Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Bonnie's Book Club

Corporate Services

News and Events

Restaurant Recommendations+

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes

Contact

Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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www.bonniestern.com


About Bonnie

When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed. Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.

Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and writes weekly in the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.

 

April 2017

It was so much fun, exciting and delicious taking eighteen food lovers on a culinary tour of Israel at the end of February. We visited spice farms, cheesemakers, wineries, tahini factories, restaurants, home kitchens, had guest speakers, cooking classes, market tours and so much more. We had a wonderful group, perfect weather and all our events were even better than I could have imagined. See news and events for our next trip.

Although I have known chef and restauranteur Vikram Vij for many years – I have been to his restaurant, Vij’s, in Vancouver many times and he taught at my cooking school in Toronto,  I had never heard his whole story. When I was invited to interview him at the launch of his new memoir, Vij: A Chef’s One-Way Ticket to Canada with Indian Spices in his Suitcase, I learned about his immigrant experience as well as the story of how he opened a modern Indian restaurant in Vancouver, how his television career started and all about his prepared food company. If you love Indian food be sure to go to Vij’s or Rangoli in Vancouver or My Shanti in Surrey, B.C.   

March and April’s book clubs were extraordinary. Elan Mastai was here in March with his new book All Our Wrong Todays and at the beginning of April, Omar El Akkad spoke about his new novel American War. Both books were highly acclaimed and I encourage you to read them. See below for our two upcoming book clubs - we are very excited to welcome back Terry Fallis and introduce you to Steven Heighton.

Look for spring and Passover recipes in the recipe section below and check my Easter column next week in the National Post.

Wishing you all a meaningful and delicious Passover and Easter.

Bonnie

 

Bonnie's Book Club
Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of the country's leading authors, discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!

Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.

MAY

TERRY FALLIS: ONE BROTHER SHY
TERRY FALLIS: ONE BROTHER SHYIn May, Bonnie welcomes back one of Canada’s most beloved writers, Terry Fallis, for his new book One Brother Shy.

A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Award, Terry Fallis has earned a devoted readership with such critically acclaimed works as Best Laid Plans (which was adapted into a CBC TV mini-series in 2014), The High Road, Up and Down, and No Relation. All were national bestsellers and received great critical acclaim.

This spring, Terry Fallis returns with his eagerly-awaited new novel about a man tormented by an event from his youth, and the journey he finds himself on to heal and to learn who he is.

Few people know the real Alex MacAskill. Most of the world sees a painfully and chronically shy software engineer in his mid-20s, soft-spoken, a bit of a loner, and someone easy to escape notice wherever possible - and that's just the way Alex wants it. No matter how many years have passed, the incident known only as "Gabriel" in the MacAskill family is something that still haunts him.

But when his mother, one of the only people in the world who Alex felt comfortable with, dies after a long illness, he suddenly has no choice but to face the very thing that he's been avoiding since that night in high school. In an instant, Alex finds himself trying to piece together the mystery of his identity. And on a search for parts of his family he never knew existed - a search that takes him from Ottawa to London to Moscow, encountering along the way echoes of the Cold War, painful memories from his past, and even the 1972 Russian hockey team - Alex ultimately finds himself. With his trademark wit and captivating storytelling, Terry Fallis has written a novel unlike any of his others.

One Brother Shy is at once poignant and humorous, heartbreaking and heartwarming, and readers will not soon forget Alex MacAskill.

Terry’s last visit to the Book Club sold out quickly, so please reserve your spot to avoid disappointment.

Date: Monday May 29, 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Beast Restaurant
96 Tecumseth Street, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of One Brother Shy sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



JUNE

STEVEN HEIGHTON:
THE NIGHTINGALE WON'T LET YOU SLEEP
STEVEN HEIGHTON: THE NIGHTINGALE WON'T LET YOU SLEEPBonnie is incredibly pleased to host Governor General’s Award-winner Steven Heighton at the Book Club in June as he discusses his latest novel The Nightingale won't Let You Sleep.

Over the last twenty-five years, Steven Heighton has earned a distinguished reputation as one of the country’s most heralded writers. A novelist, a short story writer and a poet, Heighton has received international acclaim. His previous novel, Afterlands was published in six countries, was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, was a best book of the year selection in ten publications in Canada, the U.S. and the UK, and is currently in pre-production for a film adaptation.

In June, Heighton will share his latest work, a beautiful and passionate novel of buried secrets, the repercussions of war and finding love among the ruins.

