Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Tip

Corporate Services

Bonnie's Book Clubs

News and Events

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Restaurant Recommendations

Featured Recipes

Contact

Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

Follow Bonnie:

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Instagram

Facebook

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.

 

September 2019

September arrived so quickly but I feel lucky that in August I had a chance to enjoy quiet time at my sister and brother-in-law’s cottage in Haliburton; attend a garlic festival at Abbey Gardens; meet friends in Stratford and see an amazing play – Birds of a Kind; catch up on my reading; celebrate birthdays; participate in an event to bring awareness to Leket, Israel’s national food bank; go to the dentist (oops didn’t mean to share that one!); visit friends at their farm where they held a tomato tasting of 13 varieties from their garden; and most recently host an incredible book club with award-winning author, Michael Crummey, to celebrate his brilliant new book The Innocents. Congratulations to Michael Crummey that The Innocents is among the 12 books long listed for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year is fast approaching – see recipe section below for some delicious new recipe ideas. And in case you need a few hostess gifts or want to know more about Israeli food that is so popular right now and Jewish food that's so traditional and comforting see the side bar below for four great new cookbooks coming out this month. Check out my Instagram account (@bonniestern) to see photos of what I’ve already made from some of these amazing books.

On a sad note (especially for those of you who used to attend my cooking classes) Biba Caggiano, cookbook author, television host and Sacramento restauranteur, died last week. She taught at my school many times. She was a wonderful teacher, her food was delicious, her recipes are wonderful and she was one of the kindest people in the world of food. If you love Italian food check out her timeless cookbooks.

Right now our farmers’ markets are overflowing with fresh produce – the best time to shop! Wishing a very happy Jewish New Year to all who are celebrating. Regardless of it being Rosh Hashanah, September always seems like a new year to me (after all those years in school) so happy new year to everyone.

Bonnie

Kitchen Tip
HOW TO VACUUM SEAL FOOD WITHOUT A VACUUM SEALER
HOW TO VACUUM SEAL FOOD WITHOUT A VACUUM SEALERIf you are like me and needed to vacuum seal something you used a straw to suck the air out of the bag. But now that straws are ‘banned (yes I know you can buy reusable stainless steel ones and yes they work), I found a much better way on the Serious Eats website. Put your food to be vacuum packed in a resealable plastic bag. Seal the bag except for about 1” at one end. Fill a large container, bowl or pot with water. Gently push the bag under the water except for the 1” unsealed part. The water will push the air from the bag. Seal it, remove from the water, label it, refrigerate or freeze and you are done!


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 Canada's leading authors (and some from farther away), 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. However, 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.


SEPTEMBER

LILIAN NATTEL: GIRL AT THE EDGE OF SKY
LILIAN NATTEL: GIRL AT THE EDGE OF SKYBonnie is pleased to welcome Lilian Nattel, bestselling author of Web of Angels and The River Midnight, back to the Book Club as she launches Girl at the Edge of Sky, a unique, thrilling, sometimes terrifying novel based on the life and death of Lily Litvyak, a female Soviet flying ace and fighter pilot shot down behind German lines in the Second World War.

Lily Litvyak is no one's idea of a fighter pilot: a tiny, dimpled teenager with golden curls who lied about her age in order to fly. But in the crucible of the air war against the German invaders, she becomes that rare thing--a flying ace, glorified at home and around the world as the White Lily of Stalingrad. The real Lily disappeared in combat in August 1943, and the facts of her life are slim, but they have inspired Lilian Nattel's indelible portrait of a courageous young woman driven by family secrets to become an unlikely war hero. Even more powerfully, Nattel takes another big leap, asking the compelling question: what if Lily survived that last crash and became a prisoner of the Germans?

Lily lives in a world of horrifying risk, where the life and death stakes are high in the air, but also on the ground. In the Soviet system, everyone is an informer, even your best friend. Lily lives in constant fear that she will be found out, arrested and executed as the daughter of an "enemy of the people." When she ends up a German prisoner, as a Soviet officer and a Jew, the need for deception becomes even more desperate.

Girl at the Edge of Sky is a masterwork of the imagination, subtle and bold all at once, bringing us deep into the precarious life of a remarkable woman who lies to fight for the country that would disown her, and then lies to survive the enemy that would annihilate her.

Date: Monday September 23, 2019 (Limited seats available)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Europe Bar and Restaurant
3030 Bathurst Street, Toronto (just south of Lawrence Avenue)
Fee: $175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Girl at the Edge of Sky sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810


OCTOBER

SEAN MICHAELS: THE WAGERS
SEAN MICHAELS: THE WAGERSSean Michaels’ debut novel Us Conductors became a publishing sensation when it went on to win the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2014. This fall, Michaels makes his long-awaited return with The Wagers, a deeply satisfying story of long odds, magical heists and the dizzying gamble of life. Where does luck come from? What is it worth? And how much of it do you need to be happy?

Theo Potiris is a grocer and a comedian who never repeats his jokes. After 15 years of open mikes, he's still waiting for his break - bicycling to the comedy club at night, stacking plums at his family's grand and ramshackle supermarket by day. His girlfriend is halfway around the world, searching for enlightenment with a patron who happens to be the richest man on Earth, and when two other loved-ones get struck by bolts from the blue, Theo decides he can't keep chasing his old dreams any longer. He resolves to trade his wishes in, pursuing a bigger score.

Here Sean Michaels' novel takes a surprise left turn, away from the price of milk and into a shabby, beautiful, imaginary Montreal where peacocks strut on street corners and gamblers bet on sunny days. Theo uncovers a mysterious association of sports-obsessed mathematicians, The Rabbit's Foot, which is turning probability into riches, and the vigilante No Name Gang, who steal luck from those who have taken more than their fair share. Bursting with sheer story-telling pleasure and stylish prose, The Wagers carries you along on wave after wave of invention - a literary motorcycle chase that soon has you wondering about the randomness of good fortune and all the ways we choose to wage our lives.

Date: Tuesday October 15, 2019
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Rose and Sons
176 Dupont Street, Toronto
Fee: $175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Wagers sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

JANNA GUR: SHUK
JANNA GUR: FROM MARKET TO TABLEThis is a special edition of Bonnie's Book Club – a Friday night dinner for a small group with Janna and Bonnie, held at Bonnie’s home. It’s a combination book club, dinner and mini cooking class to celebrate the new cookbook - Shuk: From Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking by Einat Admony and Janna Gur. Space is limited!

 

Date: Friday October 25, 2019 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Bonnie's house
Fee: $175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Shuk)
Voluntary donation: $50 tax deductible donation paid directly to Leket, Israel’s National Food Bank https://www.leket.org/en/
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



NOVEMBER

KEN DRYDEN: SCOTTY - A HOCKEY LIFE LIKE NO OTHER
KEN DRYDEN: SCOTTY - A HOCKEY LIFE LIKE NO OTHERFive-time Stanley Cup champion. An Honoured Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. A mega-bestselling author. A former Member of Parliament. Officer of the Order of Canada. These are but a few of the many accomplishments in legendary goaltender Ken Dryden’s remarkable career. In November, Bonnie is thrilled to welcome Ken to the book club as he offers readers a personal and poignant portrait of one of Dryden’s most important mentors: Scotty Bowman.

Scotty Bowman is recognized as the best coach in hockey history, and one of the greatest coaches in all of sports. He won more games and more Stanley Cups than anyone else. Remarkably, despite all the changes in hockey, he coached at the very top for more than four decades, his first Cup win and his last an astonishing thirty-nine years apart. Yet perhaps most uniquely, different from anyone else who has ever lived or ever will again, he has experienced the best of hockey continuously since he was fourteen years old. With his precious standing room pass to the Montreal Forum, he saw "Rocket" Richard play at his peak every Saturday night. He saw Gordie Howe as a seventeen-year-old just starting out. He scouted Bobby Orr as a thirteen-year-old in Parry Sound, Ontario. He coached Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux. He coached against Wayne Gretzky. For the past decade, as an advisor for the Chicago Blackhawks, he has watched Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and Connor McDavid. He has seen it all up close.

