Mary’s Big Kitchen Party
Mary’s Big Kitchen Party
Producer: Isabelle Sullivan
MasterChef Canada season 3 winner Mary Berg has found great success since her appearance on that series. She is a regular presence on CTV daytime series The Marilyn Denis Show, Your Morning and The Social as well as a contributor to Gusto’s digital content. Recently, she signed a two-cookbook deal with Appetite by Random House of Canada. Her first book, due Spring/Summer 2019, will be inspired by “good old fashioned kitchen parties.” This is perfect motivation for a series where Mary experiments with recipes, unique ingredients and ideas that bring people together in the kitchen.
Episode 1: Halloween
Liam Lewis (15 year old Canadian culinary sensation featured in Maclean’s Magazine), Mary’s BFF Alysha McGregor.
Surprise guest: Masterchef Canada judge Claudio Aprile
Menu: blackberry burning sage mojito, togarashi / nori / fish roe devilled eggs, blackened chicken wings, orange & black cheese and charcuterie board
Episode 2: Southern
Special guests: Jason Skrobar (food stylist and frequent Marilyn expert), Mary’s husband Aaron Mariash.
Surprise guest: Traci Melchor
Menu: bourbon sour with a Canadian twist, quick pickled slaw, Andouille bites with arugula jalapeno pesto, mini catfish and shrimp po’ boys, peach & pecan cake with bourbon caramel
Episode 3: Hawaiian
Special guests: Dating expert Laura Bilotta, others TBD
Surprise guest: Chloe Wilde
Menu: Tiki punch, poke crisps, musubi, coconut cream pie
Episode 4: Seafood
Special guests: Tyrone Edwards (MMVA host, E! / iHeartRadio / MUCH personality), Matt Dean Petit (Bestselling author of The Great Lobster Cookbook)
Surprise guest: Danielle Graham
Menu: paloma cocktail, ceviche, seared scallops with pancetta and green pea puree, fish tacos with avocado crema, churros with homemade ice cream
Episode 5: NYC
Special guests: Mary’s friend Veronica Cham, Your Morning’s Lindsey Deluce
Surprise guest: Christine Cushing
Menu: oysters Rockefeller, a spin on Waldorf salad, Manhattan cocktail, New York cheesecake
Episode 6: Italian
Special guests: The Bite Me Sisters Julie & Lisa
Surprise guest: Debbie Travis
Menu: aperol spritz, stone fruit and sage bruschetta, homemade ricotta cheese, aperitivo platter, roasted caprese salad, tiramisu
Episode 7: Christmas Treats
Special guests: The Social’s Jess Allen, Foodism Toronto Owner/Publisher Krista Faist, InnerSpace host Teddy Wilson
Surprise guest: Matt Dusk
Menu: candy cane chocolate doughnuts, cranberry white chocolate hand pies, sweet potato latkes with sour cream and ginger pear jam, pesto palmiers, homemade hot chocolate mix
Candy Cane Chocolate Doughnuts
Makes 12 (doughnuts and holes)
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using) and make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour this wet mixture into the well and mix just until a soft dough forms. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and heat about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a large, deep pot over medium heat until a thermometer registers at 350F. On a generously floured work surface, roll out your chilled dough to a ½ inch thickness and, using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Using a 1-inch round cutter, remove the very centre of each circle, giving you doughnuts and doughnut holes!
Feel free to bring the remaining dough together to reroll and cut out more doughnuts but only do this once as rerolling the dough a third time might make the doughnuts a bit tough.
Before frying, prepare a draining station for your doughnuts by lining a cookie sheet with paper towel and a cooling rack.
Now, it’s time to fry! Gently lower four or five doughnuts into the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes, flip, then cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the cooked doughnuts to the rack-lined cookie sheet and continue to fry until all of your doughnuts and doughnut holes are done.
When cooled, dunk each doughnut and doughnut hole in chocolate glaze, decorate with crushed candy canes, and leave to set for at least 30 minutes.
½ cup chocolate chips (semi sweet, milk, or white)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup icing sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons hot water, if needed
Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water and set over medium low heat to simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan and add the chocolate chips, unsalted butter, corn syrup, and milk. Stir occasionally while this all gently melts together.
