Tag Archives: food

Smak Dab mustards up recipe for success

Working with food was, and continues to be, a major passion in her life, but the demanding schedule that comes with cooking in restaurants was not exactly what one local cook had in mind for herself.

“I’ve been involved with food my whole life,” said Carly Minish, Owner and Red Seal Chef of Smak Dab Foods Ltd.  “My grandma was a dietitian, my mom was a really good cook and I’ve always been very involved with food. So when I had to make the decision where to go for school, culinary school was a natural fit.” Continue reading Smak Dab mustards up recipe for success

Fresh Vietnamese cuisine at Pho-Yo

Many people in this world have a dream job. A job they’ve been hoping for their entire life. Sometimes, for a lucky few, that dream job lands in your lap.

Pho-Yo Vietnamese Cuisine owner Huy Dang was one of those lucky few.

Huy was out with a friend while looking for a place to eat, when the pair stopped into Simon’s Cuisine, an Argentinian restaurant on St. Mary’s Road. While eating their meal, the two discussed Huy’s future plan to start his own restaurant. The owner, oddly enough not named Simon, overheard Huy’s desire and approached him, saying that the restaurant was for sale.

If Huy heard anything else just then, it would have been the sound of opportunity landing in his lap.

“I love the working space, and the kitchen is massive, so it was pretty funny how it worked out,” said Huy.

It wasn’t like Huy wasn’t looking for a potential place. He was. So when the opportunity presented itself, he scrounged up all the money he could, and, with a little help from family members and Futurpreneur, opened Pho-Yo in December of 2015.

“Cooking was something I always loved to do. I started when I was young, watching my mom in the kitchen,” said Huy. “Since then, I had always found myself working for a restaurant, or for somebody that owns a restaurant.”

“I took what I learned and made it my own,” Huy says, in regards to his experiences working in kitchens.

Long Hours
Pho-Yo is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, and Huy is always there to make sure everything is running smoothly.

“I do a little grocery shopping, every day. I like everything fresh, not stock. I come in early before we open and get things ready. Then I’m here after we close to prep for the next day.”

One of the new experiences for Huy is the interaction with customers, having previously been working in the kitchens of restaurants.

“Coming to work and seeing repeat customers. When someone comes in and compliments your food, that’s a wicked feeling.”

Huy keeps the menu small at Pho-Yo, in order to focus on a few special dishes rather than a wider variety at a lower quality.

“When you have too many options, you can’t keep things fresh. You have to freeze it, and when you do it lowers the quality of the texture and the taste.”

On the Menu
There are a number of Vietnamese dishes available, as well as the top selling pho. Pho is served with rice noodles, sliced onion, green onion, red onion, and cilantro, and garnished with bean sprouts, Thai basil, chili peppers or jalapenos, and lime wedges.

Pho-Yo is located at 513 St. Mary’s Road Unit B. It’s at the corner of St. Mary’s and Essex, tucked away next to Joe Daley’s Sports & Framing. Visit Pho-Yo’s website at phoyo.ca, and be sure to check out Pho-Yo Vietnamese Cuisine on Facebook for a preview of what’s in store.

A sweet spin on an old favourite.

It was only the other day that I was chatting with a friend while shopping that I noticed Duck was on offer. It had been a long while since I have revelled in the enjoyment of fresh duck. Sure I have had crispy duck, Peking duck and other such treats but the joys of a good home cooked roast duck it has most definitely been a while.

To me, simple food is always the best. If it is too complex one sometimes feels let down. You know, you plan an event, you get the ingredients, go over and over making sure that all is right. Then when it comes down to it you one feels somehow deflated.

Not this time, duck is a treat, when roasting duck the aromas always tantalize my nose, and the taste once cooked is simply put amazing.

Roast duck
1 duck
1 large orange
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 onions
4 apples
3 sticks celery
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
½ cup of sweet corn
1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon White Pepper

Peel, core and chop your apples, place into a pot with a ¼ cup of water, bring to boil and cook through. Once cooked mash and set to one side.

