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Archive for September, 2011

And it begins! Simple fare. Simple favourites. Casual dinner before a TIFF screening? Perfect.

From my first infatuation with Canteen almost a year ago (bonne anniversaire!), Chef Bangerter has had some fun with the menu… introducing new dishes, removing some and tweaking others. And I, with the help of a few friends, have eaten our way through most of it (surprise surprise!).

Below are my picks for best dishes to try pre-TIFF screening.  Sidebar: And only 24hrs until A & I strategically plant ourselves in front of one handsome-strapping-actor-musician-not-so-secret-love. Sweet lo, we can hardly stand it. Yep, fully aware of Eva canoodling. Temporary lapse.

Chef J, if he steps foot into the building and sits his cute butt down, you MUST send smoke signals. Will reco a few dishes, let him know the burrata upstairs is also to die for, happily offer up ourselves… ok, FOCUS.

Favourite Canteen dishes!

  1. Beet roots. Just started to love ‘em. Now, can’t get enough of ‘em.
  2. Seared scallops with a hint of curry. And sweet sweet raisins.
  3. White pizza, pancetta and a fried egg? Yes, please.
  4. The lemon posset. Lightest dessert ever created, every spoonful is sigh-worthy.

beet roots w/ tarragon, hazelnut, rice wine vinaigrette

seared scallops, curried cauli & sultana raisins

frattau pizza w/ potatoes, pancetta, fried egg, pecorino, rosemary

lemon posset, chantilly & blues

O&B Canteen
330 King St. West, TIFF Bell Lightbox
647.288.4710

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Cast iron grill pan is a girl’s new best friend. Flank steak, orzo with basil pesto, tomatoes & feta, asparagus. May or may not have had steak for breakfast this morning. High five leftovers!

Sometimes, I follow recipes. Most of the time, I don’t. Three adamant reasons: 1) discipline… what’s that? 2) feeding 6-8 mouths? not typically. 3) it’s just more fun! Inspired by recipes from Gourmet Grilling & Epicurious, here’s my take & cheers to Sunday dinners.

must bring camera out more often. iPhone4 & natural light.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

For steaks:

  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • splash of soy sauce
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of grainy mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • flank steak (3/4 pounds)

For orzo:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp basil pesto (be generous)
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (or free-hand sprinkle)
  • salt & pepper to taste

For asparagus:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • small bundle of asparagus, trimmed
  • salt & pepper to taste

MARINATE, GRILL, TOSS & SAUTE

Flank steaks:

  • Whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, mustard, lemon, Worcestershire, garlic, cumin, pepper. Pour marinade into large sealable plastic bag. Seal steaks in bag. Shake shake to coat meat, then chill at least 4 hours and up to 8. Bring steaks to room temperature 30min before grilling.
  • Prepare grill pan for direct-heat cooking over medium heat.
  • Remove steaks from marinade (discard marinade) and pat dry. Grill, turning over once, until medium-rare, 4-6 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let stand, uncovered, about 15min. Thinly slice steaks across the grain. Wahoo meat!

Orzo salad & asparagus:

  • Toss together basil pesto, tomatoes, fresh basil, lemon zest, salt & pepper in bowl. Let stand 10-15 min.
  • Multitasking action: Cook orzo in pot of boiling salted water until al dente (approx. 8-10 min). Drain & set aside.
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on asparagus, coat evenly. Salt and pepper as desired. Put asparagus spears into skillet, no crowding, and saute over medium-high heat for 4-6min (depending on how you like ‘em… fork pierce test).
  • In a medium-sized bowl, toss orzo & basil tomato mixture. Add feta & toss again. Serve warm or chilled. Best orzo salad ever.

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Love ad hoc dishes that work out. Egg noodles & pea shoots. Roasted tomatoes & basil. Chanterelle & oyster mushrooms. Delicious!

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