Elias Trifannis is desperate to belong somewhere. To make his dying ex-cop father happy, he joins the military - but in Afghanistan, by the time he realizes his last-minute bid for connection was a terrible mistake, it’s too late and a tragedy has occurred. In the aftermath, exhausted by nightmares, Elias is sent to Cyprus to recover, where he attempts to find comfort in the arms of Eylül, a beautiful Turkish journalist. But the lovers’ reprieve ends in a moment of shocking brutality that drives Elias into Varosha, once a popular Greek-Cypriot resort town, abandoned since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

Hidden in the lush, overgrown ruins is a community of exiles and refugees living resourcefully but comfortably. Thanks to the cheerfully corrupt Colonel Kaya, who turns a blind eye, they live under the radar of the Turkish authorities. As he begins to heal, Elias finds himself drawn to the enigmatic and secretive Kaiti while he learns at last to “simply belong". But just when it seems he has found sanctuary, events he himself set in motion have already begun to endanger it.

Date: Monday June 12, 2017
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Nightingale won't Let You Sleep sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810




Book Club Locations
 
Beast1
Beast2
Beast3
Beast4
Beast5
Beast Restaurantx

The Beast Restaurant

Scott Vivian and Rachelle Cadwell feature Ontario’s local producers and farmers at their restaurant Beast. They are well known for their Sunday brunch, special dinners and delicious food. Anthony Bourdain featured Beast in one of his shows and Scott took Anthony to some of his own favourite spots around Toronto. 

96 Tecumseth Street

Toronto

647 352 6000

www.thebeastrestaurant.com

Corporate Services

Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.

Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.

Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:

Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Market Tours
Recipe development
Private cooking classes
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810

Bonnie's Cookbooks
 
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback

$29.95

Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking
Bonnie Stern's
Essentials of Home Cooking

Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback

$34.95
HeartSmart
HeartSmart
This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.

$34.95
Cuisiner au goût du cœur
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages

$18.98 
Appetizers
Appetizers
A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.

Published by Random House of Canada, 1990, 176 pages, paperback

$22.95
Desserts
Desserts
Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

$21
HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends
HeartSmart Cooking
for Family and Friends
Featuring nine entertaining menus (over 200 recipes) with complete work plans, presentation ideas and wine suggestions, as well as complete nutritional analysis for each recipe, plus the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Food Choice Values. Colour photos and black and white instructional illustrations throughout.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$28.95
Recevoir au goût du cœur: recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis
Recevoir au gout du coeur:
recettes, menus et conseils pour des réunions de famille et d’amis

Published by Trecarre, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$29.95
Out of Print Cookbooks
Out of Print Cookbooks
Here is a list of Bonnie Stern classics that are out of print. Limited used copies are sometimes available on line.

Food Processor Cuisine

At My Table

Bonnie Stern’s
Cuisinart Cookbook

In the Kitchen
with Bonnie Stern

Cooking with Bonnie Stern

Simply HeartSmart Cooking

More HeartSmart Cooking






News And Events
FAIR FOOD NATION:
ENVISIONING A FUTURE WHERE FOOD IS BASIC RIGHT
FAIR FOOD NATION: ENVISIONING A FUTURE FOOD IS BASIC RIGHTFRIDAY APRIL 7, 2017

Presented by the Community Food Centres Canada. For more information, visit:  Fair Food Nation

THE 6IX BANNED NATIONS DINNER
THE 6IX BANNED NATIONS DINNERTHURSDAY APRIL 27, 2017

Chef Hemant Bhagwani of Amaya and Indian Street Food Company has been learning traditional recipes from the nations affected by U.S. president Donald Trump's travel ban. On April 27 he will be hosting a dinner featuring a dish from each of the six banned nations with $20 of ticket sales going to support the YMCA Immigrant Services program.

For more information visit: The 6ix Banned Nations Dinner

TERROIR SYMPOSIUM
TERROIR HOSPITALITY SYMPOSIUMMONDAY MAY 29, 2017

Indulge in a feast of learning and sharing at the 11th annual Terroir Symposium. This year's theme is Our Home and Native Land:Celebrating Canadian Gastronomy.

Be among the chefs, food and beverage experts, producers, writers and business leaders to celebrate 150 years of Canada through presentations by Canadians — nationally and abroad — and take in the history, leadership and diversity of the Canadian culinary landscape.

