Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Posts Tagged ‘Caterer Kawartha’

Gastronomically yours,

November 19th, 2016

How to Stuff your Turban

The first time I saw a turban squash was over 25 years ago on the cover of an old Harrowsmith Magazine. I was immediately taken by its unique shape which loosely resembled an Oriental turban after which it is named. Its exterior colour and texture reminded me of those old Italian wine bottles that we used to use as candle holders covered in overlapping blobs of white, green, orange and red wax. Their peculiar appearance sees them used more commonly for decorative purposes than culinary.

Turban Squash

Turban Squash

When I was finally able to track one down and cut it open to see what it looked like inside, it revealed a bright yellow flesh with a slightly nutty aroma. It cooked like other vegetables and responded well to being roasted, steamed or boiled. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that the turban squash like all squash are classified as fruits and are members of the pumpkin family which are actually berries. Like most fruits in this category we can trace their origins to Central America where we see them used in many traditional recipes. In North America we tend to consume only the squash fruits but every part of the squash plant can be eaten, including the leaves and their tendrils.

 

When selecting turban squash keep in mind that the smaller squash are much sweeter than the larger ones, on the down side of this the smaller squash have a mealy textured flesh. I recommend using  medium sized turbans in the kitchen. A medium sized turban squash will weigh in around three pounds and have a diameter of about 8-10 inches. The large knob that protrudes from the squash is the flower end, making the opposite end the stem end.

 

Traynor Farms has a great selection of squash available at their Farm Store located at

Address: 2193 County Rd 2, Peterborough, ON K9J 6X7
Phone: (705) 931-0696
Traynor Farms

Traynor Farms

Forage your way to through the selection of squash and find a turban squash to use in the following recipe,  the hard shell of the turban makes it the perfect soup terrine.
Chorizo Stuffed Turban

 

Ingredients:

1 medium sized turban squash

Canola oil as needed

2 tbsp. butter

1 cup Spanish onion, diced

½ cup celery, diced

½ cup carrot, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 lb. chorizo sausage, if you wish to forgo meat and make this vegetarian,

add 1-2 tbsp. of our Kick-Ass Cajun Seasoning from The Spice Co. naturally…

1/4 cup soft breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 375°F with only a single rack on the middle shelf of your oven so that the turban will have adequate clearance.

Make sure that the turban is flat and level on its stem end, as this will be the bottom of your soup bowl. Take a thin slice or two off of the bottom if necessary to level it out. Next cut off the bulbous flower end, as you would when making a jack-o-lantern, as this piece can be used as a lid for your terrine.

Scoop out all of the seeds and pulp from the inside of the turban, discarding the pulp but reserving the seeds as they can be roasted and eaten too.

With a paper towel lightly coat all cut and exposed squash flesh surfaces to protect it while roasting in the oven.

Place the squash, cut sides down, on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about an hour or until the flesh is tender.

While the turban is roasting in the oven, combine the carrots onion and celery and butter in a medium sized sauté pan and cook until the onions begin to brown. Add the garlic and chorizo sausage and continue cooking for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Set mixture aside to cool.

Once the squash is cooked, scoop out its tender pulp. In a large bowl combine the squash with the sausage mixture. Next stir in the brown sugar and bread crumbs.

Return stuffed squash to the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 300°F. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Kick Ass Cajun delivers a great tasting Cajun seasoning that is balanced with an east to swallow heat!

Kick Ass Cajun delivers a great tasting Cajun seasoning that is balanced with an east to swallow heat!

 

 

The Spice  Co. naturally...

The Spice Co. naturally…

Gastronomically yours,

October 7th, 2016

Butter Buns

 

As the morning frosts become harder to scrape off of our cars we are all too well aware that winter will soon be upon us. This change of seasons often involves a change in our diets. Just as we see the squirrels gathering fat laden nuts for the winter we Canadians start to put on our winter coat as we embrace heartier meals like stews and roasts.

