Cookbook Review: In Good Company

In Good Company, Corbin Tomaszeski

Corbin Tomaszeski is a chef with a unique vision: to bring meaning back to the world of food. Whether a reputable chef in Toronto or hosting popular Food Network shows “Dinner Party Wars,” “Restaurant Makeover,” and “Restaurant Takeover,” Chef Corbin loves to communicate through food.

In Good Company places emphasis on gatherings with friends and family. From Corbin’s traditional Baba’s pierogis and the Tomaszeski Family Borscht to Four Season Tartines and Fennel-and-Pistachio-Crusted Lamb Rack, this beautifully designed cookbook features more than 100 simple and delicious recipes that are rooted by his Polish-Canadian upbringing in rural Alberta and informed by his experience as a seasoned chef.

In his trademark friendly style and with an emphasis on ingredients that can be found across the country, Corbin shows readers how to celebrate the joys of sharing meals and nurture everyday connections with friends and family.

In Good Company: Easy Recipes for Everyday Gatherings is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


CT Burger with Onion Jam

Cheeseburger with onion jam

Photograph by Christian Lalonde

Serves 4

This recipe for my eponymous burger was put on the menu at C5 restaurant at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. If you want to make your burger upscale, look for ways to coax flavour from your cut. Here, extra lean ground chuck is cut with chilled butter so the burger self-bastes during the cooking process. The result? A moist and flavourful burger that’s practically foolproof and quickly put together for an easy weekday meal (or party dish). The onion jam adds a perfect amount of sweetness.

 

Onion jam ingredients

1 Tbsp butter

2 large onions, chopped

1 tsp granulated sugar

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Garlic mayonnaise ingredients

1 head Roasted Garlic (recipe below)

2 cups mayonnaise

 

Patties ingredients

1 1/2 lb extra-lean ground chuck beef

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 Tbsp finely chopped thyme

2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

To serve ingredients

4 (1/2-oz) slices cheddar cheese

1 tomato, cut into 1/8-inch slices

4 large Brioche-style buns

4 large leaves green leaf lettuce

 

Method

To make the onion jam, in a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and sauté for 10–12 minutes, until softened and caramelized. Add sugar and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. (Jam keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)

To make the garlic mayonnaise, using your thumb and index finger, squeeze out garlic cloves into a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise and mash.

To make the patties, in a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Form 4 equal-sized patties, about 1-inch thick. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat the barbecue to 375°F. Place patties in a grill pan or on a barbecue and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes, until nearly cooked through. Top each patty with a slice of cheese and cook for another minute, until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, toast the buns on the hot grill.

To serve, brush the bottom half of each bun with 1 tsp garlic mayonnaise. Line with lettuce and sliced tomatoes and top with the patties. Spoon 1 Tbsp of onion jam on each patty and top with the other half of the buns.

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is incredibly easy to make. It’s ideal for garlic lovers and wonderfully versatile—eat the cloves whole, spread them on toast, or add them to your favourite pasta dish. When making garlic bread, consider using roasted garlic rather than fresh garlic to ward off undesirable garlic breath.

Ingredients

1 head garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut top off garlic, rub oil over garlic and wrap in foil. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, until softened and caramelized.

Variations:

Lamb Burger with Feta: Replace the ground beef with ground lamb and add 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese to the patty mixture.

CT Burger with Lemon Mayo, Pesto, and Grilled Onions and Peppers: Eliminate the onion jam, replace the garlic mayonnaise with lemon mayonnaise and brush 1 tsp of basil pesto on each bun. Top with grilled onions and peppers.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Figure.1.

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