Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Slow cooked pot roast

It's getting cold outside. Winter is at our doorstep and it's times like these that a sandwich or a wrap or some other light cold dishes just don't do it anymore. So when you come home and you're chilled to the bones, is there anything better than a warm meal chock full of large chunks of soft tender vegetables and beef that melts in your mouth, all with in a warm delicious flavorful broth to heat up your insides? The best part about this is that it's so god damn easy to make and your home will smell so - homey. It's the best and laziest way to make a ton of delicious heartwarming food and the smell that it leaves is like my old home used to smell when my mom made this for dinner. It's just so comforting - like a warm blanket. So, I decided to make myself some this week for my lunches to warm myself up.

One thing you're going to need is a slow cooker. I bought one at a shop that sells crap like all those "as seen on TV" products and refurbished accessories. I bought this refurbished slow cooker at a very good price and it has been one of my best purchases yet. You just plug it in, set it to 4,6,8 or 10 hours and let it do all the work. But! You still have to know what to put in it to automagically create a delicious meal. So, here's my recipe. (Actually it's my mom's. That's why it's so good.)

Here's what you need to make my amazing pot roast.


  • About 4 good sized yellow potatoes.
  • 1 small turnip. (Not the huge one as large as your head!)
  • Garlic. Enough to insert all over the pot roast on every side.
  • 4 large carrots.
  • A couple of stalks of celery. (optional)
  • A couple of hand fulls of green beans.
  • A couple of bay leaves.
  • 1 can of Campbell's condensed French onion soup.
  • 1 cup of water.
  • 1 large beef pot roast
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard.
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. (Thanks Google spell-checker)
  • 1 tbsp Kitchen Bouquet.
  • 1 tbsp margarine.
  • 2 tbs Club House Montreal Steak Spice
  • 2 tbs Dried parsley

Ok, so let's start with the easy stuff. First wash your potatoes under running water with a potato brush. Do the same for your carrots.

Just Spudzie hangin' out with his tater friends.
Guess which one is Spudzie!

Way to go Spudzie! Good job!

Rinse your green beans under running water and make sure you knock off any dirt and put them on a paper towel and pat them dry.

Peel the turnip. I happen to have 3 because they were super tiny and one wasn't going to be enough.

Next step is to cut all the vegetables in big chunks. Make sure you cut off the ends on the green beans, then cut the beans into 1 inch pieces. Then throw all of this together in a large bowl and mix them up with your hands.

Now prepare the rub for the pot roast. In a bowl, mix together the dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, margarine, steak spices and parsley.

Then cut up some garlic cloves into big pieces to insert into the pot roast. In my case, I used 3 cloves.

Take out your roast and stab it to make some holes to insert the garlic into it on all sides. This will add extra flavour to the beef and also the garlic becomes all soft and juicy when it's all cooked.

Take the sauce mix and rub it all over the roast and cover it on all sides. Then dump it in the slow cooker and add a couple of bay leaves on there.

Transfer all the vegetables into the slow cooker and cover the beef. Make sure it all fits nice and snug in there. Then open up the can of French onion soup and pour it all over the top. Then fill up the can with water and pour it over the food in the slow cooker.

That's it! You're now ready to let it cook. Just set it to cook for 8 hours. So if you want it for dinner, set it before you go to work. You'll have a nice smelling home and a warm meal waiting for you when you get home. But, if you're like me and you don't like to leave stuff to cook while you're out of the house, just start it before going to bed.

When I woke up the next morning I had this wonderful dish waiting for me to pack and bring to work for lunch! The potatoes, the carrots, the beans and the turnip were nice and soft and the meat was tender and just fell apart as I was transferring it to a container. Everything was just so juicy and smelled so good, it made me super hungry. I couldn't wait for lunch!

This recipe will easily feed a family of four and there will still be leftovers! It's best served with some hot bread and butter. You may want to add a bit of salt too.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I am!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bacon Pancakes

Ok. You know how on kids' TV show, when the characters are about to do something stupid, someone always says "Ok kids! Don't try this at home!"? Well, I'm a 31 year old responsible grownup and I realize this message is addressed to kids. Therefore SHADDUP YOU CARTOON BUTT BOOGERS! I'M AN ADULT! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT! YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS O' ME!!!

That's the best part of growing up, in my honest opinion.

