Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Tip

Bonnie's Book Club

Corporate Services

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.

 

November 2019

October – you were such a busy month!

In September’s newsletter I told you about a new fund-raising event (for the Sinai Health Foundation) called the Foodball. I saw some of you there but for those who weren’t - it was really exciting. Canadian chefs met and worked with chefs who came in from around the world and the food, cocktails and wines were all great. Next year they promise more of everything. Watch out for it.

Israeli/American cookbook author and chef Adeena Sussman, author of the new cookbook, Sababa, was in Toronto for the Foodball and while she was here, she also hosted two fully-booked brunches with Chef Anthony Rose at Fat Pasha and did an event at the Reisman Schwartz Centre to a full house. I have been cooking many recipes from her book and they are delicious.

We had an amazing book club with Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Sean Michaels featuring his new book The Wagers. Congratulations to all the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize nominees and a special shout out to Michael Crummey (The Innocents) and Ian Williams (Reproduction) both of whom were guests at our book club this past year. We are excited to welcome Ken Dryden in November and Linden MacIntyre in December  – see details below.

My daughter Anna and I had an amazing time in New York with good friends Mitchell Davis and Nate Goldstein. Check out our New York restaurant recommendations below but our best meal was brunch at Mitchell and Nate’s home with so many friends – unfortunately not open to the public.

Congratulations to organizers of the second annual Canada’s Table: A Celebration of Our Cookbooks held at Fort York. It was another successful day filled with panel discussions, demos and workshops plus a long table lunch comprised of recipes from the featured cookbooks. I will be back at Fort York on November 11 for their Remembrance Day services – Let Us Never Forget.

Congratulations also to all the nominees and winners of the Taste Canada Awards 2019 including Anna Olson whose recipe is featured below in the recipe section.

And finally, Israeli cookbook author, Janna Gur was in Toronto celebrating her new cookbook Shuk, written with Chef Einat Admony. We discussed everything Shuk at City Shul, we discussed everything Shabbat at an amazing Friday Night Dinner event/class at my home and Anthony Rose hosted a delicious brunch with Janna featuring recipes from the cookbook at his casual Israeli restaurant Fet Zun.

My local farmers’ market at Wychwood Barns has moved indoors for the winter – support your farmers. See you there,

Bonnie


Kitchen Tip
STEAMING EGGS
STEAMING EGGSI love hard cooked eggs but have always boiled them. When my friend Mitchell Davis told me about this method (adapted from Serious Eats) I was dubious but I have to say, over and over they have come out perfect. Place a rack or steaming basket in the bottom of a saucepan. Add about 1” water, just to the top of the rack (just below the eggs). Bring to a boil. Place eggs in a single layer on top of the rack. Cover. Cook 10 to 12 minutes depending on how firm you like your yolks. (I like mine just slightly jammy in the centre.) Place eggs in a large bowl of ice water and cool 5 to 10 minutes. Crack all over and peel under water.


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.


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: Tuesday November 19, 2019 (Wait list only)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Anthony Rose's new restaurant (formerly 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


DECEMBER

LINDEN MACINTYRE: THE WAKE
LINDEN MACINTYRE: THE WAKETo close out the Book Club’s incredible year, Bonnie is very happy to welcome back a true Book Club favourite. Over the years, legendary journalist and award-winning novelist Linden MacIntyre has launched The Bishop’s Man, Why Men Lie, Punishment and The Only Cafe at the book club and has delivered incredibly insightful talks about his work over some really incredible meals.

Linden returns to the Book Club with a brand new work of amazing non-fiction, The Wake, which became an immediate bestseller and is the gripping story of a tragic event in Newfoundland history that would go on to shape the future of the province and the country.

On November 18, 1929, a tsunami struck Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. Giant waves, up to three storeys high, hit the coast at a hundred kilometres per hour, flooding dozens of communities and washing entire houses out to sea. The most destructive earthquake-related event in Newfoundland’s history, the disaster killed twenty-eight people and left hundreds more homeless or destitute. It took days for the outside world to find out about the death and damage caused by the tsunami, which forever changed the lives of the inhabitants of the fishing outports along the Burin Peninsula.

Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning writer Linden MacIntyre was born near St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, one of the villages virtually destroyed by the tsunami. By the time of his birth, the cod-fishing industry lay in ruins and the village had become a mining town. MacIntyre’s father, lured from Cape Breton to Newfoundland by a steady salary, worked in St. Lawrence in an underground mine that was later found to be radioactive. Hundreds of miners would die; hundreds more would struggle through shortened lives profoundly compromised by lung diseases ranging from silicosis and bronchitis to cancer. As MacIntyre says, though the tsunami killed twenty-eight people in 1929, it would claim hundreds if not thousands more lives in the decades to follow. And by the time the village returned to its roots and set up as a cod fishery once again, the stocks in the Grand Banks had plummeted and St. Lawrence found itself once again on the brink of disaster, The Wake is a major new work by one of this country’s top writers.

With his incredible gifts as a storyteller, MacIntyre brings history to life with a cast of remarkable characters. The Wake is a major new work by one of this country’s top writers.
Date: Monday December 9, 2019
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Edible Story
320 Richmond Street East #105, Toronto
Fee: $175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of The Wake sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Book Club Locations
 
The Edible Story1
The Edible Story2
The Edible Story3
The Edable Story5
The edible story
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

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
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
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
THE BIG SOCIAL
THE BIG SOCIALCommunity Food Centres Canada has initiated a fundraising program that encourages home cooking and community. Bonnie is participating and you can too.

Host a meal of any kind, ideally between November 1 and November 10, 2019, invite friends and family and ask them to make a donation to CFCC instead of bringing a bottle of wine, flowers or other hostess gift. Come to think of it; it's a good thing to make a donation as a host/hostess gift any time.

For more information click: The Big Social

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

SHUK MACHANE YEHUDA VISITS TORONTO
SHUK MACHANE YEHUDA VISITS TORONTOSunday December 1, 10am to 6pm
Monday December 2, 10am to 3pm

The famous Jerusalem market visits Toronto. Vendors from Israel will offer specialty foods, spices and aromas reminiscent of a day in the Jerusalem market. Booths and vendors will be built to replicate the look and feel of the famed Shuk, whisking you away to Israel for a few hours.

Proceeds to benefit Ezer Mizion, the world's largest Jewish bone marrow registry, saving lives in Israel, Canada and across the world.

For tickets click: Shuk

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 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

ISRAELI FAMILY DINNER
ISRAELI FAMILY DINNERIsraeli food is what everyone wants to eat right now. 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
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

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 2020 trip is now fully booked but 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
Joso's
202 Davenport Road
Toronto
416 925 1903
I never get tired of the delicious food at Joso’s. Here’s my perfect meal - share the fried or grilled calamari, share spaghetti Leonardo, share one fish and salad (they will bone it perfectly for you if you don’t want to do it yourself), order one grilled scampi for each person and then share the palaschinke for dessert. Perfect.
Expensive
Bar Isabel
797 College Street
Toronto
416 532 2222
It was so much fun taking Israeli cookbook author, Adeena Sussman, to one of my fave Toronto restaurants – Bar Isabel. Everything is delicious but for me, I always have to have the Basque cake with hot sherry cream. We also loved the ceviche, octopus and charred runner beans.
Moderate
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant
Lawrence Plaza
506 Lawrence Ave. West
Toronto
416 789 0519
It is always a pleasure to introduce visitors, especially visiting food professionals, to United Bakers (or ‘UB’ to those who know). Therefore, I had to take cookbook author Adeena Sussman there when she was in Toronto recently. How many restaurants have been around for 107 years and owned by the same family – the truly wonderful Ladovsky family. The food is great but it is so much more than the food. It is the history of Jewish people in Toronto.
Reasonable
Bar Mercurio
270 Bloor Street West
Toronto
416 960 3877
I haven’t been here for many years and it was a wonderful surprise. We went this time for geographical reasons but will go back for the food. Service was a bit rushed and a little pushy, but it was very busy and the deliciousness made up for it.
Moderate
Don Alfonso 1890
19 Toronto Street
Toronto
416 214 5888
Don Alfonso 1890 is the first North American location of Don Alfonso 1890 on the Amalfi Coast. It was voted the second-best Italian restaurant in the world by 50 Top Italy. The restaurant itself, located in the Consumer’s Gas building on Toronto St. (where many people remember taking cooking classes back in the day), is stunning and elegant. They have two tasting menus – one vegetarian (contemporary) and one with fish and meat (classical). Both are $150 (high for Toronto but not for tasting menus in New York, Las Vegas etc). If you do not want a tasting menu, there is an a la carte menu but you may have to ask for it - a few times. We ordered from the a la carte menu even though we were clearly informed that the tasting menu was what they were famous for. (Fair enough but not all the people in our group wanted it.) After that discussion, the service was excellent. The food was exquisitely presented and very good. They also have incredible bread – the one with gorgonzola and hazelnuts is not to be missed – seriously delicious.
Expensive
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Adda Indian Canteen
31-31 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, New York
718 433 3888
We loved everything about our meal at this very popular and excellent Indian restaurant. The newspapers as wallpaper, the retro plates, the friendly service and the delicious food (and our friends) made it extra fun and truly a wonderful experience.
Moderate
Fabrique Bakery
348 W 14th Street
New York
917 261 2476
Attitude aside, this branch of the popular Swedish chain has amazing sour dough breads and delicious cardamom and cinnamon buns.
Moderate
Intersect By Lexus
- Mishiguene

412 West 14th Street
New York
212 230 5832
Yes – Lexus (the car people) has a beautiful new restaurant in New York with an unusual concept. Every 4 to 6 months they invite a top chef from around the world who brings their own ‘restaurant’ with them. When we were there mid-October they featured the food of Tomas Kalika of Mishiguene (the yiddish word for crazy) in Buenos Aires, a restaurant I have always wanted to try. We had a wonderful lunch of Jewish dishes that have been modernized and updated. The restaurant is a tip-less, cash-less business that accepts all major credit cards.
Moderate to Expensive
Pastis
52 Gansevoort Street
New York
212 929 4844
This iconic bistro is bigger and better than ever. Everything we ordered was really good and although it pains me to say this – so typical - the steak frites were amazing.
Moderate
Claudette
24 5th Avenue
New York
212 868 2424
Great place for breakfast and a conversation. French/North African tastes on the buffet while even the fruit salad and yogurt with granola had an extra special something.
Moderate
Featured Recipes
EGGS WITH BURNT ONIONS AND SMOKED PAPRIKA MAYONNAISE
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp smoked paprika (or more to taste)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh herbs or sprouts
  • EGGS AND BURNT ONIONS AND SMOKED PAPRIKA MAYONNAISEThis is a great appetizer or sandwich filling on challah or bagels. It is the first thing I made when I learned the trick of steaming eggs (see Kitchen Tip above).

    Method:
    1. Place a rack or steamer basket in a saucepan. Add at least 1" water to come up to the edge of the steamer. Bring to a boil. Place eggs on the rack. Cover tightly and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Place eggs in a large bowl of ice water and cool completely. Gently crack shells and peel eggs under the water.
     
    2. Meanwhile heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onions. Cook on medium high heat, without stirring, until they begin to brown and then reduce heat to medium and cook until burnt in some places and browned in other places, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
     
    3. Combine mayonnaise with smoked paprika and season to taste.
     
    4. Crush or slice eggs into chunks or quarters. Drizzle with smoked paprika mayonnaise and spoon over onions. Sprinkle with herbs. Serve as is or lightly mix everything together.

    Make 4 to 6 servings
    MAIN COURSE BUKHARIAN RICE PILAF
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 oz spicy Italian sausage (removed from casings and broken up) or diced merguez sausage
  • 8 oz ground beef
  • 2 cups diced leftover cooked chicken or turkey (or 2 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, diced)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
  • 1 cup each chopped fresh parsley, cilantro and dill - divided
  • 1/4 cup each chopped fresh mint and green onions - divided
  • 2 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil, optional
  • MAIN COURSE BUKHARIAN RICE PILAFThis recipe is loosely based on the 'Bakhsh' recipe in Shuk by Einat Admony and Janna Gur. The idea of this traditional dish is basically a rice pilaf made with meat and poultry to be served as a main course. I think it lends itself to be started from raw ingredients or a way to use up leftovers (similar to fried rice). The exotic part of the dish is the use of lots of fresh herbs which often helps to reinvigorate leftovers. Leftovers are great in frittatas and it's also delicious with a fried egg on top. Here's how I made it but you could also make it vegetarian by using tofu or cooked beans or lentils and lots of vegetables.

    Method:
    1. Rinse rice well in a sieve until the water runs clear. Soak in cold water 1/2 hour to 2 hours. Rinse. Drain well.

    2. Meanwhile heat oil in large heavy Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and cook gently about 5 minutes until tender and fragrant but not too brown.

    3. Add sausage meat and beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until meat loses its raw appearance. Add chicken and cook 10 minutes if raw and 5 minutes if already cooked.
     
    4. Add tomato paste and stir in to coat meat. Add rice and stir to combine well. Add chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, scraping bottom of pan in case anything is stuck. Combine all the herbs and add about 2/3 to the pot and stir in. Cover pan tightly, lower heat and cook gently 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes longer.

    5. Stir in remaining herbs. Season to taste.

    Makes 8 servings
    SPAGHETTI WITH CHICKEN MEATBALLS
  • 1 lb ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I use panko)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley + additional 2 tbsp to finish
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more if necessary
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch hot red chile flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (I use Mutti)
  • 1 28oz/796mL can plum tomatoes, broken up
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 5 oz baby spinach, optional
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • SPAGHETTI WITH CHICKEN MEATBALLSAnd all of sudden it's pasta weather. Here's one of my faves. Use ground chicken or turkey or beef works too. I never used to like tomato paste as it always seemed to add a bitter taste to sauces but since I discovered Mutti brand I have never looked back. You can buy it at supermarkets but when you see it buy a few as they don't always have it. Their canned tomatoes are great too. You can make the meatballs and sauce ahead but cook the pasta just before serving.

    Method:
    1. In a medium bowl combine chicken with breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper and parsley. Shape mixture into 24 small meatballs. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet and brown meatballs, in two batches, removing to a plate when browned.

    2. Return pan to heat and add an additional tablespoon of oil if necessary. Add onions and garlic and cook gently until tender but not brown. Add chile flakes if using and tomato paste and cook gently, stirring, about one minute. Add tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Cook gently, uncovered, approximately 10 minutes until slightly thicker. Add meatballs and cook gently, covered, 15 to 20 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. (This can be done ahead.)

    3. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp kosher salt. Add spaghetti and cook until almost tender. Lift spaghetti out of cooking liquid with tongs or a spider strainer/skimmer and add to sauce. (Alternately you can reserve 1 cup cooking liquid and then drain pasta.) Cook spaghetti in sauce gently, a few minutes, stirring, adding some of the cooking liquid little by little if spaghetti seems dry. (The pasta cooking liquid will help make the sauce creamy.) If using spinach, toss in now and cook about one minute, just until wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

    Makes 4 to 6 main course servings
    SMOKY BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp pureed chipotle chiles (or 1 tsp Chipotle Tabasco), optional
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated smoked Cheddar cheese, optional
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • SMOKY BUTTERMILK CORNBREADI love making cornbread stuffing for turkey but cornbread is also a quick and easy way to have homemade bread. It's delicious topped with poached eggs for brunch or topped with cheese or vegetable spreads for appetizers. You can make it plain or add all kinds of delicious ingredients to the bread itself such as grilled corn, grated Cheddar, cooked chopped vegetables, roasted red peppers, or chopped fresh herbs and/or hot chilies to taste. I have added a few of my favourites below. Leftovers make great croutons or crackers.

    Method:
    1. In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

    2. In another bowl beat eggs with chipotle chiles (if using), buttermilk, and melted butter. Stir flour mixture in and stir in cheese and cilantro.

    3. Transfer mixture to a buttered 9" square baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25 minutes or until top feels firm from touch in the middle or until an instant read meat thermometer reaches 185F.

    4. Cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Delicious warm or room temperature.

    Make 8 to 10 servings
    CARROT CAKE SANDWICH COOKIES
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried currants


  • filling:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla paste or extract
  • CARROT CAKE SANDWICH COOKIESMy friends Anita and Mike Gravelle made these adorable and delicious cookie sandwiches for dessert when we were over for dinner. (They also made a wonderful DIY burrito main course but that's for another time.) This recipe is from Anna Olson's cookbook Set for the Holidays (Appetite by Random House) which just won a Taste Canada Award. I have adapted it slightly below. Instead of making individual cookies, you could make mini muffins, slice in half, fill and assemble - different but still very cute.

    Method:
    1. For cookies, beat butter with sugar by hand or with a hand mixer until blended and very light. Beat in egg and then vanilla. In another bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir into batter. Stir in carrots, oats, coconut and currants.

    2. Using a 1 oz (2 tbsp) ice cream scoop, level off each scoop with a knife and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper leaving about 1" or 2" between them. With this size scoop I made 24 cookies but you could use a smaller scoop or two spoons and make more.  Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12 minutes or until they lift off the pan and are lightly browned on the bottoms. Cool on wire racks. Try not to overbake.

    3. Make icing by creaming cream cheese and butter until blended and smooth. Beat in icing sugar and vanilla. Assemble sandwiches by piping or spreading filling/icing on the flat side of half the cookies and pressing a second cookie, flat side down on filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. These can be made a few days ahead - store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

    Makes 12 to 16 filled cookies depending on the size
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