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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810


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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.


October 2019

Hello October – where did September go? I actually love the cooler weather but time passing so quickly is another story. How about you?

We went on a family trip to Ottawa last month. It is such a beautiful city. We travelled by train and it was so much fun. It is so relaxing and comfortable with minimal distractions – time to catch up on reading or sleep. Check the restaurant recommendations below for some old and new spots we went to in Ottawa and the gelato place that was so good we went twice!

Our September book club with Lilian Nattel was fascinating. I am always surprised at how different all our authors are and what they choose to talk about in the very personal settings of our book clubs. Lilian told us about the research she did for her new historical fiction, Girl at the Edge of Sky. We learned about the Russian involvement in WWII and how many women volunteers were in the Russian army – close to one million. They were pilots and combat soldiers as well as in more traditional women’s roles such as in medical units and communications. This is based on the true story of Lydia Litvyak (known as Lily) who became a pilot while she was a teenager and lied about her age in order to fly in the war. Read it.

Our guest for October is Giller-award-winner, Sean Michaels with his new, intriguing book, The Wagers. We have a few spots left – see details below. We are taking names for a waitlist for Ken Dryden’s book club in November – Scotty: A Hockey Life Like No Other, and announcing a new book club with Linden MacIntyre featuring The Wake on December 9, 2019.

Congratulations to all the authors who made the shortlist for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and especially Ian Williams and Michael Crummey who were featured guests at our book club this year – well deserved.

I am excited to welcome Israeli cookbook author and good friend, Janna Gur, to Toronto at the end of October. I will be doing an event with her at City Shul October 24 to celebrate the publication of her new cookbook, Shuk: From Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking, written with Chef Einat Admony. For information about the event see News and Events below and for their recipe, Hummus with Spiced Beef, see the recipe section.

To everyone who celebrates Rosh Hashanah and observes Yom Kippur, I hope you have an easy fast and a delicious new year.


Kitchen Hint
PREPPING TIPWhen you are prepping a recipe it is so handy to have a scrap bowl, a small compost bin and a bench scraper (also called a pastry or dough scraper) close to your cutting board to easily scoop up all the bits and pieces you need to use up in soups or stocks or to compost. It will save you so much time and keep your prep area clean and neat. Try not to waste too much.

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.


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

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

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

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

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: 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


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
Rose and Sons 7
Rose and Sons 6
Rose and Sons 5
Rose and Sons 1
Rose and Sons 4
Big Crow1
Big Crow2
Big Crow4
Big Crow6
Big Crow7
Big Crow x
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

(Entrance on Sherbourne)
647 278 1819

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


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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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
8:30am to 4:30pm

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

For more information click: Canada Table

THE HEART OF ISRAELI COOKINGThursday October 24, 2019

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

To register click: The Heart of Israeli Cooking


Sunday October 27, 2019

Taste Canada will announce the 2019 winners of the country’s only national, bilingual food writing awards.

Network with Canada’s top cookbook authors, food bloggers, publishers, farmers, chefs, restaurateurs, industry, media, government and cookbook fans. This is the premiere event for cookbook fans and food enthusiasts. Expand your taste buds, discover delicious recipes, sample new ingredients and products at this one-of-a-kind gastronomic event.

For more information and tickets click: Taste Canada Awards


Wednesday October 30, 2019
6:30 to 9:30pm

George Brown College's Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts is delighted to welcome Chef Sean Brock for the next installment of our In Conversation With: Chef Sean Brock.

For more information and tickets click: Sean Brock at GBC

11am to 2pm

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

All money raised will be directed to the Parkinson's disease research at the Toronto Western Hospital.

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

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 who will make a donation to CFCC instead of bringing a bottle of wine, flowers or other hostess gift.

For more information click: The Big Social

WHAT'S ON THE TABLEWednesday November 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information please send your name, email address and phone number with subject line: Israeli Family Dinner to and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class if and when we offer them.
ITALIAN ALL THE 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 and let us know if you are interested in bringing a group or would like to join an open class if and when we offer them.

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND 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

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
Fat Pasha
414 Dupont Street
647 340 6142
One of my favourite places in Toronto (I mean they serve my challah!) and the most beautiful patios. It’s always fun and delicious. And the whole cauliflower is better than ever.
Speducci Mercatto
46 Milford Avenue
North York
416 242 2777
Speducci is an Italian grocery, butcher shop and cafe all in one wonderful space. It's fun to even be in the room. The food is delicious, the service is casual and friendly, it’s always busy and open for lunch and early dinner.
The Whalesbone
Elgin Street

