Bonnie Stern Food News
Bonnie Stern's Food NewsFollow Bonnie Stern on TwitterFriend Bonnie on Facebook
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

Follow Bonnie:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube

Website:
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 wrote a weekly newspaper column for almost 30 years, first for the Toronto Star and then for the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking workshops and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.

 

January 2018

Welcome to 2018. Hope you all had a great holiday season.

Food trends come and go but it’s always good to be prepared and see what’s coming. Warning: Take everything with a grain of salt – which maybe this year’s enemy #1. And remember - everything in moderation. Here’s my list:

Say Hello To: Aktins diet and derivatives (again); All-Day Restaurants; Avocados (danger of extinction does not seem to deter people from avocado toast or guacamole); Bakeries; beer; berries; blueberries (one cup a day); blueberry powder; bread; breakfast; brown butter; bundt cakes and pans (continuing from last year); butter; cannabis; cardamom; cashew cheese; challah and babkas; coffee; crepe and crepe cakes; dim sum; East African cooking (Ethiopian and Tunisian); Eating in; falafel; farming; faux meat (plant based technology); fermenting (miso, kimchi, kefir etc); Filipino food; flowers and flower waters (rose water, orange blossom water, elderflower, hibiscus, violet and lavender); freshly milled flour; fritters; grain mills; greens (leafy); Georgian cooking; harissa; home cooking; hot pots; hummus (freshly made only); hyper local (ie Rene Redzepi’s new Noma - cooking from his backyard); Indigenous food; instant pot (or Breville Fast, Slow, Pro); insects; lectin free diet; matcha; meal kits; Mexican Jewish food; monounsaturated oils (I still favour extra virgin olive oil); Middle Eastern; Netflix; nuts; nut milk; omega 9s; online food shopping; Portuguese food; Portable protein (eg flavoured small tuna packs rather than protein bars); Restaurants that only take cards; Root to Stem (vegetable version of nose to tail); Rugelachs, Savoury desserts; Seaweed; Street Food; Shakshuka; Smoked desserts; Take-out (Uber eats, etc.); tinned seafood; turmeric; vegan; vegetarian; virgin cocktails; waste/no waste; wine bars; women!

BOOK CLUBS
We are excited to announce that our book club for January with Tom Wilson, celebrating his new, highly acclaimed book Beautiful Scars, will be held at the new Indigenous restaurant Ku-Kum Kitchen on Mt Pleasant Road.

RESTAURANTS
When my friends were in Toronto over the holidays we all went to Casa Imperial for dim sum. It was so delicious and exciting – see the restaurant recommendation section below for more details.

RECIPES
If you are looking for food to keep you warm this winter find some delicious, comfort foods at the end of this newsletter.

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy and delicious new year.
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.

JANUARY 2018

TOM WILSON: BEAUTIFUL SCARS
STEELTOWN SECRETS, MOHAWK SKYWALKERS
AND THE ROAD HOME
TOM WILSON: BEAUTIFUL SCARS<BR />STEELTOWN SECRETS, MOHAWK SKYWALKERS AND THE ROAD HOMEWe are very excited to welcome Tom Wilson, author, musician and artist, as our first guest in the new year. Tom Wilson was raised in the rough-and-tumble world of Hamilton - Steeltown - in the company of World War II vets, factory workers, fall-guy wrestlers and the deeply guarded secrets kept by his parents, Bunny and George. For decades Tom carved out a life for himself in shadows. He built an international music career and became a father, he battled demons and addiction, and he waited, hoping for the lies to cease and the truth to emerge. It would. And when it did, it would sweep up the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk reserves of Quebec, on to the heights of the Manhattan skyline.

With a rare gift for storytelling and an astonishing story to tell, Tom writes with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. It’s a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are.

Tom Wilson is a three-time Juno winning Canadian musician with multiple gold records. He has written for and recorded songs with Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour, Jason Isbell, Colin James, Lucinda Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mavis Staples and The Rankin Family. His band Junkhouse has scored eleven top-ten hits, and his iconic, Americana-fuelled Blackie and the Rodeo Kings was widely publicized for its presence on George Bush’s iPod. Tom’s most recent incarnation, Lee Harvey Osmond, has received extensive praise and airplay throughout the United States, where he’s been touring for the last two years as a result. His art has shown in galleries in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and more recently, Ottawa.

