Tuesday, December 6, 2011
i've said it once before and i'll say it again. if baking is water, i'm a cat. if baking was oxygen, i wouldn't know how to breath. if baking was diesel, i would be a gas engine. aight, ah think yuh get the picture. i CANNOT bake. not good with flour at all! in situations like these, you understand the true meaning of that 1982 classic "that's what friends are for". BAIDAWI CAN BAKE! daz all yuh need. a friend with a good bakin' hand. check him out in some apple muffin action.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
it's a refreshing thing when someone says they're doing something different and you really see the difference. even though a growing number of spots in T&T offer brunch these days, brunch isn't all that common (for example, this brunch started swinging at about half 1! i doh think we get it yet). so the idea of a brunch party is like a double whammy to most. different kinda party... different vibe of party... different time of party. now truth be told, i'm more of a limer than a clubber (got that out my system very early in the game), so i don't know how powerful my words are in this department. but to answer the question i've been getting since mentioning it on twitter, le brunch is the kinda scene i will attend. starts at 11. serves nice food for brunch. alcohol flowing. music in the background. friends to link up with and new people to meet. de occasional boogie if it come up. i good wid dat. at least while i was there, it was just a cool scene in a cool place.
apparently this was the 2nd le brunch. ah guess they got most of the kinks worked out, because i don't really have anything to complain about. chaud was a good venue for the intimate crowd, with the right kinda ambiance for an event like that. and with robert de gannes on board, yuh know yuh could expect some digital fun, like a live twitter feed updating on big screens.
this pic has no real significance to this entry. maybe somebody ordered it or got it as a gift or something, because i didn't see vodka on the menu. however i needed to document this to remind me to ask the question "aye! how come i doh have a cool ketel one bucket wid a bottle of vodka in my house?" ah mean, come on!!
not that i was lacking likka anyway. the media table was well taken care of. well, every table was well taken care of, but we were close to the bar so our drinks were coming super fast. on the drinks menu there was FRANZIA sangria which i only had much later on hence no pic. not really a sangria lover anyway. but this MT GAY rum punch was nice. the trick was to ask for a splash of bitters in it.
and there were SPERONE mimosas too. plus there was a MONSTER bar outside serving samples of different mixes. in other words, alcohol was abundant up in dis.
but on to what i really went for. the brunch itself. well of course, it's a food blog. they were wise enough to prepare special media plates so we could sample more than one of the menu items prepared by chef kahlid mohammed, the brain child behind chaud. we got a platter with 5 of the 7 options available which excluded a wild mushroom frittata with porcini sauce and a field greens salad, as well as a grilled tofu & vegetable kebab with tabbouleh salad and hummus.
these were just samples. the actual plate was bigger than this. decent helpings for a brunch. before i found out we were getting samples of more than one item, i selected this one. bangers and mash, served with mushy peas and some english mustard. i was right. it was the one i enjoyed the most. a well made sausage over creamy mashed potatoes. tasty.
also good was the bbq shrimp & white corn grits. the shrimp was the star here. real nice guava bbq flavour. points.
now i am very funny with eggs. freakishly funny some might say. so this dish, though it looked interesting and well executed, wasn't really my thing. smoked salmon with a poached egg, baby spinach and hollandaise sauce on an english muffin. i had everything but the egg, so i'd say i didn't really experience the dish. the remaining elements were ok though.
again my preferences came into play. i couldn't remember being asked about the temperature of my meat, but i prefer a medium to well piece of beef. the beef on my plate was more on the rare side. it was roast prime with a cheddar popover served with a traditional gravy and horseradish foam. not really my thing.
a lot of people were wowed by the idea of the chicken & waffles with spiced honey sauce. even i was. but i think the idea created a different expectation from what was plated. not that it didn't taste great. it did. it just wasn't the chicken & waffles i was thinking about. that being said, not a soul on the table left anything back on the plate. the spices gave it a kinda jerk flavour and the well executed waffle played a nice supporting role.
you can expect some swag from an event like this. what i didn't expect was to get one of the most suggestive swag bags i've ever come across. a shot of beefeater gin, some blue waters, a small colgate, a nature valley granola bar (nutty), 2 durex condoms, eclipse gum, monster coffee energy drink, a 15% off coupon for the naughty grape and a 10% off discount card for the lulu-rue boutique. according to cheryl lala's response to my twitter post "subtle like a ton of bricks!"
