4:12 pm - Tue, Sep 30, 2014

Tyler Florence - Lemon Pudding Cake

Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence is a 16 year veteran of the Food Network. He currently has numerous television shows, cookbooks, restaurants; and even a winery.  We are lucky he is coming to The Delicious Food Show in Toronto on Friday October 17. The Food Network alone posts 1,063 of his recipes online! 

I’ve learnt a lot from him, enjoying his quiet, gentle southern charm.  He received a solid culinary training from the prestigious Johnson and Wales University and started working at top restaurants in New York following graduation.

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Cakes Fresh Out of the Oven

I decided to make his Lemon Pudding Cake With Fresh Mixed Berries.  What came out was one of the best, lightest, most ethereal dishes I have ever baked.   

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Lemon Pudding Cake With Mixed Fresh Berries

Dessert heaven appeared in my household.  You bake the cake in a ramekin, and when you turn it out, you have a sponge cake bottom and a lemony pudding on top. The berries perfectly complement the cake.  

I used frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones, cooked them for a few minutes in a teaspoon of water, some lemon juice, and a touch of sugar.

Just follow his recipe instructions and you will make a dessert that you and your guests will never forget. 

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4:37 pm - Tue, Sep 23, 2014
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Irish Leek & Potato Soup - Willowtree Farm

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Potato Leek Soup

On a recent tour in Ireland all dinners were included in the trip, served at the hotel we were staying that night. We were offered set menus and the quality of the food varied from hotel to hotel. Fortunately for me, every meal included a soup, and they were either vegetable soup or leek and potato. The soups were always good.

This gave me the opportunity to try different variations of leek and potato soups, one of my all time faves. The Irish versions had lots more leeks in them than I am accustomed to seeing here. Some were chunky, others smooth, some had herbs added in, and some were very rich from lots of heavy cream added in.

The potato still plays a major role in Irish cooking, every meal I had included a potato side dish.  They were wonderful side dishes, somehow they were able to capture the subtle flavor of the humble potato.

I don’t have to remind you but there still is time to get some fresh high quality potatoes from farmer’s markets.

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Potatoes WillowTree Farm

These WillowTree Farm (Port Perry Ontario) potatoes are fresh, and a rough looking peel means that these potatoes have not been overly processed before you even get to cook them.  WillowTree Farm is open until mid-November so if you are out and about give them a visit, and get some of their non-GMO fruits and vegetables.  If you are interested in how they actually grow their produce click on Sustainable Farming to further educate yourself.

I’m going to leave with a link to Irish Television (RTE) chef Eamon O Cathain’s recipe for A Simple Leek and Potato Soup.  He leaves you with an option to use water, vegetable or chicken stock.  The chervil and creme fraiche are garnishes, don’t worry if you don’t have them, you can use parsley and sour cream instead, or you can choose to have no garnish at all.

Let this simple soup warm you up and fortify you during the coming cold months ahead.

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9:12 am - Thu, Sep 18, 2014
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Scotland

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Edinburgh Castle

The people of Scotland today are deciding whether to remain as part of the United Kingdom or become an independent country.  I’d like to share some photos I took of this beautiful country last May.

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Charlotte Square, New Town, Edinburgh

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Abbotsford Home of Sir Walter Scott

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Garden, Abbotsford

I’ll end with a one of Edinburgh’s many pubs, The Conan Doyle, named after one of Edinburgh’s most famous authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was born right near where the pub is located.

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The Conan Doyle

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11:31 am - Wed, Sep 17, 2014
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Mario Batali

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Mario Batali at Eataly

Chef Mario Batali will be in Toronto in one month on October 17, making a rare public appearance here at The Delicious Food Show on the Food Network Celebrity Stage.

Mario Batali has been influencing the way we eat since his debut of Molto Mario in 1997 on The Food Network. With his personal style of wearing orange crocs and shorts, Mario made Italian food cool, not something just left to your Nonna.   He generously shares his encyclopedic knowledge of regional Italian cooking in his shows and cookbooks.

