Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Hack

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

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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.

 

June 2019

May was the best kind of month, learning about people, organizations and causes that make a difference.

Two well-known Israeli chefs, Yossi Elad and Osama Dalal, came to Toronto to cook at fund-raising events for Shalva, a leading-edge rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem, where people are welcomed no matter their economic or religious backgrounds. I originally met Chef Yossi Elad when he opened his renowned restaurant in Jerusalem ten years ago, Machnyeuda, located beside the famous market, and then again in Toronto when I was the host at an event for Chefs for Peace, an Israeli organization dedicated to Jewish, Muslim and Christian chefs working together. Now, with his partners, Yossi owns the award-winning restaurants Palomar and Barbary in London and Balagan in Paris. I met Chef Osama Dalal when I brought my Israel culinary tour participants to his restaurant, Maiar, in the elegant Alma Hotel in Tel Aviv a few years ago. He told wonderful family stories and cooked an amazing lunch for us featuring modern Arab food. Now, he is an ambassador for the food of his native Akko, the beautiful old city on the Mediterranean coast, and travels, teaches and cooks. Their fully-booked events showed that a collaboration between Israeli Jewish chefs and Israeli Arab chefs results in delicious food. While they were in Toronto, they had a chance to meet with many chefs and restauranteurs and even gave a few of us a mini cooking class at Rose and Sons - see recipe section below for my version of their delicious food.

I am always honoured to be invited to participate in the Spring Reunion festivities at my alma mater, New College at University of Toronto. The topic this time was sustainability. New College Executive Chef James Piggot prepared a fitting menu, New College Principal, Bonnie McElhinny, spoke on the subject and I talked about food waste. I demonstrated the herb salad I learned from Chef Yossi Elad. It uses more herbs than you can imagine which is perfect for this time of year when we always seem to have extra herbs in the fridge or in our herb gardens. Best of all this salad tastes like summer. Three relevant cookbooks to turn you into an expert in using up ‘leftovers’ are: Waste Not, Want Not by Cinda Chavich, Waste Not from the James Beard Foundation and Now and Again by Julie Turshen.

Another current food issue is sustainable aquaculture. At a sustainable seafood session hosted by Momofuku last month for chefs and restauranteurs, Ned Bell, Executive Chef of Ocean Wise and founder of Chefs for Oceans, said that if we want to continue to have wild fish at all we must also eat farmed fish and support better fish farming. He pointed out that although all our other food is farmed, we seem to have an aversion to farmed fish. Three good sources of information online are: Ocean Wise Seafood Program; the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program and the Marine Stewardship Council. Two excellent cookbooks featuring information about and recipes for sustainable seafood are Lure by Ned Bell and Ship to Shore by John Bil.

I saw asparagus at the farmers market this week so I think it is spring!

Delicious wishes,
Bonnie

Open Cooking Classes
ASPARAGUS
ASPARAGUSYou know for sure it's spring when you see local asparagus at the farmers market. Although many guides for cleaning and cooking asparagus say to trim asparagus where the end snaps off the stem but most of the time you are wasting a lot of asparagus. Cut about an inch off the bottom of the spears and, if the asparagus is thick (my fave), peel it about 1 to 2 inches up the stem with a vegetable peeler. If you like thin asparagus it doesn’t need peeling. After trimming, soak the spears in a big bowl of cold water to release any sand. The sand will sink to the bottom so lift out the clean asparagus without shaking up the bowl. There are many ways to cook asparagus – whichever you choose, do not overcook. It usually only takes a few minutes.

Waste Not: You can use the ends you have cut off to make a soup as they contain a lot of flavour. Cook with leeks and a little fresh tarragon, add stock or water to cover and cook until tender (usually 30 to 40 minutes) then puree thoroughly. Strain if necessary and season to taste.



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.


AUGUST

MICHAEL CRUMMEY: THE INNOCENTS
MICHAEL CRUMMEY:  THE INNOCENTSWe are thrilled to launch the new season of the Book Club with one of Canada’s finest writers (and a Book Club favourite): Michael Crummey.

Over the course of his incredible career, Michael Crummey has established himself as one of the greatest novelists of his generation. His novels River Thieves,The Wreckage, Sweetland and his masterpiece Galore, have been shortlisted for every major Canadian literary prize, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction (twice) while earning rave reviews from critics and attracting a loyal readership across the country.