For more information visit: Terroir Symposium

TORONTO TASTE 2017
TORONTO TAST 2017SUNDAY JUNE 4, 2017

Experience the best from over 60 of Toronto’s top chefs and enjoy beverages from 30 purveyors while enjoying breathtaking views and incredible entertainment.

For more information visit: Toronto Taste

THE STOP'S NIGHT MARKET
THE STOP'S NIGHT MARKETTUESDAY JUNE 13 &
WEDNESDAY JUNE 14, 2017

The Stop’s Night Market is a feast for the eyes, belly, and heart. This annual fundraising event brings together creatives from Toronto’s culinary, design, performance, and graphic arts sectors, celebrating diversity, community, and the power of food.

Inspired by night markets from around the world, The Stop’s Night Market transforms a unique outdoor space over two summer nights in June, featuring more than 70 chefs, 20 local beverage vendors, and 35 one-of-a-kind food carts created by local designers.

For more information visit: The Stop's Night Market

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURE
CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL WITH BONNIE STERN <BR/ >FEBRUARY 27 TO MARCH 6, 2017FEBRUARY 24 to MARCH 4, 2018

At this time Bonnie is gauging interest for her 8th culinary tour to Israel on the above dates.

To be on our email list for this trip and future trips please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israel Trip
bonnie@bonniestern.com
(if you are not already on the list)

Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO
Speducci Mercatto
46 Milford Avenue
Toronto
416 242 2777

 

We loved this quirky Italian restaurant, hidden away in a butcher shop, on a side street in the Lawrence and Keele area. It is open mainly for lunch and early dinners and is a great place to shop for take-out foods and/or meat, sausages and salumi. We loved the potato pizza, lamb ragu on cheese ravioli and fig panna cotta. They even have a salumi therapy room – you have to see it and breathe it to believe it!
Moderate
Tofu Village
681 Bloor Street West
Toronto
647 345 3836
Korean restaurants line Bloor Street east of Bathurst but we have settled on Tofu Village. Busy, friendly and yummy makes it our favourite. Extremely casual and reasonably priced helps too. Favourite dishes include bibimbab, noodles, tofu, soups, bbq, stone pots and rice dishes. That about covers the menu. While you are there, stop in at Pat Central, the amazing Asian grocery store at 647 Bloor Street West to stock up on Asian ingredients and have a freshly cooked waffle stuffed with red bean paste or custard.
Moderate
Grey Gardens
199 Augusta Avenue
Toronto
647 351 1552
This beautiful new restaurant and wine bar from Chef Mitchell Bates (Momofuku Shoto and more) and Jen Agg (The Black Hoof and more) upgrades Kensington Market’s cheap and cheerful vibe. The food is so good, the service is great and it's always busy. And it is really cool.
Expensive
OTTAWA
Riveria
62 Sparks Street
Ottawa
613 233 6262
Fara is my Ottawa restaurant source. She lives there and knows everything about the food scene. When Mark was in Ottawa working on the Juno’s last weekend, they went to Riveria and loved it. They said the tuna crudo with crispy quinoa, the burrata and the lobster pappardelle are not to be missed.
Moderate
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
Bindella Osteria and Bar
Montefiore Street 27
Tel Aviv
+972 3-650-0071
This beautifully designed Italian restaurant fuses Italian flavours with Middle Eastern sensibility.
Moderate to Expensive
Cafe Xoho
Gordon Street 17
Tel Aviv
+972 72 249 5497
I was lucky that this friendly vegetarian cafe was around the corner from my Airbnb. Look in the recipe section for my version of their great granola bowl.
Moderate
Thai House
Bograshov Street 8
Tel Aviv
+972 3-517-8568
I don’t usually go to Asian restaurants in Israel (we have so many great ones here at home) but so many people recommended it I finally went to Thai House. And then went again. And then we did take-out and felt very Tel Avivian.
Moderate to Expensive
Brut Wine Bar
Nahalat Binyamin 36
Tel Aviv
+972 3-510-2923

One of Israel’s foremost food journalists, Ronit Vared, introduced me to Brut Wine Bar. I would go to wine bars more if I didn’t get tipsy on 1/2 glass of wine. Dinner was delicious and their wine selection speaks for itself.
Moderate to Expensive

Anastasia Cafe
Frishman Street 54
Tel Aviv
+972 3-529-0095
Tel Aviv is the unofficial world capital of vegan restaurants. The food here was so good we weren’t sure it was vegan. Try the soba noodles, omlette sandwich and black risotto in pumpkin.
Moderate

