equal parts curiosity and skepticism

equal parts curiosity and skepticism

I drink a lot of beer.  It is one of my preferred social activities and has become a fixture of my daily routine.  I am fully aware of its full menu of detrimental health affects and associated social ills, yet find an unsettling comfort in this cool, brassy liquid.  

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Bún Bò Huê

Bún Bò Huê

Saskatoon has literally dozens of vietnamese restaurants and after being turned on to Bún Bò Huê by Jenny Ong, we have tried many different variations. We decided to try an authentic recipe to see how similar it is to the restaurant version.  To tell the truth when we try to recreate many of our restaurant favorites, the “it” factor is missing (read:MSG) As was the case this time.  A couple days later, while watching a special on Laos, I remembered the leftovers re-heated the dish.  It was delicious!  My mom always swore soup is better days later and man is she right.  I think cuz the lemon grass/chili paste had time to infuse into the broth rather than being added at the last minute.  Plus I avoided the post soup msg cramp,headache,thirst!  Try it out! The peas aren’t authentic but generally Meg won’t feed me just meat and noodles

 

Huê´-Style Spicy Beef and Rice Noodle Soup
 
(Bún Bò Huê´)

SERVES 8.

7 tbsp. canola oil
3 medium yellow onions, 2 cut into 1″ dice,
   1 thinly sliced
1 tbsp. annatto seeds
2 lbs. boneless beef shank (shin), halved
   crosswise, tendon removed and discarded
1 lb. boneless pork leg, from the upper butt portion
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lbs. beef bones, cut into 2″ pieces,
   boiled for 3 minutes
1 1⁄2 lbs. fresh pork hock, cut into 1⁄2″ slices
3 tbsp. plus 2 1⁄2 tsp. Vietnamese fish sauce
5 trimmed stalks lemongrass, 4 cut into 3″
   pieces, bruised;1 minced
1  1″ chunk Chinese yellow rock sugar
3 tbsp. dried chile flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. fine shrimp sauce
2  14-oz. packages large round bún (Vietnamese
   rice noodles), boiled, then rinsed with cold water
1⁄3 cup chopped rau ra˘m (Vietnamese coriander)
3 scallions, green parts only, trimmed and thinly sliced

1. For the broth: Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add annatto; cook until onions are yellow, 4–5 minutes. Season beef and pork leg with salt and pepper; push onions to side; add beef and pork. Sear meat for 4–5 minutes; add bones, hocks, and 5 quarts water. Bring to a boil; skim off and discard any scum. Add 3 tbsp. fish sauce, bruised lemongrass, and rock sugar; reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Transfer pork leg and hocks to a bowl of cold water; let soak for 10 minutes. Simmer broth for 1 hour more. Repeat soaking and draining with shank. Chill leg, hocks, and shank in refrigerator. Skim fat from broth; strain through a fine sieve.

2. Combine remaining oil, chile flakes, garlic, and minced lemongrass in a small pot over medium-low heat; gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining fish sauce and granulated sugar. Set chile mixture aside.

3. Bring broth to a boil in a large pot. In a bowl, stir together 1 cup of broth with shrimp sauce; pour into pot through a fine sieve and stir in 1 1⁄2 tbsp. of chile mixture. Season to taste with salt. Divide noodles between 8 bowls. Cut beef and pork across the grain into 1⁄16″-thick slices; top each bowl with slices, followed by sliced onions, rau ra˘m, and scallions. Add hocks to broth; bring to a boil. Ladle 2 cups hot broth with some hock into each bowl. Serve with remaining chile mixture, mint sprigs, sliced thai chiles, and lime wedges, if you like.

Remembrance Day Feast

Remembrance Day Feast

My favorite type of meat is shellfish. I could eat oysters everyday. Also crab, clams, scallops, shrimp, of course lobster. Conch. So good. I’m not sure if you would call these little buggers shellfish though. They seem more like a bug. Regardless, enough butter and garlic make anything delicious.

RE: “Can You Taste This For Me”

Sounds like not everyone agrees with ol’ JamRock on this one

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/553140

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.)

Mego’s sticky Buns

Mego's sticky Buns

Separated at Birth

Separated at Birth

 Tobie Putock of 15 Melbourne and Brett MacKenzie of The Flight of the Conchords.

Now that I take the time to look Jamie Oliver and Jemaine Clement both kinda look like lesbians. Naturally I mean lesbian stereotypes.

Lobster Stock

Lobster Stock

Marilyn went to Nova Scotia to speak on FAS to a bunch of judges, long story short, we ended up with fresh lobster visa vis west jet. Naturally we ate ’em with butter and garlic and made a rad lobster stock.  The impulse to eat them with butter was natural, creating the stock was less natural although natural in a wholesome way. Forget it.

Roast the shells in the oven then simmer with onions, garlic, carrots, and whatever flavors you want to add really, salt, pepper. Use it to braise, make a sauce, cook risotto, etc.

Matsutake Mushrooms

Matsutake Mushrooms

By chance our neighbor dropped by the restaurant the other day and asked if we were interested in fresh matsutake mushrooms. He’s a construction worker from Hope B.C. and although he’s a rad guy, he didn’t really seem like the type to be interested in the type of thing.  Kristen asked him if they were the kind that glow in the dark.  He said he could get us some of those as well but they won’t glow until after you eat them(?) We accepted his offer and truly never expected them to show up. Alas the beauties have arrived!

 

 

We(well megan) seared off a couple tenderloins and sauted the mushrooms in butter and sake. They we really firm and didn’t really lose much shape during cooking. The taste?  They were good, especially the aftertaste.  I think part of the appeal has to be they sell for $100 a pound in Japan(they supposedly are good for “men’s health”)  An exciting new ingredient!