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Oven to Table

Oven to Table

Over 100 One-Pot and One-Pan Recipes for Your Sheet Pan, Skillet, Dutch Oven, and More
edition:Paperback
tagged : quick & easy
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Excerpt

 
INTRODUCTION

ONE PAN, MANY POSSIBILITIES

This book couldn’t come at a better time. With an increase in obligations and digital distractions that tempt us away from the kitchen, a healthy, home-cooked meal is one of the sacrifices many are making. Fortunately, there’s a satisfying solution to help home cooks make stress-free, mess-free, and tasty meals a reality: one-pot or one-pan cooking.
 
The roots of cooking, from both an anthropological point of view as well as a personal one, began in one pot. Although scientists continue to hotly debate which group of people first mastered fire, it only stands to reason that they cooked most of what they ate in one pot simply because so few other tools were available. In my own starter kitchen—a small and ill-equipped one at that—it never occurred to me to own multiple cooking vessels. My student budget was tight and supplies were limited, but that didn’t stop me from dishing up grub to tables full of friends and fellow housemates. Today, I rely heavily on one-pot cooking for its convenience in helping me feed my brood of boys. With a husband and three sons at my table, all of whom unquestion­ably eat more than three times a day, making a meal in just one pot is what saves my sanity, not to mention my time.
 
Of course, families aren’t the only ones in need of these simplified cook­ing methods. My mom is a single working woman with a ninety-minute com­mute each day. Her commitment to eating well is reinforced when she can get dinner on the table in a timely manner. Not to mention, one-pot cooking lends itself well to a speedy cleanup, as fewer dishes inevitably crowd the kitchen sink. My oldest son—soon to be a university student in charge of making most of his own meals—is a devout one-pot cook, because good­ness knows if he had to rely on multiple cooking vessels to get food into him, he’d likely be living off of PB&Js for the next four to eight years. And let’s not forget about newlyweds and empty nesters, two demographics potentially also in need of mealtime simplification. One group is likely busy building their careers and has limited time for complex daily cooking projects, while the other group could be ready to scale back the amount of time they spend in the kitchen after decades of nightly meal making.
 
Using one of six groups of cooking vessels—skillets, sheet pans, Dutch ovens, everyday baking pans, enamel roasting pans, and stoneware casserole dishes—my one-pot creations are designed to bring a complete dish to the table using easy-to-source ingredients and a variety of foolproof cooking techniques. From stir-fries to stews and cobblers to casseroles, this collection of down-to-earth recipes brings ease, comfort, and bold flavours to everyday home cooking. Flexible and endlessly adaptable, preparing food in one pot not only saves time, both in the prep and post-meal cleanup, but also allows for smart seasonal cooking. The dishes included in this book are prepared or served in a single pot, pan, skillet, or casserole dish and emphasize the versatility that can be created with just a few pieces of humble cookware.
 
Speaking of cookware, the good news here is that you probably have most of these items in your kitchen cabinets already. Oven-to-table pieces like Dutch ovens, sheet pans, skillets, and casserole dishes are essential when it comes to feeding a busy family or hosting a gathering. Roasting pans, while perhaps less common, should be considered essential, as they are practical for so much more than roasts. They can be used to bake French toast or roast a complete chicken dinner, and they lend themselves well to cooking a vari­ety of side dishes. Not only do most of us not have enough space to store the pots and pans we need for cooking plus an additional set of dishes for serving food, it can be a hassle to transfer everything just to make the table look fancy. Instead, these pieces are ready to leap from stove to centrepiece in an instant. Most of these items are just as comfortable on the daily dinner table as they are at a holiday feast, and these recipes will not only streamline the meals you make, but also satiate the people you share them with.
 
My hope is that Oven to Table will show less experienced cooks just how easy it is to create simple, wholesome meals, while inspiring more seasoned ones to try their hand at new recipes and simplified techniques. Uncomplicated food can be the best to eat, the most fun to share, and certainly the most enjoyable to cook.