Date: Monday January 15, 2018 (One spot left)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Ku-Kum Kitchen
581 Mt. Pleasant Road, Toronto
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Beautiful Scars sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


MARCH 2018

TOM RACHMAN: THE ITALIAN TEACHER
TOM RACHMAN: THE ITALIAN TEACHERWith the publication of his debut novel The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman emerged as one of the most exciting new novelists on the literary landscape. A devastatingly funny and perceptive look at the lives of journalists trying to keep an international newspaper afloat in Rome received rave reviews, and became a huge publishing success around the world.

Rachman followed the great success of his debut novel withThe Rise and Fall of Great Powers, the intricately woven story of a young woman’s remarkable journey around the globe to learn about her puzzling past. Once again, Rachman met with raves around the world.

In March, Bonnie is very pleased to welcome Tom Rachman to the Book Club as he makes a rare visit to Toronto to talk about his wise and moving new novel The Italian Teacher.

Rome, 1955. The artists gather for a picture at a party in an ancient villa. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast canvases, larger than life, is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.

From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, striving to live up to the Bavinsky name; while Natalie, a ceramicist, cannot hope to be more than a forgotten muse. Trying to burn brightly in his father's shadow, Pinch's attempts flicker and die. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, Pinch will enact an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.

A masterful, original examination of love, duty, art and fame, The Italian Teacher cements Tom Rachman as among this generation's most exciting literary voices.

Date: Monday March 19, 2018
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: 165 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Italian Teacher sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810




Book Club Location
 
Ku-Kum Kitchen1
Ku-Kum Kitchen2
Ku-Kum Kitchen3
Ku-Kum Kitchen4
Ku-Kum Kitchen x

Ku-Kum Kitchen

Toronto Life’s Mark Pupo says: “Ku-Kum is a restaurant with a philosophy of showcasing what (Chef Joseph) Shawana calls the “whole ingredient” by which he means using what’s readily available and respecting the source of our nourishment – Mother Nature. He’s a patron of foragers, and Indigenous fishers and hunters.” And “Shawana’s genious is to seamlessly weave his favourite Indigenous ingredients and recipes together with a classic French approach.”

581 Mt. Pleasant Road
Tornoto

416 519 2638

www.kukum-kitchen.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
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
News And Events
ROBBIE BURNS SUPPER AT THE CHEFS' HOUSE
ROBBIE BURNS SUPPER AT THE CHEF'S HOUSEThursday January 25, 2018

The Robbie Burns supper returns to The Chefs' House. CHCA Resident Scot Chef Kyle Deming will prepare a feast to honour the “Ploughman Poet” Robert Burns.

For more information click Robbie Burns Supper

WINTERLICIOUS 2018
Winterlicious 2018January 26 to February 8, 2018

Experience Toronto’s diverse cuisine through one-of-a-kind culinary events and delicious three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at more than 200 top restaurants.

Choose your restaurants carefully and you won’t be disappointed. Be sure Winterliciious menu reflects the regular menu of the restaurants you want to try.

For more information, click Winterlicious 2018

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOP
BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread that is enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. You don't have to be Jewish to love challah and now challah is loved by many cultures and enjoyed all week in dishes like French Toast, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and many other favourites. Click here for a recent CTV Your Morning segment.

In this workshop Bonnie will show you everything you need to know to make the most delicious and beautiful braided challah. Everyone will have a chance to make challah dough, knead the dough and get to know the perfect texture at each stage. You will learn to make braids with 3, 4 and 6 strands and also round braided breads. You will learn about ingredients and all the tricks and tips you need for success.

This very popular workshop includes coffee and cinnamon buns, snacks, a delicious lunch or dinner, printed recipes, all ingredients and lots of fun. And best of all - you'll take home your own challah on Bonnie's favourite quarter sheet pan to bake for your family and friends.

PLEASE NOTE: Right now this workshop is for groups only but if you are interested in just one or two spots in an open registration class let me know and if I have enough people I will contact you.

For more information send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Bonnie's Challah Workshop to bonnie@bonniestern.com

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNER
ISRAELI FAMILY DINNERAt some of our recent workshops, people expressed interest in an Israeli cooking workshop. Israel is an immigrant country and Israeli cuisine is a delicious mash-up of food and flavours from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Russia. The food in Israel keeps evolving and I will plan my menu when I return from leading my 8th culinary tour there in March. As with Bonnie's Challah Workshop, groups are limited to ten people.

