Bonnie Stern Food News
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Contents

Kitchen Tip

Bonnie's
Book and Dinner Club

Bonnie's Cookbooks

News and Events

Restaurant
Recommendations

Featured Recipes

Contact

 
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.

 

November 2021

Well Ontario certainly seems to be opening back up, and the restaurants in particular will be back to indoor dining in time for winter. Are you ready? How do you feel about it? Let me know. Some people feel perfectly comfortable while others remain cautious. Many restaurants have decided to stick with half capacity or three-quarters for now until their staff gets up to speed. I'm not sure how I feel about dining inside yet but I know I feel certain that it's so important we continue to support restaurants. When and if you go, remember to be patient and kind and tip generously if you can.

We had a wonderful and meaningful book club with Omar El Akkad last week. Wishing him the best at the Giller Awards. We are ending this year of book clubs with laughter on Tuesday November 30th. See Bonnie's Book and Dinner Club below for all the information.

In Chanukah news:
Chanukah is very early this year and begins Sunday night, November 28th. Join my virtual demo with City Shul (see News and Events below) for the newest and oldest latke  recipes and how to shape babkas. And follow me on Instagram (@bonniestern).

As always, stay safe and delicious wishes,
Bonnie

 

Kitchen Tip
STORING FRESH HERBS
STORING FRESH HERBSAfter trying just about every method for storing fresh herbs my go-to method is to rinse them well, shake them dry, wrap in paper towels and store in a resealable bag or food storage container in the refrigerator. Label and date them.


Bonnie's Book and Dinner 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.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary evening you won’t soon forget – Oprah’s book club never tasted this good!

The Book and Dinner Club comes with a delicious catered meal and wine from The Edible Story, delivered to your home the day of the event. A signed copy of our featured book will be sent out in advance so that you will have the opportunity to read it before the meeting.

JANUARY 2022

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF CRITCH'S
AN EMBARRASSMENT OF CRITCH'SWe’re going to end the 2021 season of the Book Club with some laughter. (And goodness knows that after the last eighteen months, we can all use as much laughter as we can get.) We are excited to welcome beloved Canadian writer, comedian, performer Mark Critch back to the Book Club as he launches his new book, the national bestselling An Embarrassment of Critch’s.

One of Mark Critch's earliest acting gigs was in a Newfoundland tourist production alongside a cast of displaced fishery workers. Since, he's found increasing opportunities to take his show on the road. In An Embarrassment of Critch's, the star of CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes revisits some of his career's and the country's biggest moments, revealing all the things you might not know happened along the way: A wishful rumour spread by Mark's father results in his big break; two bottles of Scotch nearly get him kicked out of a secret Canadian airbase in the United Arab Emirates; and for anyone wondering how to get an interview with the Prime Minister and Bono (yes, that Bono) on the same evening, Critch might recommend a journey to the 2003 Liberal Convention.

Critch's top-secret access to all of the funniest behind-the-scenes moments involve many of the charismatic and notorious politicians we love to see blush, including fearless leaders Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Paul Martin, and Jean Chretien, celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Robin Williams, and other colourful figures he's met over years of pulling off daring skits at home and abroad. Remember when MP Carolyn Parrish took her boot to George W. Bush's head in an interview? Or when Critch asked Justin Trudeau where the best place to smoke pot on Parliament Hill was before pulling out a joint for them to share? There's more to each of those stories than you know. Though Critch has spent years crisscrossing the country, and the globe, with the explicit aim of causing trouble everywhere he goes, like the best journeys, this one takes him right back home.
 
Help us close out the year with a wonderful evening of food and stories.
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Time: 7:30 pm EST
Place: Virtual
Fee*: $175 + HST
includes a catered meal from The Edible Story, wine, delivery, gratuity and a copy of An Embarrassment of Critch's (autographed if possible) sent out as soon as available.
Advance registration only: Call Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

Some geographical restrictions may apply.

* Small print:
All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Please mark your calendar with the date and time of the event.

Cancellations can be accepted until Tuesday January 11, 2022. A $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. However, you may have someone take your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to notify us regarding change of address for the meal delivery by Tuesday January 18, 2022.




The Edible Story
 
The Edible Story Box
The Edible Story box2


Bonnie's Cookbooks
 
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)

Friday Night Dinners

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

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

$29.95

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

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

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

$34.95
Appetizers
Appetizers
A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.

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

$22.95
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
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
News And Events
LATKES & BABKAS
with Bonnie Stern and Rabbi Elyse Goldstein
LATKES & BABKAS <BR/>with Bonnie Stern and Rabbi Elyse GoldsteinDate: Sunday November 21, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm

Learn the history of latkes and how cheese latkes can up your Chanukah game, plus learn that fancy twist-work to make a dessert babka, and share Chanukah traditions and stories as we prepare for a fun and meaningful holiday.

$18 per screen. Proceeds go to Rabbi's Discretionary Fund for charitable projects.

Zoom information will be emailed to all participants upon registration, recipes will be sent 1 week prior to the event. Please check the date carefully as there are no refunds. The event will not be recorded.

To register click: Latkes & Babkas

FOGO ISLAND AND ST. JOHN’S FOOD TOUR & BOOK CLUB
FOGO ISLAND AND ST JOHN’S BOOK CLUBThursday April 28 to Wednesday May 4, 2022

We were in the middle of planning a book club and food tour at Fogo Island Inn with a stop in St. John’s when the lock down occurred. We are now planning a tour for the spring 2022. We will send out an email when the itinerary and price are available to all those who requested information.

Fogo Island Inn is rated #3 in the Top Hotels in the World by Travel and Leisure Magazine and Raymond's in St. John's is consistently rated one of Canada's top restaurants and that's just the beginning of a magical and delicious trip.

If you have always wanted to go to Newfoundland the combination of a few days in St. John’s, including dinner by Raymond's, and 3 days on Fogo Island, staying at Fogo Island Inn, will be a dream come true. We will be hosting two or three book club events, tours, classes and wonderful meals.

If you are interested in receiving additional information, email Bonnie at bonnie@bonniestern.com Subject line: Fogo Island.

EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURE
EATING ISRAEL: THE LAND OF DIVERSITY AND CULTURESunday November 20 to Tuesday November 29, 2022

At the beginning of 2020 we had a magical 10th anniversary Eating Israel Culinary Tour. We are now planning a tour for November 2022 and will send out an email when the itinerary and price are available to all those who requested information.

If you are interested to be on our culinary tour mailing list (and not already on the list), email Bonnie at bonnie@bonniestern.com Subject line: Eating Israel.

For a small taste of my time in Israel check these videos filmed and produced by Mark Rupert:

A gorgeous February day in Israel

My favourite coffee shop in Tel Aviv


Everyday is a busy day at Port Said

ZOOM COOKING EVENTS
COOKING CLASSESBonnie has been doing custom Zoom cooking events for fund-raisers, corporate classes and private groups. One of her favourite formats is to bring families together who are separated by distance to cook and enjoy dinner together.

Contact bonnie@bonniestern.com for more information and rates. Subject line: Bonnie’s Cooking Events. Events can be personalized but some of the popular themes are:

Italian All the Time

French Country Cooking

Israeli Family Dinner

Mediterranean Flavours

Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO
Bernhardt's Tavern
202 Dovercourt Road
Toronto
416 530 0008

bernhardtstoronto.com

We loved our dinner in the backyard patio at Bernhardt's Tavern. It was hard to choose between the salads and appetizers as everything sounded so fresh and delicious and it was! The chicken, gravy and potatoes were so good, and for dessert - I had been dreaming of the swirley softserve and it was just as wonderful as I knew it would be. Service was great and the atmosphere was safe but also cozy in the garden.
Moderate
Churrasco Villa
254 Eglinton Ave. East
Toronto
416 487 7070

churrascovilla.com
I thought Churrasco Villa had closed (even before the pandemic) because of the construction along Eglinton for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. And it is still interfering with business along Eglinton. But if you love their chicken, ribs and potatoes it is definitely worth persevering!
Moderate
Pai Northern Thai Kitchen
Uptown

