Dabble Chef: Focaccia

Dabble Chef - Bread-2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 325ml water (slightly above room temperature)
  • 1½ tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup bread flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cup potatoes, mashed and cooled

Herb Mixture:

  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, add water, yeast and sugar and set aside. Let the mixture rise 1-2″.
    Tip: Keep mixture in a warm area of the kitchen to speed up the process.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and potatoes. Add in the yeast mixture.
  3. Stir mixture with hands or using a mixer with a dough hook attachment until combined. Remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead for 8-10 minutes with hands or in mixer on low for 2 minutes and then at medium for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Place in a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap until the dough doubles in size.
  5. Once the dough has risen, preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix rosemary, thyme, garlic and oil and set aside.
  6. Remove dough from bowl and punch it until it is deflated. Portion the dough into balls that are approximately the size of a fist. Once portioned, roll into long strips. Using 3 strips, pinch one end of each log together and braid strips. Pinch the ends together and then combine the two ends of the dough to create a circle. Repeat with all strips.
  7. Spray or oil a medium sized muffin tin. Place each ball into the muffin tin. With a pastry brush, generously brush herb mixture onto balls. Cover and let rise for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove plastic and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on each bun and a little more oil once they are removed from the oven.

Tip: To enhance flavour, cook herbs in olive oil. In a small sauté pan, heat up olive oil, rosemary and thyme on low-medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as you can smell the essence. Let cool and then brush on dough.

 

Dabble Chef: fish tacos

Dabble Chef - Tilapia

INGREDIENTS:

AVOCADO MIX:

  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 8 sprigs of cilantro, picked, washed and chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper

CABBAGE MIX:

  • Julienne:
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 2 cups green or purple cabbage
  • 1 red onion, peeled

TILAPIA:

  • 4 filets of tilapia
  • Olive oil
  • 12 x 6” corn tortillas
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine avocados, 1 juiced lime and ⅓ of the cilantro. Mash the avocado leaving some chunks. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in fridge.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the carrots, cabbage, onion, the remaining cilantro and one juiced lime. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Place tilapia on a plate and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large skillet or non-stick pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear tilapia on both sides for about 4-5 minutes per side.
  4. Tortillas: Place corn tortillas on a plate and cover with a napkin. Heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to warm through. For soft, flavourful tacos, heat tortillas by warming them in a pan with hot olive oil.
  5. Select a tortilla and spread the avocado mixture down the centre. Add the slaw mixture and then crumble the tilapia over top. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy. Add salsa if you prefer.

Dabble Savvy: Tilapia is a delicate white fish so use a spatula instead of tongs to turn.

Dabble Chef: tilapia

Dabble Chef - Tilapia-1

Tilapia Marinade

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tilapia
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 limes
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 12-15 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 tbsp olive oil

PREPARATION:

  • Cut citrus in half widthwise and squeeze juice into a small bowl. Pour juice into a strainer to collect seeds.
  • Dabble Savvy: Roll lemons and limes with the palm of your hand against the countertop. It makes them easier to squeeze.
  • Chop the garlic finely. Wash the cilantro, clip the leaves and chop finely.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the oil, garlic, paprika, cilantro and citrus juice. Whisk thoroughly. Place tilapia in a small bowl and pour marinade over the fish. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 3-6 hours before cooking.
  2. Preheat grill to high or pre-heat oven to 375˚.
  3. Grilling Instructions: Place tilapia on the grill. Make sure the fish has no excess oil or it may create a flame that will give it a burnt flavour. Grill the tilapia for 6-7 minutes flipping half way through. Remove from grill, slice evenly and serve immediately.
  4. Oven instructions: Place fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicon. Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked.

Profile: Chef Kerry Sear

Chef Kerry

The French know fashion. New Yorkers know attitude. And, it’s fair to say, no one knows the culinary capabilities of the Pacific Northwest quite like Chef Kerry Sear.

Kerry merged his culinary experiences in Seattle with time spent cooking abroad to create a market-driven menu for ART Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel where he’s the executive chef.

With a passion for design, Chef Kerry has been known to sketch out his culinary creations beforehand with a brush on canvas. Lending ART his design expertise, he influenced everything from menu selection to the hues of wood on the walls and tables.

A Day with Chef Kerry Sear:

BREAKFAST – Apple French Toast

LUNCH – Baked Beecher’s Cheese Sandwich, Applesauce and Apple Fries

DINNER – Salmon Stuffed Baked Potato and Apple Cider Peas

 

Read the full article: Issue 1 – A Day with Chef Kerry Sear.

Dabble Chef: seared tuna

Photography by Simon Burn

Photography by Simon Burn

Spicy Mayo

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp Sambal sauce (chili sauce)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS:
Mix ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Set in fridge until serving.

