Category: Food & Drink
So it seems blogging each week has become a bit of a challenge. So that said, these posts will be in your inbox every couple of weeks. Keep an eye out! And if you want to win a copy just a simple comment below will do the trick. I'll do a random draw ~ Dani
In my house we love salmon. Hence making it a key part in two of my three posts! It's so healthy so when I found this recipe from 50 BEST PLANTS ON THE PLANET by Cathy Thomas (on behalf of Melissa's/World Variety Produce), I had to give it a try. And was I super glad I did. It was so quick and easy to make and so yummy and fresh to eat! I'd suggest blanching the asparagus a bit before making the salad but entirely up to you. I wasn't quite sure how they would taste raw so I took them for a swim, a HOT swim!
This book is great! Another Chronicle Books hit! Each chapter lists key 'best plants' with nutritional information for each recipe. Super great for anyone wanting to really know what they're eating. I love it because I'm not too jazzed about eating certain veggies but if I know how good they are for me, I'd be more inclined to give them a shot.
The noodle shapes in this colorful salad are actually ribbons of thinly shaved
zucchini. They are combined with diagonally sliced raw asparagus dressed with a citrusy vinaigrette and garnished with slivers of assertive cheese. The salad teams winningly with broiled salmon but is certainly flavorful enough to serve on its own.
Yields 6 servings
One 1½-pound skinless salmon fillet (center cut preferred, about 1 to
1¼ inch thick)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound green or purple asparagus, trimmed
2 medium zucchini, trimmed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or dill
Garnishes 1 ounce pecorino cheese, peeled into shavings; 1 lemon (preferably Meyer), sliced
1. Adjust an oven rack to 6 to 8 inches below the broiler. Arrange a second
rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking
sheet with aluminum foil.
2. To make the salmon: Pat the fillet dry with a paper towel. Place it on the
prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with the salt and
pepper. Broil on the top rack until lightly browned on top, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Turn off the broiler and set the oven to 350 degrees F. Move the salmon to
the middle rack and roast until it is cooked to the desired degree of doneness, 3 to 7 minutes. Remove it from the oven and separate the salmon flesh with a fork or knife in the thickest part to take a peek; it should be just barely opaque throughout. Set aside to cool while you prepare the salad. (Note that the salmon can be served warm, but shouldn’t be piping hot for this dish.)
3. To make the salad: Cut the asparagus into thin diagonal slices (leaving tips whole); place them in a bowl. Working from end to end, peel the zucchini into long, thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandoline; add them to the asparagus.
4. To make the dressing: In a small bowl or glass measuring cup with a handle, combine the oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and stir in the basil. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the dressing to the vegetables and gently toss with wooden spoons or silicone spatulas.
5. Divide the cooled salmon between six plates. Surround each portion with salad. Garnish the salad with the cheese and the salmon with the lemon. Serve.
Meatless alternative Prepare the salad without the salmon, starting with step 3. If desired, add a pinch of dried red pepper flakes to the dressing.
total fat (g).....................25
sat fat (g).......................4.5
total carbohydrates (g)......6
vitamin A IUs...............25%
1). Perusal of a lovely and accessible cookbook.
2). Changing into a suitable frock that may be destroyed/burned/ripped/pureed with mininal sorrow (helllloooo sweats).
3). Attempting to make a spatula & wax paper stand in for all manner of elaborate kitchen gadgetry (melon baller? Flour sifter?).
4). Removal of batteries from ye olde smoke alarm, & pardons asked from neighbours for black smoke/fire trucks on scene.
I'll admit it: I'm a little intimidated by fancy cookbooks. Yes they're lovely, but will my renter's insurance cover the fire damage I am sure to incur from trying the recipes therein?
In that spirit (apprehensive), I picked up Lucy Knisley's graphic novel Relish. Part cookbook, part memoir of growing up with foodie parents with a penchant for experimentation with food, it seemed a safe venture. I happened to thumb to a page that was an entrypoint of complete identification and love for this book, and that was Knisley's secret adoration of a culinary masterpiece:
Yep, you better believe it.
Knisley has love for the marshmallow-laden cereal, something most foodies probably wouldn't readily confess to. As the daughter of two foodies and a lover of exquisite, fresh, lovingly prepared food from infancy, Knisley confesses to an alternative affinity for the prepackaged and the sugary. I totally get this. As a child vigilantly kept away from sugar, I can attest to the siren song of sweet lady Oreo, the forbidden, lusty wiles of a McD's cheeseburger.
