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Sunday, January 30, 2011


What to do with ginger, remember falls into the spice category, spices are barks, twigs and roots, herbs are tender leaves and shoots. Ginger is an ancient spic which dates back to 640 AD grown first in Asia and India now grown nearly globally. It has many culinary and medicinal uses (great to clam a upset stomach). Here are a few ginger recipes.

Root beer, Dr. Pepper, ginger ale, and even Coca-Cola had it’s origins in the drug stores, so heres an orginal drug store favorite.

2 ounces whole dried ginger
2 quarts water
1 Cup sugar
1 lime

Simmer ginger in 2 quarts water until ginger pieces are completely soft. Remove ginger and chop into smaller pieces, cutting off any skin or blemishes. Return ginger to pan and bring to boil. Turn off heat and let steep at least 1 hour or up to 12 - the longer the ginger steeps the hotter the beverage will be.

Strain the ginger out of the water with a cheesecloth or fine sieve. Return the water to the pan and add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Remove and cool. Syrup can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for a few days.

To make the syrup into a beverage, pour 1 quart seltzer water into a pitcher and stir in syrup. Squeeze in lime juice to taste. Pour over ice and serve.

Ginger Beef Recipe
This is my daughter Pams favorite dish

1 pound flank steak
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
3 hot chili peppers
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil


2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon cooking sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons ginger juice


1 egg white, lightly beaten
¼ cup water
¼ cup flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon hot chili oil (optional)


1 tablespoon wine
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons water
chili oil to taste
4 to 5 cups oil for deep-frying


1.Slice beef into matchstick strips, cutting along the grain. (The meat is easier to cut if it is partially frozen).

2.To make ginger juice for marinade, peel and grate ginger. Squeeze out juice.

3.Mix four marinade ingredients. Add to beef and marinate for 30 minutes.

4.Begin preparing vegetables. Cut carrots, celery, and pepper into thin strips. Mince garlic. For ginger, use the leftover minced ginger from the preparation of ginger juice.

5.Mix the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

6.Beat the egg white and add water. Add flour and cornstarch. Mix the batter thoroughly. Drop the batter into the marinated meat. Heat wok. When heated, add 3 – 5cups of oil. When the oil is ready, add about ¼ of the meat/batter mixture. Deep-fry the beef until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Let oil come back to original temperature and add more meat.

7.When meat is cooked, clean the wok. Heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is ready, add the vegetables and begin stir-frying. Pour in the sauce and let come to a boil. Add the deep-fried beef. Toss quickly, and remove.

8.Sprinkle with sesame oil and serve hot.

Ginger Chicken

1 tsp. Black Pepper
¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp. Mustard seeds (black)
½ tsp. Fennel Seeds
10 tbsps. Ginger (paste)
4 tbsps. Vegetable Oil
½ tbsp. Red Chili Powder
2 pieces Cinnamon
5 cloves Garlic
1¼ lb. Chicken (skinless, boneless)
2 nos. Red Chilies
1 Onion
1 Tomato
Cilantro for garnishing

Put the chicken peices into a bowl and add the turmeric and 1 tsp salt.
Chop the ginger finely and put into a blender along with about 2 tbsps water.Blend to a paste. Squeeze the juice through a strainer over the chicken, discarding the pulp. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours but preferably overnight.

Heat the oil in a wok over a medium heat. When hot add the chillies, mustard seeds, urad dal , fennel and cinnamon. Stir for a few seconds until the mustard seeds pop.
Add the garlic and stir, then add the onion and stir and saute until soft and just starting to brown. Add the tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and its marinade, cayenne pepper and the remaining salt.Stir and fry on a high heat for about 6 minutes until browned. Cover, turn heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and sprinkle in the black pepper. If there is any liquid left turn up the heat and dry off before serving. Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander.


6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped ginger root
3 cloves garlic, minced
7 c. chicken stock
1 c. whipping cream
1 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch curry powder
Salt & ground pepper
Snipped fresh chives or parsley

1. Melt butter in large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic; saute for 15-20 minuts.

2. Add the stock, cream and carrots. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered over medium heat until the carrots are very tender, about 25 minutes.

