Friday, October 26, 2018

My secret for making great pizza at home - #FoodPornFriday


I'm staying home for #FoodPornFriday this week.

Today I'm sharing pizzas, pizzas I made at home. I decided to share this as these particular pizzas have turned out better than any other any of us have ever made at home. I thought people would be interested to learn what I used to make such great pies.

The first thing you need is Stonefire Artisan Flatbread. Costco started carrying this and it comes in a five pack which is perfect for us as there are five of us in the family.

Up next is the pizza sauce. Over the years we have tried a lot of different pizza sauces. One of our favourites was one that came in a baggie in the Kraft Pizza Kit. I've now found something we all like even better. This is Mutti Pizza Sauce with Spices.

I think anyone who regularly follows this blog knows the next important ingredient. It's one of the main things that makes Windsor Style Pizza so damn good. That's Part Skim Mozzarella from Galati Cheese. If you don't live in Windsor, I'm sorry. I can't help you out here.

The last secret, one I figured out when making Pizza Bombs is to toss the meat into your skillet for a bit before putting them on your pizza. For the pepperoni specifically, I wait until they curl and the edges are a bit crispy.

As for the rest of the ingredients that's all up to you. That's what makes this such a perfect meal for our family as everyone can have exactly what they want. My wife has recently become of fan of adding yellow zucchini to her pizza. Personally, I stuck to meats with lots of cheese.

As far as cooking goes, I used the instructions on the back of the Stonefire bread. 425F for about 10 minutes. 

I found it takes an extra 5-10 minutes or so depending on how many toppings you put on. In general, I just put the pizza in the oven and watch for the cheese to get just a tiny bit browned.

Friday, October 19, 2018

#FoodPornFriday - A chicken, fried bread and pasta monstrosity

Look at this thing. Just look at it. It's insane. This may be the largest thing I've ever featured for #FoodPornFriday 

Last night the family went out for dinner. Our initial plans fell through and we ended up out in the far West side of Windsor. We sat for a bit in a parking lot trying to decide where to go mainly thinking about places on that end of town. We eventually decided on Piccolo's Pizza and Pasta House.

It's been a long time since any of us had been to Piccolo's. I'm pretty sure D was still nursing little G at the time. It is somewhere we used to go now and then when we lived in the west end and somewhere we used to go often when it was The Pizza Merchant. I miss The Pizza Merchant and their all you could eat Pizza Bar. 

Piccolo's is a high end, fancy, Italian restaurant, that probably would fit in better on Erie St. rather than at 2135 Tecumseh Rd. W. They have a fantastic selection of pasta and pasta based dishes as well as Windsor Style Pizza. They make everything to order (including freshly made pasta) and are proud of this fact. You won't get a quick meal here, expect 2 hours (at least) for your dinner if you go to Piccolo's. It's also not cheap, most items on the menu are $19.95 or $25 a serving. They do have a good kids menu (10 and under) that's only $7 a plate.

Now I haven't really been talking about it here but this Big Dude is currently trying to become a Smaller Dude (who still likes food). So I avoided the Pizza. I skipped the Panzerotti. I was tempted by the Stromboni, which is something you can only get here. It's like a panzerotti, it's dough stuffed with pizza toppings that are first fried and then baked. Kind of like a twisted up calzone. It's rather good, but that's not what I ordered. I was trying to be good so I ordered the Cheesy Cheddar Chicken.

The pictures you see here are what showed up. Not at all what I was expecting. I think a Panzerotti would have been smaller and healthier. I couldn't get over how massive this plate of food I was served was.

Here's the description from the menu: "A mound of Cappellini baked on top of Piccolo's fresh fried dough strip covered in cheesy cheddar sauce with strips of sauteed chicken breast smothered in a blend of three cheeses."

Okay maybe I'm not great at making the healthy choices yet :D I did expect it to be somewhat better than double cheese meat pizza.

The image in my mind from that description did not match at all what I was served. I expected some bread, a thin layer of crusty bread, with pasta on it. On the pasta some chicken and on that chicken some cheesy sauce. I was not expecting this burrito-like wrap of fried bread around pasta and chicken soaking in thick sauce. 

There was enough food on my plate to feed all five of us. I ended up bringing most of it home.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Niko isn't just for sushi - #FoodPornFriday



I've shared pics from Niko Sushi for #FoodPornFriday in the past, but every picture I've ever shared has been sushi. For good reason. Niko makes the best sushi in the city.

Now that my mom lives with us we eat out together a lot more often. My wife and I tried to get my mom into sushi and we even got her to admit that she actually likes some rolls. The problem is that she has a thing about wanting her food hot. This is true of all meals. If she's not sitting down to a plate of food with steam still wafting off it, she's not truly happy.

So while she did admit she liked some of the sushi she tried, she also insists she would prefer something cooked and well, hotter.

