Thursday, 26 February 2009

Mel Gibson in: THE COLONEL

I watched this the other day and after seeing it a bunch of places and having it sent to me, I thought I should post it.

Mel Gibson may be a scary Opus Dei bigot, but I have to admit, I like this piece of work.

"Finger Licking Dead"
"Kentucky is going to fry tonight"
"We're going to need a bigger bucket"

I have 2 favourite parts: The 11th ingredient, and when he gets a feather in his mouth.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


It's nothing fancy from the outside, but there was something really appealing about the BBQ joint as I drove by, that prompted us to stop. Cornwall BBQ sounded tasty, and I was in the mood for some slow and low smokey goodness.

And as soon as we walked in the door, I knew it wasn't low and slow BBQ. No, it was what I will call Rotisserie BBQ, but I will get back to that.

The inside of the restaurant had a warm glow, like red heat lamps, that gave the main dining room a blurry feel. The crowd was mostly seniors, and the decor was certainly matching their tastes. Doily style table clothes and country styled wall paper gave the room, what I would describe as an American country diner feel.

The staff were very friendly and very attentive. As were our fellow diners, who chatted with us once and a while. There was lots to choose from on the menu, and lots of interesting combos. There was a wing and rib combo, so I was all over that, as well as a 1/4 chicken dinner.

Also, if you ordered before 8pm, a meal also came with soup, drink and dessert. Wowzers, what a great deal!

The soup was chicken noodle and was clearly homemade, just like your mom used to make! Big chunks of chicken, noodles - it was a nice warm broth for a winter evening.

Above is the 1/4 chicken dinner. 1/4 chicken. But do you see how freakin huge it is??? I looks like a 1/2 chicken. Unbelievable. It also came with coleslaw (fresh, but nothing special. Mayo based), fries, a slice of bread and BBQ sauce. And this brings me to the BBQ part.

I'm very confused by this BBQ treatment I've discovered mainly in Eastern Ontario. Actually, just Rotisserie chicken joints - Swiss Chalet, Scores, St Huberts etc. First, I never consider rotisserie chicken BBQ. It is, I guess, technically, but I don't know, I guess I just put it in another category. The part that actually bothers me (and you knew something had to bother me) was the inclusion of "BBQ sauce" with rotisserie chicken, when it is not BBQ sauce at all. Its gravy. Its meat drippings with some seasonings and served with the bird. Swiss Chalet is famous for it. And I don't care for 'bbq' gravy, because I don't really care for chicken gravy. But don't call it BBQ sauce, because I will expect a tomato based product that is smokey and sweet. Not gravy.

That being said, Cornwall BBQ's 'gravy' would be bonus for people who like that kind of thing. It was homemade and fresh and I'm pretty sure had little strands of chicken in it. Again, its not my taste, but those who do like rotisserie 'gravy' I'm sure would like this.

My giant platter came out, with a 1/2 rack of ribs, fries, bread, coleslaw, 'gravy' and wings. We've covered the coleslaw and the gravy. The fries were crispy, but plain, possibly frozen. The bread was decent, fresh, good for sopping up the ACTUAL BBQ SAUCE that was on the ribs.

The sauce was also homemade, and interesting. I couldn't identify the main players in the ingredients, and the flavour changed as you were eating it. It was sweet, it was sour, at one point it had an Asian quality - interesting. I liked it and I didn't like it.

The ribs themselves were very generous, both in quantity (biggest 1/2 rack I've ever had) and in meatiness. The meat pulled from the bone with no effort. Tender, for sure. It wasn't traditional ribs, but they were succulent. But I was mostly interested in the wings.

12 wings were piled high on my plate, fighting for coverage against the ribs, fries, coleslaw etc etc. 12 look like a lot, but on closer inspection, they were small wings.

They were deep fried, and very crunchy. To perfection. Any longer and they would have been over done, but the cooks did well. While they were small, the wings were meaty, making up for their diminutive state.

There was no sauce on them when they came out. My spidey senses tingled when the menu didn't list any options, but that's ok, because some places don't. But the waitress didn't say anything either. But I just assumed it was simply hot. Nope, simply nothing. Wellllll, I guess that's what the 'gravy' was for. But that's ok, the wings were tasty on their own, slightly salty. Good. But after all the other food, I ended up boxing a bunch of these guys and sauced them at home.

