Andreas J. Düss
Founding Partner & Chief Creative at Nourish Food Marketing.
Voracious reader, passionate cook, monumental geek.
One of my favourite podcasts at the moment is the Smart Kitchen Show, produced by Michael Wolf from the Smart Kitchen Summit.
In his most recent podcasts, he introduces Suvie, a robo-kitchen combining fridge and cooking appliance, with sous vide, steaming and cooking capabilities all in an appliance not much larger than a microwave. It’s a mix of the Jetsons meeting today’s consumer trends, where meal assembly trumps cooking from scratch and convenience rules supreme.
Worth a listen.
Seasoning salts have been one of these things I kept reading about, but then not following up. My chef friends swear by them, as a quick and surefire way to season proteins with an added boost of flavour.
So finally, I decided to hop onto the bandwagon, after yet another recommendation, this time by Nigel Slater in Eat. My enthusiasm was being aided by a surplus of lovely fresh dill, thyme, and chives in the kitchen, all of which needed to be used before wilting away.
I decided on two flavorings, one Nordic and cool for fish and one warming and Mediterranean for poultry and pork.
For the fish seasoning salt I finely chopped a large bunch of dill and zested an organic lemon. The resulting mix was spread on a quarter-sized sheet pan (one of the most undervalued tools in any kitchen – I could not imagine cooking without them) and left to dry for 12 hours before mixing with kosher salt on a 1/3 ratio.
The warming mix contains finely chopped thyme, chives, garlic, lemon zest with a generous sprinkling of fennel seeds. Again, this mix was dried and then mixed with kosher salt.
I’m storing the salts in vintage mason jars and they should be good for a couple of months – although I can’t imagine they will keep that long. The first outing for the Nordic Salt was with a lovely piece of salmon cooked sous vide. It was perfect, with just a hint of lemon and dill.
I’ve always liked the gang at El Trompo, the little Mexican restaurant on Augusta Avenue that pretty much started the influx of Latin American businesses. Their tacos are simple, home made and the hospitality can’t be beat.
From Plenty, my new go-to vegetarian cookbook. Cauliflower, smoked mozzarella, eggs, sour creme, chives and smoked paprika.
After ten years of drinking tea exclusively, and in the process turning into quite the tea dork, I recently re-introduced myself to coffee.
In my case the gateway drug were Americanos, especially when pulled by my friend Pouria of Cafe Pamenar in Kensington Market.
The next challenge was to brew decent coffee at home. I have never managed to recreate a good Americano with a domestic espresso maker and I’m not a fan of the I’m-gonna-punch-your-face-in type coffee that’s so typical for a French press. Too much oil, too much acid for my taste.
I decided to try a Chemex, figuring that at under $40, if I hated it I could just put it on craigslist. Truth is, I love it. I picked up the six cup model at The Green Beanery, with 1/2 a pound of awesome Sumatra coffee.
The folks at the Beanery recommended quite a fine grind, coarser than espresso but finer than normal drip. The results are amazing, exactly what I had been hoping for. A bright, floral, full flavoured cup with no oily residue or acidity.
The fact that the Chemex has an awesome back story, it was invented by a madman/genius during WW2 to preserve metal for the war effort, is icing on the cake. Also, that it has a permanent place at MOMA and appears in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel, From Russia with Love.
Half a leg, smoked, Mennonite raised on a farm just outside Toronto. This year’s Christmas ham. I braised it with molasses, cloves and a handful of other spices for four hours on a low, low heat, then roasted it with a mustard-cranberry glaze until it was crackled and burnished. Continue Reading
I normally make my own duck confit for Christmas, but with three young kids in the house this year it didn’t happen. Thankfully the Christmas elves at Peter Sanagan’s Meat Locker had been busy and I managed to pick up four duck legs, all prepped for the oven. Here they are, in my old blue… Continue Reading
Cook puy lentils in water with 1/2 an onion studded with 5 or 6 cloves, one or two bay leaves and a smashed clove of garlic. I had some thyme that needed using in the fridge, so in it went. Season with salt and pepper, then finish with a good, peppery glug of olive oil… Continue Reading