New Venture

New Venture

It’s often been said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well I’m happy to say that this idiom has long outlasted it’s usefulness as this “old dog” is about to embark on a new venture that will, to say the least, be exciting.

Now before I unveil what this new venture is I wish to supply a little background information.

I only started serious cooking in 1997 after my wife was diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t cook anymore due to her illness. At the time I didn’t know how to do anything except BBQ burgers and boil water so the whole idea of cooking for her and 5 kids was rather daunting however I found my savior in the T.V. show “Essence of Emeril” and my culinary career took off.

Fast forward a few years and my wife is fine, I’ve retired from my regular job and have graduated from Culinary School (at the age of 60) and I am preparing for the newest chapter of my life.

So what then is this new venture?

I am going to attempt, at the age of 63, to bottle and sell my own line of Condiments based on recipes I have developed over the years and ones that people love. It may take a while to get going but with luck and some hard work I can get to the point where I will have a booth at our local farmers market and my company will be a success.

I will try  to keep you updated on how things go.

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit 


Smoker cheats



I love smoked food. I mean besides the flavor that smoking infuses into food the whole culture of sitting beside a smoker on a beautiful sunny day with a cold one in your hand enjoying the company of good friends and family can’t be beat. But here it is—- January in Canada and there is about a foot of snow on my smoker and another six inches on the ground AND—– IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!!!!!! Now if you read into this that, unlike my compatriots at Patrons of the Pit who see no problem with standing outside in sub-zero weather monitoring a smoker, that I am a warm weather kind of smoker guy you would be right— at least as far as my backyard smoker is concerned so when I found these “Smoker Cheats” that allowed me to smoke food in the winter while staying warm I was “over the moon”.

This first one is brought to us by the great King of Bam, Chef Emeril Lagasse, and it is just so simple to use.

Emeril’s Smoker Bag is simply that. A heavy duty “foil type” bag that contains the wood chips necessary to infuse your food, and your house, with the smell and flavor of wood smoke. I originally found these at, of all places, our local Home Depot in their BBQ accessories section and I loved them so much I bought a whole whack of em.

All you need to do with these is prepare whatever it is you are going to cook/smoke, insert it into the smoker bag and seal it up. There is a cooking time chart inside the bag package that makes this whole system nearly fool-proof.

The second “cheat” is one I posted here about a year ago but it is worth resurrecting it since it is such a dynamite product.

SMK Stovetop stacked_web-500x500

This a Cameron Stove Top smoker and as you can see it is very easy to use, and clean up, and when you purchase it you even get a selection of wood chips to help get you started. Now mine has seen duty mainly for smoking Jalapenos and Garlic for my Chipotle Mayo (see sauces and dips) but it can be used for almost anything else you would use a regular smoker for. I say almost because it obviously isn’t big enough for a Boston Butt or a good size Brisket but if you wanted to smoke some chicken legs or breast or even some pork chops or veggies this is the baby to use indoors.

The last “cheat” is probably the simplest.

roasted garlic 026

All you need to do is soak whatever wood chips you are using and then roll them up in heavy duty tin foil until you have what loosely resembles an envelope. Poke some holes in the envelope to allow the smoke to escape, place the envelope in a corner of the oven or grill and “go to town” as they say.

Until next time…….. Happy smoking and

                      Bon Appetite