Let’s Make Some Stock

At work we had something of a “talent show” where some of my colleagues got to show off something they’re passionate about. I decided to throw my hat into the ring and hopefully teach some people how to make a pretty damn delicious chicken broth – the base of so many things when it comes to food.

It’s great to work at an organization that puts company culture on the forefront, so naturally I’ll give a quick shout out to TrueContext and all the fun we have. That said, the rest of this is going to be adapted from the 15 minute presentation I gave to my colleagues. It’ll include a step-by-step guide on making a mouthwatering stock, some tips I wasn’t able to cover in the presentation, and some helpful links for further learning.


Salmon en Croute, Beurre Blanc.

This isn’t anything new to those who are familiar with French cuisine. It’s basically a salmon fillet wrapped in a puff pastry and baked. The rest is up for debate, but the end result is luxury as long as you don’t screw it up – which I can assure you is easier than you may think.

I started making this thing when I wanted to make a Beef Wellington for someone who didn’t eat beef. Some people call this the salmon wellington, but I’d argue against that for a variety of reasons. This really is (and should be) it’s own dish. It’s like chicken bacon; it’s not fucking bacon. Just call it what it is, and let it be what it’s going to be. Stop trying to make something into something it’s not.

Anyways, I digress – here’s how to make this monstrosity.


Spicy Red Curry Stuffed Peppers

People have been stuffing peppers for as long as peppers have probably been around in their current form. Every country has their riff on it, some of them are vegetarian, while most of them contain some form of minced or ground meat. There’s a million different ways to make them, so be sure to experiment.

This is a bit of a twist on the classic North American stuffed peppers you may be used to – like mom used to make. I like to play around a bit with the spices, and think for any stuffed pepper to be interesting, it’s got to have a little kick to it. At the end of the day, you’re the boss, but don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. Remember, less is more so it’s always easier to add a bit more spice than have to try and cover it up. you can continually adjust as needed along the way.

If you’re feeling this, leave a comment with what you did for spices and I’ll give it a go on the next round.


I’m Kinda A Big Dill – A Pickle Story

I’ve been making my own pickles for the better part of the past 5 years, playing around with various recipes, sometimes with terrible results. However, what’s always hit a home run has been my spicy garlic dills. Some of my friends swear by them, and honestly – they’re a snap to make.

Here’s the basics. I’d strongly suggest making at least 6 jars worth, possibly 9, and up to 12 at the same time if possible. This recipe pulls off 8 jars, but there’s usually a bit of leftover brine. Your mile may vary depending on size of jars.

Once completed, be sure to let them sit on the shelf for no less than a month before opening. For best results, be sure to cool your jar in the fridge for 8 hours prior to opening (ideally overnight) to give them a bit more crunch. Happy pickling!

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Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Sprouts & Parsnips

Thanks to the fine people over at Dell Canada for the (relatively) free meal tonight. Part of their marketing since COVID has been to do various “join in at home!” type things and this time around it’s a cooking class. They send you everything you need (well, almost in my case) and you follow along with some semi-famous chef. I’m sure there’s a lot of product placement and hyping of their latest technologies along the way, but I really don’t know.

The problem is, this thing is tomorrow night and I’ve got other more pressing commitments. So, I decided to make it tonight. The thing is, the recipe card they sent was horrific. It didn’t list amounts, and the method was horribly basic. I improvised a tad. Here’s what I came up with.

It’s an easy dish that anyone should be able to make with relatively little equipment, although I’ll suggest a cast iron skillet will be massive help over your usual frying pan. Seriously. Go get a cast iron skillet. If you take care of it (hell, even if you don’t), it’ll last forever. Or, better yet – see if your grandparents will leave you theirs in the will. It’s the second best gift a person can get from Grandma besides a lot of love & encouragement in the form of rock candy.

I’d already eaten tonight and figured I’d prep this for my lunch and dinner tomorrow, but seeing as I usually don’t have a ton of time (nor motivation) around 1 in the afternoon while working, I got to work tonight.


Roasted Chicken Soup with Dumplings

I’ve been meaning to really refine my perfect hearty chicken soup recipe for a while. This got expedited a tad as a friend has been feeling quite under the weather with some health complications. Knowing that they have two young children at home and very little energy from their treatments, delivering a few hearty meals that could easily be heated up was a no-brainer option.

This chicken soup is just as hearty as it is delicious. It’s a riff on what your grandmother likely used to make, only with a bit more intricacy to really bring out the flavour of all the ingredients. I’ll be working on really perfecting the dumplings as while they were wonderful, I’d really like to get a little more punch to them.

While the chicken soup you may be used to from a can is likely engrained in your mind from childhood, that was really a disservice to what this can truly be. If you give this a shot, I promise it’ll be a night and day difference. While the entire thing is hardly as easy as cracking a can of Campbells, if you make it in advance it stores wonderfully in the freezer and re-heats marvelously. Buying your chicken whole will help save a lot of money, and quite honestly for the portion sizes you’re going to get, it’s cheaper than buying those horribly over-salted and under-flavoured cans of crap.

This soup is hearty, rich, and will leave you full. It’s time to level up.

Obligatory “Work” Picture

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