Honey Butter Mochi. I honestly have been non-stop busy for a while now so thought I’d de-stress with a little baking. Butter Mochi are all the rage. Visually, they’re not much to look at, but they are addictive. Think a Blondie, but super-chewy to the bite, the exterior is a thin, crispy crust. I love sweet but not too sweet, so this amount of sweetness is just right for me! Add more if you wish. Have fun with these – they’re super-easy to make! If shopping for rice flour, ensure you are using Glutinous Rice Flour, versus standard Rice Flour which would give you an entirely different texture.
1 400g bag of Glutinous Rice Flour
1/2 cup organic raw sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1 can of Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cups water
1. Preheat oven at 375°F.
2. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. In another large bowl, mix eggs, honey, water, coconut milk and butter.
4. Using hand mixer, combine wet and dry ingredients till smooth.
5..Grease a loaf pan lightly. Pour batter.into pan.
6. Bake one hour or till toothpick comes out smooth.
7. Allow to stand room temperature till cool and cut into squares.
8..Place in air-tight container lined with wax paper for about three days or freeze right away. If freezing, leave out at room temperature 30 minutes before heating in toaster oven. Allow to cool a bit before eating as these get hot.
We’ve been spending our time enjoying the quirky, odd and funny of late and we’re happy to share some of our streaming recommendations for you this month!
COOKING WITH PARIS (NETFLIX)
One thing’s for certain. Paris Hilton could read us a children’s book and our eyes would probably be glued to the screen. The Empire Maker from an Empire’s latest venture is six-episode Netflix series COOKING WITH PARIS where we see her team-up with friends in her kitchen, challenging herself with new themes each episode. Among those who join-in on the fun are Kim Kardashian-West, Demi Lovato, Nikki Glaser, Whitney Cummings and more. From glittery unicorn Cannoli to Holiday Turkey with glitter, part of the fun is watching her flop, but surprisingly some things still manage to turn-out fine despite her lackadaisical approach which sees eggs cracked improperly, pasta dough over-oiled, and dairy left out at room temperature. Nonetheless, Hilton knows exactly what her brand is and we keep coming back and through the candor with her friends, she does manage to reveal interesting anecdotes about herself and her guests in an intimate way. COOKING WITH PARIS streams now on Netflix.
THE WHITE LOTUS (HBOMAX/CRAVE)
Mike White has built a brand for his quirky creations and this is his latest, six-episode Limited Series THE WHITE LOTUS is exactly that. The Series centers on various hotel guests and its staff at the titular Hawaiian resort and while the backdrop is a sunny one, these characters all are on the verge of some things dark being uncovered about themselves. Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) are a newlywed couple who married after a year together and Shane is obsessed with having been given the wrong suite at the hotel to the point it becomes a point of contention in their thus far, trouble-free relationship. Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge in a career-best performance) carries her mother’s ashes on the trip, still grieving the recent loss. Natasha Rothwell plays spa owner Belinda getting a chance to shine and show range as her character questions entitlement among White clientele. Nicole (Connie Britton) is a successful businesswoman who brings her family on vacation. Her husband Mark (Steve Zahn) is convinced he has Cancer, their daughter Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) is outright mean and son Quinn (Fred Hechinger) is awkward and in his old world playing video games. Then we have hotel manager Armond (Murray Bartlett), a recovering addict who is a bit aloof to what’s going on around him. This is an odd yet perfect storm of elements and characters which will grab your interest by intrigue and we can’t wait to see where the Series takes us on these characters’ journeys and growth as their paths cross and stories become intertwined. New episodes of THE WHITE LOTUS arrive Sunday nights on Crave in Canada 9 PM ET.
ANNETTE (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO/MK2 | MILE END)
French Filmmaker Leos Carax makes his English-language debut in ANNETTE, a quirky story of a Comedian named Henry (Adam Driver) who falls in love with famed Opera singer Ann (Marion Cotillard). Their world is turned upside-down with the birth of their daughter Annette played partly by a wooden marionette and also Devyn McDowell. Clocking-in at two hours and twenty minutes, the Film takes us a real journey as we see Henry and Ann go through a fallout as he takes care of their baby, while Ann continues to experience great success. The Film is driven by emotional extremes and lines between reality and fantasy often are blurred in this Musical where we are transfixed by Henry‘s tragic unravelling. Driver exercises some of those theatrical muscles we got glimpses of in Marriage Story, but really gets a challenge here exploring the world of someone who is complicated and flawed. We have never seen anything quite like ANNETTE, it is stylish, provocative, very strange and in ways cathartic. MK2 | MILE END release ANNETTE in select theatres now, arriving on Amazon Prime Video August 20, 2021.
We can’t wait for Amazon Prime Video‘s NINE PERFECT STRANGERS starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy, arriving August 20th!
Check-out our Team’s latest theatrical releases here including: FREE GUY, THE SUICIDE SQUAD, STILLWATER, THE GREEN KNIGHT, Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE and more!
(Photo/video credit: Amazon Prime Video/Netflix/HBO Max)
That’s hot. Literally. You know how much we love Paris Hilton. Check-out this new Trailer from her star-studded new Cooking Show on Netflix, COOKING WITH PARIS.
Synopsis: Paris Hilton can cook…kind of. And she’s turning the traditional cooking show upside down. She’s not a trained chef and she’s not trying to be. With the help of her celebrity friends, she navigates new ingredients, new recipes and exotic kitchen appliances. Inspired by her viral YouTube video, Paris will take us from the grocery store to the finished table spread – and she might actually learn her way around the kitchen.Guest Stars: Kim Kardashian West, Demi Lovato, Nikki Glaser, Saweetie, Lele Pons, Nicky & Kathy Hilton.
All six episodes of COOKING WITH PARIS arrive August 4, 2021 on Netflix.
Liver & Onions with Roasted Potatoes. I mark a Diner by how good its Liver & Onions are and chances are if they are serving a rubbery, tough rendition of this classic, they likely aren’t treating their other dishes with love and care. A Diner like this isn’t worth your time. I could be at a fancy restaurant downtown like Cluny – who do an amazing Liver & Onions and have many amazing options, but if I see Liver on a menu, I am always intrigued and will migrate right to it.
Liver is misunderstood and often people in their childhood have been repulsed by it, when the reality is it likely wasn’t prepared well. Liver like beef, shouldn’t be overcooked. It should be served just done or slightly-underdone. Equally important is the sauce you serve it with, which should be brown and savoury, absorbing the brown bits and juices from your skillet and giving you lots of flavour to sop-up. Hence, serving Liver with a starch like bread, potatoes or rice is always a good idea. Our Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes are an even better idea!
I realize this is a tough-sell for many, and some of you will never be onboard, but Liver done right can be something mesmerizing that gives you as much pleasure as any of the other more conventional cuts of Beef.
Liver 350g Beef Liver 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 small white onion, sliced into thin rings 3 tbsps soy sauce 2 tbsps tapioca/corn starch 1 tbsp Maggi sauce 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce 1 tbsp raw sugar 1/4 tsp Marmite 1/2 cup water
Instructions: 1. Season liver in salt and pepper and refrigerate for two hours. Bring back out at room temperature about 40 minutes before cooking.
2. Soak potatoes in water for 10 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels and coat in seasonings and olive oil.
3. Heat Air Fryer at 390°F for three minutes.
4. Air fry potatoes for about 13-15 minutes, shaking/flipping potatoes halfway through.
5. In large skillet on medium-high heat, heat oil and sautée onions and garlic till slightly caramelized. Shift to side of skillet.
6. Add a bit more oil to skillet and sear liver about two minutes till browned and flip. Do not overcook it.
7. In bowl, mix soy, Maggi, Oyster sauces and Marmite. Add sugar, starch and water. Mix till smooth.
8. Pour sauce into skillet and reduce to low heat, stirring with spatula. Once sauce thickens and bubbles, turn off heat. Liver should be browned, and it is okay if just a little bloody, as this means it will be tender and juicy.
9. Transfer liver to serving plate. You can reduce the sauce down by cooking a bit further. Once you’ve reached desired thickness, ladle sauce and onions over top of liver and serve with potatoes.
Cameron Diaz’s Roasted Corn Salad + Fried Chicken Thighs. Who knew Cameron Diaz was such an amazing cook? I fell into a black hole of cooking videos over the weekend and was rather impressed with Diaz‘s play-by-play of her Salad recipe. She’d explain the process of roasting and caramelizing corn, the impact of salt and the types of salt being important, plus also, her chopping skills were mesmerizing. I did worry about the raw Sugar Snap Peas being too tough and fibrous, but sliced thinly and mixed with the corn, there were no issues. She suggests serving this Salad with Chicken Thighs, which I do in my Air Fryer. I made a couple modifications because most of us don’t have her fancy vinegars and salts, and threw-in some Edamame for added protein. Simple, clean and flavourful eating meant for Summer.I make enough here for six people. Perfect with a glass of Chardonnay. Enjoy!
