We loved this so much at last year’s VR staff party, we had to try the class again. We all had a grand time cooking up a delicious feast with Chef Alex Hamilton at the Cookbook Company Cooks. And the food was so delicious, we wanted to share a couple of recipes with some of our favourite people!

Flatbread with Roasted Pears, Honey and Gorgonzola

Serves 6 to 8

Flatbread

  • 2 t. instant yeast
  • 2 T. honey*
  • 2 c. warm water or milk
  • 4 c. flour (or part whole wheat and part all-purpose)
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1/2 t. dried herbs (oregano, thyme, basil)
  • 2 T. cold pressed olive oil*
  • Cornmeal, for the baking sheets

Topping

  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. Gorgonzola, or your favourite crumbly blue cheese*
  • 3 ripe but firm pears, thinly sliced
  • 2 t. minced fresh rosemary*
  • 1 T. honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 500°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle with

cornmeal.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the honey and water and stir until dissolved. Add the

yeast and stir until the water is cloudy and the yeast has dissolved.

Add the flour, salt, herbs and oil. Mix together with the dough hook until it is a smooth

ball. Turn it out onto a well-floured counter and knead until smooth and soft. Divide into

4 and shape into flat rounds. Place them onto the prepared baking sheets.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the

onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper,

then cover and cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring from time to time, until the onions

are soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl so the

onions can cool slightly. Add the freshly minced rosemary to the bowl.

Brush the pizza shells with the oil from the cooked onions. Place the caramelized onion

mixture on the pizza shells, followed by the sliced pears. Crumble the Gorgonzola

evenly over top.

Bake in the hot oven until brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven

and drizzle with honey. Cut into slices and serve.

*Available at The Cookbook Co. Cooks

Roasted Cauliflower with Caramelized Dates and Garlicky Aioli

Serves 4

  • Florets from 1 medium cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t. smoked paprika*
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts*
  • 1 T. minced rosemary*
  • 6 to 8 pitted dates, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

 

Rinse and thoroughly dry the cauliflower florets, then spread them on a baking sheet.

Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat lightly, then season with the salt, pepper and paprika

to taste.

Roast in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned, turning the florets

over halfway through.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts

and toss to coat. Cook for a few minutes, until lightly browned (watching carefully to

make sure they don’t burn), then add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until it

has softened.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the rosemary and chopped dates, and cook until

the mixture is well blended and warmed through. Keep warm until the cauliflower is

ready.

Add the roasted cauliflower and toss to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature with a

dollop of the aioli, recipe follows.

 

Note – the cauliflower can be slightly undercooked a day in advance, and then

refrigerated. Before serving, bring it up to room temperature, and reheat in a 350°F oven

for 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

 

Garlicky Aioli

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 3 whole garlic bulbs
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. mayonnaise*
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 T. Dijon mustard*
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish*

 

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

 

Take the whole heads of garlic and cut the tops off to expose the garlic cloves. Place on

a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and

pepper. Wrap up the foil into a tight pouch, and then place in the oven and roast for 35

to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Squeeze the pulp from the skins –

you’ll need about 1/3 cup.

Combine the roasted garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan, Dijon mustard,

cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce and some salt and pepper in a food processor.

Pulse until well combined. Refrigerate to allow the flavors to meld together.

 

*Available at The Cookbook Co. Cooks

Dark Chocolate Molten Cakes with Mexican Spices and Salted Caramel Sauce

Serves 6

 

Cake

  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for ramekins
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar, plus more for ramekins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 t. cinnamon*
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper or ground Mexican chile powder*
  • 1 c. bittersweet chocolate, melted*

 

Sauce

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. cream
  • 1/2 t. grey salt*
  • Maldon salt flakes, for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter 6 ramekins. Dust ramekins with granulated

sugar, and tap out excess. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and

granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour, salt, cinnamon, and chile powder until just

combined. Beat in chocolate until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet

and bake just until the tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken,

about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 minutes.

While the cakes are in the oven, make the sauce. In a pan over medium-high heat, add

the sugar and, with a wooden spoon, stir until the sugar melts and is a light golden

colour. Pour in the cream and stir until it is almost smooth. Remove from heat and add

the salt. Allow to cool and stir from time to time – any lumps of sugar will dissolve in

time, so don’t worry.

Turn out the cakes and place on individual dessert plates, bottom-sides up. Drizzle

salted caramel sauce over top.

Garnish each with 3 or 4 large flakes of Maldon salt and serve.

 

*Available at The Cookbook Co. Cooks