After the success of Amy Rosen's Toronto Cooks: 100 Signature Recipes from the City's Best Restaurants in 2014 (go to everythingzoomer.com/toronto-cooking), a few equally enthusiastic food writers couldn't resist following suit. Edmonton Cooks: Signature Recipes from the City's Best Chefs by Tina Faiz and Leanne Brown; and Ottawa Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Finest Chefs of Canada's Capital Region by Anne DesBrisay (following page).

Both feature top chefs in the their respective cities, enriched by our country strong multi-cultural heritage, along with prep tips and a few cocktail recipes. Cheers.



Banana Coconut French Toast (from Edmonton Cooks: Signature Recipes from the City's Best Chefs)
Serves 4

Since Padmanadi is a vegan restaurant, they use margarine and vegan sour cream (easily bought in most grocery stores) in this recipe. Of course, you can substitute butter and regular sour cream if you choose.

2 bananas

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp brown sugar, packed

1 tsp nutmeg

1 loaf sourdough white bread, sliced (about 9 pieces)
½ cup vegan sour cream

¼ cup icing sugar

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp margarine

Icing sugar, for dusting

Shredded coconut, toasted, for garnish

3 cups seasonal fruit

In a bowl, gently mash bananas with a fork. Add coconut milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg, and whisk to combine.

Place slices of bread in a casserole dish. Pour the coconut-banana mixture overtop. If your dish is not large enough, soak in batches. Allow the bread to soak for 3 to 5 minutes.

In the meantime, whisk together sour cream, icing sugar, and lemon juice in a small bowl to create a vegan crème fraîche. Set aside.

Heat margarine in a large frying pan on medium. Add soaked bread slices to the pan (one or more, depending on the size of the pan) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until golden. Repeat until you have grilled all your French toast.

Serve 3 slices of French toast per person with a healthy dollop of crème fraîche on the side. Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Arrange fruit on the plate and serve.

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