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Recipes for Company

Bruschetta Mexicali

Give classic Italian bruschetta a Mexican accent with this quick and easy summer appetizer. Featuring two of Ontario's favourite vegetables - Field Tomatoes and Sweet Corn - it's just as colourful as it is delicious. Any coarse-textured bread is a good candidate for the barbecue. It grills quickly, so watch carefully. For a spicier version of the bruschetta, season the vegetables with hot pepper sauce to taste.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Standing Time: 15 minutes
Makes about 32 appetizers
2 medium cobs Ontario Sweet Corn, husked
2 tbsp (25 mL)
1 large clove Ontario Garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1 large Ontario Field Tomato, chopped
2 to 3 tbsp (25 to 50 mL) chopped fresh coriander
2 tsp (10 mL) lime juice
Salt and pepper
32 slices (1/2-inch/1 cm thick)
coarse-textured bread
Garlic-flavoured olive oil

With sharp knife, cut corn kernels from cobs to make 1 cup (250 mL); set aside. In large frying pan, melt butter; cook corn, garlic and chili powder, stirring over high heat until corn is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in tomato, coriander and lime juice; add salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 15 minutes to blend flavours. Just before serving, brush both sides of each bread slice with oil. Grill over high heat, 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm) from heat, about 1 minute per side. Top each with about 1 tbsp (15 mL) corn mixture.

Nutritional Information:
1 Serving:
Protein: 3 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 18.5 grams

Portobello Delights with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6

1 cup Renée's Gourmet Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing & Dip
6 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and cored (minimum 3-inch diameter)
3 large baking potatoes, cleaned and peeled
1 tsp Salt & pepper
1 tbsp Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place
mushrooms, cap-side down, on baking dish and put in oven for 5-8 minutes or until tender.
Cut potatoes into chunks and boil. Drain potatoes and add Renée's Gourmet Dressing, salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth.
Fill each mushroom cap with mashed potato mixture. Brush with olive oil and broil until tip is golden brown. Top with dressing and serve.
Quick Tip: Also tastes great with Renée's Gourmet Greek Feta, Mighty Caesar or Ranch Dressing.

Warm Mushroom and Spinach Salad
Serves 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 lb Ontario Mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup raspberry vinaigrette salad
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
8 cups torn spinach leaves
1 cup raspberries
½ cup toasted pecan halves
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add raspberry dressing and vinegar; boil for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Salad: Place spinach, raspberries and pecans in salad bowl or arrange on individual salad plates. Toss with warm dressing or spoon over salad. Sprinkle blue cheese on top. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per 1 serving:
PROTEIN: 10 grams
FAT: 17 grams

Broccoli and bacon are substituted for green beans and tuna in this delicious and colourful traditional French salad.

Broccoli Niçoise Salad
Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
4 cups Ontario Broccoli florets

3 medium Ontario Potatoes, cooked and diced
Lettuce leaves or mixed greens
2 Ontario Tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 hard-cooked eggs, cut into wedges
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped ¼ cup black olives

¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp each Dijon mustard and dried basil
¼ tsp each salt and black pepper

In saucepan of boiling water, cook broccoli until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water; drain well and place in bowl. Dice potatoes and combine with broccoli. Dressing: In small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, basil, salt and pepper; drizzle small amount over broccoli and potato mixture; gently toss to coat. Arrange lettuce on individual plates or serving platter. Arrange broccoli mixture, tomatoes, eggs, bacon and olives on lettuce; drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve at room temperature.

Nutritional Information per 1 Serving (when recipe serves 6):
PROTEIN: 7 grams
FAT: 13 grams

Poached shrimp, smooth avocado, radishes, feta cheese and red onion combine to create a deliciously exquisite dish.

Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Greek Mediterranean Vinaigrette
Serves 2
Prep Time: 20 minutes

½ cup Renée's Gourmet
Mediterranean Greek Vinaigrette
1 cup shrimp (26-29 count),
peeled and deveined
1 whole avocado, diced
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled 3 whole radishes, sliced thinly ½ cup red onion, sliced
1 head Boston Bibb lettuce
½ cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
Gently submerge shrimp into simmer-
ing water and let poach for no more than 3-5 minutes.
Once shrimp has cooked completely, toss it with Vinaigrette.
Arrange Boston Bib leaves around center of serving plate. Gently place tomatoes, avocado and red onions on top. Drizzle with dressing.
Place shrimp in center on top of greens and finish with crumbled feta and radish slices. Serve.

Quick Tip: To ensure shrimp is cooked all the way through, simply slice it in half to reveal an opaque and tender centre.

Asparagus Platter
Serves 2

1 cup Renée's Gourmet Creole Dijon Sauce
2 bunches fresh asparagus spears
Snap the bottom ends off each asparagus spear.
Peel the bottom of each spear up to about 1 1/2 inches.
Steam asparagus for 5 - 7 minutes.
Arrange on a large platter with Renée's Gourmet Creole Dijon Sauce in a separate bowl.

The sweet-and-sour mélange of strawberries and balsamic vinegar, makes a delicious companion to the peppery steak.

Peppered Beef with Balsamic Strawberry Salsa
Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Grilling Time: 8 minutes

1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp whole peppercorns, cracked ½ tsp salt
1 clove garlic
1½ cups grilling steak (such as top sirloin), about 1-inch thick
Salsa: 1½ cups
chopped Ontario Strawberries 3 tbsp chopped red onion
2 tbsp chopped Ontario Green-
house Sweet Yellow Pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp granulated sugar
Salt and pepper
In small bowl, combine mustard, cracked peppercorns, salt and garlic; rub in even coating on both sides of meat. Grill steak over high heat or broil for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until desired doneness.

Salsa: In bowl, combine strawberries, onion, yellow pepper, parsley, vinegar, oil, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Slice steak thinly across the grain and serve with relish.

Quick Tip: This salsa is also delicious on chicken and pork.
Nutritional Information per 1 serving:
PROTEIN: 38 grams
FAT: 10 grams

All-Ontario Frittata
(Potato and Ham Frittata)

A frittata is an omelette of Italian origin. It's a quick, easy supper or brunch dish and a traditional way to use up cooked vegetables, pasta or meat. Serve with sliced ripe Ontario Greenhouse Tomatoes and crusty bread.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 Ontario Onion, chopped
1 clove Ontario Garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) cooked diced Ontario Potatoes
(about 3 medium, 1 lb/500 g)
6 eggs
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) diced cooked ham, chicken or turkey
1 cup (250 mL) shredded old Cheddar cheese
1 small Ontario Greenhouse Tomato, diced
Garnish: Parsley

In large nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until lightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes; cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

In small bowl, beat eggs with salt and pepper; stir in ham and three-quarters of the cheese. Add to skillet; reduce heat to medium and cook until bottom is brown and crusty, about 5 minutes, occasionally lifting edges so uncooked eggs can flow underneath. (If skillet handle is not ovenproof, wrap in foil.)

Sprinkle half of remaining cheese over frittata; top with tomatoes and remainder of cheese. Broil until eggs are set and cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve. Garnish with parsley.

Tip: If you don't have cooked potatoes, scrub raw potatoes, pierce well and microwave at High until almost cooked, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool slightly, then dice (leave skin on for added fibre).

Nutritional Information:
1 Serving:
Protein: 22 grams
Fat: 22.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 22.5 grams


Apple, Walnut and White Chocolate Cookies

White chocolate adds a decadent touch to these simple cookies, which are great for at-home treats or hostess gifts.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 15 minutes
Makes about 40 cookies
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1 egg
1-3/4 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each nutmeg and baking soda
Pinch salt
1 Ontario Apple, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped toasted walnuts
4 oz (125 g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped

In large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and egg until blended. Combine
flour, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Stir in chopped apple, walnuts and chocolate. Drop by small spoonfuls,
about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in 375 F
(190 C) oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on racks.

Nutritional Information:
1 Serving:
Protein: 1 grams
Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 12 grams

The addition of Crispin, Spartan or Empire apples gives this classic dessert a new flavour.
A little patience in preparing the custard will reward you with this elegant finale.

Apple Crème Brûlée
Serves 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

4 cups peeled, cored and chopped firm
Ontario Apples (about 4 medium)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp finely grated lemon rind Pinch ground nutmeg
4 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups whipping cream (35%) 1 tbsp vanilla
¼ cup packed brown sugar, sifted

In medium heavy-bottom saucepan, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind and nutmeg; cook over medium heat until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Spread in six 6 oz/175 mL heatproof ramekins or in medium casserole dish; chill.

Custard: Meanwhile in medium bowl, beat yolks with sugar. Heat cream in apple saucepan until just before boiling, scraping down any apple mixture clinging to sides. Whisking constantly, pour gradually into yolk mixture. Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Do not let boil (set saucepan immediately in large bowl of cold water to prevent overcooking and curdling). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Strain evenly onto chilled apple mixture and let cool (preferably overnight). At least 1 hour before serving and up to 1 day ahead, sprinkle custards with brown sugar. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until sugar melts and colours. Chill until ready to serve.

Quick Tip: Use a propane torch in the final step instead of the broiler. Wave it about 6 inches above the sugar to melt.

Nutritional Information per 1 serving:
PROTEIN: 4 grams
FAT: 33 grams


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