Mapu
Rehov Mapu 9
Tel Aviv
+972 3-762-9000

Kosher chef–owned restaurants are opening up in Tel Aviv and this new one, from Nir Zuk was very good. My favourite thing on the menu was the grilled kebabs wrapped around marrow bones. Flintstones anyone?
Moderate to Expensive
Onza
Rabbi Hannina Street 3
Tel Aviv-Yafo
+972 3-648-6060
This fun and delicious restaurant in the Jaffa flea market is a must. There are always Turkish specialties on the menu but Sunday night there’s a feast. Be there.
Moderate
Salva Vida
Ha-Yarkon Street 88
Tel Aviv
+972 3-778-8996
Recommended by Tel Aviv food writer Keren Brown, I liked this new restaurant so much we brought my group here for the pre-trip dinner. Don’t miss the housemade pasta, lamb chops, whole fish and creme brulee and caramel popcorn dessert!
Moderate to Expensive
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL
Eucalyptus
Felt Alley
Jerusalem
+972 2 624 4331

 

One of my favourite restaurants in Jerusalem is owned by the award-winning chef, Moshe Basson. He specializes in Biblical cooking and has always used local ingredients, foraging for most of them himself. His modern Israeli food is delicious too. Perfect for family meals and special groups as well as a night out.
Moderate
Machneyuda
Beit Ya'akov Street 10
Jerusalem
+972 2 533 3442
This is the restaurant that changed the food scene in Jerusalem. Wild and crazy, so much fun and so delicious. Now they have a mini-empire of restaurants – Culinary Workshop, Talbiye, Yudale (tapas bar) and more. In London they opened Palomar and took the British city by storm.
Moderate to Expensive
Modern Restaurant
Israel Museum
1, Derech Ruppin
Jerusalem
+972 2 648 0862
Modern is another example of the terrific restaurants found in museums in Israel. Beautiful with very good food from the different nationalities found in Jerusalem.
Moderate
AKKO, ISRAEL
Uri Buri
Ha-Hagana Street
Akko, 24315
+972 4 955 2212
Uri Yirmias’ Uri Buri is one of the most famous seafood restaurants in Israel and one of the best.
Moderate to Expensive
ZICHRON YAAKOF, ISRAEL
Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel
Ya'ir Street 1
Zichron Ya'akov
+972 4 630 0111
This stunning hotel and spa has the most incredible concert venues, Israeli art, luxurious accommodations and more. Definitely worth a visit even if you are not staying there.
Expensive
MAGDAL, ISRAEL
Magdalena Restaurant
Migdal Junction
Migdal
+972 4 673 0064
The surprise is yours when you see this spacious and beautiful restaurant on top of a gas station in the small town of Migdal. Some say it's the best Arab restaurant in Israel. Modern Arab food – and why not! Delicious.
Moderate to Expesnive
EIN RAFA, ISRAEL
Majda
Ein Rafa
+972 2 579 7108
The story of Michal Baranes (Jewish) and Yakub Barhum (Muslim) and their wonderful restaurant, Majda, is the story of how food and love can overcome obstacles and never gets old. Made famous by Anthony Boudain and Yotam Ottolenghi, this charming restaurant near Jerusalem is a place of hope and wonderful meals.
Moderate to Expensive
Featured Recipes
CAFE XOHO'S GRANOLA BOWL
  • 1 1/2 cups unflavoured yogurt
  • 1 cup favourite granola
  • sliced bananas, apple wedges and diced mango or any fresh fruit you like


  • coconut chia seed pudding:
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (regular not lite)
  • 1 tbsp date honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp whole chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp date syrup (or maple syrup), or to taste
  • CAFE XOHO'S GRANOLA BOWLMy favourite granola bowl to wake up for is from Cafe Xoho, one of the most popular vegetarian cafes in Tel Aviv. Their breakfasts, cookies and coffee are legendary. Even their chia seed pudding made with coconut milk was delicious and I am not usually a fan.

    Note: Date honey (also called silan) is available at Middle Eastern stores and many specialty shops.