3. Puree the soup in a blender or processor (fitted with steel blade), or with a hand blender. Season with lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chives or parsley. Serve hot or cold

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Chicken Marsala

1/4 lb (115 g) pancetta OR bacon, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, butterflied and pounded to uniform 1/4-inch (5-mm) thickness
6 tbsp (90 mL) butter, divided
1 lb (450 g) sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) Marsala wine
1 cup (250 mL) veal or beef broth
1/4 cup (60 mL) whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley


1. In a large skillet, cook the pancetta or bacon until crisp. Transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Do not wipe out the pan.

2. In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and pepper. Dip the breasts to coat them. Pat off excess flour.

3. Return skillet to the heat. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter. When it foams, add half of the chicken pieces and cook, turning often, until they are browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm.

4. Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter to the pan and brown the remaining breasts.

5. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the mushrooms release their liquid. Turn up the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is almost gone.

6. Add the garlic and pancetta or bacon to the pan and stir for 1 minute.

7. Add the wine (flame)and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the liquid to 1/4 cup (60 mL). Add the broth and return to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until the mixture returns to a boil. Taste for seasoning.

8. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until hot. Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.

Notes: Chicken Marsala is traditionally served over the wide egg noodle called papardella. Also for those who don't care for wine or alcohol you may substitute unfiltered apple juice in this recipe.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


The big game of the year deserves a big taste for the party, so make your own super bowl of wings, get a really big bowl and fill it with any one or all of the 9 kinds of wings I list here!!!!! Enjoy the game and the wings.

BBQ Chicken Wings

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 tbsp prepared mustard
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (Hickory or Mesquite are best)
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Tabasco Sauce or Chef K's Ogopogo Sauce
3 tbsp Chef K's Seasonings

Combine all the ingredients together and set aside.

2 1/2 lbs chicken wings

Wash the wing and pat dry. Place the wings in mixing bowl and pour half the sauce over. Marinate 4-6 hours, covered and refrigerated.

Preheat the oven to 450 F and place the wings on a cookie sheet bake for 6-7 minutes, turn the wings over and continue to bake for an additional 6-7 minutes. Brush the wings with the reserved sauce during the last two minutes of cooking and just before serving.


2 tbsp lemon zest
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine the ingredients together and set aside.

2 1/2 lbs chicken wings

Wash the wing and pat dry. Place the wings in mixing bowl and pour half the sauce over. Marinate 4-6 hours, covered and refrigerated.

Preheat the oven to 450 F and place the wings on a cookie sheet bake for 6-7 minutes, turn the wings over and continue to bake for an additional 6-7 minutes. Brush the wings with the reserved sauce during the last two minutes of cooking and just before serving.


2 cup chili sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Chef K Seasonings
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Tabasco or Chef K's Ogopogo Sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (Hickory or Mesquite are best)

Combine the ingredients together and set aside.

5 lbs Turkey wings

Wash the wing and pat dry. Place the wings in mixing bowl and pour half the sauce over. Marinate 4-6 hours, covered and refrigerated.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and place the wings in a casserole dish bake for 20 minutes minutes covered with foil wrap. Uncover and turn the wings over and continue to bake for an additional 6-7 minutes. Brush the wings with the reserved sauce during the last two minutes of cooking and just before serving.


1 cup dried apricots
1 cup water, hot
2 cup apricot brandy
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water, cold
3 lbs chicken wings

In a sauce pan cook the apricots in the water until soft. Remove apricots to a food processor and process into a puree. Return to the sauce pan, add brandy, sugar and cinnamon. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Blend the cornstarch with the cold water and add to sauce. Simmer until thickened.

Place chicken wings on a broiling pan. Broil in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the wings over and broil for an additional 10 minutes. During the last 3 minutes brush with sauce twice. Remove the from oven and brush with sauce once more. Serve hot.


3 lbs chicken wings
4 cups oil
1/3 cup butter
5 tbsp Franks Durkees red hot cayenne pepper sauce:less for mild, more for hot
1 bunch celery
1 cup blue cheese crumbled
1 cup mayonnaise

Trim and separate the wing bone from the drumette. Heat the oil to 375F (190C). Fry the wings a few at a time, 10 minutes each batch. Be sure to maintain oil at set temperature. Reserve hot in the oven.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the hot sauce. Place chicken wings in a serving bowl. Pour sauce over and toss to coat.

