Tag: Food & Wine

Turkey Lurkey: November Cover Recipe Challenge

Turkey Lurkey: November Cover Recipe Challenge

Happy uber belated Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas everyone! Yes, this is a post about my Thanksgiving meal, and this is another late posting for my Food & Wine Cover Recipe Challenge. For November’s issue there was a major focus on Thanksgiving meals because of the 

Chicken Fried Chicken Livers: September Cover Recipe Challenge

Chicken Fried Chicken Livers: September Cover Recipe Challenge

9 Months. That is how long I have been doing the Food & Wine Cover Recipe Challenge, and it feels like an eternity. I seriously cannot imagine how women are pregnant for this long because this labour of foodie love is getting old. I can’t 

27 and Cobless: July Cover Recipe Challenge

27 and Cobless: July Cover Recipe Challenge

I hated July’s Cover Recipe Challenge. Why? There are so many reasons.

First of all, it has to be said that I actually create the monthly challenge, choosing recipes from the issue of Food & Wine and centring the meal around the cover recipe. Therefore, one might ask: “How could you hate cooking food you have chosen to make?” Three words:

Creamed. Summer. Corn.

This is a late posting; usually I have the challenge and the post completed by the end of the month. I was actually going to pretend that I didn’t do July’s cover recipe, but once I set my mind to something I want to finish it. That being said, I was so annoyed with the result of the cooking that I did not even want to write about it… Well, here it goes.

Adam and I moved in June, and being the procrastinator I am, I neglected to change the address of my subscription to F&W, forcing me to buy July’s issue off the newstands. This is the copy I bought:

July Cover

This is the copy that I received in the mail a few days later once I finally retrieved my mail from my old apartment:

Other July Cover

The covers were different! The cover recipe for the first copy I got was Michael Symon’s Creamed Summer Corn with Bacon. I was not impressed. Creamed corn? Never liked it, and it always reminds me of hospital food. Ew. But, like the true cover recipe challenge warrior, I planned my meal around the dish, choosing to make Mussels with White Bean and Chorizo to start, followed by Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi, the notorious corn, and roasted potatoes. Why didn’t I just forgo the newstands’ cover for the freedom of choosing whatever I wanted in the other copy? I do not know, I guess I am stubborn.


Creamed Summer Corn with Bacon

Rating:  -1000 out of 5

To start the evening off, I choose the “7 Minutes” recipe feature for July: Michael Schlow’s Mussels with White Bean and Chorizo. I choose them because a) I love mussels and b) it looked like a simple recipe to start off an evening of complicated dishes.

And easy it was. All I had to do was combine the ingredients (cherry tomatoes, crushed red pepper, chorizo sausage, and white beans) in a pot and steam the mussels in the delicious smelling broth and bam! There is your appetizer, and a very delicious one at that!


Everyone at the table enjoyed the mussels. Erin and Matt, who joined us once again for the challenge, taught Adam and I a little trick about eating mussels. They taught us to use an empty mussel shell to pinch the meat out! How, as a Newfoundlander and someone who eats mussels all the time, I didn’t know about this trick, I don’t know, but it has changed my life. I was amazed!

Mussel Eating

So, the appetizer went well. This is where it starts to get complicated. The main course for the evening was Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi. Adam and I prepared the kimchi beforehand because it had to sit for 2 hours in order to turn into kimchi. Those vegetables pretty much turned themselves into kimchi with a little slicing and coaching from me.


Basically all I had to do was slice up a crap load of cucumbers (2lbs in fact) and add garlic, ginger, salt, gorchugaru (Korean dried red peppers), sesame oil, and fish sauce and let it sit for two hours and VOILA! Cucumber kimchi!

Usually kimchi actually takes several days to ferment and become the delicious Korean condiment that we know and love, but this quick kimchi liquified before my eyes, and stirring occasionally for a few hours was enough to turn it into something delicious. I loved this recipe and will definitely use it again!

The pork burgers on the other hand were a different story. They were a big pain to make, and had a lot of ingredients. There were over fifteen ingredients in one pork burger patty…that is a lot! It took a very long time to slice and dice all the ingredients, but everyone rallied together and took turns chopping while we danced and sang around the kitchen. Note Adam in the corner singing his little heart out, and the delicious kimchi:

Erin chopping

And Matt’s protective gear while slicing onions:

Matt Chopping

Adam and Matt also really loved adding the fish sauce to the mix:


Once all the ingredients were finally chopped. Adam and I made the patties. They were supposed to be done very thinly, which was really hard to do because of the thousand ingredients in the patty and the fact that there was no binder to keep the raw meat together. It was really frustrating, and took a long time to make them thin enough to be stacked but thick enough not to fall into the BBQ at the same time.

