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Contents
Bonnie's Book Club

Corporate Services

News and Events

Restaurant Recommendations

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes

Contact
Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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Bonnie Stern
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 writes weekly in the National Post. She offers a wide variety of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. Bonnie is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.
 

June, 2015

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@bonniestern), or if you're my friend on Facebook you probably know it's been a busy month. I had one of the best trips to New York with highlights in all categories of food, family and friends. Look for my food adventures in the restaurant recommendations below.

Our book club with author Jim Shepard and The Book of Aron was extraordinary. After the serious topic of the book and incredible reviews in the New York Times, National Post, Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (among many others) we were not expecting Jim to be so warm, engaging and totally approachable. It was a fantastic evening of literature and food held at Fat Pasha.

Our book club with Lawrence Hill was also amazing. So many of us cherished The Book of Negroes since it was first published in 2007 and were so excited to meet Lawrence Hill. The story behind the book and also how it was turned into the recent mini-series made for a lively talk and question period. The food at Big Crow was the perfect compliment.

I am just finishing This is Happy by Camilla Gibb who will be at our August book club and I know this will also be fantastic - Check out our book club section below.

Then there were more events - a demo of summer food at Beth Sholom where I saw so many of my former students. It made me miss the cooking school so much - thanks to all of you for coming. I also participated on a panel about Jewish food at an all-night Shavuot learning program at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre and even though my panel was early at 10:30pm - I still feel jet-lagged. At the end of May I returned to New College at University of Toronto (my alma mater) to talk about food trends at their Spring Reunion dinner. I also demo-ed my favourite summer salad and made the salad dressing for 150 guests - luckily the caterer made the salad, sides, appetizers and desserts for everyone. Thanks to everyone who organized all these events - I appreciate all the hard work.

One more thing - Happy Birthday to Sydney Bacon who turned 105 last week. He wanted a plain white cake with white icing - I was happy to oblige.

And don't forget the farmers' markets are outdoors now so support your local farmers and make shopping fun and interesting. And you when you taste local strawberries for the first time each year - it's so special.

Delicious wishes,
Bonnie

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 the country's leading authors, 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. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.

AUGUST

CAMILLA GIBB: THIS IS HAPPY
CAMILLA GIBB: THIS IS HAPPY

What better way to kick off the 2015/2016 season than with one of the Book Club's most beloved writers?

Over the years, Bonnie has had the privilege of hosting the great Camilla Gibb for incredible evenings dedicated to Camilla's Scotiabank GIller Prize-nominated, Trillium Book Award-winning Sweetness in the Belly and national bestselling The Beauty of Humanity Movement. This August, the Book Club is thrilled to welcome Camilla Gibb back as she discusses her first work of non-fiction. This is Happy is an extraordinary memoir that explores grief, new motherhood and what it means to be a family.

When Camilla Gibb was just eight weeks pregnant, her spouse shattered all sense of the present and future by announcing she was leaving. Heavy with the weight of what had been lost, Camilla was forced to create a home, one into which she soon welcomed a small cast of ailing souls: her brother, a man new to sobriety; a lonely graduate student new to the city; a Filipina nanny new to the country; and a baby, new to the world. This is the heartfelt and inspiring story of their first two years together, an unconventional love story about an unlikely family.

Raw and unflinching, intelligent and humane, This is Happy asks the big questions, and finds answers in the tender moments of the everyday.

Please join us for what promises to be a tremendous evening of food and conversation.

Date: Monday, August 24, 2015
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: To be announced
Fee: $165 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of This is Happy sent out as soon as possible)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Some of our favourite Book Club Locations
 
Pangaea 2 x
Pangaea
Tabule x
Tabule

Quince 1 x
Quince Bistro

Rose and Sons 2 x
Rose and Sons
Chiado x
Chiado Restaurant
L'Avenue Bistro x
L'Avenue Bistro
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
TORONTO TASTE
TORONTO TASTE

This legendary culinary event turns 25!

Savour scrumptious dishes from 50 top chefs, a startling array of beverages and breathtaking lakeside views. Best of all, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping those in need by supporting Second Harvest’s food rescue program.

Each ticket purchased enables Second Harvest to rescue and deliver food for 500 meals. To-date, Toronto Taste has raised more than $10,300,000 for Second Harvest.

Date: Sunday, June 7, 2015
Place: Lakeside, Corus Quay, Toronto
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $250 per ticket
(Includes food and drink. A tax receipt will be issued for $125)

For more information visit:
https://secure1.gettickets.ca/Redeem/Regular/SelectTickets.aspx?id=ec5af910-6238-48c0-9ad7-47d09f50adde&locale=en-CA

PORT MEDWAY READERS' FESTIVAL
PORT MEDWAY READERS' FESTIVAL

Cooking demonstration, tasting, wine pairing, and cookbook signing by Bonnie Stern. Limited tickets available.

Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015
Place: Port Medway Fire Hall - Meeting House
167 Long Cove Road
Port Medway, Nova Scotia
Time: 4 to 6pm
Cost: $25

For more information visit:
http://portmedwayreadersfestival.com/

EVERGREEN ASADO BBQ FUNDRAISER
EVERGREEN ASADO BBQ FUNDRAISER

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A South American-style festival full of fun, flames and food at Evergreen Brick Works.

For one night only, 40 top chefs tame the flames over dramatic open-air parilla barbecues to bring you the smoke and sizzle of South American cuisine. Dine alfresco on farm-fresh food and local drinks prepared by Brad Long, Steve Gonzalez and more. Then join the carnival and dance the night away—all in support of green, healthy cities.

For more information, visit:
http://www.evergreen.ca/asadobbq/?utm_campaign=asadobbq&utm_source=evergreen&utm_medium=email&utm_content=general-1

BONNIE’S BOOK CLUB GOES TO LONDON
BONNIE’S BOOK CLUB GOES TO LONDON

This is just an advance announcement of our plans to lead a culinary trip to London (UK) for book lovers next spring, combining delicious food experiences and meals, with author talks, excursions and tours. More information to follow.

If you would like to be on a specific mailing list for trips please just send me your name, email address and phone number to bonnie@bonniestern.com

Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO

Bar Buca
75 Portland Street
Toronto

416 599 2822

I don't drink very much but I have to admit I fell in love with the barbabuca cocktail at Bar Buca. It's like a salad in a cocktail glass - beets, vodka, sweet vermouth, raspberries, apricots, lemon and a bit of olive oil and pepper. (It must be so healthy.) And then I fell in love with the food - raw asparagus salad, short rib spiedini (mini skewers), nodini (bread knots) and so much more. I went twice!
Moderate
Buca Yorkville
53 Scollard Street
Toronto
416 962 2822
For a special lunch go to Buca Yorkville. Luckily they also serve the Barbabuca cocktail! Don't miss the pizzas (we had the burrata), pasta (we had the amazing busiate with cuttlefish), raw artichoke salad, nodini, spectacular gnocco fritto and pine nut tart.
Moderate to Expensive
Joso's
202 Davenport Road
Toronto
416 925 1903
So nervous where to take Tanya Bastianich Manuali for a lunch interview celebrating her new cookbook Healthy Pasta. Joso's was the perfect place. Her famous mom, Lidia, and family were from the same area of Croatia as Joso's family so their delicious food was her comfort food too. Don't miss grilled and/or fried calamari, octopus salad, shrimp Buzara and palachinka for dessert! I went back the next week for other favourites -  spaghetti Leonardo, grilled whole fish and scampi - everything served family style.
Moderate to Expensive
The Gabardine
372 Bay Street
Toronto
647 352 3211
After a book launch (eg. Philip Slayton's Mayors Gone Bad) or shopping spree at Ben McNally Books on Bay Street just south of Queen Street West, the best place for dinner is The Gabardine next door. They just happened to have a few seats at the bar so we settled in for dinner (fish tacos and arctic char) and a surprisingly delicious rum baba for dessert. The burger next to us looked amazing - we have to come back.
Moderate
THR and Co
97 Harbord Street
Toronto
647 748 7199
If there is only a couple of you going out for dinner try sitting at the bar! So much fun. Just a snack this time - beef cheek croquettas, pizza, vegetable salad and cocktails!
Moderate
Dinah Koo Cafe Express
224 Vaughan Road
Toronto
416 551 9865
If you miss Dinah Koo's delicious food and wonder where she is now, she's at her catering commissary on Vaughan Road just north of St. Clair Avenue. As well as catering from there she has just opened a small neighbourhood cafe. Open for breakfast and lunch, everything this tiny cafe serves has Dinah's touch. Great coffee.
Moderate
Essen
1282 Dundas Street West
Toronto
416 534 0407
If you want a traditional Friday Night Dinner but don't have a Jewish grandmother, go to Essen. Chef/owner Leor Zimerman is a young French-trained chef disguised as a Jewish grandmother. He cooked around the world but just wanted to come home and feed people his grandmother's Ashkenazi-style comfort food. The restaurant isn't fancy but the food is delicious and has a big heart. Don't miss the Miami short ribs, Jewish ramen (chicken noodle soup with matzah balls, brisket-stuffed-kreplach, brisket, chicken schnitzel, cookies, strudel, apple cake and some Israeli specials too.
Moderate
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant
Lawrence Plaza
506 Lawrence Ave. West
Toronto
416 789 0519
From 7am to 9pm United Bakers (affectionately known as UB) is one of Toronto's busiest restaurants. It is so much a part of the Jewish community and the Toronto community at large. Early in May they hosted a delicious Israeli breakfast in honour of Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv who came to Toronto to tell people about the Tel Aviv Foundation and their 300 + projects that help make his city special for everyone without regard to religion, race or colour. United Bakers is over 100 years old and still owned and operated by the Ladovsky family. Their food is vegetarian plus fish.
Reasonable to Moderate
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Santina
820 Washington Street
New York
212 254 3000
From the owners of the wonderful, over-the-top retro Italian restaurant Carbone, this is their salute to Southern Italian seafood. The decor is also over the top and well located under the High Line and next to the Whitney. Do not miss the huge chickpea crepe with tuna spread, octopus spiedini, fritto misto, arugula and fig salad and the swordfish with olives.
Moderate to Expensive
Empellon Tacqueria
230 West 4th Street
New York
212 367 0999
This fun and noisy restaurant is wonderful for all ages - young especially (noisy). But we all loved the guacamole, the margarita menu (yuzu margarita was my favourite but unfortunately not mine!), the ceviches and the tacos -  the Brussels sprouts taco was especially delicious with toasted almonds and burnt jalapeno hummus.
Moderate
Breads Bakery
18 E 16th Street
New York
212 633 2253
Still my fave bakery in New York. We had a delicious lunch with chef/owner Uri Scheft who taught an amazing challah workshop for my culinary tour in Tel Aviv at his original bakery Lehamim. You can go for breakfast or lunch or just a snack or to buy treats. Don't miss the cheese sticks, chocolate rugalahs, chocolate babka, cheese babka, cinnamon babka (did I say babka?), almond croissants, challah, Danish rye bread and more.
Reasonable to Moderate
Little Park
Smyth Hotel
85 West Broadway
New York
212 220 4110
This new restaurant from Chef Andrew Carmellini is a bit roomier, quieter and more vegetable based than his popular Locanda Verde, the Dutch, Lafayette and Bar Primi. We loved everything from the homemade bread and butter, beetroot tartare, arctic char, hanger steak, spatchcock chicken to the last drop of frozen lemon fluff!
Moderate to Expensive
Ma Peche/Momofuku
Chambers New York Hotel
15 W 56th Street
New York
212 757 5878
In Toronto we have Noodle Bar, Daisho and Shoto but it's fun to go to the source - one of David Chang's restaurants in New York. Ma Peche is his only midtown location so perfect before or after the theatre or the museum. We went for brunch (before a matinee) and had pork buns (of course) and lots of specials served from rotating carts - a bit like dim sum but not Chinese. Fun and delicious for all ages.
Moderate
Russ & Daughters
127 Orchard Street
New York
212 475 4881
Our early dinner with Mark Russ Federman was filled with family stories as delicious as the food. Russ & Daughters opened in 1914 and has been an 'appetizing' legend ever since. Recently they opened a cafe which was an instant hit. Stunning smoked fish platter (like Jewish Charcuterie - we had the Anne platter), knishes, latkes, chopped liver, herring, bread pudding and on and on. They even have a bloody Mary menu! No reservations.
Moderate
Cafe Sabarsky
Neue Galerie
1048 5th Avenue
New York
212 288 0665
When Ray and I saw the film 'Woman in Gold' we really wanted to go to the Neue Galerie when we were in New York to see the painting in person. Our friends, cookbook author Jayne Cohen and her husband Howard Spiegler who was one of the lawyers who helped the Neue Galerie acquire the painting, took us to see it (spectacular) and introduced us to the wonderful Viennese restaurant Cafe Sabarsky at the gallery. The food was amazing and that's where I got the idea for halibut on beet borscht in the recipe section. Don't miss the delicious Viennese desserts!
Moderate to Expensive
Big Gay Ice Cream
125 E 7th Street
New York
212 533 9333
I love soft serve and this was the best. And where else can you say: 'I'd like a salty pimp please'?
Reasonable
Featured Recipes
DIY AVOCADO TOASTS
  • 2 ripe avocadoes
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese or crumbled feta, optional
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or cilantro
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh jalapeno or favourite hot sauce
  • slices of a variety of bread
  • soft butter