Please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israeli Family Dinner to bonnie@bonniestern.com
Let me know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join a group and we will contact you.

Restaurant Recommendations and More
Ku-Kum Kitchen
581 Mt. Pleasant Road
Toronto
416 519 2638
It was very exciting to experience this wonderful Indigenous restaurant. The food is delicious and stimulating as it tells a story we haven’t heard enough of even though it is a significant part of our history as Canadians. We tried Elk, Labrador tea and wild mint rillettes, 5 game and cranberry terrine and rabbit liver with truffle mousse; halibut with squash puree, peas and wild garlic; and for dessert apple with licorice sugar, puff pastry + lavender ice cream.
Moderate
Casa-Imperial
Fine Chinese Cuisine

4125 Steeles Avenue East
Scarborough
416 756 2788
On a hot tip from my Chinese restaurant expert Irene Tam, nine of us from Toronto, Dubai, New York and Los Angeles trooped to Scarborough in the frigid cold for dim sum. We were all impressed. Wow. What an amazing place. The food, the service and the decor all came together for a great experience. They had our dim sum favourites but bigger - and although bigger isn’t always better, theirs were. And they had new treats that were also delicious. Can’t wait to go back.
Moderate
Tabule
2009 Yonge Street
Toronto
416 483 3747
Now there are four Tabule Restaurants in Toronto but this original one is still my favourite. This time for lunch which I don’t do enough. Everything is consistently so delicious and the restaurant offers great value. Don’t miss the fried eggplant, cauliflower with tahini, shrimp in tomato sauce but everything else is fantastic too.
Moderate
dbar
Four Seasons Hotel
60 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto
416 964 0411
Dbar was the perfect casual place during the holidays for a drink or dinner before a movie, meeting friends or hanging out. Cocktails were amazing, food was delicious and service was friendly and perfect. We loved the mussels and chips, club sandwich on GF bread, chestnut and mushroom pasta and caramelized apple sundae.
Moderate
Featured Recipes
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
  • 4 lbs cut up chicken, or chicken wings and legs
  • 3 qts cold water
  • 2 onions, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1" pieces
  • 1 leek, white and light green part, well-washed, cut into chunks
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced into 1" pieces
  • 1 parsnip - optional, sliced into 1" pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 8 oz medium or thin egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • chopped fresh dill, optional
  • CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

    Every culture has their own version of chicken soup and this is the Jewish one. In order to be really comforting (and medicinal), chicken soup needs a strong chicken flavour. The better the quality of the chicken, the better the soup. If your soup doesn't have enough flavour it probably is too diluted, just reduce it until it has the flavour you are looking for.

    The parsnip and dill are optional – it just depends on what you grew up with. Some people like to use the boiled vegetables in the soup - I do - but some think they are too overcooked and want to cook fresh vegetables which is fine too. This is also the way to make great chicken stock, which can be diluted a little because of all the others flavours you are using it in - other soups (see lentil soup), sauces, stews etc.



    Method:

    1. Place chicken in a large pot (a pasta pot with a strainer works well if you have one) and add cold water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil. Remove scum that rises to the surface and discard (this will keep your stock clear). Add onions, carrots, leek, celery, parsnips, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil again, reduce heat and simmer gently 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    2. Strain soup. Remove meat from chicken and reserve. (Discard bones and skin.) Reserve carrots, celery and parsnips if serving in your soup.

    3. If serving soup right away remove as much fat from the surface as possible (you can save this fat and use for cooking - it's basically schmaltz). The soup will need salt - season to taste. If not serving right away, cool soup and refrigerate overnight - the fat will solidify on the surface and can be removed easily.

    4. For noodles, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp salt. Add noodles and cook until tender. (Traditionally the noodles are well-cooked – no al dente here.) Drain. Rinse if not using right away.

    5. To serve place some of the chicken, vegetables and noodles in bowls and ladle in soup. If making it ahead reheat the chicken, noodles and vegetables in the soup. Add dill.

    Makes 8 large servings.