Our autumnal eating habits often have us to spending more time in our kitchens as the hearth heats the home. Many of us will see the addition of breads being added to our meals. Baking bread is a great way to spend time with our family and in the end we get to break bread together.

This week’s recipe is for Butter Buns which I made over Thanksgiving weekend. They are soft with a chewy texture and are easy to make. The main ingredients are butter and milk both of which are obtained locally from Kawartha Dairy who is celebrating 75 years of being a family owned and operated dairy in Bobcaygeon.

This recipe calls for an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment but it can just as easily be prepared with your own two dough hooked hands.

 

Butter Buns

1 tsp. Active dry yeast

1 tbsp. sugar

1/4 cup water; warm

1 ½ cups milk; warm

1 large egg; lightly beaten

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

3 ¼ all-purpose flour

½ cup unsalted butter; melted

¼ melted butter

 

Method:

In the mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes until it begins to foam up on the surface. With your mixer set on a low setting use the dough hook to blend in the warm milk, egg, and salt, until evenly combined into the yeast water. Gradually add 3 cups flour, one cup at a time; blending mixture until smooth.  Pour in the ½ cup of melted butter and continue mixing at low speed until evenly combined. Add remaining flour and if necessary a little more until the dough pulls away from the bowl. The dough should be soft and tacky to the touch.  Remove bowl from mixer and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set bowl in a warm place for an hour so the dough can rise to double its size. Meanwhile using the remaining butter; grease a 9” cake pan liberally.

Next punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 4 or 5 times. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and gently roll it into balls and arrange them in the buttered cake pan. Let the dough rest in the pan for 35 minutes.

Gently brush the rolls with remaining butter and bake in a preheated oven at 375 °F. Bake the butter buns in the center of oven on the middle rack for about 20-25 minutes until light golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. If you want extra buttery buns give them another brushing with butter. Once the butter has been absorbed dig in and enjoy. This recipe is loaded with butter and is not recommended for those on fat reduced diets.

Gastronomically yours,

October 7th, 2016

Pumpkins are most commonly consumed in pumpkin pie during the Thanksgiving holidays and as ghoulish decorative pieces through Halloween. For many people Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie. You can forget the cranberry sauce, maybe over cook the turkey and have lumps in your gravy which will all be forgotten but if you do not have pumpkin pie on the table for dessert you may consider never hosting the family Thanksgiving Dinner ever again.  So ingrained is this tradition that once during the early colonization of North America, Thanksgiving celebrations were delayed due to a shortage of molasses which at that time was a key ingredient to making pumpkin pie.

Canned pumpkin is available year-round and is typically used for pumpkin desserts and baking. Fresh pumpkins are available in such great quantity right now that one should take full advantage of them. Fresh cooked pumpkins can be puréed and used in any recipe calling for canned pumpkin. This puree can be frozen and stored in your freezer for up to 3 months.  Smaller sized pumpkins are best for cooking, as they are sweeter, more tender and easier to handle. A 5-pound pumpkin will yield about 4 cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin. With fresh pumpkins one also gains the use of pumpkin seeds. Shelled pumpkin seeds known as Pepitas can be toasted and added to salads, breads or casseroles.

Pumpkins alone are quite healthy for us as they are high in Vitamin A, potassium and antioxidants. This member of the gourd family has an exceptionally high water content making it ideal to use in juicers and blenders for making smoothies and cocktails. The creamy texture of cooked pumpkin flesh is enhanced even more when added to soups and stews.  You can even choose to bake pumpkins like squash with some butter and spices in the oven to be served as the vegetable component of a meal.

I have purchased a number of pumpkins from different farms in the area since late August, but the best tasting pumpkins in the area were once again grown in our backyard by my children in their very own pumpkin patch which again has yielded us a two pumpkin harvest. They were perfect for baking up a batch of pumpkin bread which we slathered with butter and took the chill out of the autumn morning.