This is what makes Knisley's writing on food so lovely: it is the memory and the connection of food that she focuses on and which takes the descriptions from tasty to succulent. It is the idea that any food can be delicious, and even the horrible experiments with food can be a treat if there are people to laugh about it with you. Reading about Knisley's apricot-jam-filled fresh croissant on a Venice stoop, or bushel of strawberries picked for jam in rural New York will in equal parts take you to her memory and take you back in time to your own. To the streetcarts of rainy afternoons, the farmers' markets in the summer sunshine, and everywhere in between.
I devoured this book, and chose a recipe (the first of many I'm going to try!) that evoked my own memories of dusty, sweat-dappled mornings in Mexico with the sea breeze at my back... The recipes and stories in this book are a lovely trip down memory lane. And they're pretty delicious too.
Prep Time: Approx. 20-25 minutes
Fry one tortilla in corn oil until it Heat up black beans and add to
rises. Dab with paper towel to base.
soak up excess grease.
Add salsa... Avocado...
Sour Cream... A 2nd fried tortilla & 2 fried eggs...
Some more salsa, and some TA-DAH! (CHOMP!)
Want to win a copy of Relish? Tell me your favourite food memory in the comments below, and one lucky person will be selected at random to win the book! It can be a serious, delicious, awful, or downright silly memory (like Knisley's story of a friend who created an ill-advised delicacy: lemonade chicken!).
Who doesn't like breakfast for dinner? The other night I pulled out Rachel Khoo's THE LITTLE PARIS KITCHEN and tried my hand at the little egg cup things (aka: Croque Madame muffins or Cheese, ham, and egg sandwich muffins). They were so easy to make and so good! I made simple smashed potatoes to go with. Perfect pair! I found that you can add whatever you like to this recipe. It calls for ham but a colleague of mine suggested using sun-dried tomatoes or even vegan bacon. YUMMERS!
My Egg Muffin
Rachel's Egg Muffins
Can't even tell the difference right?!?
Croque Madame muffins
Cheese, ham, and egg sandwich muffins
Croque Monsieuris essentially a toasted cheese and ham sandwich. Put a fried egg on top and you’ve got a Croque Madame (the egg is supposed to resemble a lady’s hat). What makes the difference between a toasted cheese and ham sandwich and a Croque Monsieur is the cheese—in a Croque Monsieur it comes in the form of a creamy cheese sauce. And boy, does this make a difference!
My version of Croque Madame uses the bread as a muffin cup to contain the delicious cheese sauce and egg. Great as a snack, or have it with a green salad and fries, as they serve it in French cafés.
For the Mornay (cheese) sauce: 1 tbsp butter • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour • ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp milk, lukewarm • ½ tsp Dijon mustard • ½ tsp nutmeg • ¼ cup grated Gruyère or mature Comté cheese (or a strong hard cheese like Parmesan or mature Cheddar) • salt and pepper
• 6 large slices of white bread, no crusts • 3 tbsp butter, melted • 2½ oz ham, cut into cubes or thin strips • 6 small eggs
TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and beat hard until you have a smooth paste. Take off the heat and leave to cool for 2 minutes, then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan back over a medium heat, add the mustard and nutmeg, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently to stop the sauce burning on the bottom of the pan. Once the sauce thickens and has the consistency of a thick tomato sauce, take it off the heat. Add the cheese (keep a little for the garnish) and taste for seasoning. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk. If it’s lumpy, pass it through a sieve.
To assemble, preheat the oven to 350°F. Flatten the slices of bread with a rolling pin, then brush each slice on both sides with melted butter. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with the slices of bread, pressing them in with the bottom of a small glass. Divide the ham between the muffin cups followed by the eggs (if the egg seems too big, pour a little of the white away before using). Put 2 tablespoons cheese sauce on top of each egg, then sprinkle with a little cheese and pepper. Bake for 15–20 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Serve immediately.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 15–20 minutes
Starting today and each Wednesday from now on, I'll be posting recipes from one of our awesome cookbooks. I plan on cooking up this recipe and posting here, on our blog, as well as on our Facebook page.
If you're interested in winning a copy, follow the recipe below, (printable page here) and post a picture of your finished dish on our page. I'll make a random draw and announce the winner the following Wednesday. Good luck and happy cooking! ~ Danielle
This week I made Thyme-Rubbed Salmon with Shallots and Caramelized Cauliflower "Risotto" from Chronicle Books' ONE PAN, TWO PLATES I realized after all the cauliflower was in the pan I should have chopped them into smaller bits but the end result was super yummy anyways which resulted in no leftovers for todays lunch! The recipe was easy to follow and quick to make.
START TO FINISH
Two 6-oz/170-g salmon fillets, skin removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme (see “It’s that easy”),
plus a few small sprigs for garnish
3 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1/2 head cauliflower, finely chopped
1/2 cup/120 ml heavy cream
1. Pat the fillets dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the minced thyme over the fish and pat it lightly with your fingers so that it
2. Heat a 12-in/30.5-cm skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp of the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the salmon to the pan and cook until browned on the first side, about
2 minutes. Flip the fish with a thin-edged spatula and cook the other side until browned, another minute or so. Transfer the fish to a plate. (It will not be fully cooked at this point.)
3. Add the shallots to the hot pan and sauté until they begin to soften, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower, 1/4 tsp salt, a few grinds of pepper, and
the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and toss to coat the cauliflower with the oil. Allow the cauliflower to cook undisturbed until it begins to brown, about
3 minutes. Flip the cauliflower over, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spatula, and cook, undisturbed, until the other side browns, another 3 minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the cauliflower is still a little too crunchy for your taste, don’t worry. Pour in the cream and give it a stir. It will boil almost immediately. Top the vegetables with the fish. Cover and cook over low heat until the fish flakes easily, about 2 minutes longer.
4. Mound the cauliflower “risotto” into two warmed shallow bowls and top it with the fish. (If you’re wondering where the cream went, the cauliflower
absorbed most of it up deliciously.) Garnish the plate with the thyme sprigs and serve hot.
extra hungry? How about a salad of red leaf lettuce and halved grape tomatoes with a splash of balsamic and a glug of olive oil?
it’s that easy: Thyme has woody stems, so it’s best to strip the leaves from the stems before chopping them up into a fine mince. To do this, hold the thyme sprig on the tender end and strip the leaves against the grain (that is, in the opposite direction they are pointing) with your other hand. No worries if the tender tip pulls off; those can be minced up with the str ipped leaves.
A red-carpet-ready post by Megan and Alisha
The Oscars are set to hit the screen Feb. 24, so it’s time to put your party pants on and prep for your oh-so-excellent Oscar fete, complete with games, treats, drinks, and plenty of snark (did you see what she was wearing?!).
Even if you won’t be exclaiming “You like me! You really like me!” to anyone but your cat in the immediate future (Best Supporting Snuggler: Mr. Meowsikins), you can still throw one doozy of a party with a few choice books to help. We’ve put a few books to the critics (staff), and here are the night’s big winners. Plus, check out our handy dandy flow chart for your road to Oscar party glory.
WINNER: Best friendly competition aid
Name That Movie (Chronicle Books)
This book has proven to be a hit with film newbies and movie snobs alike. With a double spread of esoteric sketches in sequential order from a particular movie, the reader has to guess the movie in question. Sure to bring out the competitive side of partygoers, get ready for some fun. And remember, if there’s one thing the Oscars are fantastic at, it’s showing how to be a graceful loser (but if you want to reign supreme, feel free to study the answers at the back of the book beforehand).
WINNER: Best Montage Avoidance Tool
Mag Mixed-Up Movie Lines (Magnetic Poetry)
If you’re like me and need an occasional break from the montage-y goodness of the show, this is your perfect tool. Mix and match famous movie lines, then giggle and glory at your cleverness. “Frankly, my dear, you’re a damned dirty ape and you can’t handle the truth!”
WINNER: Best giggle booster/conversation starter
Film Listography Journal (Chronicle Books)
Use this journal, complete with over 70 hilarious sketches, to list all your favourite movie picks. Go beyond your picks for the Oscar night alone and fill in lists from the classic (favourite films, favourite actors) to the delightfully idiosyncratic (top so-bad-it’s-good movies, scenes that made you cringe). Guaranteed to launch a conversation, especially when you find out whose favourite movie is Weekend at Bernie’s.
WINNER: Best self-esteem enhancing tool
TCM Classic Movie Trivia (Chronicle Books) and 100 Cult Films (I.B. Taurus)
Much like double-sided tape and stilettos can prop up a less than stellar Oscar dress, these books can do wonders for propping up your elite status in your circle of film buffs. Remember, we all know that the true spirit of the Oscar party is not the celebration of film, but rather proving that you know more bizarre and esoteric trivia about movies than your friends.
If the 4000 questions, including “expert only” section, of TCM Classic Movie Trivia isn’t enough to leave your movie aficionado opponents sobbing in defeat, 100 Cult Films will further help you one-up your mates by showing your superior knowledge in not just everyday cult films (scoff) but in cult sub-genres such as Italian cannibal movies and Japanese anime.
The Ultimate Bar Book Seriously Simple Parties
BATTLE ROYALE FOR FILM ESOTERICA CROWN
Name That Movie
Film Listography Magpo Mixed Up Movie Lines
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS
Being a publicist here at Raincoast I feel blessed (and sometimes overwhelmed) to have so many books cross my desk throughout the year. But when asked to choose my faves I had to really sit here and think about it. I could have come up with plenty, but here's just a couple.
