Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

Fathers day is indeed a  Hallmark holiday I hate buying into it, but I have to say it's one of those days you absolutely have to honor! Since I'm now a married  woman I have acquired another set of parents thus another father to praise and celebrate on this glorious Sunday.  We decided to do an a.m. meal with my husbands parents - a keep it simple bagel brunch where I prepared a delicious tuna salad and we picked up some Montreal Bagels from Bagel House and cream cheese obviously. I also had an awesome eggplant and tomato dish I made a few days ago that I decided to bring along (it's totally their type of dish - sort of Moroccan/Israeli style stewed salad).  We also brought some Colombian pastries from Columbus Bakery  on Dufferin st. the pastries or "dulces" as we call them really remind my father in law of the treats he had back home in Venezuela.  Everything was delicious and enjoyed by all and I even had some of the Eggplant salad to take over to my dad's house for dinner later on. 

We decided to order Middle Eastern for my own father. I didn't have it in me to cook for everyone tonight and I felt bad to ask my step mom to help as her daughter just had her first child last night. A big congratulations to Justine and Aaron on their little baby girl. What a great way to celebrate a first fathers day. 

Getting back to dinner, I did manage to make a chopped salad/ taboule with whole wheat cous cous and wheat berries obviously not a traditional taboule. We decided to order from Me Va Me which was very good, although we all agreed the hummus had an odd creamy look and texture although the taste was pretty damn good. My sissy and I decided to keep it simple hot appetizer combo consisting of Moroccan cigars, falafel and sambusa (triangle crisp pastry filled with roasted spicy veg) hummus, tahina and scoug (hot sauce). Then shawarma, pita and garlic drenched veg along with my Taboule salad. I would definitely order from Me Va Me again! Their shawarma was very good, although my father complained he likes more crunchy dry pieces I say there was a nice balance of dry crunchy pieces and moist chickeny deliciousness. I would skip the garlic drenched veg or trade it in for some rice or potatoes since they were a bit too mushy for my liking. 

Hoping everyone had a happy and hearty fathers day. 

Recipes: Tuna Salad - serves 4
3 cans water packed tuna (I always use Calipo) 
2 heaping table spoons of mayonnaise (I make my own, but you can always use store bought) 
1 celery stalk - brunoise (fine chop into small cubes)
2 mini cucumbers - brunoise (remove seeds) 
1 shallot - brunoise
1/2 red pepper - brunoise
1/2 lemon - juiced
handful chopped parsley or dill (or both)
1 tsp keens mustard powder (optional)
s & p - to your taste
PREP: combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Mayonnaise - always be sure to use fresh eggs with mayonnaise * raw egg warning. 
egg yolk
1 tsp dijon mustard ( I used grainy this time)
3/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar (optional)
s&p - to your taste
PREP: separate one egg discard the white. In a clean glass bowl add mustard to the yolk and start to incorporate the oil (extremely slowly) while whisking mixture vigorously. The first 30 seconds of this process is the most important to properly emulsify the mixture. Incorporate 1/2 of the oil then add lemon juice to loosen up the mixture. Add the remainder of the oil and add the vinegar if desired then add salt and pepper to taste. 

Roasted eggplant salad- serves 6
2 large eggplants - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large can of plum tomatoes
6 garlic cloves - finely sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
pinch oregano 
drizzle olive oil
drizzle of honey (optional) 
splash of white wine vinegar or wine
PREP: Pre heat oven to 350. Place cut up eggplant in bowl and cover in a handful of sea salt (this will draw out the moisture and the bitterness) let them sit for 30 mins then rinse well, and pat dry. Toss eggplant in olive oil and fresh cracked pepper and place on a sheet tray. Scatter the tomatoes, spices and garlic. 
COOK: at 350 for 45-1 hour
SERVE: at room temp 

Taboule Salad: serves 6
large English cucumber  - remove seeds and brunoise
2 red peppers - brunoise
2 celery stalks - brunoise
1/2 spanish onion - brunoise 
3 large radishes - brunoise
3 small cloves of garlic - minced
2 large handfulls parsley - fine chop
2 large tomatoes - hot house (roma are great too because they contain less liquid, but use 4-5 instead of 2) brunoise
1/2 cup wheat berries
1/2 cup whole wheat cous cous
1 lemon juiced 
drizzle of olive oil 
s & p - to your taste
splash of white wine vinegar 
PREP: For wheat berries combine 1/2 cup of w.b. with 1 3/4 cup of water and pinch of salt bring to a boil - then cover and lower heat to a simmer ( about 35-45 mins). For cous cous - place in a glass bowl then boil water and add a small amount (1/3 cup) to the cous cous (cover for 2 mins) fluff the cous cous with a fork and taste to see if it is tender. If there are any grains that have not puffed up and softened add a little more water and do the same. Then add all ingredients together and enjoy!

Sorry no photos tonight. 

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Thanks for your two cents. I love change!