Koryo

Koryo

 

This may get my food blogger hall pass revoked but the best new restaurant I’ve found in Saskatoon is a Korean fast food joint call Koryo. I’ve never had any luck with Korean food in the past.  One of the reasons being if I go to a restaurant, it’s generally to have someone else cook for me, and not DIY on a electric fry pan while sitting on a cushion.  Then again I had never tried the North American bastardized school of Korean cooking.  Greasy fried potatoes drenched in mayo, grilled steak sandwiches, and my favorite, those ghetto, fat, udon noodles composed in a lab.  To add to the trashy-ness of this post, Koryo is located in the MidTown Mall food court.  Try it.  Sparingly.

My Epic Costa Rican Fishing Adventure

My Epic Costa Rican Fishing Adventure

I’ve gone fishing in the cold northern Canadian lakes, in rivers in Florida, off the piers of a caribbean island and now in the mountains of Costa Rica.  Enough spots to make Bob Izumi proud.  This beauty, likely a 3 or 4 pound Tilapia, was plucked from a river stream, and cooked on the spot by our local Tico guide.

Now confidentially, the secret fishing spot is called the “peanut butter fishing hole”, a stocked fishing hole smaller than your back yard, diverted from a stream, conveniently located in front of a patio, where you can drink many beers while your “local guide” deep fries your catch.  Now you too can have your own epic Costa Rican fishing adventure!

Oh Lutefisk!

Oh Lutefisk!

With the same particularly Canadian impulses that have preserved and celebrated archaic forms of Ukrainian dance, my family has retained some cultural remnants from a long forgotten past.  Year after year, my mostly Scandanavian family comes together on December 24th to share a traditional Norwegian Christmas meal. Although I am not familiar with the origin or significance of the dishes they seem sufficiently unusual to warrant documentation.

The star of the meal is a jelly-like fishy substance called Lutefisk.  The fish (usually cod) is treated with lye and salt, packaged, frozen and distributed to lusty Norwegians all over the place. It is boiled and consumed with a generous drizzle of melted butter, salt and pepper. Due to its unappealing appearance and off-putting texture, eating lutefisk has become a rite of passage of sorts. Our dates and partners capable of swallowing the stuff are heaped with praise and are fast tracked for family approval.

 

The dish never fails to please is a flat bread of sorts.  Lefse is a distant relative of the crepe/tortilla family, and is prepared by mixing cold mashed potatoes with flour, cream and (depending who you talk to) shortening. The dough is then rolled into thin rounds and cooked on a griddle. It is a time consuming, labour intensive process, wrought with hazards for the first time lefse maker. The end product however is tender and delicious, usually eated with butter and sugar.

Yum.

My favourite of the Norwegian Christmas delicacies is Potato Sausage. Every year without fail, my aunt and uncle make a big batch of these sausages, working to perfect their recipe. I am told the sausage mixture contains half potato with equal parts beef and pork and seasoning. It is baked in the oven until the skins provide that delightful pop when you bite into them. After ten years of maintaing quite a diligent vegetarian diet, I compromised it all for the seductive Potatoe Sausage.

I regret nothing.

Meg’s Famous Creme Brulee French Toast

Meg's Famous Creme Brulee French Toast

This was the main for the Bicycles for Humanity Christmas brunch the other day. If I ever opened another restaurant it would be a diner/brunch type place.

Once I travelled to Miami, and went for brunch with a friend to my dream brunch restaurant, huge spread of breaky and smoothies, a DJ, and the drinks flowing. I’m not sure that type of place would work in Saskatoon, but it was be rad none the less. I guess it didn’t hurt that the Miami brunch spot only had 3 walls with 4th opening to a big patio with huge shade trees, 25 degrees in January and I was on vacation.  

But the other reason to open a brunch joint was, it was so easy.  Everything was prepped the night before after dinner service slowed down, and it all went into the oven a half hour before service.  We served 10 people with no effort at all.  If Jamie could cook,(or I could serve) we wouldn’t even need a second worker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  

    Preparation

    In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

    In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

    Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature.

    Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

    Serve hot French toast immediately.

    Guest Appearance On Jesus Day

    Guest Appearance On Jesus Day

    Check out this website for some food related jesus sightings, like this fish stick from Kingston Ontario.  http://www.thesharkguys.com/2008/05/05/holy-christ-in-the-cornflakes-the-top-10-oddball-jesus-sightings/

    Kitchen Gadgets, Pancake Baller/Tako Yaki Grill

    Kitchen Gadgets, Pancake Baller/Tako Yaki Grill

    On t.v. the other night we saw a gadget which makes these little pancake spheres.  They were pitching these as healthy snack for kids.  Meanwhile our faithful homie and bartender Aman brought us back a rad kitchen gadget from Japan. A cupped electric frying pan for cooking tako yaki. A fried octopus potato croquette type thing.  Basically the same gadget, so we tried the pancake balls.  Yum!  Coming soon, the tako yaki experiment.

    Vietnamese Fave

    Vietnamese Fave

    I love Vietnamese Subs.  Barbeque chicken, cilantro, and the secret fish sauce.  This beauty was from Caroline’s Deli.  A little spot on Broadway Ave near Kingsway in Vancouver. Check it, THREE DOLLARS! And the chicken skewer one dollar fifty cents. Such a bargain. But no one sells these gems here in Saskatoon. Christie’s Bakery on 33rd Street did them for a bit, but though good, not really authentic.  If you got a line on one let me know.

    Celebrity Waiter

    Celebrity Waiter

    Our dear buddy Jamie Mah got props from Craig Silliphant in his recent review of Sushiro Izakaya(?) restaurant.

    He writes, “Our waiter, Jamie, was the same gentleman that serves us every time we dine at Sushiro, leaving us to wonder if he ever takes a night off. He’s always an excellent server, approachable and knowledgeable.”

    The kitchen got huge propers for everything from their “sexy combinations of flavours”, describing the food as an “inspired bit of culinary magic that sent me off on an adventure in flavour. I swear, my eyes rolled back with ecstasy so far that I almost fell out of my chair.”, and the new sesame praline ice cream as “this incredibly fresh ice cream was mind-blowing. The mixture of pralines and sesame was a match that could only have been inspired by the Shinto spirits.” 

    Also Matt Feyld got props for his “quirky, stick-legged bears on the walls”

    Not Bad.

    Here’s a lame new trend!

    Here's a lame new trend!

    I don’t know everything about running a restaurant or marketing, but I do know this is really unwelcoming.  I once read that for every dollar you spend on keeping a regular customer, you have to spend 8 dollars to win over a new one.  If there is any truth to that adage, these signs got to be costing them.  

     

    p.s. If you want to close 30 minutes earlier, just close 30 minutes earlier.

    Rankest Chicken Wing Flavor: Alfredo

    Rankest Chicken Wing Flavor: Alfredo

     Cholesteral, A white soapy substance found in the tissues of the body and in certain foods, such as animal fats, oils, and egg yolks. Cholesterol has been linked to heart disease and atherosclerosis. (It collects on the walls of arteries and interferes with the flow of blood.) High levels of cholesterol in the blood are considered to be unhealthy. (See saturated fats, HDL, and LDL.)