a distinct smell like durian, or jack fruit, or oranges. It smelled almost like cucumbers, very subtle, I can’t quite describe the smell of it. The visual aspect of the dragon fruit is quite intriguing. The one I bought had a pink skin, but there was one at the market with an orange hue. The fruit definitely catches your attention and it’s quite beautiful.

Moving on to the taste. It was pretty sweet, but the taste was not as strong as I expected it to be. It was almost like eating a kiwi. The texture was a bit weird to me, it had a lot of seeds and it created a sort of crunch to it. Overall the fruit was soft to the palate and mouth.

I’m not quite sure what I would do if I were to cook this, so I looked up some recipes, I have found this recipe on Pinterest. Link will be posted below.

Vegan Dragon Fruit Cheesecake

Produce

  • 1 Lemon, juice of
  • 1 tsp Lemon, zest
  • 1 1/4 cup Medjool dates

Canned Goods

  • 3/4 cup Coconut cream

Condiments

  • 1/2 cup Brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup

Baking & Spices

  • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

Oils & Vinegars

  • 6 tbsp Coconut oil

Nuts & Seeds

  • 2 cup Cashews
  • 1 cup Walnuts

Other

  • 1 cup dragon fruit, chopped*
  • ½ cup raspberries

It does sound quite appetizing. Stay tuned and when I have time, I will write about the cheesecake.

Here is the link to Pinterest.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fruit and I will definitely try to get more of it from now on.

Thanks for the read!

 

Pickling

For this assignment, I have decided to pickle cucumbers in vinegar, soy sauce, and star anise.

Here is the recipe list I have decided to use:

  • 1 whole cucumber, sliced on a bias
  • 30mL of white vinegar
  • 15mL of soy sauce
  • 2 dried star anise
  • brown sugar and black pepper to taste

I proceeded to put everything in the fridge covered in saran wrap for about two hours.

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I have decided to use this recipe because I remember back in the Philippines, my uncles and aunts would make something similar during a hot day and I have never tried it. The only variation that I have implemented is the brown sugar and the star anise.

After the pickling process, this is how it turned out:

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Right away, I realize that the cucumber took on a darker color and the black pepper is everywhere. Maybe I ought to use white pepper next time.

The aroma is quite peppery and the smell of the soy sauce is evident, but most of all, the vinegar aroma overpowers everything else.

I pick a sliced cucumber up and instantly realized that it kept its integrity and its not soggy.

I bite the cucumber and I get a an almost suffocating taste of pepper. Perhaps less pepper next time (if there is one). The pickling juice is sweet and… not refreshing, but different. I have yet to determine whether I like it or not.

Overall, I’m not a huge fan of this at all and I wonder how my family ate this… but the picking juice itself is interesting, perhaps trying it with a different ingredient could be something great.

Braised Lamb Shank

For this post, I have decided to try a dish I have never tried before. I chose to go to a restaurant on Front St. called “Sultan’s Tent.” Looking over their menu, the braised lamb shank really stood out to me. Also because the waiter suggested it. I also ordered hummus & pita, but I will direct my focus on the  lamb.

The food was served like this:

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At first glance, I thought that it looked very appetizing. The vegetables looked a little bit overcooked, especially the cucumbers. The saffron rice added some color to the entire dish as it was very dark. I also noticed that there is only one piece of carrot on my plate.

The aroma of the dish was very inviting, but not too strong. Evey aspect of the dish just came together, smell wise.

I pick up my fork and a press on the meat, and it just slides off the bone. My first bite and it seemed like the lamb just melted in my mouth.The vegetables may looked overcooked, but they a level of bite to it. The crushed cashews adds a crunchy texture along with very tender meat. The saffron rice was cooked perfectly.