    Method:

    1. Make chia pudding at least a few hours ahead. In a jar combine coconut milk, honey, vanilla and salt. Whisk in chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

    2. Spoon yogurt over the bottom of two flat-ish bowls. Spoon granola on one side and fruit down the centre. Place 1 to 2 tbsp chia pudding on the yogurt and drizzle syrup over everything.

    makes 2 servings

    VERY CHEESE-Y BUTTERMILK SCONES WITH CHEDDAR
  • 1/2 cup butter, very cold
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or half whole wheat
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 oz (1 cup) grated Cheddar cheese + 2 tbsp for topping
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or more
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • VERY CHEESE-Y BUTTERMILK SCONES WITH CHEDDAR  Freshly made scones are the best. After trying so many techniques, this method is my favourite. I  have also made these scones gluten free with Cup4Cup flour and they came out great. Anna and I turned them into an amazing brunch dish topped with poached eggs, lightly cooked spinach and a drizzle of sriracha and maple syrup. 

    Method:

    1. Grate butter very carefully (watch your knuckles) on the largest holes of a box grater. Spread on a plate and freeze at least 10 minutes. Or cut butter into small cubes.

    2. In a large bowl whisk flour with sugar, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed. Add grated butter and mix in with your fingertips. If using small cubes of butter break them up with your fingertips into small bits. Stir in cheese.

    3. Beat egg in a bowl. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add egg mixture, mixing quickly until a wet dough is formed. (Add up to 2 tbsp extra buttermilk if necessary to gather mixture into a rough dough.) Turn dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Dough will be scraggly. Flour top lightly and gently flatten into a square about 3/4" thick. Fold dough in half and flatten again. Brush any flour off the surface and fold and flatten again. Repeat once more. (Dust hands with flour if dough is sticky). Cut dough into quarters and cut each quarter diagonally into two triangles or 9 squares. Do not flatten too much. Dough should be at least 1” thick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with extra buttermilk and sprinkle with cheese and salt.

    4. Bake scones in the middle of a preheated 425F oven 12 to 14 minutes, turning pan after 5 minutes, until puffed and golden.

    makes 8 to 10 scones

    BRISKET WITH HOMEMADE BARBECUE SAUCE
    bbq sauce:
  • 1 28oz tin plum tomatoes, mashed or pureed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, optional
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp each ground ginger, smoked paprika and kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp each ground cumin, cloves and allspice
  • 1 tsp pureed canned chipotles chiles, optional or 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • brisket:
  • 8 to 10 lb whole brisket
  • 1 tbsp each kosher salt, sugar and smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 large onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or grated
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon or whiskey
  • BRISKET WITH HOMEMADE BARBECUE SAUCE  The secret to a making a juicy, tender brisket is to buy a good one (some parts a bit fatty and some leaner) and then cooking it until tender. If you are not sure about the timing, make it ahead so you don’t have to worry. It reheats perfectly and slices better when it is cold.

    I have so many delicious brisket recipes but my family loves the one with barbecue sauce best. When a guest came over recently who was allergic to chilies and I couldn't find what 'spices' were used in the commercial sauce I used as a base, I made my own. It was surprisingly less sweet (even though I used sugar, maple syrup and molasses) and so much better altogether. I add smoked paprika and chipotles to give it a smoky taste -unless that guest is coming of course.

    Note: If you are using the sauce for other things saute half the amount of onions, garlic and bourbon, add sauce ingredients and cook as directed. 



    Method:

    1. For barbecue sauce bring tomatoes, sugar, maple syrup, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, soy, vinegar, mustard, ginger, paprika, cumin, cloves, allspice and chipotles to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and cook gently about 30 minutes or until thick. Cool.

    2. Rub brisket all over with salt, sugar, paprika and pepper. Reserve.

    3. Heat oil a large Dutch oven or roasting pan (that can be used on the stove) and add onions. Cook until tender and starting to brown. Add garlic and cook about 5 minutes longer. Standing back add Bourbon (it may flambe if pan is very hot) and bring to a boil. Place brisket on top and spread with barbecue sauce. Add about 1 cup water to the pan. Cover meat directly with parchment paper and then cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast in a preheated 325F oven for 4 to 5 hours or longer, checking every hour and adding 1 cup water if pan seems dry, until very tender when pierced with a fork. Remove cover and parchment, raise heat to 400F and cook 15 minutes longer if top hasn't browned.

    makes 12 to 16 servings 

    VEGETARIAN MATZO LASAGNE
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot or small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb fresh baby spinach, prewashed or washed and dried
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese, drained if necessary
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
  • 7 pieces matzo (approximately 6 1/2" square), or more if necessary
  • 3 cups tomato sauce (approximately), homemade* or store bought
  • 8 oz mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigano Reggiano)
  • MATZO VEGETARIAN LASAGNE  How did I miss this great idea from Carrie Davis whose recipes are always delicious? For an Easter brunch or after Passover substitute cooked lasagne noodles for the matzo. Either way it's delicious hot or cold and can be made ahead.

