Philly Cheesesteak Poutine

Philly Cheesesteak Poutine

The very first thing I need to admit is that this recipe…

IMG_4415

The very first thing I need to admit is that this recipe uses packaged gravy – not real food. It is a child of the imaginations of me and my roommates paired with cheese curds that I got at the market. Real curds take this poutine to the next level and almost make up for the fact that I used packaged gravy.

Venison Tenderloin with a Creamy Cranberry Gravy

Venison Tenderloin with a Creamy Cranberry Gravy

Venison tenderloin, the hunter’s delight. In Nova Scotia if you are hunting…

Venison tenderloin, the hunter’s delight. In Nova Scotia if you are hunting deer, then you will be hunting white-tail deer. If you are lucky enough to hunt one, it is the tenderloin that is most prized. While the rest of the meat will hang for a few days (if it’s cold enough) before it is butchered, I think that the tenderloin should be cooked right away. Any game meat that is wild, will taste different then it would if it is farmed. This is the effect of varying diet, and leaner meat. We prefer our tenderloin cooked slightly more then medium rare, but remember the longer it’s cooked the more chewy it will be.

BBQ Turkey

BBQ Turkey

Here it is! The show stopper for the big day. It was…

Here it is! The show stopper for the big day. It was actually my sister-in-law’s idea to BBQ the turkey. She asked if I’d be doing it. At first I thought no – it’s Thanksgiving, you can’t do that…. Then I remembered an article I’d read in finecooking.com about Lee Ann Whippen’s BBQ’d turkey…. Then I started thinking that Thanksgiving was early this year, and that the weather was unusually warm for this time of year… So basically what I’m saying is I just HAD to BBQ the turkey. All signs in the universe were pointing to DO IT. Here’s how…

Poutine with bacon, mushroom gravy and new cheese curds.

Poutine with bacon, mushroom gravy and new cheese curds.

Yesterday, I had the privileged of getting a tour of the “Fox…

Yesterday, I had the privileged of getting a tour of the “Fox Hill Cheese House” in Port Williams, NS. This is a wonderful little farm, that makes their own cheese, milk, yogurt and gelato from milk they produce themselves. They have a very specialty product and take much pride in it. Their animals are treated very well,

Possibly the best Hamburger of all time

Possibly the best Hamburger of all time

After a long weekend of serious partying, I woke up yesterday craving…

After a long weekend of serious partying, I woke up yesterday craving a hamburger. But not just any hamburger, a gourmet burger with cheese and bacon…. to start. The more I got thinking the more I thought about burgers I’d eaten over the past few months. Burgers with sauce, “open faced” burgers, topped with fried egg, the combinations are endless. After a set back of having no buns, (which turned out to be a blessing) my best burger creation to date was born.

Juniper Brined Roast Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

Juniper Brined Roast Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

from epicurious.com PrintJuniper Brined Roast Turkey with Mushroom Gravy IngredientsJuniper Brine 2/3…

from epicurious.com

Juniper Brined Roast Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients

    Juniper Brine
  • 2/3 cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed (see Cook’s Note)
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries, crushed (see Cook’s Note)
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups hot water
  • 4 cups ice water
  • Turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large rib celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • One 12-to 16-pound brined turkey made with Juniper Brine
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Mushroom Gravy
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3/4 pound chanterelle mushrooms, wiped or brushed clean and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup instant flour such as Wondra or Shake & Blend
  • 3 cups Turkey Stock
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Instructions