231 Elgin Street
613 505 4300
Always delicious – we love the scallops, chowder, mussels and the fish. Fries are good as well. Oh and the new desserts are amazing.
Corner Peach
802 Somerset Street West
613 302 6820
We all loved our lunch at this casual, friendly diner. The breakfast bowl (for lunch) was the winner – rice topped with kimchi, grilled corn, roasted Brussels sprouts, sauteed kale and an egg.
Chesterfield’s Gastro Diner
1433 Wellington Street W
Unit #111
613 680 8990
The blueberry pancakes looked so good on Instagram and were just as delicious in reality. Eggs Benny were also a favourite. Get there early or don’t be afraid to wait.
Stella Luna Gelato Cafe
1130 Wellington Street W
613 695 6565
The gelato was so delicious we went twice. And just so you know – the ‘small’ has three scoops - and they can be three different flavours. So good. Maybe the best I have had outside of Italy.
Featured Recipes
  • 1 jalapeno
  • juice of one lime (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro + more leaves for garnish
  • 2 large ripe avocados

  • to assemble:
  • 1/2 lb smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 small/medium heads little gem lettuce leaves separated
  • LITTLE GEM CUPS WITH GUACAMOLE AND SMOKED SALMONLittle gem lettuce is a cute mix of Romaine and butter lettuces - crisp and sweet altogether in a little cup reminiscent of Belgian endives (which can be used if you can't find little gem). This is a great appetizer for breaking the Yom Kippur fast and for Thanksgiving. This combination also makes great tacos and sandwiches on challah bread - and those are delicious ways to use up any leftovers. Extra lettuce leaves are delicious in salads of course, but also great for dipping (into the hummus below or anything else) or eating as a low-cal snack.


    1. Slice jalapeno in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs. Taste a small piece to see how hot it is and use as much as you feel your guests will like. Finely chop what you are going to use and wrap and refrigerate the rest. Place chopped jalapeno in a medium bowl. Add lime juice, salt and 3 tbsp cilantro.

    2. Open avocado by cutting lengthwise around the centre. Gently separate the two halves. Remove the pit VERY carefully (please watch an online video) and spoon out the flesh into the bowl. Mash avocado so that there are still some small pieces and some puree. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    3. Arrange the nicest 16 to 20 leaves of lettuce on a serving platter. Place a tablespoon of guacamole down the centre of each piece of lettuce. Top with a slice of smoked salmon (folded over slightly) and top with a leaf of cilantro.

    Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (freshly cooked and chilled*, or canned)
  • 1/3 cup good quality raw tahini (I use Soom tahini)
  • 1 small clove garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice + more to taste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin + more to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp ice water + more if necessary

  • meat:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp baharat**
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt + more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • HUMMUS WITH SPICED BEEF FROM SHUK (THE COOKBOOK)  Einat Admony and Janna Gur, authors of Shuk, from Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking (Thomas Allen & Son) bring you into the markets of Israel so much so you could use it as a travel book as well as a cookbook. Hummus has reached cult status in Israel with everyone claiming they know where the best hummus joint is. Hummus with spiced beef is one of the most popular hummus dishes and this one is so delicious. The hummus itself, drizzled with tahini and extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with sweet paprika and a little harissa is a winner too. Serve with pita or challah.

    *To use dried chickpeas, rinse them well, soak in a big bowl of cold water with 1/2 tsp baking soda for 12 to 24 hours. Drain, rinse and cook in about 3 quarts cold water with another 1/2 tsp baking soda, uncovered, at a lively simmer, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until very tender and almost falling apart. Skim off any froth and chick pea skins as it cooks. Drain chickpeas, rinse and chill.

    **Baharat is a very popular spice mix used in Middle Eastern cooking. You can find it in Middle Eastern or spice or specialty stores or make your own by combining 2 tbsp each of ground allspice, ginger and cinnamon and 1 tsp each of ground caraway seeds and freshly ground black pepper.  Makes about 1/3 cup.

    I have adapted the recipe to serve 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

    1. Place cooked chickpeas in a food processor with tahini, lemon juice, salt, a few twists of pepper, cumin, garlic, olive oil and half the ice water. Puree until smooth - a few minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally. Taste for lemon juice and salt. Add more ice water if hummus is too thick.

    2. For the meat, heat oil in a large skillet on high. Add onion and cook until lightly browned about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until golden brown - 7 or 8 minutes. Add turmeric, paprika, baharat, cumin, cinnamon, salt, a few twists of pepper and cook another minute or two. Increase heat to medium-high and add beef, breaking it up with a fork or wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 minutes until meat is browned. Stir in parsley and pine nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste - it should taste lively.

    3. Spread hummus in a shallow dish and make a ‘crater’ for the beef. Spoon in warm meat and serve.

    Serves 6 to 8
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lbs), cut into approx 3" long strips
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds (or nigella seeds or more white sesame seeds)
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil for frying
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • OTTOLENGHI'S SEEDED CHICKEN SCHNITZELThis recipe was included in my newsletter last year but it was so popular I am repeating it. It’s one of my own favourites too from Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook Ottolenghi Simple (Appetite by Random House). Everyone loves it and it really is simple. Yotam recommends making a double batch of the breadcrumb mixture to have on hand for the next time. You can use it on strips of white fleshed fish or for a vegan version use butternut squash sticks.

