Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Hint

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

Bonnie Stern is the founder of the Bonnie Stern School of Cooking in Toronto which she opened and operated from 1973 to 2011. She has studied and taught cooking around the world, authored 12 bestselling cookbooks, hosted three national cooking shows, and appears regularly on various television and radio shows across Canada.

For 17 years Bonnie wrote a weekly column for the National Post and her articles have appeared in numerous magazines. She has conducted popular workshops for the James Beard Foundation in New York City and leads culinary cultural trips to various delicious destinations. Bonnie is also the creator of a ground-breaking book club in which novelists are invited to discuss their work during thematic dinners.

Bonnie Stern is the recipient of many awards including ones from the Toronto Culinary Guild, the Ontario Hostelry Institute, Cuisine Canada and most notably she is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award. Bonnie Stern’s Essentials of Home Cooking won the coveted International Association of Culinary Professionals’ award.

 

January 2020

Happy 2020! May this year be filled with good health, laughter, deliciousness and wonderful memories.

PARIS
Paris is always a marvelous city to visit but a quick family trip to Paris in December was one of the best trips ever. Check and save the restaurant section below for my list of casual spots with delicious food, friendly service and reasonable prices. Also check the recipe section for some French favourite dishes. So many delicious memories.

BOOK CLUB NEWS
We are excited to welcome Maye Musk to our January book club whose new book A Woman Makes A Plan is receiving so many accolades. Thanks for responding so quickly to our express newsletter last month announcing our last-minute guest. I loved her honesty in the book revealing things you would never have expected when seeing her photo in magazines. Many of the people coming to the event worked with her when she was a nutritionist in Toronto and are happy for her success.

I have just finished How a Woman Becomes a Lake and was completely engrossed. Can't wait to hear the story behind this story when author Marjorie Celona is our guest on Monday March 23.

When Linden MacIntyre was here in December with his new book The Wake, we all learned so much about Newfoundland and unanimously agreed that if history books were written in a story-telling format, we all would have remembered so much more.

SAY HELLO TO SOME FOOD TRENDS FOR 2020

In Tel Aviv last year with my culinary group, Dan Arvatz, chef/owner of the top-rated, plant-based restaurant, Bana, explained that, in his opinion, 'vegan' is about everything you can't have, while ‘plant-based’ is about everything you can have. Now, the new vegan is called 'plant-based'. Look out for plant-based butter (the new margarine), plant-based meat, plant-based fish, plant-based milk, plant-based yogurt, plant-based ice cream, plant-based cheese, plant-based bone broth, plant-based flour (isn't wheat a plant?); and less processed sugar - date sugar, coconut sugar, palm sugar, maple syrup, maple sugar and honey (not vegan).

Everyone seems to be on a different diet. Look out for new versions of the keto diet; intermittent fasting; plant-based diet; lactose-free; gluten-free and nut-free.  It's getting harder to cook for more than one.

Look out for lab-grown food - beef, pork, poultry and seafood – but is it always vegan and/or healthy?

Watch out for Instagram-able restaurants, recipes, cocktails and mocktails that look gorgeous but don't necessarily deliver. Also watch for more home delivery; ghost restaurants; community kitchens; tablet menus in traditional restaurants (not just fast food places); family style dining; wood-fire restaurants; kids' menu redo; more wine bars, bistros and more special event dinners; and restaurants located in entertaining settings eg ice bars, 'dome' restaurants, and dinners in the sky; and unfortunately more restaurant reviews by people who are not restaurant reviewers.

We are more interested than ever in health, saving the planet, climate change, reusable everything; regenerative farming; zero-waste; vegetable based snack-foods; lower amounts of sugar in savory and sweet food (and lower amounts of artificial sugar-substitutes); reducing meat and dairy consumption; eating more vegetables, grains and legumes; blended meat and meat substitutes.

