Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A long Time in Coming

Although I haven't blogged about cook books for awhile, it doesn't mean that I've given up.  I've just taken some time off blogging.   The catch is I haven't slowed down buying books LOL!

I must have another 50 since my last blog.

So coming soon to you are a new set of books that I'll be testing shortly.

In the meantime, I've created a new website   The web is to provide more diversity in the look of stationary, cards and gifts sold in Ontario. 

Wish me luck with my project.   It's a big project with lots of work ahead of me.  But I'm looking forward to it

Monday, May 31, 2010

Poutine with Duck Gravy

So the other day while I was getting my now 10 month old lunch together, I was attacked by a frozen container of duck broth.  It literally jumped out of the freezer and fell to the floor.  It was like it was saying I'VE REACHED MY SHELF LIFE, USE ME OR LOSE ME!

I put the broth aside to thaw and tried to come up with some kind of idea on how to use it.

On Sunday I had a wicked craving for my grandmothers fried chicken, so I made fried chicken that would even put Mr. Saunders to shame (I'm not emotionally ready to share the recipe yet).  It even tasted better the next day.  Since I had cheese curds in the fridge and lots of potatoes I figure I could make poutine.  The catch was I would have to make my own gravy.  I usually use Benny BBQ sauce, but we didn't have any in the house.  Then I remembered the Duck Broth!  Granted it would make for a decadent sauce, but it's in the poultry category so I figured it should work.

I reduced 4 1/2 cups of the broth with 1 pod of garlic and a half a sliced onion to 2 cups.  I seasoned the broth with salt, pepper and a 1/4-tsp. msg., a dash of dried oregano and basil, then thickened the sauce with cornstarch.

I washed and soaked russet potatoes until there was no visible starch in the water.  Dried the potatoes thoroughly and fried them in peanut and canola oil.

As soon as the fries were done, I plated them, added the cheese and drowned them in the bubbling duck gravy. YMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!  The poutine was amazing!

One thing I respect more now than ever is carcass.  Yes carcass.  After the hard work of boning your meat, there are two rewards.  1. The boneless meat 2. The bones.

Don't waste the bones of your meats, poultry and fish.  Save them and make broth and use it for sauces and soups.  It really makes a difference.

The Cookbook Addict

Sweet Potato Fries with Mayo Dip and Beef Ribs -Yummm

Okay...I made this dish without a recipe and it turned out pretty good.

I've tried making sweet potato fries a few times, but they never seem to be as crisp as the ones in the restaurants.  So I did a bit of research.

Sweet Potato Fries

  •   The trick is to slice your potatoes
  • Soak them in cold water for 5-10 minutes to remove any excess starch
  • Thoroughly dry the potatoes and then lightly dust the potatoes with cornstarch or potato starch.
  • Deep fry immediately in hot oil 350 degrees.
  • Remove when golden brown
Mayo Dip - This was yummy

1cup of Mayonnaise (Hellmans)
1 tsp lemon rind
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Chipoltle powder ( I use a full tsp. Taste as you go.  Some like it hot and some not)
 splash of tobasco sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Baked Beef Ribs

2-3lbs of Beef Ribs
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
3/4 cup Red Wine
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp Flour
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
4 Cloves minced garlic
1 pinch of curry powder

Season the ribs with salt and pepper.  Dust ribs in flour and brown in 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Once the ribs have been browned place in a deep baking pan and add the rest of your ingredients.  Bake at 425 degrees until tender.  Strain the sauce and reduce the sauce until it's nice and syrupy. Add sauce back to the ribs and serve.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chuck's Day Off - Salted Roasted Prime Rib, Oven Roasted Potato Fries with Mayonnaise

Although Chuck Hughes does not have a cook book......sad, sad, sad. No worries though, Chuck does have a few recipes on his blog.  Since I tried out his rib recipe 3 times and everyone absolute loved them, I figured I better try some more of his creations.  How could they be bad...the guy is from Montreal of course! But to be on the sure side, I'll test out a few of his meals just to be on the safe side (giggle giggle).

Salted Roasted Prime Rib and Oven Roasted Potato Fries seem simple enough and it looked fantastic when he made it on the food network. So this will be the menu for tonight.

So I made the prime rib and oven roasted potato fries.  The prime rib was good.  I used a 2 1/2 lb prime rib.  I think this recipe would have been more successful if 1. The prime rib was at least 8 - 10 lbs like it called for in the recipe 2. was cooked on the BBQ.  Although I cut the recipe down to meet the size of my prime rib, I found the meat a bit to salty and the ground peppercorn was a bit too intense.    I love the fact that it was med rare, but I have to say I like my prime rib with either plain and simple or seasoned with  finger licking flavor, such as: mustard, garlic and fresh herbs.

The potatoes were great!  I had to fight my husband and my son for them.  They were way too easy to make and even though they weren't deep fried in old, saturated fat like in Montreal they were still fantastic.

I passed on making the Mayonnaise with Horseradish.  I didn't have any fresh horseradish, and I wasn't about to hit the store with a 22lb sleepy baby on a rainy day.  So I made the cream corn instead.  OH MINE A GOD!!!!  This dish is so dangerously delicious that I've put it in my geriatric food log as one of the foods you can puree for me when I'm 100 and have no teeth and I can't eat solids.  It's SO good that you can kid yourself into believing that it's healthy because your using fresh corn off the cob.  Hmmmmmm!  Who needs meat and potatoes when you have this side dish.  Bravo Chuck! Bravo!

Here are the recipes I tried from Chucks Day Off Web Page.


  • 12 cups coarse salt
  • 1 cup cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary and thyme (combined)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 - 10 pound prime rib roast


  1. In a bowl stir the salt and water together and add flour for some extra binding. Froth up the egg whites with a fork, add them and blend until mixture forms a stiff paste resembling wet snow while holding it’s shape when you squeeze it together.
  2. Spread the mixture to form a salt bed in the bottom of a large roasting pan, and lay roast on top fat side down.
  3. Cover it all over with herbs and cracked black peppercorns., pressing into the roast to make sure it adheres well.
  4. Coat it completely with the salt dough, patting it well so that when it roasts it will solidify into a solid casing. It needs to be about ¼ inch thick.
  5. Roast the beef in the middle of a preheated 325 degree (165 C) oven for 20 minutes per pound to get medium rare.
  6. Transfer to a cutting board, let it rest for 15 minutes and then, cut the casing open and slice in between the bones for nice manly servings. You can also remove the bones and slice thinner if you want


  • 3 cobs of corn
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • 1 big nub of butter
  • A pinch of coarse salt
  • A grinding of cracked black pepper


  1. Husk the corn cobs and slice the kernels off the cobs and place into a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the cream and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let it cook and reduce till the liquid is thicker, the corn is plumped up and the volume of liquid is reduced by about half. About 10 minutes.
  3. Take it off the heat. Stir in a good nub of butter, add some coarse salt and pepper to taste. The finished result will still be a little firm to the tooth but sweet and creamy, as well.



  • 4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 3 – 4 tbsp olive oil
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A grinding of fresh ground black pepper
  • A few sprinkles of smoked paprika
  • A few sprinkles of steak spice


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees (220 C).
  2. Cut potatoes into nice thick ‘handcut fry slices’.
  3. Place in large bowl and cover with cold water. You can do this in advance if you want – for up to 24 hours. It helps to remove excess starch.
  4. Drain and Pat dry on paper towel. Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Bake till tender and golden crispy outside - about 40 minutes.
  6. When out of the oven hit them with some dashes of steak spice.
 The Cookbook Addict