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100 to Dinner

Better Cooking for camps, clubs, resorts, schools, institutions, industrial plants, offices, and public dining rooms
edition:eBook
tagged : reference
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Earth to Table Every Day

Earth to Table Every Day

Cooking with Good Ingredients Through the Seasons
edition:Hardcover
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Our Story

The steel town of Hamilton, Ontario, was where we became friends and colleagues, and where we found the creative space and support to fashion an earth-to-table experience that set us apart and started us on our inevitable course towards building our first restaurant, Earth to Table: Bread Bar. (We refer to it, in this cookbook as in life, simply as Bread Bar.) In 2005, as the executive chef and the pastry chef at a local establishment called the Ancaster Mill, we started hunting for farmers to buy local food from. Soon after, Chris Krucker of ManoRun Organic Farm approached us about ordering his produce for our kitchen. Chris appeared at a moment of synchronicity—we had long wanted to pro­vide a dining experience that would illustrate the journey of food from farm to restaurant. ManoRun would supply our kitchen with delicious locally grown, seasonal produce, and we and our staff would have the opportunity to dig in the dirt by working at the farm. What followed was a deep lesson in the differences between restaurants and farms, and farmers and chefs, and it was the inspiration for our first book, Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm.
 
Earth to Table followed a year-long journey of food from Chris’s farm to our restaurant tables at Ancaster Mill, and celebrated the glorious benefits of eating seasonally. For us it was a watershed moment. Much has happened since Earth to Table was published in 2009. Back then, farmers’ markets were just beginning to wedge themselves into urban spaces in towns and cities across the country. Today, throughout spring, summer, and autumn, you can find local farmers, both new and old generation, selling hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and free-range eggs alongside locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked goods, and artisanal honey in urban parking lots and disused spaces between buildings. All that delicious growth affected us in powerful ways and was the motiva­tion behind long-held dreams.
 
As chefs tend to do during punishing restaurant hours, we fantasize about opening our own place: Jeff wanted to open a pizzeria; Bettina, a bakery. Push led to shove led to leap and—with some outside encouragement—Bread Bar was born. We were astonished at how quickly the res­taurant became a popular hangout on the local dining and take-out scene. When we first opened, we needed a single 50-pound bag of flour a day to make pizza dough. Now we go through many, many more.
 
At first, we planned to offer counter service only, but the overwhelming demand for food made with “good ingre­dients that matter” led us to add a bar and more restaurant seating a year or so later, and the basement eventually became baker’s central for all our operations. It wasn’t long before we opened another Bread Bar restaurant, this time in Guelph, and as we write this there are plans for a third. Our restaurants embrace the earth-to-table philosophy that permeates our seasonal menus and our approach to food. Customers immediately welcomed our fresh, seasonal dishes and supported us as we experimented to find a balance between food that was familiar and comforting and a menu that changed with the weather.
 
One of the lessons we learned through our relation­ship with Chris Krucker and ManoRun Organic Farm is that we are not farmers. Just like the restaurant life, farming is gruelling work and not for the faint of heart or body. Nature can bless and damn you in the same year. Thankfully, there are more young farmers willing to dig deep and take on the challenge so that we can focus on cooking good food.
 
But one thing we noticed is that for many new farmers, the greatest barrier to living their dream is a lack of access to land. This challenge was one of the reasons we decided to purchase some farmland with our company Pearle Hospitality in 2010. There, in partnership with an amazing organization called Farm Start, we set up an organic “incu­bator farm,” at the time one of only two in Canada. We set aside fifty acres to rent out to budding farmers who practise organic agriculture, and each farmer gets four years to make their efforts work as a complete business. Rowena Cruz, a computer animator who originally showed up at the Ancaster Mill’s kitchen door selling her tomatoes, was one of those incubator farmers. Today, she is one of our field managers and probably the most successful farmer to come out of the Earth to Table farm. For Bread Bar, we currently plant six acres, on which Rowena is growing cucumbers, squash, lettuce greens, tomatoes, and much more for us. Every winter our chefs meet to pore over seed catalogues and plan for the spring planting.
 
Something else that became apparent was that through our connection with local farmers, we connected even more deeply with the community around Bread Bar. People came to us for coffee, business lunches, pizza runs, family dinners, and celebrations. Even the core contingent of recipe testers for this book hail from the neighbourhood. They are committed to our food and what it represents.
 
That community goodwill made us realize it was time to write another cookbook—one that celebrates how good food can enrich your life every day. We are a duo of food hedonists: Bettina nurtures the authentic connection with the community and delights customers with her delicious and thoughtful approach to baking. Jeff is always seeking and exploring fresh flavours to create new favourites. You’ll find all that salt-and-pepper goodness in this book’s recipes because there is no pretense when it comes to Bread Bar’s motto, “Good ingredients matter.”
 
According to Lenore Newman, author of Speaking in Cod Tongues, Canadian cuisine has several defining features: wild food, indigenous food, and seasonal food, with a focus on ingredients ahead of recipes. All these elements are in tangible evidence at Bread Bar. Bettina has foraged for garlic ramps for topping pizza and hauled a bumper crop of rhubarb from her backyard to the restau­rant to use in pies and scones. Wild rice in a spicy lentil salad and rainbow trout cooked campfire style embrace the indigenous element. And the summer heat floods us with sweet tomatoes from local farmers for our Heirloom Tomato Salad (page 58), an homage to the seasonal along with many other fruits and vegetables.
 
The tricky thing about eating seasonally is that it’s much harder to achieve in a four-season climate where the growing season is unpredictable. By the time spring’s bounty starts to arrive at our doorstep, people are wearing shorts in anticipation of summer’s heat and may not be interested in eating asparagus or ramps. August is one of those months where we simply can’t keep up with the amount of fresh produce arriving daily at the kitchen, though we do our best to preserve as much as possible for use during the dreary days of winter.
 
Bread Bar excels at showcasing good ingredients in simple dishes that keep drawing customers back. For us, delicious, good food is the priority. And that begins with the choice of ingredients. When you read a menu, your cravings often guide your choice of meal, and often that means locking on to an ingredient that you know and love, whether that is beets or arugula, steak or chicken, vanilla or chocolate. And when that familiar ingredient is prepared and presented with creativity and thoughtfulness, it can become something new and exciting, familiar and fresh simultaneously. That is the essence of good food.
 
For us, ingredients are paramount, but not just the ones that ripen on vines or are hidden in the soil, or live in the fields and on farms. The ingredients of goodness, community, comfort, taste, and joy are interwoven in every dish that graces our tables. That sounds complicated, but it isn’t. It’s essentially what we all hope for when we sit down at a family meal. We encourage home cooks to visit the farmers’ markets rather than the grocery store and not only rediscover where their food comes from but experi­ence the fun of doing so. Above all, this book insists on experiencing the flavour of joy.
 
Good food is neither simple nor uncomplicated when you consider the chemistry of flavour and texture. But it can be simple if you take the time to savour it. Eating a meal isn’t supposed to mimic speed-dating. In an era where mindfulness is marketed as an antidote to the “fear of missing out,” the case for enjoying good food is
not an opportunistic public relations gimmick. You will miss out on something good—and miss out on joy—if you treat a meal as immediate rocket fuel, ingredients as a medicine chest, and cooking as a chore.
 
This book explores familiar ingredients and dishes in a fresh way, and encourages you to respect the flavour inherent in good food. Enhance it, but don’t overwhelm it. That’s part of Bread Bar’s secret to success, and what we want to share with you in this book. This is our version of seasonal, fresh, delicious food.

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Fermentation Revolution

Fermentation Revolution

70 Easy Recipes for Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kimchi and More
edition:Paperback
tagged :
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British Columbia from Scratch

British Columbia from Scratch

Recipes for Every Season
edition:Hardcover
tagged : canadian
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He Cooks

He Cooks

Over 350 Fantastic No-Fail Recipes You Can't Be Without
edition:Paperback
tagged : gourmet
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She Cooks

She Cooks

275 Fabulous No-Fail Recipes You Can't Be Without
edition:Paperback
tagged : gourmet
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