 

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

15 fl oz. pumpkin puree, fresh or canned

4 eggs

1 cup canola oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups sugar

1 tbsp. molasses

3 ½ cups all-purpose flower

2 tsp. baking soda

 

3 tsp. Humble Pie spice blend from The Spice Co. naturally

Method:

In a large size bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, sugar and molasses. Separately in another bowl sift together all of the remaining dry ingredients.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until it is just mixed together but do not over mix it.

Pour the bread batter into lightly greased and dusted bread pans or muffin tins and bake them for 45-50 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°f. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the bread cool down a bit before serving with lots of butter.

NOW AVAILABLE from The Spice Co. Humble Pie

NOW AVAILABLE from The Spice Co. Humble Pie

Gastronomically yours,

October 7th, 2016

The origins of baking pie lay in the Mediterranean and dates back to the Stone Age when Egyptians began using stone tools to grind grains to be made into crusts. This method of cooking quickly grew in popularity as it allowed foods to be prepared in a pie crust that could be easily transported great distances to feed armies and nomadic peoples on their journeys. It’s no wonder that early Canadian settlers brought the tradition of baking pies with them from Europe as they were easy to transport and store for days on their long voyages to the New World. In short time these traditional recipes were adapted to accommodate the indigenous ingredients of the New World.

Pies plates were originally square and referred to as coffins which referred to a box with a lid. If the pie was baked without a top crust it was called a trap. With the discovery of earthen ware pie plates became round and the phrase “cutting corners” became as common as the pie itself.

Those who know me know my affection for vodka… so naturally it finds its way into my Pie Crust

Vodka Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka ( infused with vanilla bean at least 48 hours)
1/4 cup cold water

Procedures
1
Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
2
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Gastronomically yours,

October 7th, 2016

Going Cold Turkey

 

Looking in your refrigerator the days after Thanksgiving may be akin to an archaeological dig as you unearth all of the remnants of the previous day’s or week’s meals. It’s like an adult version of waking up after a college party and trying to chronologically piece together the recent events of your life. We tend to go a bit overboard with holidays and Thanksgiving rules with sovereignty like no other.

Coming down from any holiday is  a crash for some and to finish the binge a la cold turkey can be a rough ride. Trying to make sense out of the leftovers piled precariously in your fridge, garage or out of desperation for food salvation on the back deck can be a daunting task.

Presence of mind and the simple understanding that eating is a bodily function, not an Olympic event may assist us in transitioning ourselves and warding off symptoms of withdrawal. Cold turkey is archetypal as a Thanksgiving leftover, which ends up being reincarnated in sandwiches, soups, stews and the ever foreboding casserole for a few days after its sole intended feast. These culinary creations often become littered with bits of ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, or cranberry sauce found sitting in the refrigerator, next to the turkey covered with torn bits of foil and plastic wrap.

The fate of your leftovers depends on when the food was prepared, how it was served, how long it sat out on the kitchen counter without being refrigerated and how you reheat them. Ultimately it is best not to produce so much food that you have leftovers. If your left-overs were left out on the counter for more than four hours, they are no longer leftovers, they are garbage. If your leftovers were properly stored in the refrigerator and cooled down to an internal temperature of 4°C or colder within 4 hours then you can reheat and serve them but only once. So do not pull out all of the food for leftovers and reheat them, just use what you need. When reheating your leftovers make sure that they reach an internal temperature of 74°C and discard the food if it does not reach that temperature within 2 hours and most importantly never add reheated food to fresh food.

Get a reliable kitchen thermometer and learn how to store, use and calibrate it properly. Use it for more accurate cooking results and as a tool in assisting you to serve safe and healthy foods to your family and friends.

 

Roasted Stuffed Squash

 

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash

Cooking oil

Stuffing

Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese

 

Method:

Cut the butternut squash in half, and scoop out the seeds and discard. Brush the squash with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast it on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350°f for 20 minutes or until the squash becomes soft. Scoop out most of the cooked squash flesh, leaving a shell around the edge. Mash the cooked squash with the leftover stuffing until evenly incorporated and then spoon the mixture back into the squash shells. Sprinkle with some grated cheese and bake the squash for another 20-25 minutes and it reaches an internal temperature of 74°C. Yields will vary depending on amount of people vs leftovers.

