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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lobster Arancini

4 cups seafood stock

4 tablespoon butter

¾ cut onion finely chopped

1 cup arborio rice

½ cup white wine

1 lb. lobster meat

½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

⅓ cup heavy cream

1½ TBS fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, etc.)

salt & pepper to taste

3 eggs

⅓ cup cubed mozzarella

Vegetable oil

½ cup flour

1 cup panko bread crumbs

In a heavy Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until transparent, about 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is opaque and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed. While continually stirring, begin adding the stock in ½ cup increments, allowing the liquid to become completely absorbed between additions. Cook until the rice is just tender and the risotto is creamy, about 20 minutes. Fold in the lobster. Add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, heavy cream, herbs and salt and pepper and stir to combine well. Transfer to a mixing bowl or baking dish and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. This is great when made the night before. Remove the chilled risotto from the refrigerator and stir in 1 of the eggs. Using a small scoop or large spoon, divide the risotto into approximately 3 tablespoon portions. Using your hands, form the portions into rough ball shapes.

Press a hole into the center of each risotto ball and stuff the center with some of the cheese and the chopped lobster. Press the opening closed and roll the ball between your hands until it is smooth. Set aside while you prepare the other arancini. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer reads 360 degrees F. Place the flour, remaining 2 eggs and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Season each with Essence to taste. Using a fork, lightly beat the eggs. One by one, lightly dredge each risotto ball in the flour, then the beaten egg mixture, then the bread crumbs, so that each ball is completely coated.

Fry the balls in batches, a few at a time, turning once during cooking so that they are evenly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper-lined plates to drain briefly, then serve immediately with home made tomatoe sauce or lobster sauce.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

@ Home Catering Menu


Exciting gourmet in your home, it’s a catered affair.
Whatever the party's size or theme, whether it's an intimate romantic dinner for two or a gala event for one hundred, your event will be the hit of the year.

We offer what you desire, we can formulate your menu for your occasion, the following are sample menus, price reflective upon your final selections:


Barbecue Short Ribs of Beef
Famous Cheddar Stuffed Bacon Burgers
Lamb, Fig and Mint Kabobs
Chipotle Marinated Grilled Flank Steak
Barbecue Pulled Pork
Chef K’s Award Winning Barbecue Ribs
Beer-Brined Grilled Pork Chops
Caribbean Mango Barbecue Roasted Salmon
Crab Cakes with Remoulade
Fish Tacos with Baja Cream and Tomato Salsa Verde
Grilled Shrimp wrapped in Pancetta with Citrus Pineapple Kabob
Balsamic Barbecue Chicken
Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Kebabs with Lemon and Garlic
Grilled Jerk Chicken w/Mango Cilantro Salsa
Southwestern Lime Chicken w/Ancho Chile Aioli
Asian Three Bean Salad
Penne with Roasted Vegetables Salad
Greek Salad
Marinated Mushrooms and Artichokes
And so much more


Appetizer or Amuse Bouche
Caribbean Shrimp with Mango Salsa
Crab Cakes with Remoulade with Shafafa
Gingered Shrimp with Zucchini and Red Bell Peppers
Asiago and Asparagus Stuffed Chicken
Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Pine Nut Pesto
Mushroom & Brie Phyllo Cup
Mango Curry Shrimp Cups
Cranberry Goats Cheese Tarts
Beef tenderloin, sun dried tomatoes and stilton cheese wrapped in puff pastry
Chorizo spring rolls with Dijon dipping sauce

Soups & Salads
Roasted Tomato & Basil
Smoked Salmon Corn Chowder
Seafood Gumbo
Seafood Bisque
Tableside Prepared Caesar
Spinach, Blood Orange, Mushroom, Almonds, Raspberry Honey Tarragon Dressing
Tossed Baby Greens with grape tomatoes, mandarin oranges, toasted walnuts and dried cranberries. Served with balsamic-honey dressing
Spinach Salad with chopped bacon, egg, roasted red peppers, artichokes and Dijon vinaigrette

Beef tenderloin with Mushroom Port demi
Boursin Scalloped potatoes
Green beans with cherry tomatoes in herbed butter

Veal tenderloin medallions drizzled with Red currant jus
On a bed of Sweet potato and roasted garlic puree
Nested on a bed of baby spinach leaves

Steak Alenne
Beef Tenderloin with a crab cake on potato corquette, julinne of vegetables, tomato tarragon demi, string sweet potato hay

