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Win Tickets to Taste Matters at the Liberty Grand

Did you know that every night, more than 2000 Toronto youth are living in the street?
Of those 2000, 79% of them site parental addiction, physical, psychological, sexual and emotional abuse as the reason they left home? 40% of homeless youth experience mental health issues but after 4 years of living on the street, that number grows to 705?

Thankfully, there are places like Eva's Place, Eva's Satellite and Eva's Phoenix who provide Toronto's homeless youth with a safe place, support and opportunity.

Their staff work directly with each and every young person who walks through their doors to come up with individual, personalized plans that will empower them to set and reach goals, both short and long term. It's a fresh start for the most vulnerable among us.

You can make cash donations that supply these young people with personal hygiene supplies, TTC passes, food, safe shelter or a day of education counselling. You can volunteer your time, give to their wish list or help with fundraising. Volunteers provide Eva's with administration and office assistance, graphic design, help with fund raising events both in planning and in the physical set up and hand's on running of the events.

So, I am here to share their annual fundraiser, Taste Matters that brings together Toronto's top culinary talent for a night of food, drink, music, live auctions, silent auctions and door prizes at the beautiful Liberty Grand on November 2, 2017.

Tickets are $125 and that includes all you can eat and drink and all ticket holders also get a copy of the Bite Me More cookbook by the Bite Me Sisters. All proceeds go to safe shelter, food and 24/7 support for homeless youth.

I encourage everyone to get a ticket and attend because not only is this a great cause, but it's a fantastic party but, in the meantime, if you want to try to win a pair of tickets, here is your chance. If you win free tickets, that frees up more money to spend on all of the amazing auction items, right??

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peruvian Shrimp with Aji Verde Sauce

This Peruvian inspired shrimp is currently one of my most requested dishes and by most requested, I mean that people basically command me to make this for dinner when they come over.

The aji sauce is usually served with rotisserie chicken but I like with everything from french fries or roasted potatoes to fish. The herb marinated shrimp cooked in lots of butter puts this rich sauce right over the edge and the drizzle of crema de rocoto complements all that richness with a hit of acidic heat. 

The sauce is totally addictive,  the dish looks way harder to make than it was to make which is always a plus and it's a really great introduction to some fabulous Peruvian ingredients like aji amarillo paste, made from a yellow pepper only found in Peru (medium to slightly hot) and rocoto, another paste made from a hot, red chili pepper grown mainly in the Andes from Chile to Columbia.

Peruvian Shrimp with Aji Verde Sauce

4 servings

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 fresh poblano chilis, roasted, stemmed, seeded and peeled (0r you can use canned poblano chilis)
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

12 U-15 Shrimp
2 tbls butter

Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer to a non reactive bowl, add shrimp, cover and refrigerate overnight. If at all possible, try to make it in the morning and let it marinate all day if you can't do it the night before.

Aji Verde Sauce:
2 fresh jalapenos, including seeds and ribs if you like it spicy, chopped (remove seeds if not)
1 tbls aji amarillo paste
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbls grated cojitas cheese, parmesan or even a dry feta will work
1 medium clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tbls vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp juice from 1 lime
1/2 cup mayonnaise
koshers salt and black pepper to taste

Combine jalapenos, aji amarillo, cilantro, cheese, garlic, oil, vinegar and lime juice in a blender or small food processor. Blend on high speed until a smooth paste forms. Add mayo and blend until smooth and fully incorporated. Transfer to a bowl, taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Crema de Rocoto:
2 tbls white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
2/3 cup vegetable oil  oil
1 small stock of celery, chopped
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1 tbls aji rocoto paste
juice of 2
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until completely pureed


Take your shrimp out of the marinade (don't remove any marinade that clings to the shrimp) and heat up the butter in a hot pan until it starts to froth and add in the shrimp and cook for about 4-5 minutes, turning often, until cooked through.

To plate, put a smear of the Aji Verde Sauce on a plate and place 3 cooked shrimp on top. Drizzle with about a tbls or two of the Crema de Rocoto

Supper Clubs, Drop in Dinners and Cooking Classes OR Why October Owns Me

Wow, October is a crazy month for me and if you live in the Toronto area, I hope you can join me for at least one of these great events!

I have been super busy working for the last month at my catering bootcamp and have barely had time to think and now, this month looks like it's not going to let up. Cooking workshops, a drop in dinner and a Beau's Supper Club at The Kingston Social will keep me busy so I apologize in advance for the lack of new recipes to share with you but I will be back online in November with lots of new recipes to share.

Drop in Dinner @ The Deppaneur

Next Friday, Oct 13 I will be offering my latest drop in dinner at The Dep featuring a trio of very different ceviches - Octopus Aguachile, Asian Citrus Shrimp Ceviche and Vegan Hearts of Palm Ceviche with guacamole on a tostada. If you can't decide, get a flight of all three!

Service starts at 6pm and we go until we sell out.

Grab a bowl of Mexican Street Corn Chowder and my popular Compost Cookie Bars- a delicious short bread base topped with Mexican Chocolate, Tortilla Chips, Chicharron and other sweet/salty surprises
*there sill be a non chicharron version as well

Go Go Gadget @ The Deppaneur

My Instant Pot classes at The Deppaneur have been really popular and I really love sharing my enthusiasm for electric pressure cooking with the world but the Instant Pot is not the only trick up my sleeve.

After lots of demand, I am doing a new cooking class featuring two of my favourite tools- the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker and the Anova Sous Vide immersion circulator. I will demonstrate a couple of easy recipes that really highlight the strength of both machines to get you started. I will also be bringing out a few of my other favourite gadgets but you won't know which ones unless you sign up!

So, after selling out the first class, we have added a second one on Sunday Oct 29

Get tickets here

The Kingston Social Beau's Oktoberfest Supper Club!

*menu may change slightly 
Ending the month with a bang, I will be partnering up with the Kingston Social House and Beau's Beer to host an Oktoberfest Supper Club featuring four of Beau's limited time only, seasonal beers.

Get your tickets here - Space is limited so don't dilly dally!

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