I’ve been having so much fun and yes, it’s work and it’s wonderful. I even have a real styling gig booked and I’m super excited about it…5-6 solid days. It’ll be grueling because we’re shooting around 50 shots in a week! I’ve already practiced some of the dishes to make sure the day goes smoothly. It’s for a line-up of proteins for home meal replacements using 9 fully cooked products in 4-5 applications each. I had to come up with the usage suggestions based on the client’s parameters (I actually had to come up with 10 each – 90 in total and from the 10, they selected 4-5 that I’m making during that week). It was fun but challenging in coming up with the ideas because I didn’t want just ordinary options. They all had to be relatively easy to put together, few ingredients that “Mom” would have easy access to and meals that come together in less than 30 minutes because “Mom” is super busy.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share a couple of photos that although I was assisting, the wonderful stylist allowed me to style entirely on my own. They were published this past spring by Viva Magazine Online.
This is a pdf of the Foodfeature_viva_spring2014, we did all the food in this issue. I cooked most of it and the food stylist plated it, the only one I had next to nothing to do with was the duck confit. The photographer is Arash Moallemi, please click here to see his work.
I don’t often get the pleasure of watching specialty cable channels like Food Network Canada because we cancelled our cable service 2 years ago and now use a digital antenna. I could go on line to watch, but many of these channels now put advertising into the shows and you are unable to fast forward like the old VCRs and I no longer have the patience to watch it through. About 2 weeks ago, I was at someone’s house with cable TV and we watched Laura Calder’s French Food at Home. She made a few recipes that I would consider ‘keepers’ but this one really stood out for me so I made it at the cottage as a light lunch and rest assured I will be making this beautiful dish again and again. Next time, it’ll be an appetizer for a dinner party. I hope you enjoy it, it infuses the house with a gorgeous fragrance as it bakes and because it bakes on such a low setting, it won’t warm up your house in the middle of the summer. I hope you enjoy it too. Please click here for the original recipe because I made some alterations.
Baked Onions with Dijon Tarragon Vinaigrette
Makes 4 whole onions, serves 4.
4 ordinary cooking onions
1/4 cup EVOO
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil from roasting the onions
1 tsp finely chopped tarragon
- Good grind each of pepper and sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 F.
- Add 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a small Dutch oven.
- Remove only the exterior skin of each onion and cut the stem side flat. You want some skin left on the onion for presentation. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Nestle the onions into the olive oil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 425 F.
- Lower the oven temperature to 250F and cover the dutch oven with a lid or foil. Continue to bake for 2-3 hours or until the onion is extremely soft.
- Combine the white wine vinegar, mayo, Dijon mustard and olive oil and whisk well. Stir in the chopped tarragon and a good grinding of salt and pepper.
- Spoon a little bit of the baked olive oil in the centre of a plate. Put each onion on top of the baked olive oil.
- Cut the onion skins in about 4 places and peel back to reveal the creamy goodness. Drizzle the tarragon dressing over each serving.
- Serve warm with Crostini or just as is and wait for the accolades!
- Laura cautioned against using olive oil because she didn’t want the flavour to over power the delicate sweetness of the onion, I did not find that it did.
- Laura placed her onions on little piles of sea salt, I didn’t have any so I did not employ that method.
- Laura used a raw egg in her dressing, I used a tablespoon of mayo instead.
- The baked olive oil is packed with flavour so save the left overs to make a very yummy salad dressing.
- An additional serving suggestion is to serve it with a Gruyère crisp but I didn’t have Gruyère at the lake.