all in all, i think it was a nice way to spend a sunday. nice food, nice drinks, nice vibes. the team mentioned that they are trying to do 3 per year. i wouldn't mind if they have it in the same spot. chaud works. and if people really do make it le brunch and not le late lunch by being seated at 11 would be cool too. something different... good show. keep it up.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
a good while ago i made tuna patties inspired by something i saw on my favorite tv station. since then i decided to try making crab cakes and just never got around to doing it. until recently that is. i didn't have all the exact stuff i needed, but i decided to give it a try anyway. how far off could it be right?
well i started off with some multigrain crix,
crushed with my newest professional rolling pin made by guinness. (i got rid of the other one)
i used this crab meat in the tin that i had there. not exactly what i wanted, but it would have to do. it was a now or never kinda thing.
so i put the meat into a bowl with the crumbs, chive, shadon beni, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, a lil mayo and yellow mustard.
then seasoned it up with these dudes here.
the mix looked like this. i was thinking about making it a little firmer, but i decide to rock with this.
next, i spooned some patties into some hot oil. some very hot oil.
this skillet heats up reaaaaaally quickly, so the oil was too hot. flipping them was a scene.
EPIC FAIL!! flavour was real good. but... well... look at them.
however, an important commandment in these parts is THOU SHALL EAT THINE MISTAKES. so i put the broken up patties on some whole wheat toast and had a time. none of this animal goes to waste.
meanwhile, i sprayed some foil with cooking spray and made some more patties with the remaining mixture. defeat me?? never!! yuh doh wanna fry? well i'll bake yuh then! shoulda thought about doing it this way first. the healthier option i think.
put them in the oven until they cooked through, then put the fire on top to brown them up for the nice visual.
looked so nice i shot them twice.
and they tasted nice with some sweet chili sauce next to lentils over basmati rice. next time i want to get the chunky crab meat that they sell at pricesmart to mix in there for a different texture. but this did just fine.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
a few people told me that they come to the blog to get ideas when they aren't too sure what too bubble. that's cool. glad to be of service. me? i use my indecisiveness to try out something different. i documented this one to share so you have even less reason to flip a coin when you're in that zone.
well this one involves pigtail, so swine haters beware. this one is pure swine and nothing but the swine. bbq pigtail to be exact. something i sampled some years ago and can't get enough of. until i made it myself that is. on this occasion, i wanted to see if it could be done minus the bbq pit.
basically, i put some pig tail in the pressure cooker with some spice and let that bubble like soup. the object here is to get that salt out and try to infuse some additional flavour into the pigtail.
while the pressure cooker was covered and doing its thing i started making a sauce. some sweet red chilli, jack daniel's honey dijon...
and some of this huge budwiser honey bbq that i got in pricemart. one of them impulse purchases that only manifests its insanity when you take it out of the car at home. "all this? but i don't own a restaurant! why did i buy this again? oh... because i was in pricemart being bitten by the it's-probably-cool-to-buy-this-massive-thing bug."
i put that in a pot with some sauteed garlic, onion, shadon beni, ginger, pimiento and thyme, then gave it a little heat for the flavours to come together.
not too long after that came the end of round one for the pigtail. round one is usually about 20 minutes, designed to cut a lot of the salt out. pigtail is a salty thing.
drained off that first water...
and added some more then put the tails back under pressure.
so at this point, there's still a lil salt in it. not overpowering, but enough to let you know that you're eating pigtail. i pressure mine to get it extra tender. that's just a preference though.
next move, into that sawse!
then onto a baking tray. heavy on the sauce. i mean... the sawse!
fire on top fuh dat!
we're just looking to get the sauce to darken up a bit to give it that bbq finish, so it doesn't take that long.
and a flip was necessary to get at the other sides.
and boom. that was it. my quick fix oven bbq pigtail. i sacrificed that smoked goodness you get from coals and wood, but to be able to drop this down without wheeling out the grill is worth it to me.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
the first day of the big event at the jean pierre complex/hasely crawford stadium was as unexpected for us as one of kes the illusionist's tricks to an unsuspecting patron. why?
well we expected a great show from iron chef garces (yes english, i did see him chop up the nuts with his knife like he was slicing paper or something). after all, he's an iron chef...
we expected to stumble upon some of those fine products that pop up at events like these...
we expected to see some friends of the blog, like Brian from the tobago blue food festival entry...
we even expected some good entertainment like the ever comical, ever lyrical nuts landing...
steel pan... check.
and tambu bamboo... check.
but we didn't expect to be that moved by the young culinarians competition. i mean, the excitement, the passion on display and the performances by all the teams involved was out of this world. and this is just the semi finals.
it was really nice to see the students making the most of the iron chef's presence.
surely a once in a lifetime opportunity that any motivated, aspiring chef would love.
of course we're going to show you the recording, but seeing it live is a whole different ball game.
check out the video below, but come down today to the finals and check it out live: