Dirty Food Eatery

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Dirty Food Eatery is a name worth explaining. While the connotation around the word “dirty” could conjure up visions of pestilence and filth when paired with “food” it invokes simple, down home, taste first dishes that prefer pretty delicious over pretty looking.

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After a year of getting their feet wet catering weddings and corporate events Leslie Wilks and Jonathan Iskiw have brought their little eatery to the storefront; opening a new brunch and breakfast hot spot in the junction. Bright and simple lines in their decor help relax a bustling crowd enjoying salads, sandwiches and egg-centric offerings.

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Everything that can be made in house is; from the cured meats, pickled vegetables and pillowy pierogis. Typical brunch fare dominates the menu but small touches from Chef Iskiw’s fine dining background brings each dish to a higher level.

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Double brined friend chicken is juicy yet enveloped in a crisp, deep fried batter and highlighted with a jalapeno syrup. Vinegary collards greens on the Egg’s Jenny (named after Wilks’ sister) cuts through the hollandaise like butter.

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With the areas’ neighbourhoods rebuilding and regentrifying a simple yet flavour forward brunch spot is a welcoming site. Both Wilks and Iskiw believe “dirty” is both a good and delicious idea while being uncomplicated and hope their restaurant continues to express those important basics.

Dirty Food Eatery
3070 Dundas Street West
416-855-3393

Double Chocolate Muffins with Banana Cream

Double Chocolate Muffin with Banana Cream

I decided to make February muffin month.  For no other reason except for another excuse to turn on the oven and heat up the house.  Between stormageddon and poler vortexs I am so tired of this winter. I’m not a fan on the best of days but this one seems to be going on, and on, and on.  Maybe it’s because I’m working full time at my day job and have to go out in it every day. It could be because this is our second winter in a house where shoveling is a necessity.  Whatever the reason I just want it to end and now. Bring on Spring!

Double Chocolate Muffin with Banana Cream

Anyone feel the same way?

Hopefully these and the next three weeks of muffins will help.

Yields 12

Double Chocolate Muffins with Banana Cream
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Ingredients

  • Banana Cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 medium banana, chopped
  • Double Chocolate Muffin
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips.

Instructions

  1. To Make the Banana Cream
  2. In a large saucepan over medium high heat stir together the sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Whisk in the milk. Bring the liquid up to a low boil. In a separate bowl with the beaten eggs pour 1/4 cup of the hot liquid into the eggs while whisking constantly and rapidly.
  4. Immediately pour the eggs into the saucepan with remaining milk mixture all whisk constantly and rapidly.
  5. Add the vanilla and continue cooking until the mixture is thick and coats a spoon. Stir in the banana, mashing along the side of the pan.
  6. Place mixture in fridge to cool.
  7. To Make the Muffins.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place liners in muffin tin.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla.
  10. Next add the cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  11. Pour batter into the muffin liners and fill about 3/4 full.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  13. Immediately after removing from oven make a small hole in the center of each muffin going almost all the way to the bottom.
  14. Let the muffins completely cool.
  15. Using a piping bag fill each hole with the banana cream. (You will have lots left over to eat as pudding)
Recipe Type: Breakfast
7.6.8
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Hazelnut Banana Baked French Toast with Blueberries

I love baked breakfasts.  Ones that you can prepare the night before and toss it in the oven the next morning.  And the recipe is usually a big dish of it.  Lot’s of leftovers to take to work for a satisfy morning coffee break.  This recipe combines some of my favorite flavours; blueberries, banana and hazelnut.

Yields 4

Hazelnut Banana Baked French Toast with Blueberries
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Ingredients

  • 6 slice whole wheat bread
  • Hazelnut spread
  • 1-2 bananas sliced
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Coat a 9" round or oval casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of hazelnut spread.
  3. Top three of the slices of bread with bananas. Fill in holes and corners with individual blueberries.
  4. Top with remaining three slices of bread.
  5. Cut bread diagonally both ways to create 4 triangles.
  6. Arrange the triangles, slightly overlapping each other in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
  7. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, milk, honey and vanilla.
  8. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread and let it rest, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. When ready to cook oven to 350 degrees F. Bake covered for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove cover and continue baking 20-25 minutes or until egg has completely set and top has browned.
  11. Serve with more fresh blueberries and your favorite syrup.
Recipe Type: Breakfast
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Coat a 9″ round or oval casserole dish with cooking spray.
Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of hazelnut spread.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener
Top three of the slices of bread with bananas. Fill in holes and corners with individual blueberries.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener
Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty GardenerTop with remaining three slices of bread.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener

Cut bread diagonally both ways to create 4 triangles.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener

Arrange the triangles, slightly overlapping each other in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener

In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, milk, honey and vanilla.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread and let it rest, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to cook oven to 350 degrees F. Bake covered for 30 minutes.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener

Remove cover and continue baking 20-25 minutes or until egg has completely set and top has browned.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast from The Tasty Gardener

Serve with more fresh blueberries and your favorite syrup.

Hazelnut Banana French Toast

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Sometimes you want a hearty breakfast that you can eat on the go or throw in your bag to take to school or work.  Usually the most portable of breakfast ideas are carb and sugar loaded.  Not these tasty breakfast egg muffins.  You decide what meat, cheese and vegetables you want to put it in making the combination possibilities endless.  And since you make a bunch in advance you have ready to go breakfast options all weekend.  Get the kids involved as well by letting them choose their own ingredients.

Here is my grown up version with pancetta and Oka cheese.

Yields 8-9

Breakfast Egg Muffins
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Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1.4 cup cubed Oka cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. You will only use 8 or 9 of the muffin cups.
  2. In a fry pan saute the pancetta until browned. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl bet together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the pancetta, onions, and cheese.
  5. Pour the mixture evenly in 8-9 muffin holes in prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until puffed and browned and completely cooked through.
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. You will only use 8 or 9 of the muffin cups.
In a fry pan saute the pancetta until browned. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl bet together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

Egg muffins with pancetta, oka cheese and green onion

Stir in the pancetta, onions, and cheese.

Egg muffins with pancetta, oka cheese and green onion

Pour the mixture evenly in 8-9 muffin holes in prepared pans.

Egg muffins with pancetta, oka cheese and green onion

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until puffed and browned and completely cooked through.

Egg muffins with pancetta, oka cheese and green onion

Egg muffins with pancetta, oka cheese and green onion

Egg muffins with pancetta, oka cheese and green onion

Cereal Bars

I’ve discovered there are not a lot of people like me around.  When I tell them how I am they look at me funny and always have me repeat myself.  When I meet someone who is the same as I am we rejoice over our new found commonality and commiserate about those who don’t understand us.

We are DRY CEREAL EATERS.  (dun dun dun)

Dorset Cereal from The Tasty Gardener

In all seriousness I really don’t like milk on my cereal. Or yogurt.  I’ll have my yogurt on the side but it never reaches the bowl that contains my cereal.  Which is why I like cereal with STUFF.  Good tasty stuff like dried fruits and nuts.  Full of stuff that makes my cereal look more like an awesome snack than a breakfast meal.

I recently had the opportunity to review the entire line of breakfast muesli and granola from Dorset Cereals.  When the package came I pulled out boxes of cereal with ingredients like the Simply Nutty with multi grain flakes, dates, sunflower seeds, whole (yes WHOLE) almonds, Brazil nuts and oak flakes or Super High Fiber Muesli with toasted cereal, dates, coconut, flame raisins, sunflowers seeded and roasted hazelnuts.  Now this is what I’m talking about.  Cereal with whole grain goodness and substance.  And the people at Dorset make sure all the best of the good stuff get in each box.

Dorset cereal from The Tasty Gardener

By now we can all agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  What you eat when you start the day sets the tone for the whole day.  A healthy, nutritious breakfast can give you more energy, you concentrate better and it improves your memory.  Having breakfast every single day also helps in long term gains like lower cholestrol and weight control.

Dorset Cereals are a perfect start in the morning.  They are nutritious, filling and delicious.

Of course as any responsible blogger I did let another person try out the cereal.  A MILK CEREAL EATER.  I did want to know how the cereal held up to be covered in dairy goodness as well and wasn’t surprised to learn that the cereal was equally as good in milk.

Did I mention I got to try all seven varieties?  For a household of 2 that is a lot of cereal.  So I did what any good foodie would do and created a recipe out of it.  In this case I made homemade cereal bars which would be great to have on hand as a healthy snack when you are on the go.  So I made cereal bars in each of the 7 varieties.  Who know it was so easy?   And shared them with friends.  And made new friends as well.  They were a huge success.

This recipe made approximately 27 square 2″ x 2″  and work out to be anywhere from 80-120 calories depending on the cereal you use.  Enjoy!

Yields 27

Homemade Cereal Bars
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups muesli or granola
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment or greased foil and set aside.
  2. Place cereal in larger bowl.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat bring the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla to a boil and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and let the bubbles settle for 1 minute.
  5. Pour the liquid into your cereal and stir together well.
  6. Spread the cereal onto prepared pan and flatten with a spatula.
  7. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour to set before cutting into squares.
  8. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for several months.
Recipe Type: Breakfast
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Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment or greased foil and set aside.
Place cereal in larger bowl.

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat bring the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla to a boil and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

Remove from heat and let the bubbles settle for 1 minute.

Pour the liquid into your cereal and stir together well.

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

Spread the cereal onto prepared pan and flatten with a spatula.

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

Place in refrigerator for at least an hour to set before cutting into squares.

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for several months.

Cereal Bars from the Tasty Gardener

 

Seriously these were so simple to make, quick and so very tasty you should never need to eat a store bought bar again.

DISCLOSURE:  Dorset cereal was generous in supplying me with all the above cereal to try.  The opinions in this post are solely mine. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Skillet Breakfast

One of the things I crave most when I have been out late the night before and may have imbibed just a wee bit too much is a greasy breakfast.  Maybe not a healthy choice but definitely one that gets me moving again.  This recipe is one that is more off the cuff then structured.  All ingredients are usually what I have on hand as opposed to planned.  Feel free to add, subtract or alter to suit your needs. Oddly enough I seemed to be out of eggs the day I cooked this up (must be all the baking lately) or I would have scrambled a few in it as well.

This breakfast all started because I had leftover ham from the night before.

In a skillet over medium high heat melt a generous spoonful of butter.  Each person’s generously can be different. I feel I was moderately generous here.

I didn’t have left over potatoes but 5 mins in the microwave later I had these cooked and ready to go in the pan.  Cube them to a reasonable bite size. Again everyone’s bite is…….

Oh and I added half a sliced onion.  How can you not add onion to melted butter in a pan.  It’s like they call out to each other.

Add the leftover ham that you obviously cubed and more than likely nibbled on a piece or twelve. Cook everything together until browned.  Which considering most of the ingredients are already cooked so only take five minutes or so.

Finally the piece de resistance.  Cheese!!! Oh glorious cheese.  Any cheese will work.  If you only have cheese slices throw them on.  Borrow from the neighbor down the street.  What ever you do don’t leave out the cheese.

Oh I used a taco cheese blend here. Very gourmet.  Let it melt, sprinkle with a generous (yes that again) amount of black pepper and a pinch of salt and voila. Best greasy breakfast ever! And you did it all in your pajamas.

Oh serves about 2 or one very hungover 1.

Chai Oatmeal with Roasted Brown Sugared Bananas

As part of a thank you to booking a ticket to the inaugural Food Bloggers of Canada Conference  members were informed they would be receiving some free gifts from one of the sponsors Nordic Ware. Imagine my surprise when my package came and was opened up to reveal absolutely gorgeous kitchenware.  Included in my box was a 3 qt dutch oven and braising pan all from their Pro Cast Traditions Aluminium line and a chicken leg and jalapeno griller (my father-in-law will being trying to get his hands on this one).  Look at the stunning color they come in. Definitely a great addition to my kitchen.

 

Of course as a typical foodie any time new gear enters my kitchen I have to try it out.  And the dutch oven arrived in perfect time since I have had oatmeal on the brain.  Funny how the weather is improving yet I’m hunkering for hearty winter comfort food.  Boiling the milk and spices on the stove in the dutch oven made it super easy to stir in the oatmeal, pop on the lid and throw everything into the oven to finish baking.  The non stick coating also made cleaning everything a breeze.  This pot will be a regular in my kitchen.

Usually when I have a bowl of oatmeal I will give it a bit of a sweet topping like honey or brown sugar.  For this recipe I decided to try something a bit different.  Put the time into making this recipe and you will be rewarded with a great family breakfast for four or multiple days of individual servings to take to work.

Yields 4

Oatmeal with Roasted Brown Sugared Bananas
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Ingredients

  • 3 large bananas, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup oats

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl toss the banana slices with olive oil and toss with brown sugar.
  3. Spread the bananas in a single layer over the parchment paper and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until caramelized.
  4. Meanwhile on the stove combine the milk and water in the dutch oven over medium high heat.
  5. Add the spices and bring to a boil, stirring frequently so as to not scorch the milk.
  6. Once the milk as come to a boil stir in the oatmeal.
  7. Place the lid on the dutch oven and bake along side the bananas for 20-30 mins or until oatmeal is to your preferred consistency.
  8. Serve topped with roasted bananas.
Recipe Type: Breakfast
7.6.8
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Don’t short change this recipe by using chai tea or store chai spice blends. It is really easy to make your own using the five main spices; cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl toss the banana slices with olive oil and toss with brown sugar.

Spread the bananas in a single layer over the parchment paper and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until caramelized. Don’t worry about those little drips, they will also caramelize into yummy goodness.

Try really, really hard not to eat all of these before they even make it onto your oatmeal.

Meanwhile on the stove combine the milk and water in the dutch oven over medium high heat.

Add the spices and bring to a boil, stirring frequently so as to not scorch the milk.  Don’t those spices look amazing, all mosaic like.

Once the milk as come to a boil stir in the oatmeal.

Place the lid on the dutch oven and bake along side the bananas for 20-30 mins or until oatmeal is to your preferred consistency. I prefer my oatmeal sticky so I left it in for about 25 minutes.  If you like runny cook it only 20 minutes or if your like a baked style keep it in the whole 30 minutes.

Serve topped with roasted bananas and drizzle with some honey if you need a bit more sweetness. Seriously! Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a bowl of this.

Cinnamon French Toast

Serves 1

Cinnamon French Toast
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Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 8 slices bread, cut in half

Instructions

  1. In a wide bowl, whisk egg and egg white until foamy. Whisk in milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Heat butter in heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Dip 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat thoroughly. Let excess drip back into bowl.
  3. Place coated bread slices in hot skillet. Cook, turning, until both sides are nicely browned, about 2 minutes each side.
  4. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining bread and egg mixture. Serve with maple syrup.
Recipe Type: Breakfast
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Start by getting your eggs into a medium, wide bowl.

Whisk them frantically until they are frothy.

Add the milk and continue to whisk.

Add the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg  and give the mixture one final whisking.

Heat the butter in you pan over medium low heat.

Slice your bread in half.

Place the bread slice into the egg mixture.

Flip it over to coat the other side.

Remove the bread from the egg and let any excess drip off.  Place the bread in the hot pan.

Repeat with more bread slices.

Once the bread in browned on the pan side (about 2 minutes) flip it over and cook the over side.

Once both sides are brown remove from the pan and place in oven to keep warm while working on remaining slices. Enjoy smothered in your favorite syrup.

 

Quiche

Serves 1/6

Quiche
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup baking mix
  • 2 cups milk

Instructions

  1. Generously grease 9 or 10-inch (23 to 25 cm) quiche pan or deep-dish pie plate.
  2. In medium bowl, combine bacon, cheese, and onion; spread in prepared pan.
  3. Place eggs in bowl and beat well. Add salt seasonings, baking mix and milk and mix well. Pour over bacon mixture.
  4. Bake at 350° F for 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted near centre comes out clean. Let set 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Type: Breakfast

Notes

***A biscuit mix like Bisquick is great for making quick doughs. It is usually a mixture of the standard dry ingredients needed and all you have to do is add the liquids. It's something that every cupboard so have in case you are in a pinch.

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Pancakes

Serves 1/4

Pancakes

Prepackaged mixes make cooking a batch of pancakes for the family quick and easy. But with a couple extra minutes you can whip up a batch from scratch. Give it a try!

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2- 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. In bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. In separate bowl add eggs and 1 1/2 cups milk. Whisk together.
  3. Add liquids to dry ingredients. Stir until smooth.
  4. Melt butter. Blend into batter. If batter is too thick add more milk.
  5. Heat up greased skillet. Drop 1/4 cup of batter on hot pan. Cook until bubbling and edges slightly dry. Flip and cook other side.
  6. Place on plate and keep warm while making the rest of the pancakes. Serve with butter, syrup and anything else you enjoy on your pancakes.
Recipe Type: Breakfast
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