Sesame Crusted Tuna

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pieces sushi grade tuna
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, julienne
  • 1 cup red peppers, julienne
  • 1 cup green peppers, julienne
  • 1 cup celery, julienne
  • 1 cup carrots, julienne
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 baby bok choy, washed and julienne
  • 1 cup of black or white sesame seeds
  • ½ cup cilantro, washed and chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season tuna with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the sesame seeds on a plate and roll the tuna edges in the seeds, making sure to cover all sides. If seeds are not sticking, cover the tuna with a tablespoon of olive oil before rolling.
  3. Ina large sauté pan, heat the olive oil until it reaches its smoking point and then add tuna.
  4. Sear the tuna for approximately 2 minutes on each side and remove from pan. Set the tuna on a plate with a paper towel.
  5. Return the pan to the heat. Add onions, peppers, celery and carrots, then sauté for 5 minutes.
  6. Add garlic, orange zest and juice, ginger and sesame oil, continually stirring. Remove the pan from the heat and add bok choy.
  7. Slice tuna on a bias (4-5 pieces per serving). Plate the vegetables and fan tuna pieces on top. Pour the remaining liquid from the vegetables over the tuna and add a generous dollop of spicy mayo. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip: Wash the bok choy thoroughly to remove any grit.

A Day with: Aaron McCargo Jr.

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New Jersey raised Chef, Aaron McCargo Jr. is the season four winner of The Next Food Network Star. Now, with a show of his own, the Big Daddy’s House star can also boast his own brand of herbs and spices as well as a cookbook, Simply Done, Well Done.

Here are three of Aaron’s flavourful recipes. Trust us, you’ll want seconds.

Breakfast: Gruyère Cheese Omelet

A Day with Aaron McCargo Jr

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, whole or julienned
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Ina medium bowl, vigorously beat eggs with the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes for 4 to 5 minutes, until frothy.
  3. In another medium bowl, stir together the cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon and basil.
  4. Ina 12″ ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the beaten eggs and cook gently, tilting the pan so the uncooked egg slides under the cooked parts. In 2 to 3 minutes, the eggs will begin to set. Sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over eggs and remove pan from heat.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese melts. Slide the omelet onto a serving platter, folding it over onto itself as you do. Let the omelet sit for 1-2 minutes, and then cut and serve.

Serves 3

Lunch: Spicy Cheeseburger Soup

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  • 1 cup potato, peeled and diced (1 medium all-purpose potato)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup jalapeno chili pepper, diced
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Italian herb blend*
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ quarts beef broth
  • ¼ cup beef bouillon powder
  • 1 ½ lb white American cheese, thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
  1. In a large saucepan, put the potatoes and enough water to cover them by about 2″.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Drain and return to the pain. Cover and keep warm.
  4. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat slightly with a wooden spoon, until the beef begins to brown, 6 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook, stirring, for another minute or two. Add the jalapenos and then the flour, herb blend, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until well mixed and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and bouillon powder, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until heated through, taking care not to break the meat up too much.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat, add the slices of cheese, one at a time, and stir gently until the cheese melts into the soup and the soup becomes creamy. Add the scallions and potatoes and cook just until heated through. Serve hot.

Serves 12

Dinner: Stuffed Grilled Boneless Pork Chops

A Day with Aaron McCargo Jr2

  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup spicy chile oil
  • 9 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 6 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 6 oz smoked Gouda cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 6x 8-ounce boneless pork loin chops
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the marmalade, scallions, soy sauce and chile oil. Set half the marmalade sauce aside for cooking and the other half for serving.
  2. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill and oil the grates.
  3. In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, bring an inch of water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Steam the spinach in a steaming basket and set in the saucepan until wilted, about 2 ½ minutes. Lift the spinach from the steaming basket and transfer to a large bowl. Add the bacon, cheese and chipotle chilies. Mix well.
  4. With a small, sharp knife, slit the side of each chop to create a pocket that goes nearly (but not all the way) through the chop. Wiggle the knife in the incision to open the pocket.
  5. Using a spoon or your fingers, stuff each chop with the spinach filling. Secure the opening with toothpicks and then season the chops with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the chops with canola oil.
  6. Grill the chops for 6 to 8 minutes with the grill covered, turning the chops 3 times during grilling. Remove the lid and brush the tops of the chops with the marmalade sauce for cooking. Continue grilling, turning once and brushing the other side with the marmalade sauce for cooking, until both sides of each chop are nicely browned and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes longer.
  7. Remove the chops from the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving with the reserved sauce.

Serves 6

 

Shakin’ Shakshuka

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When I booked my fare to Israel the very last thing I envisioned was cooking a meal or funnier still, finding myself in front of a hot stove!  But Tel Aviv is full of surprises. Dr. Shakshuka is a culinary treasure in a country where there are so many fabulous meals to be sampled. This was my first taste of the classic egg-based dish and certainly, my first time cooking it – although I had some help from the doctor himself.