While wings are cooking cut the celery into sticks. Blend the blue cheese with the mayonnaise to serve as a dip for both the celery and wings.


3 lbs chicken wings
2 cup fine bread crumbs
2 tbsp Chef K Seasonings
2 eggs
3 cup milk
2 cup flour
4 cup safflower oil

Preheat the oil to 375F (190C).

Wash and tip the chicken wings. Pat dry with paper towels. Blend into the bread crumbs with the herbs and spices.

Beat the eggs into the milk, place the flour into a separate mixing bowl. Working quickly dip each wing piece into the flour then into the egg wash and roll in the seasoned bread crumbs.

Fry in the oil in small batches for 10-12 minutes. Reserve hot in oven until all are ready to serve. SERVES 4


1/3 cup fermented salted black beans
1/3 cup sherry (apple juice)
6 chopped green onions
3 minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp minced ginger root
3 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 lbs chicken wings
4 c safflower oil

In a sauce pan blend together the black beans, sherry, onions, garlic, ginger root, peanut oil and sugar. Heat this mixture over high heat for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Wash and tip the wings. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat the oil to 375F (180C). Cook the wings in the oil for 10 minuets in small batches. Reserve hot between batches. Place in a mixing bowl. Pour sauce over the wings and toss to coat. Serve hot.

NOTE; Fermented black beans may be obtained from any Asian food store, or in the oriental section of your super market. SERVES 4


3 lbs chicken wings
1 cup dijon mustard
1 cup powdered almonds
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 c safflower oil

Wash and tip the chicken wings. Pat dry with paper towels. Coat each wing with a layer of dijon mustard.

Mix the almonds with the bread crumbs. Toss the wings in the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil to 375 F (180 C). Cook small batches of the wings in the oil for 10 minutes. Reserve hot while other batches cook. Serve hot.



2 cup apple jelly
2 cup pineapple preserves
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp horseradish, hot
8 oz cream cheese
3 lbs chicken wings
salt & pepper to taste

Blend the apple jelly, pineapple perserves, mustard, red pepper and horseradish into the cream cheese.

Wash and tip the wings. Pat dry with paper towels. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 350F (180C) oven for 25 minutes. Transfer to a casserole dish. Spoon the sauce over the wings. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Serve hot.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vice Valentine Day Menu and Recipes

Vice Ceviche: Jumbo prawns marinated in Vice and citrus juice and served with a Vice mango salsa.

Vice Tomato cream soup, Tomatoes simmered with Vice herbs and cream.

Vice Salad; Arugula, pear and Asiago salad with Vice poppy seed dressing.

Vice Chicken, A chicken supreme stuffed with Vice macerated apricots, currants, orange zest, wild rice, mirepox, served with a Vice and orange sauce.

Tourendo alla Vice; Filet mingon topped with a house made crabcake smotheedr with oyster mushroom Vice demi glace.

Vice Mahi Mahi , Mahi Mahi gently poached in Vice served with Vice tomato lemon cream

Vice Torte, chocolate torte laced with Vice covered with Vice ganache topped with a Vice white chocolate truffle served with Vice chantilly cream and Vice and Godiva Liqueur.

Shrimp Ceviche

1 pound medium-small shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp salt
3/4 cup lime juice (juice from 4-6 limes)
1/2 cup lemon juice (juice from 2-3 lemons)
¼ cup Vice
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cucumber, peeled diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 avocado, peeled, seed removed, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts of water, salted with 2 Tbsp salt. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute to 2 minutes max, depending on size of shrimp. (Over-cooking the shrimp will turn it rubbery.) Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Drain the shrimp. Cut each piece of shrimp in half, or into inch-long pieces. Place shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix in the lime and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for a half hour.

Mix in the chopped red onion and serrano chile. Refrigerate an additional half hour.

Right before serving, add the cilantro, cucumber, and avocado.
Serves 4-6.

