5’Oclocktails at SpeakEasy 21

Head over to the new resto-bar SpeakEasy 21 the next time you finish work. Located in the Financial District of Toronto, this chic bistro has a large selection of custom crafted cocktails and spirits made with the freshest ingredients.

Dabble SpeakEasy 21

Photography Dabble Magazine

 

Not only are the drinks good, but Chef Andrew Wilson (formerly Colborne Lane and Origin North) has ensured that the food is nothing less than perfect. Try the beef tartare or Dabble’s pick, the BBQ pork tacos.

Renee Suen - Speakeasy 21 - IMG (12)

Beef Tartare, Photography by Renée Suen

 

Our favourite part? A welcoming interior by Solid Design & Build and a 3,500 square foot patio set to open late spring.

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Interior design by Solid Design & Build, Photography by Renée Suen

 

For menus, hours and location visit SpeakEasy 21

A Taste of Chocolate Pie

Torta Havannet - South America

Torta Havannet – Dulce de Leche Chocolate Pie

South America

Pastry, dulce de leche and chocolate? What’s not to love about this rich and gooey South American pie? Make it a day ahead and chill overnight in the refrigerator for best results.

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick (4oz) butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 1/4 cups (18 fl oz) dulce de leche (Manjar brand)
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS:
In a food processor, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add lightly beaten egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Gently form dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350˚F and grease a 10″ pie or cake tin. Roll dough out to 12″ circle and press into prepared tin. Place a circle of parchment paper and a cup of dried beans or rice on top of pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans/rice and parchment and bake for a further 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. When pie shell is cool, fill with dulce de leche. Warm cream in a small, heavy bottomed pan until almost boiling. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Pour chocolate mixture over dulce de leche and spread evenly.

Refrigerate until chocolate is hardened, preferably overnight, then unmold and cut into thin slices with a sharp knife.

Serves 8

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.

Entertain Me: Annette Joseph hosts Cinco de Mayo

Entertain Me - Annette Joseph

Who doesn’t love the tempting flavours of Mexico? With Cinco de Mayo around the corner, it’s a perfect time to set an outdoor buffet and start the fiesta.

Dabble Savvy: Make the décor as texturally interesting as the food with lacy paper banners, rugged wood furniture and smooth burnished metals.

 

Guacamole

Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo5

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 5 drops cholula hot sauce, or your favourite brand

DIRECTIONS:
Scoop the avocado into a bowl, and smash with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Serves 6-8

 

Grilled Pineapple

Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large pineapples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¾” rings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 fresh red chilies, thinly sliced, or ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat a grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, toss the pineapple slices with the oil and sea salt. Place the pineapple rings directly on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn gently and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until grill marks appear. Arrange the grilled pineapple on a serving platter.

Preheat the oven to 325° F and toast the coconut in a small pan for 3 minutes, or until it is golden brown. In a plastic squeeze bottle, combine the sour cream and lime juice and shake to mix well. Drizzle the sour cream–lime sauce over the grilled pineapple rings, and sprinkle them with the toasted coconut and chilies.

Serves 6-8

 

DIY to DYE for

Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo4

MATERIALS:

  • 1 fiber-reactive dye kit
  • 2 rubber gloves
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 2 (1-gallon) buckets
  • Iron & Ironing board
  • 3 to 4 yards of fabric

DIRECTIONS:

Wash then dry the fabric to be dyed with the soap provided by the dye manufacturer (in dye kit). In a medium mixing bowl, prepare the liquid concentrate: Mix together 1 cup water, 2 to 4 tbsp urea, and 2 tbsp dye. In a bucket, prepare a soda solution by stirring 9 tbsp soda ash into 1 gallon warm water. Wear rubber gloves to handle the liquid concentrate during the dying process.

Place the fabric in a separate empty bucket and pour the liquid concentrate on top, pressing the fabric with your gloved hands so the liquid completely covers the fabric. Press out any air bubbles, and let the fabric sit for 15 minutes in the concentrate.

Add the soda solution, and press the fabric again to completely cover with the liquid. Leave the fabric to soak in the dye mixture for 1 hour. Then, wearing rubber gloves, remove and wring out fabric under running water. Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear. Wash the dyed fabric in hot water in your washer, then dry in the dryer. Press with a hot iron.

 

Coca-Cola Ancho Chili Pulled Brisket Soft Tacos

Recipe Courtesy Annette Joseph

Entertain Me - Cinco de Mayo2

Photo courtesy Annette Joseph

BRISKET AND BRAISING SAUCE
1 (5- to 6-pound) beef brisket, trimmed of fat (I like to leave a little fat)
1 tbsp sea salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, plus 1 tsp for rubbing on the brisket
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with their juices
1 cup ketchup
2 (12-ounce) cans Coca-Cola
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup ancho chili powder
1/4 cup chili powder
10 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red wine vinegar to serve
16 flour or corn tortillas
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups crumbled queso fresco cheese
1/2 cup sliced fresh jalapeños
4 limes, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Rub the brisket all over with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and sear all sides of the brisket until browned, about 5 minutes per side.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the remaining sauce ingredients and season with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste. Pour the braising sauce into a large roasting pan, then carefully add the seared brisket to the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and tightly seal it around the edges. Bake the brisket in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300° F and continue to bake for 6 to 7 hours, until fork tender.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven, remove the foil, and allow the brisket to rest in the pan at room temperature for 1 hour. Using 2 large forks, shred (or “pull”) the brisket apart. Reserve 2 cups of the sauce from the pan and transfer it to a large mixing or serving bowl. Toss the pulled brisket in the sauce before serving, or serve the sauce on the side.

