Saturday, February 26, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well the plan was for us to have a fun day of cooking in the kitchen to celebrate Family Day here in Ontario.  I love cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip are my hands-down favourite, hence the reason I don't make them very often.

And this recipe is really, really good, especially when they are soft and they made a terrific dessert tonight and are already packed in the lunch bags for tomorrow.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth and creamy.  In a small bowl, beat in eggs, then stir in vanilla.   Pour eggs and vanilla into butter and sugar mixture.  

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into the creamed mixture until just blended.  If the mixture is a bit thick, as a few splashes of milk to loosen it up slightly.  Mix in the oats and chocolate chips. 

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto un-greased baking sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Rosemary Lamb with Herbed Yogurt Sauce and Panzanella Salad

 This is a recipe based on the Greek Lamb with Yogurt Mint Sauce from Ina Garten's lastest book Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?.  I had to make a number of substitutions thanks to a very amnesic visit to the grocery store yesterday without my list!  Grr.  Anyway, as usual, I have managed to survive the substitutions and turn out a delicious Family Day family-style dinner.

Rosemary Lamb (Serves 4)

For Lamb:

2 racks of lamb, frenched and cut into chops
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 sprigs rosemary, sheared and chopped
1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
Juice and zest of two lemons
1.5 cups olive oil
1.5 cups dry white wine

Combine all ingredients in a large glass pan. Nestle the lamb chops in the marinade and be sure to rub on both sides.  Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and longer if possible, turning half way through.

When ready to cook, pre-heat your grill on high heat.  Grill chops for 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare.

Serve with:

Herbed Yogurt Sauce
Panzanella Salad

Cook's Note on Substitutions:  The original recipe called for the use of red wine but - as amazed by this fact as I am - I had no red wine in the house and today is a holiday so the LCBO is not even open!  Hence, I substituted a dry white wine from Portugal that we had in the fridge.

Also, the Herbed Yogurt Sauce was originally called Yogurt Mint Sauce but guess what I forgot to mint at the grocery store...duh!  Anyway, I had fresh dill and arugula in the house so that is what I used.  Nothing beasts fresh mint, and I do have some fresh mint chutney in the fridge that I get at VJ`s Supermarket in Little India, which I think might add an interesting dimension to the sauce with a different lamb marinade.  Next time!

I think these would be fun at a party as a passed appetizer and the frenched lamb bone almosts acts as a perfect utensil for eating.  I'd call them "lamb lollipops" and offer them to people with the opportunity to dip into the sauce in a bowl.

Panzanella Salad

Today is Family Day in Ontario - thank you Dalton McGuinty!  Basically it is a the mid-winter blah day off we all need and now look forward to.  So my plans today include a bit of packing for our holidays and spending some time in the kitchen with my two favourite boys.

I thought I would make a simple but elegant meal to cap off a great long weekend and feed my need to cook until I get back from my cruise.  I am looking forward to seeing Belize again, going to Roatan, visiting Cozumel and then hitting Key West and Miami.  We have lots planned - snorkling, sea kayaking, catamarans, air boats through the Everglades - which is a good thing since I hear that the food on cruises is endless.  We'll do our best to not go too crazy!

I have a somewhat stale loaf of rustic Italian bread and have always wanted to make Panzanella so I decided since we are making lamb today, it would be a good idea.  I took the inspirational lead for tonight's salad  from the Barefoot Contessa but in the end made the recipe my own.

Panzanella Salad

Toasted Bread:

1 loaf of day old rustic bread, sliced on an angle (about 4 cups)
2 teaspoons olive oil for grilling + 3 tablespoons for salad dressing
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed (not chopped - you will be rubbing the bread with them)

Preheat grill or panni press to 400° (medium-high). Cut bread loaf into 8 (1-inch-thick) slices; cut slices in half, if desired.  Rub each slice of bread on both sides with raw garlic cloves.  Brush each side of bread slices with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Grill at 400° (medium-high heat) 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and toasted and has grill marks.  Set aside to cool. Cut bread into 1 inch pieces and place in large salad bowl and set aside.


1 half piece Preserved Lemon, well rinsed and chopped finely
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper

Whisk all ingredients together quickly until they become emulsified.  Set aside until ready to use.  You will have to whisk again prior to dressing the salad.

Main Salad:

2 pounds tomatoes (about 3 large) or 1- 12 oz. container a mixed tomatoes (yellow, orange and cherry)
1/2 English cucumber, quartered and cut into small chunks (similar size to tomatoes)
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup packed fresh basil (I forgot to buy some so I used Arugula)
3 tbsp dill fronds, torn
salt and pepper to taste

Coarsely chop tomatoes (cut in half if using cherry tomatoes) and cucumber. Peel and thinly slice red onion and place everything in a medium bowl.   Cube toasted bread.  Toss cubed bread in with the tomatoes and cucumbers and pour dressing over the salad.  Toss well.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Lay salad out on a beautiful plate and sprinkle with fresh herbs (or Arugula in my case).

Serve and enjoy!

Cook's Note:  The salad will hold well for about half an hour but you should plan to serve it fairly soon after you add the dressing so the bread does not become soggy.  A nice addition would be some feta or torn fresh mozzarella cheese.

Herbed Yogurt Sauce

This Sauce is based on the Barefoot Contessa`s Yogurt Mint Sauce.  I think depending on the type of cuisine you are making, you could substitute a number of different herbs.  I think basil would work nicely and even cilantro, but today I substituted arugula for the mint.

