Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Off-Days

Today I spent the better part of my day working on my Ivey application. It was well into the night before I realized I haven't had anything to eat. This was my solution:

This is what's in it:
  • 350 Calories
  • 11g Fat
  • 35mg Cholesterol
  • 950 mg Sodium
  • 47g Carbohydrate
  • 14 g Protein
It makes me sick just thinking about what I just put into my body. They were on sale at the grocery store, so I went ahead and bought 2 boxes as emergency food. 950 mg sodium is 40% of your daily intake! That's ridiculous! I highly advise you NOT to buy frozen meals. Even the the ones labeled "healthy" are far from healthy. If you're forced to eat a frozen dinner, make sure you make yourself a salad or grab an apple. Your body will thank you.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Rainbow Trout with Vegetables and Lemon Vinaigrette

I was at the grocery store the other day and rainbow trout was on sale, so I decided to buy some and try it out.

Ingredients (Veggies):

  • Yellow and Orange Pepper (one of each)
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high. Cook the peppers and mushrooms until they're to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Ingredients (Trout):
  • Rainbow Trout Fillet
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Flour
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
Season trout with salt and pepper then coat it slightly with flour (shake off excess). Heat the oil and butter on high heat. Place the trout meat first and cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Carefully flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve on top of the veggies.

Ingredients (Vinaigrette)
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil and canola oil (together)
  • Salt and Pepper
Add shallot, vinegar, mustard, and lemon juice to a blender. Blend for 30 seconds then add oil. Add salt and pepper to taste then blend again. Serve with veggies and trout.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grossest Thing EVER

This has got to be the nastiest thing I've ever seen, although this could give it a run for its money. One of these has to be enough to give someone cancer; or at least a heart attack.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Cooking Philosophy

Looking back at some of my posts, I realize I haven't shared a lot of recipes; the ones that I post are somewhat vague. I usually don't follow recipes when I cook, so it's difficult for me to remember exactly what ingredients I used during that specific session. I like to experiment with ingredients and spices (sometimes with disastrous results) using all the things I've learned cooking. That's why I post more tips and information compared to recipes.

I often see a recipe I like and find I lack an important ingredient. Most of my cooking has been discovering which ingredients match well together and with what herbs/spices. I provide cooking tips and information in the hope that you can find your own style of cooking.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Freezing stuff: Fish

The freezer is a godsend for those of us who doesn't have time to prepare a meal everyday or doesn't like to go to the grocery store often. The most common thing I freeze (apart from those already frozen from the store) are meats and herbs. Many people also cook large quantities of food and save some in the freezer (I don't have much experience doing that though).

This is the first of a series regarding freezing stuff, and as the title suggests, it is about fish. I like freezing fish because when prepared properly, the texture and taste can be preserved for months.

The first thing you must remember is to use
fresh good quality fish. Freezing will always deteriorate the taste of fish, and good quality fish will undoubtedly taste better after a few weeks. I always freeze fish in fillet form, as it will be easier to prepare after thawing.

To prepare the fish for freezing, double wrap it in saran wrap (make it tight) or put it in a freezer bag (zip-lock bags are good). Make sure there's no air in the bag. Put it in the freezer and turn it to the coldest setting so that the fish will freeze faster.

When thawing fish, never use hot water or leave it in room temperature. Bacteria starts to grow quickly in those conditions. Instead, put the fish in a zip-lock bag and run it under cold water.

Freezing and thawing fish makes for long-lasting and great tasting fish (when done properly). Fatty fish such as salmon can last up to three months in the freezer, and leaner fish can last even longer. So the next time you see your favorite fish on sale, buy more and freeze it!

I will continue this series in the coming days/weeks, so stay tuned.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rachael Ray

I know I'm not the only person who finds Rachael Ray annoying. She's one of the few chefs that's hit mainstream television and can be considered a celebrity. The problem is, I don't think she deserve it. Emeril Lagasse and Gordon Ramsey would be considered chefs deserving of their celebrity status. She even said, "I have no formal anything. I'm completely unqualified for any job I've ever had" to critics of her cooking style. My style of cooking (taking shortcuts whenever possible) is reminiscent of hers, but even I realize I'll never be a professional chef. It's nice learning shortcuts to preparing meals, but to become a celebrity chef (and a millionaire) without any training whatsoever? That's just wrong.