The lamb and the glaze that covered it was very mellow to the palate. It didn’t have an overwhelming flavor but it was very delicious. Combining it with the sweetness of the beets and the rice, it created a very wonderful experience on my palate. I usually am not a fan of beets, but on this occasion, it worked so well with the dish that I just couldn’t resist. Regarding my palate, I find myself taking a liking to very soft flavors. Nothing too sweet, nothing too salty, but just enough to compliment the components of the dish.

I would definitely revisit this place and I highly recommend it for anyone that is looking for a great experience during dinner. The night I went, they had live jazz music playing in the background which created such a great ambience and really set the mood for dinner. It was very unfortunate that I had missed the belly dancing show they typically have, but hopefully I will be back soon.

You can visit them on their website at:

Sultan’s Tent

 

Soup Making

For this assignment, I have decided to make a Filipino dish called, “Bulalo.” It is a basic beef soup, with corn on the cob, beef shank, baby bokchoy, and green onions.

I have decided to make this particular soup because it is my favorite thing to eat when I am feeling under the weather and that is the current state I am in.

To start the soup, I prepared all the ingredients that I will be using.

  • 2 1/2lbsBeef Shank
  • 4 Whole Corn
  • 500g Baby bokchoy
  • Black Pepper
  • 4 Green onions
  • 1 1/2 Cabbage
  • 2 Green chili
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 10 Cups of Water
  • Salt to taste

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I start by putting 10 cups of water in a stock pot along with onions, black pepper, 2 tbsp of fish sauce, and the beef shank. I bring that to a boil then simmer it for 1-1 1/2hrs.

Once the meat is tender, I add salt if needed and when I have adjusted the taste, the corn goes in the stock pot.Simmer for 10-15mins or until the corn is soft.

Afterwards, the cabbage may go in.

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Simmer for about 5-7mins.

Once the cabbage is cooked, baby bokchoy and the green onions are the last ingredients. Make sure it is submerged in the stock.

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Let the baby bokchoy cook. Then serve.

My final product looked like this.

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In my opinion, the stock is a bit greasy. I should have trimmed off the fat before i began. Maybe I should have removed the corn from the cob so the person eating it gets a bit of sweetness with the spicy stock. The cabbage should have been cut smaller so it looks more presentable. Overall I think the flavors are good and it made me feel a lot better.

For this assignment, I have asked my girlfriend’s mom to try the soup. Right off the bat she told me that I should have sliced the cabbage smaller. She takes her first sip of the soup and I can tell by her facial expression that the spice hit her really hard.

She says, “That’s really spicy.” (In Spanish)

As she clears her throat from the spice, she then proceeded to tell me that the flavors are fantastic but she’s cannot tolerate spicy food. She also mentioned that it looks good and also made a comment on removing the corn from the cob.

I think the biggest challenge in cooking is trying to match everyone else’ palettes. Just because something tastes good to you, does not mean it will taste great for everyone else. I think the soup I have made was a success. Now that I know how much spice to put in for the next time I try to impress my girlfriend’s mom.

I encourage everyone to make this soup as it is very easy and it tastes great. Traditionally, it is served over rice, but without it is just as good.

Thank you for reading.

My Little Introduction

Hello,

My name is Nikos Abeabe and this is me:

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After a two and a half year hiatus from academics, I have decided to pursue the path of a chef. Now why do I wanna be a chef? I believe great food brings people together and it never fails to bring a smile to a person’s face.

I do not have any kitchen experience aside from home cooking or the occasional beers and burgers with the fellas, but I hope to gain a lot of knowledge throughout this year on what it really takes to work in the industry.

This blogging experience will act as a journal throughout my studies and let any readers (if any read this) into my experiences regarding my academic studies.

“I do not stick to rules when cooking. I rely on my imagination.”

“Akshay Kumar Quotes”. BrainyQuote. N.p., 2017. Web. 11 Jan. 2017.

Personally, I am not a fan of blogs, but throughout the class, maybe I will be able to appreciate them even more. I believe that reactions to food are better understood through facial gestures.