 

 

 

Turkey Pot Pie

 

Ingredients:

1/2 pkg frozen rolled butter puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp. butter

1 onion, diced

1 rib celery, diced

2 cups acorn squash, peeled and cubed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock or white wine

3 cups shredded cooked turkey, white and dark meat

1 tsp. dried sage

1 pinch nutmeg

2 cups fresh baby spinach coarsely chopped

1/2 cup 10% cream or milk

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

On a parchment line baking sheet, unroll the pastry and cut it into 4 equally sized pieces. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and then bake them at 400°F until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and stir in the onion, celery, and squash. Cook the vegetables until the squash is tender. Next stir in the flour and let it cook while continuously stirring for  a minute or so. Gradually stir in the stock and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat let the sauce simmer until it has thickened. Stir in all remaining ingredients and serve once all ingredients are heated through. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls; top with the cooked puff pastry. Feeds 4

 

Gastronomically yours,

June 6th, 2016
One Roof Community Diner is worthy of your support!

One Roof Community Diner is worthy of your support!

 I choose support local efforts and initiatives that I believe in.

One Roof Community Diner is just such a cause.

They were very gracious for our support

and gave us more than our share of attention

via social media and their website

for which we are truly grateful.

HOWEVER

it’s those individuals who volunteer and have dedicated themselves to the One Roof Community Diner and its daily operation who deserve the praise and attention so please check them out and step up to give them a hand at

https://oneroofdiner.wordpress.com/about/

 

OneRoof1

JUST GET INVOLVED!

Thank You, Chef Brian Henry

 

Dear Diners,

The piece below was posted on Facebook on June 3, 2016.  We think it is important that it reach our website as well, so you are going to see it twice.  Here it is from Casey:

Chef Brian Henry popped by One Roof today. You may recall we asked for a couple whiteboards. Today, Brian dropped off a 20′ roll of whiteboard material for us. And six bags of spice and herb combinations for our meals! Lucas and Casey couldn’t resist opening them up and smelling and tasting them.

It was fun imagining the pastas, curries, rubs, sauces and other dishes we could make with these flavours. They are amazing and we’re excited to play with them and share them with our guests. It was great to see you today, Brian. We appreciate all your support. Hope to see you again!

Brian is a private chef who does a lot of private lessons, cooking and catering. He also produces thousands of meals through Emergency Preparedness Management and Mobile Emergency Food Services to those evacuated and effected by emergency and disasters. And has a line of spices and rubs. Check outhttp://www.chefbrianhenry.com. — Casey Watson, Facebook, June 3, 2016

Thank you again, Chef Brian Henry, for your generosity and encouragement!

Gastronomically yours,

June 6th, 2016

The smell of spring or why your piss stinks!

 

I love the aromas produced by foods being prepared in a kitchen. One of these favorite culinary induced aromas I can only smell in the bathroom. It is the smell of metabolized compounds found in asparagus. These sulphur based compounds give our urine a distinct perfume within 20 minutes of ingesting this member of the daffodil family.

Asparagus!

Asparagus!

The effect of eating asparagus on our urine has been of curiosity and study since the 1700’s. Most recently a study published in 2010 found that while almost everyone who eats asparagus produces the aromatic asparagus-urine only 22% of the population has the autosomal genes required to smell them. This trait is unique to asparagus as these compounds originate in asparagusic. The aromatic producing elements of asparagus are more concentrated in young asparagus are more present in young asparagus, with the observation that the smell is more pronounced after eating young asparagus.

Another food study in the 1700’s saw the cross breeding of Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis which lead to the creation of the cultivar more commonly known as the common garden strawberry.

These naturally sweet aromatic orbs are related to the rose family and have been used for centuries in the kitchen but also in cosmetic applications and of course the perfume industry. The strawberry is the first fruit to ripen and be harvested in the Kawartha’s. Their flavor can be influenced by weather and this year’s hot dry spring should produce exceptionally sweeter fruits than usual.

