#Summerlicious 2015 is finally here!

Food lovers and restaurant goers rejoice, Summerlicious is finally here! Time to get out and explore Toronto’s diverse cuisine. 

The food festival began in 2003 with 35 participating restaurants and has grown to now more than 200! All of The McEwan Group restaurants look forward to coming up with new and interesting three-course prix fixe menus for Summerlicious that showcase some of their favourite dishes of the season.

To book your reservation, click on BymarkFabbricaNorth 44, or ONE Restaurant!

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We asked Missy Hui, Chef de Cuisine at Fabbrica “If you were to come into the restaurant and select the perfect meal from your Summerlicious menu, what would you choose?”

Lunch ~ $23

 Pork Terrine with Mustard and daily Pickle

 Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce, Basil & Burrata

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Prosecco Peaches

“The Gnocchi is a Fabbrica staple. Deliciously soft and perfect with Tomato and Burrata, while our Panna Cotta is incredibly light and refreshing. It has the perfect balance of richness.”

Dinner ~ $35

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Mint, Basil, Ricotta Salata & 12 yr. old Balsamic

Bacon Chop with Rhubarb Agrodolce & Vincotto

Cannoli

“We like to keep things simple and fresh for summer at Fabbrica, The smoke and the salt of the Bacon Chop with Rhubarb Agrodolce & Vincotto is beautiful. Every time we plate one I’m tempted to eat it.”

Here’s a sneak peak of Fabbrica‘s exquisite Summerlicious dishes!

 

Fresh & Flavourful ~ Truffled Steak Salad

Embrace the warm weather with this fresh and flavourful Truffled Steak Salad. Sharp little bites of marinated and seasoned steak are nestled among fresh, crisp greens, sweet tomatoes, and crunchy, mild walnuts. Topped with a crumble of tangy chèvre, then drizzled with McEwan’s Own Truffle Vinaigrette, this is a very quick and simple salad designed to impress.

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1 (6oz) steak, cut into bite size strips
1 jar McEwan’s Own Truffle Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
1 cup breadcrumbs
Olive oil, for cooking
1 container McEwan’s Own Arugula Salad Mix
4 tbsp chevre, crumbled
Salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Cut the steak into small, bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper, then toss with 2 tablespoons of the McEwan’s Own Truffle Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, making sure all the meat is coated.

Toss the meat in the breadcrumbs, making sure they’re evenly coated. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large frying pan, and quickly fry the meat for two minutes. Flip to ensure both sides are browned and crisp for a medium/medium-rare steak.

Add the steak bites to the McEwan’s Own Arugula Salad Mix, then toss. Add dressing and toss again. Top with the crumbled chevre and some freshly cracked black pepper.

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Katrina Kajganic, Kitchen Trials
Blogger, Designer, Photographer, Recipe Developer
Twitter: @kitchen_trials
Instagram: @kitchen_trials

Reimagined Eggplant Parmesan Rolls

Impress your guests with this delicious yet beautiful twist on an Italian classic, Eggplant Parmesan. Crispy eggplant slices rolled around creamy parsley goat cheese stuffed manicotti and served over a bed of flavourful McEwan’s Own Roxy’s Tomato Sauce.

1 garlic bulb
olive oil, to drizzle
4 manicotti shells
1 large eggplant
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
300gr goat cheese
1 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 jar McEwan’s Own Roxy’s Tomato Sauce
1 cup micro arugula
8 Parmesan crisps

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Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut a garlic bulb 1/4-1/2 inch from the top of the cloves. Place the bulb on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap the foil around the garlic. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the garlic is soft.

Follow the cooking instructions on the manicotti’s package. Set them aside to cool. Once cool, cut each manicotti in half

Slice off the top and bottom of the eggplant. Using a mandolin slicer or a knife, slice the eggplant from top to bottom to create thin rectangular sheets. If the sheets are too wide and you can’t roll them, try trimming the width of the slice until they become rollable.

Mix the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together both eggs. Place the flour in a third bowl. Take each eggplant slice, dip in the flour and shake, dip in the eggs, and finally dip in the breadcrumbs mixture. Roll and place in a muffin tin.

Take the roasted garlic out of the oven. Mix the goat cheese, parsley, olive oil, roasted garlic, and parsley. Pipe the mixture into the manicottis and center inside the eggplant rolls. Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F.

Heat McEwan’s Own Roxy’s Tomato Sauce and serve some in a bowl using a ladle. Place the baked eggplant Parmesan rolls in the center of the bowl over the bed of tomato sauce. Garnish the top of the rolls with micro arugula and Parmesan crisps.

Fouad Y. Makadsi, Zero to Gourmet
Cancer Research Data Analyst, Cook, Recipe Developer, Blogger
Twitter @iphouad
Instagram @iphouad

Cooking Up Something Juicy, Jiggly, and Jammy at McEwan

When I was growing up, jam was just a sweet condiment to otherwise boring toast, and a great pal to nut butter for lunch. But chefs and savvy home cooks know that fruit preserves, jellies and jams can shine in a wide range of dishes ~ From savoury to sweet, to everything in between. And standing in with all your sweet sticky needs, McEwan offers an extensive line. From locally produced family-run offerings, to trusted gourmet brands and every imaginable fruit you can dream up ~ McEwan’s make sure your toast, cheese, desserts, and meat are always accompanied by a quality fruit spread.

So what is the difference between a jelly, jam and preserve?

Beginning with the most indulgent, a jelly is a wobbly clear fruit spread made from fruit juice, sugar and sometimes pectin with no solid bits or fibre intact. Jam has the addition of actual fruit pulp and is looser and less giggly then jelly. Finally, preserves have the most actual fruit in them, meaning they tend to be a bit higher in fibre and lower in sugar then the other two spreads. While there is nothing more satisfying then a breakfast bread with a smear of jelly or jam, they still contain a lot of sugar so I like to use them in recipes where even small amounts can lend a huge flavour kick.

Desserts with jams, jellies and preserves are easy to free-style ~ Any flavour you like will work beautifully in a sweet bar, cookie, crepe, or cheesecake. But their success in savoury recipes typically depends on the other ingredients. Chicken is lovely with citrus marmalade, duck is delicious with cherry, beef and lamb can handle richer fruit like plums or currants, while pork- well, you can take your pick with pork. The possibilities are endless.

My go to preserve is Bonne Maman’s Fig Preserves because I love the luscious sweet flavour and the satisfying crackle of the seeds. Here I use it in a super simple Fig Balsamic Chili glaze to top a low fat, high protein pork tenderloin. Serve with some roasted heirloom carrots and steamed asparagus, and you have a colourful well-balanced meal that serves up to four people.

SWEET AND HEAT BALSAMIC FIG PORK TENDERLOIN

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2 tsp olive oil
1 lb pork tenderloin Salt and pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 tbsp Bonne Maman fig preserves
½ tsp Sambal Oelek (or more, if you like it spicy)
8 figs, quartered and stemmed

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add in the olive oil.

3. Season the pork tenderloin generously with salt and pepper on all sides, then place in skillet and sear all over until is golden brown. Remove from the heat.

4. Meanwhile, combine the balsamic, Bonne Mamam Fig preserves, and sriracha in a small saucepot over medium low heat until it bubbles and melts down.

5. Liberally brush the tenderloin and the quartered figs with the glaze and store any extra glaze. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pork reaches 145 F ~ About half way through the cooking process, brush again with the remaining glaze.

6. Allow the pork to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the caramelized figs.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Tap into the Mouthwatering World of Maple at McEwan

Harvested right here in our backyard, Maple Syrup is an international delicacy that Canadians can call their own. It’s aromatic, sweet and completely natural, making it a popular choice for flavour-junkies and health-enthusiasts, alike. With an eye for quality and great taste, McEwans offers a wide variety of maple syrups for all of your baking, cooking, dipping, drowning and drinking (we don’t judge) needs.

Pure maple syrup tends to fall into two major categories ~ Grade A and Grade B. While Grade B is great for adding complexity to cocktails, Grade A (specifically Medium Grade A) is ideal for everyday use. From Shady Maple Farms’ Organic to McEwan’s OwnKemble Ontario, to Noble’s handcrafted artisanal Vanilla Bean Matured Maple, to fruit-infused options like Haskapa Maple Syrup, Can Natur’s Blueberry or Voisin Maple’s Apple Cinnamon ~ the choices at McEwans are literally endless.

“While I believe all sweeteners should be used in moderation, I like maple syrup because it’s sustainably produced, offers a more aromatic flavour compared to white sugar and offers a bonus dose of manganese, riboflavin, and zinc.”

MAPLE ALMOND CRUSTED SALMON WITH KALE, ORANGE AND MAPLE SALAD

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This nutrient-rich recipe is high in Omega 3s, fibre, protein and vitamin C and makes for a satisfying dinner or lunch that serves up to 4 people.

Dressing:

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp Smokey Kettle Grade A Medium Maple Syrup
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste

Salad:

8 cups kale leaves, finely chopped and washed
2 oranges, segmented
1 oz sliced almonds, toasted

Almond Crust:

¼ cup almonds
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
Pinch each of salt and pepper

Glaze and Salmon:

2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. Smokey Kettle Grade A Medium Maple Syrup
2 tsp orange zest
Salt and pepper
4x 3-4 oz filets of salmon
4 tsp olive oil

mcewan_mcewanfoods_maplesalmon_AbbeySharp_recipe_shopsatdonmillsMix together freshly squeezed orange juice, maple syrup, sherry vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper together, and set aside.

Dress the kale leaves in a few tablespoons of the dressing and begin to massage. Rub the leaves between your hands for a good 5 minutes to soften, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Once salad has finished marinating, Preheat the oven to 425 F.

For the salmon glaze, mix together dijon mustard, maple syrup, orange zest and a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine almonds, panko and a pinch of salt and pepper into a small food processor and process until it reaches the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Lightly season the salmon filets with salt and pepper and brush with the glaze.

Sprinkle generously with the almond crust and drizzle each with a teaspoon of olive oil.

Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

Once cooked, carefully lift the fish from the skin and discard the skin.

Assembly:

Toss the salad with a few more tablespoons of dressing to taste, and arrange on plates with the segmented oranges and toasted almonds.

Top with the cooked salmon filets. Enjoy!

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Caramelized Onion and Date Chutney Grilled Cheese

Embrace the rainy days with this simple and comforting caramelized onion and date chutney grilled cheese sandwich. Cheesy and flavourful, it is fancy enough for a weekend dinner or cut into smaller squares for a party appetizer!

3 tbsp Olive Oil
2-3 Cooking Onions, cut into half moons
1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tbsp Unsalted butter
4 slices Light Rye or Sourdough Bread
2 heaping tsp McEwan’s Own Date and Raisin Chutney
3/4 cup Aged White Cheddar, grated
Fresh Black Pepper to Taste

grilled cheese

Heat olive oil on medium low heat in a heavy bottom skillet. Sauté onions slowly for 25 minutes stirring occasionally.

After about 10 minutes add the black pepper.

Once you have reached the 25 minute mark, stir in the small amount of brown sugar and remove from heat. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Butter the outside of the bread. Top each slice of bread with a heaping teaspoon of McEwan’s Own Date and Raisin Chutney, aged white cheddar and the caramelized onions.

Press together both pieces and cook in a heavy cast iron or heavy bottom pan for 5 minutes a side or until golden brown.

Rachel Barbaro, Friendly Food Snobs
Food blogger and friendly food snob
Twitter @Rachel_Barbaro
Instagram @rachelbarbaro

 

Spring Forward ~ Easter Entertaining

Spring has finally sprung, the birds are chirping and the sun is shining. With Easter long weekend fast approaching, your days may start to become hectic. At McEwan we’re here to help you with the details so that you can spend your time socializing at family gatherings, egg hunting with the children, or simply relaxing at home.

From egg baskets and chocolate treats, to lively decor and bright centrepieces, our team will have you catching spring fever in no time!

Here are some of our Easter must-haves. The hardest part will be keeping these gourmet treats hidden.

TOP 5 Snack Foods at McEwan

Being Mark McEwan’s assistant has me running around most days like a chicken with my head cut off!

I am a huge “snacker” and although I would like to say that I always make the healthiest choice, That would be a flat out lie! There are so many delicious offerings that I just go with my gut, literally. Here’s my 5 favourites that you MUST pick up the next time you are in - 

1. MAD MEXICAN’S FRESH SALSA

Photo Courtesy of Blog TO

Photo Courtesy of Blog TO

Anything from Mad Mexican ~ As I am writing this I am actually crunching away on their nacho chips and mild salsa (I can’t handle heat). Every single product is made with the utmost care. It is so fresh and I like to think it is pretty healthy. There is a full line up of different salsas, each one is very unique and completely addicting.

2. MCEWAN’S OWN GOURMET CHIPS

Photo 2-27-2015, 10 51 07 AMI think you can see the trend already, I am really into salty snacks. Whether it is Kool Ketchup, Dill Pickle or my personal favourite, Blue Cheese Chicken Wings, I just cannot get enough of these chips. They are a hit with my friends, ever since the first time I brought them out at a girl’s night, they have been specifically requested every time we are altogether.

3. REFUEL’S COLD-PRESSED JUICE 

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Refuel Kale Kraze ~ Sometimes you just need to get your vitamins on the run and the Kale Craze by Refuel is my go to. My day can change direction at the drop of the hat and being able to drink a meal really keeps me going.

4. MCEWAN’S OWN DESSERT JARS

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90% of the time I am reaching for chips of some sort, but when I am craving something a little bit sweet I dig in to the Dessert Jars at the pastry counter. Key lime pie…in a jar!? Yes please! Plus, having these small jars as the serving vessel is a great portion control method, unless of course you eat numerous jars…I have never done that…wink wink.

5. MCEWAN’S YOGURT PARFAIT BAR

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Mmmmmm morning snack! The “Build Your Own Yogurt Parfait Bar” at McEwan gives me the opportunity to make a new creation every day. Ever felt as though you needed more granola in your parfait or you want ALL strawberries with a little bit of honey? There are so many options and they all make me feel as though I am adding a little goodness into my body!

WRITTEN BY,
JORDIE MCTAVISH, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO MARK MCEWAN

Soups ~ Make it a Meal or Outside the Bowl

It’s been a bitter cold Winter and soups have been gracing our dinner tables. At McEwan, you will find lots of slurpable options that you can warm up with. As we come out of the indulgent holiday season, and a chilly new year, a bowl of soup is a great healthy option to warm your body and fill your belly while keeping you on tract with your healthy goals.

They are also great time-saving starters for building heartier, more fulfilling meals Five Go-To Soups from McEwans and my top tips for transforming them into something new.

MCEWAN’S OWN TOMATO FENNEL

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Nutritional Benefit: Dairy-free and low in fat, this hearty broth-based tomato soup is packed with antioxidant-rich veggies.

Make it a Meal: Add some frozen tortellini, spinach, diced zucchini and top with Parmesan cheese.

Outside the Bowl: Mix ½ cup to your family’s meatloaf recipe for added flavour and moisture.

MCEWAN’S OWN VEGAN CHILI

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Nutritional Benefit: Made with almost a dozen veggies, beans and a little soy meat for protein, this vegan chili is low in fat and packed with satiating fibre.

Make it a Meal: Mix with cooked whole grain macaroni and a little cheese for an old-school Chili Mac.

Outside the Bowl: Layer the chili with sharp cheese and corn tortillas, and then bake into a Mexican Lasagna.

PACIFIC THAI SWEET POTATO SOUP

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Nutritional Benefits: With all those bright orange potatoes, a single cup of Pacific Thai’s Sweet Potato Soup offers 150% of your Vitamin A needs.

Make it a Meal: Add a handful of cooked rice noodles, some bean sprouts and poached shrimp for a Thai Noodle Soup.

Outside the Bowl: Sear bite-size pieces of chicken until golden brown, then add in a container of soup and a spoonful of almond butter. Simmer in the soup until it reduces to a thick curry sauce and serve over brown rice.

WOLFGANG PUCK’S HEARTY LENTIL VEGETABLE

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Nutritional Benefits: Lentils are a low fat healthy vegetarian source of protein and fibre, and this Wolfgang Puck’s soup packs a double punch with the added veggies!

Make it a Meal: Add a cup of diced low sodium smoked ham, and 3 cups of baby spinach as you reheat the soup on the stove.

Outside the Bowl: Simmer the soup over medium high heat until the broth evaporates and you’ve got a thick bowl of cooked lentils. Serve with seared turkey sausages and Swiss chard sautéed with garlic.

AMY’S ORGANIC CREAM OF MUSHROOM

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Nutritional Benefits: Sure there’s a little cream here, but while most canned cream of mushroom soups you barely see any real mushrooms or cream. Amy’s version is completely organic, and preservative and additive-free.

Make it a Meal: Create a hearty chowder by adding some parboiled potatoes and fresh shellfish.

Outside the Bowl: Use it as the creamy sauce in your beef stroganoff to accompany the lean beef, sautéed mushrooms and whole grain noodles.

On those chilly nights cozy up with bowl of something warm and fulfilling or switch things up with one of my easy soup-transforming tips! Whatever you’re craving, McEwan has all the top picks.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Sesame Crusted Scallops with Black Beluga Caviar Lentils, Microgreens and Paneer Croutons

Sweet scallops, nutty lentils and peppery microgreens combined create a simple yet complex dish. By adding a tangy Caesar dressing and a sweet, slightly spicy mango relish makes it swoon worthy. This dish makes and elegant first course or a light lunch.

1 cup Black Beluga Lentils

4 cups chicken stock

4 garlic cloves, peeled

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 Tablespoons McEwan’s Own Ice Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 large scallops

1 egg white, lightly beaten

½ cup McEwan’s Own Sesame Seeds

3oz paneer, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups microgreens (arugula, pea sprouts, cilantro)

10 Brussel sprouts, shaved

4 radishes, shaved

3 tablespoons McEwan’s Own Caesar Dressing

2 tablespoons McEwan’s Own Sweet Mango Relish

salt and pepper, to taste

Beauty Shot

Place lentils, stock, garlic and pepper in a medium sauce pan on high and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 min or until lentils are tender. Drain excess stock.

Puree garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of McEwan’s Own Ice Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil and stir into lentils. Keep warm.

Pat scallops dry, dip into egg whites and the McEwan’s Own Sesame Seeds. Sear in a hot stainless sauté pan with butter for 2 min per side.

Place paneer and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan at medium high and cook until each side is golden. Approximately 30 seconds per side.

Toss microgreens, Brussel sprouts and radish with McEwan’s Own Caesar Dressing. Set aside.

To plate: Make a small pool of lentils and place to 2 scallops in the center of them and top with ½ teaspoon of McEwan’s Own Sweet Mango Relish. Place microgreens to the side along with paneer. Very lightly drizzle a touch more olive oil over scallops and lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nancy Crocker, Nancy’s Cravings
Blogger, Caterer
Twitter @NancysCravings
Instagram @NancysCravings