And as I forgot to get more lemons yesterday, I am using the rind of the Preserved Lemons I made a month or so ago for the lemon flavour.

Man....that REALLY was an amnesic shopping trip yesterday.

Herbed Yogurt Sauce

1 cup Greek-style Yogurt
6 green onions, white and green parts chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 cup arugula, packed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or 1quarter piece Preserved Lemons, rinsed well and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients except yogurt in a food processor with the steel blade and purée until it is a coarse paste.  Add the yogurt and pulse until combined.  Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed or even a few crushed red pepper flakes.  If you are using preserved lemons be careful with the amount of salt you add.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Brenden's Banana Nutella Delights

Happy Family Day to everyone out there and Happy President's Day to my friends in the U.S.  And...uh....Happy Monday to everyone else?

Today's posts are about spending time together in the kitchen and enjoying good food together at the table.  This first post is the Teen's attempt to do a high-low play on the pannini.  It looks fancy (sort of) but in reality it is a very simple and surprisingly delicious sandwhich.

I decided earlier this month to buy my family a Pannini Press for Valentine's Day - not romantic I know - but this thing has gotten so much use since we got it by everyone in house, especially the Teen.  He has become a bit of a grilled sandwich connoisseur of late so when he asked me to blog about his Family Day breakfast I thought why not!

Brenden's Banana Nutella Delights

(Serves 2)

What you need:

4 slices good quality white sandwich bread - we like Villagio Italian-Style
5 tablespoons Nutella or other hazelnut chocolate spread
1 banana, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat your Pannini Sandwich maker to 400 degrees F.

Spread the inside of each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of Nutella.  You will have 1 tablespoon left over.

Add a layer of thinly sliced banana.

Sandwich your two pieces of bread together and press together firmly using a spatula.

Toast on your Pannini-Sandwich maker for 3-4 minutes or until bread is well toasted and has fantastic grill marks.  Cut on a bias.

Take your remaining tablespoon of Nutella and whisk in the milk to thin it out to a sauce consistency.  Drizzle Nutella sauce on the plate and add any left over pieces of banana for decoration.

Eat and enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Demi Glace

Demi Glace is a rich brown sauce that is the base for many other sauces.  Once I have the basic Demi Glace down pat, I will start messing around with those sauces!  The Demi Glace recipe is pretty easy and straightforward to make, it just takes a very long time to get the various parts together to reach the final creation.

Demi Glace

2 cups hot Veal Stock
2 cups hot Espagnole Sauce
1 bouquet garni (see below)


In a large stock pot, combine the Espagnole Sauce, veal stock and bouquet garni together, over medium-high heat. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and a simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 30 minutes. Remove bouqet garni and discard. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Strain through a fine sieve to ensure the demi glace is clear.

Makes about 2 cups Demi Glace.  The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for 6 to 8 months.

Bouquet Garni

A bouquet garni is usually made by tying together parsley, thyme and a bay leaf with kitchen twine or enclosing them in cheesecloth. The herbs add yet another layer of flavour to stocks and sauces.

15 flat-leaf parsley stems
2 fresh thyme stems or sprigs
2 bay leaves

Tie up all ingredients in a few layers of cheesecloth and add to the sauce.

Cook's Note: I was seriously considering skipping this step because I couldn't see what it could possibly add flavour-wise, but WOW! The parsley and bayleaf add a really nice fresh herbaciousness to the final sauce. Well worth the time spent making it, I just wish I had 2 or 3 times as much final product to show for the effort!

Espagnole Sauce

Espagnole Sauce is one of the 5 French Mother Sauces that I have been rabbiting on about this month. On Saturday, I completed phase one of the sauce which was making a Veal Stock. I let my stock chill over night on the balcony and then removed the thin layer of fat that formed on top of the sauce, then I ran it through a very fine sieve to ensure that it was clear and free of debris. The result is a gorgeous brown stock that glimmers and sparkles both in the pot and in the mouth.

Phase 2 is turning the stock into an Espagnole Sauce, which is basically a classic brown sauce. It is also one of the main components in a Demi Glace, which I think I will attempt next.  Luckily there seems to be enough Veal Stock left to go on to Phase 3!

Espagnole is typically made from veal or beef stock, mirepoix (carrots, onions and celery), and tomatoes, and thickened using a dark roux.  Remember when I made the Bernaise Sauce a while back, that I barely cooked the roux so it would remain blonde....well this is the opposite kind of roux because it requires colour and longer cooking.

I really don`t know the origin of the name of the sauce, except that the word ``Espagnole`` is French for ``Spanish``. There are a few stories about its origin including one that says the French perceive Germans to have blue eyes and the Spanish to have brown.  Uh....ok...whatever. Then there is another story that says that for her wedding to King Louis XIII of France, Queen Ann - who came from Spain - brought her own Spanish chefs to help with the food. The Spanish Chefs insisted on adding a Spanish element to a basic French brown sauce for the banquet - Spanish tomatoes - and the new sauce was such a hit, it became a staple in the French kitchen and was named in honour of its creators. I like that story better than the one about eye colours.

Espagnole Sauce

1 small carrot, peeled and rough chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and rough chopped
1 celery rib, rough chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups hot Veal Stock
1/4 cup tomato purée (or Passata de Pomodoro Fresca)
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat.  Add carrot, onion celery and cook,stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 7 or 8 minutes). Sprinkle flour over carrots and onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until medium brown for about 6 to 10 minutes.