And generally: amba; Asian food; cabbage (the new cauliflower); cannabis; carbs; cocktails; collagen, dragon fruit; edibles; farmed fish; fermented foods; food as medicine; fusion foods made with ingredients from everywhere; ginger; harissa; hazelnuts; hospitality; home cooking; hummus; hydration; imperfect fruit and vegetable stores; Japanese convenience stores (konbini) where you can buy everything; Japanese-Italian food (itameshi); kalettes; Japanese souffle pancakes; kimchi everything; kindness; kombucha in everything; labne; lasagna; Middle Eastern food; mocktails; oat flour; oat milk; okonomiyaki; pastry shops (even though no one is eating sugar anymore); pistachio nuts; pizza; pomelo; reishi mushrooms and all mushrooms; seacuterie boards; sesame butter (tahini); sherry; sleep snacks; spice blends (especially hawaiij, dukkah, and baharat); squid ink; star fruit; sunflower seed butter; sustainable seafood; udon; vegetables; vegetable flavoured cocktails and mocktails and soda water; women; wood-fire cooking; wood-fire flavour; and yuzu.

Let me know what food trends you are seeing.

Delicious wishes for peace and kindness in the new year.
Bonnie

Kitchen Hint
POACHING EGGS
POACHING EGGSI have always loved poached eggs. Even though in chef training I learned to swirl water in a deep pot and drop eggs into the vortex where the white spins around the yolk and the eggs come out egg shaped, and although I once saw Paul Bocuse poach 24 eggs using this technique, in one large pot, in the Toronto Star test kitchen with Monda Rosenberg, I always poach eggs the way my mother taught me, much less dramatically, in a pan of water...One trick I did learn recently that fits into my mom’s technique though, is to put each egg in a small strainer first and then add it to the simmering water. Watery egg white drains off and the eggs poach nicely without having to trim them.


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.


MARCH 2020

MARJORIE CELONA: HOW A WOMAN BECOMES A LAKE
MARJORIE CELONA: HOW A WOMAN BECOMES A LAKETo kick the spring season off, Bonnie is pleased to welcome Marjorie Celona, one of Canada’s most exciting new writers. Marjorie is no stranger to critical and award acclaim, having been nominated for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize and winning France’s Grand Prix Litteraire de l’Heroine for her debut novel Y.

Marjorie makes her first visit to the Book Club to launch her long-awaited new novel How a Woman Becomes a Lake, a powerful tale told in taut illuminating prose which asks: what do you do when the people who are supposed to love you the most fail?

It's New Year's Day and the residents of a small fishing town are ready to start their lives anew. Leo takes his two young sons out to the lake to write resolutions on paper boats. That same frigid morning, Vera sets out for a walk with her dog along the lake, leaving her husband in bed with a hangover.

But she never returns. She places a call to the police saying she's found a boy in the woods, but the call is cut short by a muffled cry. Did one of Leo's sons see Vera? What are they hiding from the police? And why are they so scared of their own father?

In the months ahead, Vera's absence sets off a chain of reverberating events in Whale Bay. Her apathetic husband succumbs to grief. Leo heads south and remarries. And the cop investigating the case falls for Leo's ex-wife but finds himself slipping further away from the truth.

Told from shifting perspectives, How a Woman Becomes a Lake is about childhood, familial bonds, new beginnings, and costly mistakes. It is going to generate a lot of conversation.
Date: Monday March 23, 2020
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: To be announced
Fee: $175 + HST (includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of How a Woman Becomes a Lake sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Some of Our Book Club Locations
 
The Edible Storyx

The Edible Story
This cooking school, catering company and event space is the perfect place for our themed book clubs. 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

Tabule on Yonge Street x

Tabule on Yonge Street

Tabule is one of my favourite Toronto Restaurants for great Middle Eastern food. Always fun and so delicious.

2009 Yonge Street
Toronto
416 483 3747

www.tabule.ca

7 Numbers x

7 Numbers

Everything at 7 Numbers is delicious – calamari, lasagna, meatballs, osso buco, sexy duck, everything.

516 Eglinton Avenue West
Toronto
416 322 5183

www.sevennumbers.com

 

Corporate Services

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

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

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.

Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

 

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

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

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810

Bonnie's Cookbooks
 
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

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

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

$29.95

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published by Trecarre, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

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

Food Processor Cuisine

At My Table

Bonnie Stern’s
Cuisinart Cookbook

In the Kitchen
with Bonnie Stern

Cooking with Bonnie Stern

Simply HeartSmart Cooking

More HeartSmart Cooking






News And Events
CHEFS FOR CHANGE
CHEFS FOR CHANGEPresents A Mid-Winter Feast

This January and February, join Community Food Centres Canada at Chefs for Change, a mid-winter dinner series and chef collaboration featuring phenomenal food made by dozens of Canada’s best chefs.

Net profits will help Community Food Centres Canada to support vibrant, food-focused organizations that bring people in low-income communities together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for healthy food for all.

For more information click Chefs For Change

WINTERLICIOUS 2020
WINTERLICIOUS 2020January 31 to February 13, 2020

Winterlicious 2020 is coming soon featuring three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at over 200 restaurants as well as 14 culinary events. Be sure the Winterlicious menu reflects the regular menu of the restaurants you want to try.

For more details click Winterlicious 2020

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

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

 “Everyone was impressed by the professional cooking lesson in such a warm, comfortable atmosphere, like being in a friend’s kitchen.” Jeanne Bullock
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

“What a wonderful night at your kitchen. I am just so thrilled that I finally got to experience your Israeli dinner class. As usual, your classes always go beyond my expectations.” Cathy MacCallum

Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO
The Grand Elvis
176 Dupont Street
Toronto
647 748 3287
Chef Anthony Rose’s newest restaurant is a merger of Rose and Sons and Big Crow into one large restaurant called The Grand Elvis. We loved the new look and the over-the-top delicious menu. Don’t miss the butterscotch pudding.
Moderate
Eataly
Manulife Centre
55 Bloor Street West
Toronto
437 374 0250
(no reservations)
We waited a few weeks until the opening fury died down (where lines actually went around the block) and went for an early lunch on a weekday. There are lots of places to eat – sitting and standing. We went to La Pizza, La Pasta and thought it was delicious. There are many counters and bars for things like coffee, gelato, pastries, cannoli, pizza and take-out foods. It’s a glorious food circus.
Moderate
Crown Princess
1033 Bay Street
Toronto
416 923 8784
We had a lot of Chinese food and dim sum over the holidays – after all the traditional Jewish way to celebrate Christmas is Chinese food and a movie. But we didn’t stop there and had one more delicious dim sum lunch at Crown Princess with my Chinese restaurant advisor and good friend, Irene Tam. She has never let us down with her recommendations and she was on target once again. A larger and more varied menu than in most places and even the items that seem the same have different twists.
Moderate
PARIS, FRANCE
Freddy's
54 Rue de Seine
75006 Paris
+33 1 00 00 00 00
Our first lunch in Paris was at Freddy’s. It set the pace for our casual and delicious meals on this trip. At this cozy wine bar, we fell in love with leeks all over again and started an unofficial rice–pudding-with-caramel-sauce competition between bistros. Mostly bar seats but the food was so good and everyone was so friendly, we all felt comfortable.
Moderate
Juveniles
47 Rue de Richelieu
75001 Paris
+33 1 42 97 46 49
Friendly helpful staff and delicious food makes this one of the most popular wine bars in Paris.
Moderate
Le Comptoir du Relais
9 Carrefour de l’Odeon
Paris

+33 1 44 27 0797
You need to book months in advance for dinner (fixed menu) at this beloved bistro. However, at lunch, they do not take reservations and if you get there early, you can get a table. The restaurant opens at noon, be there at 11:45.
Moderate to Expensive
Frenchie - Bar A Vins
6 Rue du Nil
75002 Paris
Frenchie, the restaurant, is usually booked months in advance. But at the wine bar across the street, they do not take reservations - go early or late to beat the lines. It opens at 6:30pm but it’s only bar seating and quite noisy –  so if you are young, you’ll probably love it, but if you are older you might not. In either case the food is delicious.
Moderate
Le Regalade
Saint-Honore

106 Rue Saint-Honore
75001 Paris
+33 1 42 21 92 40
This classic bistro was so much fun. First there’s the terrine they plunk down on the table and everyone can take as much as they want. Then there’s the delicious traditional dishes with wonderful desserts including the huge bowl of rice pudding for everyone to share with a pitcher of caramel sauce. Wine prices seemed a bit confusing – check whether the wine you want is priced by the bottle or the glass.
Moderate
Breizh Cafe
109 Rue Vieille du Temple
75003 Paris
+33 142 1377
There are a lot of creperies in Paris but this is considered one of the best. The ingredients are organic and the food is delicious. The main course galettes are made with buckwheat flour and are gluten free. They are offered with many fillings to choose from – ham, cheese and egg is classic. Usually the dessert crepes are made with wheat flour but you can request the buckwheat ones – which were delicious with caramelized apples and quince and ice cream.

Sometimes galettes are made with a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours but here it's all buckwheat flour for the savory crepes. Buckwheat, despite its name, is gluten free and not related to wheat.
Moderate
Miznon
22 Rue des Ecouffes
Paris
+33 9 71 34 53 84
Just like the original Miznon, in Tel Aviv, these thick, fluffy pita breads have conquered the Marais. Pita are filled with all kinds of delicious things like lamb kebabs, burgers, ratatouille, roasted cauliflower and even a falafel burger that was delicious. And many vegetables (like a whole roasted cauliflower) are offered on their own. There are even mini-caramelized apple, chocolate and caramel pitas for dessert.
Reasonable
Le Coq Rico
98 Rue Lepic
Paris
+33 1 42 59 82 89
Chicken has never been this exciting. You can choose from different breeds, various ages (of the chickens that is), whole or parts, plus delicious appetizers, sides and desserts – especially the caramelized brioche French toast.
Moderate
Chez La Vieille
1 Rue Bailleul
75001 Paris
+33 1 42 60 15 78
Daniel Rose, the now famous American chef who opened Spring in Paris and was so successful that he now also owns La Bourse et la Vie and Chez La Vieille, and also has a wonderful restaurant in New York, Le Coucou. Too much information? You only need to know this place is terrific.
Moderate
Pierre Herme
Multiple locations

 

Any location of this incredible pastry shop has the very best macarons! Eat lots because once you taste them you won’t want any others. In effect, eating them is weight control.
Moderate

Featured Recipes
LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 2 large leeks, trimmed, sliced and cleaned, see intro (about 4 to 5 cups sliced)
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if necessary, cut into about 1/2" to 1" chunks
  • 3 cups water, vegetable stock, chicken stock or a combination
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or cream, optional


  • topping: optional
  • chopped chives or green onions
  • grated Swiss or cheddar cheese
  • sauteed crispy leeks
  • cream
  • LEEK AND POTATO SOUPThis classic French soup is comforting and delicious when served hot, and sophisticated and posh served cold, called Vichyssoise. Either way it's easy and quick to make.

    Leeks: When I went to chef school we were told to only to use the white part of the leeks. When I took cooking classes in Italy I learned to trim the leeks high on each layer to include more of the tender green part nearer the top. Now I use most of the dark green part too but usually cook those a few minutes first as they are a bit tougher, and then add the rest. Be sure to clean the leeks well as sand and dirt can get trapped in the layers. Rinse off any obvious dirt, slice and put them in a big bowl of cold water, swish them around to loosen the dirt and then leave them for about 5 minutes to allow the dirt to settle on the bottom and the leeks to float on the top. Gently lift the leeks out of the water and shake off excess water.


    Method:
    1. Heat olive oil in a medium or large saucepan. Add leeks and garlic and cook gently 5 to 8 minutes until tender. Add potatoes and combine well. Add water or stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook gently 20 to 25 minutes until potatoes are very tender. Add milk or cream if using and heat thoroughly.

    2. I like to mash the potatoes a little with a small potato masher to make it semi pureed but the soup can be served as is or completely pureed. Add more liquid if necessary (especially if you puree it) and re-season.

    3. Serve as is or sprinkled with garnishes and/or drizzled with a little cream.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings
    FRISEE SALAD WITH BACON, CROUTONS AND POACHED EGGS
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced French bread or focaccia
  • 6 cups frisee or curly endive


  • dressing:
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • eggs:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • FRISEE SALAD WITH BACON, CROUTONS AND POACHED EGGSFrisee salad is a traditional French bistro dish and delicious for breakfast, brunch, lunch or a light dinner. Frisee usually refers to the inner light green and white leaves of curly endive but I also use some of the darker leaves as well. I often add in some gentle mache leaves or peppery arugula.

    Poach the eggs as directed below and/or use the trick in Kitchen Hint above. Whichever way you cook them - when you break the yolk and it combines with the dressing on the greens it is so delicious!

    Extra dressing keeps in the refrigerator about 5 days.


    Method:
    1. Brush about 1 tsp olive oil over the bottom of a 9" or 10" skillet. Add bacon and cook on medium heat until as crisp as you like. Drain on paper towels. Remove fat from pan, return pan to the heat and add remaining 2 tbsp  (- 1 tsp) olive oil. Add diced bread and cook just until lightly browned and crunchy. Remove from pan and reserve with bacon.