8 Chicken Thighs
2 cups of Sugar Snap Peas, de-stringed and chopped thin
4 cobs of Corn, kernels sliced off the cob
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed Orange Juice (I use Cara Cara Oranges)
1/4 cup Edamame, removed from pods
6 tbsps Olive Oil
4 tbsps Rice Vinegar
1 tbsp Truffle Oil
1 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, ground
Sea salt and pepper
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
1. Season Chicken Thighs in Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and pepper. Refrigerate and bring out about 45 minutes before cooking. 2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in iron skillet on medium-high heat. 3. Roast corn kernels, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add sprinkling of sea salt. Cook till brown and caramelized (about 10 minutes). 4. Prepare dressing in small bowl with vinegar, juice, garlic, 4 tbsps olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 5. Pre-heat Air Fryer five minutes at 375°F. 6. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp truffle oil onto Chicken Thighs. Cook in two batches in Air Fryer, about 15 minutes each batch, turning once half-way through. 7. In large salad bowl, toss corn kernels, Edamame and thinly-sliced Sugar Snap Peas in dressing. 8. Plate Chicken Thighs with rice (if you like), and a few scoops of the Salad. Garnish with chopped Cilantro if you like. I like to sprinkle Furikake on rice for flavour. Cameron sprinkles Feta on her Salad, so there’s an option!
Jalapeño and Red Pepper Poppers. These fan-favourite apps are the best and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t made these sooner. They’re super-easy to make! Are these really spicy? The answer is no, but I have a really high tolerance to spice. The richness of the Cream Cheese balances out all the heat in the Jalapeños, but I’ve made a Red Pepper option just in case so that there’s something for everyone. This serves two.
1 8oz container of Cream Cheese (I prefer Herb & Garlic)
2 Jalapeño Peppers, halved and seeded, I prefer the membrane intact but you can remove
1 Red Pepper, quartered and seeded
1/4 cup Panko
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar/Mozzarella mix
3 tbsps butter, melted
2 stalks green onion, chopped
2 tbsps grated Parmesan
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
2. In bowl, combine Cream Cheese, shredded cheese, garlic powder and green onion.
3. In separate dish, combine butter, Parmesan and Panko.
4. Fill sectioned peppers with cheese mixture and place onto baking tray.
5. Top with Panko topping.
6. Bake 20 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before eating.
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls. Spring’s arrived and what better way to ring it in than with some Fresh Spring Rolls? These are a staple of Vietnamese cuisine and are also known as Gỏi Cuốn. These are a great way to eat clean and they’re great as an appetizer but substantial enough as a standalone meal. Yes, I know my wrapping skills need work, but no matter what they look like, they still taste great and that’s the truth! Thanks to my pal Bee for sharing her sauce recipe with me! I added a few twists, enjoy! These are so simple and fun to make.
8 Rice Paper Wrappers
8 or more large shrimp (i.e. Argentinian) cooked, peeled and halved
2 cups Butterhead/Green Leaf Lettuce
1/4 cucumber, peeled and chopped into strips
4-5 tbsps mint, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced
2 cups vermicelli, cooked
1 handful Cilantro, chopped
4 tbsps smooth peanut butter
3 tbsps Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Fish Sauce (optional)
Chopped peanuts (optional)
1. In small bowl, mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.
2. Soak rice paper wrappers briefly in warm water in batches of 2-3 at a time till softened.
3. Gently place individual wrapper on clean, flat surface and assemble lettuce, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, vermicelli, cucumber, mint and shrimp onto it. Refer to carousel gallery for visual.
4. Fold-in left and right corners slightly and then proceed to fold other two edges of wrap over tightly, being super careful.
Filipino Spaghetti. What is this and how is it different from the Italian classic version we know and love? Well, this Filipino favourite is very popular at birthday parties and fast food chains like pride of The Philippines, Jollibee, serve it as a menu staple. Defined by its bright red sauce, which has a base made of Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste and Banana Ketchup (tomatoes were hard to come by during the war!) and also its distinctly sweet flavour, we’re sure you’ll love this if you have a sweet tooth. Also, its protein is a sweet Filipino sausage called Longganisa – or sliced hot dogs – and pork. Stop judging. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! This is actually great!
450g Spaghetti 2 cups Tomato Sauce 1 cup Banana Ketchup or Tomato Ketchup 1 can Tomato Paste 8 small Longganisa, sliced 1/2 lb ground pork 1 small onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsps Brown Sugar 2 tbsps Oyster Sauce
3 tbsps unsalted butter Sea salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup grated Cheddar/Mozzerella
1. Prepare Spaghetti till al dente. Strain in colander and set aside, reserving a ladle-full of liquid from pasta
2. In large skillet, sautée onions and garlic.
3. Add Longganisa and pork. Fry till ground pork is browned. Drain fat.
4. Add Tomato Sauce, Ketchup and Tomato Paste, plus 1/4 cup water. Stir.
5. Add brown sugar, salt, pepper and oyster sauce and stir.
6. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer low heat for 30 minutes covered, stirring occasionally.
7. In large skillet heat butter and reserved liquid from pasta till boiled.
8. Add spaghetti and toss, ladleling-in a couple scoops of the Tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Mix evenly and remove from heat.