Mango Salsa Recipe

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño chile, minced (include ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp Vice
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Also good with diced red bell pepper and jicama.

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the salsa ends up being a little too hot or acidic for your taste, you can temper it by adding some diced avocado.

Vice Soup

1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475° F.

Halve tomatoes lengthwise and lay them cut sides down in a jelly-roll pan. Brush generously with 3 tablesoons oil and sprinkle with garlic, oregano, basil, and pepper. Roast tomatoes until their edges are charred, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Scrape tomatoes, oil, and herbs from pan into food processor. Process until not quite smooth (leaving small chunks and charred black specks).

In a saucepan cook onion in remaining 2 tablespoons oil until translucent. Whisk in roasted tomato puree, broth, salt, and wine. Then whisk tomato paste. Heat the cream and whisk in to the tomato mixture. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in Parmesan and bring soup to a simmer.

Vice Salad

3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. white vinegar
2 tsp. prepared Dijon, or similar mustard
1 scant tsp. salt
1 c. olive oil
1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

2 bags of mixed baby greens
2 or 3 thin-sliced pears, dipped in lemon
2/3 c. pecans, toasted if desired
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

For dressing, heat 30 seconds in microwave, until sugar dissolves when stirred: >3/4 c. sugar > 1/3 c. white vinegar

Add to bowl and stir well: > 2 tsp. prepared Dijon, or similar mustard > 1 scant tsp. salt

Last, blend in: > 1 c. olive oil > 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds

This will make enough dressing for two big salads. Use about half of the dressing over the following, reserving the rest for another salad: > 2 bags of mixed baby greens > 2 or 3 thin-sliced pears, dipped in lemon > 2/3 c. pecans, toasted if desired > (Optional) 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled.

Vice Stuffed Chicken Breasts

8 chicken breasts, bone in or boned but with the skin intact
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons butter
2 green onions, minced
3/4 cup parboiled rice
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/4 cup Vice
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
salt and pepper
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed

In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring, for about 1 minute or until softened. Add rice, currants and apricots, stirring to coat. Add stock, orange rind and Vice and bring it all to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 - 20 minutes or until rice is tender and the moisture is absorbed. Add almonds, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in cream cheese. Let it cool completely.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, remove the bones from chicken breasts, leaving the skin intact. Gently loosen the skin from 1 long side of each breast, leaving it attached along the curved edge. Stuff about 1/2 cup stuffing under skin, pressing to spread stuffing evenly. Place the chicken on a greased, rimmed baking sheet. Brush the chicken with butter. Bake, basting occasionally, for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and chicken is no longer pink inside.

You can skim the fat from the pan juices and serve the pan juices drizzled over the chicken.

Makes 8 servings.

Vice Lemon Cream Sauce

2 cups slivered spinach
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/4 cups chicken or fish stock
3 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup Vice (flamed)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine spinach, shallots, lemon zest,stock and tomato paste in a pot. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Place in food processor or blender and purée.

Strain sauce into a skillet and add the Vice and cream. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally, and reduce until sauce lightly coats a spoon. Add lemon juice.

Reduce heat to very low and whisk in butter one tablespoon (15 ml) at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Use on poached Mahi Mahi.

Vice Poached Mahi Mahi.

1 cup vice
4 -6 oz Mahi Mahi Fillets

Flame the Vice in a skillet, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and coddle the fish fillets for 10 minutes, serve with the sauce listed above.

Tourendo’s alla Vice (Small filet's topped with Crab Cakes and a great sauce)

6 x 1 1/4-inch thick tournedos, trimmed
3 tablespoons butter
scant 1/2 cup Vice
1/3 cup demi glace (recipes follow, very time consuming but worth every minute)
6 tablespoons heavy cream


Tournedos are steaks cut from the heart of the tenderloin. They are usually 1 1/4 - 2 inches thick and weigh 3 1/2 - 5 ounces. Tie the tournedos neatly with kitchen string so that they keep their rounded shape while cooking.

Melt the butter in a skillet and, when it turns hazel, add the steaks.

Cook over high heat for 1 minute on each side, turning with a slotted spatula.

