Ottawa Foodies

Food 2 Comments

Live in Ottawa? Like thinking about, reading about, talking about, cooking, and eating food? Check out the new-to-me Ottawa Foodies site. The forum and “buzz” sections are worth the price of admission (free!)

Ottawa Foodies is the brainchild of Mark Warburton, who deserves a round of applause for both the idea for the site and the coding behind it.

links for 2007-02-17

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Chocolate-chipotle dry spice rub

Food, Recipes No Comments

Experimented with my first serious dry spice rub last night, using it to flavour a couple of pork tenderloin that I seared and then roasted. Served up with thyme-pepper roast potatoes and sauted kale, it was a really fantastic meal.

Chocolate-chipotle roast pork


  • 1 tbsp unsweeted cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 tsp regular chili powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 medium pork tenderloin


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix cocoa, chipotle, chili, pepper, and garlic powder. Cut each tenderloin in half (through the width, not lengthwise) then coat liberally with the spice mixture — get as much on there as possible.
  3. Heat canola oil in an oven-proof skillet (I always use a cast-iron pan for this sort of thing) over med-high to high heat. When hot, sear the pork for 2 mins per side.
  4. Put the skillet in the oven and roast for roughly 10 mins. Remove from oven, put pork on a plate to rest for 10 mins, tented with foil.
  5. At this point you can make a quick pan sauce if you like — I did a quick deglazing of the pan with sherry, reducing for a couple of mins, then stirring in a bit of butter at the end.

The kale was dead simple — I just washed, destemmed, and chopped a bunch of kale then set in a covered skillet to steam for 15-20 mins or so with a bit of olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice when it was done. Today we get leftover pork sandwiches for lunch.

Some food blogs

Food, Recipes No Comments

I’ve entirely given up on the autoposter system (again, goddammit), so my random links will be less random from here on in. I’ve been thinking about food again lately (it’s a cyclical thing), and have recently started looking for new food blogs that are worth reading regularly. Here are a couple:

  • The Perfect Pantry – Pantry items and things to make with them.
  • Smitten Kitchen – No particular theme that I’ve noticed at this point, but well written and photographed and generally fun.
  • French Laundry at Home – Extraordinarily ambitious, this blogger is creating at least one dish out of the French Laundry Cookbook every week. Definitely not the sort of cooking I have patience for, but reading about it is fun.

There you go. Later I might talk about the new cookbook I got (recommended by Shona via Stuart), but right now I’m too busy reading it. I wish cookbooks came with electronic versions of the recipes that I could import into my recipe management software so I didn’t have to do all that by hand.

Mushroom Sherry Sauce

Food, Recipes 3 Comments

I made this the other night and served over NY strip steaks. Yum.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, rough dice
  • 1 1/2 c Cremini (or white) mushrooms, thick slices
  • 1 1/2 c Shiitake mushrooms, caps only, thick slices
  • 1/2 c beef stock (Knorr stock-in-a-box is fine)
  • 1/2 c dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a deep skillet at medium. Saute shallot for 5-7 mins. Add mushrooms, saute for a further 10-15 mins until mushrooms have released most of their moisture.
  2. Add beef stock and sherry and turn up to med-high or high and reduce for 5-7 mins or so, or until the sauce has thickened sufficiently. Don’t worry too much about over-boiling it — just leave it on there until it looks like a sauce and not a soup. Stir frequently.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, stir in butter until melted. Spoon over steaks.

This would also be pretty awesome with chicken, but I’d use chicken instead of beef stock. Could be good with some fresh chopped tarragon stirred in at the end as well.

A new favourite Firefox add-on

Firefox, Mozilla, Work 8 Comments

I have a Firefox add-on I cannot live without: Faviconize Tab. It’s simple, tiny (7k), and with session restore makes my life much easier and more productive. It seems too good to be true, but I’m serious. The basic funtionality of this add-on is that it lets you to right-click on a Firefox tab and shrink it down to just the size of the favicon. Simple, convenient, awesome.

Here’s a screenshot (note, tab colors are provided by Chromatabs):

The four favicon-sized tabs on the left come up every time I open my browser because I have specified the “When Firefox starts: Show my windows and tabs from last time” option in the “Main” section of my Firefox preferences. These tabs are: my Gmail account, my work-mail account, my Remember the Milk task list, and a web forum I visit frequently. Since these faviconized tabs have no close buttons, they’re always open, always in that order at that side of my tab bar, and have simply become part of my regular browsing experience.

I love it. I can skim through my email, task list, and forum without having to dig around for bookmarks, and because the tabs are so tiny they never get in my way. I’ve been using it for months and Faviconize Tabs has definitely made my “must have” add-ons list.

A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson

Books, eBooks No Comments

My flight was delayed so I ended up spending four hours at the Chicago airport today. Out of desperation I picked up a paperback copy of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods ( and have devoured half of it since. Turns out it was originally published in 1998 or something, and there are multiple electronic versions available:

  • eBookMall (PDF, MS Reader, Palm Reader – $8.99)
  • eBookMall (MS Reader, Mobipocket – $8.99)
  • (PDF, MS Reader, Mobipocket – $8.99)

It’s somewhat annoying that the electronic edition is $1 more than the paperback, but I will continue to be confounded by eBook pricing for quite a while, I suspect. Either way, it’s a fun read.

Updated because I managed to fubar the actual links somehow. I need a better blog editor, clearly.

links for 2007-02-01

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