Browsing all articles in Appetizers & Co.

Maple Sriracha Shishito Peppers

Maple Sriracha Shishito Peppers

If you’re looking for a quick and easy snack that is fairly guilt-free, then these blistered shishito peppers are for you. You can find these little green guys at any Asian grocer. I’ve always said that they taste like if green peppers didn’t suck and had just a hint of heat.

At any rate, you only need a few ingredients to whip these up, so hop to it!

What you’ll need…

24 whole shishito peppers

2 tablespoons canola oil

salt and pepper (to season)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons sriracha

sesame seeds (to garnish)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place shishito peppers in a large mixing bowl, add canola oil, season liberally with salt and pepper and toss until well coated.

Place onto a large baking sheet and let roast in oven until the skins of the peppers start to blister and turn black, about 10-12 minutes or so.

Remove from oven, transfer to mixing bowl, add syrup and sriracha and use tongs or a spoon to toss until peppers are evenly coated.

Place into a large serving dish or bowl, garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Serves 2

Total cook time…15 min


Watermelon Rind Chutney

Watermelon rind chutney

A couple of weeks ago, I popped by Global Calgary to do a cooking segment with watermelon. Now, I love a good watermelon and feta salad like most people, as well as basically any (generally boozy) drink that can benefit from a few slices of watermelon, but what about the rinds?

This might sound a little weird, but I decided to use the watermelon rinds (flesh be damned!) to make a chutney and the result was a delicious little condiment that goes perfectly with grilled meats and vegetables.

What you’ll need…

3 1/2 cups watermelon rind (diced)

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cane sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Place all ingredients in a medium pot on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir until sugar has dissolved completely and then reduce to medium heat.

Continue to cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until rind becomes tender and mixture has reduced by 2/3.

Let cool slightly before transferring to a container. Keep cool in the fridge and use as desired.

Yields 2 1/2 cups chutney

Total cook time…40 min


Roasted Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Maple Olive Vinaigrette

Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad recipe

Now that it’s the time of year for fresh, local asparagus we can all look forward to enjoying it in bright, summery dishes like this salad. Roasting the asparagus adds a little depth of flavour to the green stalks and the combination of sliced radishes, crispy Chinese sausage and bulgur wheat makes for a fantastic texture.

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Spicy Olive and Sea Asparagus “Relish”

Cerignola olives recipe

I love sea asparagus. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s this bright green, briny little stalk that is becoming more and more available to the consumer these days (also see: What the hell is sea asparagus?). Between it’s visuals and how it tastes, it can add a brightness to a ton of dishes. I like using it in this method as a topping for things like grilled chicken or roasted potatoes.

The cerignola olives are interesting too because they are much less intense-tasting than the standard green or black olive you might already have in your fridge. They have a still salty, but much more buttery taste. I always say that they are a great entry level olive for people that say they hate olives because of their taste profile. Ha, ha, ha.

This “relish” doesn’t take long to prepare, will last for a couple of days in the fridge (much longer if you opt for capers instead of sea asparagus, but do your best to track down some, it’s fun to play around with!) and even though it’s ridiculously simple, it always impresses people!

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Peppercorn and Cinnamon Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons recipe

I haven’t really been able to get enough of preserved lemons lately. They’re tart, briny and work well in so many different dishes. Of course, adding an entire preserved lemon to a dish would probably be a bit much, but a few slices here and there help brighten up almost any dish.

Here’s a really simple recipe for them that was given to me by Calgary chef, Evan Robertson a year or so ago. They’re easy to make, but the hardest part is waiting for them to be finished. Hurry up lemons, god damn it!

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Culinaire Magazine: Recipe Round Up For The Winter

braised pork and onion soup recipe

I’m not really sure how I ever got some enamoured with making soup. I do travel a lot these days, so maybe it’s the fact that a soup sitting in the fridge for a couple days while I’m out of town for work tastes just that much better (always true) or maybe it’s just the thought that as soon as I walk in the door, I can grab a bowl, reheat and eat. Tasty convenience is always nice, isn’t it!

I primarily do soup recipes for the magazine with my column, appropriately titled “Soup Kitchen”, so here are 6 of those that you can try to whip up this week. I faithfully standby their tastiness, 110%.

Happy Souping!

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