Lower the heat and cook for 7-8 minutes for rare or 10 minutes for medium.

Pour in the Vice, tilt the skillet and ignite.

When the flames die down transfer the tournedos to a warm serving dish and remove the string.

Stir the cream into the cooking juices, add the truffle pate and a pinch of salt and mix well.

Cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened.

Top each tourendo with a crab cake. Pour the sauce over the tournedos and serve.

Crab Cakes
1 pound (454 g) lump crab meat, well drained
1 1/4 cups whole wheat cracker crumbs, divided
1/4 cup finely minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 egg
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise (not fat free)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Chef K Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon each butter and light olive oil for sautéing crab cakes

To make crab cakes, combine crab meat, 3/4 cup cracker crumbs, red pepper, green onions and parsley in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest and pepper. Add wet ingredients to crab meat mixture. Stir gently using a spatula until well mixed.

Pour remaining 1/2 cup cracker crumbs into a shallow bowl. Working one at a time, form mixture into 8 crab cakes (use 1/3 cup measuring cup for each crab cake). Gently dip both sides of crab cake into crumbs. Place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To cook crab cakes, preheat oven to 350ºF. Add butter and olive oil to a 10-inch non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and bubbly. Add crab cakes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Carefully transfer crab cakes to a baking sheet and place in oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until heated all the way through.
Serve hot


1 gallon Espagnole sauce, hot
1 gallon brown stock, hot
1 bouquet garni

In a stock pot, combine the Espagnole sauce, brown stock and bouquet garni, together, over medium-high heat. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and a simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Skim the liquid occasionally, for impurities. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a China Cap.


1 gallon brown stock, hot
1 1/2 cups brown roux
1/4 cup bacon fat
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 bouquet garni

In a stock pot, whisk the hot stock into the roux. In a large saute pan, heat the bacon fat. Add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir the tomato puree into the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato/vegetable mixture to the stock/roux mixture. Add the bouquet garni and continue to simmer, skimming as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes. Strain the sauce through a China cap. Yield: 1 gallon


7 pounds beef marrow bones sawed into 2-inch pieces
8 ounces tomato paste
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups dry red wine
1 bouquet garni
Salt and pepper
8 quarts of water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Remove the bones from the oven and brush with the tomato paste. In a mixing bowl, combine the onions, carrots, and celery together. Lay the vegetables over the bones and return to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat. Place the roasting pan over the stove and deglaze the pan with the red wine, using a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Put everything into a large stockpot. Add the bouquet garni and season with salt. Add the water. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the stock for 4 hours, skimming regularly. Remove from the heat and strain through a China cap. Yield: about 1 gallon

Vice Chocolate Torte
A torte covered with ganche topped with a truffle and served with Chantilly cream.

2 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate
¾ cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 eggs
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over the lowest heat. Mix in the cocoa powder and espresso powders until smooth and set aside for a few minutes to cool. While the chocolate is cooling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour until they are completely combined and foamy. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate until the color is uniform and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick pulls out moist crumbs when inserted near the center of the torte. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife or inverted spatula along the edges of the torte and loosen the sides of the pan. Cool for 5 minutes and remove the sides of the pan. Invert the cake an a serving platter and cool completely before serving.

This chocolate torte recipe makes 10 servings.

Vice Ganche

8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Vice

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl.  Set aside.  Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir with a whisk until smooth.  Add the liqueur.

Makes enough ganache to cover a 9 inch (23 cm) cake or torte.

To Cover a Torte or Cake:  If covering a cake with ganache that is to be refrigerated, make sure the cake is cold before covering with the ganache.  This will ensure that the ganache does not dull when stored in the refrigerator.
Brush any loose crumbs from the cake and place cake on a wire rack.  Put the wire rack on a baking sheet.  In this way if the ganache drips it will end up on the baking sheet, which makes clean up easier.  Using a cake spatula, cover the sides and top of the cake with about 2 tablespoons ganache.  This is called a crumb coat and seals in any cake crumbs so that your cake will have a smooth finish.  Refrigerate cake for 5 minutes to set the crumb coat.  If you have any air bubbles or crumbs in your ganache, pour through a strainer.  To cover cake, pour the remaining ganache into the center of the cake.  Working quickly, spread with a spatula, using big strokes to push the ganache over the sides of the cake, to create an even coating of ganache.   If there are any bare spots on sides of cake, cover with leftover ganache.  Strain leftover ganache to remove any crumbs. At this point the leftover ganache can be refrigerated until cold so you can make truffles. Or it can be whipped with an electric hand mixer or whisk and then piped. In the above picture I used a Wilton 1M open star tip to pipe rosettes.