    2. For dressing whisk vinegar with mustard, salt, pepper, honey, garlic and tarragon. Whisk in olive oil until dressing thickens. Taste and if it is too tart (vinegars can be different), add a little more olive oil or honey, a little at a time.

    3. To poach eggs, rinse out skillet and fill with water. Bring to a boil and add 1 tbsp plain white vinegar. Crack the eggs into the water (or use the trick I outlined in Kitchen Hint above) and cook for 4 to 6 minutes until the whites are firm but the yolks are still runny. Lift out of the water and drain on paper towels, trim as necessary.
     
    4. To serve toss the greens in a large bowl with about half the dressing. Add more if necessary a little at a time. Place some greens on each plate. Sprinkle with bacon and croutons. Place an egg on each salad.

    Makes 4 servings
    DUCK CONFIT
  • 8 duck legs (thighs and leg attached)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 to 2 cups duck fat, melted but not hot
  • DUCK CONFITWhen I was in Paris we saw duck confit (duck legs preserved in duck fat) on every bistro menu. Although you can buy it at many butcher stores, here and there, I really wanted to make it myself. You can also buy the duck fat from the butcher here too – I went to Cumbrae’s. Make more than you need and keep some in your freezer for duck emergencies. You can serve this as a main course with potatoes roasted in duck fat and a salad with a tart dressing. This is a combined version of Mitchell Davis' traditional recipe in Kitchen Sense and David Lebovitz's faux version in My Paris Kitchen.

    Method:
    1. Prick the skin of duck legs all over. Cut the skin and meat around the joint all the way to the bone.  Combine the salt with sugar, allspice and nutmeg. Rub this mixture into both sides of each duck leg. Place juniper berries, peppercorns, thyme and garlic in a bowl, add duck and toss and then press the duck close together very snuggly in the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

    2. With a paper towel rub off the salt and spices from the duck legs. Toss the duck with the melted fat and pack into a baking dish, skin side down, just large enough to hold them snuggly. Cover with parchment paper and then tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 300F oven for 2 to 2 1/2  hours or longer until very tender.

    3. If using right away, increase oven temperature to 400F, remove duck from the fat, place skin side up on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and roast until skin is very crispy about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool the remaining duck fat and store in the refrigerator or freeze for next time.

    4. Otherwise, cool duck in the pan in the duck fat in the pan and then refrigerate. You can keep it a few days in the fridge or freeze with some of the fat coating it in individual portions.

    Makes 8 servings
    ROAST POTATOES WITH HERBES DE PROVENCE
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if necessary
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or 2 tbsp melted duck fat if you have it)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence
  • ROAST POTATOES WITH HERBES DE PROVENCE Herbes de Provence is an herb blend that contains a mixture of dried herbs from the south of France. It usually includes savory, rosemary, marjoram and thyme and often a little lavender, sage, tarragon or fennel. Use it on vegetables, chicken, lamb or in olive oil for dipping as well as in salad dressings.

    Method:
    1. Cut potatoes into wedges and toss with olive oil, salt and herbes de Provence. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    2. Roast in a preheated 425F oven 30 to 35 minutes or longer until tender and brown.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings
    MOROCCAN ORANGE FRUIT SALAD
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 cara cara oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 blood oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp pistachio slivers (available at Persian markets)
  • MOROCCAN ORANGE FRUIT SALADThis is a perfect winter dessert salad that is refreshing after all the holiday over-eating. It's a variation of the citrus salad in my Friday Night Dinner cookbook and feel free to sprinkle it with chopped chocolate or sliced dried apricots or dates. Add a few drops of orange blossom water to the fruit juices for a slightly exortic flavour. If cara cara or blood oranges are not available use pink grapefruits.

    Note: Peel oranges or grapefruit for salads by slicing off the top and bottom so they are stable on the cutting board. Cut away the peel from top to bottom removing most of the pith. (You can candy the peels so as not to waste them.) Then slice the oranges into rounds. If you just want the segments (sometimes called fillets) cut them out between the membranes after removing the peel.


    Method:
    1. Arrange the regular orange slices around the edge of your plate. Then the cara cara and the blood oranges in the centre.

    2. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pistachio nuts.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings
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