Spring is finally here, and it marks the time when fresh Ontario produce is widely available.
Below you'll find recipes using Ontario asparagus and fiddleheads.
Also, Mother's Day is this Sunday. If you're looking to avoid the brunch crush, why not make breakfast in bed? You'll find recipes for Buckwheat pancakes and Eggs Benedict!
This month's must-have kitchen utensil is the mandoline. For uniform slicing and grating, you can't beat it!
If there are any kitchen tools or techniques you'd like to read about, please don't hesitate to send me an email!
Chef for All Seasons
A mandoline is a great tool - it juliennes, makes crinkle cuts and of course, slices.
One of the main benefits of the mandoline is that it cuts uniformly. This is an important detail to ensure even cooking and for overall presentation.
They range in price from about $15 to $400 for a professional model, but a mid-range model will work for most people.
When you're looking, see how the handle fits your hand, what kind of attachments it comes with (you can get slicers of different thicknesses as well as graters) and whether it's dishwasher safe, if this is important to you.
There are a number of great options. I recommend something in stainless steel, rather than plastic. Stainless steel is easier to clean, and it will last longer!
Mother's Day Breakfast
Nothing says Mother's Day like breakfast in bed.
Here's our take on a great breakfast, including buckwheat pancakes, Canadian bacon and Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce.
Allrecipes.com has a good recipe for the Hollandaise, but I recommend adding the following ingredients to make it a little more special.
1/2 tsp worstershire sauce
pinch black pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp hickory smoke liquor
Asparagus and Fiddlehead Recipes
Many local farmer's markets are already open, and Ontario asparagus is in season.
Asparagus is very versatile - it's great steamed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, you can grill it and it also pairs nicely with prosciutto and pine nuts.
Click here for a recipe
Ontario fiddleheads are also in season. These curious-looking, seasonal delicacies are actually the shoots of the ostrich fern. It is important that fiddleheads be cooked properly, as they should never be eaten raw.
Click here for a simple recipe using fiddleheads, garlic, sea salt and lemon juice.
Food Events in Toronto
Toronto is a great city in which to be a foodie!
From tequila to cheese, from whiskey to roast suckling pig, there are dozens of events to be found in the city.
Tasteto.com has done a great job of compiling a calendar of what's happening across the city. Click here for the event listings.
GTA Farmer's Markets
In the GTA, we're lucky to have over 30 farmer's markets! Some are open all year round, while others are only open seasonally.
Fruit and vegetables never taste as great as they do when come straight from the farm.
The Toronto Farmer's Market Network has a comprehensive list of the markets and when they're open.
Click here to find one near you!
Cooking Classes and Interactive Parties
Is there a particular technique you've always wanted to master, or perhaps just want to expand your repertoire?
Chef For All Seasons offers cooking classes and interactive parties that can be hosted in your home!
Cooks Illustrated - a superb guide for all things food. Learn recipes, techniques, and product knowledge. You'll become a gourmet chef before you know it!
Epicurious.com- Recipes, menus, articles, cooking guides and more.
Mercola.com - The world's #1 Natural Health Newsletter covering wellness, nutrition, and various blog topics to keep you healthy and living longer.
Foodland Ontario - Want to support Ontario's farmers, but don't know what's available? Here's an easy to read seasonal guide:
Culinarium.ca- Toronto-based gourmet food shop, which showcases Ontario food and offers a range of natural, organic, sustainable food.
Cumbraes.ca- Toronto-based butchery offering traditionally raised meat from the finest local farms, specialty foods, and prepared foods.
What do you get for the people who have everything? How about a gourmet meal prepared in their own kitchen?From an intimate dinner for two to larger parties, a gift certificate from Chef For All Seasons is sure to please. Click here