Sea Bream with Caponata and Wild Mushroom Risotto
with Truffle Oil and Parmesan

Monkfish Wrapped in Parma Ham,
Pea Puree, Sauté Potatoes

Sea Bass Tower
risotto cake, topped with pan seared sea bass filet and crab stuffing, sitting on sauteed baby spinach & red chard with caramelized shallots,
and topped with meuniere sauce

Honey Glazed Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce, Spinach
on Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Cannelloni

Roasted Breast of Organic Chicken, Cofit leg and Tarragon Risotto Fritters, Pomme Puree, Glazed Young Asparagus and Roasting Juices

Poached Pear: Vanilla poached pear, pistachio financier,
toasted pistachios, berry compote, chantilly cream
Toffee Pecan Peach Crisp with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Crepes Suzette Table Side
Cherries Jubilee Table Side
Black & White Creme Brulee

Terms of Booking and Cancelation PolicyAll bookings must be made at least two weeks in advance. A free consultation meeting will then be arranged at your convenience to discuss specific arrangements and answer any questions you may have. If you want to make a booking a deposit of 50% is required on the day of the consultation meeting. This can be paid in cash or by cheque.

Payment DetailsPayment for your dinner party can be made on an individual basis per guest or in its entirety by the host. Payment can either be made fully in advance or remaining 50% of your bill may be paid on the day of your Event. Regrettably payments can only be accepted in the form of cash or personal cheques at this time.

Payments for our canape and buffet service must be made in full by the host.

If you wish to cancel your dinner party, canape service or buffet booking this must be done at least three days before the date of the dinner party. In a case where the event is cancelled less than three days before the date of the party the deposit will be forfeited.

For changes to the number of people attending the dinner party or event the same policy stands. If you inform us of a negative change of numbers at least 3 days in advance the 50% deposit for each person not attending will be refunded in full. If numbers decrease less than three days in advance their deposits will be forfeited.

For all your special function needs

to book your function, today

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Palm Sunday repost as per requests

Well today is Palm Sunday the religious celebration of Christ entering Jerusalem just a few days before becoming the offering of life for the world. That however is for my other blog Here I want to deal with the palm itself and especially as reference to cuisine.

Question: What does an apple, a highly polished hardwood floor, a great classic car, sweet rock candy and a bikini clad beach girl all have in common? Answer: Carnauba.

So what is carnauba? It is a wax derived from the leaves of a palm tree, it takes about 20 palm leaves to make 1 lb. of wax. All of the above make use of this wax to protected themselves. An apple treated with this natural wax will last 8 times longer than one not treated, the wax prevents the fruit from wrinkling and spoilage is delayed. Without the application of this wax to our food sources Canada's winters would be far more harsh as no fresh fruit and little vegetables would make their way here to us.

Carnauba is used in various food items that we consume without giving them a second thought. The eyes of Peeps are made from this wax, chocolate and candies are polished with it, it used to polish dental floss or to strengthen the paper plates you use at your picnic. Carnauba gives licorice it wonderful shine.

Some growers also use a wax derived from the lac beetle of the near and far east areas. This beetle places a protective shell around it's eggs, then once the eggs hatch workers climb the trees and scrape off the shell of the lac. Thus we have a word and a product called "shellac".

So on Palm Sunday be sure to part take in some great Palm recipes as you contemplate the meaning of the day.

I given you here a few recipes for various versions of what was once known as the "Millionaire's Salad" given how costly it is to harvest hearts of palm.

Wikipedia Article About Hearts of palm on Wikipedia

"Heart of palm, also called palm heart, palmito, or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees (notably the coconut (Cocos nucifera), Palmito Juçara (Euterpe edulis), Açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), sabal (Sabal spp.) and pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes) palms). It is costly because harvesting kills the tree. Heart of palm is often eaten in a salad sometimes called "millionaire's salad".

The plant is native to the Amazon region. Brazil was the highest producer of uncultivated hearts of palm, but in the 1990's its quality went down. This left the market open for Ecuador to export its cultivated hearts of palm. Ecuador is now one of the main producers of hearts of palm. France is one of the largest consumers of hearts of palm.

When harvesting the cultivated young palm, the tree is cut down and the bark is removed leaving layers of white fibers around a center core. During processing the fibers are removed leaving the center core or heart of palm. The center core is attached to a slightly more fibrous cylindrical base with a larger diameter. The entire cylindrical center core and the attached base are edible. The center core is considered more of a delicacy because of its lower fiber content.

Over the years, consumption of hearts of palm have caused much controversy, due to the process by which the vegetable is obtained."