Add hot stock a bit at a ladleful at a time, being sure to keep whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Once all stock is incorporated, add tomato purée, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf and bring to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the sauce starts to boil, reduce heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes or until the sauce is reduced to about 3 cups.

Pour sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard any solids that are left behind.

Cook's Note:  This may be one of the finest tasting sauces I have EVER had.  I will definitely put in the time to do this again, except in a much bigger batch.

Glazed Blueberry Lemon Loaf

Those who regularly read my blog know that I don't often bake. If I am completely honest, I find baking a bit intimidating. I think it is the precision required in measurement and the fact that if you leave important ingredients out like baking powder your creation can fall flat! That doesn't happen in a stew!

About 10 years ago I did take two baking courses at George Brown College, which is where a lot of chefs get their training in Toronto. We did amazing things like hand-pulled Apple Strudel, Opera Cake, real Black Forrest Cake and puff pastry from scratch. So basically, I am competent just maybe a little out of practice.

Also I don't bake often because if I bake we have to eat it and I am sure I really don't need to consume yet more butter and flour than I have been since I started working on this blog. Nothing like a little Opera Cake on a Tuesday night after dinner to ensure that you can't do up those skinny jeans.

But the Teen has started "cooking" as he calls it in high school and it seems to have made a connection for him so I figure I'll encourage it in whatever manner I can if it gives him some direction. Maybe one day he can catch up to his 10 yr old brother in terms of culinary skill and knowledge!

When trying to decide what to make I thought I'd let the contents of my fridge lead the way. For some reason I seemed to have purchased two huge containers of blueberries this week which now desperately need using lest they go bad. Can't have that. And I have a few lemons in the fridge and I like the pairing of blueberry and lemon, so it is Blueberry Lemon Loaf with a lemon glaze.

Glazed Blueberry Lemon Loaf


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup fresh blueberries (I think I used 1.5 cups whoops)
zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan and set aside until you are ready.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Pour your west ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.  If the batter seems a little thick, add small amounts of milk to loosen it until it reaches the desired consistency.  Gently fold in blueberries. 

Pour intothe greased loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely

Lemon Glaze:

2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Put the sugar in a small bowl. Add lemon juice and whisk together until smooth and well blended.  Set aside.
Place your cooling loaf on a baker's wire rack and slide a cookie sheet under it to catch any glaze that drips off.  Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over loaf, then drizzle glaze over the cake.  Leave to set before slicing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Veal Stock

Veal stock is the base of Espagnole Sauce, which is one of the French Mother Sauces I have committed to learning.  Additionally, it can be turned into demi-glace or used as the base for something like French Onion Soup or as a braising liquid in a beef stew or chili.  

Or as part of the sauce for Cabbage Rolls like I saw Chuck make on Chuck`s Day Off, one of my favourite Food Network Canada shows.  Chuck Hughes is a restaurateur and chef  based in Old Montréal who Justin and I really enjoy watching.   In some senses I think he is intended to be Canada`s Tyler Florence but he is waaaay cooler.  Justin loves his sleeve of tatoos (he has ones of lobsters, oysters, arugula and bacon LOL).  And so do I to be honest!  He`s fun, smart, a great chef and not at all hard on the eyes!  And his show has a soundtrack!   He totally rocks.

It was after this week`s Cabbage Roll show that I decided to try out Chuck`s technique for veal stock.  So here it is, as best as I can recollect.   I do plan to try out Chuck`s Cabbage Roll recipe also, as it has been YEARS since I made them, which is rather odd, since I love a good Cabbage Roll.  Thanks for reminding me Chuck!

Making veal stock may seem a bit onerous and time consuming, given it should simmer for 8 hours (yes Chuck says 8) but the depth of flavour you get from making it yourself cannot be duplicated by any package, carton or can of commercial stock.   I don't care if Marco Pierre White tells me on a tv commercial that Knorr prepared stocks are restaurant quality - the are not.

So get the ingredients from your local butcher or meat market, put them on the burner on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning, and let it go all day while you do other things.  Then divide it up and freeze it.  You can freeze it in 1 or 2 cup containers and even fill an ice cube tray to create small tablespoon like quantities that you can drop in to sauces or meals you make during the week to add richness and depth. 

The world we live in is so fast-paced and based on instant gratification that we really need to learn to slow down sometimes and do something simple and worthwhile like this.  In is a labour of love.

Veal Stock

7 pounds veal bones, cut into 2 or 3-inch pieces (get them at your local butcher or meat market)
1 can tomato paste ( can use ketchup if you don't have it)
2 ribs celery, rough chopped
2 carrots, rough chopped
1 large onion, quartered
Small handful peppercorn (6-8)
4 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
Cold water

1 cup red wine, for deglazing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, F.  Spread bones in a roasting pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss in a little olive oil.  Roast for about 60 minutes, turning once. Remove from the oven, and paint a thin layer of tomato paste over the bones (ketchup can be substituted if you have no tomato paste - no one will know!). Put the vegetables around the bones, and roast an additional 30 minutes, until the vegetables begin to caramelize.