Batali’s “short” biography is impressive enough with numerous television shows, nine cookbooks and a growing restaurant empire. 

One of his latest and very popular ventures is the opening of a second Eataly in Chicago.  Eataly is a large scale artisinal food and wine marketplace, where you can shop and eat at the same location. The original opened in New York.

The best way to understand a chef is through their cooking so since it is tomato season I made a Fresh Plum Tomato Sauce from a Food Network recipe of his.

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Fresh PlumTomato Sauce on Spagetti

It was well worth the effort. Fresh is best!

Mario Batali currently appears on ABC’s daytime show The Chew.

His appearance at the Delicious Food Show is a great opportunity for us to see this busy chef live.

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6:34 pm - Mon, Sep 15, 2014
2 notes

Beet Cabbage Borscht

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Beet Cabbage Borscht

This is a perfect cold weather soup, serve it with some fresh bread and a salad and it makes a meal, suitable for a northern climate.  Made with beets, cabbage and potatoes, these are vegetables that store well in the winter.

Beet Cabbage Borscht - Serves 10

1 kilo (2.2 lbs) beef short ribs (8 strips)

6 cups water

2 onions diced

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

black pepper to taste

2 beets grated

2 Yukon Gold potatoes diced

1 - 2 cups shredded cabbage

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Put the short ribs in a large soup pot.  Add the water and bring to a boil. Skim the scum (foamy bits) from the liquid, discarding them. Bring the water to a simmer. Add the onions,and salt and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the beets, cabbage, potatoes, tomato paste, pepper, and chopped dill and simmer for about 45 minutes longer or until the meat is tender.  Add the lemon juice and sugar.  

Taste for seasonings, this may mean not only adding more salt or pepper, but you may want to add a bit more sugar or lemon juice depending on your taste preferences to get that perfect nuanced sweet/sour blend. 

If you want to make this soup vegetarian, just use a good vegetable stock instead of the water, and add about a tablespoon of soy sauce to get that unami flavor. Garnish it with sour cream.

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4:22 pm - Fri, Sep 12, 2014
2 notes

Chef Jamie Kennedy’s Tomatoes

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Chef Jamie Kennedy’s Heirloom Tomatoes

These beautiful heirloom tomatoes are from Chef Jamie Kennedy’s farm.  He sells them at his restaurant Gilead Cafe Wine Bar.

Recently taken for dinner there by two wonderful friends, they even gave me a lootbag filled with these tomatoes!

Heirloom tomatoes are old types of tomatoes that fell out of use. They are being revived now in part to protect biodiversity. The red tomatoes we get at the supermarket are bred for appearance, and ability to last on long truck drives. Taste is secondary.

The wonderful colours of the tomatoes means that they are filled with great healthy properties, we are “eating the rainbow” with them.  Chef Kennedy has long been involved with organic produce, local food and the farm to table movement. He only uses top quality local produce, at his restaurant.  And when we were there he was busy in the kitchen.  He has a master touch with French Fries, and they were perfect with my husband’s steak frites.

For the home cook beautiful tomatoes like these don’t need much to enhance them, maybe a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice on top, sprinkle it with some herbs or sliced green onion, and some excellent sea salt on top. I used my favorite flaky sea salt, Maldon, from England.

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Tomato Salad

See if you can get some wonderful tomatoes, and savor them for their fresh taste.  And if you can, try the Gilead Cafe. 

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6:49 pm - Wed, Sep 10, 2014
2 notes
gastropost:

From Gastroposter Jenny Roger:

Ristorante La Cascina makes a wonderful Spaghetti alla Chitarra with a fresh tasting tomato sauce. I made tomato sauce using fresh Roma tomatoes, now I have to learn how to make the Spaghetti alla Chitarra!

gastropost:

From Gastroposter Jenny Roger:

Ristorante La Cascina makes a wonderful Spaghetti alla Chitarra with a fresh tasting tomato sauce. I made tomato sauce using fresh Roma tomatoes, now I have to learn how to make the Spaghetti alla Chitarra!

