Tag Archives: cream cheese

Friday 5 – Gazpacho 5 Ways!

25 Jun

by Stephanie Dickison

It has been insanely hot here in the city.  On Monday, my eyelids were actually sweating.

One of my favourite ways to keep cool in the summer heat is to make and consume a ton of gazpacho.  This cold Spanish soup is not cooked and is often a melange of tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables and spices.

Here is a roundup of 5 (or more) pretty spectacular gazpachos to help you beat the heat this weekend:

1. Andalusian Garden Gazpacho from The Los Angeles Times (LA would know something about eating in the heat)

2. Watch and learn the step-by-step process of making Creamy Gazpacho (with beautiful scenery in the background)

3.  A lot of restaurants put a Fruit Gazpacho on their menus at this time of year.  They are incredibly quick and easy to make and very refreshing.  Here’s a fruit & veg version and Pineapple Cucumber to swoon over.

4.  Green Gazpacho is a nice change from the red, tomato-based version that we’ve come to know and love.  To keep the green love going, give Spinach Gazpacho with Shrimp & Cream Cheese a try.

5.  One of the many great finds at farmer’s markets right now are beets.  Surprise and delight your dinner guests tonight with Beet & Ginger Gazpacho or Ginger Lemongrass Beet.  They’ll be so thankful not to have to politely eat yet another beet, goat’s cheese and walnut salad!

p.s.  My secret for making a spectacular gazpacho?  Yellow tomatoes (see picture above)!

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The G20 Series: Japan

10 Jun

by Stephanie Dickison

Japanese is just about one of the only cuisines I could have every day for the rest of my life.

I like that there are so many aspects to it.  We North Americans are taken with sushi, sashimi and maki, but in Japan there are noodle houses, dumpling houses, tempura delicacies as well as many unusual ingredients from the sea.

You can search for Japanese restaurants outside of Japan to find out where to get authentic Japanese dishes near you and The Japanese Food Report offers lots of pictures and videos.

My favourite Japanese restaurant in Toronto is Daio Sushi (45 Calton St. 416-260-2116 ) which unfortunately doesn’t have a website.  Daio is family-run and really authentic – there are rice paper walls and the servers dress in kimonos.

What it great about Daio is that it is not fancy, so you can go with a group of friends and feel comfortable, and it is not expensive, especially when you consider the ingredients and preparation.

They have items on the menu that many “sushi joints” pass over in favour of cream cheese-filled rolls and other Americanized plates.  Torigarage is deep-fried dark meat chicken served in pieces, Japanese style.  This is the kind of treat you would find in an izakaya in Japan.

Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu are also available.  These are Japanese hot pots that are incredibly delicious and oh-so filling!

Your server brings out not only the homemade broth and all of the fresh, thinly sliced ingredients, but the heavy  cast iron pot and table-top element to cook it all in.  It says that it serves 2, but 3 or 4 could easily tuck into this lovely dinner.

And if you can’t resist getting makimono or sushi and sashimi, choose some of the more interesting selections that Daio offers, such as Burdock (Yamagobou maki) and Sea Urchin (Uni temaki hand roll).

To make authentic Japanese fare at home, try:

Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking: Simple, Elegant Recipes for Contemporary Tastes by Harumi Kurihara

Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook by Mark Robinson and Masashi Kuma

Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen by Elizabeth Andoh

どうぞめしあがれ or Douzo Meshiagare – “Enjoy your meal!”