Once finished roasting, place the bones and vegetables to a stock pot. Deglaze the roasting pan with wine, scraping up any goodness that has developed on the bottom of the pan, and pour this into the stock pot. Add peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme.  Add just enough cold water to cover the bones and vegetables.  Slowly bring the bones up to a simmer over medium heat, being sure not to let it boil. Let the stock simmer gently uncovered for eight hours. If you have the time, it can simmer for up to 12 hours.

When the stock is done, remove the bones and discard. Strain through a very fine mesh strainer or through a colander lined with cheesecloth. Chill, then refrigerate. Skim off the fat from that has solidified on top, and discard.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Miso Black Cod with Pa Jeon and Ginger Sesame Sabayon

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends and visitors. May your day be filled with love, joy, understanding, and contentment as you make your way through life with those you love and hold dear.

This year for Valentine's Day I decided to go with the romantic flow and be a bit excessive in my dinner preparation for my Valentines.  This dish is my attempt to pay tribute to the amazing Black Cod on Korean-style pancake that I had at ByMark a few weeks ago. The fish was the most perfectly cooked fish I ever had, and I was fascinated by the Chef's choice to serve it atop a Korean-style pancake (Pa Jeon).  I also wanted to take a stab at a Sabayon as I have never made one but was pretty certain that it was a play on that sauce that the Chef served with the fish.

This recipe is a close approximation of the fish I had that night, and something like it generally appears on most higher-end Asian style restaurants.  I have been making this particular fish recipe for a number of years - way back it was with Chilean Sea Bass -  but for obvious reasons I have not made it with that fish for a long time.  Halibut will work well, but so far Black Cod is the best substitute that I have come across for Sea Bass.

The Korean Pancake was a huge hit with all 3 of my Valentines and I have a feeling we will be making them as lunches or snacks on the weekend in the future.  Mixed reviews on the Sabayon as it contained Prosecco - amazingly it was the Teen that was "Meh" on the sauce - but everyone else loved it.


4 Black Cod fillets (about 1.5 lbs) - sometimes called Sablefish

For marinade:

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup white miso (the recipe works without if you can't find it)
1 cup mirin
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

Mix the marinade ingredients thoroughly in a Ziploc plastic bag.  Place fillets in Ziploc bag with the marinade.  Marinade in the refrigerator over night, being sure to turn at least once.  Can be marinated up to 3 days.

To cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove fillets from marinade and pat dry gently with a paper towel.  Place fish in a glass pan and bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Serve on top of Pa Jeon (Korean-Style green onion pancakes) with Ginger Sesame Sabayon and a sprinkling of Shitake mushrooms lightly sauteéd in a little butter.

Cooks Note:

Watching an episode of Martha Stewart years ago, I learned a handy trick for testing the doneness of fish from Eric Ripert of renound seafood restaurant in NYC, Le Bernadin.

To test if fish is ready, insert a carving fork gently into the centre of the fillet and pull back.  If the fork releases easily, the fish is done.  If the fish clings slightly to the fork, it requires a few more minutes of cooking.  If it does not release, it needs more cooking time.  Has worked like a charm for me for years.

Ginger Sesame Sabayon

Sabayon is traditionally made by whipping eggs, sugar, salt, Marsala and white wine over a Bain Marie (a double boiler) to create an emulsion.  After my success with Hollandaise the other week, I decided I was prepared to take on the challenge of making a savoury Sabayon to go with my Miso Black Cod, so I played with the traditional ingredients a bit to come up with the below recipe.

Julia Child encourages substitution so I have decided to eliminate the Marsala (but I think I will try to add Mirin next time) and substituted Prosecco for the white wine.  I also used a little ginger juice and some sesame oil to give a subtle Asian flair to the sauce.

As with most sauces that involve the cooking of eggs, have all your ingredients in place before you start and be prepared to attend to your sauce (meaning whisk it) until it is ready.  This is not the kind of thing you start and then walk away from.  If you do, you will end up with boozy scrambled eggs.  Yuck.  Unlike a Hollandaise which took me about 20 minutes, this sauce only requires about 5 minutes of dedicated whisking, which means it can be made no problem while your fish is in the oven cooking.

Ginger-Sesame Sabayon


1 medium sized mixing bowl
1 small to medium-sized sauce pan - your mixing bowl should just rest on top of the pan
1 wire whisk
Small prep bowls


1 tablespoon ginger juice2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks
1/2 dry Champagne or Prosecco
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Fill the small sauce pan with about 1`` of water and bring to a simmer over medium-heat.

Meanwhile, separate eggs, reserving whites for another use.  Place the egg yolks in a medium sized metal mixing bowl and set aside.  Pour Prosecco over top of egg yolks.  Whisk egg yolks with Prosecco until frothy (this will only take a few seconds).

Set the mixing bowl containing the egg yolks and Prosecco over the pan as the water heats.  The bowl should fit snugly on top of the pan, with only the lower part inside but not touching the water.  Continue whisking mixture constantly as the water heats up.

After about 5 minutes of whisking the Sabayon should start to thicken.  Whisk in the butter, ginger juice, sesame oil and sugar.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Depending on your taste you may wish to add a little more sugar to give a sweeter sauce.

When sauce is ready it will be about ribbon stage (meaning you can lift your whisk from the mixture and leave a trail behind it for a short time before it merges back into the mixture).  You can hold the sauce over the sauce pan off the heat until you are ready to serve.  Just be sure to constantly whisk to redistribute the heat so the sauce doesn`t stick or over-cook.

