The Domestic Man’s Korean Short Ribs

If you’re looking for mouthwatering food photography and traditional recipes that cater to the Paleo and Primal Diet, then look no further than The Domestic Man‘s blog! A few weeks ago, I received an email giving me some positive feedback on my current food illustration work, and I was surprised to see that I knew the sender! By which I should say that I knew of the sender–I’d actually been a follower of The Domestic Man’s delicious recipes and photography for some time now. After a little back and forth, I proposed the idea that we do a recipe trade where I would make and illustrate one of his recipes, and he would cook up one of mine and work his photography magic. Lucky for me he agreed to this crazy plan!

After looking through his posts, I decided to attempt his Korean Short Ribs, also known as Kalbi! I’d never cooked this cut at home…although I have cooked it for myself many times when I have eaten Korean BBQ. Looking at the mix of ingredients in the marinade sealed the deal. Picking this recipe allowed me to use and illustrate a few ingredients I otherwise wouldn’t have used, try my hand preparing a new cut of meat, and expose my taste-buds to an awesome flavour combination. I was not disappointed, and you won’t be either!

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Avocado Green Salad with Ginger Dressing

In the last year I’ve had a major love affair with avocados, which continues to this very day. I expect that this will continue until the day I perish, or the day that avocados become extinct. Just today I remembered that as a child I attempted to grow an avocado tree from an avocado pit! Clearly this whole avocado thing started way before I realized it. Here’s a little salad that I came up with that features the handsome devil!

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Foodie Mugs

Of course I’ve been cooking this week. I always cook something! However, I put so much love into that last illustrated review that there just wasn’t time to illustrate a recipe this week. Not to worry, I’ve got at least two solid ones in the works, and you should have something to add to the menu next week.

So, to tide you over, here’s some neat little illustrations I did over the Holidays!

I did these as gifts for my boyfriend Mike and his family members! At the store where I work part-time I’m lucky enough to have access to a nifty sublimation machine, upon which I can make mugs. Thus, I created mugs! Mugs with delicious illustrations! Mike, who has his photography work online at Eleventh Photograph, was nice enough to take these wicked product shots for me! If things work out, I may be selling mugs at the next convention I show up at…

Girl and The Goat [Chicago]

I recently had the opportunity to visit Chicago with my boyfriend Mike. Not one to waste time, I quickly did my research–where was the best place to eat? It didn’t take me too long to stumble upon some rave reviews for Stephanie Izard’s Girl and The Goat. As a goat fan, I also couldn’t resist the cute mascot. Lucky for me I was able to squeeze in a late-night 10:45 pm reservation! We arrived early, around 9:45 pm, and the place was packed and lively! We asked if they would be able to seat us a little bit early, and after a short wait in the lounge area they were able to find us a table.

Our server was lovely and attentive. She explained that the best way to experience the menu was to consider you and your dining partner as a team–to pick around 4 dishes, and share them. She also asked right away about allergies, and when I informed her of a gluten sensitivity she immediately provided me with a gluten-free menu. Awesome!

My boyfriend and I ordered 5 dishes: The Kohlrabi Salad,  Sweet Potato Gratin, Kalbi Beef Short-Ribs, The Pig Face and The Goat Belly Confit. Each dish was brought out by itself so we could share and enjoy each one individually. The pacing was perfect, and we were never rushed or kept waiting too long for the next to arrive.

Kohlrabi Salad - With Fennel, Pear, Evalon, Ginger and Toasted Almonds

This salad wasn’t our first choice for our vegetable starters. We’d asked for the Brussels Sprouts, and they were unfortunately sold out! However, we were not disappointed with this dish. It was refreshing and creamy. The flavours complimented each other with perfect balance, none overwhelming the other.  There were little pieces of chopped Black Olive in the mix, which added some extra zing! I wasn’t sure what Evalon was at the time, but a little research indicates that it is a type of cheese, which explains the lovely creamyness.

Sweet Potato Gratin - With Blue Cheese and Crispy Onions

When I saw this on the menu there was no way I could resist ordering it. Both Mike and myself are huge Sweet Potato fanatics. I think this was possibly the best dish of the night, so good we were tempted to order a second! The natural sweetness of the Sweet Potatoes married beautifully with the sharpness and depth of the Blue Cheese. The thinly sliced Sweet Potatoes were tender and soft, but not mushy. The topping of Crispy Onions kept all that soft richness from dominating too much. This dish is a must-order!

Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face – With Fried Egg, Tamarind, Maple, Cilantro and Potato Stix

This was the one dish I knew I was going to order after reading some reviews online. Our server let us know that this dish is best when it looks its worst. It comes beautifully plated, of course, with the perfectly cooked Fried Egg topping the Pork, on top of a nest of crunchy Potato, with the Tamarind and Cilantro Sauces on the bottom. But, in order to enjoy it to the full, you must destroy it–making sure to combine all the elements in every bite. This dish is very rich and satisfying. The tender Pork and the crunchy Potato Stix soak up the tangy and sweet sauces, making every bite delightful. Plus, you can never go wrong with runny egg yolk!

…and just to note, the Pig Face was not literally shaped like a pig face–that’s just me being a little creative!

Kalbi - Beef Short Ribs with Grilled Sweet Potato and Charred Okra

This dish was probably the most underwhelming of the evening. Not to say it was bad, but in comparison to the other dishes, it just seemed to have something lacking. The elements were quite separate, and did not really seem to marry. Our favourite part was the Charred Okra, which had a tangy sauce. The ribs were nicely cooked, and thinly sliced. They weren’t overly fatty, as sometimes this cut can be. Overall a decent dish, but I think there are more interesting things on the menu.

Confit Goat Belly - With Shaved Fennel, Crab, Lobster and Bourbon Butter 

Another thing I knew for certain was that I had to order a dish with Goat!  The Goat Belly was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the Crab and Lobster meat was perfectly cooked. Fennel, which can sometimes be overwhelming, was inoffensive as it was very thinly shaved. The Shaved Fennel and the greenery on top were smart refreshing notes in an otherwise extremely rich dish. I hate to say it, but the taste of the Bourbon Butter was indescribable!

Girl and The Goat was one of the big highlights of my Chicago trip! The excellent service and the innovative dishes left me satisfied…and wondering how I can come up with an excuse to go back! It’s a bit of a trek from Toronto…

If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend you dine there! That is, if you can get a reservation!

Girl & the Goat on Urbanspoon

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

One of our holiday traditions is to do a Brunch featuring Eggs Benedict. Formerly we would serve this on toasted English Muffins. No longer! We brainstormed and came up with a delicious and healthy alternative. It takes a bit of effort to assemble this meal—but it’s sure to impress in both look and taste. Believe me, you won’t miss the English Muffin one bit!

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Gluten-Free Onions au Gratin

For me, as for many, the holiday season brings back many memories, and recalls traditions of years past. Getting together with family and celebrating is fun, and so is cooking and sharing dishes at these gatherings. When we were getting together with my Mom’s side of the family, I heard that she was being asked to make the Onion Casserole–also known as per her Mom’s hand-written recipe as Onions au Gratin! With some quick thinking and two simple tweaks, we were able to adapt this delicious dish to be undetectably Gluten-Free.

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