Culinary Blog #6: Purchasing Meat and Game

For this blog I went to a butcher shop called The Meat Department” it is located at 121 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto. The place was a little pricey but the quality of the meat was amazing  I decided to purchase a whole chicken and a couple of sausages. In total i spent 20.20, $14 was for the whole chicken and 6.20 for the sausages.


With a whole chicken you can do a lot. You can butcher it and get individual pieces to cook. You can take it off the bone and make a chicken stock or chicken soup you can take the breast and stuff it to make supreme. You can grill it and put it in a salad or cut it thin and make sandwiches or you can cook it whole. My favorite thing to use chicken for it to create a Hungarian dish called chicken poppy cosh to create this dish you first brown chicken in a pot with butter then you remove chicken and saute onions then add pepper and Hungarian paprika then place chicken back on onions and put chicken broth and slow cook for an hour.

Browning chicken

Sautee Onions

Then you serve with spaetzel( dumpling) its a mixture of savory, umami, little sweetness from the onions, there is also a bit of sourness and creaminess from sour cream. By far my favorite thing to do with chicken!

Culinary Blog #5: Fruit Hunter


Today I took a trip to the St. Lawrence market. I went there because it is the closest market to where I live and I love going there. I love exploring the market there’s loads of little shops to look at. Anytime I go there I have a sense of passion whether it is just exploring the market or figuring out what I want to make that night for dinner. I went to look for fruit most of the fruits they had at the market I have tried until I found Cactus Pear also known as a Prickly Pear.



The prickly pear is also known as ‘Opuntia’ it is a part of the cactus family. It Originated in the south American country of Mexico and was originally imported from the Americas in the sixteenth century. the Opuntia cactus has been in existence in Morocco for more than four centuries. It grows on islands with temperate climates. This cactus is a very invasive plant making it dangerous for humans and animals.

This is also something that I found very interesting,  The prickly pear seed oil is now recognized for its anti-ageing properties and although it is still early days in the industry, many cosmetic companies are showing a strong interest in this precious oil. It is also used for acne, the oil is said to trick your body into thinking that it doesn’t need to create any more oil reducing acne. The prickly pears I purchased at the market were 1.99 each. The prickly pear ripens in the late summer and early fall.

Sensory Evaluation:

it has a slightly sweet and watery taste with a hint of umame, it smells sweet, it looks almost pinkish reddish on the inside outside is like a bright red, there is a lot of seeds on the inside making it hard to eat. The oil that comes out of the fruit stains easily. ITs a very subtle and tasty fruit. It tastes almost like a watermelon with a lot of extra seeds.

Cooking with The Prickly Pear:

The prickly pear can be made into a simple syrup. This syrup is made by simmering boiled, mashed, and strained prickly pear fruit in sugar. Lemon is added for tartness. Use this syrup on pancakes, on top of other fruit, or in any dessert recipe that calls for syrup. When you look for prickly pears, remember that mature ones are a darker green or blackish purple. Ripe fruits tend to be redder at the base.


Can be used to make Prickly Pear Sorbet. For an elegant yet easy-to-make dessert, try this light sorbet. All you’ll need is an ice cream machine, prickly pears, sugar, lemon juice, and salt.


It can also be used to make a smooth. Make your morning smoothie pretty in pink with prickly pears. The pears combine well with coconut water to make a refreshing drink.


From this experience, I have learned a lot about the prickly pear I did not already know. I found a way to get rid of some unwanted acne along with an oil used for anti-aging. Some ways it can be used for cooking along with other uses. I will be using the fruits to make my morning smoothes now.

Culinary Biography

My name is Aaron Albanese I come from a small town named Caledonia located just outside of Hamilton Ontario.

I want to become a chef because it is in my blood. My father’s uncles own their own businesses. One owns Lou’s bbq which is prepared meats you can find in grocery stores. They do stuff like ribs and peamale bacon. The other owns a bakery named Panefresco who is now in most fortinos stores in Ontario. My father also opened his own doughnut shop after completing high school.

I don’t currently work in the industry but  I worked at KFC for a year and a half until I quit to pursue school. After schooling is finished I will be pursuing a job in the armed forces as a cook.

My philosophy in cooking is I enjoy cooking for groups of people, I enjoy cooking eating healthy but also enjoying the food I eat. I come from an Italian background so I do prefer pasta dishes over rice dishes.

From my blogging experience, I hope I can have fun with it and be able to show off my skills to that are willing to watch. I would also like to have a bit of fun with food photography.

‎”This is my advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun”-Julia Child

  My original picture is of some scones me and my partner made in our baking a pastry for cooks class

This is a photo taken from:’

they are professional food photographers I take no credit for this photo what so ever.

Thank you:

Aaron Albanese

Making Soup: Culinary Blog #2

Growing up my family didn’t really have a soup of choice, my dad would make a homemade chicken noodle soup with some small meatballs in it (mainly because we are Italian everything mush have meatballs, not literally but). My grandma would make a soup of the same sort as well but that was eaten on days we would not have pasta like Christmas or thanksgiving. I didn’t really want to do a soup like that so I decided to make a french onion soup. I made this choice because I enjoy french onion soup.

Here is the recipe for the french onion soup I received from BBC Canada, I did everything from this recipe except for the bread I wanted to focus more on the soup than placing some toasted bread on top. I also could not find the type of cheese that was used so I used swiss cheese instead

French onion soup


  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 1.3l hot strongly-flavoured beef stock
  • 4-8 slices French bread (depending on size)
  • 140g Gruyère, finely grated


  1. First I cut up all the onions. I Melted the butter with the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and fryed them with the lid on for 10 mins until somewhat soft.  I Sprinkled with the sugar and cook for 20 mins more, stirred frequently until caramelized. The onions were really golden, full of flavor and soft when I pinched them between my fingers. I watched extra closely for the last 2 minutes so I didn’t burn the onions

2. I Added the garlic for the final few mins of the onions’ cooking time,  I then sprinkle in the flour and stirred well. I turned the heat and keep stirring while gradually adding the wine, followed by the hot stock. I then Covered it and simmered it for 15-20 mins. I adjusted the flavors and let it cool.

3. I then turned the heat down and let it cook for about 3 to 4 hours so that all the flavors were enhanced from the cooking time.

4. To serve it I placed it into a bowl and decided not to add cheese on top because when I tried it with the cheese I found it was too salty and added too much to the soup.

There wasn’t much involving challenged to this soup other than cutting the onions and garlic and making sure the onions did not burn. I believe this soup was very successful as it was well seasoned and tasted delicious. If I were to make this soup again I would create my oven beef broth instead of using a store-bought one as I did not have enough time to create my own. had I created my own I believe that my soup would have been even better. I also would not add any cheese to this add I believe it tasted better without. I would prefer just the soup.

From creating this soup I have brought with me the idea that even just the simplest products if used correctly can create amazing things.

I had 2 of my roommates try it and they said it was very good it smelt amazing and the onions dissolve in their mouth and gave a sweet and buttery taste.

Sensory Evaluation

The soup appeals to taste buds because it is salty, slightly sweet, it is slightly meaty and brothy, although it’s not really bitter.

The soup is brown, it’s a soupy texture and its got slices of onion, size is pretty similar to each other. it tastes a slight bit of salt, the onion slightly disintegrates in your mouth when you eat it. Smells like onions that have been boiling in beef broth for 3 hours.







Sensory Evaluation For: Culinary Blog #3

I went looking around for something I’ve never tried before I thought about different meats or different vegetables but I’ve tried all of the different types they had at the stores. I went around the fruits and vegetable aisles until I finally found something I’ve never had before. I found golden berries. This fruit comes from the warmer countries and is apparently a new super food. They look like an orange-ish yellow cherry tomato. The fruit itself is very sticky. The berry almost smells like a lemon or a wildberry. Biting into the goldenberries feels almost the same as biting into a strawberry or a blueberry. it tastes almost like a cherry with a bit more of a citrusy taste.

The berry itself is slightly bitter and slightly sweet. it’s not very savoury. It’s sour but not salty.

Reflecting on this experience,  I am not too fond of this berry after eating 5 or 6 I started to get a headache. The smell itself is also overwhelming when you open up the package that’s all you can smell it was kind of pleasant at first but after a while, it’s not as pleasant. I most likely will not eat this fruit again. the taste is not as appealing as i was hoping for. I learned that there are certain tastes my palate can only enjoy for so long before it doesn’t find it appealing.


Photo credit goes to the Toronto Star:

Culinary Blog #4: Preservation

For my preservation, I wanted to do pickling.The definition of pickling is the process of preserving or expanding the lifespan of food by either in brine or immersion in vinegar. The resulting food is called a pickle, or, to prevent ambiguity, prefaced with the adjective pickled The pickling procedure will typically affect the food’s texture and flavor. In East Asia, Vinaigrette (vegetable oil and vinegar) is also used as a pickling medium. Foods that are pickled include meats, fruits, eggs, and vegetables.H

Here is a website that talks a little bit about pickling.

I decided to use cauliflower, carrots and bell pepper. with this, I created a hot, pickled mixed vegetables. using the recipe below:

  1. For pickling liquid
    • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
    • 3 cups water
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  2. For vegetables
    • 1 head cauliflower (2 lb), trimmed and broken into 1- to 1 1/2-inch florets (6 cups)
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices (2 cups

To create this I began with mixing the pickling liquid into a pot and heating it until the sugar dissolved once it dissolved I moved it to a stainless steel bowl to cool.

Then I put a pot of water on to boil and proceed with cutting the vegetables for the picking.

When that was done and the water was boiled I started by placing the cauliflower into the water and let it cook for 4 minutes. Then put them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further. I then did the same for the carrots and peppers.

Then I placed the cool vegetables into a mason jar and added the pickling liquid. Then sealed the lids. This is my final product.

Sensory Evaluation:

This pickling liquid was very acidic it smelt strong with vinegar and tasted bitter sour with a slight spicey taste. The vegetables themselves with the liquid bring in a vinegar taste along with some heat from the chilis.

If I were to do this again I would add more vegetables and different kinds of vegetables. I would add a bit more heat because I personally love spice. This pickling liquid was very good.However, I did not vegetable cuts I felt like they could have been better. If I were to do this again I would make my cuts look better.