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Delicious dishes on a silver platter

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Sweet Potato Pear Soup

Cookbook author Daniella Silver is flying solo.

For her first two cookbooks, The Silver Platter and The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance, Silver collaborated with food maven Norene Gilletz, author of 13 cookbooks and a longtime CJN columnist. But for Silver’s latest book, Variations, which launches this month, she’s going it alone.

Copies of Variations will be available at a celebratory launch at the Warehouse, an event venue at 35 Carl Hall Rd. in Toronto, at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 18.

“I’m so proud of Daniella’s determination, focus and creativity,” Gilletz said. “Her artistic, colourful approach to developing eye-appealing recipes is inspiring.”

Silver, 36, is the mother of four children: three girls and one boy. “I started creating recipes when I found out two of my children had severe allergies. I was a young mom having to figure out new and creative ideas to prepare foods. I ended up writing many recipes, which then turned into a cookbook,” she said.

“I asked Norene Gilletz to help me get started. She was so kind to me and we built a friendship that will last a lifetime. After a few months of her mentoring me, we decided to collaborate. The cookbooks are my original recipes and her tips and variations. It became a two-dimensional cookbook – unique and special.”

Sweet Potato Pear Soup

Sweet Potato Pear Soup
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) light olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 Asian or Bosc pears, peeled and chopped
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) sweet paprika
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 1.25-1.5 l (5-6 cups) water or vegetable broth

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Add sweet potatoes, pears, paprika, thyme and water. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, for 40-45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Using an immersion blender, process soup until smooth. If soup is too thick, add a little water. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Variation: Prepare soup as directed. Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). Coat a cooking rack or pizza tray with non-stick cooking spray. Slice 2 additional pears very thinly (do not peel). Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon on both sides. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Garnish the soup with baked pears or sprinkle with thyme leaves. Makes 8-10 servings.

Cranberry Blueberry Crumble

Filling

  • 500 ml (2 cups) cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 l (4 cups) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) flour

Topping

  • 250 ml (1 cup) flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) rolled oats
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Coat 8 ramekins or a 25-cm (10-inch) deep pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and place them onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine cranberries, blueberries, sugar, cinnamon and flour. Mix well.

To make the topping: In a second bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix them together to form crumbs.

Divide the filling among the prepared ramekins or spoon it all into the prepared pie plate. Sprinkle them evenly with the topping mixture.

Bake the ramekins for 35-40 minutes, or the large crumble for 45-55 minutes, until the topping is golden and the juices are bubbly.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

Sesame-Crusted London Broil

Sesame-Crusted London Broil
  • 1 kg (2 lb) London broil (cut may also be labelled top round steak)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 75 ml (1/3 cup) soy sauce or tamari
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) honey
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) toasted white sesame seeds

Sprinkle London broil lightly on both sides with salt and pepper and place in a resealable plastic bag. Add soy sauce, honey and oil. Seal bag tightly. Massage meat on both sides with marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.

Coat a grill pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high.

Remove London broil from marinade and discard marinade. Grill meat for 7-8 minutes per side, or until meat reaches desired doneness. (For medium, cook to an internal temperature of 65 C).

Place meat onto a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain on the diagonal into thin slices. Place onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Makes 6 servings.

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