Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Finger Foods

All the items are great party ideas, or make great appetizers. Also great food to serve with beers.

Thai Shrimp and Mushroom Fried Wontons

40 medium sized (large on the bag) shrimp
4 cloves garlic
3 large mushrooms
2 green onions
1 tsp sambal
1 tsp chili flakes
dash white pepper
2 splashes fish sauce
6-8 fresh basil leaves (thai basil if you have it)
2-3 tbs soy sauce
1 lime juiced
2-3 tbs brown sugar
splash rice wine (I used sake)

2 eggs beaten into 2 tbs water

Oil for frying

Combine ingredients in a bowl,

then purée in a food processor.

After puréed, place approximatly 1-2 tbs in a wonton skin, using your finger, dip into egg mixture, and spread around the outside of the wonton skin. Fold wonton skin over forming a triangle, and seal.

After all wontons are prepared, you may heat your oil, in a wok, pot, or deep fryer, and begin frying. Fry till golden brown and remove onto paper towels.

Chicken Wings
1-2kg chicken wings
Salt and pepper
Garlic Powder
Olive oil
1/2 lemon juiced
oil for frying

Chicken Stock
Chicken bones (I used wing tips)
2 Celery ribs
2 Carrots
4 Cloves garlic
1 Onion
2-3 Bay Leaves
1-2 Tps Peppercorns
Water to cover

Poaching Ingredients
Chicken stock to cover
1 tsp peppercorns
4 bay leaves
1/2-1 bunch thyme
1 dry chipotle
1-2 tsp paprika
2 small onions halved

Chipotle BBQ Sauce
1 28 Oz Can chopped tomatoes
1 Can chipotles in adobe sauce (approx 6-8 chipotles)
1 Cup cider vinegar
1.5 Cups Brown sugar
1 Cup ketchup
3 Tbs Yellow Mustard
1 Onion Minced
6 Cloves Garlic Minced
2 Tbs salt
1 Tbs pepper
1 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs Oregano
1 Tsp Cayenne
1 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Allspice
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
2 Tbs Olive Oil

Start by Making the Chicken Stock. Add all ingredients to a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, simmer for 2 hours.

While making the chicken stock layer chicken wings in a deep pan, add poaching ingredients.

When stock is ready, pour over the wings,

wrap pan with tin foil and add into the oven. Pre-heat to 400 and poach for approx 45 mins.

While poaching the wings make the sauce. Heat 2 tbs oil in deep pot, saute onions for 5 mins or until translucent, add garlic stir for 30 seconds. Add spiced and continue to sautee and addtional 2-3 minutes then add the brown sugar.

After 2 additional minutes add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20-40 minutes.

Finally, puree the sauce, till it reaches a fluid consistency.

After the chicken wings come out of the oven remove from the stock and allow them to cool for a few minutes. Once cool enough to handle place in a non-reactive bowl and add the remaining ingredients (barring cooking oil).

Allow chicken wings to marinade in oil and spices anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Heat oil and fry wings till crispy. Toss in BBQ sauce, or serve sauce on the side.

Potato Wedges
6-8 small-medium potatoes quartered
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Basil
2 tbs Parmesan
2 tsp Chili Flakes
2 tbs Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

The key here is to steam the potatoes before baking/broiling. So use a steamer if you have one. If not (as is my case) place them into a pan with a elevation (I used a rack too small for the pan) place potatoes on the elevation, add about a 1/2 inch of water, and wrap pan with tin foil. After steamed, allow time for the potatoes to cool. Once cool place in a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Then layer them onto a parchment paper layered pan,

and insert into the oven at 450 degrees, until golden brown.


Chicken Marinade
4-5 Diced Chicken Thighs
1/3 bunch Fresh Coriander
1 Tbs Chili Flakes
2 tsp Cumin
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
dash of paprika and cayenne

Marinate for approx 1 hour, then Sautee.

The other ingredients

1-2 small dice Jalapeno
1 small dice red pepper
1 small dice white onion
shredded cheese (chedder, monteray jack, marble, combination)
Chipotle puree (home made or store bought)
Flour Torillas

Sautee the veg in olive oil.

Spread the chipotle puree onto the tortillas, and fill one side with cheese, chicken, veg, and more cheese, and fold over.