2335 Yonge Street
(just north of Eglinton)
Toronto
416 901 4724

paitoronto.com

The location is open for indoor dining but I am still doing take-out.  We rotate through different favourites but always love the basics - red curry chicken, pad Thai, pad grad prow and mango rice. It's busy and very delicious on all fronts.
Moderate
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant
Lawrence Plaza
506 Lawrence Ave. West
Toronto
416 789 0519

unitedbakers.ca

All the regulars are so excited to be back and together at UB. And it's indeed a beautiful thing when a restaurant is over 110 years old, in the same family and has survived the last year-and-a-half. Congratulations. My favourite things are the split pea soup, the blintzes, the smoked whitefish, actually everything.
Moderate
Restaurant 20 Victoria
20 Victoria Street
Toronto
416 804 6066

@twentyvictoria

If you loved their tiny spot Brothers at Bay and Bloor, then Mark says their new restaurant 20 Victoria is a must try. Fancier than Brothers - with a tasting menu and wine pairings - the standout service and cooking is just as good. It’s a wonderful experience for a birthday or special occasion.
Expensive
Featured Recipes
CHIRASHI SUSHI BOWL
  • 1 1/2 cups sushi rice (short grain rice)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or more to taste)


  • toppings:
  • 6 oz smoked salmon
  • 2 oz extra firm tofu, diced
  • 2 tbsp sushi ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 small Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
  • *shredded omelet (see below)
  • shredded nori
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas or edamame, or blanched snow peas
  • chopped chives
  • 1/4 ripe avocado, diced
  • wasabi paste or mayo
  • CHIRASHI SUSHI BOWLChirashi sushi (scattered sushi) is basically a rice bowl scattered with toppings. It's easier to make and more casual than sushi rolls. Serve it as an appetizer or for a main course - perfect for brunch or lunch. Make up a big bowl for everyone to share, or offer a do-it-yourself bar with lots of choices. Toppings are endless: diced raw tuna, salmon roe, diced cooked shrimp, diced carrots, thinly sliced radish, diced tomatoes, toasted sesame seeds plus all the ones I used below. Everything is optional and to taste. Thanks to Adeena Sussman and Lainie Cadry for inspiration.

    Method:
    1. Wash rice in several changes of water until water runs clear. Place in a medium saucepan with 1 3/4 cup cold water. Cover tightly. Bring to a boil and boil one minute. Cook, covered, on medium low for 10 minutes, removing from heat and let rest 15 minutes. Transfer rice to a bowl and drizzle with 1 tbsp vinegar at a time, folding into the rice as you drizzle. Taste. If it tastes perfect add more vinegar because the flavour lessons when cool.

    2. While rice is cooking, prepare all the ingredients in small bowls so that people can top the rice themselves, or when rice is ready spread in a large bowl and top it yourself and serve from the bowl.

    makes 3 to 4 servings

    *Shredded Omelet: Lightly beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon mirin, 1/2 tsp soy sauce and 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil. Brush a 9" nonstick pan with vegetable oil and place on medium high heat. Add egg and swirl to coat pan. Cook about one minute or until just set (but not brown) turn over and cook second side about 30 seconds. Remove, cut in half and then cut across into strips.

    MITCHELL DAVIS' SOUTHERN STYLE CORNBREAD
  • 1/2 cup butter or extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 4 cups cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • MITCHELL DAVIS' SOUTHERN STYLE CORNBREADThis is the perfect cornbread as a base for a stuffing - not too sweet, not too rich, easy to make and naturally gluten-free. It makes enough for stuffing with some extra for snacks. Thanks Mitchell Davis (@kitchensense) for introducing it to me - it's been a favourite for years. Add herbs, spices, chilies and grated cheese to suit your taste.

