Friday, 26 February 2010

Leaf Lard and Other Notes

Just what is leaf lard also known as flead in English cookery books? It is the fat from around the pig's kidneys. Fat from the veal and beef kidney is called suet.
How can you tell the difference between back fat and leaf lard? It is really quite simple it's all about texture. Unlike back fat that is a smooth, consistent piece of fat, leaf lard has a brittle texture and you can break it into small pieces with your fingers. It is firmer than back fat at room temperature because it found inside the animal's body not on the outside.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Dreaming of Paris

Winter in Toronto is bearable because we have clear blue skies but today is grey and overcast, very Parisian weather. So to keep up the theme I went for lunch at Union, a Toronto restaurant that models itself on Parisian bistro. To complete the theme  Kim Sunee joined me for lunch. Kim has spent a lot of time in Paris and in Provence. We had fun reminiscing about favourite haunts, life and bemoaning how little money authors make.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


I was talking with Don Kerstens from Select Fine Foods about Berkshire pigs and pork fat and also cooking with pork blood - more about that later - which reminded me of a tasty sandwich I had in New York at Porchetta last month.  Porchetta is not a restaurant, but a small storefront with a counter, some stools and a short menu. The reason to go here is revealed immediately on entering - a wonderful piece of roasted crisp pork waiting to be carved - their version of porchetta.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Brussel Sprouts

I was in New York a couple of weeks ago and had dinner with Rony and Grant, the minds behind the Poetry of Food. Check it out and sign up. You'll see why I haven't been updating my blog, yes yet another excuse.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Year of Onion Soup?

Perhaps this will be the year of onion soup? Despite its popularity  a really good onion soup is hard to find. Often under a lid of too much, not very tasty melted cheese that usually burns the roof of your mouth, is an insipid broth with too few onions.
However this is not the case at the Breslin in New York. There the onion and bone marrow soup is full of caramelised onions and rich with the flavour of marrow bones. The soup is topped with a simple toasted baguette slice lightly covered in melted Parmesan cheese. No need to hide the soup here.