Asparagus and strawberries have a number of similar traits. They are both related to flowers; make great companion plants, they require human hands to harvest them, and are only available locally in season for a short period of time. Pick up both of these ingredients at farmers markets and grocery stores throughout our region while still in season and try them together in this week’s recipe that will welcome the delicious aromas of summer into our homes. The many textures and flavors of this salad are best served with barbecued chicken to making it a satisfying meal.

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

2 tbsp. lemon juice

4 cups arugula

1 tbsp.  Honey

3 tbsp.  Balsamic vinegar

 

Method:

In a medium sized bowl combine the asparagus and half of the olive oil together and toss it until the asparagus is evenly coated with the oil. Cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes in either a preheated oven or barbeque at around 400 °f. Once cooked remove asparagus from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.

Place about a cup of arugula onto four dinner plates. Top the arugula with the strawberries and asparagus.  Lightly drizzle each salad with the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

20160603_191542-1

Grilled asparagus dusted with The Spice Co.’s Italian Scallion and crumbled feta cheese!

order online at www.chefbrianhenry.com

order online at www.chefbrianhenry.com

Asparagus Flowers

Freshly harvested asparagus is truly a thing of beauty with contrasting hues of purple and blue that look like frosting on the tips of the plants rich green stems is spectacular.  I prefer the new crops of asparagus that provide stalks that are about the size of your baby finger which in my opinion is the best size to work with as they are quite firm but not too woody like the larger stalks tend to be. Asparagus is a perennial member of the lily family is relatively expensive compared to other vegetables as it can only be harvested by hand. Early harvested asparagus is sweet and juicy and can contain up to 4% sugar. This natural sugar content is most noticeable within the first 24 hours after the stems have been harvested. After that asparagus like other vegetables will begin to consume this sugar for its continued growth and survival. If stored for too long or exposed to light and warm temperatures the asparagus will start to loose its moisture and sweetness. Prolonged storage will see the entire stem grow more fibrous as the plant will consume itself for survival. Some of the effects of storing asparagus can be minimized by simply treating the asparagus like fresh cut flowers. By simply cutting an inch off of  the bottom of  your asparagus and standing them in sugar water your asparagus will hold well in the refrigerator for a few days if need be.

The formation of lignin or the woody fibrous texture found in the lower portion of asparagus has been dealt with in the same manner for centuries by cooks who simply bend the asparagus stalk end to end. This stress causes the asparagus to snap on the border between the tough and tender parts of the stalk.

Asparagus  contains asparagusic acid which is a substance high in sulphur and is classified as a relative of methanethiol. Methanethiol is one of the active ingredients in skunk spray. Within half an hour of eating asparagus our digestive system turns the sulphur into methanethiol. This derivative of asparagusic acid ends up in our urine releasing an aromatic odor. Almost all individuals produce this odorous compound after eating asparagus, but oddly enough only about 40% of us have the autosomal genes required to smell it.

As with most things in life I like to keep my food simple and allow for the natural flavours to come forward and speak for themselves. This is why I chose to simply sauté my asparagus for this week’s recipe.

 

Sautéed Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 pound of asparagus cleaned

One quarter pound shiitake mushrooms

2-3 tbsp. butter at room temperature

Juice of one lemon or a splash white wine

Salt and pepper

Method:

Over medium-high heat, pre-heat a sauté pan. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan. Add the asparagus and shiitakes. Keep your sauté pan moving constantly. Sauté means to jump so keep things hopping. After two to three minutes has passed remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon juice and let it simmer for about a minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Gastronomically yours,

April 17th, 2016

How to give your BBQ a spring tune up!

Spring is here even though it is still some six weeks until the May long weekend. Clearly we are not out of the snow laden woods yet.  Reflecting on how mild this past winter was, many of us took advantage of it by barbecuing in comfort through the winter. The added wear and tear on our barbecues might mean that a spring-tune up is in order.