My meal also came with desert, a maple cake. Mmmmm maple goodness. It wasn't a big piece, but it was the perfect ending to the dinner.

FINAL SCORE: What can I say, Cornwall BBQ is generous. Huge portions of chicken, ribs and sides. If your looking for a big meal with friendly service, this is your place. The wings are plain, but I would stick to the rotisserie chicken. Big, crispy, juicy, meaty.

It may not have been low and slow, but it was a darn good meal. 5/10

Cornwall BBQ Restaurant
436 Second St. West, Cornwall

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Billy K's, Cornwall On

Every town needs a good burger joint. Some place that brings you back to a simpler time, even if you weren't alive in that societal conjured memory. My home town has a place called "Bon Appet", like Bon Appetits, but not. Its a strange little place that hasn't changed since like the 70's, is open at odd hours, mostly for the small town bar crowd and they have great charbroiled burgers.

Cornwall too has its own burger joint.

Billy K's. The locals posted on the interweb that this was the place to go. It didn't look like much from the outside. In fact, it looked more like some patio store or paint shop - look at the sign at the front, it's tiny. You can barely read it. It just didn't look like a restaurant.

Inside, the place is a throwback to when independent burger joints were not on the endangered list due to saturation of McD's, BK, and others. The back lit signs with prices that don't seem to have changed for a long time. The place is relatively clean and plain in a modern kind of look, but the staff all wear uniforms, caps, and direct orders through a scratchy microphone system like the old days. Its retro fun in a contemporary atmosphere!!!

There's lots on the menu aside from burgers: gyros, salads, poutine, 'steamies' (that's a Montreal style steamed hot dog), even a Michigan dog (hot dog with meat sauce). But of course, burgers are king here. And they are pretty cheap - you can get a burger for $1.39 and a cheese burger for $1.69. OR buy a Pepsi & fries and get a burger for $0.59!

I scanned the menu, and went for the bargain Double Burger combo. That's a two-patty cheeseburger, with fries and a Pepsi for $5.99. I was asked if I wanted it 'all-dressed' and I thought, lets get it all, let's do it. I didn't wait long, and my combo on a tray was ready for scarfing.

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. No wait, that's the clown burger. Well this one was two patties, thinly shredded lettuce, cheese, and maybe onion and/or relish, and tomato. On a sesame bun. Oh, and special sauce.

The top of the burger has their 'special sauce' slathered on the top. I don't know what it was exactly, maybe fry sauce, maybe thousand island dressing, but ultimately it wasn't very flavourful. It wasn't bad, don't get me wrong, but just tasting it on its own, I didn't taste anything at all.

I think there was a bit of mayo in there too. But no ketchup or mustard, and that was ok. I love thick burgers, I love thin burgers. These were some tasty thin burgers. There was nothing bold about the flavours of the burger, but it was just well made and gave me a warm feeling of comfort on this cold February day.

My combo also came with fries. I was really excited because I could see skin, which meant fresh cut fries. Chip wagon style. They looked really good, but I tried them. Plain. Nothing. No seasoning, no real taste.

I went and got some salt packets and every table has ketchup and vinegar bottles on the table and I seasoned and sauced them up. There we go, that's all we needed. Maybe they don't season them so that ever person can condimentize them themselves. Whatever the reason, once I had some salty, vinegary, ketchupy fries I was happy.

My only disappointment was the size of my Pepsi. I've been spoiled by the chains. This was a small at most places, and I'm a gulper, so I had to ration my drink. But I'm quirky and cheap like that.
Overall, Billy K's was a great burger place. Cheap, tasty food. Nice.

Billy K's
1131 Brookdale Avenue, Cornwall

Friday, 13 February 2009

Just a Reminder . . .


This morning, waiting while the car warmed up I listened to the radio, where radio hosts and a call in woman were discussing chicken wings (I don't remember which radio station it was, it was one of these: Virgin Radio 106.9, Chez 106, Hot 89.9, Bob FM 93.9 - if you heard it, please correct me).

The caller was joking around about wings and advertisements for a local wing establishment was geared to men. Just before her call ended, she pointed out Honey Garlic is not a real wing, and one of the hosts yelled "yuuuuuckk!" and the other host was what was that about. The host said something to the effect of "I don't care for honey garlic, I like wings hot".

So don't forget, HONEY GARLIC IS NOT A CHICKEN WING. The radio knows it, I know it, and so should you!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

WK Buffalo Tofu "Wings" ~ Non-Wing Recipe

Are you vegetarian? Just don't like meat? Don't understand what all the craze is over Buffalo Wings but want to? Well have I got something for you.

Buffalo Tofu 'Wings'. That's right, Tofu wings. Why? Because I want everyone to taste Nirvana at least once. Be at one with your mouth and flavour and try these fake chicken appendages.

  • Extra firm tofu
  • Corn starch
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Buffalo Hot Sauce (hot pepper sauce & margarine)


  1. Press tofu to remove moisture (place a weight on top).
  2. Cut into strips, cubes, wing shapes - whatever you want - just keep it thin.
  3. Toss strips in cornstarch, then garlic powder.
  4. Deep fry for 1-2 minutes until crispy.
  5. While deep frying, mix ingredients for hot sauce and bring to a simmer in a pot.
  6. Remove, pat with paper towel.
  7. In a bowl, sprinkle on cayenne pepper.
  8. Pour sauce over tofu 'wings' and eat immediately.

Watch how on another episode of WING KING TV:

Extra firm tofu - this was herb tofu. I know it looks scary, but its not that bad.

Crispy tofu - tossed in cayenne - spicy and crispy!

The final product plated. Isn't it pretty? NO - its manly good.

Tofu is a sponge, and its soaking up Buffalo sauce!

They almost look like mozza sticks. But they are not. Hmmm Buffalo Mozza Sticks?

I should have cut it just a bit thinner. You can see how much tofu is un-Buffaloized. But it was still good.

Above you can see the importance of double dipping and getting sauce all over.

What Would I Do Differently Next Time? Well, I have a few ideas. I do want to say that overall this was pretty good. I liked crunch, the spice and the overall flavour.

What I would do differently would be to make the strips even smaller, maybe cubes or thin strips so that there is more sauce-to-tofu ratio. While the tofu is a sponge, the cornstarch coating acts as a protective layer. My solution instead of cutting the strips even smaller? Flavour Injector. Shoot hot sauce in either before frying or after . . . that could revolutionize the whole fake wing industry.

Remember, tune in next time for another exciting episode of:


Monday, 9 February 2009

Beaver Tails @ Ottawa's Winterlude '09!


Wait, what? Winter what? Winterlude.

Win-ter-lude (win-ter-lood)

1. A 3 week event in Ottawa/Gatineu celebrating winter. Started in 1979 (making this the 30th anniversary), the festival draws over 1 million people and includes events such as: skating on the Rideau Canal (largest ice rink in the world), light & sound shows, concerts, ice sculptures, oh and food.

What could be more Canadian than a festival devoted to winter? Ok, maybe complaining about the season, but seriously, this is quite the event. LJ and I headed out Saturday night to take in the sights and sounds in the heart of Ottawa. Bundled up for a wicked Ottawa winter night (which turned out to be extremely mild and on the eve of a brief thaw) we headed straight through Confederation park, skipping the ice sculptures (we went back though), heading down to the canal to catch the light and sound show Ukiuk.

Ukiak is a show projected on the side of the Union Station, celebrating Ottawa history and winter. It was the best of these types of shows I've seen yet (I have a video and will try and post it when I have some time soon, as well as the photos of the ice sculptures).

Afterwards, we walked along the canal where there were several eatery booths/cabins have been set up on the ice, and also some up in the park. The selections of food were the perfect Canadian/Winter theme.

Above is a photo of a maple taffy hit, where the maple taffy is formed in troughs of snow and eaten on a stick.

Below is a poutine cabin. Oh yes, French Canadian fries, cheese curds and gravy! But even just the warm, salty smell of french fries would have also been tasty!

Below, you can get your hot chocolate and coffee stands. No Starbucks or Timmies here!

But the most important booth of them all, the traditional food of the Winterlude festival: BEAVER TAILS.

A Canadian rodent's rear appendage? No no no, its a pastry. A delicious pastry. It's simply dough that is stretched out flat (like a Beaver tail) and deep fried, then topped with a number of different toppings. At the festival, the chain BeaverTails don't have as many options as their outlets (like in the market), but there are some tasty ones:
  • Cinnamon & Sugar
  • Maple Butter
  • Hazelnut & Chocolate (Nutella)
  • Garlic Butter & Cheese
  • Killaloe Sunrise (sugar and lemon juice)

Other flavours at the permanent booths also include:

  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Banana Chocolate
  • Coco' Vanil
  • Peanut butter, chocolate, Reeces pieces
  • Avalanche (cream cheese, Skor pieces, chocolate syrup) - My fave!

