Jennifer Bain, Food Editor of the Toronto Star, just launched her new cookbook…Toronto Star Cookbook.
I had the pleasure of being one of the guests at the event. Click here for the post.
After reading the book from front to back…I was eager to try out some of the recipes. I thought I would start with a couple of recipes that were featured in the Toronto Star, March 30, 2013 Saturday edition, in anticipation of the big event.
The first…my ultimate favourite dish that can easily be adapted to a meal…a salad. Not just any salad, mind you…Jennifer titles this one, “Salad a magical creation”
Crawford Street Salad
Jennifer’s description of the salad, “This creation, with its salty, lemon-lime-soaked onions, is loved by all who drop by for dinner.” She explains that it was “inspired by a Chilean dish served by Jumbo Empanadas restaurant in Toronto’s Kensington Market.” Click here for the original recipe.
I decided to be adventurous with the recipe…something Jennifer encourages us all to be at the end of her introduction in the Toronto Star Cookbook…”Cooking is for all who try, too. Please be adventurous.”
I thought the lemon-lime-cilantro dressing, along with the rest of the ingredients, would pair well with the addition of some flaked tuna, quinoa and kidney beans. As I didn’t have a white onion…I replaced it with a red onion and used spinach and arugula in place of green leaf lettuce.
Now it is more of a meal…perfect!
The second recipe was more to the liking of the boys/men in my family…potatoes!
Garlic-Basil Smashed Potatoes
This potato dish is in Jennifer’s words, “my favourite way to eat spuds.” Click here for the original recipe.
The recipe is from 2005 when food writer Susan Sampson adapted the original recipe by Bob Blumer…Food Network star and cookbook author himself.
In Jennifer’s version…”I amp up the garlic and basil, slash the oil and make flaky salt key.”
Well…the garlic was definitely ‘ampted up’ in this recipe…a whole head of minced garlic…raw! Yes, you read that right…a whole head…raw!
Now, I must say I was concerned…so I cut back…twice. I refrained from mincing the whole head and then refrained again at mixing in all the minced garlic. Even still, it was a bit too much for my guys.
My husband’s reaction…”A whole head…she must have meant a clove.”
Matthew’s reaction…”Are they meant to look so beat up?” “Mmmm…I like them…the insides are yummy.”
Michael’s reaction…”The vampires won’t be coming around.”
I loved the concept of the recipe…roasted whole little potatoes with a bit of olive oil dusted in salt and them ‘smashed’ with a fork.
I felt they deserved a second chance…the next night I offered them again. The boys requested them without garlic…not even a clove! I think they were ‘garlic’d out’!
These were more my boys’ style.
This is what I love about the Toronto Star Cookbook…all the stories, personal accounts, the history of how a recipe transpired…Jennifer’s journey of discovering new and exciting flavours throughout Ontario is educational.
With a reference section at the back of the book where all of Jennifer’s favourite places to shop are listed…she calls them her “go-to stores for the best and most diverse ingredients”.
It makes me want to get out and explore all the great venues in and around Toronto…to be just as Jennifer intended us to all be…adventurous!
P.S. Did you notice? Both of these recipes happened to be allergy friendly for our family. Hopefully they will be for your family too.