No matter the brand, the size or the price that you paid for your BBQ, a spring tune up is easy to perform and may resolve some problems before they arise with the upcoming barbecue season. Essentially we need to give our outdoor grills a thorough cleaning and inspect of all of its components. The main cause of flare-ups and those nerve wracking explosive starts to your system can usually be traced to a blockage in the venturi tubes on your BBQ. Warning signs of a gas blockage include any of the following; the burner doesn’t light, the burner flames are yellow or you’ve lost an eyebrow during ignition.

Reggae Rub Wings are best when grilled over charcoal!

Reggae Rub Wings are best when grilled over charcoal!

Insects are attracted to the smell of gas and often will take up residence in the tubes used to carry gas from the tank to the burners. Using a venturi brush you can clean the bugs and their nests out of the venturi tubes. Slowly insert the venturi brush no more than an inch at a time, slightly turning it using it to pull the cobwebs and debris out of the gas lines, do this with a patient frame of mind, otherwise if you get all rammy on it you will only  compact any debris into the line.

You will also want to do a soap water test on the gas line and its connectors to ensure there are no gas leaks. Repair or replace any defected parts that you may find. Any of the metal parts within the firebox can be cleaned with a metal brush this will ensure that all of the burner ports are free of debris. Do not make any modifications to your system. You can also use a vacuum with and appropriate filter to remove the dust and debris.

Now fire it up, preheat your BBQ gently, as you do not need to re-temper any of the metal which might cause it to warp or bend. Use a damp cloth and set of long handled tongs to wipe the grilling surface. This will help remove excess dirt and metal bristles from your grilling surface.

Now it’s time to get grilling! I suggest making some burgers up but with a bit of a twist by adding some new flavours to them and using ground pork instead of beef. Pair your burgers with kimchi or a spicy coleslaw.

BBQ Cooking Classes offered year round!!

BBQ Cooking Classes offered year round!!

Asian seasoned pork burgers

Ingredients:

¼ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup barbecue sauce

2 pounds ground pork

½ cup minced green onion

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 tsp. minced garlic

 

Method:

In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin and barbecue sauce and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the pork, minced green onion, ginger, garlic and 3-4 tablespoons of the hoisin-barbecue sauce mixture. Mix the ingredients together with your hands and then shape the meat into 6 equal-sized patties.

Preheat your barbecue into the 450-500 Cook the burgers on one side for 6 minutes, then flip, brush with the hoisin-barbecue sauce and continue cooking until cooked throughout.

Gastronomically yours,

March 24th, 2016

Celebrate the Cheeses of Nazareth this Easter with this recipe for Balsamic Scented Goat Cheese Cake with a Cranberry Almond Crust

And don’t forget the Baby Cheeses either!

In the early 1900’s the most famous variation of cheesecake came of age and is still at the top of its game as the New York cheesecake. This pure, untainted cheesecake is prepared with pure cream cheese, cream, eggs, and sugar. It is not to be served with any goopy toppings just a pure and simple unadorned cheesecake.

The earliest recorded history of cheesecake shows that cheesecake was very popular in ancient Greece. When Rome conquered Greece, the Romans began preparing cheesecake and often would use cheesecake as an offering in their temples to their gods. One of the foods served to athletes during the first Olympic Games held in 776 B.C. on the Isle of Delos was cheesecake.

The most indispensable ingredient in any cheesecake is cheese. Most cheesecakes are made from ricotta, cream or cottage cheese. There is a never ending supply of recipes for these creations with cooks the world over striving to make the perfect cheesecake. Many cultural and regional influences can be displayed in cheesecakes which will see a variety of ingredients used for the crust and regionally influenced cheese ingredients.

My son Sequoia making goat cheese with my daughter Kira at Cross Wind Farm

My son Sequoia making goat cheese with my daughter Kira at Cross Wind Farm

In my opinion if cheesecake was good enough for Olympians it’s definitely good enough for me. On the contrary I must admit that I’m not a huge dessert eater. So I prefer my cheesecake to be a savory preparation which would see my cheesecake made from Gorgonzola cheese and maybe a walnut crust or an almond port cheesecake served with a light salad. These types of cheesecakes put me into culinary rapture. With life being so unpredictable why not eat dessert first? I enjoy cheese like most Canadians do. I could eat it at every meal, whether it is cheese soup, a fresh bag of curds or a silky cheesecake; cheese always satisfies.