    LENTIL SOUP WITH TURMERIC AND ALEPPO PEPPER
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper (or 1/2 tsp cayenne)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • topping:
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • LENTIL SOUP WITH TURMERIC AND ALEPPO PEPPER

    This a perfect cold weather soup. It is hearty but does not take long to cook as lentils are a dried legume/pulse that cook quickly naturally. Red lentils (sometimes called orange or pink) are the best for soups because they melt into the soup and thicken it without having to puree, whereas green lentils (sometimes called brown or black) are great for salads or stews as they stay firm. If you cook this soup ahead it will thicken in the refrigerator - simply add additional liquid and re-season.



    Method:

    1. Heat olive oil gently in a large saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook a few minutes until softened. Add carrots and celery and cook gently 5 minutes.

    2. Add turmeric, cumin and Aleppo pepper and cook another minute. Add lentils and combine well. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook gently about 25 to 30 minutes until lentils are tender and soup has thickened a little.

    3. Add salt and pepper to taste (if the stock is seasoned you may not need too much salt) and lemon juice.

    4. To serve, sprinkle with cilantro and drizzle with olive oil.

    Makes 5 to 6 servings

    SWEET POTATO AND SPINACH FRITTATA
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1/2" chunks
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or more - divided
  • 2 tsp kosher salt - divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz baby spinach, baby kale, arugula etc.
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cream or whole milk (or sour cream or whole milk yogurt) or combination
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or Aleppo pepper
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 1 tsp pureed chipotle chiles or sauce, optional
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, parsley, chives, basil, cilantro or a combination
  • 1 1/2 cups grated smoked or aged Cheddar
  • SWEET POTATO AND SPINACH FRITTATAPart frittata, part gratin, part quiche, this is thick and fluffy and so delicious. Instead of Cheddar you could use crumbled feta or spoonfuls of drained ricotta. If you bake this in a 10" springform it will not be as high but will cook in less time.

    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Toss sweet potatoes with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 20 minutes until just tender and lightly browned. Cool. Reduce oven to 350F.

    2. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and cook onions gently until tender. Add the spinach and cook until just barely wilted. Cool.

    3. Line the bottom and up the sides of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap outside of pan with foil just in case it leaks. Place 3/4 of the sweet potatoes in the bottom of prepared pan and if you wish flatten them a bit. Top with half the onions and spinach. Sprinkle with half the cheese.

    4. In a large bowl whisk eggs with cream, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, chipotles and herbs. Pour into pan. Top with remaining cheese, sweet potatoes and spinach mixture and let them sink in a bit.

    5. Bake at 350F for 50 to 70 minutes or until just set in the centre. If top is browning too much reduce heat to 325F and loosely cover with foil. Rest frittata at least 10 to 20 minutes before removing from pan and serving.

    Makes 8 to 10 servings

    RISOTTO WITH PROSCIUTTO
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain Italian rice (eg Arborio or Carnaroli or Vialone Nano), do not rinse
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • RISOTTO WITH PROSCIUTTORisotto is a creamy Italian rice dish from Northern Italy that achieves its creaminess from the type of rice that is used and the cooking method. There are many quick ways to make it but the hand-stirred-with-love way is the best. Italian short grain rice has lots of starch and stirring and cooking – rubbing the grains against each other – creates the creaminess. There are many variations and if you leave out the prosciutto that's the basic recipe. It is usually served, like pasta, before the main course but in special cases, as for osso buco (braised veal shanks) some people serve it with the main course. (I have often had a more substantial risotto, eg seafood risotto, for a main course.)

    Method:

    1. Heat olive oil or butter in a large saucepan or Dutch Oven. Add onion and cook gently until tender. Add prosciutto and cook a few minutes.

    2. In another pot heat the chicken broth and keep warm while cooking the risotto.

    3. Add rice to the onions and prosciutto and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine and let it evaporate and be absorbed by rice. Start adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and not adding more until the pan is almost dry. From the time you start adding broth to the time the risotto is finished it should be 16 to 18 minutes. If the heat is too high, the broth will be gone and rice will be not fully cooked (if this happens just start adding boiling water instead of broth and continue cooking until tender) or if 20 minutes has gone by and you haven't used all the broth and the rice is cooked, serve it! Next time use higher heat. The more you make risotto you get used to this. The rice should be a little al dente (firm to the bite) but still tender and creamy - not too thick but not too soupy.