So the last time at Niko we gave up. The rest of the family got some amazing sushi and we got my mom Teriyaki Chicken. That's it up there at the top of the page. I have to say, it looked, smelled and (according to my mom) tasted amazing.

So here's a hot tip for you: it's not just the sushi that is amazing at Niko.

Friday, October 5, 2018

#FoodPornFriday featuring the new Mexican place in Tecumseh: El Guaco


Today #FoodPornFriday post features El Guaco, a new Mexican & Taquila Bar place that opened up in Tecumseh.

This particular close up is of the kids beef bowl. Ground beef, cilantro lime rice, black beans, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, house blend cheese and avocado. Big G loved it.

We've been back to El Guaco a few times now and have always been very happy with the meals and the service. Our new favourite thing is to order the El Guaco Platter which is enough for for three adults and two kids as long as you toss in an appetizer (I recommend the Quesofundido).

Friday, September 28, 2018

#FoodPornFriday - Eat Your City at Rino's

Yes, I've been gone for a while. I'm busy launching something new. Something gaming. Something I call Tabletop Bellhop. You can check it out at tabletopbellhop.com if you are so inclined.

But this week at least I found some time to come back over here to do a #FoodPornFriday post.

Today's post is going to be a bit unique. Instead of sharing one pick I'm going to share a three-course meal. An amazing three-course meal I had at Rino's Kitchen as part of Eat Your City Restaraunt Week.

First Course Salad:

Smoked Potato with Bacon

Second Course Tacos:

Beef. Dressed with garlic aioli, guacamole, lettuce and mango salsa.


Third Course Marinated Grilled Skewers:

Pork


This was by far one of the best meals I've eaten in 2018. I don't go to Rino's often but every time I do it's fantastic. This trip was no exception. Added to the great food I got to try a few new awesome Ontario Craft Beers.

If you haven't been yet you really do need to try out Rino's.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Pork-upines in a Skillet - A super simple one pan recipe


Now here's a style of blog post I haven't written in a long time. This #FoodPornFriday I share something I cooked myself. It's something I'm calling Pork-upines in a Skillet.

Now I am not what anyone would call a cook in any way. I didn't just make this up off the top of my head. It's based on a recipe called Porcupines In A Skillet I found over at Thirty Handmade Days. One of the main things I changed was using Ground Pork instead of Ground Beef, thus the name change.

The great thing about this dish was how easy it was to make and how quickly it came together. Then there was the bonus of it tasting damn good. I got a lot of compliments on this one from the family. My only mistake was not making enough.

Stuff you need:

1lb Ground Pork
1.5 Cup Water
1 package of seasoning (I used Club House Superburger. The original just used onion soup mix).
A few pinches of other seasonings to kick it up a notch (I used Old El Paso Burrito)
1 cup of Jasmine Rice (not instant rice)
1 can of tomatoes (next time I would use 2)
A bunch of Shredded Cheese (I used Kirkland Tex-Mex from Costco)

So here's how you make it:

Brown about a pound of ground pork
Drain if needed (the thing with pork is you probably won't have to, I didn't)
Toss everything but cheese in with the browned pork.
Turn skillet down to low, cover and cook about 35 minutes until rice is cooked.
Serve and cover with shredded cheese to taste.

That's it. Seriously. The entire thing is: brown meat, toss everything else in there and simmer for half an hour. It couldn't be easier.

What I would change next time:

The biggest problem was that it wasn't enough food for five of us. Three adults and two kids. I'm thinking I may just double everything but I'm not sure my skillet is big enough for that. I will definitely add more tomatoes and some other veggies. I'm thinking green pepper and onion will go well. It didn't feel like it needed more meat but more rice wouldn't have hurt. 

If you try this recipe out please let me know how it turns out. If you try anything new with it I would love to hear about that too.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Salmon Pizza from Vittorio's for #FoodPornFriday

Okay I know I just featured Vittorio's Slice of Italy for #FoodPornFriday a few weeks ago, but come on, look at this pizza my wife was served last night! I couldn't pass on the chance to share this beauty. 

I don't even like salmon (except in sushi) and I'm so so on arugula but I have to say that the Salmon Pizza (#21) that my wife got last night for dinner looked damn appealing. Besides smoked salmon and arugula this pie also has melted mozzarella, fresh tomato, and fresh mozzarella. 

17. Contadina
The rest of the pizzas the family ordered were equally good, though may not be as appetizing looking. I went with the Contadina (#17) which had Mozzarella, bacon, sausage, and potato. My dad went for a Jessica (#15) with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, pepperoni and sausage. My mom stuck to basics and got a Pepperoni (#2) but had them add green peppers. Little G tried something a bit more unique, a Patate (#10) with mozzarella, potatoes, egg, and sausage. 

Overall the entire family is still enjoying Vittorios and they still get a strong recommendation for me.