Last week, a friend and fellow redditor (that's someone who reads and participates in the discussions on the reddit forum web site) posted a link on his facebook page that he found on the reddit website. That link lead me to a Youtube video of Jake the dog, from famed cartoon Adventure Time, signing a song about bacon pancakes.

WARNING! What has been seen cannot be unseen.

The idea, like every single episode of this amazing show, sounded so mathematically epic that I just had to try that shit out for myself. So, as usual, I decided to do something like I saw on TV, in a cartoon no less.

I made bacon pancakes.

  • 1 cup Betty Crocker Bisquick pancake mix.
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg (or 2 in my case, because I had an extra one)
  • 6-8 strips of meaty and delicious strips of thick sliced smoked bacon.

I put some aluminum foil to cover a cookie plate and placed the bacon on there and stuck that in the over at 350 degrees Farenheit. When it's halfway done, I flipped it over. Easy as that.

Then I made the pancake batter like it says on the box. Just mix the pancake mix with the milk and egg and beat it

When the bacon is cooked and ready, set it aside in a plate and roll it up in paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Heat up a pan at medium low and when it's hot, start pouring some pancake batter and place the bacon on top and flip when the underside is cooked.

When you're all done, put on a plate, pour maple syrup on top, call your doctor to book an appointment to check your blood cholesterol level, and start eating!

Doesn't it look glorious?!?!

In my case, I had some extra batter and one lonely egg left so I made a plain pancake for the top and fried the egg for a complete breakfast and slathered it with maple syrup like a true Canadian.

I ate epicness for breakfast.

About halfway through, I was done I couldn't eat anymore. That was just too much greatness for my body's capacity. Being an adult is the shit. You get to do awesome stuff like this and there's no one to tell you that you can't do it.


Until next time, enjoy this remix of the bacon pancakes song featuring Alicia Keys!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Cunning Linguine with Alfredo's Creamy Sauce

Good evening everyone. Tonight I will be showing you how to make the most cunning linguine covered in Alfredo special creamy sauce. A true sensuous delight both in texture and flavour. Mmmm! I've been craving this recipe for a while now and this weekend I was given a pretty big chunk of smoked ham. I thought this would be the best time to make this recipe and finally quench my craving.

When I initially looked up Alfredo sauce recipes online I found out it was pretty fat. Cream and butter and cheese. Basically, everything that was ever made from the fat of a cow's milk! I'm sure that's delicious, but I have a slim figure to keep if I still wanna fit in those skinny jeans in the future. So, I remembered some tricks my ex-girlfriend had taught me along with everything else about cooking. Some ingredients can be easily replaced by a healthier alternative while still maintaining the recipe's intended taste and texture. Instead of cream, use evaporated milk. Instead of butter, use margarine of course. For cakes, instead of butter, use coconut oil. Instead of cream, use sweetened condensed milk. Etc.

Most recipes I found said to use about a cup of  cream, about half a cup of butter and 3/4 cups of Parmesan, salt and pepper and some herbs and spices. After looking at so many recipes and not finding a healthier alternative, I made my own. So, tonight I will show you my healthier version of Alfredo sauce and how to make a nice pasta dish with ham, broccoli and mushrooms. First, here are the ingredients:

Not pictured here: the mushrooms and frozen broccoli


  • 1 can of evaporated milk (not condensed milk!)
  • 1/2 cup of margarine
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (depends on how garlicky you like it)
  • 1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chunk of smoked ham
  • A small pack of sliced mushrooms
  • 3-4 cups of frozen broccoli
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 box of linguini

First, boil some water in a large pot with a pinch of salt and cook your pasta. In the meantime you can do the sauce. For the amount of sauce, I guess half a pack should be just right for the amount of sauce this recipe will make. Once cooked, drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop the pasta from overcooking from the heat of the bundle of pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, either press or mince the cloves of garlic. I don't have a press so I minced it up.

I always hated how my fingers smell for a week after cutting garlic.

Open up the can of evaporated milk and pour in a sauce pan. Heat up at medium-low heat and bring it to a simmer. When it's hot and just barely bubbling, add a cup of margarine and let it melt and whisk the mixture to blend thoroughly.

I know this looks like a lot, but trust me on this one.
Also, I used margarine instead of butter because, you know, fat.

All melted.

