Sous vide Caribbean pork chops

Inspired by my recent MasterChef cruise to the Caribbean, I made this sous vide pork chop using some jerk spices from the Virgin Islands. Tired from the week-long trip away from home, I wasn’t in the mood to cook entirely from scratch, so these spice blends came in handy: just rub the pork chops, vacuum seal, and then drop it in the water bath the next day with the immersion circulator set to 62.8°C for 92 minutes. (This temp and time is for 1” thick boneless pork chops; for bone-in or other thicknesses, consult your PolyScience sous vide toolbox app.)

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Give thanks: “Four Senses” now available online!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about cooking aids for the blind to help those with vision loss gain independence in the kitchen.

If you’ve been following my life post-MasterChef, you may also know I have a cooking show called Four Senses, which seeks to inspire home cooks, especially the blind and novice, to conquir the knife and fire. “Four Senses” is a Canadian AMI original series, and since season 1 was released in January 2014, I’ve had friends, family, and fans from all around the world ask, “How can I watch your show if I’m not in Canada?”

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Pork belly oxtail soup

The latest addition to my kitchen is this lovely bright orange 6.75-qt. Dutch (French) oven from Le Creuset. Le Creuset is a sponsor of my cooking show, Four Senses, and after being surrounded by their pretty cookware on set during season 2 production, I wanted a piece for myself.

This is my first piece of Le Creuset. I’ve heard praises sung for their French ovens, so I was stoked to get one right in time for winter when stews and roasts rule the kitchen. I got mine in a bright orange, just to make sure I don’t miss the thing sitting on my stove. ;) Orange is also the color for inducing appetite and socialability (while blue suppresses them).

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Kitchen aids for the blind cook

The best revenge is success. In this case, it’s success in the kitchen. With the festive holidays around the corner, everybody’s got entertaining on the brain. As a visually impaired home cook, you can succeed this holiday season with a little help from a few friendly tools.
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Eating NYC 2.3: Sushi Nakazawa


Created with flickr slideshow.

Chronologically preceding theMasterChef reunion spanning three generations and my first visit to the Bronx, here’s my final installment of my New York City 2.0 series. Upon touching down at Newark, I checked into my hotel, freshened up, met up two friends and my cousin, and headed straight to Sushi Nakazawa.

If you’ve ever seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you may recall Daisuke Nakazawa, the chef who, under the tutelage of sushi master Jiro, learned to perfect tamago, a beloved Japanese egg custard, but only after having prepared it 200 times.

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Blind Life episode 6: Cooking with Connor

Okay, I admit: I cooked with Connor over a year ago, so the footage from this episode is nothing new. But we were waiting on the embedded video, and then I was waiting on the edit from my hubs/director/producer/sound engineer/UX marketing manager at Home Depot’s blinds.com. (Yes, he is a John of all trades.)

This fell to the wayside, and I got nervous releasing Episode 6: Cooking with Connor so late—what if his condition has changed dramatically since our cooking date?

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In memory of Joshua Marks

October 11 of last year, evening. Dinner was beef Wellington and glazed carrots. One couple had brought whipped potatoes, another a salad. After everyone had left, the hubs helped me gather dirty dishes into the sink. I pulled on my gloves and began rinsing the stemware.

My cell phone rang. Who would be calling me so late?

“It’s Monti,” John said after checking my caller ID.

“I’ll call her back after I’m done with the dishes,” I said.

My phone chimed again—this time, a text message.

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Cooking panang curry on “Steven and Chris”

Steven and Chris is one of my favorite talk shows in Canada: the boys (as their crew affectionally refers to them), their producers, and their whole staff, really, are lovely. (That’s another thing I noticed during my three-week stint as a Canadian: they use the word “lovely” a lot. I was told it’s the British in some of them.) But indeed, I love going on “Steven and Chris”—the hosts are nice and very funny. No wonder their CBC show has been syndicated in the U.S. on the Live Well Network.
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Eating NYC 2.2: My first visit to the Bronx


Created with flickr slideshow.

I know very little about the Bronx. Actually, I’ve never been outside Manhattan to any of the surrounding boroughs, with the exception of getting to and from LaGuardia airport and a couple of trips to Brooklyn. I only knew three things about the Bronx: (1) it had a zoo, (2) the Yankees play there, and (3) J. Lo is from the Bronx.

From what I’ve gathered from media over the years, I pictured the Bronx as home to the blue-collared working class. Tell me I’m not that far off…?

The thing about the working class is they are a no-bullsh*t type of people, which means their food is usually unpretentious, inexpensive, and flavorful.

Eating was, however, the secondary reason as to why I came to the Bronx in June. Danielle, founder of Global Pop-Up, asked me to visit the Lavelle School for the Blind to inspire the kids with a little talk and cooking demo. I’ve been so fortunate to be placed in such a position—to be able to inspire others towards unbound heights—so I accepted the invitation since I was in NYC already for the AFB 2014 HKAAs.
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