Peanut Butter Pie

Keith and I were coming home from our annual motorcycle trip (this time to Nashville and Memphis) and we stopped for lunch at the Park Restaurant in Rushville, Indiana. After being destroyed by fire in December 2009 the Rushville institution for over 100 years was rebuilt and we were both glad we stopped.
Our lunch order came from “the Melts” section of the menu (the turkey, bacon melt and the Texas melt) which we both enjoyed. The melts are essentially grilled cheese sandwiches with a bunch of different options for extras. Turkey and bacon make a nice compliment to a grilled cheese. Keith’s Texas melt had a hamburger patty. His only critic was that it was not spicy enough. Overall the lunch was average to good.

Where the meat of our story comes from is the dessert. We were almost ready to go (in fact our check was already on the table) when another waitress came by and asked if we were going to have pie for dessert. It was like a straight line from an old joke so I asked, “What kinds of pie do you have?”. She smiled and pointed to the whiteboard where there were over 20 different homemade pie flavours to choose from. I asked her what the two best sellers were and she did not even hesitate… the peanut butter and the butterscotch. Keith ordered the butterscotch and I had the peanut butter pie.

The only words I could get out of Keith was, “It’s delicious!”.

The peanut butter pie was equally delicious. It had a crumbly peanut butter layer (the texture of graham crackers) with pudding on top and finished with a meringue.

The waitress came by and asked if we were enjoying the pie. We both nodded but she was very taciturn about how it was made. The only clue she gave us was that the main filling was homemade butterscotch pudding with the butterscotch left out for the peanut butter pie.

If I am ever in Rushville, Indiana I am stopping there for lunch…and I am having several other kinds of pie.

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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Dessert, Luke, review


Sangria Sorbet

One bottle of a good red wine
In a sauce pan add wine and one cup of sugar
Simmer until reduced to less than one cup.
In a separate sauce pan combine two cups of water and two cups of sugar
Heat until all the sugar dissolves.
Cool both, combine and put in the refrigerator

Zest two lemons and one orange
Collect the juice from four lemons, five limes and enough oranges to make 4 cups.
Combine with the wine and simple syrup.

You should have 8 cups of liquid.
Place in ice cream machine (if you have one) and stir until it is thick and slushy.
Remove to a container and place in the freezer for at least two hours and overnight is good.

To serve leave the container out of the freezer for 15mins.
Scoop and serve

If you do not have an ice cream machine then pour into a shallow baking dish and leave in the freezer
Monitor occasionally and when it starts to freeze, stir with a whisk. You are trying to prevent it from freezing into a solid block.

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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Dessert, Luke, recipe


HBGC Macaroni

Make a béchamel sauce (2 cups)
¼ cup of butter
¼ cup of flour
Combine in saucepan and heat until the roux starts to turn to tan colour and give off a nutty smell.
Whisk in 2 cups of milk (I prefer whole milk for this) and continue stirring until it thickens.
Grate 100 g each of gouda, cheddar and havarti.
Remove the rind and in rough blocks cut up 100g of brie.
Stir cheeses into béchamel sauce until smooth.
Two splashes of white truffle oil
Two splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
This gives about 3-4 cups of cheese sauce.

At the same time cook you macaroni in salted water until al dente
Drain the macaroni and return to the pot. Add enough cheese sauce to the macaroni so that it is almost soupy. The pasta will absorb some of the sauce and some will also make its way inside the pasta.
Pour into a shallow baking dish, cover with panko crumbs and sprinkle some of the grated cheese mix on top of the panko crumbs.
Place under the broiler until cheese melts and the panko crumbs brown.
Remove and serve.

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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Luke, recipe


Chili Stuffed Buns

Dough recipe
2.5 cups white flour
0.5 cup of corn meal
Package of yeast
Teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of water
Activate the yeast according to the package (I use part of the 1 cup of water for this)
Combine all the dry ingredients
Add water and yeast
Combine until you have a well mixed dough ball.
Let rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size.
NB: depending on what I am using the dough for I will add some spices to the dough. In this case I added chilli powder and cumin.
You can also vary the mix of corn meal and flour. The original recipe called for half white flour and half whole wheat)