    Make the Brine and Brine Turkey
  1. In a large saucepan, stir together the salt, sugar, cloves, juniper berries, peppercorns, and allspice. Add the sage leaves, thyme, and bay leaves along with the hot water. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the ice water and stir to cool the mixture. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Brine the turkey in a bag method or in a pot or cooler method.
  3. Prepare and Cook Turkey
  4. Combine the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  5. Position a rack on the second-lowest level in the oven and preheat to 500°F. Have ready a large roasting pan with a roasting rack, preferably V-shaped, set in the pan.
  6. Put 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture inside the neck cavity and 1/2 cup inside the chest cavity of the turkey. Scatter the remainder on the bottom of the roasting pan and add 1 cup water to the pan. Truss the turkey. Using a pastry brush, brush the turkey with half of the melted butter. Place the turkey, breast side down, on the roasting rack. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Baste the turkey with the pan juices and roast for 30 minutes longer.
  7. Remove the turkey from the oven. Using silicone oven mitts, regular oven mitts covered with aluminum foil, or wads of paper towels, turn the turkey breast side up. (It won’t be very hot at this point.) Baste with the pan juices and the remaining melted butter, and return the turkey to the oven. Continue to roast, basting with the pan juices again after 45 minutes. At this point, check the internal temperature of the turkey by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone. (As a point of reference, when the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 125°F, the turkey is about 1 hour away from being done. Of course, roasting times will vary, depending on the size of the bird, its temperature when it went into the oven, whether or not it is stuffed, and your particular oven and the accuracy of the thermostat.) The turkey is done when the instant-read thermometer registers 160° to 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of a thigh away from the bone.
  8. When the turkey is done, tilt the body so the juices from the main cavity run into the pan. Transfer to a carving board or serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest for 30 to 40 minutes before carving, to allow the juices to redistribute. (The internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees while the turkey rests.)
  9. Strain the juices, vegetables, and browned bits from the roasting pan through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large glass measuring cup. Set aside and allow the fat to rise to the top. Spoon off the fat. The pan juices from a brined turkey are usually too salty to add to gravy, so I refrigerate it and add it to the water for making stock from the carcass; the juices provide additional flavor and the salt is diluted by the water.
  10. Carve the turkey.
  11. Make the Gravy
  12. In a 2 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add the shallot and sauté until soft but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms soften and give up their juices, about 5 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of the stock until the flour is dissolved.
  14. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock to the mushrooms in the pan and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the flour mixture and simmer until the gravy thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
http://www.constantvessel.com/juniper-brined-roast-turkey-with-mushroom-gravy/

Juniper Brine
Every time I cook poultry, I preach on the importance of brining. And once again, I can’t mention it enough!

Venison Burgers with Blue Cheese and Umami Sauce, Roasted Potatoes with gravy and cheese

Venison Burgers with Blue Cheese and Umami Sauce, Roasted Potatoes with gravy and cheese

This is probably the last dinner I will make in my lovely…

This is probably the last dinner I will make in my lovely city apartment. Packing has begin, putting me in a stressful case leasing me with no desire to cook. However, my unemployedness did give me the chance to cook one final dinner of over the top burger and fries on a Monday night. Bittersweet.

Venison Burgers with Blue Cheese

Venison Burgers with Blue Cheese and Umami Sauce

Ingredients

    Venison Burgers with Blue Cheese
  • 2 lbs ground venison (I used NS white tail deer)
  • 1 lbs bacon ground or very finely chopped (I grind mine at the same time as the venison)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 0.5 c crumbled blue cheese – or more to taste (I used Dragon’s Breath from the Dutchman)
  • 1 tbsp Red Miso (optional)
  • Burger Buns
  • Umami Sauce
  • 0.5 c Hellman Mayo
  • 0.25 c Ketchup
  • 2 tsp Taste No 5 Sauce

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients by hand until just mixed, do not over mix. Form into 5-7 medium sized patties.
  2. Grill the burgers over medium direct heat (move to indirect if the outside starts to burn), and cook through 8-12 minutes. Combine all ingredients for sauce in a bowl and mix. Spread Umami sauce over the bun, and service with a crisp piece of lettuce and a slice of tomato.
http://www.constantvessel.com/venison-burgers-with-blue-cheese-and-umami-sauce-roasted-potatoes-with-gravy-and-cheese/

2 lbs ground venison (I used NS white tail deer)