Ken Dryden was a Hall-of-Fame goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens. His critically acclaimed and bestselling books have shaped the way we read and think about hockey. Now the player and coach who won five Stanley Cups together team up once again.

In Scotty, Dryden has given his coach a new test: Tell us about all these players and teams you've seen, but imagine yourself as their coach. Tell us about their weaknesses, not just their strengths. Tell us how you would coach them and coach against them. And then choose the top eight teams of all time, match them up against one another in a playoff series, and, separating the near-great from the great, tell us who would win. And why.

This book is about a life—a hockey life, a Canadian life, a life of achievement. It is Scotty Bowman in his natural element, behind the bench one more time.

Date change: Tuesday November 19, 2019 (Limited seats available)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Big Crow
176 Dupont Street, Toronto (down the alley behind Rose & Sons)
Fee: $175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Scotty - A Hockey Life Like No Other sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Wonderful New Jewish/Israeli Cookbooks
 
Sababa

Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors from my Israeli Kitchen
by Adeena Sussman (Penguin Publishing Group $47.00)
Available Sept 3, 2019.

Adeena Sussman is a professional recipe developer and food journalist. She has written many celebrity/chef cookbooks (including Chrissy Teigen’s two best-selling cookbooks). She is one of the most lovely and fun people Bonnie knows in Israel and her cooking and recipes are so delicious. Adeena is always part of Bonnie's Israel Culinary Tour. She is coming to Toronto at the beginning of October and will be a guest chef at Foodball and at a brunch event at Fat Pasha.

The Jewish Cookbook

The Jewish Cookbook
by Leah Koenig (Phaidon $59.95)
Available Sept. 11, 2019.

This is the definitive Jewish cookbook with over 400 recipes from Jewish cooks around the world. It’s a beautiful inspiring book that exemplifies the importance of food in Jewish culture, and will be a reference on your shelf forever. She even included a recipe for Toronto’s blueberry buns. Leah lives in New York and will be in Toronto in the Spring.

Kosher Style

Kosher Style: Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook
by Amy Rosen (Appetite by Random House $35.00)
Available Sept. 3, 2019.

All your favourite Jewish dishes are here in one cookbook but you don’t have to be Jewish to love Amy’s modern take on these recipes. Amy is a food and travel writer, cookbook author and creator of Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns. She lives in Toronto and will be doing many appearances this fall.

Shuk

Shuk: From Market to Table, The Heart of Israeli Home Cooking
by Einat Admony and Janna Gur (Thomas Allen & Son $53.00)
Available Sept. 17, 2019.

The recipes, from Israeli Chef Einat Admony, who is a restaurateur in New York (Balaboosta, Kish-Kash and Taim) are delicious but with all the information about Israeli markets from Janna Gur, this is a travel book as well.

Janna is the author of The Book of New Israeli Food and Jewish Soul Food and was the founder of Israel’s foremost food magazine Al Hashulchan. She is always a guest speaker on Bonnie's Israel Culinary Tour and will be in Toronto in late October to do an event at City Shul, a brunch at Fet Zun and special edition of Bonnie's Book Club.

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

More Featured Products
 
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
FOODBALL
FOODBALLFriday October 4, 2019

Foodball is an exciting new culinary event and will feature 40 chefs from Italy, Israel, France, Denmark, Sweden and the USA as well as across Canada. Each chef will be highlighting their personal culinary style with innovative canapes and desserts.

Proceeds from the event support Sinai Health Foundation.

For more information click Foodball

BRUNCH AT FAT PASHA WITH ADEENA SUSSMAN
BRUNCH AT FAT PASHA WITH ADEENA SUSSMANSaturday October 5, 2019
10am or 1pm

Adeena Sussman, author of Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors From my Israeli Kitchen will be the special guest at a brunch with Anthony Rose (and Bonnie) at Fat Pasha. A copy of Sababa is included.

For reservations and more information call Fat Pasha 647 340 6142

Adeena will also be one of the guest chefs at the Foodball on October 4 (see above).

CANADA'S TABLE: A CELEBRATION OF OUR COOKBOOKS
CANADA'S TABLE: A CELEBRATION OF OUR COOKBOOKSSaturday October 19, 2019
8:30am to 4:30pm

Fort York National Historic Site celebrates the history, influence and importance of cookbooks and great Canadian authors both past and present with a full day of panel discussions, demonstrations, and workshops. Price includes morning refreshments, Long Table Lunch, and a one hour workshop. Each workshop participant will receive a signed copy of their workshop leader's cookbook.

For more information click:
Canada Table

THE HEART OF ISRAELI COOKING:
JANNA GUR IN CONVERSATION WITH BONNIE STERN
THE HEART OF ISRAELI COOKINGThursday October 24, 2019
7:30pm
 

Janna is the founder of Al Hashulchan, the premier Israeli food and wine magazine and the author of The Book of New Israeli Food and Jewish Soul Food: From Minsk to Marrakesh. Bonnie will interview Janna at City Shul on "the Israeli cuisine scene" followed by fabulous hummus and sweets courtesy of By the Way.

To register click:
The Heart of Israeli Cooking

BRUNCH AT FET ZUN WITH JANNA GUR
BRUNCH AT FET ZUN WITH JANNA GURSaturday October 26, 2019
11am

Janna will be the special guest at a brunch at Anthony Rose's new Middle Eastern restaurant, Fet Zun with Anthony and Bonnie. A copy of Shuk is included.

For reservations call Fet Zun 647 352 3337

PORRIDGE FOR PARKINSON'S BRUNCH
PORRIDGE FOR PARKINSON'S BRUNCHSunday November 3, 2019
11am to 2pm

This brunch event will he held in the fabulous new Locomotive Hall at the Roundhouse in Toronto, featuring celebrity chefs cooking delicious food and special guests from media and medicine.

All money raised will be directed to the research lab at the Toronto Western Hospital.

For more information and tickets click:
Porridge for Parkinson's

WHAT'S ON THE TABLE
WHAT'S ON THE TABLEWednesday November 20, 2019
7pm

Featuring some of Toronto's most creative chefs and Niagara's best wineries, all brought together in celebration and support of The Stop Community Food Centre.

Visit over 30 food and beverage stations and stay for the exciting live auction.

All proceeds will support The Stop’s critical food access and community-building programs.

For more information and tickets click:
What's on the Table

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOP
BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPIn 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: As with all our classes and workshops, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group).

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Bonnie’s Challah Workshop to bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class if and when we offer them.

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNER
ISRAELI FAMILY DINNERIsraeli food is so 'hot' now it is what everyone wants to eat. Come and learn the ingredients and flavours that make it so popular. Israel is an immigrant country and Israeli cuisine is a delicious mash-up of food and flavours from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Workshop includes appetizers on arrival, lunch or dinner, recipes and lots of fun.

Please Note: As with all our classes and workshops, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group).

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israeli Family Dinner to bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class if and when we offer them.
ITALIAN ALL THE TIME
ITALIAN ALL THE TIMEI am always hungry for Italian food. It is so delicious, so user friendly and everyone loves it.

This dinner class will feature some of my favourite Italian recipes for pasta, risotto, Giuliano Bugialli’s crispy baked chicken with lemon sauce, and a special dessert.

Please Note: As with all our classes and workshops, right now we are only offering this to groups (groups of ten with one person organizing the group).

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Italian All the Time to bonnie@bonniestern.com and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class if and when we offer them.

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURE
EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURESunday (dinner) March 1 to Tuesday (breakfast) March 10, 2020

Thanks to all of you who have signed up to come with Bonnie on her 10th delicious journey. Our trip is fully booked!

If you would like to be on the waitlist for 2020 or the list for information about 2021 (when it is available) please email bonnie@bonniestern.com

What people are saying about our last trip:

"Thank you for the experience of a life time! It was truly wonderful! I can’t imagine ever being able to see and do all that we did without you!" Diana D’Amelio

"Thank you for an amazing trip. Sometimes you build things up in your mind. I had been looking forward to doing this for years and worried I had set expectations too high. You and this trip blew all my hopes out of the water - you completely exceeded every hope." Joanna Smith

“We had such a unique opportunity to meet with Israeli culinary experts, and we learned not only about the food, but about the culture and efforts to build bridges of peace. The tour introduced us to so many things we would never have discovered on our own.” Kathy Kruk

Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO
Golden Turtle
125 Ossington Avenue
Toronto
416 531 1601
I love revisiting some of my favourite restaurants from the past and I love it even more when they are just as good as they used to be. You can’t go wrong here!
Reasonable
Dreyfus
96 Harbord Street
Toronto
416 323 1385
This tiny restaurant has created quite a stir. It’s Montreal in Toronto. There is a limited menu and it's only in French, but very helpful servers translate and explain if necessary. Most of the menu changes every day but don’t miss the pommes dauphine and oeuf a la Lyonnaise if they are there. The style isn't completely Montreal, French or Toronto but the food is delicious and it's a welcome addition to the Toronto restaurant scene.
Moderate to Expensive
La Bettola Di Terroni
106 Victoria Street
Toronto
416 504 9998
The perfect place before the theatre or whenever you are nearby. Great southern Italian food, served quickly and professionally and reasonably priced.
Moderate
Sabai Sabai
81 Bloor Street East
Toronto
647 748 4225

Lunch at Sabai Sabai, one of Toronto most popular Thai restaurants was a delicious bargain. Everything we ate on the lunch special was so good.
Moderate

STRATFORD ONTARIO
The Common
80 Wellington Street
Stratford
519 271 0999
There are so many restaurants in Stratford but it isn’t that easy to find a good one. The Common has a lovely setting in the garden and an interesting menu with an Asian accent. Food was good and service was friendly.
Moderate
Pazzo Taverna (main floor)
70 Ontario Street
Stratford
519 273 6666
In the midst of Saturday night, tourist season and theatre rush, it was a wonderful surprise to have a really delicious meal here. Food and service were great.
Moderate to Expensive
CAMBRIDGE ONTARIO
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa
1 Langdon Drive
Cambridge
519 740 2100
It’s always a treat to stay at Langdon Hall and the food is so beautiful and delicious.
Expensive
Featured Recipes
COTTAGE SHAKSHUKA
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 to 2 tsp harissa, depending on heat, optional
  • 3 lbs tomatoes, any size, any colour, coarsely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tsp kosher salt or more as needed
  • handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • handful of fresh dill, coarsely chopped
  • 6 to 8 eggs
  • challah, squishy white bread, pita or tortillas to mop up the sauce
  • COTTAGE SHAKSHUKAWhether it came from Yemen or Tunis, shakshuka has become one of the most popular dishes in Israel. Originally it referred to eggs cooked in tomato sauce with peppers but now it refers to eggs cooked in just about any sauce no matter what the ingredients. This shakshuka, that I made at my sister's cottage last week, was the best I have ever had and hardly has any ingredients. But I had eggs from a local farmer, tomatoes from my friends’ farm and even more tomatoes from Zoe and Matt Maslow's city garden, and as it turned out that was all I needed. (Yes I did bring some harissa up north with me and besides being spicy, it adds other flavours of the Middle East as well.) Shakshuka is served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Add onions and cook 5 to 10 minutes until lightly browned and getting tender. Add harissa and cook, stirring about 30 seconds. Add all the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add salt. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, uncovered, about 20 to 30 minutes until much of the liquid has evaporated and tomatoes have thickened. Season well as once you add the eggs it is too hard to add more seasoning.

    2. Reserve about 2 tbsp of cilantro and dill for serving and add the rest to the sauce. Make little pockets in the sauce for the eggs and break an egg into each one. Cook gently until the egg whites firm up and ideally the yolks stay runny. Some people put a cover on for a few minutes, some people put it under the broiler for a few minutes but I usually let the sauce bubble up around the eggs a bit and after about 5 to 7 minutes (or longer if necessary) it is usually ready.

    3. Sprinkle with remaining fresh cilantro and dill. Serve in the pan with your favourite bread.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    ADEENA SUSSMAN'S HARISSA-HONEY CHICKEN THIGHS (PARGIYOT)
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium store bought)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp store-bought harissa (amount depends on heat)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (+ more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • approximately 2 lbs (6 to 8) skin-on boneless chicken thighs (I used 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs), patted dry
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 small-ish onions, cut into 4 wedges through the root end (so that they will hold together)
  • 4 loquats or apricots, halved (I used 8 dried apricots)
  • thinly sliced green onions or chives
  • ADEENA SUSSMAN'S HARISSA-HONEY CHICKEN THIGHS (PARGIYOT)This delicious recipe is from Adeena Sussman's new cookbook (available Sept 3), Sababa: Fresh Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen. The chicken was such a big hit at a recent Friday night dinner I am going to make it for Rosh Hashanah. Or make it anytime - you don't have to be celebrating the Jewish new year to make an easy and delicious chicken dinner. In Israel, chicken thighs are the most popular part of the chicken and called 'pargiyot'. (If by any chance you are using chicken breasts - be careful not to overcook.) Instead of loquats or apricots you can use peaches, plums or tomatoes - I used dried apricots.

    Harissa is a Moroccan hot sauce that is available at Middle Eastern stores and specialty stores. They are all a bit different so taste a little (very little) first to judge how much to use. I have adapted the recipe slightly. Serve with rice.



    Method:

    1. In a medium bowl whisk together stock, harissa, honey, vinegar, salt and cornstarch. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides.

    2. Heat olive oil in a large, deep, oven-safe skillet over medium to medium-high heat.  Brown chicken, skin-side down, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (I did this in two batches.) Remove from pan. Discard all but 2 tbsp fat in pan.

    3. Reduce heat to medium and add onions to pan, flat side down. Cook onions a few minutes per side until browned. Stir up reserved chicken stock mixture (in case cornstarch has fallen to the bottom) and add to pan. Add fruit. Bring to a boil and cook gently a few minutes until thickened slightly. Nestle chicken thighs, skin side up, in the pan, spooning juices over the chicken. Cover and cook gently about 20 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

    4. Move oven rack to the upper third of oven and preheat broiler. Spoon juices over chicken again and broil until nicely browned (watch closely!). Sprinkle with green onions or chives.

    Make 4 to 8 servings

    SHUK: PERSIAN LAMB AND HERB STEW
  • 4 lbs boneless lamb shoulder cut into 3" chunks (or 5 to 6 lbs bone-in cut into chunks)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 cups cooked chick peas (freshly cooked or canned)
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 1 bunch each cilantro, parsley and dill, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Persian limes or Persian lemons, cracked *
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • PERSIAN LAMB AND HERB STEWThis recipe, from Shuk: From Market to Table, The Heart of Israeli Home Cooking by Einat Admony and Janna Gur (available Sept 17)  is so delicious. It is a great change from brisket and braised shortribs - two things I make often and love, but this is a bit more exotic.

    Serve with steamed rice or Persian tahdig rice.

    *Persian limes and Persian lemons are dried and available at most Middle Eastern market. I buy them at Ararat, 1800 Avenue Road.



    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 325F.