When you are ready to serve, wrap the soft tortillas in aluminum foil and warm them for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 200° F. Serve the brisket alongside the warm tortillas and bowls of the assorted toppings

Serves 6 to 8

Lobster in Champagne Vanilla Sauce

Dinner Date - Lobster

INGREDIENTS:
2 Lobster Tails
2 oz butter (salted)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chives

FOR SAUCE:
1/2 cup Champagne
1 tsp vanilla
2 thyme sprigs (fresh)
1 tbsp shallots, diced
1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Split along top of each lobster tail (see photo below) and cut 1/4 inch into the meat.

Mix salted butter, lemon juice and chives. Divide mixture evenly and spread into the openings of the lobster shells. Place the lobster tails into a dish and bake for 25 minutes.

The Champagne Vanilla Sauce can be made while lobster is baking. Combine Champagne, vanilla, thyme, shallots and butter in a pan. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Divide sauce into two small bowls for dipping and serve on plate next to lobster.

Serve lobster with a side of melted butter and a fresh salad.

Baked Eggs with Bacon

Recipe by Chef Marc Matsumoto

Baked Eggs

INGREDIENTS:
2 slices thick cut bacon
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
5 ramps, bulbs minced, leaves chopped
1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper
honey (optional)
2-3 eggs
ricotta insalata

OPTIONAL:
parsley
basil
chives
scallions
ramp leaves

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat broiler. Move oven rack to the top position.

For tomato sauce, place bacon on oven-safe pan and fry over medium heat until some oil renders out. Add minced shallots and ramp bulbs, sauté until soft and fragrant. Add chopped parsley and ramp leaves; cook until they are just wilted. Add tomatoes, then salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too tart, add honey to sweeten slightly.

Use a spoon to make 2-3 wells in the tomato sauce and drop an egg into each well. Crumble cheese on top and bring the sauce to a boil. When the bottoms of the eggs start to turn white, transfer the pan to the oven. Broil directly under the heating element for about 1 minute, or until the cheese is browned and the eggs have turned white on top.

Quickly garnish baked eggs with parsley, basil, chives, scallions, or ramp leaves. Serve on toasted bread.

Serves 2-3

There’s an App for That Salmon Chip

Salmon Chip App

Photography by Simon Burn

Dabble’s libations expert Jameson Fink could never be accused of having a chip on his shoulder. On his appetizer menu, sure. But never his shoulder.

Everyday Champagne

The only thing I like as much as Champagne and popcorn is Champagne and potato chips. Crisp, salty snacks and bubbles forever. Homemade or store-bought, a single thick potato chip with a dollop of cream cheese, a few buttery flakes of subtly smoked salmon and a sprig of fresh dill just begs for bubbles.

Jameson’s Pick: Vilmart Grand Cellier NV

Beyond Bubbles

What? Bubbles leave you flat? Well then, let’s stick with France and reach for a Sancerre. These seafood-loving Sauvignon Blancs from the Loire Valley have an acidity that pairs perfectly with tangy cream cheese and fresh dill.

Jameson’s Pick: Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol 2009

Salty Capers

Salt lovers may want to toss on a few briny capers, in which case I recommend heading straight over to Riesling territory. I’m thinking of the criminally underrated dry Australian Rieslings from the Claire Valley.

Jameson’s Pick: “The Merle” Reserve Riesling 2010

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.

A Day with Aaron McCargo Jr4

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

A Day with Aaron McCargo Jr3

  • 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

 

A Taste of Café de Olla

Mexico

Mexican Coffee
Warm, sweet and spicy, a steaming cup of Café de Olla is a perfect kick start to your day. Traditionally prepared in a clay pot (the Olla), I prefer to serve this spiced coffee in a big cappuccino bowl. Café de Olla (cah-FAY day OY-ah) is sweetened with little cones of rich, dark unrefined sugar called piloncillo which give a delicious burnt-sugar taste to the coffee, and are easily found in Mexican grocers or online at www.mexgrocer.com.

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups water
1/2 cup grated piloncillo (or dark brown sugar)
4 cinnamon sticks
2/3 cup coarse ground dark roast coffee
3 cloves
1/4 tsp anise seed (optional)

Special Equipment:
Fine sieve
Cheesecloth or French press for filtering

INSTRUCTIONS:
Place water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in heavy bottomed pan. Stir over a medium high heat until sugar is dissolved, and bring to a boil.

Stir in coffee and remove from heat. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes.

Strain through fine sieve or cheesecloth or pour into French press and push plunger down to filter. Pour into mugs and serve. Sprinkle with anise seed if desired.

Note: This is quite a sweet coffee, so reduce the amount of sugar if you usually drink your coffee unsweetened.

Serve with: Churros or pan dulce (Mexican sweet rolls).