  • toppings:
  • sprigs of tarragon, cilantro and/or basil
  • sliced fresh jalapenos, cherry tomatoes
  • baby arugula, watercress or microgreens
  • sliced hard cooked eggs, poached eggs or fried eggs
  • DIY AVOCADO TOASTSAvocado toast is almost as popular as guacamole. It's great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and a perfect do-it-yourself appetizer at a barbecue. Other toppings include sliced cucumber, fried onions, smoked salmon and toasted nuts or seeds. If you omit the cheese and use lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno you have my favourite guacamole.
    Always buy avocadoes a few days before you need them as it is sometimes hard to find them ripe. Ripen on the counter for a few days or faster in a canister of raw rice. If they are ripe, keep them in the refrigerator.


    Method:

    1. Scoop avocado flesh into a bowl. Add goat cheese, salt, pepper, lemon juice, herbs and jalapeno. Mash coarsely or fine. If not using right away, cover surface directly with plastic wrap.

    2. Let everyone toast the bread they prefer and spread with soft butter or not. Arrange avocado spread in a serving bowl with toppings in smaller bowls. Let everyone create their own version of avocado toast. And take photos!

    makes 4 servings

    POLENTA PIZZA WITH CHEESE, CHERRY TOMATOES AND BASIL
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal (medium grind)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • topping:
  • 8 oz buffalo mozzarella, sliced and well drained or your favourite grated cheese for pizza
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or sliced if larger
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil
  • torn basil leaves or sprigs of baby basil
  • POLENTA PIZZA WITH CHEESE, CHERRY TOMATOES AND BASILYou can use any of your regular pizza toppings on this delicious polenta crust. If you use instant polenta it will only take about five minutes to cook but will have a different consistency. (Do not even think of using the bright yellow, premade polenta rolls!)

    Method:

    1. Bring water and milk to a boil in a large, heavy, deep saucepan. Add cornmeal in a thin stream whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, add salt and pepper, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 30 minutes. Polenta should be the consistency of creamy oatmeal - add a bit more boiling water if necessary. Add butter and season to taste. Spread mixture over the bottom of a lightly oiled 10" to 12" pizza pan, ovenproof heavy skillet or baking pan. Refrigerate one hour or longer.

    2. One hour before serving bake polenta in a preheated 425F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy around the edges.

    3. Arrange cheese on top of polenta. Add tomatoes and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese melts and bubbles a little.

    4. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired. Top with fresh basil.

    makes 4 to 6 servings

    PENNE WITH ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb penne regate
  • zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • 5 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
  • PENNE WITH ASPARAGUS AND GOAT CHEESE

    With restauranteur, television celebrity and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich as their mother, Tanya Bastianich Manuali and Joe Bastianich grew up surrounded by delicious food and lots of pasta. Now they are restauranteurs, television producers, on-air personalities, cookbook authors and wine experts themselves and are still surrounded by delicious food. They wanted to find a way to continue eating pasta that was delicious but also healthful and worked together to create 100 recipes for their new cookbook Healthy Pasta that have less than 500 calories per serving. They recommend using Italian made pasta with a high protein content and cooking it al dente so it has a slightly chewy texture as chewing stimulates digestive enzymes and slows down your eating time.

    Here is a delicious recipe from the book using fresh local asparagus.



    Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 450F with a baking sheet on the lower rack.

    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    3. Snap off lower stems of asparagus and peel partway up the remaining stalks. Cut asparagus on the diagonal into lengths the same as penne. Toss asparagus with 2 tsp oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast on preheated baking sheet 7 to 8 minutes.

    4. Meanwhile cook penne in boiling water. Warm serving bowl with hot water and pour water out. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon zest and juice, chives and season with salt and pepper. Crumble in goat cheese.

    5. When pasta is al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Quickly add pasta, hot roasted asparagus, 1/2 cup pasta water, and Grana Padano. Toss well to make a creamy sauce. Add a little more pasta water if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately.

    make 6 servings

    RAVIOLI NUDI
  • 3 cup (packed) fresh spinach, about 4 to 5oz
  • 1 cup ricotta, drained in a strainer if necessary (see intro)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano), divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • RAVIOLI NUDIRavioli nudi (sometimes called naked ravioli or ricotta gnocchi) are like fluffy little dumplings. I use Bella Casara ricotta from Quality Cheese  because it's sweet and creamy and comes packaged in a little strainer so it is already drained and ready to use. After preparing the cheese/spinach mixture, but before shaping it, cook one ravioli to see if it holds together. If it doesn't, add two tablespoons flour and try again.

    Method:

    1. Place spinach in a large skillet with just the water clinging to the leaves, and cook over medium heat until wilted, rotating the cooked spinach from the bottom to the top. Cool and wring out any excess water in a clean tea towel. Chop.

    2. Mix ricotta with egg yolks, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/3 cup Parmesan and then add spinach. Shape mixture into 1 tbsp balls, roll in flour and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate.

    3. Just before serving melt butter with sage leaves until bubbling. Bring a saucepan of water to a gentle boil. Add 1 tbsp salt. Add half the ravioli - when they rise to the surface they are done (about 1 1/2 minutes). Lift out of water with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl and repeat with remaining ravioli.

    4. Pour butter and sage over ravioli and shake gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve immediately.

    makes 4 to 5 servings

    ROASTED HALIBUT ON BEET BORSCHT
    borscht:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 1/4 lbs red beets, peeled and cut into small chunks or strips
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill


  • halibut:
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh halibut fillet (or other thick white fleshed fish)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves


  • sour cream topping:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp grated white horseradish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • chopped fresh dill or chives
  • ROASTED HALIBUT ON BEET BORSCHTWhen we went to see the 'Woman in Gold' at the Neue Galerie in New York, our friends  took us to 'Cafe Sabarsky' at the gallery, where I got the idea for this recipe. It would also work well with salmon - and it would look stunning! (see Cafe Sabarsky in the restaurant section).

    Method:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook gently 5 to 10 minutes or until tender and fragrant. Add garlic. Cook another minute. Add stock or water, bring to boil and simmer gently about 5 minutes. Add beets and bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently until beets are tender about 30 minutes. Coarsely mash about 1/4 of the beets so that the soup has some body. (Use a potato masher or remove about 1/4 of the beets and partially puree in a blender or food processor and return to saucepan.) Add vinegar and season to taste.

    2. Place fish on a baking sheet and rub with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Roast in a preheated 425F oven for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish or just until barely cooked through.

    3. Combine sour cream with horseradish, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

    4. Spoon about one cup soup into each shallow bowl, place a piece of fish on soup, top with sour cream and sprinkle with chives.

    makes 4 servings

    CRISPY, BUTTERY, YEAST-RAISED WAFFLES
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast or instant yeast (1 envelope)
  • 2 tbsp sugar - divided
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • CRISPY, BUTTERY, YEAST-RAISED WAFFLES

    I love waffles!  Although this recipe contains yeast - they are very easy to make and some of the best I have ever tasted. Cookbook author Marion Cunningham became well-known for revising The Fanny Farmer Cookbook and popularizing these amazing waffles. Cunningham made the batter the night before but I usually make them one to two hours before serving.

    I love waffles topped with sour cream, cucumbers, smoked salmon and sprouts but they are equally as delicious with ice cream and fruit, nutella and bananas or anything you like.

    I have a number of waffle machines and they all work well but if you are looking for one - I have to say I love my new Breville no-mess waffle maker that has a moat around the grill to catch the batter if it runs out.



    Method:

    1. Dissolve 1 tbsp sugar in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water and stir in. Set aside for about 10 minutes until bubbly. Whisk in milk and butter.

    2. In another bowl whisk together flour, remaining sugar and salt. Stir into yeast mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at room temperature for one to two hours. (Mixture will be bubbly.)

    3. Just before making waffles whisk eggs and baking soda into batter. Preheat waffle iron for 5 to 7 minutes. Use 1/2 cup batter for each waffle (more or less depending on your machine. If batter runs out you have used too much!) Do not open machine for the first 3 minutes and cook 4 to 5 minutes until browned and crisp.

    makes 12  7" waffles

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