Hearts of Palm Salad

1/3 c. salad oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. aromatic bitters
2 tbsp. finely chopped stuffed green olives
1 (14 oz.) can hearts of palm, drained, sliced
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. finely chopped celery
6 c. torn Bibb lettuce

Combine salad oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, bitters, paprika, olives, onion, and celery; beat well. Chill. At serving time toss together hearts of palm and lettuce in salad bowl. Add dressing and toss. Makes 6 servings.

Apple and Palm Salad

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 cups mixed salad greens
1 avocado - pitted, peeled, and cubed
2 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sliced hearts of palm

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, ketchup, sugar, lemon juice, paprika, and pepper together. Stir in the chives and set aside.
Arrange the watercress on individual serving plates. Place apple, avocado, hearts of palm on top. Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with dressing.
Evenly sprinkle dressing over salad and serve.
Yield: 6 servings

Hearts Of Palm and Crab

1 cup hearts of palm, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 bunch watercress
1 head frisee
1 small head radicchio
8 oz precooked Dungeness crabmeat
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon julienned basil
1 tablespoon julienned mint
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground white pepper
2 ruby red grapefruit, peel and pith removed, segmented, segments cut into 4 pieces each

Marinate the hearts of palm in the 3/4 cup of dressing (follows) for at least 2 hours.

Divide watercress between 2 plates; top each pile with hearts of palm. In another bowl, mix crabmeat, herbs and 1 tsp dressing; season with salt and pepper; toss until thoroughly mixed. Divide seasoned crab between 2 plates of watercress. Top with grapefruit pieces.


1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry English mustard
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup full-flavored olive oil
3/4 cup salad oil

Whip all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Florentina's Italian Ristorante

Okay before I get going here, how is this from my friend and great artist Will Ennis, man, does he have talent.

Well I just got back from helping open a brand new concept called "Florentina's" it's Italian, it's really good and it's competition for Olive Garden and Macaroni Grill.

The entire concept was 10 weeks from planning to conversion of an existing establishment to creation of menu and the recipes to go with it. It was a pleasure working with the staff, training some, refining others, and teaching as I went.

The menu is creative and is receiving overall very positive responses. Here is one clients review.

"Our group consisted of 6 adults and 2 toddlers. On the way to our table, I passed another Board Buddy having dinner with her husband and stopped to say hello and get recommendations. I'll let her post her reviews if she would like.

An interesting option on the menu is the "Family Style" option for appetizers and entrees, which are portioned for approximately 4 people. We decided to order 2 appetizers "family style" for the group.

The calamari was average. It comes with both marinara sauce and a spicy aioli.

The cheesesticks aren't really "sticks", they're cheese half moons! They were excellent! Oddly, I didn't see them on the menu but someone asked if they had them, and the waiter made them appear. Very good.

There was also an apple/gorgonzola salad shared. I loved it. Mixed greens with thin sliced apples, gorgonzola crumbles, dried cranberries, and candied walnuts. Next time I may just order the large one as my entree.

Pizzas are thin crust and brick oven baked. They are described as "for one", but two people could easily share. There were 2 pizzas ordered: 1) red pepper pesto and shrimp; and 2) pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and onion. Both were very good, but the first one could have used more red pepper pesto.

DH ordered chicken parmagiana. He said it was very good, but he would have liked it more if there was less breading on the chicken. However, the side dishes were outstanding. The green beans are thin, whole beans, and the roasted potatoes were cooked and seasoned perfectly.

Pasta primavera came with lots of fresh veggies, and another pasta dish (I forget what it was called) was spicy and full of veggies and Italian sausage. Both people who ordered the pasta were very happy.

Two of the people in our party had been at the restaurant on Sunday, and gave high ratings to the steak and the chicken piccata.

No one had room for dessert.

They do bring hot loaves of french bread with olive oil for dipping. I didn't have any bread, but the others said it was very good.

On the way to the restroom, I saw a server who used to be our favorite at Wasabi. He's excellent, and I promised to ask for one of his tables the next time we come in. If you go, ask to be seated in Chai's section, you won't be sorry!

Our server (Les) was good, if a bit inexperienced. He was very attentive, however.

All in all, we were happy. Prices are very reasonable, and we'll definitely return.
Terese Mansell"

Here is a look at the menu!

A special thanks to Paul Rasmussen for his belief in me after 10 years away, to Christine Hall who will ensure the quality of the recipes which we so painstaking work out together, to Josh, Ronnie, Orlando and Ethan who will ensure the highest quality in food.

Dania in the open Pizza station.