How can I make a filet mignon so tender it cuts with a fork? The first one I ever had was like that and none since.

The Filet Mignon is one of the most tender (if not THE most tender) cuts in the whole “steak family.” But, there are TWO ways to make even MORE tender if you really want to take the time. METHOD ONE - SOUS VIDE PLUS REVERSE SEAR Now the first way would be to do a combination SOUS-VIDE with a REVERSE SEAR. Basically put, you’re going to be shooting for a perfect 135°F/57.2°C medium-rare Filet Mignon that will be as close to “you can cut it with a fork” as can be. You’re going to need a Sous-Vide Circulator, but prices have dropped on basic models for as little as $49 US / $69 CDN, which makes it absolutely perfect. Here’s what I would do: Add KOSHER SALT and pepper liberally onto the Filets.Put the Filets into a SOUS-VIDE safe bag with some springs of rosemary and thyme, slices of garlic and several pads of BUTTER or GHEE. Seal it up.SOUS-VIDE for 2–3 hours at 125°F/51.67°C. The lower temp is deliberate.HEAT UP that grill or pan to get it HOT. I’m talking 450+°F/232.2+°C temperatures hot just before you’re about to take the steaks from the sous vide and open them. You’re going to need a HIGH SMOKE TEMP oil. I like using avocado oil.Take it out and SEAR the meat for about 1 minute…

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How do restaurants remove the papery outer skin of onions and shallots? There must be a quick way to do it.

In restaurants and at my home we generally don't bother with just the dried skin of an onion or a shallot. The process of getting just the papery skins off is far too fussy and time consuming. Here's how the pros do it.. First off, the onions live in the veggie drawer in my fridge. This chills the onions, keeps them from sprouting, and most importantly shrinks the cells of the onion so it sprays less onion juice into the air.. No more tears! Next, we take a SHARP knife (meaning sharp enough to cut just by pushing down on the blade a bit) and run it over the steel to make sure of the edge. Note that the sharp edge of the knife, at rest, is always placed AWAY from the body working with the knife. This is so that when you go to scrape the chopped ingredients off the cutting board, you don't accidentally slice your hand. Anywho.. we take that sharp knife and cut the top off the onion. Then we take the root off Then we set the onion on its nose and whack it in half Next we slide a thumb between the first full layer of skin and the rest of the onion and pop it off. Now.. why the first FULL layer? See that thin spot in the…

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Which dishes worldwide are the true test of a chef’s ability?

I’ve had quite a few chats over the years with some chefs over wine and food. And I remember one interesting night when they told me for most of them what was the very first dish they had to show that they knew a bit about cooking and not just some wannabe. You see, restaurants don’t test cooks or chefs by what grandiose signature dish that a person can make like in Masterchef. What REALLY tests a chef’s abilities is doing the very BASICS PERFECTLY. As such, you’ll be surprised by how simple the true tests are. EGGS. Virtually every one of them have told me that they had to make an egg as a test of their skills. For some it was to make the perfect omelet. For others it was making the perfect soft poached egg. (from Flikr) FISH. Roasting fish is difficult to get right. Fish is a pretty delicate meat, and it’s a thin line between a moist, flavorful, flaky fish and a tough, dry piece of fish jerky. (from Prima) HOLLANDAISE. This is one of those really tricky sauces. Not many restaurants even make it unless they do a regular breakfast trade. Is the heat too high? Now the egg yolks are curdling and the sauce has a grainy mustard like look and texture. Sauce split? Well, the fat has separated and the…

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What was the most elaborate meal you have ever cooked and why?

For Easter this past year, due to the pandemic, we were stuck at home without family. So I wanted to make it special. (Little did I know it would be the first of many holidays at home without extended family.) This seemed like a good opportunity to try out some delicious-sounding Martha Stewart recipes I’d been bookmarking. For breakfast, we had a spring asparagus frittata & the kids made “Empty Tomb” biscuits. Then we skipped lunch & had a big dinner around 4:30. As an appetizer, we had beautiful multi-colored carrots with a homemade lemon thyme dip. For the meal, I made grilled zucchini salad with a lemon tahini dressing, steamed & buttered snap peas, and a gorgeous piece of Beet & Dill Roasted Wild Salmon over a bed of potatoes. For dessert, I made ahead (it took a couple of days) a Neapolitan Ice Cream cake (strawberry, vanilla & pistachio). Everyone seemed to enjoy it all, but then they are a super easy crowd (hubs + 3 little boys ages 3, 5 & 7). But I think I enjoyed it the most. I knew what had gone into making it. 