Pa Jeon (Korean Pancakes)

A Pa Jeon is a savoury pancake made with green onions and is often served in Korea as a snack.  It is made with a flour-based batter, eggs, green onions and is often served with a dipping sauce made with soy sauce and vinegar.  Variations on the basic pancake include the addition of other shredded vegetables, kimchi and/or seafood.

Doing a little research on the topic, I found that there are as many names for Korean pancakes as there are recipes and cooks out there:  Pa Jun, Pajun, Pa Jeon and P'ajon to name a few.  For simplicity's sake, I will just go with Pa Jeon.


1 bunch of green onions, white and pale green part only, cut into long pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cup cold water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2-3 drops sesame oil

Wash the green onions and pat try with a towel.  Slice into long thing pieces.  Peel and crush the garlic.  Grate ginger.

For batter:

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and  1 cup water and lightly mix with a wooden spoon.  If the batter seems thick, add some of the remaining 1/4 cup water a bit at a time to loosen the batter until it has the consistency you would expect for North American pancakes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix in green onions, ginger and garlic and set aside.

In a large non-stick fry pan or skillet, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke. Pour batter into the pancake mold, spreading the mixture evenly.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the pancake edges turn golden brown.  Gently loosen the pancake mold and remove.  Shake the pan back and forth over the burner and check for doneness on the underside.

When pancake is ready, flip it over using a spatula, and add a little bit more vegetable oil to the pan.  Flatten the pancake slightly by pressing down on it with a spatula.  Cook for 2 more minutes.  Flip again and cook for 1 minute if desired to restore crispness to other side.  Slide the finished pancake onto a tray and into a warm oven to stay hot while you make the rest.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fish Stock

Today I decided to make a fish stock with the intention of using it next weekend to experiment with my third mother sauce, Velouté.  The plan is to make Filet de Poissons Pochés au Vin Blanc, which is basically sole fillets poached in white wine served with a fish-stock based Velouté.  Everything sounds so spectacular when you say it in French!

Fish stocks are easy to prepare and take only 30 minutes to make, unlike chicken or beef stocks which require hours.  Just be forewarned that no matter how fresh the fish or fish bones you are using to make the stock is, an aroma of finny friends will permeate your abode, so make it on a day when you can open the windows and aren't expecting company!

I used fish trimmings to make my stock, but if not available you can substitute a few inexpensive fillets or even clam juice (according to Julia!).  I went for halibut underbelly, as I just could not bring myself to purchase fish heads as I really do have an issue with my food looking back at me.  Can't do the eyeball thing at all.

Fish Stock (Makes 4 cups)

1.5 pounds fish trimmings (bones, skin and heads are all ok)
2/3 cup thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 bay leaf
10-12 parsley stems
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Break down your fish so that it all fits in the pot. Peel and chop carrot and onion.

Place fish and all other ingredients in a large stock pot.  If using fish trimmings, add just enough water to cover ingredients.  

Simmer ingredients uncovered for 30 minutes.  

Remove any foam that forms on the top of the stock.  

When cooked, pour stock through a fine-meshed sieve to separate stock from bones and vegetables, and then run through a piece of cheese cloth to remove any residue.  

Fish stock may be refrigerated for 1 day or frozen for a few weeks.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ceviche de Camaron (Shrimp Ceviche)

Today we were invited to Cousin Ann's place for a mid-winter get together.  I wanted to make something different and fresh, and definitely something that did not smack of the Canadian winter that we are all being held hostage by.

Kevin over at Closet Cooking made some amazing looking Shrimp Nachos, which got me thinking about the Shrimp Ceviche Nachos I had when I was in Belize last April, which in turn, resulted in the below recipe for Shrimp Ceviche served with nacho chips (the Scoop ones work best).

This dish was incredibly simple to make and took very little time.  The Ceviche would also be lovely served in a martini glass or an avocado shell as an appetizer.

Ceviche is a seafood based dish that is popular in Mexico and South America, and is made primarily using fresh raw fish marinated in lime juice. The lime juice acts as a cooking agent and causes the proteins in the fish to become denatured and change texture, so it "cooks". This Ceviche was a big hit in the kitchen at Cousin Ann's and I am happy to share the result with all of you.

Ceviche de Camaron (Shrimp Ceviche)

1 lb. shrimp (41-50 count works best otherwise you can just chop the shrimp as I did)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (I really LOVE cilantro)
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1 avocado, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 1 litre of water to a low boil.  Drop shrimp into water then when the colour begins to change, remove quickly and drain.  Allow to cool slightly.  Toss shrimp with lime juice, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Using a strainer or sieve, rinse chopped onion under cold water.  Shake off liquid.  Add onion, cilantro, cucumber and avocado to the shrimp and toss.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add hot sauce to your desired heat level and toss again.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

This recipe will hold well for several hours but should be made and used the same day for best results.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cornmeal Crusted Pickerel with Cherry Tomato Relish

In our continued effort to explore the world of our fine finned friends - and to eat as many varieties of them as we can - we decided to pick up some Pickerel this week.  Pickerel is a mild white, flakey freshwater fish which is quite abundent in Ontario, making it a great choice for those of us concerned about sustainability.  Pickerel - sometimes called Walleye - are part of the Pike family, and are also closely related to the Musky.  They are long, thin fish with quite a lot of long, sharp teeth.  They are apparently quite aggressive, as fish go I guess, and survive on a diet comprised mostly of small fish, crawfish, frogs, snakes and small birds.  Sounds like a fish that deserves to be eaten to me!