Cross Wind Farm is our locally owned and operated goat cheese farm producing award winning artisnal cheese. Which is located just a short drive outside of Peterborough in Keene. Cross Wind is a family owned and operated farm. I recommend using Cross Wind Farm Cheese in the following recipe for Balsamic Scented Goat Cheesecake with a Cranberry Almond Crust, which is sweet enough for dessert but is also savoury enough to eat with a salad. A bitter green salad would be best dressed with a light balsamic or berry vinaigrette, and slice your cheesecake into pieces that are about half of what one would serve for a dessert size portion.

Cranberry Almond Crust

Ingredients:

1 cup of crushed almonds

2/3 of a cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tbsp. of sugar

1/4 cup dried cranberries chopped

1/2 cup of melted butter

Method:

In a medium sized bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Now pour in the melted butter and blend together until it is of an even consistency.

Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of 9 inch spring form pan.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 6 or 7 minutes. Set aside.

 

 

Balsamic Scented Goat Cheese cake

For the filling:

1 ½ pounds of goat cheese

5oz. honey

1/2 cup whole fat goat’s milk

6 eggs

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Method:

Beat goat cheese with the honey on low speed until barely combined. With the beaters running slowly add the goat’s milk. Next add the eggs one at a time and beat until just incorporated. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and bake on the middle rack of the oven at 300 F for 25 minutes. Let the cheesecake cool and serve with a light salad.

Gastronomically yours,

March 24th, 2016

Folsom Kitchen Blues

Alright so the following bits of culinary information and recipes are dedicated to my daughter Eli’s Ninong (Godfather), Michael Folsom. The recipes are easy to prepare and perfect for the novice cook, like you Mike which I assure you will make you look like a master even though your dietary preferences will state otherwise.  First and foremost it is important to go easy with the rubs and start off using them lightly as you can always add more, but it is hard to remove them once they are added to your food. If need be sprinkle them like salt and then add more if your palate says to do so.

Chef Salt by The Spice Co. naturally!

Chef Salt by The Spice Co. naturally!

We will cover off 3 recipes using a total of 4 products from our retail line of spice rubs under the guise of “The Spice Co.” if you don’t have the products you can purchase them from one of our retail partners listed at https://www.chefbrianhenry.com/shop  or order them online at https://www.chefbrianhenry.com/shop  If you choose to  not use our products in the following recipes I cannot attest to what the flavours (that’s how we spell it in Canada)in these recipes will work out like for you so good luck with that… you’re on your own.

Kick Ass Cajun delivers a great tasting Cajun seasoning that is balanced with an east to swallow heat!

Kick Ass Cajun delivers a great tasting Cajun seasoning that is balanced with an east to swallow heat!

There will be three recipes in total that when combined together create a balance of flavours and textures that will please most any palate. I recently prepared this dish at a fundraising event and it was bestowed with a people’s choice award. The recipe is for a Slow Fire Roasted Kick Ass Cajun Rubbed New York Striploin with One Stinky Onion Marmalade and Mexican Kitchen Cartel Mayo. Although the recipe calls for beef you can use a pork loin or whole chicken. The recipe will yield enough food for 4-6 dinner guests with a bit left over for a sandwich or two the next day.

Mexican Kitchen Cartel is a smoky blend of traditional seasonings and spices!

Mexican Kitchen Cartel is a smoky blend of traditional seasonings and spices!

Now Michael to make this award winning meal you will need to start a day before you want to eat. It is also important to read the recipes all the way through before making them. This will ensure you have all the necessary ingredients and tools as well as an overview of the tasks that will be required of you to execute.  We first need to start preparing the meal by concocting the accompanying condiments.

