Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today's Special

I just finished watching an old (re-run, of course!) episode of Michael Smith's show Chef at Large. If you don't live in Canada, or have never had the opportunity to catch any of his other shows (The Inn Chef, Chef at Home and a new one for the fall - Chef Abroad), you just may know Michael Smith's name from Valli's blog, when she made either his oh-so-good chocolate chippers (NYT recipe be damned, I like my Canadian cookies!) or more recently, his salsa salad. The episode I caught today had the Chef travelling close to home (well, my home, since I believe he still currently lives in Nova Scotia - by Ruth!). He visited Toronto's most unique dinner theatre by far - the Famous People Players - and helped create that night's meal with all the other performers, who pull triple duty as cooks and servers.

What makes the FFP troupe (and this recipe) so special is the fact that everyone working there - from the starring role to the end-of-show walk on - has a form of mental or physical disability. I went to the theatre with my class as a young'un (I couldn't have been older than 5), and I didn't know that part about the franchise until well after my third or fourth trip there (by then I was easily 16!). You could never tell, I swear, and the whole show is amazingly choreographed, done completely in the dark, with only black light illuminating select props and costume pieces. Their trademark symbol is the glowing gloves, top hat and cane. If you are ever in Toronto I urge you to try to see whatever the current show is - it's a night of awesome music, laughter, great food and inspiration!

These carrots are simple, good food, and were served with the chicken, rice and green beans I had the last time I visited. It holds a special memory for me, as I was there with my best friend, her mom and a bunch of the specialists from Toronto's University Health Network - some of which later became my doctors! The best part of the night was two-fold: I got the chance to get up and dance with the performers during one skit, and I got to see a doctor of all people, refuse to eat his veggies! I, of course, happily took his, and hopefully you'll find a love for these as part of Cate's ARF / 5-A-Day event this week.

Famous People's Carrots
Serves 4
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup honey
1/2 can (6oz) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 red onion, minced
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1 tbsp paprika
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into sticks

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a deep casserole with lightly greased foil (for easy cleanup).
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, tossing the carrots to coat them well.
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tender and the glaze is reduced.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 134.8
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 121.9 mg
Total Carbs: 32.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.9 g
Protein: 2.4 g

It is also with a heavy heart that I mention the sudden passing of a fellow food blogger, What Did You Eat?'s Sher, on Sunday morning. I only knew her through her blog and her delicious contributions to Presto Pasta Nights, but it is a shock and a deeply felt pang that by now has resonated through the spheres of writing she contributed to. My thoughts are with her friends and family, and those wishing to express condolences can find a tribute to Sher at A Fridge Full of Food.