These are just the commercial flavours, but if you made these at home, the topping ideas are endless. A Buffalo wing beaver tail??? Ok maybe not.

LJ & I decided to get 2 we have never had before and to sample each others. She went with the garlic cheese tail, and I went with the maple butter.

On the ice, the tails retail for $5 (there are a couple that a slightly cheaper). They are served in a paper 'envelope', which basically becomes transparent in just a few moment due to the gooey contents inside.

The Garlic Cheese tail is garlic bread in beaver tail form. The deep fried pastry is brushed with garlic butter, and then topped with shredded mozzarella.

One word: savourylicious. The garlic had just the right amount of bite, salty butter and the mellow cheese made for a great combo. I would have preferred the cheese to have been a bit more melted, but oh well.

The tail itself looks big and doughy, but its actually quite light and airy inside, making this a great 'ice street' food.

I was in a sweet mood, so I had the Maple Butter. Maple butter, or maple cream, is spread over the tail, and chocolate syrup is drizzled over top. Brilliant.

This thing was a sticky monster of a mess to eat - with the cream and syrup melting all over the place. But dang it was good. What else can I tell you, maple, chocolate, fried dough = good.

As I mentioned earlier, my fave is only available at the permanent stands - Avalanche. That's cream cheese, Skor and choco syrup. There may not be a lot of Canadian cuisine additions, but this is definitely one of the tops in my book.

There's lots to see and do at the festival, and again I'll try and get some more photos up soon, so check it out. And when you do, get a Beaver Tail. Do it, you won't regret it! Just be ready to stand in line, but don't worry, they have stands EVERYWHERE at Winterlude.

Feb 6-22, 2009
Ottawa On/Gatineau Qc

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Chef at Home: 'Buffalo' Chicken Wing Salad with Blue Cheese

One of my favourite channels on TV has got to be the Food Network (Canada), however, it can be a love hate relationship. Some hosts I hate, others I love, or I love a hosts food but can't stand their personality or vice versa. One of the hosts I go back and forth on is Chef Michael Smith of Chef @ Home, Chef at Large, and Chef Abroad. I enjoy watching him because I believe he has excellent chef skills ans tasty ideas without the arrogance or pretension of many other on there.

He seems like a great guy, but sometimes, sometimes, he just seems to squeeky clean. His presentation style is very simple and warm, but I often feel like he's talking to kids not adults. Not that he's talking down to us, just . . . slow. On Chef @ Home he has great ideas of cooking for family, time restraints and for entertaining. But I'll be honest, I can't stand his kid Gabe - who I suspect is a bit spoiled after seeing him on the show several times. Oh others say he`s cute, but not me.

Anyways, I had him on today in the background with the episode Hearty Chili when I heard the magical words "Buffalo Wings." Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa? My attention became sharp to the TV, where I realized he was making a wing-influenced salad, but it still sounded pretty tasty. He talked about how to make traditional Buffalo butter sauce, and the significance of hot sauce. I wish the clip was on the world wide web, but its not. Either way, looks like a tasty salad, you know, for a salad.

Please Note - Chicken Wing Salad has no actual chicken wings in it.

'Buffalo' Chicken Wing Salad with Blue Cheese
Chef At Home - Michael Smith


  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 batch Spicy Chicken Sauce (recipe from this episode)
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, washed and cut into sticks
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Spicy Chicken Sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup



  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss chicken with flour, salt and pepper until well coated.
  3. Pour oil into pan and add the chicken.
  4. Cook on one side until it's golden brown and then flip and cook the other side until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove with tongs and place in a bowl.
  6. Pour Spicy Chicken Sauce over hot chicken, toss well to coat.
  7. Put lettuce, celery and chicken into a salad bowl. Drizzle any excess chicken sauce over the salad and add the lemon juice.
  8. Toss well and garnish with crumbled blue cheese.

Spicy Chicken Sauce

  1. Whisk together the butter, hot sauce and ketchup

Photos from Food Network Canada

More Wing Eating Competition Photos

PJ Quigleys put up some photos from the party, here are a few key shots of the WEC.

2009 winner "Andrew the kid"