Chop up one onion and place In a large bowl add all remaining ingredients (aside from the duck and one onion) and blend together to form a dry bread mix. Add to this the cooked apples and mix thoroughly.

Wash your duck through then dry and place in your oven proof dish. Peel your remaining onion and place inside your duck. Stuff your breadcrumb mixture inside the duck, filling until it spills out.

Pour over 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then flavour with a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Slice the orange in two and put both halves into the tray with the duck.

Place inside your pre-heated oven (350c) and cook until the temperature in the thigh reaches 165F, usually 20 minutes per pound.

Remove from the oven and leave sit for ten minutes, carve and enjoy. Go on, go out and treat yourself, it will be all worth it.
(Useful tip, duck fat is excellent to cook with try and save from your pan)

Left-overs? What left-overs? Fricassee to the rescue

Sometimes, only sometimes, I feel a little like a rabbit on the go. Perhaps even like the ever-ready bunny, always doing one thing or another, with something always happening in the kitchen at this time of year. From pastries to pies; from cookies to puddings: a one stop shop.

What to do? All the preparation of the festive season and mountains of turkey leftover! Sure, you can have sandwiches which are always great. Curry! Or even pan seared turkey with peppers over a salad. Awesome! But, me being me, I like to stick with something that brings the past to life.

Yup that’s right, a Fricassee. What’s that you may well ask? It is something that has become somewhat of a staple for me every time I roast a chicken, or any bird come to think of it. To many it is seen as a French stew, although without garlic. Weird, I know, but there you have it.

This dish not only allows you to revitalize your turkey, but dare I say even brings it back to life. With a rich creamy sauce, a delicate flavour of fresh herbs, mouth wateringly yummy is all I can say.

6 cups of picked cold turkey
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups hot chicken broth
1 cup white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 medium white onion halved and thinly sliced
2 cups of roughly chopped Mushrooms
1 egg
½ cup whipping cream
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a wide saucepan, cook the onion, celery, and carrot with the 2 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat. Once they have softened ad your leftover turkey pieces.

Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and flour, ensuring that all sides of the turkey are coated. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in half a cup of wine, and let simmer for 5 minutes, leaving the alcohol to cook out. Then add the chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, and parsley. Ensure that there is enough liquid to just cover the turkey. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove the turkey to a serving dish and set aside, while also removing the sprigs of thyme and bay leaf.

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter then add your thinly sliced white onion and leave to simmer for 2 minutes. Then add your chopped mushrooms again simmer for 2 minutes and finely add to this your remaining ½ cup of wine. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add your onion and mushroom mixture to your other saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce reduces thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

In a medium bowl, mix together the egg and cream. Slowly drizzle this into the sauce. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils turn off the heat, season to taste, add the nutmeg and lemon juice.
Pour the sauce over the turkey and serve with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables of choice, now that’s what I am talking about. Enjoy folks.

Toad in the hole: not just a pub

With the cold winters fast approaching and the festive season with its copious amounts of food, how about something a little different. A staple for many from across the pond; not only quick to prepare and cook but very easy on the pocket.

From days of old when the Yorkshire was initially introduced as an appetizer loaded with thick gravy to fill you up, (times were hard). To a regular on the Sunday table with roast beef. The Yorkshire has not really evolved much but served in the house would most definitely be a feast fit for any king who dare knock on the door.

If you have a little time, and are looking for a real home treat delight give this a go.

Toad in the Hole
1 ½ cups flour
4 eggs
Pinch of salt
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 sausages

The trick here is to make the mix and let it rest first. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add to this the eggs, milk, pinch of salt. Mix well and leave to rest.

Panfry the sausages until golden brown, then leave to one side. Using a large glass oven proof dish pour in your olive oil and brush all over the inside of said dish, then place in a pre-heated over at 375F. After several minutes remove from the oven and pour in your Yorkshire pudding mix. Place your sausages evenly inside the mixture then return to the oven.

Cook for 30 – 40 minutes or until the Yorkshire has risen and is a nice golden brown. Then remove from the oven.

When serving I usually have mashed potatoes, a vegetable of choice and a nice onion gravy.

Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications.