Gavin's Chow

Good eats with friends and family – A Journal

Booker & Dax “Searzall” Arrived!

The Searzall

The Booker & Dax Searzall

My Searzall finally arrived after 10 months! Hooked this up to my TS8000, seasoned it for 2 minutes (Wow, it gets hot!). Super excited to start searing food with this!

Filed under: Home Cooking, , , , , ,

Vietnamese Steak and Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Steak and Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Steak and Noodle Salad

Hot day here, summer in full steam! Decided to play with a nice fresh summer tasting noodle dish. My wife and I love Vietnamese food, thought I’d try a dish tonight. This is a very quick and simple recipe. The only thing that takes some time is the marinating of a nice flank steak!! (most flavourful)


Love the beef

Marinade for beef: (classic asian mix:)

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tbs chopped ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 lb flank steak

Have this marinating for 4-8 hours, then bring it out and let sit to room temperature (about 30 minutes)

Medium rare is the only way!

Medium rare is the only way!

Fire up the grill and cook the steak until medium rare, pull out and set aside. Meanwhile for the salad

The salad

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (3 limes)
  • 6 tbs water
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 6 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cups fresh chopped shallots (4 small) 
  • 1 package of dried vermicelli rice stick noodles
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 package of fresh cleaned spinach
  • 1/2 cup of salted roasted peanuts (chopped)

whisk together the lime juice, water, sugar, fish sauce, pepper flakes in a bowl. Stir in shallots.

The amazing dressing!

The amazing dressing!

Boil the noodles for about 4-7 minutes, rinse in cold water, and drain well. Toss into a bowl and pour 1/2 cup of the yummy dressing, and mix.

bubble bubble

bubble bubble

Core the apple and cut into match sticks, combine with the spinach in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup of dressing and toss.

Green Salad

Green Salad

Thinly slice the meat across the grain, toss some noodles on a plate, layer on the green salad, then the meat. Finish off with some chopped peanuts! THE KIDS LOVED IT!

Filed under: Dinners, Home Cooking, , , , , , ,

Classic Buttery Beer Bread!

Beer Bread

Beer Bread – fluffy inside, with crunchy crust!

Its a Saturday afternoon. We decided to keep it quiet for the morning. I wanted to make a quick bread for lunch, and decided to make a quick beer bread. I know, this is a pretty simple thing, but our kids love it (don’t worry, the alcohol burns away). They love the combination of the sweet and salty crust!

This is considered a quick and easy bread to make. The ingredients are:

- 3 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 3 cups of flour (sifted) – I used a whisk to fluff it up
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 can of beer (of course)
– 1/4 cup butter (less if you want to, but this makes a yummy crust)

Beer Bread

The reaction of the beer and the dry mix, smells nice.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, add the can of beer, and mix up the batter. Careful not to mix too long, just enough to get everything coated and “elastic” consistency.

Beer Bread

Drizzle the butter

Grease up a pie pan, this makes more crust due to the surface area :) – I love crust!

Melt some butter in the microwave, and pour over the loaf.

Beer Bread

Golden brown goodness

Throw this into a pre-heated oven at 375F for about 40 minutes and enjoy. Beer bread is so simple and delicious. Great for having a quick warm bread for guests or snacking on.


Filed under: Dinners, Home Cooking, , , , , ,

Aromatic Scallion Oil

Fragrant Scallion Oil

Fragrant Scallion Oil

Its the weekend, I wanted to make my own scallion oil. My plan is to have this for the week to brush onto some baked bbq pork buns! The recipe for the oil is extremely simple.

Scallion Oil

The ingredients – simple

Chop up plenty of scallions (green onions). Heat up a wok with 1/2 cup of peanut oil, slowly place the onions into the oil and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Scallion Oil

Simmering in Peanut Oil

The room will smell amazing (if you like the smell of frying onion, I DO!) Strain the onions with a strainer, and store the oil in an air tight container for up to 1 week. I will use this in a couple of days on my buns :)

Scallion Oil

Strain the scallions

Filed under: Home Cooking, , , ,

Lunar New Year Potstickers (Wor Tip)


Chinese Potstickers / Pan Fried Dumplings

Its been awhile since I’ve done an entry. Here is my first for 2013! We had friends over for supper tonight and made a huge Chinese dinner. I’ve discovered this recipe for Potstickers or Dumplings in my readings and have wanted to try it. Potstickers have been one of my favorites for many years. These savoury little things are easy and fun to make.

Ingredients (the filling):
- 3/4 lb napa cabbage
- 3/4 lb ground pork
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- 3-4 Chinese mushrooms chopped (make sure to soak overnight, remove stem)
- 2 tbsp chopped bamboo shoots
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch

The wraps:
- 24 round potsticker wrappers (found these at local Chinese grocers)
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup water


Napa Cabbage


Blanched for 1 minute

Chop up the cabbage into little 1/2 pieces and blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and immerse in ice water and squeeze out as much water as possible.


Chop it up!


Mix it up!

Chop up the other ingredients as shown and mix all the ingredients with the ground pork (except for the wrappers, canola oil, water). Place this into the fridge uncovered for at least 4 hours to overnight. yay!!!


Scoop it up (not too much!)


Wrap it up!

To start the dumplings, take about a tbsp of filling and place into a wrapper, brush a little water around edge and fold the wrapper in half and seal/crimp “artistically” the edges together :) Continue doing the rest (about 24 yummy goodness) and enjoy doing each one! That’s part of the process :)

On a non-stick skillet, add oil, and place dumplings seam side up (give it a little push onto pan to flatten bottom) and pan fry until bottom is golden brown. Add 1/3 cup of water and cover with lid to steam cook. Once the water has evaporated (about 3 minutes), I like to flip the dumplings to brown the sides.


You know it…Eat it up!

Final step is to devour! try not to eat too fast!

Filed under: Dinners, Home Cooking, , , , , , , ,

Gavin C

Keeping track of all the yummy foods that I eat! My random entries of cooking for my 2 (not picky eater) boys and wife in a city with diverse variety of foods!


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