Note:  Truffles can also be made with Ganache.  Truffles are just small balls of chocolate that can be rolled into cocoa powder, powdered sugar or toasted chopped nuts.  You can use your hands to form the truffles, or else a melon baller or small spoon.  Make sure the chocolate ganache is very firm before forming into balls. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. (See our Truffles section in this blog)

White Chocolate Truffle

1/2 cup Crème Fraîche (or heavy cream)
1/4 cup Vice
14 oz. White Chocolate (use as high quality of chocolate as possible)
8 oz. Additional White Chocolate
3 tbsp. Butter (optional)

Break chocolate into small pieces and put in a large bowl.
Bring cream and Vice slowly to a light boil.
Pour boiling cream over chocolate and keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted and the batter is homogenous.
If you want to add butter, do so now, before the batter cools, and thickens.

This batter is called Ganache and is the base for all French chocolate truffle recipes!

When the ganache is warm it is very creamy. You can thicken it
1. by whisking it (the oxygen causes it to thicken) or
2. by putting it in the refrigerator. You want the ganache to be just thick enough to easily form the truffle balls…

Vice Chantilly Cream

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup Vice reduce to 2 tbsp
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean,
     or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

Whisk the cream, sugar, Vice and vanilla in a large bowl until soft peaks form. The cream should hold its shape but still be satiny in appearance.

Sweet Tooth Satisfaction

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Minestrone

4 hot or mild Italian sausages
1 lb diced beef
1tsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, mince
2 cans(19 oz/540 mL)red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaves
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 can (28 oz/796 mL)tomatoes, mashed
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 small zucchinis, chopped
1/2 cauliflower, chopped
1 cup small short pasta, (tubetti or macaroni)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese


Prick sausages all over. In Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat; fry sausages and beef, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Drain off fat. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add beans, 6 cups (1.5 L) water and bay leaf; bring to boil, skimming off foam. Cut sausages into bite-size pieces; return to pan along with celery, carrots, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add zucchini, cauliflower and pasta. Cover and cook until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, adding more water if soup is too thick. Discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley. Serve with cheese.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ukrainian Dinner

A great taste of an ethnic cuisine and yes I am a Ukrainian Canadian.

The most popular Ukrainian dish of course is the perogy or Varenyky the best are made with a potato dough and filled any way you want, here are the ones my grandmother would make.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup cool water (approx.)
melted butter

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add the egg yolks, mashed potatoes, melted butter and just enough of the water to form a medium-soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. (Too much kneading will make the dough tough)

Divide the dough in half and cover with an inverted bowl.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Roll out the dough until it is quite thin and cut rounds about 2 to 3 inches wide with a large biscuit cutter.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a little salt.

To each round of dough, add a spoonful of filling ad fold over to form a half circle.

Press the edges together with well floured fingers, making sure the varenyky are well sealed.

Transfer them to a lightly floured surface and cover them with a clean tea towel so that they do not dry out.

Drop a few at a time into the boiling water, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to separate them and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, at which point they should be puffed and bobbing on the surface. (The thinner the dough and the smaller the pyrohy, the quicker they will cook).

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, drain thoroughly and place in a warmed bowl.

Drizzle with melted butter and toss gently to keep them from sticking together.
Cover and keep warm while you cook the remaining varenyky.

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups warm mashed potatoes
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cooked bacon bits
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauté the onion in the butter until softened, about 6 minutes.
Combine with the potatoes, cheese and bacon mix well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Let cool thoroughly before using.
(The filling can be made a day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.).

These are really great skewers they would make any occasion loads of fun alone.