NOW AVAILABLE from The Spice Co. Humble Pie

NOW AVAILABLE from The Spice Co. Humble Pie

First we will prepare the One Stinky Onion Marmalade…

One of the top 10 questions I get is, “how do you chop onions without crying?”

The answer is simple. Don’t chop onions.

Slicing or chopping onions can be among the most miserable of kitchen chores.

Our snotty, running noses and tears streaming down our cheeks make it easy to understand the purpose of onions sulphurous characteristics: to discourage animals from eating them.

Our bodies react to onions as they do because cutting an onion releases chemicals that combine to create lachrymator, a sulphur-based gas, which is also one of the ingredients in tear gas.

This gas reacts to the water in your eyes and nose, producing sulphuric acid, which causes that familiar burning sensation and produces tears and sneezes.

There are plenty of suggestions on-line as to how one may reduce the tearful effects of onions, I suggest that you just suck it up, chop the onions, have a good cry and get over it.

Onions are most often used as a sub-ingredient to help build foundations for great dishes. On occasion, though, they get top billing as the primary ingredient in recipes such as French onion soup, onion bread or onion rings. In these recipes we get to enjoy the true sweet flavour that onions have to offer.

You can use any variety of onion to make the following recipe for One Stinky Onion Marmalade, but I prefer to use Red Italian onions aka: Bermuda Onions, with their striking colour preserved by the red-wine vinegar.

Serve One Stinky Onion Marmalade as a condiment. It makes for a light alternative to horseradish in beef dishes, and is delicate enough to be served with poached or smoked salmon.

One Stinky Onion Marmalade

Ingredients:

2 cups of diced red onions

1-cup red wine vinegar

2-3 cups granulated white sugar

1 tsp. “Humble Pie” Spice Blend, from The Spice Co. (optional)

Method:

In a large saucepot, combine diced onions, apple cider, vinegar and sage. Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and return to a boil for two to three minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow the onion s to cool. Store the onion marmalade in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.

Alright so the next recipe is a bit easier to pull off….

Mexican kitchen Cartel Mayo

Ingredients:

1-2 cups of mayo, the full fat kind

1 – 2 tbsp. “Mexican Kitchen Cartel” Spice Blend, from “The Spice Co.”

Season with to taste with” Chef Salt”, from “The Spice Co.”

Method:

Stir ingredients together until evenly incorporated. Cover and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator so that the flavours have time to develop. Give it a taste the next day and up the amount of “Mexican Kitchen Cartel” Spice Blend if you want to give it more kick.

The final stage of this recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 3 hours to cook so think about it and plan on when dinner will be.

Slow Fire Roasted New York Striploin with our Kick Ass Cajun Rub!

Slow Fire Roasted New York Striploin with our Kick Ass Cajun Rub!

Slow Fire Roasted Kick Ass Cajun Rubbed New York Striploin

Ingredients:

5lb beef roast like Ny Strip, Prime rib, or pork loin roast, or whole chicken

3 tbsp. “Kick Ass Cajun” Spice Blend, from ”The Spice Co.”

3 tbsp. brown sugar

¼ cup apple juice

Method:

Stir together the “Kick Ass Cajun”, brown sugar and apple juice in a non-reactive bowl. Thoroughly rub the spice and sugar mixture all over the roast or birds. For best results cook the roast on a charcoal or wood-fired barbeque at 275 °f for 2 ½ – 3 ½ hours. If you do not have access to a barbeque roast the meat in a roasting pan with a wire roasting rack. Use a meat thermometer / probe to check the internal temperature of the meat. For beef or pork you will want to reach an internal temperature of 135 °f – 140 °f for med-rare. Chicken will need to go a bit higher to 170 °f internal temperature.

To serve slice your steak, pork or chicken in thin slices, like a 1/8th of an inch thick. Pile the slices up on a tossed salad, rice or your favourite sandwich bread. Top the meat with a generous dollop of the One Stinky Onion Marmalade and drizzle a tablespoon or so of the “Mexican Kitchen Cartel” Mayo on top of everything and get to eating.

Your finished recipes should look like this!

Your finished recipes should look like this!

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