summer

Still Eating

By | computers, favas, peas, potatoes, salad, summer | 2 Comments

I may not be blogging but I am still eating and continuing to indulge my fava obsession. It is still hot in Toronto and I am discovering just how much heat my laptop can put out – way too much.
The secret to this salad is to put the dressing, Dijon, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper on the potatoes while they are still warm. Cook the potatoes whole, cut them into quarters and toss gently with the dressing. Add the blanched, skinned favas not long before serving with lots of chopped chives. Peas are good too, add a little shredded mint with them and their less work than favas.

Hot, hot, hot

By | Apple computer, Burrata, Humidity, palm trees, summer | 2 Comments

Well summer has arrived, not only is it hot it is very humid. Where are the palm trees? I am working away on ODDBITS and am shocked at just how much heat my Apple Power book can emit. So at the end of the day trying to finish my book the last thing I want to do is tap away some more so I think this month will be a pictorial blogs. With the heat the heritage tomatoes have arrived and we’ve been slicing them up and topping them with buffalo milk mozzarella and basil. A drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and we have a starter – cooking is simple in the summer. No burrata yet, but I am saving up my pennies.

What ever happened to gazpacho?

By | Fine Cooking, gazpacho, soup, Spain, summer, tomatoes | One Comment

I remember when gazpacho was all the rage. Every restaurant, Spanish or not, had a version. Some were good, some were competent while others were just tomato juice in a bowl. Well this summer has been a lousy one for tomatoes, too cold and wet and I am not sure the heat we are experiencing now will help.

Our recipe for gazpacho is based on one in Fine Cooking Magazine. I use the term ‘our’ very loosely. My husband always makes this soup, it is one of his “summer dishes”. He has added his own touches to the original recipe; roasting the red peppers whole on the grill until they are soft and blackened, this makes the soup sweet, and a little smoky. It also adds lots of flavour, a bonus when the other major ingredient tomatoes are not up to snuff. The peppers release lots of pectin filled juice so there is no need for the more traditional bread to thicken the soup. The peeled, seeded peppers with their juice, are blended with peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, green onion, and lemon juice. The soup is finished with good olive oil, lots of chopped herbs and salt and pepper. After an overnight sojourn in the refrigerator to meld the flavours, the soup has a texture close to chunky salsa thanks to those peppers.

However, on a hot summer night it liquefies quickly and is both refreshing and delicious. One guest suggested adding croutons, not a bad idea but I am happy with some good crusty bread.

More Tongue

By | BBQ, Mustard, summer, Tongues, Weekend | 2 Comments

Finally summer has arrived in Toronto. I thought it was never coming but I am happy it’s finally here. It so humid that drinking a gin & tonic works up a sweat. It’s certainly warm enough to eat outside and a good choice for the air conditioning free like us. Here is what we’ll be enjoying this weekend – barbecued tongue. Slices of cooked tongue brushed with olive oil and placed on the barbecue for about a couple of minutes a side. My husband and I are still arguing about timing. Medium is enough heat and when they are crispy on the edges they are ready. Brush them with anything from a sweet or spicy barbecue sauce to mustard or horseradish. Here they have a glaze of sugar, vinegar and mustard seeds. The texture of the warm tongue is a revelation.

Surviving Summer

By | Cucumber, Gin, Hendricks, Humidity, summer, Toronto | 2 Comments

Sunday was the first official day of summer and pretty much on cue summer arrived in Toronto with a vengeance, 30C and humidity. I like the heat I grew up with it but it’s the humidity that is debilitating. It is exhausting moving through air as thick as molasses and constantly sweating. I never expected Toronto to be so humid – where are the palm trees and tropical flowers?
I sit at my computer the windows wide open to let in the cooler morning air and the fan blowing gently to keep it circulating. This works until about 2pm when the cool morning air is exhausted and the sticky air from the street invades the house and my computer is hot to the touch. This would be the idea time for a siesta but I am not good at napping so I attempt to catch up on some reading and think about a gin and tonic – the perfect summer drink beverage. The one pictured here is made with Hendricks gin, distilled in Scotland. As it says on the bottle this is “a most iconoclastic gin – it’s not for everyone”. Well it is definitely for me I love its taste and drink it with the recommended cucumber slices – it makes the humid Toronto summer bearable.