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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.

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Posts Tagged ‘Kick Ass Cajun’

Gastronomically yours,

February 11th, 2017


Seth McGinn and his CanCooker

As a boy in the 1970s, CanCooker inventor Seth McGinn helped brand and vaccinate cattle on his grandparent’s Nebraska ranch. A roundup is hard work; you start at dawn, and by lunchtime, you’ve built up quite an appetite.

In eastern Nebraska, area ranchers would gather together to pitch in with each rancher’s roundups to vaccinate and brand cows and calves. At the start of the day, each family would drop portions of vegetables and meat into an old steel cream can that was placed on a fire to cook while they worked.

At lunchtime, stomachs were grumbling. The ranchers and their children would come back to a hot, hearty, homemade meal—cooked to perfection—that easily fed the entire group.

Decades later, McGinn tried to reproduce this cooking method for a family gathering, but the cream can that he used fell apart in the fire, ruining 50 pounds of food. McGinn realized that modern cream cans are primarily decorative, as compared to the durable cans of the ’60s and ’70s. After trying numerous alternatives, McGinn decided to create an improved design that was safe, durable, easy to use and easy to clean. The result was the CanCooker.

Introduced in 2009, the CanCooker is a unique cooking device that quickly and easily steam-cooks a complete high-quality meal for a large group of diners. Constructed of thick-walled, food-grade anodized aluminum, the CanCooker efficiently converts heat into steam that circulates inside to tenderize and cook the ingredients without boiling away the nutrients. In as little as an hour on just about any heat source—from a stovetop to a campfire—you can create an amazingly delicious dinner for family and friends

The CanCooker will cook just about any meal you can think of from cakes to ribs to omelets.


CanCooker on the Fire!



The US Midwest is a region that saw a great influx of immigration from Germany, Italy Hungary, and Scandinavia during the 1700’s. With them came beer, sausages, potatoes, pasta, sauerkraut and goulash. This combination of foods and cooking styles quickly led the way to Milk Can Suppers.

CanCooker making a steaming hot dinner

Cooking in a milk can is perfect for use in outdoor kitchens and for feeding large groups of people. They can be used like a slow cooker or a steamer. I have tried Italian dishes and Cajun Jambalaya but the following recipe is a bit more traditional with respect to its roots and can be prepared using all local ingredients.

Before you go digging an old milk can out of your garage there are a few things to consider about your milk can cooker. Often antique milk cans were not made from galvanized metals which means that they will have an adverse effect on your food and your health if you use one of these. CanCooker is the modern version of milk can cooking and are available for through their Facebook page. They come in a variety of sizes, are made with stainless steel and are easy to use.

They are perfect for tailgating, camping and any outdoor adventure

CanCooker Jambalaya

CanCooker Supper


1 – 6-pack of beer, something light

12 ears of sweet corn, shucked

12 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered

2-3 pounds of carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

3-4 large cooking onions, peeled and coarsely chopped

6 red peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped

1 head green cabbage, cored, quartered

2 heads of celery, coarsely chopped

4 small zucchini squash, coarsely chopped

12-18 chorizo sausages

3-4 sprigs of Rosemary

3-4 sprigs thyme



Place all ingredients in the milk can in the order as they are listed starting from the top, so pour in the beer, place corn in beer, topped with the potatoes and so on down the list, with the sausages on top with the lid.

Prepare a hot fire between two cinder blocks or something similar that will hold can above and close to the fire. If the wind is blowing, prepare something to protect the fire. Set the can on the blocks and tend the fire for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Have two people armed in insulated gloves remove the can from the fire and set it on the ground for 20 minutes to cool. Carefully remove the lid while being mindful that the escaping steam can cause serious burns. Either serve supper strait from the can with ladles or pour out the contents into large serving bowls.

Remove the can from the fire and carefully remove the lid. Two individuals, wearing insulated gloves, should then pour the can’s contents into waiting large bowls. Add serving spoons and have guests serve themselves.




Gastronomically yours,

February 8th, 2017

Getting married? Think twice about throwing rice…

Here Comes the Bride

The ritualistic trading of nuptials throughout society carries many traditions. From the ring to the veil and the colour of the brides dress all of these traditions have a story behind them. All evolved over time depending on many historical influences.
Wheat and grains are considered by some to be symbols of fertility. Often wheat sheaths would find their way into the wedding ceremony or grains were tossed in the air over the newly wedded couple’s heads to promote fertility. Over time as the world evolved we discovered how to use wheat to bake wedding cakes. Some cultures then began to take pieces of the cake and drop crumbs over the bride and groom. As well as tossing grains sometimes well-wishers tossed flower petals.
When the price of grains and flowers began to rise, people switched to throwing confetti and rice at the newlyweds. The novelty of confetti quickly wore off, as it is impossible to clean up the mess. Oh yeah and that guy who got the paper cut on his eye and sued the confetti company for millions is urban legend, but it had an effect on confetti sales.
A handful of rice thrown at point blank range by an overzealous newly met in-law is enough to make one never eat rice again let alone meet the rest of the family. Rice on church steps is the equivalent of marbles on the church steps.
Now here is the all-time urban legend that has affected the wedding rice trade… Don’t throw rice at your wedding because birds will eat it and explode.
I’ve heard this numerous times from all demographics and each time I laugh harder than before. If this were true you would be able to watch wild life shows on migrating birds stopping off for a nosh in patches of wild rice fields and then the poor unsuspecting birds would explode on film. There would be large groups of angry people trying to stop the senseless cruelty of the systematic self-inflicted genocide committed by the noble Chickadee. We would be hanging bird sized rice cookers from trees in an attempt to reverse the damage caused by years of rice emissions around the world.
No wonder we can’t figure out which came first, you know the chicken or the egg problem that has plagued the brilliant minds of time we’ve been trying to feed Alka-Seltzer to seagulls which from my childhood experience I can say is urban legend as well.
Here is an idea of what I like to do with rice

Creole Dirty Rice
1 lb. chicken livers, chopped fine
4 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup onion diced
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
1 tsp. garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. Kick Ass Cajun seasoning, from The Spice Co. naturally
6 cups-cooked long grain or Jasmine rice, HOT
1/4 cup green onions, chopped fine
1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
Method: Sauté chicken livers, onions, celery, red peppers, and garlic with vegetable oil until lightly browned and add our Kick Ass Cajun. In a large bowl combine liver mixture with the cooked rice. Stir in the chopped green onions and parsley. Serve immediately.

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


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)


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


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.”


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


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


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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