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White Chocolate Lava Cake

White Chocalate Lava Cake Ingredients: White Chocolate 115g Butter 115g Powdered Sugar 110g 3 Eggs 1 egg Yolk 6 tbsp of wheat floor (90g) 1/2 tbsp of Baking Powder Grated Lemon Zest How to make: First mix the baking powder with the bread crumbs and sift through a sieve and set aside. Then add some butter and butter to the white chocolate and melt it in a double boil. Now add 2 eggs and egg yolk and whisk well until stirred. Then add powdered sugar and whisk by hand until the sugar dissolves. Then add some wheat flour and grated lemon peel and whisk until well mixed. Then take 4 buttered Porcelain Cake Cups,Silicon Cake Cups or Aluminum Foil Cups and distribute the cake mixture evenly between them. Bake in a preheated oven at 200c°/400F° for 12-15 minutes, remove from the cake cups and serve hot.

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Garlic & Herb Sautéed Potatoes With Samphire

What do you do with left-over Jersey spuds? For one, you can store them in the fridge overnight and make some sauteed potatoes with them the next day. Here, we’ve spruced ours up with some seasoning and fried them off in rapeseed oil. Leaving us with some delicious crispy gems to devour. As for flavour, it’s the rich fertile earth of Jersey which gives Jersey Royals their unique taste. It would be a crime not to enjoy them as much as you can when they’re in season. They’re sweet and summery, so can make for a very memorable dish. We’ve paired our Jerseys with some seasonal herbs and veg too. Samphire is an incredible vegetable. When raw, it tends to be quite salty so it’s often steamed for a few minutes before serving. It’s actually a sea vegetable (hence the salt) so it’s traditionally served with seafood. However, it can make a perfect addition to salads and potato dishes like this one. The complimentary flavours of samphire, fragrant fresh mint and spices are incredible. This seasonal dish is super easy to make and is great for summer barbecues, or any time of year in fact… 280g Jersey Royal potatoes, pre-cooked and chilled overnight.1 crushed garlic clove or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic puree1/2 teaspoon cumin1/2 teaspoon ground coriander1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepperA few grinds of…

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7-Ingredient Festive Vegan Wreath with “Turkey”, Cranberry & Stuffing

Give my delicious festive vegan wreath a go for a seasonal centrepiece that’s sure to be the talk of the table!It’s much simpler than it looks – my delicious festive vegan wreath is tasty, easy and requires only seven ingredients! Layered with sweet cranberry sauce, tasty sage and onion stuffing and seasoned vegan ‘turkey’, this recipe is a lovely combination for any vegan Christmas dinner or Sunday roast. For decoration, I used a star-shaped biscuit cutter to make eight stars from pastry cut-offs – this reduces food waste and makes the wreath super festive. If you don’t have time to read the recipe now, PIN it or bookmark this page.christmas-vegan-wreathHow do you make this ‘meaty’ vegan wreath vegan?Puff pastry:As you’ll know, traditional puff pastry recipes aren’t vegan. They require butter, but you can easily sub this out for a dairy-free alternative. There are plenty of benefits to going dairy-free – if you fancy reading more, then check out this article.   When choosing a vegan butter for this kind of baking, then you’ll want to select one that acts very similarly to dairy butter blocks. My current favourites are: Vegan Block by NaturliFlora’s Plant ButterBoth have a lovely flavour and work fantastic in cooking and baking. Also, I believe Stork’s Original Baking Block (not their margarine) is vegan. As much as I love…