As Pickerel is new to us, I decided to treat it quite simply for my first time and do a simple breading with a nice fresh cherry tomato relish on the side and a sautée of  my current favourite vegetable - broccolini.  Broccolini looks a bit like broccoli, except it has long thin stems and smaller florets. The flavour is milder that broccoli and the thin stems means it lends itself well to a quick preparation when sautéed in a little olive oil with garlic and salt.

This dish turned out very nicely

Cornmeal Crusted Pickerel

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lb. wild pickerel fillets, skinned
1/4 cup butter or neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed

Cherry Tomato Relish
Sautéed Broccolini

Place flour in shallow bowl. In separate shallow bowl, whisk milk with eggs. Place cornmeal, dill, salt and pepper in another shallow bowl. Dip fish, one piece at a time, into flour, shaking off excess, then into milk mixture, then into cornmeal mixture.

See How to Bread Fish by Justin

In skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat; cook fillets, turning once, for about 5 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with fork. Serve with Cherry Tomato Relish and sauteed Broccolini.

Justin's Junior Chef Bloggette - Breading Fish or Chicken

Today for my birthday we made Cornmeal-Crusted Pickerel.  I learned how to bread fish. This works with chicken too.  I learned that you keep one hand for dry ingredients and the other hand for wet ingredients.  This is important to make sure your hands don't get all sticky and goopy from the flour and eggs.


Place your wet and dry ingredients in separate pans or bowls.  You will need 3 bowls or pans; one each for flour, egg and coating.  That is the order which you will dip your fish or chicken.

Step 1:

Your flour is in your first glass pan or bowl.  Be sure to season well with salt and pepper.

Drop your fish or chicken into the flour using your left hand and flip to coat.  This is your dry hand. This means your right hand is your wet hand.

Step 2: 

Your egg-milk mixture is in your second bowl or pan.

Using your left or dry hand, pick out the fish or chicken from the flour and drop into the egg mixture.  Switch hands.

Using your right hand flip the fish or chicken around to make sure it is covered in egg-mixture.

Step 3:

Your coating mixture in your third pan or bowl.

Using your wet (or right) hand, pick up fish and drop it in the dry coating.

Using your dry (or left) hand, sprinkle and pat the coating onto the fish to make sure it is completely covered.

Then you are ready to pan fry your fish or chicken!

Sautéed Broccolini

Broccolini is my current favourite vegetable.  Well, maybe it is still second to asparagus...and rapinni.  I love them all so much I could eat a whole bunch by myself.  Broccolini looks more like rapini than it does broccoli - it has long thin stems and smaller florets tho it does not have the same bitter flavour as rapini does. The flavour is like a mild broccoli, and the thin stems means it lends itself well to a quick preparation when sautéed in a little olive oil with garlic and salt.

Sautéed Broccolini

1 bunch broccolini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.

Ad the oil to a large sauté pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving.

Cherry Tomato Relish

Cherry tomatoes are one of lifes simple pleasures.  Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family (along with their cousins eggplant, peppers and chillies) and are, in fact, a fruit, but their savoury flavour means that they are generally classified and used as a vegetable.  I particularly enjoy the yellow and the orange varieties as they are sweeter and less acidic than the red varieties.  They are extremely versatile, whether chopped and used in a relish, tossed whole in a salad, or roasted along side some beautiful green asparagus.

Cherry Tomato Relish

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered - mixed colours are nice
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 -2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon caper juice
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside to let flavours meld for about half an hour before serving.  Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Oven-Fried Chicken Wings with Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

Well it is game day, and whether you are a football fan or not, Superbowl brings with it an excuse to sit around with friends, drink beer and eat wings.  While I wanted to make wings, I also did not want to just toss store-bought hot sauce on our joints, so I opted to try making wings with homemade hot sauce.  And, since I do not have a deep fryer, I went for oven-fried wings instead.  Result was tasty, quite spicy and definitely flavourful.

Oven-Fried Chicken Wings with Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

2 lbs chicken wings
1/4 cup all purpose flower
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup to 1 cup Mango Habanero Hot Sauce or hot sauce of your choice (Red Hot!)

Cut each chicken wing at the joint to make 3 pieces, trimming off any excess skin. Keep wing tips aside to use in a stock at a future time.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large Ziploc bag, toss chicken wings in melted butter and salt.  Sprinkle flour a bit at a time into bag, zip, and toss with wings.   Arrange wings on a broiler pan and bake in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn wings over and cook for a further 20 minutes or until done. In a large bowl or pan, toss wings with  Mango Habanero Hot Sauce until well coated.

Serve with Blue Cheese Dressing, carrots and celery sticks.

Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

Habanero peppers are one of the hottest peppers in the world and are generally used in the Carribean and Mexico for making hot sauces and salsas.  They rate somewhere between 200,000 and 300,00 on the Scovile scale which means they are HOT with a capital H!!

Ensure you are making this sauce in a well ventilated area as the fumes can be toxic! Also wear gloves and put your cutting board and knives right into the dishwasher or very hot soapy water.  Please do not make the same mistake as my friend, who I will call Dick, who made the mistake of cutting up habaneros without wearing gloves.  Even though he washed his hands well, a visit to the gents room a short time after cutting up the peppers resulted in a rather....uh....unfortunate situation for him if you catch my drift.  Poor Dick!

Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

3 habanero peppers, seeded and deveined (please use gloves when doing this)
3 green chiles, broken in half
1 red onion, coarsley chopped
1 mango, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 c white vinegar
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste (if needed)

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until all ingredients are soft. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve to remove pulpy ingredients and leave behind a smooth hot sauce ready for dipping or tossing your wings in.


Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is a special request for my friend Shanny P. and it is timely because my in-laws are coming back from Florida and are stopping in for lunch. Might as well try to make one healthy meal today (which is Superbowl Sunday) before the on-slaught of the pizza, wings and beer begins!

As usual in the winter, I am starting by roasting my main vegetable ingredient - butternut squash. The roasting isn't absolutely essential to the soup - you could just toss everything in a slow cooker and leave it for the day - but I like the depth of flavour that roasting imparts on the vegetables resulting from the caramelization that occurs.  Today I have the time, so I am roasting first.  The other thing I try to do with my soups is avoid the addition of milk or cream if at all possible.  If I add any, I do right at the end to impart an added creaminess but I generally find that I want to taste the vegetables in my soup, not dairy.

Just as an aside - as I am prone to asides when it comes to cooking - I am always talking about caramelization on vegetables, so I thought I`d expand on that term a little for this post. The term translates roughly in French to ``burt sugar``.  In the most simple terms, caramelization is the process of turning sugar brown through the application of heat and the evaporation of water. All meat and vegetables contain some sugar and water. So when heat is applied to the surface of these sugar containing items, it causes a chemical reaction that induces changes to the surface compounds of the molecules involved, resulting in the lovely brown colour and caramely taste that comes from `browning` food.  I won`t even attempt to get any further into the complexities of the various chemical reactions that occur but it involves levels of fructose and glucose, sucrose inversion, intramolecular bonding and polymar formations....blah blah blah....makes my head spin.

Diets like Atkins or those that talk about the glycemic index generally tell to you avoid vegetables that are high in natural sugars, but I guess I am more of the view that any kind of vegetable eaten, higher in sugars or not, is better than no vegetable consumed at all. Everything in moderation.

Carrots have a very higher natural sugar content -  thus are hated by Dr. Atkins - yet they are so high in vitamin A and carotinoids, which helps protect against vision loss and cancers, so why would you not eat them. Beets contain the highest levels of sugar but are also high in folate, potassium and fibre - and taste amazing roasted.  Other vegetables high in natural sugars are corn, white potatoes (not sweet potatoes surprisingly), plaintains, turnip, my beloved parsnips and, of course, butternut squash - all vegetables that caramelize beautifully and benefit from roasting.

Anyway, this post is about Butternut Squash soup, so here is my recipe:

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped onion 
1 tsp pureed ginger
1 tablespoon pureed garlic
2-3 tablespoons curry powder (I used 3 tbsp) 
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or one recipe Overnight Chicken Stock)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

In a large stock or soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots, and sauté 5 minutes. Add curry powder; stir 2 minutes. Add stock and squash and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 45-60 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or, working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. For increased smoothness, pass soup through a fine sieve.  Return soup to pot. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro.  Serve. Eat.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Justin's Junior Chef Bloggette - Perfect Roasted Chicken

My Mom bought me my first cookbook for Xmas. It is Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver. I have to say that Jamie is a really good cook and I like his stuff.  My Mom likes his stuff too and she and my Dad even went to see him live in November.

This chicken recipe is really easy and funny because you stick a lemon up the chicken's butt.  Haha...I said butt.  I also took the pictures this time with my new iPod that I got for my birthday.

Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Chicken (with potatoes)

1chicken about 3.5 pounds
1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes
2 medium onions, peeled and cut in half
4 carrots, peeled and cut to serving size
2 stalks celery
1 bulb garlic
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lemon, left whole
small bunch of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 cup stock or water (my add)

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before it goes in the oven.  Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Jamie says don't peel the vegetables but we peeled the onions and carrots.  Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled (gulp).  Pile all the potatoes, vegetables and garlic in the middle of a large roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Drizzle chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.  Prick the lemon all over with the tip of a sharp knife (pop the lemon in the microwave, if you have one, for 40 seconds to really bring out the flavour). Put the lemon with the herbs inside the chicken's cavity, along with the herbs.

Put the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan and put in the preheated oven.  Turn the heat down to 400 degrees, and cook the chicken uncovered for 1 hour 20 minutes*.  Baste the chicken half way through with the water or stock.  When ready, take chickent out and put on a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes.  Cover it with foil and a kitchen towel and put aside while you make your gravy.

To carve your chicken, carefully cut down between the leg and the breast (it should almost just pull off).  Cut through the joint and pull the leg off.  Repeat on the other side, then cut between the thigh and drumstick to you have 4 pieces of dark meat.  Angle the knife along the breast bone and then cut down a little at a time to remove the breast in its entirety from the carcass.  Slice the breast up so that each piece has some skin attached. Then turn the chicken over and use your fingers to get at all the tasty, juicy bits from underneath.  You should be left with a stripped carcass, and a platter full of lovely meat.

Mom's Note:

We inserted our digital cooking thermometer in the chicken and made sure that it read 180 degrees in the middle and at the thigh so we knew it was ready. 