In the end the burgers actually tasted amazing. Despite how long they took to prepare, the cilantro, lime, and other thirteen ingredients in the patties were so flavourful and the kimchi was the perfect condiment. If I ever used this recipe again, I would probably tweak the patties to make them a little denser and easier to make.

Kimchi Pork Burger

And lastly, and certainly least, the creamed corn. I have to admit that I made a HUGE rookie error when buying the ingredients for Michael Symon’s Creamed Summer Corn with Bacon:

I didn’t read the recipe before I bought the ingredients. 

Because of this, I bought frozen corn instead of corn on the cob trying to shortcut the recipe so I wouldn’t have to cut the corn off the cob. Lazy. The result of this was not having the cobs reserved to make the broth for the creamed corn. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not think that I completely sabotaged the recipe by being cobless, but I could not get the broth to thicken. Was it because of the lack of cob? I will never know. All I know is that the recipe had lots of yummy ingredients like bacon and sour cream so I thought it might turn out okay. But, like the other recipes that evening, it took a long time to make. An hour and twenty minutes to make creamed corn? You’re kidding me, right? I am sorry, but this is not a recipe that I will ever make again, not even to see if I can thicken the broth with those stupid cobs.

Creamed Corn

Granted, the corn actually did taste pretty good despite the lack of creamyness. Everyone enjoyed it, and I have to say, it probably was some of the best creamed corn I have ever had; the bacon, sour cream, and coriander made it rich and savoury. However, it will also probably be the last time that I make creamed corn.

To those reading this, you may think “Well that didn’t turn out so bad.” It is true that everyone at the dinner enjoyed the meal and the food was good, minus the not-so-creamy creamed corn. I just didn’t like making these particular recipes. The pork burgers were overly complicated, and though I was thrilled with how the kimchi turned out, I will never make them again, and don’t even get me started on the creamed corn. I love to cook and for some reason, none of these things were enjoyable to make. I really look forward to these challenges every month because I make things that aren’t in my usual repertoire and I really challenge myself into cooking and eating new things. This month felt average and just not fun. Hopefully August’s challenge will be better, I am cooking that next week. Stay tuned and wish me luck.

Barbecued Oysters Don’t Shuck: May Cover Recipe Challenge

Barbecued Oysters Don’t Shuck: May Cover Recipe Challenge

Ladies and gentlemen, my utmost apologies, for this is a very late entry for May’s Food & Wine Cover Recipe Challenge! Lots of things have been going on in my world lately that have kept me away from the blogosphere. First things first: We moved! 

Not Your Ordinary Nonna: March Cover Recipe Challenge

Not Your Ordinary Nonna: March Cover Recipe Challenge

Well March has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I have to start this post with a sincere apology for the lack of posting in the past month; there has been a lot of travelling and eating going on in the world 

Daikon Delectable: February Cover Recipe Challenge

Daikon Delectable: February Cover Recipe Challenge

‘Better late than never’ they always say, and this is most definitely the case with the recap for February’s Recipe Challenge, because it was a good one! I am slightly delayed in posting February’s recipe report because of the food marathon that Adam and I indulged in over the past week while visiting friends in Toronto and Montreal. Needless to say, there are going to be many posts in the near future about all the amazing food we ate, so stay tuned!

On to the fun stuff. For those of you who don’t know, I have recently accepted a momentous challenge to make, eat, and write about the cover recipes of Food and Wine Magazine for every month of the 2013! So far its been going well and though this post may be a little late, it was worth the wait! Things were a little different this month, as I decided to take my recipe researching on the road and cook February’s recipe with my partner in crime Erin at her lovely abode. Here she is in her living room, proudly displaying the cover recipe for February’s Food and Wine Magazine, doesn’t she look lovely?

Erin with Feb Cover

February’s recipe was Short Rib Stew with Caramalized Kimchi, and though I was excited about the idea of serving one simple dish this month as opposed to the plethora of plates that was last month, I was a little nervous about the time it would take to make it, and about some of the asian ingredients that I was not overly familiar with. I was however, very excited about the excuse to buy myself my very first cast-iron Dutch oven, which I proceeded to purchase very shortly after my February F&W arrived in the mail!

First things first: the purchase of the ingredients is worth mentioning. On the big day I lugged my very heavy Dutch oven over to Erin’s apartment, and we set off down Quinpool to procure the necessary ingredients for the day. After successfully purchasing the short ribs, pears, garlic, and other more common ingredients, Erin and I felt triumphant as we correctly identified and located the daikon. The kimchi on the other hand was a different story.

For some reason, I always thought that kimchi was a vegetable, and though I have eaten it in restaurants before, had always assumed it was a Korean vegetable similar to cabbage. It is not. While we were frantically searching the produce aisle for this fictional legume, a woman informed us that kimchi was not a vegetable, but in fact a pickled cabbage dish. D’OH! Later, after doing a little research, I found out that kimchi is a super popular Korean dish, and this spicy condiment is used on everything…oh well, you learn something new everyday!