Chili recipe
In a crock-pot (on low) combine
1 can diced tomatoes
Two cans of black beans
½ can of crushed tomatoes
Two chopped up steaks that have been grilled to medium rare (rubbed with ground cumin, cayenne pepper and chilli powder)
Two medium sized onions after being caramelized in a frying pan
½ cup of chilli powder
Salt and pepper
Set the crock-pot to low and leave for 12 hours

Strain the chili through a colander
Add some of Bonker’s pepper sauce to taste and re-moisten

Roll out the dough until it is ½ inch thick. Cut 4” rounds out
Cup the round in your hand and place two heaping tablespoons of the drained chili into the center of the dough. Pinch the dough closed around the stuffing and place on a cooking sheet pinched side down.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until the dough has browned
Remember that they do not take that long since the dough is thin and the filling is already cooked.

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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Beef, Bread, Luke, recipe


“C” Side Salad

Thinly chop one bundle of fresh celery on the bias
Grate one large carrot
Finely dice two shallots

For the dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup of brine from spicy pickles (or any light vinegar you dont want the heat)
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk until smooth and mix with vegetables
I serve it with a little sprinkle of additional paprika on top

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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Luke, recipe


Barque Smokehouse

Raegan and I were spending a quality day in Roncesvalles walking around, coffees in hand, not doing very much when we walked by a new restaurant that had just opened up the week before at the corner of Roncesvalles Ave and Geoffrey St. It is called Barque Smokehouse. Obviously we did not have reservations but decided to try our luck and they put us on the waiting list for the 60 minute wait. Normally I would not consider waiting this long but since we could keep wandering and come back in a bit I did not mind.
We decided to sit at the bar and the bartender plopped down a bucket of popcorn with their “signature” rub. [I love that term. It sounds like it means so much but doesn’t really.]
We decided on a sampler platter so we could get a good sense of the different menu choices. We selected brisket, baby back ribs and beef ribs along with sides of asparagus and Cajun corn. All of that was delicious. I would put the brisket first in terms of flavour but that is because something has to be first. Both kinds of ribs were very good as well. The corn was delicious and the asparagus was good.
As I suspect often happens when a restaurant has just opened the chef was circulating through the seating area asking people if they where enjoying the food. When he came by the bar I said that the food was delicious. He pressed a little harder for any additional comments and when I said that it was slightly annoying that we ordered a platter for two and it came with only one piece of corn. He was less than receptive of the comment and went off about how the menu was designed to give people a good taste of the food but portions were not huge to keep the price in line. Of course this was not my point at all. I was not complaining about the portion size…all I was asking was to cut the damn piece of corn into two. His reaction was over the top especially when asking repeatedly for feedback.
The other comment I made was that I was surprised that there was no hush puppies or coleslaw on the menu. His response went something like, “We serve BBQ here but we did not want to be a typical BBQ place (and yet the name is Barque Smokehouse…go figure) so we modernized the menu. You won’t find any of that here.”

Would I go again? Absolutely! The food was very good and frankly it would not be the first restaurant I have eaten in where the chef was arrogant and did not actually care about listeing to feedback. From my perspective all he wanted to hear was that he and his restaurant were fantastic.

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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in BBQ, Beef, Luke, Pork, Rant, review, Toronto


Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

Our rhubarb is up. We had company this weekend and Fay asked if they harvested some rhubarb would I make a pie. I said sure and while they went out to harvest the rhubarb I went to the freezer for some strawberries. A quick check turned up no strawberries. I did find frozen wild blueberries and thought “what the heck”. Here is the pie.

2.5c chopped rhubarb
2.5c frozen or fresh wild blueberries blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
1T corn starch
Pastry for a 9″ pie shell

Pre-heat oven to 425. Combine pie filling in a bowl and mix well. Lay pastry in bottom of pie shell. Fill with filling. Put another layer of pastry on top. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for 30-40 minutes.

I pretty much guessed at the blueberry/rhubarb ratio. But it turned out great. You could taste the tart and the rhubarb flavour yet the blueberry flavour was bright and crisp. The pie was a little runny, but not too bad. I suppose fresh blueberries would result in just the right amount of liquid.

Would I have it again? I am going to have to since I will eat the last piece of pie after I post this and I am going to want more. I might be hard pressed to make strawberry rhubarb pies if there are blueberries lying around.

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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Dessert, recipe, Shawn