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1:27 pm - Tue, Sep 9, 2014

Market TIme Part II

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Ready made country-style goodies

I received some queries as to where Reesor’s Market is. Any word in my blog that has blue lettering is also a link to the website, and you just click on the word.

There are two Reesor’s Market and I went to the Farm Market at 10825 Ninth Line, Markham, Ont.  It closes in October for the season.

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1:03 pm - Sun, Sep 7, 2014
1 note

Market Time

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Reesor’s Market and Bakery, Ontario

Just a quick reminder to get out of the city and visit some Farmer’s Markets.  I went to Reesor’s Market and Bakery. The produce is so fresh. 

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Beans

And pretty.

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Fall Flowers

You can get some Voisin’s Maple Syrup.

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Voisin’s Maple Syrup

I went without a plan, just to see what was enticing.  I have made a fresh tomato sauce with their perfectly ripe Roma tomatoes, and a beet salad. And of course I had to get some of their non GMO corn.

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A Rainbow of Peppers

With fall on our doorsteps, it’s time to enjoy the final summer harvest while we can.

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7:01 pm - Thu, Sep 4, 2014
4 notes

In Search of Hummus

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Tabule - Eggplant Salad, Leben, and Hummus

Hummus is a dip made out of mashed cooked chickpeas, mixed with techina (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic, salt and olive oil. Usually pita breads are dipped into it. You can buy it ready made in a grocery store or you can try it freshly made in a restaurant.  It’s good for you!

Hummus has been served in restaurants in Toronto for decades, each restaurant having its own version of hummus.

What is new is that young restaurateurs are opening up trendy Middle Eastern restaurants across downtown Toronto. 

I decided to try out some of the new restaurants and also visit established restaurants in search of hummus. 

First stop was Tabule, on Queen Street East in Leslieville.  It is a beautiful modern restaurant.

The food was very good, and well presented.  We ordered the hummus as part of a platter with three salads, leben (yogurt cheese), eggplant salad and hummus. The hummus was smooth and well-seasoned. 

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S. Lefkowitz - Hummus

Next was S. Lefkowitz, Hummusia, named after owner Ezra Braves’ grandfather.  Braves owned two coffee shops and he turned one of them into Toronto’s first Hummusia (hummus snack bar).  His very limited menu allows him to focus on the specialty, hummus made from scratch using cooked dried organic chickpeas, organic techina, and good quality olive oil. 

Not only did I enjoy the food but I loved the music played at just the right volume. This restaurant has all the characteristics I could imagine every restaurant having; high quality ingredients, friendly atmosphere, and the personal touch of naming the restaurant after a beloved family member.  

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Famous Laffa - Hummus filled with Schwarma

Then back uptown to a restaurant with picture windows overlooking a parking lot in an industrial complex. Famous Laffa (401 Magnetic Dr., Toronto) serves kosher Jewish Iraqi food.

Famous Laffa’s speciality is the laffa, a large type of flatbread that they bake fresh in the restaurant in a specially designed oven.  It is so fresh and perfect to scoop up their creamy hummus with it.

Then there is Me Va Me, another fixture on the Toronto Middle Eastern cuisine scene. They also bake laffas, and their hummus is perfection.  They have opened a third location in downtown Toronto.

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Fat Pasha - Hummus With Lamb Meatballs

My last stop was another Toronto trendy new restaurant, Fat Pasha.  The third restaurant from Chef Anthony Rose is Middle Eastern with Jewish, trendy elements.  You can get chopped liver with gribbenes and schmaltz, (fried onions and rendered chicken fat), falafel, and of course hummus.

Every restaurant was enjoyable in their own unique way.  I recommend that you go out and try them, and start your own search for your favorite hummus.

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