It was a pleasure spending the Christmas & New Year holidays at my Granduncle's in Vancouver.
My first 2 months of school felt more college than culinary school. We attend a series of theory classes before hitting the kitchens so that means: all i've held so far is paper & pens. When i was asked to make dinner, i jumped at the chance.
One thing i enjoy about cooking overseas is the access to many wonderful ingredients. In my Product Knowledge class i learnt a horde about produce i've never spotted in Singapore, and right here in Canada my eyes can physically feast on them.
Cooking in Uncle Alvin's kitchen was another bonus. His fairly new kitchen is impressively equipped with a built-in oven, kitchen aid, ice cream maker, food processor, all-clad pans and the collection continues to build....
Using his Kitchen Aid icecream-mixer extension (a pretty cool gadget i'll love to have), i finally departed from hand-whisked icecream. I made a Candied Bacon Ice Cream that satisfied myself. The creaminess & texture was closest to commercial i've ever gotten... and it's base exudes a deep caramelized flavor entwining savory-sweet notes from the candied bacon. Bacon needs no further description mmmm.
Here's the theme-less menu for the evening:
Smoked Salmon & Crab Salad Roll, Cucumber Vichyssoise, mango
Handpicked blue-swimmer crabmeat is made into a creamy salad with colorful sweet peppers and enrobed in smoked sockeye salmon. To balance the richness, it is placed over chilled cucumber vichyssoise and fresh mango cubes. This is now one of my favorite compilations.
Asian-style Braised Short Ribs, Hoisin glaze, Steamed rice
Tapping back on oriental roots, I did an asian-style braised short ribs served with steamed rice. Glimpses of crushed garlic, ginger, lemongrass, green onion bottoms, crushed red peppers & many more enter a braising liquid that immersed the meat for 3 slow hours in the oven. Once tender, the liquid is extracted and reduced into a tasty hoisin glaze.
Pancake-&-Butter Pudding, Candied Bacon ice cream, Maple-glazed Walnuts, Blueberries, Maple Sauce
Consider my first dessert of 2011 one of those ideas-gone-wild. Say goodbye to bread, hello to pancakes joining the pudding family. Into my Pancake-&-butter pudding i added frozen blueberries & chopped walnuts and baked the traditional B&B way. A drizzle of maple sauce, maple-glazed walnuts and candied bacon ice cream completes the breakfast platter.
Now this is the real breakfast i made in Vancouver. Good ol' French Toasts.
Cooking is my #2 therapy, right after eating.
sorry for the yellowish photos, there's no Adobe Photoshop/proper white balance gadgets here with me in NY! and my SLR's been completely idling away... it really has.