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If you’re planning a trip to Israel then this has to be a stop. Travel plans or not, the recipe is simple and satisfying:

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Shakshuka Recipe
Courtesy Shai Deluca

INGREDIENTS
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
• 4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp chili powder (mild)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp paprika
• Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
• Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 5-6 eggs
• 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.

2. Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.

3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka (be careful with the cayenne… it is extremely spicy!).

4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook “over easy” style on top of the tomato sauce.

5. Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which can lead to burning.

6. Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired. Shakshuka can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, serve with warm crusty bread or pita that can be dipped into the sauce (if you’re gluten-intolerant or celebrating Passover, skip the bread). For dinner, serve with a green side salad for a light, easy meal.

The 3 Chefs: Michael, Jason & Massimo

3Chefs_group_shot

Whether they’re in the kitchen, at the table, or on TV Michael Bonacini, Massimo Capra and Jason Parsons bring excitement to the art of cooking. Dabble asked the three kitchen men to agree on a perfect day’s fare. The results are mouthwatering.

Breakfast: Poached Eggs with Swiss Chard, Bacon, Chorizo, and Hollandaise

I’m a creature of habit and this is one of my favourite treats on weekends. It’s a great brunch dish for anyone (like me) who prefers breakfast to be on the savoury—rather than sweet—side. Although the ingredients are fairly simple, I love the complexity of flavours and textures involved. ~ Michael

Lunch: Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

I travel a lot and one of my favourite choices when dining out is a roasted beet salad. This is my interpretation of a standard, where the sweetness of the roasted beets with the tartness of the goat cheese is a match made in heaven. ~ Massimo

Dinner: Ultimate Burger

Many people do not realize that the secret to keeping a burger moist while cooking is adding some kind of fat to it. In this case, I use lean beef and the fat from the bacon. When it comes to taste, bacon fat trumps beef fat any day. ~ Jason

Pick up 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men for more tasty meal ideas from Michael, Massimo and Jason.

Chef Lorena Garcia

A Day With Lorena Garcia

Born and raised in Venezuela, Lorena Garcia moved to the United States to study culinary arts. She has since opened two Latin-Asian infusion restaurants in Miami, was a panelist on NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant and wrote a cookbook called New Latin Classics.

Spend a day with Lorena and try cheesy flatbread for breakfast, a fig salad for lunch and marinated beef in a papaya for dinner.

Breakfast – Cheesy Telitas Flatbread

Lunch – Quinoa, Sweet Peppers and Fig Salad

Dinner – Lomo Saltado with Grilled Papayas

 

A Day with Mr. Food

A Day With Mr. Food3

With a name like Mr. Food, Art Ginsburg is well equiped to whip things up in the kitchen.

As a veteren chef whose recipes fill more than 50 cookbooks, Mr. Food was one of the first to promote “Do it Yourself” cooking and food preparations. And, although his take on breakfast, lunch and dinner is “quick and easy”, it’s still long on flavour.

Spend a day with Mr Food:

Breakfast – Brunch Burritos

Lunch – Tuna and White Bean Salad

Dinner – Balsamic Flank Steak

 

Chef Jamie Oliver

A Day with Jamie Oliver

Imagine having TV personality Jamie Oliver as your personal chef for a day. It’s a happy thought, isn’t it?

Well, Jamie’s take on breakfast, lunch and dinner—Italian style—may just be the next best thing.

“I love Italy and everything it stands for,” says the famous chef. “The wonderful ingredients, the beautiful places, the lovely people and the neverending passion they have for their families.”

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Why not bring Jamie and a taste of Italy home with these three tasty recipes?

Buon appetito!

Breakfast – Spicy Scrambled Eggs and Crispy Bacon

Lunch – Fantastic Fish Stew with Tomato and Basil

Dinner – Roast Fish Wrapped in Pancetta and Pesto Mashed Potato

Chef Cat Cora

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Celebrity Chef Cat Cora knows how to stir things up. In 2005 she made television history as the first and only female Iron Chef. In 2006 she was awarded the title of Executive Chef by Bon Appétit Magazine.

More recently Cat’s partnered with Macy’s, opened her first stand-alone restaurant at Walt Disney World’s BoardWalk Resort and founded Chefs for Humanity, a not-for-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for hunger-related causes.

Here, Cat offers us three of her favourite recipes from her book, Cooking from the Hip.

I love to dabble in outdoor activities with my family, such as hiking, playing soccer or going to the beach. For a mom whose constantly on the road, for me free time means family time.

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Spend a day with Chef Cat Cora:

Breakfast – Lemon, Butter and Sugar Crêpes

Lunch – Sunday Cheesesteak Sandwiches

DinnerCrispy Fried Chicken

For more recipes by Chef Cat Cora, check out her book – Cooking from the Hip.