November 2014 archive

Blackened pork tenderloin with creamy black trumpet mushroom sauce and honey ginger glazed carrots.

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Toast the coriander seeds then crush the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or in a blender. Marinate the pork in the rub overnight.

Rub

½ tsp black peppercorns

¾ tsp coriander seed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp dried black trumpet mushrooms

4 5½ to 6-ounces pork tenderloin

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Black Trumpets, also known as Black Chantrelles, have a smoky, rich flavor and a pleasant, fruity aroma.

Roast carrots in a medium-hot oven, season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix honey and freshly grated ginger. When the carrots are almost done cooking (5 minutes before your preferred doneness), toss in the honey and ginger and put back in oven. Increase oven heat a little if you want the glaze to harden slightly.  Once the carrots are done, set aside for a few minutes before serving.

Sear the pork on all sides in a hot pan then cover loosely with tin foil and transfer to a warm oven 8-10 minutes depending on the pork thickness.  Let the pork sit before cutting and serving.

Prepare the sauce:

Cook onions until translucent.

Add the fresh mushrooms.

When the onions turn golden, deglaze with white wine and a little chicken  stock. Simmer for a few minutes.

Reduce heat, add heavy cream or sour cream. Stir

Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg.


Montreal style bagels.

One of the things I miss about living in Montreal are the bagels. I want to be clear here, “Montreal bagels” and “Canadian style bagels” are 100% not the same thing, most of my West Coast friends reading my blog have possibly never actually enjoyed a “real” bagel in their lives. The perfect bagel should be crusty on the outside, light and tender in the inside (but not soggy), it should be sweet and salty, uneven in shape so that every bagel has a extra crispy bits AND lovely chewy bits, a true bagel should be enjoyed fresh and should make you smile every time it blesses your mouth.

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I’ve never seen a bagel in Bulgaria, not even once, so I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and test out a recipe.

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Luckily I found a perfect recipe on my first attempt, it was easy to follow, didn’t require too many ingredients and the results were fantastic!

Click here for recipe.

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Once boiled.

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Ta-da! Yummy bagels, not as wonderful as a “real” bagel fresh out of a wood oven in Montreal but a very close substitute for when I am so far away. 

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Mastering Cyrillic.

I’m not going to lie, learning Bulgarian is very hard for me, so many unfamiliar sounds my mouth can’t reproduce. Luckily Bulgarian is a phonetic language, you write it the way you hear it which makes learning that much easier…but first you have to learn the Cyrillic alphabet.

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Oh I almost forgot, handwritten Cyrillic is completely different from this printed alphabet.

Terrible parenting.

 After a year and eight months of owning our cats I’m happy to report that they finally let us sleep through the night. No more running around like maniacs and Misiu’s meowing for no reason down to a minimum. In fact now that it’s much colder at night they like to cuddle us in bed.

 As you can see here the preparation of meat or cheese is still a very dangerous task in this house!

Great snacks!

Here’s a late night patter prepared by yours truly, Miss O.C.D.

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Tomatoes, smoked chicken leg, white asparagus, local grapes, sundried tomatoes, endives, salami, 2 different types of pickles, fouet (French salami), Greek hot peppers, pate with cognac jelly, blue cheese, leeks, Emmental cheese, Maasdammer cheese, Asiago cheese, pickled daikon, jellied tongue with pickled red peppers, toasts, paprika ham, prosciutto, ketchup and homemade mayo.

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Dolce de leche, pressure cooker recipe.

1 can condensed milk, label removed. Place in pressure cooker, fill with cold water covering the can with one inch of water, lock the lid and start cooking. Cook for 30-40 minutes (depending how dark you like it) under high pressure then remove from heat and release pressure (a balcony is best for this). Once the lid unlocks, remove the hot can and wait until it is room temperature before opening. Store in a Tupperware in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s so freaking good, I like it on the second day when it’s completely chilled!  

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“Borat’s Village” in Glod, Romania.

Matt and I love the movie Borat. Sacha Baron Cohen plays Kazakh television personality Borat Sagdiyev from Kazakhstan who goes to America to make a documentary at the behest of the Kazakh Ministry of Information. The movie is a funny social satire as shocking as they come.

On our last trip to Bucharest we couldn’t help ourselves, we had to drive 80 kilometers north and visit the small gypsy village where Borat was filmed.

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The drive between Bucharest and Glod is amazing, smooth roads, beautiful villages with houses with signature Romanian roofs. Entering Glod is like entering a new dimension. People here are poor, I mean dirt poor, in fact, some people are living in dirt huts. Wild chickens, dogs and donkeys roam the streets (well more like “street” as there is only one paved street), children “hang out” playing with rocks and garbage as their whole extended family sits on plastic lawn furniture occasionally yelling at them to get off the road as semi trucks zoom by. 

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After 10 minutes of arguing over where the safest place to park our rig would be, we turned off the engine, locked everything up and stepped into Glod. 

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Our large camper didn’t go unnoticed, every single “Glodian” (or is it “Gloder”) greeted us with huge toothy grins and hearty giggles.

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The kids loved being in photos.

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Here is half the town’s people peeking into our camper, trying to sell us mushrooms and asking for money. We decided not to mention the movie Borat and simply enjoy Glod as is.

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Everyone was 100% friendly but the constant begging was rather sad/distracting, we really wanted to spend more time talking to everyone, making friends or maybe enjoy some soup at the local eatery.

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A few homes weren’t so bad, with a few finishing touches they would fit in most Eastern European towns.

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A few strange things happen during our stay. A lady told us to move our car off the road and away from her gate and when we returned to the van a massive pointy rock was tucked in under our back wheel. Good thing I caught that in time!  Next, we stopped at the local market and shared a beer (which I drank 90% of) then all of a sudden a man came up to us threatening to call the police if we didn’t give him “hush money”. Thankfully nothing came out of it.

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Though our experience in Glod finished on a sour note, all in all it was worth the detour.

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Meeting Plamen in Veliko Tarnovo.

Bulgaria is a small country, in fact, Bulgaria is 90 times smaller than Canada. Be it as it may, there are over 7 million people living here, what are the odds we bumped into our friend Plamen (from Sunny Beach) in Veliko Tarnovo?

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We spent the night eating, drinking and talking about life.

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Fried noodles?

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Snails with pesto.

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Glazed duck breast with caramelized onions.

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Just outside Veliko Tarnovo on our way home.

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Pork Kavarma. One of my favorite Bulgarian dishes with pork, onions, peppers and lots of paprika.

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Sliven.

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