3 pounds veal
3 pounds lean pork
6 cloves garlic
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon Chef K curry seasonings
2 eggs
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Cut veal and pork into 1-inch cubes and place cubes in a large bowl. Chop garlic. In a small bowl, mix garlic water, wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over meat cubes and stir. Marinate meat cubes for at least 3 hours, or overnight, to allow flavors to blend.

Leaving about 2 inches at the bottom of each skewer, arrange pork and veal cubes alternately on wooden skewers. Squeeze cubes together. Continue to add meat until all the meat is used. You should fill 12 skewers.

In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Chef K seasonings, salt, and pepper. In a second shallow bowl, beat eggs. Dip skewered meat cubes in breadcrumbs. Coat with egg, then dip in crumbs again. Press sticks with your hands and form them to look smooth.

In a large skillet, heat about 1 inch of cooking oil. Fry skewers of meat cubes, a few at a time, until meat is lightly browned. Combine onions and butter and spread in a large shallow baking dish.

Place meat sticks on onions and bake in 275 degree F. oven for about 45 minutes (do not cover), or until meat is tender and no longer pink. Serves 12.

The great Ukrainian soup: Borscht

8 cups beef broth*
1 pound slice of meaty bone-in beef shank
1 large onion, peeled, quartered
4 large beets, peeled, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 4 cups of the beef broth, the beef shank, and onion to boil in large pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Transfer meat to work surface; trim fat, sinew and bone and discard. Chop meat; cover and chill. Cool broth slightly. Chill in pot until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Spoon fat from top of chilled broth and discard. Add remaining 4 cups broth, beets, carrots, and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in meat, cabbage and 1/2 cup dill; cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in vinegar.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sour cream and remaining 1/4 cup dill.

Serves 6.

You can't have a Ukrainian dinner without Holubtsi (Cabbage rolls)

1/2 lb of cooked ground beef or pork
2 cups rice
2 cups or less of boiling water
1 medium onion diced
2 teaspoons salt
4-5 tablespoons butter or other type of fat
salt and pepper

1). Add the rice to the boiling water. Stir in the salt. Bring it to a boil again and let it cook for one minute. Cover, lower the heat and allow it to stand long enough to absorb the water. The rice is only partially cooked at this point since it will finish cooking in the holubtsi.

2). Cook the onion in the fat until it is slightly golden. Mix with the cooked ground beef or pork and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Season well because the cabbage leaves will absorb some of the taste. Cool until ready to use.


1 large cabbage head


1 large can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste to thicken sauce (if needed)
2 tablespoons or more of butter or bacon fat
salt and pepper

1). Remove the core from the head of the cabbage by cutting around it with a sharp knife.

2). Place the head of cabbage upside down in a large pot and pour boiling water into where the core was. Cover the head completely.

3). Let it stand until the leaves are soft and easily removable. Drain and remove the leaves from the head very carefully. Do not tear them! Cut off some of the hard center rib of each leaf without removing it from the leaf.

4). Cut the largest leaves into two or three sections and line the bottom of a large pot with them.

5). Place a generous spoonful of the meat and rice filling on the end of one leaf and roll lightly. Tuck in the ends.

6). Place the completed rolls in layers in the pot and sprinkle with some sauce and some salt, but do not add too much. Combine the fat with the sauce first. The liquid should barely fill the gaps between each holubets.

7). Protect the last layers from burning by covering it with a few large leaves.

8). Place a lid on the pot and bake in a moderate over at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until both the cabbage and the filling are thoroughly cooked.

Serve hot with chopped crisp bacon and onions, large spoonfuls of sour cream or a mushroom sauce.

For dessert why not Nalysnyky (Rolled pancakes) with Orange filling. Nalysnyky are thin pancakes, which the French renamed crepes. AKA Blintzes

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup thoroughly sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups fruit compote (optional)

Beat the eggs until they are light. Add the milk, water, and the remaining ingredients. Beat this mixture until smooth. Use a small, non-stick frying pan about 6 inches in diameter on the bottom. Butter it lightly and heat well. Don’t allow it to burn! Pour a few tablespoons of the batter into the pan, just enough to give it a thin coating. Tilt the pan back and forth to spread the batter evenly. Cook the cakes over a moderate heat. When they are lightly browned on one side and firm to the touch on top, remove the cakes to a warm plate and keep them warm. In order to assure tenderness, the cakes should not be turned over. This is the secret of tender cakes, but they may be turned over if you don’t plan on filling them and desire a slightly harder "nalysnyk". Continue baking in this manner until all of the batter is used up. Butter the pan lightly each time.