Remove the bowl from the heat and add in the icing sugar. Stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick or “batter-like” in consistency, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of the hot water from the saucepan and whisk until smooth.
Cranberry White Chocolate Hand Pies
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
2 tbsp cold milk
egg wash (1 egg + 2 tsp milk or water)
1 cup prepared cranberry sauce
½ cup white chocolate chips
For the pastry, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and quickly cut in the cold butter pats. This should only take about 5-8 pulses.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together and pour over the flour and butter mixture. Pulse just until a rough dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press into a flat disk, wrapping well. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
When ready to make the hand pies, preheat your oven to 400F.
Take the pastry from the fridge and roll out to ¼” thickness. Using a 4” round cookie cutter, cut 16 equal portions out of the dough. Cut a small ‘X’ into 8 of the rounds and set aside. Lay the remaining 8 rounds out on a parchment lined baking sheet and top each with 1-2 tablespoons of the cranberry sauce, being careful to leave a ¼ - ½” boarder around the edge. Brush this boarder with egg wash, top each with an ‘X’d piece of pastry, and seal the edges with a fork.
Pop the hand pies into your freezer for 5-10 minutes just to rechill the butter. This helps make your pastry extra flakey and delicious!
Once firmed up, brush a bit of egg wash over the top of each hand pie and bake in your preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over the hand pies. Allow the chocolate to harden and enjoy!
Sweet Potato Latkes with Sour Cream and Ginger Pear Jam
Makes 24 hor d’oeuvres
2 cups peeled and grated sweet potato (about 2 medium sweet potatoes)
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup panko
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning cooked latkes
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
Sour cream, for garnish
Diced pear, ginger pear jam, or apple sauce, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat about half an inch of canola oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the grated sweet potato and very thinly sliced red onion. Add the flour, cornstarch, panko, salt, garlic salt, pepper, and cumin and stir well to combine. Add in the egg to bind the whole mixture together.
When the oil is hot, drop slightly heaped tablespoons of the latke mixture into the hot oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown on each side.
Remove the latkes from the oil, season with a touch of salt, and allow them to cool slightly on a cooling rack.
To serve, top each latke with a dollop of sour cream, some pear or a dab of the ginger pear jam or apple sauce, and a piece of cilantro.
Makes 24 – 30
1 sheet frozen store bought puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
3 – 4 tablespoons store bought pesto, basil or sundried tomato
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Flour, for dusting
Preheat your oven to 450F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a flat work surface with some flour and unroll your thawed puff pastry.
Evenly spread the pesto over top of the pastry, making sure to cover every inch. Follow with an even sprinkling of the parmesan cheese then season with the salt and pepper.
To form the palmier, fold the left and right edges of the pastry to the centre of the square. Repeat this by yet again folding the left and right edges of the pastry to the centre. Fold one half over the other like closing a book and place the whole roll onto one of the prepared baking sheets.
Pop the roll into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up then slice into ¼ - ½” slices with a very sharp knife. Lay the slices cut side up approximately 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 8 – 12 minutes or until golden brown and delicious all around.
Allow the palmiers to sit on the hot baking sheet for about 5 minutes then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. For leftovers, store at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Makes around 3 ½ cups of mix (enough for 20~ cups of hot chocolate)
1 ¾ cups superfine sugar
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
100g finely grated chocolate bar, semi sweet or milk
¼ cup chocolate malted milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, sifted cocoa powder, finely grated chocolate, chocolate malted milk powder, and salt. Store your hot chocolate mix in an air tight container until ready to use.
To make hot chocolate, combine 1 cup of milk + 2 rounded tablespoons of the mix per serving in a pot over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. When hot, serve with whatever fixings you’d like! Personally, I’m a fan of Irish cream and marshmallows!
Venture outside of downtown Toronto with your host Apryl Munro, and visit your neighbouring cities to find beautiful beaches, and more.
Visit the most significant natural area in the city of Toronto, stretching over 5 km long with beautiful wildlife, known as The Spit.