    4. Add butter and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with parsley.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    OSSO BUCO (BRAISED VEAL SHANKS)
  • 6 to 8 pieces veal shanks, about 1 to 1 1/2" thick
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gf flour)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 28oz/796mL tins plum tomatoes with juices
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano


  • gremolata: (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • OSSO BUCO (BRAISED VEAL SHANKS)Osso buco is a favourite Italian (Milanese) comfort food that has become very popular. It sounds  fancy but it easy to make as it follows the basic technique of braising. Ideally you need a wide, heavy pot to cook them in a single layer. Ask the butcher for 1 to 1 1/2" thick pieces which is perfect for a single serving. The succulent marrow inside the bones is the real treat of this dish. It adds amazing flavour and richness to the sauce. In Italy there are even special utensils to retrieve the marrow from the bones but no one usually has any problems getting it without them. Serve with risotto, polenta or over pasta. The gremolata topping is optional but adds a bright, fresh taste. You can omit it or just use chopped fresh parsley.

    Note: You can make this same recipe with lamb shanks or large (individual portion size) chunks of short ribs.

    The osso bucco featured in this photo was made deliciously by my daughter Anna Rupert.



    Method:

    1. Pat veal dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. Dip lightly in flour.

    2. Heat oil in a large deep skillet. Brown veal well on both sides. Remove from pan. (Do not wash pan unless badly burnt.) Discard excess oil in pan - there should still be a few tablespoons remaining. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots to pan and cook about 10 minutes until vegetables are becoming tender.

    3. Add wine to pan and bring to a boil. Cook a few minutes until reduced by about half and then add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil. Add oregano and some salt and pepper. Add veal shanks back to pan in a single layer, spooning sauce and vegetables on top. Cover meat directly with a piece of parchment paper and then cover pan tightly. Cook in a preheated 350F/180C oven 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until very tender. (The thinner the pieces the less time it will take.)

    4. While veal is cooking combine ingredients for gremolata if using.

    5. When tender, carefully remove the veal from the pan (keeping the marrow bone and marrow in place) to a serving platter or sheet pan if serving in the roasting pan.  Turn off oven and keep veal warm, loosely covered. Skim off excess fat from the surface of the sauce and if sauce is not thick enough, cook, uncovered, over medium high heat until it reduces and thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over veal on platter or add veal back to pan, spooning sauce on top. Sprinkle with gremolata.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    OLD FASHIONED RICE PUDDING WITH CARAMELIZED WINTER FRUIT
  • 1/2 cup short grain rice (eg Arborio)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional


  • caramelized fruit:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 apples (eg honeycrisp), peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
  • 2 firm pears (eg Bosc), peeled, cored and cut into small chunks)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine, port or orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • OLD FASHIONED RICE PUDDING WITH CARAMELIZED WINTER FRUIT

    Rice pudding is one of my all-time favourite desserts. It is delicious as is dusted with a little cinnamon or sometimes I drizzle it with caramel sauce and sometimes top it with lemon curd. This time it is with caramelized fruit which can be served as a treat at the bottom instead of a topping. The fruit is also delicious on its own or over ice cream or plain cake.

    Short grain rice makes a creamier rice pudding - it is easy to find Italian Arborio rice. If you have a vanilla bean cook it with the pudding and omit the vanilla extract. When finished rinse and dry the vanilla bean and keep it in your sugar canister. You can use it a few times for cooking and then I just keep it in my sugar.



    Method:

    1. Place rice and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and cook about 10 minutes or until rice absorbs water.

    2. Meanwhile whisk sugar with cornstarch and salt. Whisk in one cup cold milk until smooth. Heat remaining milk.

    3. When rice is cooked, stir in sugar mixture and the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover partially (it boils over easily so be careful). and cook gently, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes or longer until thick and creamy. (Do not worry, it will get thick!) Stir in cream and cook another minute. Add vanilla.

    4. While rice is cooking prepare fruit. Place sugar in a large deep skillet and stir in water to moisten. Bring to a boil and without stirring allow sugar to turn golden - about 4 to 6 minutes. Standing back (the sugar is hot) add fruit and cook until it oozes some of its juices. Add wine and lemon juice. Reduce heat and cook fruit 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and fruit is tender. Cool.

    5. Fill dessert cups half full with rice pudding and top with a few tablespoons fruit. Chill if not serving right away.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    © Copyright 2018, Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools Ltd.
    To unsubscribe from this newsletter please visit foodnews.bonniestern.com/unsubscribe

    Please Note: Bonnie Stern does not sell, trade or share her email list.
    © Bonnie Stern. All Rights Reserved