    2. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle meat with half the salt and some pepper. In batches, brown meat well on all sides (do not overcrowd the pan). Remove meat and repeat batches until all lamb is browned.

    3. Add the onions to the pan and cook a few minutes until wilted and add garlic, fenugreek leaves, cumin and turmeric. Saute one minute, stirring, until fragrant. Add chick peas, spinach, cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, dried limes and sugar and saute two minutes. Add the lemon juice, stock, remaining salt, the lamb and bring to a boil. Cover tightly with a lid or foil and transfer to the oven. Cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until very tender. The herbs will be dark green and mushy but so wonderful.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    PERSIAN RICE WITH SAFFRON
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • kosher salt
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 6 tbsp melted butter, divided
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads, crushed
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • PERSIAN RICE WITH SAFFRONThere are so many ways to make Persian rice but this in the method I have always used. The best part of the rice is the crispy tahdig that forms on the bottom (and becomes the top when you turn it out) but the first couple of times you make it you may have to get used to your pot, the heat and the timing so don't worry if it isn't perfect. The tahdig sometimes comes out in one piece, sometimes it shatters and sometimes I have to scrape it from the pot - but it is always delicious.

    This rice is good as is or sprinkled with chopped roasted coconut, pistachios, chopped toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, dried cherries, barberries, chopped dried apricots, candied orange peel and/or dried rose petals.



    Method:

    1. Rinse rice until the water runs clear. Soak rice in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tbsp kosher salt for one to two hours. Rinse and drain.

    2. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 tbsp kosher salt and rice. Cook 5 minutes until almost tender and drain well.

    3. Meanwhile, combine saffron and  1 1/2 tsp salt in 1/2 cup boiling water. Add 3 tbsp melted butter.

    4. In a deep heavy skillet or Dutch oven - about 10" wide (non-stick if possible), heat remaining 3 tbsp melted butter. Heat until sizzling and beginning to brown. Add rice so that it mounds slightly in the middle. With the handle of a wooden spoon make about six holes in the rice all the way to the bottom. Drizzle in saffron/water/butter mixture.

    5. Wrap the lid in a tea towel making sure the tea towel does not hang down at all. Place lid on top of pot. Reduce to low and steam 30 to 45 minutes until a brown crust forms on the bottom. If you check after 30 minutes and no crust has formed, increase heat to medium and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer. Rice will remain hot in the pan, covered for an hour or two.

    6. Loosen rice around the edges of the pot and invert onto a large serving platter. If crust doesn’t come out with rice, lift it out of the pan, break into chunks and place on top of rice.     

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    WILD BLUEBERRY AND ORANGE MINI MUFFINS
  • 1 orange ends trimmed, cut into about 1" chunks with the peel and pith, seeds removed (about 8oz)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tbsp coarse sugar, optional
  • WILD BLUEBERRY AND ORANGE MINI MUFFINSWhen Michael Crummey was our guest speaker at my book club in August, I looked through all my recipes from my trips to Newfoundland and remembered these delicious muffins from The Sugar Hill Inn in Norris Point. They made them with partridge berries but especially at this time of year, when our tiny fresh wild blueberries are in season, that’s what I use. And partridge berries are tricky to find in Toronto. Frozen wild berries work well too - use them from the frozen state. If you make larger muffins, they will take a bit longer to cook. Either size - they freeze well. I often make them with gluten-free flour - I like Cup4Cup brand the best.

    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter or spray mini muffin pan(s).

    2. Place 8oz orange pieces, egg, oil and milk in a food processor and blend, on/off, until the orange is in tiny bits.

    3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine well. Stir orange mixture into flour mixture just until combined. Stir in blueberries.

    4. Using a 1 oz ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons batter per muffin, fill muffin cups. (If you have leftover batter you can bake it in ramekins. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar.

    5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until muffins have risen, are browned and a meat thermometer inserted into the centre reaches 195F.

    Makes 24 mini muffins

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