    *For a quick tomato sauce place one 796mL can plum tomatoes in a saucepan. Add one onion cut into quarters and one clove garlic peeled and smashed. Add pinch of hot red chile flakes and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes until reduced to 2 1/2 or 3 cups. Discard onions and garlic. 



    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add shallots and garlic and cook until tender. Add spinach and cook just until wilted. Spread on a plate and cool. Squeeze out any liquid from spinach. Chop and combine gently with ricotta. Add egg. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg.

    2. Spread 1/4 of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9”X13” (approx. 3L) baking dish. Fill another shallow pan with water. Dip 2 sheets of matzo into the water briefly. Arrange in bottom of pan (you may have to break them to fit.) Spread with half the ricotta, sprinkle with 1/3 parmesan, spread with another 3/4 cup tomato sauce, sprinkle with 1/3 mozzarella. Add another layer of matzo, remaining ricotta, another 1/3 parmesan, 3/4 cup tomato sauce and 1/3 more parmesan. End with a layer of matzo, remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan.

    3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

    makes 8 to 10 servings

    PASSOVER CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE SQUARES
  • 4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 eggs, separated


  • filling:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped


  • glaze: (optional)
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds or coconut
  • cocoa
  • PASSOVER CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE SQUARES  These squares are great for Passover, for people who are gluten free or for everyone.  These can be made ahead and frozen. If the souffle breaks when assembling don't worry – patch it up and it will still taste great!

    Method:

    1. Butter a 10"x15" baking dish or small sheet pan and line with parchment paper. Butter again. Preheat oven to 400F.

    2. Place chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes or until almost melted, checking every 30 seconds or melt in a bowl set over simmering water. Stir to finish melting. Cool to room temperature.Beat butter with 1/2 cup sugar until pale, smooth and light. Beat in egg yolks and then melted chocolate. With clean beaters, in a clean bowl beat egg whites until opaque and fluffy and beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar gradually. Stir about 1/4 egg whites into chocolate mixture and then fold in remaining egg whites. Spread on baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until top has lost its shiny surface and feels springy. Cool completely on a wire rack.

    3. For filling heat 1 cup whipping cream and pour over chopped 4oz chopped chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Chill.

    4. For glaze melt 2oz chopped chocolate with 2 tbsp whipping cream in the microwave or in a bowl set over simmering water until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Keep at room temperature to keep glaze liquid. If it firms up, warm gently until spreadable.

    5. To assemble, dust top of souffle cake with sifted cocoa. Turn out onto parchment paper and carefully remove parchment that was on the pan. Divide ‘cake’ in half either lengthwise or crosswise. When filling is cold beat with a whisk or hand mixer until peaks start to form. Spread on one half of ‘cake’ and top with the other half. Spread glaze over the top. Sprinkle with almonds. If not using glaze, dust with cocoa. Refrigerate a few hours to overnight.

    6. Trim edges (eat them) and cut into squares with a sharp knife.

    makes approximately 30 squares 

    COCONUT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
  • 1/2 lb semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona 55%)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (regular not lite)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp flake sea salt (eg Maldon)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes, chopped or sifted cocoa
  • COCONUT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES Here’s a perfect Passover treat that uses coconut milk instead of whipping cream. (If you can’t find kosher coconut milk make your own by combining 8oz shredded unsweetened coconut with 4 cups warm water in blender (preferably high powered), letting it soak 5 minutes and then pureeing for 2 minutes. Strain through a strainer lined with a clean tea towel and squeeze out all the liquid. Freeze what you do not use.)

    These truffles, from Chef Avner Laskin at Bulthaup Culinary Academy in Tel Aviv, was served to us for dessert after a whiskey and meat class. He used coconut milk instead of the usual whipping cream because the school is kosher and they can’t serve meat with dairy products.



    Method:

    1. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Stop cooking while some of the chocolate is not quite melted. Stir to finish melting.

    2. Stir in coconut milk, vanilla and salt. Cool until spreadable. Spread mixture in a 8" square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Chill.

    3. Cut chocolate into 32 to 36 squares, roll into rough balls and then into cocoa, or while sticky in chopped coconut.

    makes 32

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