Spread the cakes with the fruit compote if not using the orange filling. If the cakes are not turned over in baking, place the browned side on the outside in rolling. Arrange the cakes in a buttered baking dish, dot each layer with butter, or sprinkle with browned buttered crumbs. Heat in a moderate oven for several minutes and serve hot.

Orange filling

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind

Mix all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


After many more requests I have re posted this most popular soup recipe.


2 tbsp olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced onion
2 diced celery stalks
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp basil leaves
½ tsp oregano leaves
½ tsp thyme leaves
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne
3 lbs peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes

In a sauce pan heat the oil. Sauté the garlic, green pepper, onion, celery and mushrooms until tender. Add the seasonings and tomatoes. Simmer for 3 hours or until desired thickness. Use as required.


½ lb Ground Beef
½ lb ground pork
1/4 lb ground veal
2 tbsp Milk
1 Egg
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Onion -- chopped
1/3 cup Bread Crumbs -- Dry
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Garlic, very finely minced
1/2 tsp Oregano
3/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Shape mixture by Tablespoonfuls into 1 1/2-inch balls.

TO COOK IN A SKILLET: Heat 1 Tbsp salad oil in a large skillet.Cook the meatballs over medium heat until brown, about 20 minutes. Drain off excess fat.

TO COOK IN THE OVEN: Place the meatballs in a lightly greased baking pan, Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree F. oven until light brown, about 20 minutes. Drain off the excess fat


½ lb. diced Italian sausage (mild)
1 large onion finely diced
3 large carrots finely diced
3 stalks celery finely diced
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken broth
1½ cups cream
1 lb cooked diced chicken
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
2 cups tomato sauce
16 meatballs
salt and pepper to taste

In a large kettle fry the sausage, add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté until tender, drain all excess fat. Add the butter and flour and cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Pour the chicken broth over and simmer until thick. Add the cream, chicken, basil, tomato sauce and meatballs and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if required.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


National Gumbo day is October 12 but don't wait, enjoy now.

Gumbo the prefect winter warm up meal. The word gumbo means okra, the fruit pod of the mallow plant believed to originate in Africa. As a soup or stew gumbo can be thickened through three methods or a combination of the three, with okra, with a roux or with file' powder (ground sassafras leaves).

1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
4 quarts chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Chef K seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds of pealed shrimp
2 pounds andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bunch scallions (green onions), tops only, chopped
2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
File powder to taste

Cooked white rice (converted style)

Brown the sausage, pour off fat.

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and cook the flour in the oil over medium to high heat (depending on your roux-making skill), stirring constantly, until the roux reaches a dark reddish-brown color or milk chocolate for a Cajun-style roux.

Add the vegetables and stir quickly. This cooks the vegetables and also stops the roux from cooking further. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.

Add the stock, seasonings, and sausage. Bring to a boil, then cook for about one hour, skimming fat off the top as needed. Add shrimp in for the last 10 minutes of cooking so that you don't over cook it.

Add the chopped scallion tops and parsley, and heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice in large shallow bowls. Accompany with a crispy French bread.

YIELD: About 12 entree sized servings.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sweet Pea Rissotto


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
kosher salt and black pepper
2 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
fresh mint sprigs (optional)


1. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the rice and stir until coated. Add the wine and stir until all the liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the broth and cook until absorbed, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the remaining broth ½ cup at a time, waiting until each portion is absorbed before adding the next. Continue until the rice is cooked al dente, about 35 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

4. Meanwhile, puree 2 cups of peas in a blender or food processor.

5. Before serving, stir the peas into the rice until fully incorporated, then fold in remaining whole peas. Garnish with the mint, if desired.