Momofuku sausage, with Friends

Momofuku sausage, with Friends

I am on a bit of a Momofuku kick right now

I always enjoy cooking for people. Spending the 3 hours preparing food to devour it in 20 minutes is a great way to hang out with friends. Planned to have a couple of friends over and decided to make them something tasty. With the success of the Clams with bacon dashi, I decided to try another recipe from the Momofuku cookbook, this time it was lemongrass sausage wraps.

All you need for a great dinner.

 

Being an Asian wrap, there were many components to the dish that made it a success. I would say the real star of the dish was the sausage, but you need all the components to make it taste great and fresh. There are a number of ways to make one of these wraps, I’m sure everyone at the table had a different approach. This is how I made mine:

  1. Grab a piece of lettuce
  2. Pile on some rice
  3. Drizzle a table spoon of Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
  4. Add the sausage
  5. Scope on Carrot and Daikon Pickle
  6. Top with Mint and Cilantro
  7. Eat

I added the Kimchi to the table, but I didn’t feel that it needed it.

Posted from New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
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Clams with bacon dashi

Have you ever made one of those meals that just blows your mind. A type of meal that the surpasses your expectations? A type of meal that you think about for days?

This is not something that happens often, but it did happen to me on the weekend. And it all started with the bacon dashi.

Bacon Dashi?

Bacon dashi is a food concept from David Chang, the creator of Momofuku and accomplished chef. Tanya and I first heard about David Chang when we started watching The Mind of a Chef and we were intrigued by constant reference to ramen and dashi.

Bacon dashi is where you use bacon instead of bonito flakes to make a dashi.

Dashi? Bonito Flakes?

Dashi is Japanese soup broth made from kombu (or edible seaweed) and fermented bonito flakes (preserved smoked tuna). If you have ever had miso soup, then you have had Dashi.

About a year ago Tanya and I never heard the word dashi before, but after hearing many references to dashi during the latest Top Chef Masters and The Mind of a Chef, we had to try it.

Momofuku

I followed the recipe from David’s cook book, Momofuku, which is full of a number of other interesting looking recipes.

Posted from New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
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Squid

Squid, the forgotten cephalopod. Although a lot of work to prepare, this spineless creature is worth the effort. It all started when Tanya got the idea earlier this week, we should have seafood this weekend.

Squid isn’t something that is plentiful around Victoria, in fact, I don’t know if I have ever seen it for sale, definitely not fresh. When we went to Cowichan Bay Seafood at the Victoria Public Market, there was a package of it, frozen.

They said that they couldn’t get it fresh, but they did have a source from California. I guess it isn’t that popular and as such, there aren’t that many sources.

Squid is cheap, 3 pounds for $11, this is a great way to eat wild seafood. We bought the package and took it home, really unaware of the work that would be involved to turn squid into dinner.

Over 4 hours

In the end, I think we were working at the squid for over 4 hours. These were 4 enjoyable hours, in which I drank beer and processed the squid. Here is what you have to do to each squid

  1. Remove the tentacles, cut just between the eyes and the tentacles
  2. There is a mouthpiece of some sort in there, remove that
  3. Quickly remove the suction cups from the tentacle (if you can, it isn’t that important)
  4. Pull the head out, hopefully with the guts
  5. Remove the [galdius](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladius_(cephalopod)
  6. Remove any other guts that are left in the body cavity
  7. Remove the out layer of the skin
  8. Store in ice cold water and move onto the next one

It is a process and it took a long time, but it was so worth it. The flavour was great, the texture was perfect.

Squid two ways

We decided to make squid two ways,

  1. On the BBQ, from Food52
  2. Deep fried, Mark Bittman style

Both ways were great, but in the end, I would choose the BBQ method again. The flavour was great with both methods, but the BBQ was faster, tasted a bit better and didn’t leave an oily residue everywhere.

Posted from New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
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New snack

I’m a big fan of chips (who isn’t). I love to snack on chips so much that I only buy chips once in a while or I would be eating them all the time. When we traveled in India, we found a whole new world of chips and other deep fried spicy and exotic snacks.

While in the Burnside Food Market I found the chips pictured above. Spicy, deep fried chickpeas. Very delicious and perfect as a post hike snack.

I first sampled these chips from a co-worker, and once I tried them, I knew I had to get hands on them.

Posted from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Nice day for a hike

A nice day for a hike, with Oliver.

Posted from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Gowlland Park

We went for a hike today in Gowlland Park. It was a perfect fall morning. Crisp, slightly damp air and the bright blue sky made this the perfect way to spend our Sunday, a Sunday with an extra hour (thanks to daylight savings).

Although there were no great vistas, walking through the forest is nice to so once in a while.

Here Tanya is walking through the natural hallway of the forest

Posted from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Bows and Arrows Coffee

Just over a year ago a new coffee shop opened on my way to work. It is called Bows and Arrows.

A roaster first

As soon as you walk into Bows and Arrows it is evident that this isn’t a typical coffee shop. In the middle of the shop is a large coffee roaster, surrounded by what appears to be a minimally designed coffee shop.

The owners are friendly and they know their coffee. On many occasions I have seen them trying different beans to decide which ones to roast and share with their customers.

Never had beans like this

Their beans are fresh and their stock changes weekly. Every-time I visit Bows and Arrows there seems to be new beans available. I like to switch it up, and Bows and Arrows always gives me a different choice of beans.

Tasting notes

I don’t usually pay attention to tasting notes for coffee, but after reading sone of the words that Bows and Arrows use to describe their coffe, I can’t help but notice them. Their notes include:

  • Pink peppercorn
  • Saison
  • Distinct
  • Dynamic

From the specific flavour to a general concept, Bows and Arrows isn’t afraid the stimulate your imagination, and palate.

Bows and Arrows have definitely changes the way I drink and think about coffee.