I broke the forbidden rule.
The Summer issue of the latest LCBO Food & Drink magazine is a companion piece for our amped up social lives during this long awaited sunny season. The chill of our long winter is a faded memory. School is out. The cottage is the main event. Parties and festivals are everywhere and we keenly try to catch up with friends.
What I like about this issue is the play on simple, easy summer staples, like hot dogs, that can feed a range of tastes from the very young to the very foodie. One rendition shared in Hot Diggity Dogs by Christopher St. Onge gives the weiner an extra bit of pizazz with truffle mayo and garlicky mushrooms. His mashups with the Korean Chicken Wing Dog and the Balsamic-Braised Short Rib & Burrata Dog have high appeal too. Even more importantly, where did he get those stellar buns??!! Anyone?
'Fast' is the name of the game when preparing food in the summer. Heather Trim teases me with her Chicken Caprese Salad in Quick & Easy 30-Minute Marvels as I impatiently wait for my own urban garden tomato plants to bear fruit.
A favourite feature article is Robert Hercz's Food Origins. This issue he tells us all we need to know about Potato Chips. Did you know that ketchup-flavoured potato chips are a Canadian invention? (A pretty brilliant flavour, I thought, when it hit the stores back in the day.) And the average Canadian eats 2 1/2 kilos a year - the equivalent of 60 single-serving (43-gr) bags. I'm not doing my bit so that means someone out there is having even more. This fact is a real stunner. I remember the Canadian chip enterprise Hostess, which was the chip company in Canada before Lay's (really the PepsciCo empire) bought them out in the 90's. I also remember the short-lived flavour of Roast Chicken.
If you only read one article this time around, the most super fun piece is Nice Ice by Kristen Eppich. Besides the stylish and flavourful cubes, she shares practical tips to set you up for icy success. Use purified water and boil it first to remove the air. This will give your cubes a more professional look plus shiny bling power.
Again, their Summer issue is including Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide 2014 with its very handy Official Map of Ontario's Wine Route. A great planning tool. Put it in your car right away.
Trend spotted by cocktail lover Charlene Rooke is Ottawa's own Harvey & Vern's sodas. She highlighted other Ontario craft sodas and appears to have a thing for ginger beer. Bring on the Dark 'N' Stormy!
As a seafood lover, my 'Gotta Make' list is full of it:
- Lobster In A Saffron Broth with Baby Bok Choy, Tomatoes & Noodles (From Lobster Made Easy by Monda Rosenberg)
- Smoked Salmon Tostadas (From Quick & Easy 30-Minute Marvels by Heather Trim)
- Crab Linguine with Chili and Cilantro ( From Matchmaker - Provincial Brews by Michael Fagan)
- Wok-Steamed Mussels (From Oh, Canada by James Chatto & Lucy Waverman)
- Cameroon Spiced Shrimp with Peanut Sauce (From World Cup BBQ by Marilyn Bentz-Crowley)
Plan ahead: The Autumn issue hits the stores in a little over 8 weeks on Wednesday, September 3rd.