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Monday, January 13, 2014

The Week In Yum January 3-10


Holy mother of god, it was ridiculously cold out there this week. It was the vortex of climate changey coldness in other parts of North America. In Toronto, it was just really, freaking cold. Because it was so cold, we didn't go out to eat as much as we would normally do and I did more cooking at home. On the weekend, we did go out to Mexican Salsa's  in the Market for that pozole up there just like we did last week. We were planning to go to Seven Lives again for ceviche but it was so packed when we walked by that we just kept on walking. This is the problem with places that are really fabulous and also really popular, right? On the way back to the car, it wasn't crowded at all but I had just finished a big bowl of pozole and no longer wanted any ceviche. First world problems.

On Sunday, we met friends for lunch at a new BBQ restaurant on Mount Pleasant, south of Eglinton called Sandoozles. I wasn't even going to mention it but you know what? Our lunch was so disappointing that I feel like I have to. The food was disappointing, the service was painfully slow and inattentive - the three people who ordered poutine left it virtually untouched and nobody thought to ask if there might be a problem? My brisket sandwich was fine but nothing else was. Sorry, I just disliked it so much I had to say something. Usually when I don't like a place I just don't talk about it but I want to save you the bother. Luckily, the company was great and we had a really nice visit with friends.

On Monday, I made my very first roast beef. I certainly cook beef. I made stews or steak and I will throw a brisket in the crockpot but I don't do traditional roasts. I really dislike prime rib and almost never like any other cut of roasted beef and I just thought that it's not possible to cook one so that it's basically Chicago style - charred and crusty on the outside and rare on the inside. January's challenge in my Great Canadian Food Experience was to make some sort of resolution for the new year and I am really trying to push myself and use ingredients that I am unfamiliar with or that intimidate me so what better thing to start with than a roast?

I am now going to all about the roast beef with this recipe

I bought a really nice, small sirloin tip and then just looked at it for a couple days while I read up on all of the different techniques. People who do low and slow swear that this is the only way to cook it. People who do high heat swear that THIS is the only way to go. Some people sear at super high heat and then turn the oven down to about 200F and finish it off but the thing that intrigued me most was the idea that you could blast it at super high heat for a very short time, turn the oven off and walk away. I cooked it at 5.5 minutes per pound at 500F and then did just that. I turned off the oven and walked away and came back to a perfectly rare roast. I would cook it another minute the next time to cook it just a touch more but I really wanted to make a rare roast that had a really nice, salt crust and I succeeded. I will no longer be passing on roast beef in 2014 (I have had two friends use this method and they are now 100% sold on it).

Tuesday, I threw a pork shoulder in the crock pot with my newest attempt at pulled pork with bbq sauce. I have been tinkering to find a sauce that is not too sweet and I am really happy with this one. We had sandwiches on Tuesday, The Kid took a sandwich to school on Wednesday, they wanted to eat it again Wednesday night and another sandwich made it's way into school lunch on Thursday by request. I think everyone was pretty happy.


On Wednesday I made a huge pot of kale, sausage and white bean soup and we all had a little bowl of it with our pulled pork and then made dinner out of it on Thursday. God, I love soup.

On Friday, Shack and I ditched The Kid and met up with some friends at Ki. I love Ki. It bills itself as modern Japanese food which is just code for expensive, fancy pants sushi and stuff but it really is delicious. The saikyo marinated black cod is perfect. It is rich and silky and decadent. To me, black cod is like the creme brulee of fish and we get it every time we eat here. It's actually not that expensive but if you have cocktails and order freely off the menu, it does add up. I felt like a martini instead of wine or sake so I tried something called the Ginjun Therapy Session - gin, lillet, ginger syrup, lemon, fresh ginger and juniper berries. Okay, I had two of them, so sue me. I would have another one again, too. I didn't photograph any of our food because we were with Shack's work friends and I look like a freak when I try to photograph our food so I just snuck a shot of my tea pot and my napkin when everyone was busy settling up.




Because it was a balmy 3C, which feels like spring after two weeks of -25, we started walking and ended up walking all the way back to the Beach from King and Wellington because we were both so happy to be outside that we didn't want to go inside and took a couple of hours to walk and chat and enjoy the city at night. A perfect end to my week. My three favourite things are eating great food, walking and my guy.


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