    Method:
    1. Place butter in a 9"x 13" baking dish and place in a preheated 400F oven while making batter.

    2. In a large bowl combine cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk for a minute to mix well.

    3. In another bowl beat eggs with milk and buttermilk.

    4. Combine dry ingredients with egg mixture. Carefully remove pan from the oven and swirl and brush melted hot butter around the pan. Carefully pour or spoon butter into the batter and stir to combine. Pour batter into the hot pan. Reduce oven temp to 350F and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until middle springs back when lightly pressed and sides of bread come away from pan. (Or when your meat thermometer registers 185F - but don't let it touch the bottom of the pan.)

    5. Cool on wire rack.

    makes one 9"x13" bread
    THAI GRILLED FLANK STEAK
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce (preferably Thai)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2" piece ginger root, grated
  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal or Thai basil
  • THAI GRILLED FLANK STEAKAlthough we don't usually barbecue in bad weather, this steak was worth it. Ray is such a good sport (and grill master) - luckily the results are always delicious!

    Indoors I use a large cast iron skillet, heated very hot and brushed very lightly with oil.


    Method:
    1. In a small bowl combine sugar with soy sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic and ginger. Rub into steak and marinate 1/2 hour at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

    2. Preheat barbecue until very hot. Let any marinade drain off steak and grill 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare, depending on the thickness of the steak.

    3. Let rest 5 minutes. Carve into thin slices on the diagonal across the grain. Sprinkle slices with green onions.

    makes 4 to 6 servings
    QUINCE POACHED IN SPICE SYRUP
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water (more if necessary)
  • 1" piece fresh ginger root, peeled andsliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods, gently bruised
  • peel of one orange
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and opened slightly
  • 3 lbs quince (4 or 5 depending on size)
  • QUINCE POACHED IN SPICE SYRUPThis was in my newsletter three years ago but it's quince season and this is still my favourite way to cook them. When I was growing up we had a quince tree in our backyard and my mother always made quince jam. She loved it but I never knew what the fuss was all about. Now I would love to have that quince tree and I would love even more to make jam with my mother. It looks kind of like a big apple or pear but is usually very hard and rarely or never eaten raw. It is poached, sometimes roasted, often made into jam or cooked down into a paste and served with cheese. I like to serve this as is with some of the juices or over angel food cake, pound cake or ice cream.

    Note: When the syrup is reduced, remove the vanilla bean, rinse and dry on paper towels. Store in your sugar canister for vanilla sugar. Extra syrup can be used in cocktails or to flavour soda water.
    If the skin is not bruised, you do not have to peel the quince. Be very careful cutting the fruit and removing the core as the fruit is extremely hard!


    Method:
    1. Place water in a large saucepan and add sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil.

    2. Meanwhile, peel quince (or not if the skin is unblemished) and carefully halve the quince. Be careful as quince are usually very hard. Cut each half into 2 or 3 pieces. They can be woody and/or spongy or both! Cut out the cores very carefully. Add quince to sugar syrup. If liquid does not cover the fruit, add enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil. Place a round of parchment directly on the fruit and then a lid or an upside down plate that is just slightly smaller than the pot, to hold the fruit under the liquid. Cook gently 30 to 40 minutes or longer until the quince are very tender. As they cool they will usually turn a blush colour. (The riper they are the less time it takes but it is hard to tell how ripe they are.) Let quince cool in the syrup.

    3. Remove quince to a serving bowl and then return the pot with the cooking liquid to the heat and reduce until syrupy, about 2 cups. Pour syrup over quince. Discard spices but save the vanilla bean (see intro). Serve quince with some of the syrup.

    makes 8 servings
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