Abbey’s Top 10′s for Your Healthy Holiday Charcuterie Spread

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Holiday meals at my house are hectic enough so I always kick things off with a care-free charcuterie board. It’s really the perfect dish for entertaining because I don’t have to cook it, it looks impressive, there’s something for everyone (even the picky Pollys) and it keeps mouths and bellies happy while I fuss over the main meal. But let’s be honest- most typical party platters aren’t much better for you than the mini sausage rolls and fried shrimp- they’re often loaded with saturated fat and refined carbs from all the rich cheeses, fatty meats, and buttery crackers. So this holiday season, why not let McEwan help you build a better board with an assortment of lighter, more elegant bites.

The key is to choose an assortment of big bold flavours so that a little bit goes a long way- no processed diet food, no deprivation, and no Debbie Downers. Need proof? Check out the top ten delicious and balanced items you’ll be seeing on my cocktail spread this season.

Niagara Berkshire Prosciutto- Skip the well marbled salumi and go for prosciutto which is one of the leanest yet tastiest charcuterie options at the deli.

Fresh figs – Jammy and sweet, ripe figs are irresistible with salty prosciutto or cheese.

McEwan Spanish Marcona Almonds- Packed with protein, fibre and good-for-you fats, a small handful of these will keep the hunger monster at bay.

Mary’s Organic Crackers- Forgo the carb overload of the bread basket and opt for these whole grain gluten free crackers instead that deliver tons of flavour and great crunch in their petite size.

Pastrami Smoked Atlantic Salmon- Loaded with protein and healthy omega-3 fats, pescaterians and meat lovers alike will swoon over this pastrami-inspired smoked fish.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co’s Bagel Chevre (Garlic & Chive)- Made simply with just some hormone and antibiotic free goats milk, bacterial culture, rennet and salt- this is a far more nutritious alternative to cream cheese.

McEwan Olive Trio- Olives are packed with heart-healthy fats and a ton of bold flavour so you only need a few to get your briny fix.

McEwan Pickled Beans- Virtually calorie free with a good bite of heat, these snappy beans are more addictive than chips.

McEwan Spiced Orange Marmalade- Try this bitter-sweet preserve on your cheese and crackers for the spicy sweet flavour of the holidays.

Beemster Slimkaas Matured Cheese- Skip the processed “low fat” cheese, and opt for a naturally lower fat offering like this Slimkaas which has 33% less fat than most regular Gouda cheeses.

To pick up my ten tasty essentials and everything else you need to pull off a healthy and delicious holiday meal, visit McEwan Foods at Shops at Don Mills.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

 

#McEwanAllAccess 4.0 Wrap-Up

After the success of past events, #McEwanAllAccess 4.0 was highly anticipated, and did not disappoint! On November 10, 20 lucky foodies met at One Restaurant for an exclusive, invite-only meet, eat and tweet with Celebrity Chef Mark McEwan.

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Co-hosted by television personality Michelle Jobin, it was an evening full of opportunity to savour delicious food and drinks while mingling with fellow foodies and chatting one-on-one with Chef McEwan himself.

The luxurious, yet cozy atmosphere of One Restaurant’s bar lounge was just perfect for guests to sip Stoneleigh Vineyards wines. Cocktails featuring Johnnie Walker, Grand Marnier & Ciroc were the ideal compliments while sampling such signature McEwan favourites such as Pork Belly Steamed Buns, Steak Tartare and Blue Crab and Avocado Spoons.

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We also saw lots of tweets and Instagram photos of the evening that were shared by the guests with their fans and followers online.  

Everyone were given their very own copy of “Great Food at Home” and then sat down with Mark for a personalized book signing, and to take a few selfies with the Chef. At the end of the evening, guests departed with a gift bag that was full of foodie favourites, including wine from Stoneleigh Vineyards, and of course memories of a great event.

Didn’t get an invite to this round? Follow our Blog and @Chef_MarkMcEwan‘s Twitter to be the first in on #McEwanAllAccess 5.0.

Adrian Berg TweetEat N Mingle Tweet

[Photo credit: Jeffrey Chan]

Life of McEwan’s Curry Bar

On October  we hosted an Instagram Chat on Twitter where we brought to life McEwan’s popular Curry Bar in a photo editorial.  Watch Chef Shen’s creation below.

This regular feature showcases the many steps it takes to put together popular dishes at our store and restaurant properties.

Chef on Board at PEI Fall Flavours

Every September Prince Edward Island puts on a month long festival showcasing all of the wonderful products that the island has to offer. Over the years Chef Mark McEwan and team have taken part in the Beef Festival, the Shellfish festival, Applelicious and much more. This year however the team took to the “high seas” and hosted a dinner for 350 lucky guests on the car deck of a massive ferry, the Confederation.

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Upon arrival on the island, Mark, Executive Chef Andrew Ellerby and Assistant Jordie McTavish were treated to an amazing dinner at Terre Rouge (if you are ever in Charlottetown, do not miss this spot) and the next day the fun began.

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They were given the opportunity to speak with students of the Holland College culinary program and then headed out to the boat (which was like nothing they had ever seen before). The first comment out of Chef Andrew’s mouth was “Feeding 350 on a ferry eh? Check that of the bucket list!”

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The evening was filled with great music, great food a dose of healthy competition, wine from Stoneleigh Vineyards and a little bit of dancing. It was a huge success and could not have been pulled off it weren’t for the culinary students and their ability to cook and plate food for the masses!

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An early evening flight on Sunday meant that the team had their first opportunity to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the final day of the festival. Farm Day on Queen Street gave them the opportunity to meet local purveyors of fantastic products, from cheeses, to beers, to smoked salmon. In the afternoon they headed to a beef farm half an hour out of the city and met with the Drake family of Steerman’s Meats for a tour of their 125 year old farm.

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The weekend was a fantastic mix of everything that PEI has to offer. We highly recommend heading to the Fall Flavours Festival next September and we will see you there!

Fall Flora and Fauna

Seasonal temperatures have begun to slip….from what you ask? Our supposed warm winter? There are many things that you can be doing with your home gardens to make them beautiful into the fall!
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You have probably already removed all of the summer annuals that have begun to look quite shabby, but make sure to leave existing plants that are hearty and can last until the frost such as Ivy. To fill in the holes left by the annuals, add colourful kales, cabbages and grasses which are cold resistant and once frozen, still retain their beauty.
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For sculptural elements, think about adding birch poles, gourds and pumpkins in varying sizes. They create a focal point and visual interest in a planter and can help make entrance ways or walkways look grand.
You can have as much fun with flora and fauna in the fall as you do in spring and summer, think outside the box and get crafty!

#McEwanAllAccess 4.0

Canadians know that the name Chef Mark McEwan is synonymous with great food. From his role as judge on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada, to beautiful cookbooks such as Rustic Italian he inspires us at to create Great Food At Home. Here in Toronto, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shop and dine at the signature restaurants and stores that reflect the many facets of Mark McEwan’s food philosophy and his personality: ONE, Bymark, Fabbrica, North 44, and of course McEwan.

If you’d like to know more about the man behind this celebrated culinary enterprise, we have exciting news for you … #McEwanAllAccess is back!

photo1On November 10th, television personality Michelle Jobin will host an exclusive and informative event with Chef Mark McEwan at his contemporary Yorkville hotspot ONE. This highly anticipated event has been a huge foodie favourite in the past. Space is limited for this evening of great food and conversation .

 

ONE Restaurant Logo copyGuests will have the opportunity to savour the gourmet food and beverages that ONE has become known for, plus the “see and be scene” atmosphere that has made it a dining destination for so many. Michelle will be hosting a conversation with Mark so we can get to know him, and the dishes he creates, better. Tweet or Instagram photos of your favourite food from the evening, your favourite moment, or perhaps pose for a selfie with Mark.

Plus, all guests leave with a gift bag including a personalized copy of Rustic Italian cookbook, Stoneleigh Vineyards wine, Johnnie Walker shot glasses, Grand Marnier recipe book and garnish sticks valued over $60.00.

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Chef McEwan feels that the upbeat elegance of ONE makes it the perfect venue for this instalment, “Looking forward to welcoming everyone to One. I can’t wait to showcase the amazing talents of our kitchen and to have the opportunity to meet everyone face to face.”

The party (and the conversation) will be happening online as well. Be sure to stay tuned to social media before, during, and after the event for all the details and full access to the event.

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So just how do you get in on this evening of delicious food, wine, and chat? For the chance to be one of our 20 invited guests, just copy, paste, and tweet the following, then keep an eye out for a potential invite and instructions:

I want to get social with @Chef_MarkMcEwan at #OneRestaurant for #McEwanAllAccess

As space is limited, a few lucky tweeters will be notified each week with more details and instructions. Past events have sold out right away, so be sure to let @MichelleJobin know just how much you want to join in. Looking forward to meeting you all, and the great food and conversation that the evening has in store for you!

Event Details

  • November 10, 2014 :: 7 pm – 9  pm
  • One Restaurant at 116 Yorkville Avenue
  • $60 per person inclusive of all drinks, food, swag bag, taxes and gratuities (LIMITED SPACE)
  • There will be only one ticket available for those selected with no plus 1 option
  • Event format will be passed appetizers, wine and cocktails
  • Tweets, pictures and great conversation are encouraged

Spicy Butternut Mango Chutney Soup

This exotic harvest soup tastes like it’s been simmering for hours, but it won’t take more than 15 minutes to make! Each velvety spoonful gets a spicy kick from the Mango Chutney. With flavours of ginger and red chili, this soup is sure to warm you up on these crisp autumn evenings.

1 jar McEwan’s Own Butternut Squash Soup

2-3 tbsps McEwan’s Own Mango Chutney

4 tbsps crème fraîche

4 tsps roasted pumpkin seeds

black pepper, to taste

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Add the soup to a large pot and warm over medium-low heat.

Stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons of the mango chutney, depending on how spicy you want your soup to be.

Once the chutney is fully incorporated, and the soup is warmed through, it’s ready to serve.

Set out 4 soup bowls and fill each bowl with about1 cup of soup.

Stir in 1 tbsp of crème fraîche into each bowl, and top with 1 tsp of pumpkin seeds and some fresh black pepper.  Serve warm.

Shareba Abdul, In Search Of Yummy-ness
Blogger, Home Cook, Freelance Writer
Twitter @InSearchofYummy
Instagram @InSearchOfYummyness

Chef Mark McEwan & Stoneleigh Wines

The cat’s out of the bag…
FB Contest- Oct. 3

We would like to officially announce that Chef Mark McEwan has partnered with Stoneleigh Vineyards. As the ambassador for this great New Zealand wine, Mark will be working throughout the year to elevate your home entertaining by providing tips, tricks and recipes on the Stoneleigh Facebook page.

To get this relationship started off on the right foot Stoneleigh is giving away a private dinner for 10 people, personally prepared by Chef Mark McEwan. Visit www.stoneleighvineyards.ca for your chance to win!

Contest ends November 29, 2014 where a winner will be drawn randomly.

Good luck to all!

“May the odds ever be in your favour!” – The Hunger Games

 

McEwan Thanksgiving Catering by Numbers

With summer slipped away, and a busy start to autumn, it’s almost a shock that Thanksgiving weekend is mere days away! Accepting it is challenge one, but planning for it will be a whole other hurdle. It’s no small feat to perfectly roast turkey, whisk gravy, simmer cranberries, caramelize Brussels sprouts, bake stuffing, roast veggies, toss salad, spin potatoes and bake a flaky pie, all while keeping the house in order and managing the hectic affair.  Phew!

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Well, while you’re on your own with the family drama, McEwan can take a real load off in the kitchen with their ready-to-reheat family dinners with all the fixings. Choose from their Beef Tenderloin, Salmon, Roasted Leg of Lamb, and of course, the Classic Turkey, and forgo the time, stress and mess of shopping, chopping, stuffing, cooking, and cleaning the annual feast. Now that’s something to be thankful for! Not convinced? Check out this handy-dandy McEwan Thanksgiving Catering by Numbers.

Ready to be order # 76? Let us take on the culinary burdens so you can focus on more important things this holiday season such as spending quality time with family and friends. For more information on menus or to place your Thanksgiving order, check out their website, email catering@mcewanfoods.com or call 416 444 6262 x 228.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

McEwan’s Own Grilled Tandoori Apple Chicken Skewers with Curry Apple Chutney

The transitional time between summer and fall means the blending of culinary traditions. On the one hand it’s still warm enough to step outside to turn on the grill, but we start to see a new range of fantastic flavours emerge from Ontario soil. Apples to me are a September staple, and the aromatic spices of Indian cuisine are a beautiful pairing for their fresh sweetness and acidity. This recipe combines the ready-made McEwan’s Own Tandoori Spice Mix with Fat Free High Protein Greek Yogurt to yield a tenderizing and moisturizing marinade for lean chicken breast. Pair it with the sweet golden raisins, bright apples and mild heat in McEwan’s Curry Apple Chutney, and you have a comforting and inviting meal.

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1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
2 tsp McEwan’s Own Tandoori Spice Mix
1 lb skinless  boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 small apples, cored and cut into chunks
1 Bell Pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
Pinch of salt
8 large wooden skewers, soaked
1/2 cup McEwan’s Own Curry Apple Chutney

In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, Tandoori Spice Mix, chicken, apples, bell pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined, cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

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After an hour, thread the chicken, apple and pepper onto skewers, alternating meat with fruit and vegetable.

Preheat a lightly greased grill or a grill pan over medium high heat. Cook on the grill, turning every 3-4 minutes, until lightly charred on all sides and the meat is no longer pink inside, about 12-14 minutes.

Serve the skewers with the Curry Apple Chutney.

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DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN