Official Liaison College Blog

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Birthday Feast for Leo

One of our favourite Leos is Sophia.  Sophia has been working with Liaison College for many, many years and has won several awards for her performance in the Admissions Dept.  Sophia's birthday is August 5th and in honour of her special day we have created a menu featuring her favourite foods!

For the appetizer we are showcasing Ontario MUSHROOMS and share this recipe for:  

Mixed Mushrooms on Crostini

Crostini is Italian for little toasts. For a flavourful mixture, use a variety of mushrooms. If using shiitake mushrooms, discard the woody stems. This is best served warm or at room temperature.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
Servings: about 24 pieces
  • 1 skinny baguette
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 12 oz (375 g) mixed Ontario Mushrooms, including cremini, portobello, shiitake, oyster and white button
  • 1 Ontario Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Ontario Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) each balsamic vinegar and water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced smoked ham (such as Black Forest) or prosciutto
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
Slice baguette into 1/3-inch (8 mm) thick rounds. Brush with a little olive oil and broil until lightly golden in colour.
Clean mushrooms; slice small ones and chop larger ones to make about 4 cups (1 L).
In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until lightly softened, about 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; cook for 4 minutes. Stir in basil, then add vinegar and water; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
Remove from heat. Stir in ham, parsley and half the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto toasted bread (crostini); sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Make-ahead tip: Cool filling, cover and refrigerate. Before serving, warm briefly in microwave, spoon onto toasted bread (crostini), sprinkle with cheese. Crostini can also be made ahead, cooled and stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Sophia's favourite entree is Prime Rib and I highly recommend Rowe Farms for purchasing meat products.  You can seek out humane farmers in your area, but if you are near Guelph Ontario, then Rowe Farms will have the best quality for your Prime Rib dinner.

Following is a tested recipe from the Canadian Living kitchens:

Roast Prime Rib with Rosemary Jus Lie

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Tested till perfect

Roast prime rib of beef certainly speaks of a grand celebration. The simple, flavourful sauce of slightly thickened pan juices, or jus lie mixed with wine and stock adds a touch of sheer elegance. For a dramatic holiday presentation, choose a roast with at least three ribs.

This recipe makes 10 serving(s)

Nutritional information available online.


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh thyme, (or 2 tsp/10 mL dried)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 prime rib premium oven roast, (5 to 7 lb/2.2 to 3.15 kg)
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 4 Fresh rosemary sprigs, (or 1 tbsp/15 mL dried)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) beef stock
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter


On cutting board, mix thyme with garlic; sprinkle with salt. Holding knife blade at very low angle, rub many times to form smooth paste. Mix in pepper and cayenne; rub over roast. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Scatter onions and rosemary in greased roasting pan. Place roast, bone side down, on onion mixture. Roast in 325°F (160°C) oven until meat thermometer inserted in centre registers 140°F (60°C) for rare, 1-3/4 to 2 hours, or 150°F (65°C) for medium-rare, 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours, or to desired doneness. Transfer to cutting board or warmed platter; tent with foil and let stand for at least 10 minutes or for up to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, skim fat from pan juices; place pan over high heat. Add wine; cook, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. In small bowl, whisk stock into cornstarch; whisk into pan and bring to boil. Boil for 1 minute; stir in butter. Strain into warmed gravy boat.
Slice bones off meat and separate each rib. Slice meat and arrange on platter along with ribs. Stir accumulated juices into sauce.

And for dessert Sophia's choice is RED VELVET CAKE (click for video and recipe)

Happy Birthday Sophia!  Best wishes from your friends at Liaison College :)

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