* Letting the chicken set out for 30 minutes seems to be an essential step.  We only left ours out the time it took to prepare the other ingredients, and I found it threw off our cooking time by....well 30 minutes.  So if you don't have time to let the chicken come to room temperature, then I suggest budgeting for an extra 30 minutes cooking time.  Result was by far the juciest roast chicken EVER made.  I

If you aren't sure about how to properly carve a chicken or turkey, especially cutting off the breast, watch this series of photos from the Huffington Post on How to carve a turkey.  I prefer this method to cutting slices off the whole bird.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Easy Overnight Chicken Stock

Basic stocks are one of the easiest and economical things to make, yet so many people only buy cartons, cans or dried package mixes of stock because they say they have no time to make a stock themselves.  Well this stock takes no time and basically no effort, so no excuses. 

Now I am not against the use of cartons, cans and packets of stock base, but to me if you have a chicken or turkey carcass or a ham bone or beef bones, why put them in the green bin when they can easily turn into something delicious.  I always make stock with my carcasses and then freeze the stock because you never know when sniffles and sneezes will require the medicinal properties of a homemade chicken noodle soup.

I made this recipe a few hours after we ate Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Roast Chicken for dinner.  It took me all of 5 minutes to assemble the ingredients and get the stock going.

What you need:

1 slow cooker

1 left over chicken carcass
1 red or white onion, quartered but unpeeled
2 carrots, washed but unpeeled, broken in to a few chunks
2-3 ribs of celery, broken into pieces
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed but unpeeled
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp (or more if you like) ground pepper
4 sprigs of herbs of your choosing (parsley, thyme, tarragon and rosemary all work well)
6 cups of cold water or enough to just cover the chicken and other ingredients.


Set slow cooker to low.  Place chicken carcass, skin and any bits lying on the cutting board in the ceramic bowl of the cooker.  You can add any left over pan drippings or if there is just a small amount of gravy, put it in.  Add chopped onions, garlic, carrots, celery and seasonings.  Pour cold water over chicken and accompaniments – ensuring you have just enough to cover the bird.  Put on the lid and then leave to cook overnight.

In the morning, remove the ceramic liner and let cool slightly.  Pour the warm stock through a fine sieve or strainer to remove the large bits of bone, chicken, vegetables.  This will leave you more or less with a clean stock.  Place in a container and refrigerate.

When you come home from work, the fat will have separated from the stock and will appear as a thick yellowish slightly hard layer on top of the stock.  Using a spoon carefully remove the fat layer.  You can be really thrifty and drop the spoonfuls of fat into an ice-cube tray and freeze for future gravies and roux.  Or if that grosses you out, just put it in the green bin.

The super cost-conscious will sift through the chicken bones for scrap meat to use for a soup (if that is your plan) or you can use any left overs from the previous night’s dinner.

You can get fancier and roast the bones,  tie up your herbs and seasoning in a bouquet garni, but if that extra work will deter you, then why bother!  If you don’t have a chicken carcass lying around, I’d suggest buying a few packages of chicken or turkey backs, which you can usually get at the grocery store for $1-$2.  Alternatively, a chicken leg or two, a turkey drumstick or thigh will work equally well.

Turkey Stock

The basis for any good turkey gravy or soup is a good turkey stock.   If I am making stock in advance for a specific holiday, such as Thanksgiving, I will go out and purchase 4-6 lbs of turkey parts, such as wings, backs, drumsticks or thighs to ensure that I have enough stock to make lots of gravy.  If I am making a turkey stock after a specific holiday, such as Thanksgiving, I will use the turkey carcass and the reserved cooked wings (no one in my house eats those).

What you need:

1 large stock pot, with a strainer insert if possible
4-6 lb turkey parts such as wings, drumsticks, or thighs or 1 left-over turkey carcass
2-3 medium yellow onions, left unpeeled, cut in half
3 celery ribs, broken into 2-inch pieces
3 carrots, unpeeled and broken into pieces
6 fresh parsley stems (without leaves)
2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
10 black peppercorns
12-16 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt


If using turkey wings, halve at joints with a cleaver or large knife, then crack wing bones in several places with back of cleaver or knife. (There is no need to crack bones if using drumsticks or thighs.)  If using a turkey carcass, remove and reserve most of the meat from the bones, being sure to leave some (especially on the underside) to create a rich stock.  Also, if using a carcass, check to make sure that it will fit into the stock pot you are using - you may need to break it down slightly to make it fit.

Optional: If you have the time and energy, feel free to brown the turkey parts and onions in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil for about 8-10 minutes in the base of the stock pot.  Sometimes I do this, sometimes I don't.

Add turkey and onions and all remaining ingredients to pot and pour in enough cold water to just cover the turkey parts.  If using a carcass, you can also scoop any left over turkey bits, juices from the cutting board and any pan juices into your stock pot.  Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming any foam or froth that appears as necessary.  Once boiling, reduce heat and gently simmer, partially covered, 3-4 hours.
Remove pot from heat and cool stock to room temperature, uncovered, about 1 hour. Pour stock through a large fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard solids. Measure stock:  If there is more than 10 cups, boil in cleaned pot until reduced; if there is less, add water.

If using stock right away, let it cool and stand until fat rises to top, 5 to 10 minutes, then skim off and discard fat or pass through a gravy separator.  If  you have time or don't plan on using the stock right away, cool completely, and then refrigerate for several hours over overnight before skimming fat (it is easier to remove when cool or cold).   You can reserve the fat in ice cube trasy if you plan to use it for making a roux for gravy.