Lojay’s Foods

Lojay's Foods

It has often been said that “All good things come to those who wait” which in a lot of cases is true however in the world of enterprise the correct saying should be ” All good things come to those who bust their ass to make it happen” and since launching my attempt to start a small business I am finding the latter statement to be so very very true.

Lojay’s Foods is the business I have started in an effort to bring Craft, Artisinal, Small Batch condiments and sauces to the people of the region where I live by means of utilizing the four Farmers Market we have.

Now normally one would think that the hardest part of starting a food related business is coming up with the recipes for the items you wish to sell but you would be oh so wrong…… it is the endless amounts of paperwork that is involved. There are Business Plans to draw up, Marketing schemes to devise, Advertising, Web Sites, Financial issues to resolve, Equipment to update or purchase etc etc and all of this has to be put in place long before you can even begin to think of starting production.

So why then would I even think of entering the looney tune world of food production/sales? Easy….. people love this stuff and who am I to disappoint.

I will attempt to keep you up to date on the goings on with this venture providing of course that I can stay out of the nut house.

Until next time……..

                                 Bon Appetit

 

Korean take out

 

 

 

Korean take out

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About a week ago I was running late for my Pool League and did not have time to eat before I left home and so about mid way through the evening I discovered that I was starving but the only thing the pool hall has to eat, besides potato chips and the like, is deep fried “bar food”. You know the stuff……. Mozzarella sticks, battered mushrooms, french fries and the ever popular Chicken Fingers! Now seeing as how I work in a fast food joint that sells chicken wings, chicken fingers etc and it’s all deep fried what are the odds that I would order deep fried fare from a pool hall? My search for dinner was on and since the pool hall allows its patrons to bring in their own food it was just a matter of deciding on what I wanted.

I’m not a picky eater per say but there are some things I don’t particularly like but will have it when there is nothing else on the menu. Things such as Shwarma, Wraps and Pizza (yeah yeah I can here the howls now “how can you not like pizza?”—– I will eat it but it’s not my go to food) and there are a ton of these places within a short walk of the pool hall but none of these appealed to me so I decided to do a Guy Fieri and keep my eye out for a funky little joint with something different on the menu. Well this little jaunt led me to Shinla Garden which is a tiny hole in the wall Korean place and when I say tiny I mean if it seats 15 I’ll eat your hat and the great thing is it’s only a 6 minute walk from the pool hall.

Upon entering the restaurant one is made aware of just how unpretentious the place is with its plain decor, minimal wall art and simple hostess desk but that’s fine with me because I am there for the food not the ambiance and with the aromas that hit me smack in the face when I enter I know already that I have made the right choice. I was greeted warmly by the owner who handed me a take out menu and a small cup of green tea which is not something I have experienced in any other take out establishment and helped to endear me to this place even more. The menu is small in comparison to most other places I’ve been, 28 items in total, and besides having the usual suspects, Fried Rice, Korean BBQ Beef Ribs, Stir Fries , they also had some more exotic style Korean dishes. Things like, Traditional Korean Rice cakes in Hot Sauce, Traditional Korean Seafood Soft Tofu Soup, and the one I settled for Korean Style handmade Noodles in Black Bean Sauce with Shrimp and Vegetables…….. Can you say Jackpot?

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Saying this dish was to die for would be an understatement. The shrimp was cooked perfectly, the noodles were a little clumpy but it was the end of the night so I can forgive that one. The Kimchi was crunchy with just enough heat to announce its presence and the Black Bean sauce was the perfect foil to tie it all together.

When I got back to the pool hall with a truck load of food, all at a cost of $17.00, the aroma had everyone drooling and asking where I got it from. Looks like this place will be getting more business in the future. I know I will be going back and if you are ever in Waterloo Region in Southern Ontario I strongly suggest you drop into this funky little place and treat yourself to some simply awesome Korean food…. you won’t be disappointed.

That’s it for now but remember to keep those peepers open for those hidden gems because you never know where your next culinary adventure will begin.

Until next time…………

 

             Bon Appetite 

 

 

 

 

Habaneros baby

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This picture is of just some of the Habaneros that are currently residing in my Herb Garden and these things have been breeding like rabbits leaving me with the “I don’t know what to do with all of them” conundrum so I mentioned it to my boss and he suggested a Habanero paste and as intriguing as this might be I figured I would start with something a little easier and make—— HOT SAUCE.

Now most people know some hot chili peppers like Jalapenos or Cayennes but Habaneros may not be as well known outside the hot chili pepper clubs so let me give you a very brief run down on these things. Chilies as you may know are rated on the Scoville Scale which is the scale used to rate the heat intensity of a pepper and of course the higher up the scale the hotter the pepper. For instance a sweet bell pepper rates a zero while Pure Capsaician (this is the chemical in peppers that produces heat) is rated at 15,000,000 and this is hotter than U.S. grade pepper spray. To further illustrate the various heat levels Jalapenos, which most if not all people are familiar with, rate between 3,500 and 8,000 on the scale while Habaneros sit at between 200,000 and 350,000 so suffice it to say that only someone with a death wish would want to eat one of these things by itself so when  using these things be careful and ALWAYS use disposable gloves.

Here now for your tongue burning pleasure is my version of Hot Sauce………

Ingredients:

Eight to ten Orange Habaneros – I will use the orange for the color effect on the finished product

Four to six garlic cloves- peeled

One small onion – chopped

Three tablespoons Canola oil

Four tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

Juice of three limes

Two tablespoons sugar

Putting it all together:

In a medium sauce pan heat the oil (medium heat) and add the onions, Habaneros and garlic and cook until the onion starts to turn brown- stir continuously

Reduce the heat and add the remaining ingredients cooking until the tomatoes break down

Pour the contents of the pan into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth

Strain the contents through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate for a minimum an hour– Also remember that the longer you let it sit the better the flavors marry together.

Now obviously you can adjust the heat level of the sauce by using more or less of the Habaneros or by substituting a different type of pepper altogether. That’s the beauty of a recipe……. making it your own.

So there you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

So until next time…………….

                                                               Bon Appetit