I had the pleasure to tour with Diane while she was in Vancouver this Fall. She's an extremely knowlegable chef who had taught me and others that we can make pesto out of the tops of carrots. Who knew?!? Also, you can get almost every root listed at your local grocer. This book is filled with awesome recipes and beautiful photos. Perfect for anyone who wants to.....um, well just perfect for anyone!
CARROT TOP PESTO
MAKES ABOUT ⅔ CUP/165 ML
I almost always buy fresh carrots with their feathery green tops attached. In the past, I would invariably cut the tops off and send them to the compost bin. Honestly, it never occurred to me that they were edible. But the tops of other root vegetables are edible, so why wouldn’t carrot tops be edible, too? One day I blanched the leaves, puréed them with a little olive oil, and then used the purée as a gorgeous green accent sauce for fish, much in the same way I use basil oil. My next idea was to make pesto, trading out the basil for carrot tops, which proved an amazing alternative. This recipe is an absolute keeper, and it’s satisfying to make use of the whole plant. I serve this as a dip with crudités, and often add a dollop on top of bruschetta that has been smeared with fresh goat cheese. It’s also perfect simply tossed with pasta.
1 cup/20 g lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed)
6 tbsp/90 ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
1/4 cup/30 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
In a food processor, combine the carrot leaves, oil, garlic, and salt and process until finely minced. Add the pine nuts and pulse until finely chopped. Add the Parmesan and pulse just until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Toasting pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and pumpkin seeds brings out their flavor. Spread the nuts or seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, place in a preheated 350˚F/180˚C/gas 4 oven and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the nut or seed. Alternatively, nuts and seeds can be browned in a microwave. Spread in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high power, stopping to stir once or twice, until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t burn.
I'm a geek when it comes to this show. When Chronicle Books came out with the companion this fall I was super-stoked. I initially got involved with the show when a colleague of mine lent us the DVD's. One episode after the next we were sitting at the edge of our seats waiting to see what was about to happen. I'm not going to talk about it too much for fear of spoiling the plot, but I would recommend watching it and getting the book so you can get a better understanding of who everyone is and how the show was made. I can admit it gets a tiny bit confusing figuring what character belongs to which house so this book is the perfect companion. Can't wait till season 4 in the Spring!
I only wish the pages came perforated so I can take them out and
hang them on my walls just like a giddy schoolgirl.
Danielle Johnson, Senior Publicist
DIVINE VINTAGE Book Launch
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Toronto School of Theology
47 Queen's Park Crescent East Time: 4:30 p.m.
Board Room 1
With thanks to IWEG (Independent Wine Education Guild)
Download invitation (PDF)
North by Northwest Cooking Club Taping
Friday, October 5, 12:00 p.m.
Pop by the shop for a live taping with CBC's NXNW host, Sheryl MacKay. Diane will chat about her new book Roots and will demonstrate a recipe.
Thanksgiving Primer for Root Vegetables
Friday, October 5, 6:00 to 9:00pm
Demonstration/Book signing, $45 (includes book)
Digging into Asian Root Vegetables
Saturday, October 6, 10:30am to noon
Cooking Class/book signing, $95
Catch Diane Morgan tomorrow morning at 8:30 on BT (Vancouver) making this recipe from her new book Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes
Beet Hash with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Soft-Cooked Eggs
Consider this as a main course for weekend brunch or even Sunday supper—it’s all about comfort food. Adding beets puts a spin on classic potato hash, bringing a shock of color and an earthy sweetness to an otherwise traditional dish. Bring out the hot sauce if your guests want some spice--that’s traditional, too.
Serves 6 as a main course
4 tbsp/60 ml olive oil
8 oz/225 g spicy Italian chicken sausages (about 2 links)
2 lb/910 g red-skinned, Yukon Gold, or Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 lb/455 g red beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
6 large eggs
In a 12-in/30.5-cm frying pan, preferably cast iron, heat 2 tbsp of the oil over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the sausages and brown on all sides until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside to cool.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining 2 tbsp oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Add the potatoes, beets, and salt and sauté just until coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Cover and steam for 5 minutes, stirring once. Add the onion and stir to incorporate, then re-cover cook, stirring once or twice, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, cut the sausages into rounds 1/4 in/6 mm thick. Set aside.
Uncover the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and add the thyme and pepper. Stir to dislodge any bits stuck to the pan bottom, then continue to sauté the potatoes and beets until tender, about 10 minutes longer. Gently fold in the sliced sausages and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Using a large spoon, make 6 shallow depressions in the hash, spacing them evenly around the pan and putting one in the center. Carefully crack an egg into each depression. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, topping each egg with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
The street is where you'll find the heart of a cuisine and a culture—somewhere among the taco carts and noodle stalls, the scent of wood fires and the hubbub of fellow diners. It's the most democratic food in the world, gratifying and completely delicious!