For cooking, you can grill, bake, or sautee your Quesedillas in butter. I used a stove top grill (similar to a George Foreman, but laying flat) and placed a heavy cast iron pan on one side, then flipped them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Matt's Surprise 30th

Just a heads up, this likely won't be a long post, as my memory from this weekend is severely lacking to say the least. Also, as much as a ton of delicious food was served up, there is relatively little photo evidence of such (which is not a bad thing for night 1, I cant say cooking bulloxed drunk in the pitch black resulted in the very best showing of my culinary ability).

Well there it was, the first of the lads to turn the big 3-0. We knew something special was in order, but what? Well we threw a few ideas on the table (camping, travel, cottage rental, etc, etc, etc) and came to the decision that a cottage rental would be best. So we gathered the details, made the arrangements, brewed, butchered, and preped food and drink!

Now regrettably it was unseasonably cold till late in the year this year, and with that the end of March was still snowy, frigid, and frozen. And I would later learn (re-learn) the lesson of why you shouldn't mix more then 3 types of liquor, drink drinks made with 5 shots of whiskey like they're going out of style, and start drinking as soon as you wake up. I have the x rated photos of myself making an utter prick of things to prove it too.

And with that we were off, packed in and on the way out of Toronto. We were the last car to arrive, and landed at the cabin around 6 or 7pm. We however didn't waste any time. As soon as we exited the car, magners were cracked, and it was in we went. After the uproar of the surprise entrance, shots were handed out, I must have had 3 whiskeys before getting to the living room. After hand shakes, hugs, and the odd introduction were handed out, it was onto important duties.

Important duty number one being, the tapping of the keg.

With Keg tapped it was onto pints and conversations, starting with those seldom seen.

After a while, a healthy amount of conversing, and a very liberal portion of alcohol, it was off to the yard to enjoy the fire.

And also enjoy the evenings entertainment, American fire works.

And there I am, nice and intoxicated and not making a fool of myself.

Ah yes, I spoke too soon.

Ah the hot tub, the memories I would have in here... Good memories, bad, embarrassing, and missing ones alike.

Ah the morning hangover...

and the cure a like!

I'd say were fairly well stocked.

Yes quite well stocked, especially as this wasn't even half of it.

Its never an overly pleasant feeling when someone captures you on camera looking as awful as you feel.

And there I am back doing what I do. Feeding a hungry crowd of 20+ people, with grilled pita and lamb kebab.

Served of course with all the trimmings, kebab, pita, lettuce, tomato, onion, tzaziki, and hot sauce. And lets not discount the beer accompaniment either!

Aye boys dig in.

And with lunch everyone was back off to there separate corners.

Of course it just wouldn't be a birthday without cake. Also something enough to get everyone back around the table.

One good reason not to get completely shit faced by mid day.

Two reasons better.

So as some (at least one) of use had chosen to spend there day passed out cold drunk on the living room floor, others decided to watch the home movie Chris had made of our 8 day Algonquin park trip. A well done effort I must say, and a thoroughly enjoyable movie. I just wish I could say I was looking forward to the dvd of this cottage trip, but I really don't need to see my own bare arse pressed against the window of a cottage, mooning the inhabitants, and generally making an utter tit of myself.

After a significant amount of complaints and bitching, I was off to cook dinner (I still like how all I volunteered to do was prep the food, and people took that to mean I was their damn personal chef for the fucking weekend, it wasn't a paying position you know! Next time I'm charging.) We had 4 types of marinated chicken, honey garlic, jerk, buldak, and tandoori.

And with dinner on it was back to drinking. And shortly after getting back on the drink, it was on to the hot tub... and the subsequent alcohol abuse that followed... which only led to more compromising positions for me to put myself in... such as!...

Well if this wasn't the pinnacle of pride wounding, shame inducing, inebriation, then I'm not familiarly with what is! -10 degrees, fresh out of the hot tub, soaking wet, smoking nearly nude, just prior to mooning a room full of people, ah yes, nothing to shake my head at in the morning... nothing at all...

Good lord, there certainly is a difference in mine and Chris' wake up expressions.

Upon our last morning, myself, Matt, and Adam, decided to take a stroll on the lake.

After a brief few moments of calm, and serenity, it was back off to the big smoke.

We crowded around, discussed our plans, talked of times just passed, and with that the weekend was passed. Leaving me to sober up for work, and Matt to contemplate his knew found passage in life.