Next step is to add the chopped garlic and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. I used fresh Parmesan flakes. You can also buy a block of fresh Parmesan and grate it yourself if you want the extra trouble. Just don't use the Kraft grated Parmesan in the plastic green container. Please don't, or it will wreck the taste. Add the Parmesan gradually and mix constantly to melt it in the mixture.

Add the paprika and whisk to blend it in thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Let it simmer by whisking it often to avoid it sticking the the bottom. It will eventually thicken as the water evaporates from the mix. Once it's thick enough, you may remove it from the heat.

Almost there

I made the unfortunate mistake of adding dried parsley flakes to the mix and somehow this separated the oils from the margarine from the rest of the sauce. It made a weird chemical reaction, so I don't recommend adding it directly to the sauce, but rather use fresh parsley as a garnish. It also adds flavour and very tasty!

Ah darn! And I was so close to having the creamiest sauce ever!

Next, we need to prepare the meat and veggies. So start by steaming up or boiling your broccoli. I prefer steaming because it leaves less water. Once cooked, remove from heat and set a

While the broccoli is cooling, start cutting your chunk of ham into small cubes.

In a large pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and heat up to medium heat. Then add the ham. Break up the slices of mushrooms into small pieces and add to the pan. Cook until the ham is slightly grilled and the mushrooms are brown and smaller.

Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.

Now everything should be ready. In a large pot, over low heat, transfer the sauce, broccoli, mushroom and ham. Mix it all well.

Finally, add the cooked linguine and mix it all in to make a creamy Alfredo pasta dish!

I cooked the whole box and it was too much pasta for the amount of sauce I made.
It was still good though!

One thing to remember, because the sauce is made of cheese and margarine, when refrigerated, it will thicken and harden. So, if you're going to have this for your lunches, like me, it's best to split into separate containers right away, otherwise you won't be able to do it later unless you cut the pasta dish with a knife.


And that is that! I had it for my lunch the next day and it was fantastic!!! The taste was so amazing. The mix of Parmesan, and garlic married the ham, broccoli and mushrooms very well with the pasta. This is a success that I will be sure to make again sometime soon. Especially if I have guests over. It would be perfect with a nice cool glass of white wine!

Bon appétit!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Golden Thunderpants Tacos!

¡Hola muchachos! Golden Thunderpants here to tell you about an incredible Mexicano recipe that I've cooked up! Every year, at the lucha offices, we organize a potluck for Halloween. Last year I made tasty nacho-breaded chicken strips with salsa! It was a pretty simple recipe. You take a bag of Tostitos nacho chips and you give it a good supplex or a pile driver to obliterate them into tiny little bits. Then you dip your chicken strips in flour, then egg wash and you roll them in the nacho chips and you bake them in the oven at 350 until the meat is all cooked. Then you serve them hot with a tasty salsa dip! But, that was last year.

This year, I decided to make home made soft shell tacos and they were an absolute hit with the señoras at work! There are a couple of co-workers who are vegetarians too, so I made an extra filling just for them so everyone can enjoy my delicious tacos! The whole meal was composed of either spicy ground beef or a home-made spicy bean dip, a tasty fresh tomato, avocado, red onions, mango and lime salsa and tex mex cheese on a soft fajita shell. It was absolutely delicioso!

Consider yourself lucky, amigo! Because today, I will tell you how to make the great Golden Thunderpants Tacos! Here is what you need. Keep in mind that I made this for a ton of people so you might want to reduce the portions a bit, unless you are having a fiesta, in which case you'll be just fine.

The Salsa

First here are the ingredients for the salsa:

  • 2 large tomatoes (or 3 small ones)
  • 2 avocados (make sure they're nice and ripe, check if they feel a bit soft when you squeeze them)
  • 2 mangos
  • 1/2 a large red onion
  • 1 lime

Get yourself a cutting board, a knife and a very large bowl and start chopping away. Make sure you chop everything in small 1cm (~1/4in) cubes or less if possible. Add them to the large bowl as you go along with the ingredients.

Remove the heart for the tomatoes and chop away! To remove the heart, I insert the knife around the stem to make a 2cm (1/2in) square and just push it out with my thumb.

For the avocado, slice it in half by inserting the blade and sort of cutting all around the large seed. Then knock it on the cutting board with the knife, then jiggle the knife sideways and it should open practically by itself. Then take a spoon and sort of separate the skin from the flesh. Then chop it all up real good. Be careful, those are slippery hijos de puta. Also they will make a mess of your board, so wipe it off afterwards with a paper towel.

Next comes the mangoes. When you pick them, make sure that, like the avocado, they're a little soft when you squeeze them to make sure they're ripe enough. Those are tricky because the large seed in the middle is flat and the flesh is pretty stuck to it. So try to get a feel with the knife where the seed ends on each side of the fruit and cut it lengthwise along the seed on each of its sides.

Then we have to cut the onion. Make sure it's a large one because we'll need one half for the salsa and the other for the bean dip we're going to do later on. Here's a trick on how to cut onions. Cut it in half while it's still all covered with it's dried up skin on the outside. It makes it easier to remove the skin. Then cut the onion  by going always towards the center. This way, when you slice it afterwards, it all falls apart into neat little pieces. Make sure you chop them a little bit more to make sure they're tiny enough.

Finally, slice the lime in two and, with all your luchador might, squeeze the juice out into the chopped vegetables and mix everything well using your strong manly hands or a couple of spoons if don't like getting your hands dirty.

And there you have it! The tasty fresh salsa!

The Vegetarian Filling

Now it's time to make the vegetarian filling. That filling was made with black beans, red onions, red bell pepper garlic, salsa cornmeal and spices. It fairly straightforward and easy to make, but you need strong fists to pound the black beans into a purée, like I would with my adversaries in the ring! So here are the ingredients:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • half a large red onion (the other half from the salsa)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cans of black beans (340ml or 19fl oz cans)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornmeal (It's the same thing as the grits or polenta)
  • 1 1/2 tbs cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup salsa

Start by opening and draining the cans of beans and make sure there is no more water left on the cans. Then pour the black beans in a large bowl and mash them. I used my mighty fists of the Mayan gods, but you can use a potato masher instead.

Ok you got me, I used a potato masher.
Otherwise I would've punched through my counter!

Afterwards, mince up all your vegetables and garlic into tiny little bits.

Then, mix up all the spices and cornmeal together in a bowl and stir them up to mix them well.

You're all set! Lets start cooking! In a large pan, put the olive oil. About a tablespoon or enough to cover the  bottom of the pan so your food doesn't stick. Set the heat to medium and when the pan and oil are hot, add the vegetables and let them cook until they get soft and the onions are transparent.

When the vegetables are cooked, slowly pour the mashed black beans in the pan. Then cover with half the mixed spices. Stir the black beans with the vegetables so that everything gets mixed evenly. Then add the rest of the spices and stir some more!

Add the salsa and stir again! Mix it all up real good!

Finally, lower the heat to medium low and cover for 5 min. (Check from time to time so it doesn't stick to the pan.)

After 5 minutes, remove the lid, stir it well and let cook another 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick enough. At this point we just want to evaporate the excess water. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pan. When it's thick enough, remove from heat and let it cool a bit and you're done!

At this point you're ready to eat if you want your tacos vegetarian. Just take a small soft fajita, put some of the bean mixture, add the home made salsa and some tex mex cheese and dinner is ready!

Beef filling

But, if you are like me and you like to eat the flesh of the animals to gain their powers and strength, then here is how to make the tasty spicy beef filling for the tacos! Again, remember that I used enough meat here to feed an entire league of luchadors, so you might want to adjust the proportions.

  • 1 kg of ground beef (About 2 lbs)
  • 1 small onion (regular)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs Worcesteshire sauce
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or regular salt)
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Mix all the spices into a bowl. Just pour them all in and stir them up so they are all well mixed.

Mince up the onion into muy pequeña pieces.

Put a large pan over medium heat, add the oil to cover the base of the pan and cook the onions until they are tender and transparent.

Then add the ground beef and break it apart using a spatula and mix with the onions.

Add the Worcestershire sauce and spread half of the spices across the beef. Stir it well so the spices get mixed well in the meat. Then add the rest of the spices and stir some more! Then let it cook by stirring occasionally. There might be a lot of water from the beef, so cook until most of the water is evaporated. And that's it! You're done!

Now you can transfer all that you have cooked up into containers and serve with a stack of small fajitas and let your guests make their taco! Optionally, bring bottle of tequila, shot glasses, some limes quarters and a salt shaker for a good time! ¡Bueno apetito!