It’s been a five year wait for Michael’s new novel, but the wait is definitely worth it. In August, Michael Crummey will visit the Book Club to launch The Innocents, a spell-binding story of survival. A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland’s northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by a savage ocean and by a relentless pendulum of abundance and scarcity. Still children, with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family’s boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father. Muddling through the severe seasons, through years of meagre catches, storms and illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as the seasons pass, they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures and even that loyalty will be tested. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world we live in, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves. This is bound to be an outstanding evening.

Date: Monday August 26, 2019
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East #105, Toronto (Entrance on Sherbourne)
Fee: $175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Innocents sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Book Club Location
 
The Edible Story3
The Edible Story2
The Edible Story1
The edible story
The Edable Story5
The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space is the perfect place for our themed book club. Owners/chefs Alanna Fleischer and Brian Cheng will create a menu to suit.

320 Richmond Street East #105
Toronto

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

www.theediblestory.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

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
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
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 
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
News And Events
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).

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.

"Bonnie: thank you once more for a wonderful evening of amazing food and inspiration. I was on a food high when I got home and could not get the thought of your incredible chicken out of my mind! Your recipes are the best."  Barbara Kerbel

BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOP
BONNIE'S CHALLAH WORKSHOPChallah is the Jewish celebration bread that is enjoyed at every Friday night dinner except during Passover. However, now challah has risen way above Jewish cooking and is a favourite for French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, bread pudding and so much more.

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: 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.

NEW! ITALIAN ALL THE TIME
NEW! ITALIAN ALL THE TIMEThinking about Giuliano Bugialli made me very hungry for Italian food. And made me remember all the other wonderful Italian guest chefs we hosted like Marcella Hazan, Biba Caggiano and Carlo Middione. This dinner class will feature homemade pasta and some of my other favourite Italian recipes like crispy baked chicken and lemon tiramisu.

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).

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.

TORONTO TASTE
TORONTO TASTESunday June 9, 2019

Toronto’s original, celebrated, culinary extravaganza returns!

On Sunday June 9, the very best of the city’s food scene come together at Toronto Taste for one spectacular evening in support of Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue charity.

For more information click Toronto Taste 2019

THE STOP'S NIGHT MARKET 2019
THE STOP'S NIGHT MARKET 2019Tuesday June 18 or Wednesday June 19, 2019

Inspired by night markets from around the world, The Stop’s Night Market brings Torontonians together to celebrate community and the power of food.

This popular fundraiser features all-you-can-eat dishes from 65+ of Toronto’s best chefs, accompanied by 20+ local drink vendors and an eclectic mix of local musicians, DJ’s, and performers. All proceeds support The Stop’s vital programming.

For more information and tickets click The Stop's Night Market 2019

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

We had a wonderful 9th culinary trip to Israel in February 2019. If you would like to be on our email list for our 10th anniversary tour and other future trips please send your name, email and phone number, with subject line: Trips, to bonnie@bonniestern.com (if you are not already on the list).

We are hoping to send out a sample itinerary, prices and registration information in the next few weeks.

"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
Casa Imperial Fine Chinese Cuisine
4125 Steeles Ave. East
Scarborough
416 756 2788
If you love dim sum you will love Casa Imperial. Once a steak house, this opulent mansion has chandeliers and a European feel. But it ends there. The dim sum items that you know are better there and they also offer a unique selection. If you live nearby I am sure you go there already but if you live downtown – it is well worth the drive.
Moderate
Sweet Marmalade
3255 HWY 7 East
Unit 19 – 20
Markham
905 604 8211

 

If you never liked Asian desserts, there is a good chance Sweet Marmalade will change your mind. We tried three desserts (all were very large and sharable) but the Taiwanese mango shaved ice got our votes for the best. There are three locations so check out the one closest to you. We went to this one after dim sum at Casa Imperial. It was a perfect Mother's Day.
Moderate

Le Swan
892 Queen Street West
Toronto
416 536 4440

We all loved our dinner at Le Swan where bistro specialties meet traditional diner food. We had dishes from both sides of the menu and everything was great. The smoked trout rillette and potato salad (not your usual potato salad) were favourites but the steak frites, pork chop, fish fingers and sole meuniere were delicious too. Don’t miss the fries.
Moderate

Bar Buca Eglinton: Apertivo
101 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto
416 599 2822

 

I have recommended this new location of Bar Buca before but this is the first time I have been for aperitivo. At both locations, they have ‘happy hour’ on weekdays from 4 to 6pm called ‘aperitivo’, a Milan tradition. When you order a glass of wine or cocktail, you receive a chip that allows you to go to the antipasto bar that offers things like marinated vegetables, olives, cheese (I especially loved the runny gorgonzola and the wheel of Reggiano), salads, prosciutto, salami and flatbreads. You help yourself to one (smallish) plate of deliciousness. One chip/plate per drink. Go before this Milan tradition takes off and you can’t get in!
Moderate
Featured Recipes
LARA'S SMOKED EGGPLANT ‘RAHEB’ WITH TOMATOES, WALNUTS AND POMEGRANATE SEEDS
  • 2 or 3 small egg-shaped eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs total weight)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • bread or pita to serve
  • LARA'S SMOKED EGGPLANT ‘RAHEB’ WITH TOMATOES, WALNUTS AND POMEGRANATE SEEDSWe had this amazing eggplant dish at the home of Lara Zahabi-Bekdash when she invited Ray and I over for an Iftar dinner during Ramadan. Every dish was wonderful but I know I will be making this one all the time. That traditional and wonderful smoky taste in Middle Eastern eggplant dishes comes from roasting the eggplant on an open flame. You could also char the eggplant on a barbecue or under the broiler. If you can only find large eggplants, start them on the flame, barbecue or broiler and when blackened, transfer to a sheet pan and roast at 425F until collapsed. Look for eggplants with shiny skins and ones that feel 'lighter' when compared to other ones.

    Method:

    1. Cook eggplants directly on gas burners set on medium heat. Cook 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the eggplants with tongs,  or longer until the skins are black and blistered and eggplants have collapsed and are cooked through. (See intro to recipe for alternative cooking methods.)

    2. Cool slightly then carefully peel off skins (don't worry about getting every bit of skin off) and open eggplants. Drain about 15 to 20 minutes in a colander or sieve set over a bowl.

    3. Chop eggplants and spread over a shallow serving dish.

    4. Combine lemon juice with salt and garlic and drizzle over eggplant. Sprinkle with half the parsley. Sprinkle evenly with walnuts and then tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with pomegranate seeds and remaining parsley. Serve with bread or pita.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    ONE POT PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE BOLOGNESE
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb spicy or mild Italian sausages, meat removed from casings (or ground beef or turkey)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups canned tomatoes with juices (one 796mL can)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (in a pinch use water)
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream, optional
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 12 oz dried pasta (eg fusilli, rigatoni etc), broken up a little
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, optional (or other cheese)
  • 5 oz pkg baby spinach, kale or arugula
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ONE POT PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE BOLOGNESEAlthough this recipe was in the newsletter a few months ago, I am including it again because it is so popular I didn’t want anyone to miss it. When I saw my friend Yotam Ottolenghi's One Pan Pasta with Harissa Bolognese I wanted to make it right away. But I also wanted to use up the foods I had on hand. The cream and cheese are optional – just omit if you are cooking for those who are lactose intolerant and use GF pasta for those of you who cannot have gluten. Serve with a salad.

    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a 3L deep skillet or stove top casserole.  Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook gently about 5 to 8 minutes. Add sausage meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Increase heat and brown it a little. Add tomato paste and Worcestershire and cook, stirring, about one minute.

    2. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Add cream and about 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

    3. Add pasta and stir well. Mixture will look liquid-y but don't worry, pasta will absorb it - liquid should cover the pasta. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring, until thick and creamy and pasta is tender. (If pasta isn't tender yet add a bit more water and cook longer.)

    4. Add cheese, spinach and peas to pasta and stir just until spinach wilts. If you wish -  broil 3 to 5 minutes until top browns a bit but I just eat it.

    Make 4 servings

    HERB "TABBOULEH" SALAD WITH SEEDS AND BERRIES
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves and tender stems only
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • 1 bunch dill, leaves and tender stems
  • 1 small bunch mint, leaves only
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1 mild or medium hot red chili, halved, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced in rounds
  • 2 cups fresh berries (eg blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, pitted cherries and/or husked cape gooseberries


  • dressing:
  • 1 to 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • HERB Although tabbouleh salads have always had lots of herbs, this one has even more. I always have so many herbs leftover in my fridge (or taking over my garden) and this salad uses them up. Instead of the usual bulgur (cracked wheat) or other grains, this recipe has pumpkin and sunflowers seeds and fresh berries. This was inspired by chef Yossi Elad, founder of Machneyuda in Jerusalem and Palomar in London, England. He was in Toronto recently with Osama Dalal (see mashed potato recipe below) doing a fund-raiser for Shalva, an amazing rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem.  Yossi served this with fish tartar on top but I like it as is and serve it with grilled fish or meat.

    Method:

    1. Combine parsley, cilantro, mint and dill. Chop coarsely. Add sliced green onions. (You should have 8 to 10 cups). Spread over a large shallow salad bowl or serving plate.

    2. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chiles and berries.

    3. Just before serving squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon or more (about 3 to 4 tbsp) over the salad, season with salt and pepper to start and drizzle with 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil. Toss and add more of anything or everything to taste.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings

    OSAMA DALAL'S GRANDMOTHER'S MASHED POTATOES
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if necessary and cut in half or quarters depending on size
  • 2 tbsp each extra virgin olive oil and butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or red medium hot chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground coriander seeds
  • juice of 1/2 lemon + more to taste
  • 2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves + more to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil or butter to taste
  • OSAMA DALAL'S GRANDMOTHER'S MASHED POTATOESIsraeli Arab chef Osama Dalal and Israeli Jewish chef Yossi Elad were in Toronto recently to cook at a few fund-raising events for Shalva, a beloved rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem. Yossi made us an herb tabbouleh salad (see above recipe) and Osama made these mashed potatoes to go with his fish-stuffed-pita (ayares).

    Method:

    1. Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water about 20 minutes or until very tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and remove skins if they haven't been peeled already.

    2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook gently until starting to caramelize. Add garlic, chile and coriander. Cook a few minutes longer. Add potatoes and mash them in coarsely. Keep cooking, stirring, until very hot.

    3. Add lemon juice and taste for lemon, salt and pepper. Add more if necessary. Stir in cilantro and extra olive oil or butter to taste.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings

    ROASTED FISH FILLETS WITH LEMON AND CHIVES
  • 1 1/2 lbs fish fillets (6 pieces), skinless and boneless and approximately 1/2" to 3/4" thick
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • grated lemon peel
  • sprigs of fresh rosemary and fresh thyme
  • 6 slices lemon
  • Handful fresh chives
  • ROASTED FISH FILLETS WITH LEMON AND CHIVESRoasting is an easy and quick way to prepare fish. At home or at the cottage when you don't want to spend too much time cooking it’s perfect. This recipe works well with farmed fish - fish farms are much more organic and sustainable now and we have to have a balance of farmed and wild fish or there won't be any wild fish left. Try this recipe with Arctic char, trout or pickerel for a start.

    Method:

    1. Place fish in a single layer, flesh side up, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    2. Combine olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and lemon peel and rub into fish gently. Scatter sprigs of rosemary and thyme on top. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

    3. Preheat oven to 425F. Roast fish 10 to 12 minutes or a bit longer, checking to see if it just flakes when gently pressed with a fork. If fish is thicker it may take a little longer. Discard sprigs of herbs on top.

    4. To serve place a slice of lemon on each piece and scatter chives over the top.

    Makes 6 servings

    BIRTHDAY PARTY CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES
    cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or safflower oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup drained, crushed canned pineapple
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (or pecans)
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)


  • cream cheese frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup butter, diced
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • BIRTHDAY PARTY CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES

    Although carrot cake is nothing new - it is still the most popular kid on the block. Last month I made my favourite carrot cake into cupcakes for a birthday party and they were a big hit. This will make 20 to 24 cupcakes (or 36 to 40 mini cupcakes), a two layer 9" cake or one 10" tube cake. (I like to make a mixture of large and small cupcakes.) If you like lots of frosting, make 1 1/2 times the frosting recipe. You can always freeze any leftovers - cake or frosting on its own or together.

    To decorate cupcakes I love the sprinkle look. I write happy birthday on the platter.



    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter, spray or line muffin tins or baking pans.

    2. For the cake, in a bowl, whisk flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. reserve. In a stand mixer with the K-beater attachment, beat the eggs and add the sugars. Beat well and slowly add oil. Add vanilla.

    3. Either on low speed or with a wooden spoon, mix in flour mixture and then add carrots, pineapple, walnuts and raisins if using. Transfer to baking pans. Bake cupcakes approximately 20 minutes for small, 25 to 30 for regular-sized, 25 for layer cakes and 55 to 60 minutes or longer for tube cakes, or until an instant read meat thermometer reaches 195F. Cool on wire racks.

    4. For icing, with a mixer, beat cream cheese with butter until completely mixed and light. Beat in sugar, adding more if necessary to taste and beat in vanilla.

    5. When cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe icing onto cupcakes. Keep refrigerated but serve at room temperature.

    Makes lots of cupcakes or one layer or tube cake

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