Your Life… sliced, diced, minced and pureed



Here’s the third installment of my Knife SKills 101 how-tos with Your Life series host-producer, Leeanna McLean.

In this video, we break down a whole onion the way it should be done.

In my opinion anyway.


Garlic 101




In today’s Your Life Video series, I along with show host, Leeanna McLean, show you how to break down a whole head of garlic in four easy steps.

We start by showing you how to remove a clove’s papery skin in one go, then we show you how to break it down into slivers, dice, mince and the most smooth, fragrant puree, created without using salt as an abrasive.



Have Knife will Chop

In the Kitchen wFridgeWhisperer KnifeSkills101


My first Knife Skills video has just been posted on Your Life Video Series and I must say, show host and editor, Leeanna McLean, did a brilliant job capturing on tape all my little tips of the trade.

It’s exciting to see the creative side of videotography. How they can take hours of running film and package it into a complete story with a beginning, middle and end… the finished result 90 seconds of “just the facts, ma’am” how-tos.



So, bravo, Leeanna. Thanks for all your hard work.

I’m looking forward to watching the other four segments in our little Knife Skills series this week.


Fraught with Peril Banana Tarte Tatin

Ingredient- and method-wise, a tarte tatin of any description is about as simple as it gets for making a weeknight dessert that’ll wow them time and again.

Technique-wise, however, tarte tatin if fraught with peril. You’re working with molten sugar which can and will cause third-degree burns if you get it on you. And there’s a tipping point in the melting of the sugar that makes it go from a rich, decadent caramel to burnt offerings. That tipping point is measured in nano seconds.

Whoever said a watched pot never burns never made tarte tatin.

Traditionally, tarte tatin is made with a puff pastry top, most often with apples as the fruit of choice.

I had neither.

So, in true Fridge Whisperer fashion, I used a frozen deep dish pie crust shell and organic bananas instead.

While my tarte tatin will never win a baking contest and it stuck to the serving platter so badly we had to spoon it into our dessert dishes, it was pretty friggin’ delicious.

And I didn’t burn myself once during its preparation.

A win-win dessert, I think.

Happy (Good) Friday, my darlings.

And hoppy, hoppy Easter, too!



Banana Tarte Tatin (serves 6)

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 firm ripe bananas, peeled, sliced lengthwise and cut crosswise in half
1 frozen deep dish pie shell

•Preheat oven to 375F.
• In a 9-inch cast iron skillet set over medium heat, add sugar in a single layer and cook until melted, about 15 minutes. Do not stir or shake skillet once sugar begins to melt.
• Add butter and sprinkle over cinnamon, then remove skillet from heat and very carefully arrange banana pieces rounded-side-down on top of molten sugar, top with frozen pie shell and poke a few steam hole in top of crust with the point of a knife.
• Bake on centre rack until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly, about 15 minutes.
• Transfer tarte to wire rack, run a paring knife around edge of crust to loosen, then very carefully invert tarte onto a rimmed serving platter. If desired, serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.



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Scotch Egg Poppers

In yesterday’s post, I was going on and on about the tiny tri-coloured mini peppers I’d received in my Durham Organics bin a while back. And how I’d stuffed those super sweet little gems with a quinoa-sausage filling and roasted them off to utter perfection. And how the taste memory from this one-dish dinner is so strong I’m pining for them a month later.

And that got me thinking about making a sweet version of roadhouse-style deep fried jalapeno poppers, switching out the jalapenos for the sweet mini peppers and the traditional bread crumb coating in favour of a sweet Italian sausage covering. And that got me thinking about my pulled pork dry rub. And of course that lead me to thinking about Scotch eggs.

It was a natural progression. And, yes, I think too much.

So, here you go my darling warriors. My newfangled recipe for Scotch Egg Jalapeno Poppers, sans eggs, sans jalapenos.

They were so good that, while one is quite sufficient set atop a salad, I couldn’t help myself and had seconds.



Scotch Egg Poppers (serves 4)

4 tri-coloured mini peppers
3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon cooked bacon bits
4 sweet Italian sausages (each about 100g), casings removed
⅓ cup pulled pork dry rub (recipe follows)
1 recipe spicy aioli (recipe follows)

• Preheat oven 350F.
• Line a small baking dish with aluminum foil, coat with vegetable spray and set aside.
• Slice off stem end from peppers and, if necessary, remove seeds.
• Mix together cheese and bacon and stuff mixture into peppers.
• Using 1 sausage per pepper, completely encase pepper in meat, then gently coat in dry rub mixture and place in baking dish.
• Bake on centre rack until meat is no longer pink inside, about 30 minutes, rotating dish from back to front halfway through baking time.
• Transfer dish to wire rack and let poppers cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a dollop of spicy aioli.


Pulled Pork Dry Rub (makes about1 cup)

¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

• Stir all ingredients together until well combined, place in an air-tight container and store in a cool, dark cupboard. Use within a month.


Spicy Aioli (makes about ⅓ cup)

¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce

• Stir together ingredients until well combined, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Use within 2 days.



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