After a trip to the Taishan Asian Grocery on Quinpool to get the kimchi and sesame oil, Erin and I were ready to start cooking!



Rating: 5 out of 5

The Test:

The first order of business was to marinate the short ribs with a variety of ingredients, including soy sauce, garlic, and the Asian pear, which made the marinade smell amazing!

Me with the ribs marinating...they smelled amazing before they came anywhere near the stove!
Me with the ribs marinating with Asian pear…they smelled great before they came anywhere near the stove!

Once the ribs were nice and marinated, we had to brown them in the heated Dutch oven. I was a little nervous about the innaugral heating of my new Dutch oven, especially doing it on someone else’s stove, but it was easier to regulate the temperature of the pan than I thought, and boy, did those ribs smell amazing!

FW FEB- cooking ribs

The next step was to pour six cups of water with the ribs and some broth and let it simmer for about an hour. Easy. You would think so. About an hour into boiling the ribs, I realized that I had forgotten to put in the broth, but it didn’t seem to affect the final result.

While the ribs were boiling, slowly turning themselves into yumminess, Erin and I peeled the vegetables for the stew. Erin and her boyfriend Matt share a lovely apartment, but they have about 2 square feet of counter space in their kitchen, which is definitely not conducive to peeling large amounts of vegetables. Here is poor Erin hunched over her compost bin peeling carrots, doesn’t look very comfortable, does it?

FW FEB- Erin peeling carrots

Meanwhile, I was working away on the counter trying to conquer the daikon. For those readers who don’t know, daikon is an asian radish that is similar to a turnip, and they are giant, which means it is big and awkward to peel and dice. It was definitely a challenge.

Once we added the vegetables to the ribs the stew was finally beginning to take shape! While it simmered atop the stove Erin and I made our chosen dessert for the evening, also from February’s F&W: Ice Cream Bon Bon Pops, found on page 52. The recipe consisted of your chosen ice cream flavour (chocolate in our case), rolled into balls, then rolling the balls in crushed candy bars and putting them on a stick. The pops were very easy to make as long as you were fast, and it didn’t take us long to knock out a couple for each dinner guest that evening.

FW FEB- making pops

When the guests of the night had arrived (Adam and Matt), the apartment was filled with a lovely meaty aroma and it was almost time to eat! The last item on the cooking agenda was to caramelize the kimchi, which was also pretty easy, and was basically frying the kimchi with sesame oil in a skillet.

The Results:

To finish preparing the meal, we cooked some basmati rice, sliced some four cheese oval bread from Pete’s, and we were ready to eat!

The meal turned out beautifully. Just look!

FW FEB- stew

Everyone at the table loved the stew, Matt in particular, and we all raved about how good the dish had turned out. I was surprised at how much I liked the daikon. Normally, I am not a huge radish fan, sometimes I find their taste too harsh,  but daikon is more like a sweeter, less corky version of turnip, and I will most definitely be using it in my curries from now on! The kimchi was also a big hit with everyone, and it was the perfect garnish to a savoury and succulent stew. The short ribs turned out better than I thought they would, falling right off the bone and melting in our mouths.

Adam loves his ribs!
Adam loves his ribs!

The Ice Cream Pops were also a big success. After being put back in the freezer after production, they came out cold and delicious, and super easy to eat. We chose M&Ms and Kit Kat bars to use as our toppings, but any kind of candy bar would do! Next time I want to try Skor bars!

FW FEB- Erin eating pop

The Wine:

With my trusty F&W Wine Guide in hand, I set off to the liquor store to buy a red and a white wine to compliment the stew. Though they did not have some of the selections that I had chosen from my guide, I did find two wines that worked very well with the stew. The first was the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99), which was a perfect choice. Cab Sauv is always good with red meat, and I knew that it would work awesomely with this dish. The other selection was the Yali Sauvignon Blanc from Chile ($14.99), and it was chosen because I thought its crispness would compliment the radish and kimchi in the dish. It did.

FW FEB- Wine

Overall February was a very easy recipe to follow, and, despite my inaptitutde for shopping for asian groceries, I will most definitely be making this meal again. If you want to try out the recipes that we tried this month, or any other recipe from February’s F&W, check them out here at www.foodandwine.com/monthly/february-2013. I encourage anyone who has a Dutch oven (or wants an excuse to buy one) to try out this recipe and Explore. Eat. Repeat. any recipes that involve daikon or kimchi! Masitkke deuseyo!

*The Food & Wine Magazine Cover Recipe Challenge was created by CookThatBook.com as a means of expanding culinary talents and tackling new and exciting cuisine. Want to join in on the fun? We’d love the company! Pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send an email to info@cookthatbook.com with a link to your blog post.

*The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visitwww.foodandwine.com.