Tag Archives: in the kitchen

{st. paddy’s day dinner!}

17 Mar

i tried my hand at making my own corned beef and cabbage dinner for saint patrick’s day this year. i chose to just kept it simple with some pickling spices and brown sugar for my brine. i purchased the {grass-fed} brisket at the farmers market; it was close to 6 pounds.

perfect for plenty of leftovers.

there are so many methods and recipes out there, and after tons of research, i decided to do a simple 3-day brine {it was all the time i had anyway} and boil the meat on the stovetop, which is apparently how a traditional new england dinner is prepared.

i brought my brine to a simmer for about a half hour, then let it cool and refrigerated it for a couple of hours, until it was nice and chilled.

when ready, i poured the mixture into a brining bag with the brisket and immediately stuck it in the fridge to begin soaking up the flavour. i wish i would’ve prepared for more time, but as it was, i brined this for just under 72-hours.

to cook, i emptied the brine, rinsed off the meat, and stuck in a huge stock pot of water {enough to cover plus 1 inch} to simmer for about 30 minutes. then i drained, refilled the pot with water and brought to a simmer again, cooking for about 3 hours until tender. i added in my potatoes and carrots about an hour before finishing, and then tossed in some cabbage near the end.

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it came out pretty yummy, overall. i served it with some irish soda bread… that i did NOT make, since i’m a lousy baker. my family seemed to really enjoy this method. i liked it because it was simple and i only had to use the one stock pot. it got me thinking about the history of the dish and how “back in the day” most families probably only owned one stock pot, anyway. so it makes sense that they would cook everything as simple as possible.

i will say, i think a longer brining process would’ve added more flavour, but i as i said, i only had a little under 3 days. the meat was still nice and tender and moist, but in my opinion, it could’ve had more of the “corned beef” flavour. i also chose not to add in the preservatives that make it create that pink colour.

overall i was very pleased with this st. patrick’s day meal. it was fun to make, and next year i’ll experiment with more time.

i hope you all had a nice day.

slainte!

{pan-seared wild-caught salmon}

13 Feb

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i love salmon! and although it’s not in season just yet, i try to eat it at least twice a month, but ideally i would like to get back to consuming it once a week or more. it’s full of omega 3 fatty acids and healthy lean protein. this particular wild-caught salmon filet was hand-delivered to me by an alaskan fisherman! 🙂

my favourite way to prepare salmon is to pan-sear it. don’t be intimidated, it’s a very easy method.

i simply sprinkle my salmon filet{s} with a little S&P and squeeze a little lemon juice over it, as well.

then, start with a medium-high heat skillet coated with a little olive oil, and place salmon filet in skin-side up. cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and finish with skin-side down, another 4-5 minutes. cooking it this way usually allows for the filet to come up easily off the skin when serving. i like to serve mine over a bed of greens or a simple couscous recipe.

bon appetite! 

{bell pepper guts}

8 Mar

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what is it about the inside of vegetables that i find so INTRIGUING?!!? 😀

{the intricate, cool, and colourful cabbage}

3 Feb

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i am truly fascinated by nature. nothing makes me feel more connected than LIFE itself… you know, the being alive part, not the stuff we fill our lives with. food gives me a feeling that is unlike anything else. when i chop up vegetables, i stand in awe for a minute and marvel at what is before me. i am taken aback every single time i cut a cabbage in half. it blows my mind… i always find myself thinking, “BUT WHY?! why do you grow like that?!” …not to mention that stunning colour!

it truly does amaze me that nature has such intricacies about it. romanesco is one of the biggest food wonders, in my opinion. cabbage is a close second. i am also fascinated by swiss chard. sometimes i look at food and think about how similar it is to us, to humans… so many details going on inside and out. my hope is that we can all try to be a little more like food, like nature. be more of the BEING and not just the human.

i digress. 

i hope you enjoy these fotos i took while feeling inspired by this cool, intricate cabbage.

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when i flipped it upside down, i thought it kind of represented a face. 😉

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are you fascinated by nature?!

{radical red kuri squash}

15 Dec

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i’m kind of obsessed with this stuff. and it makes an AMAZING risotto!

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{mmm… mirepoix}

8 Dec

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with a twist… leeks!

{nom nom, fresh pineapple}

22 Feb

after many years working in the organic food industry, i learned a lot about picking good produce.  it’s hilarious to watch me at the market – i take my time when picking out my fruit and vegetables, mostly because i know i’ll be fotographing them. and hey – aesthetics matter!  plus, food is outrageously expensive these days and i’ll be damned if i’m going to spend five dollars for a pineapple and not have it be incredible!

therefore, i browse the produce stands carefully when choosing what to buy. have you ever purchased something and it spoiled two days later or when you cut into it, the flesh was rotting or brown? not everything you pick up at the market is necessarily fresh and/or tasty at any given time – it’s another reason i prefer to buy and eat with the seasons… stuff just tastes better when it’s in season! i mean, wouldn’t you like to be picked during your prime?! 😉

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speaking of which, do you know how to pick a good pineapple?  the beginning of their season is just around the corner… and i’m already salivating thinking about them.

one thing to look for when picking out a pineapple – is how the leaves feel when pulled out from the top.  if they remove easily with little force, it’s a pretty sure sign your pineapple is ripe.  you also want to pay attention to the scent. i often sniff the bottom of the fruit, looking for a fresh scent that is strong enough to seep through.  and finally, you want to look for a pineapple that is a little darker in colour… not quite brown, but just golden… Continue reading

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