Don't even get me started on her catch phrases. "EVOO", "Yum-o", "So delish", "G.B", "Oh my gravy!", "How good is that?". Typing that made me cringe. Pair the phrases with her obnoxious voice and you've got a recipe for disaster (as did this photoshoot she did for FHM). Maybe I'm being too harsh on her. Without her, videos such as this would never have been made (Careful! Turn down your volume before watching; someone may look at you funny).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Technical Difficulties

My laptop died yesterday and is currently being revived through an ancient voodoo ritual. I won't be posting any recipes for the next few days because all my pictures were saved on my laptop.

In the meantime, you can look forward to my upcoming posts about Rachael Ray and freezers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Margarine Sucks

Yummy. Processed oil made to look and taste like butter! Margarine has been marketed as a healthy alternative to butter. It contains less saturated fat than butter and is made from vegetable oil. So far so good, right? Not exactly. Instead of saturated fat, margarine contains trans-fat, which is worst for you than saturated fat. The reason margarine is soft at room temperature is because they hydrogenate the oil, making "made from vegetable oil" not as healthy as it sounds. Oils processed that way are clear, so it has to be colored to look like butter. There is even a law in Quebec forbidding the coloring of margarine (it looks lighter than butter there).

That's not to say butter less fattening than margarine, some margarine does indeed contain less fat than butter. Butter also contains cholesterol, as it is an animal product. For me, the decision is purely by principle; I would rather eat "natural" fat than synthetic fat. Margarine doesn't provide any greater benefit than butter, so why eat margarine? I only use margarine as a spread when I'm in a hurry (anyone can relate to the frustration of using cold butter as a spread). Cooking with margarine is out of the question; heating modified oils is not a good idea. The key to eating healthy is moderation; it doesn't matter whether you choose butter or margarine.

Which do you prefer?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lamb Chops with Mint Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves
  • Pepper
  • 6 baby rib lamb chops (approximately 1 pound)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Mint Hollandaise Sauce:
Using a double boiler, whip the eggs over hot water until it is creamy. Add the melted butter slowly while whipping until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Add salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste, then stir in the mint. Leave it over the water (with the stove turned off) to keep it warm.

Lamb Chops:
Rub the lamb chops with paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side.

Put the lamb chops on a plate, pour the sauce over it, and you're done!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Avocados are healthy, delicious, and easy to prepare. It is a source of vitamin K, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and contain low calories. It is unfortunate that people don't use it more often.

There are some things you must remember while preparing avocados.
When buying avocados, leave it to ripe on the counter and put it in the fridge for later use. When fruit is dark green and soft to the touch (not too soft though) it is ripe and good to eat. Using a chief knife, cut the avocado in half (as shown in the picture). The seed can be removed by pushing the knife into it (just give it a wack) and twisting it out. You can then peel it by hand.

Avocados can be eaten raw, baked, grilled, or made into a sauce. The quickest and easiest way to incorporate avocado into your diet is to put it in a sandwich or make a milkshake. A couple of slices of bread, mayonnaise, ham, lettuce, and avocado is great lunch during a busy day. Blend some milk, sugar (or honey), and avocado to make a refreshing milkshake.

Next time you go to the grocery store, buy one and try it! You won't regret it (unless you're allergic like my roommate). If anyone wants specific recipes for cooking with avocados, leave me a message.

Friday, January 16, 2009

First Post!

Hello to everyone reading my first post in my cooking blog. A little information about me: I'm a second year university student living off campus, so I've had to cook for myself for the first time. I've always had an interest in cooking, and this year I've been able to explore and experiment with cooking (without parents breathing down my neck).

I will blog about anything related to food and cooking. Recipes, helpful tips and my experiences in the kitchen will be the main topics. Hopefully others will find it useful in their future cooking endeavors.

I'm looking forward to my first real post (I will update soon!).