    1. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap, and one at a time, gently flatten them with a rolling pin to about 1/2" thick.

    2. In a medium bowl (preferably shallow) mix flour with 1/4 tsp salt and some black pepper.
    3. Put the eggs in another bowl (also preferably shallow).

    4. In a third shallow bowl mix breadcrumbs with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and 1/4 tsp salt.

    5. Dip each piece of chicken into the flour, shake off excess, then into egg, then into breadcrumbs to coat well. Repeat with all the chicken.

    6. Add enough oil to a large skillet to measure 1/4" deep. Heat over medium. When oil is hot, add chicken in batches and fry 5 to 6 minutes, turning after about 2 1/2 minutes, until cooked through and brown on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and continue with remaining chicken. Serve hot with wedges of lemon.

    Serves 4 to 5
  • 4 (5 to 6 oz) pieces, boneless salmon fillets with skin on
  • 5 tbsp loosely packed brown sugar*
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 red chili, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (or to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots (store-bought at Asian markets or homemade) (optional)
  • 2 tbsp roughly torn cilantro leaves

    Amy Rosen's new cookbook, Kosher Style (Appetite by Random House), is full of modern updates of traditional Jewish foods. Although this recipe doesn't appear to be very Jewish, growing up in Toronto before the food and restaurant 'revolution', the only restaurants my parents took us to were Chinese restaurants, so I am always attracted to a sweet tasting Asian recipe like this Vietnamese one. The book also contains all the classics from challah to kugel to blintzes and brisket.

    *Note: I only used 3 Tbsp loosely packed brown sugar and it was still delicious.


    1. Coat flesh side of salmon with sugar and refrigerate 30 minutes.

    2. Add water and oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. As soon as it bubbles and sizzles, add soy sauce, chili and garlic. Lower heat to medium-low, season sugar-coated salmon with pepper, then place the fish in the skillet skin side down. Cook, uncovered, 3 to 4 minutes, flip to the other side (scraping any stuck chili and garlic back into the sauce) and cook until the top of the salmon (fleshy side) is caramelized about another 3 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness of fillets.

    3. Remove salmon to a warm serving dish, skin side down. Spoon over any remaining sauce and sprinkle with shallots (if using) and cilantro.

    Makes 4 servings

  • 6 large, firm baking apples
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 tsp apricot jam
  • 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup apple cider or juice (I used water)

    Leah Koenig's new cookbook, The Jewish Cookbook (Phaidon), covers Jewish food around the world. Whatever you think you know about Jewish food - there is so much more to learn and enjoy in this 400 - recipe volume. The recipes and their stories are warm, inviting, easy to follow and so delicious.

    Although this book is full of exciting recipes I want to make, as soon as I saw this simple one for baked apples I knew I had to make it right away. One because I knew my husband would love me more and two because it would remind me of my mother and I would cry. I was right on both counts. Leah says that baked apples were once a common dessert in Ashkenazi households but now we tend to like more elaborate desserts. If they aren't fancy enough for your dessert Leah suggested serving them with yogurt for breakfast.

    1. Preheat oven to 375F.

    2. Cut out each apple stem. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the cores leaving the bottom 1/2" intact.

    3. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon peel and salt.

    4. Place 1 tsp jam in bottom of each apple, then stuff with brown sugar mixture, mounding it on top a little. Place in a baking dish (about 2L) and top each apple with a few pieces of butter.

    5. Warm the liquid and pour into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, basting once or twice with juices, until the apples are tender and beginning to collapse but not mushy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Makes 6 servings
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled + more for buttering pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or 3/4 tsp kosher salt)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lightly toasted black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp lightly toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure tahini (I use Soom tahini)

    This delicious Israeli play on blondies is one of the most anticipated recipes from Adeena Sussman's new cookbook, Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from my Israeli Kitchen (Penguin Random House). I saw them on Instagram so many times I made them as soon as I got the cookbook!

    As well as being a delicious square, you can serve them warm from the oven for dessert with ice cream or coconut cream. Adeena says if you need them to be kosher (or non-dairy) use olive oil or vegetable oil instead of butter. She also advises to follow the method closely as tahini has a tendency to seize if added at the wrong time.

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8" square baking pan. Line with 2 crisscrossing strips of parchment paper, buttering between each layer and leaving a 2" overhang on all sides. Butter top and sides of parchment paper.

    2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, pepper and all the sesame seeds.

    3. In another bowl whisk together 1/2 cup melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until blended and then fold in tahini until smooth.
    4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden on the outside and centre does not jiggle but is still soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan. Cut into 16 squares.

    Makes 16 squares
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