Simple White Crusty Bread Loaf

I’ve made a lot of food over the years, but never bread. It always seemed overly complicated. It wasn’t.  There is something about baking that I’ve never really enjoyed (apart from the eating).  I think it has to do with formulas instead of cooking by feel.  In any case, I wanted to put those feelings aside and try to make a standard loaf of crusty white bread.  It’s amazing that from only four ingredients (flour, water, yeast and salt) you can make something so delicious.  Proofed via sous vide and baked in a dutch oven.

Tonkotsu Miso Ramen

I’ve been wanting to attempt making a Tonkotsu Miso Ramen from scratch for awhile. Way too much work… But it did turn out delicious.  I made the ramen stock from trotters, chicken necks, shiitake, cremini, leeks, onions and carrots. 14 hours later, a rich deep delicious soup base was ready to go.  I have a lot of experience making regular pasta noodles, so I assumed that the alkaline ramen noodles wouldn’t be much trouble.  I was wrong.  Ramen noodles are far more dense than traditional egg based pasta and it takes a great deal of patience and time to work the dough into something usable.  Was worth the effort. I finished the soup with a sous vide pork tenderloin sliced thin, shitaki mushrooms, green onions and a poached egg.  

Ripple Rock

Day eight of my short Vancouver Island vacation.  North of Campbell River in the Seymour Narrows there used to be an underwater mountain with two peaks.  This was called Ripple Rock.  Due to the hazards this caused to navigation and the many boats that were sunk in the area, the Government of Canada fixed the problem.  In 1958 in what was at the time the largest non-nuclear peacetime explosion ever recorded the tops of the underwater mountain were exploded.  It was the first ever live coast-to-coast broadcast on CBC.  

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Comox Marina

Day seven of my short Vancouver Island vacation.  After the previous days strenuous hike a day of wandering around a marina drinking coffee was called for.  Plenty of things to see including some very fancy boats, eagles, seals and some very odd jellyfish.

Mount Becher and Boston Ridge Traverse

Day six of my short Vancouver Island vacation.  One of the major hikes I had planned for this trip was to hike to the top of Mount Becher and then take the Boston Ridge Traverse back to the bottom.  Quite a bit of planning had been put into this hike, and I even created a custom map of the route to make sure we stayed on the correct trail.  I was expecting it to be tough and it did not disappoint.

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Kye Bay Beach Walking

Day five of my short Vancouver Island vacation.  Kye Bay is always a wonderful place to walk and explore.  You never know just what you might find along the beach.  Always nice to see a heron wading through the surf finding things to eat.

Seal Bay Nature Reserve and Miracle Beach Provincial Park

Day four of my short Vancouver Island vacation.  Headed north from Comox to Seal Bay Nature Reserve for a pretty hike through a regenerated second growth forest.  Eventually made it down to a rocky beach area to poke around.  After getting back to the car, headed further north to Campbell River for some lunch and a stroll along Miracle Beach.

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Pansotti Duxelles

Hand-made pansotti (triangle-shaped pasta) filled with duxelles (a French mushroom, shallot, parsley, white wine, butter and soy reduction).  Topped with an oregano browned butter sauce, chocolate sprinkles cherry tomatoes from my garden and a dusting of pecorino romano.

Pearl Barley Risotto

An idea I’ve been messing around with for a little while.  Finally managed to get the flavours just right.  Pearl barley risotto with preserved lemon, basil, sweet heat chilies and vegetables.  Topped with basil infused olive oil, toasted hazelnuts and basil flowers.

Bird’s Nest Pasta

Fresh made pasta, hand cut into approximate linguine size.  Browned butter, garlic, pepper and parmesan sauce, with a perfectly poached sous vide, onsen style egg.  Topped with parsley from my garden.  Paired with a 2015 Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Washington State.