Miso Deviled Eggs

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There are two things I question the most when hosting a dinner party. Are my dishes going to contrast each other? Or are they going to taste the same? If I served potatoes and plain veg on the side, then it wouldn’t be a problem but that shit isn’t going to fly on a Saturday night with my friends. I based my last dinner party on a soy and sesame kale salad which was decent – it’s a work in progress. I wasn’t too impressed with the rest of the meal either; I cracked out on the soy sauce and everything tasted the same.

I did, however, redeem myself with these savory Miso Deviled Eggs. I’m obsessed with miso paste (fermented soybeans) which has become a staple in my kitchen. See White Girl Ramen. Miso is extremely salty and should be considered a small addition to something rather than a base. These are not your Grandma’s Deviled Eggs. Rock up to your next potluck with these and I promise all the high fives.

• 8 Eggs
• 2 TBSP Mayo
• 1 TBSP Grainy Dijon
• 1 TBSP Miso Paste (light or dark)
• Toasted Sesame Seeds

Bring eggs to a boil, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Let eggs cool and peel. Cut them in half, remove the cooked yolk and place in a separate bowl. Add to the cooked yolk the miso paste, dijon and mayo – mix well. Pipe filling into eggs, sprinkle with sesame seeds and refrigerate for at least an hour. I make a ghetto piping bag from a small sandwich bag. This is an example but not my video.

Brussels Sprout Slaw

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This couldn’t be easier, guys: throw your sprouts in a food processor and chop that shit up. The first time I made this I thinly sliced every single sprout because sometimes I’m a daft bitch. The processor takes seconds. Get a nice glass bowl and toss the sprouts, walnuts, cranberries, pancetta and shallots with the dressing. I like my slaw well coated, so I often adjust the quantity of dressing.

• 1 Pound of Brussels Sprouts
• ½ Cup of Walnuts, chopped
• ½ Cup of Dried Cranberries
• ½ Cup of Cooked Pancetta, chopped
• 2 Shallots, chopped

UPDATE: do yourself a favour and grate asiago cheese on top – Next Level Shit!

Dressing:

• 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
• 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 Heaping TBS of Grainy Dijon Mustard
• 1 TSP of Honey
• Pinch of Salt

Tabbouli / Tabouli / Tabbouleh

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It looks simple enough to make but Tabouli is surprisingly easy to fuck up and is a huge time suck. I once added too much bulgur, minimizing the freshness of the dish which is imperative. I also had to get over my compulsion to add garlic, it just doesn’t work. The lemon juice intensifies the garlic which overwhelmingly takes over the entire dish.

I only recommend preparing this if you possess enough patience to chop parsley for what seems like an eternity. That shit has to be finely chopped and stems are unacceptable so carve out an hour of your day and grab a glass of wine.

• 3 Bunches of Parsley
• 1 Cup Fresh Mint
• 1 Bunch of Green Onion
• 3 TBSP of Bulgur or Couscous
• 3 Lemons – juiced
• 1 Tomato
• ¼ Cup of Olive Oil
• Pinch of Salt

Prepare bulgur or couscous and set aside. Remove parsley from stems and chop finely until you reach the brink of insanity. Chop mint, tomato, and green onions then toss everything in a non-reactive bowl, which is anything other than metal – if you want to know why, Google it. Refrigerate for at least an hour, tossing it a few times. The idea is to soften the parsley by saturating it in lemon juice.

Halloumi and Arugula Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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I disappeared again. I do that sometimes. I wish I had an exhilarating reason why but I don’t. I was merely off tormenting myself to complete my novel. It was awful but somehow fulfilling and of course still incomplete. My mother poetically calls me, “a tortured creative soul,” I call myself completely neurotic. This is getting dark. I digress.

This past weekend I made a middle eastern inspired feast for a few friends and I was damn impressed with myself. Chicken was bomb. Smoky Baba Ganoush was bomb. Tabouli was bomb. But the star of the show was by far this salad. If you are unaware, Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese with a high melting point so it can withstand frying and grilling. It’s dense, chewy and salty as fuck which pairs perfectly with the bitterness of the arugula and the sweet but tart dressing.

NOTE: the vinaigrette proportions might be slightly inaccurate because I free poured that shit like a boss. Please modify to your preference:

• ½ Cup POM Juice
• 2 TBSP Olive Oil
• 1 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
• 1 TSP Honey
• ½ TSP Grainy Dijon Mustard
• 1 Small Shallot (finely minced)
• Salt and Pepper

Toss with arugula and serve with halloumi – pan fry, high heat for a 1 min per side.

Shrimp Ceviche

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Once upon a time I tried to squeeze the juice out of 15 limes with a fork and I died. Before embarking on this heinous endeavor, do yourself a solid and buy a citrus juicer. I use the Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer, because it’s tots durable and my mom bought it for me.

After juicing five million limes and chopping the ingredients mix it all together in a non-reactive bowl – that would be anything other than metal. If you want to know why, Google it. Tightly seal the bowl and let sit for at least two hours. The lime cooks the shrimp and will be done when they turn pink.

• 1 – 2 lbs of Tiger Shrimp, Raw
• Half Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
• 15 Limes – seriously
• 2 Cloves of Garlic
• 1 LRG Shallot
• Handful of Fresh Cilantro
• ¼ Thai Pepper or Other
• Pinch of Sea Salt

Beer and Butter Shrimp Boil

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It’s summer and in true Toronto style, I’ve been drinking in parks like a hobo. I also like to invite myself over for dinner to whoever will have me because I rarely cook in the summer. But this weekend my mother and aunt came to visit my cousin and I, so I hosted a dinner and card night which turned out to be quite the ladies night avec sangria and a kitchen dance party.

Cooking with beer is totally underrated. Its hops and barely add new and interesting flavours. It has tenderizing properties valuable for meat and marinades and it’s versatile in numerous cooking techniques. I based this recipe on my favourite dish served at the Portuguese restaurant Bairrada Churrasqueira. I prefer the College Street location in the summer. They have an enormous back patio and often grill sardines for free. Hint: The sardines taste better than they smell!

Beer and Butter Shrimp

  • 1LB of Large Shrimp. Cooked.
  • 1 Large Shallot
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 TBSP Cajun Seasoning 
  • A Shitload of Butter 
  • 1 Tall Can of Light Beer (Pilsner) 
  • Ground Pepper 
  • French Bread for Dipping

1/2 squeezed lemon could work too. I forgot to add it.

Sautee butter, shallots, garlic and seasoning in a medium pot. Add half can of beer, ground pepper and shrimp. Boil for five minutes, 10 if shrimp are raw. Remove shrimp. Add the rest of the beer and boil for 10 minutes. Pour sauce over the shrimp and squeeze half of a lemon over top.

Roasted Garlic, White Bean Dip

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I finally used the Cuisinart Smart Stick my mum gave me for Christmas – it’s amazing. I haven’t been inspired to cook in quite some time. In fact, I haven’t had much motivation to do anything at all the past few months. February, is that special time of year when I’m so lethargic from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I convince myself I’m spiralling into another bout of self-inflicted depression. But once I realize I’m likely suffering from SAD and Spring is around the corner, inspiration begins to resurface from that mystical place where it comes from.

Roasted Garlic, White Bean Dip

  • 1 Whole Garlic Head
  • 1 LRG Can White Beans
  • Juice of 1 ½ Lemons
  • 1 TSP Cumin
  • 3 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Salt to Taste

Roast Garlic by placing the head in a muffin tin, coat well with olive oil, tightly cover with tinfoil and cook for 35 minutes at 400 ° Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend.