Displaying items by tag: appetizers

My steak-loving grandson – who has eaten a lot of steak in his young life – insists that the most interesting experience and the best food is at Jacobs and Co. Steakhouse in Toronto. When I go with him I am always impressed by the huge tasty popovers that greet you when you arrive. Popovers are a particular favourite of mine because I grew up with Yorkshire pudding and they are just another version.

Popovers can be very finicky – not rising enough, falling when you take them out of the oven, sticking to the tins – but, using Jacobs’ recipe, we have come up with foolproof popovers. The secret is using room temperature ingredients, preheating the pan and letting them continue to cook for the full time given below even if they start to look very brown.

Although I dislike non-stick sprays, I do find they work very well for popover removal. Otherwise, oil the tins very well before you preheat them then let the baked popovers sit for 2 or 3 minutes before removing them.

Serve them with steak, roast beef, sausages, as a treat with a bowl of soup, or for a decadent snack, on their own. The roasted garlic butter is wonderful, but you could serve them without it.



These vegetarian dumplings are based on the ones at Mission Chinese restaurant in New York City. The recipe has been adapted by Olivia Simpson, who worked at Mission Chinese, and Donna Borooah for the home kitchen. Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see our technique for crimping dumplings.  

For a real flavour boost, use rehydrated dried mushrooms instead of fresh in the dumpling mixture. They provide an umami kick and a more authentic Chinese flavour. The mixture tastes quite salty but once cooked it is balanced out by the wrapper. You can find dumpling wrappers in most supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores. Sometimes they are called gyoza wrappers.

Serve these with the lace intact by inverting the skillet onto a plate and breaking off the dumplings one by one as you eat them. Alternatively, arrange the individual dumplings on a serving platter with the lacy edges showing.


The best way to serve these is to invert the skillet onto a plate with the lace intact and break off the dumplings as you eat them.

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I used a flatbread that was about 9 x 12 inches (23 x 30 cm). If dandelion greens are unavailable, replace with arugula (which does not have quite the same punch but is good nevertheless).
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Russians serve blinis with all kinds of toppings, not just caviar. Because the blinis are small the toppings are finely chopped to sit on top easily. The Russian zakouski table is a large table holding hors d’oeuvres that are served before the meal. Blinis are always a part of it. Traditionally they are made with yeast, but this method makes excellent ones. Blinis freeze well.
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This recipe comes from one of my students at the Stratford Chefs School.

“Full of sharp, bitter and bright flavours, this crisp salad is perfect for pairing with traditionally heavy winter meals,” says Sam Bavaro, a second-year student. “Serve this salad with attitude. Use a plate and let the salad fall naturally, showing height and body. Set the table with a fork and knife to cut the big leaves and roots,” he says. Use purple and yellow carrots for colour contrast.

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This pâté is made in the style of pâté de foie gras with rich and sinful infusions of butter and cream. To give it an even more foie gras-like quality, I’ve included a slightly sweet gelée sauce for it. It will keep for 5 to 7 days as long as it is well sealed. Serve in slices as a first course or spoon onto toasted brioche with the gelée.
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This is a luscious and decadent first course. Make ahead and reheat at 350 F if you wish.

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Grilled fennel has a sweetness that balances the apples and salty prosciutto in this recipe. Serve with grilled chicken or salmon for a great combination.

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This is a great recipe when cherry tomatoes are past their best. They recover their sweetness when roasted. The bitter kale and acidic anchovies are a perfect combination. If white anchovies cured with vinegar are not available, I soak regular ones in milk for 20 minutes. It reduces their saltiness.

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Toss vegetables with mayonnaise the night before.
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