9. Transfer spaghetti to large dish and pour sauce on-top.
10. Garnish with shredded cheese and serve.
Oxtail with Rice & Peas. One of the greatest things about growing-up in Toronto is the vast array of diverse cuisines we have at our convenience. I am a huge fan of Caribbean cuisine, and while I’ve been a Chicken Roti and Jerk Chicken connoisseur my whole life, Oxtail of late has surged to the front as my new favourite. I thought I’d give it a go and while it takes a while to prepare, that little bit of extra love is worth it. Time to break-out the Slow Cooker! Gravy on rice makes everything nice!
2 lbs Oxtail, rinsed and pat dry 1 can Butter/Lima Beans, drained 1 cup (or more) beef stock 1 white onion, chopped 3 stalks green onion, chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced 1-2 Scotch Bonnet Peppers, seeded and minced 1 cup mini carrots 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tbsps garlic powder 2 tbsps Maggi Sauce 1 tsp celery salt 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce 1 tbsp Allspice 3-4 sprigs of thyme 4 tbsps tapioca/corn starch
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste Olive oil
1. Marinate oxtail pieces in soy sauce, Maggi, Worcestershire, garlic powder, allspice, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
2. With Slow Cooker on high, sautee garlic and onions in olive oil.
3. In skillet or Air Fryer, brown oxtail on medium-high heat or 390°F on Air Fryer. Do not overcook. Once seared on both sides for a few minutes, remove from heat.
4. Add oxtail to Slow Cooker and pour-in remaining marinade. Add thyme, stock, carrots and pepper. You want liquid almost covering oxtail.
5. Slow cook covered 7 hours on low heat.
6. Remove oxtail pieces from Slow Cooker, fishing-out thyme. Add-in Butter Beans.
7. In small bowl, take equal parts tapioca/corn starch and water and form a slurry. Beat till smooth with a fork. Pour into Slow Cooker mixture and stir till sauce thickens.
8. Add back Oxtail and stir gently. Cover and cook for one more hour on low heat before serving. Start preparing Rice & Peas.
Rice & Peas
2 cups long-rain white rice, rinsed
1 cup red kidney beans, drained
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup beef stock
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 sprigs of thyme
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, seeded and minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in rice cooker.
2. Once cooked fully, fluff with fork and serve with Oxtail.
Abalone and Ramen. One of the most sumptuous items you can have in Chinese Cuisine is Abalone. This nutritious shellfish, high in protein and Omega-3 is reserved for special celebrations and is on the pricier side. It has been dubbed “White Gold” for the amount of money it fetches. While it can be rather tricky to prepare as it can succumb to toughness if overcooked, fortunately, you can find amazing quality Abalone canned from places like China and Chile, which save you a lot of work. A good quality can of Abalone would be around $35 CAN for about six pieces (about $6-7 a piece). The trick is to prepare on low heat and at a short duration. Traditional Chinese Cuisine often contains different types of sun-dried seafoods and fungus, reconstituted and stewed. These earthy-woodsy umami flavours complement Abalone perfectly. Where do you get this stuff? Try Chinese Herbal/Health Food Shops as a starting point.
This dish is a celebratory one! Dishes like this run deep in tradition.
Ingredients: 6 pieces of canned Abalone, sauce reserved 4 cups chicken stock 6 or more stalks Baby Bok Choy, rinsed 4 or more individual portions of Ramen 10 ShiitakeMushrooms, soaked in water one hour, stems chopped Handful Dried Cloud Ear Fungus, soaked in water one hour Handful of Dried Fat Choy (Black Moss), soaked in water one hour Handful of Dried Daylillies, soaked in water one hour and stems chopped 3-4 Dried Conpoy, soaked in warm water one hour 8-10 tbsps Oyster Sauce 2 tbsps Organic Raw Sugar 2 tbsps Shaoxing Cooking Wine 1 1″ knob of organic ginger, minced 1 stalk green onion, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 5-6 tbsps Tapioca/Corn Starch
Sea salt to taste Vegetable Oil
1.Sautée green onion, ginger and garlic in oil. Add wine and oyster sauce and cook till it bubbles. Remove from heat.
2. With Slow Cooker on high heat, cook Conpoy, Shiitake, Daylillies, Fat Choy, Cloud Ear Fungus in Chicken Broth.
3. Add-in Oyster Sauce mixture from skillet and cook for 4 hours, reducing to low heat till pot boils.
4. Add-in reserved sauce from canned Abalone. Bring to boil.
5. Add Abalone pieces and simmer for half an hour.
6. In small bowl, mix starch and equal parts water, forming a slurry. Stir into the slow cooker mixture.
7. Allow sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally, keeping on low heat.
8. Prepare noodles and Bok Choy. Set aside.
9. Place noodles in bowl, top with Bok Choy, Abalone and stewed mixture, ladling sauce on-top.