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How To Make A Turkey

If you've never made a turkey before you're in the right place... The first thing I will tell you about making a turkey is that if you are making a frozen one, you will need to defrost it in your refrigerator for a few days before you make it! So first things first, read any and all labels on your turkey before you remove the packaging. I like to grab my camera and snap a pic of the directions that are on the plastic outer wrapping of the turkey and also the tag that shows the weight of my turkey. This is just so later when I am figuring out how many hours to bake it, I don't have to dig in the trash for the label (hey, we've all been there!).  So get that turkey in the fridge and on a pan so it can defrost. I usually put mine on a broiler pan in the fridge in case of any leakage. Use whatever pan you have that fits in your fridge and has a raised edge. When you are ready to bake your turkey the first thing you should do is get the pan ready for the turkey, since once you open the packaging, you're gonna need to get that turkey on the pan pretty fast.  I use the bottom section of a…

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Make It At Home: Sicilian Pizza

I'm a huge fan of Sicilian Pizza. For years I only bought it at my favorite pizza parlors, meanwhile at home I made my own Neapolitan Pizza so often that I had it down to a science!  But why had I never attempted to make that beautiful, thick, cheesy Sicilian pizza at home? I have no idea. Maybe I thought it was some secret recipe that was difficult or required professional expertise or pizza shop secrets. But then one day I realized that if I could make stellar homemade Neapolitan then I should also be able to make homemade Sicilian too, so why not give it a shot? And so I began trying out various Sicilian pizza recipes at home, all the while making my own little changes here and there, until I landed up with a Sicilian pizza recipe that is not only delicious, but easy and quick to make. I make the dough entirely in my electric stand mixer, but you can mix it by hand as well.  You will need a large rectangular baking pan with a raised edge, which is one of the essentials for this recipe.  Give it a try and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I'd love to know how yours turned out! Ingredients for topping: 1 1/4 cup prepared pizza sauce (we…

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Boneless Chicken Bites
Boneless Chicken Bites

Boneless Chicken Bites

Crispy, fried, battered chicken tossed in your favourite prepared barbecue sauce, Boneless Chicken Bites are a perfect party food. Serve with fresh veggies, dip, and lots of toothpicks. There’s no need to get your fingers dirty here! When it comes to finger foods and appetizers for game day or any other get together, nothing beats Boneless Chicken Bites! Then again, who could resist these Homemade Mozzarella Sticks, or these Baked Cauliflower Bites? And, when it comes to these types of chicken recipes, I have a lot for you to drool over. BONELESS CHICKEN BITES This is one of those recipes that I make just for myself. Whenever I find myself at home alone, especially at mealtime, I’ll make something just like this. My partner, John.e, is a vegetarian, so that’s one reason to prepare this dish when he’s away. Secondly, my daughter, McKenna, is very plain when it comes to food. If she’s going to eat chicken, she prefers to have chicken legs that are baked with just some salt and pepper. She’s not a huge fan of sauces. Unless it’s gravy. I swear, she could drink gravy! I’m the complete opposite. I absolutely love sauces of all types. In fact, I’m like that old lady in the Franks Red Hot commercials – sauce on everything! Our fridge is never void of ketchup, barbecue sauces,…

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Soft Baked Cinnamon Chip Cookies

If you love soft, cinnamon flavoured cookies, these Soft Baked Cinnamon Chip Cookies are for you! Loaded with lots of cinnamon flavour, these are quick, easy, and freezer-friendly too! You can easily scroll down and see all of the cookies. All you have to do is click on the picture of t If you’ve been reading my recipe posts for some time now, you will have read about my obsession with cinnamon chips or my obsession with cinnamon in general! I know I’ve posted it a million times on Facebook, and I’ve even had friends searching for them, but I was never able to find them. Until now. Before we get too into it, it might come as no surprise to my readers that I’m back with a third installment of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas. Should you be new here, let me tell you a bit about how this works. This is my third annual Christmas cookie extravaganza. Like the previous two years, I will post a brand new Christmas cookie recipe for 24 consecutive days. Yes, that means Saturdays and Sundays too! For your reference, you can find links to the first two years further down the page. Fresh off of my 12 Biscotti of Christmas series, I’m excited to get this new series started. Last year, I also did 12 Bundt Cakes…

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12 Christmas Biscotti

Anytime is a great time to enjoy a biscotti. Even so, I’ve put together a collection of 12 Christmas Biscotti recipes that has at least one flavour for every personal taste. These make great gift ideas too! ANOTHER CHRISTMAS SERIES Just a short while ago, I published a biscotti series to the blog. The series was called Lord Byron’s 12 Biscotti of Christmas. It was a series that was posted over 12 consecutive days. I’m not sure why I do these things to myself or how I get it into my head that a consecutive series is a good idea. As much as I do love it when I think of it, the keeping up with the social media aspect of a series like that is quite overwhelming. WHAT ARE BISCOTTI? Without boring you to tears, it’s rather really simple. Biscotti is a term used to describe a cookie that has been twice baked. When you make biscotti, the whole thing is first baked in a long long. It is then removed from the oven and allowed to cool until you can touch it comfortably. Then, the log is sliced into thick slices and baked once more until the sliced edges have hardened slightly. Sometimes, the biscotti are baked standing up. And, sometimes, they are baked while laying on one side, then flipped…

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Stained Glass Ornament Cookies

These beautiful Stained Glass Ornament Cookies are made with an easy rolled cookie dough, some glistening sanding sugar, and your favourite flavour of crushed Jolly Ranchers candy. Last Christmas, I shared my Christmas Tree Ornament Cookie recipe with you. Even though those cookie cutters weren’t expensive, I was determined to get a second use out of them. Stained Glass Ornament Cookies had to be a part of this countdown for that reason and more. After all, what’s not to love about these gorgeous cookies? Now, it might come as no surprise to my readers that I’m back with a third installment of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas. Should you be new here, let me tell you a bit about how this works. This is my third annual Christmas cookie extravaganza. Like the previous two years, I will post a brand new Christmas cookie recipe for 24 consecutive days. Yes, that means Saturdays and Sundays too! For your reference, you can find links to the first two years further down the page. Fresh off of my 12 Biscotti of Christmas series, I’m excited to get this new series started. Last year, I also did 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas. Now, who’s ready to get started on this journey with me? Do you have all of the ingredients? Are you ready to accidentally inhale Jolly Rancher candy…

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Graham Crumb Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Graham Crumb Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies When I decided that I was going to bake these cookies, my initial thought was to hold off on publishing the recipe until Christmas. For me, graham crumbs conjure up images of Christmas. I guess that’s when my mom would use graham crumbs the most. Well, she did make a no-bake cheesecake almost every Sunday for dessert. That had graham crumbs. Maybe I’m wrong about them being a Christmas thing. So, I’m going to go ahead and publish this recipe now. Yes, Dear Reader, you know I’m already busy at work on my third annual Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series! The cat’s out of the bag now, but I think most of you already expect it to happen anyway. You know how much I love Christmas! And, I love graham crackers and crumbs, so let’s talk about this recipe! THE BOY WHO STOLE CRACKERS I remember when I was a kid, I would steal my mom’s graham crackers. If she was out of graham crackers, I would steal her graham crumbs. How could I help myself? They were so delicious! Besides, she’d never let us eat them because to her they were only meant for baking! I’ve shared with you before, Dear Reader, that I have never in my life tried an s’mores. Nope! Sure, we had backyard fires just like…

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Buttermilk Dill Ranch Pasta Salad

I’m all about pasta salads. I can eat pasta salad every day. There’s just a few caveats. First and foremost, they have to be delicious. Texture is an absolute must. And, they have to be easy to make, inexpensive, and they must be still just as tasty the next day! The best thing about past salads is that they can be made ahead of time. You can easily adapt them to your liking too, because they’re very forgiving. And, it seems that everyone loves them! That’s probably why they are such a popular side dish at many restaurants, and certainly at every summer picnic or backyard bbq! IS THIS A COLESLAW OR A PASTA SALAD? You’ve got a keen eye, Dear Reader. Indeed this dish has the makings of a coleslaw, but it also has everything you need to make a delicious pasta salad. I’ve seen a coleslaw pasta salad circulating online for the past year or two. I tried the recipe once. And, we loved it. I just thought I could do better. I’m not being conceited! Really! I just firmly believe that a simple recipe is great, but you can always improve upon it. How did I improve on the original? I made a homemade dressing for starters. And I added dill to the dressing – lots and lots of dill!…

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