I was chatting with my friend Mel the other week about the fact that green peppers always seem to suck. They aren’t great raw, they aren’t great cooked. Is there a good way to cook them? Is there? I may just be a jaded, old green pepper hater, but I’m willing to keep trying avenues where they can be more enjoyable.
Anyway…recently I spent a good chunk of time out on the east coast, so I decided to bring a few lobsters back home with me to cook up a lobster-centric dinner for some friends. I thought it would be fun to go a little old school with some stuffed mushroom caps and there happened to be a green pepper from my last Spud Calgary delivery pre-travels, staring at me every time I opened the fridge, so it was time to use it.
It’s hard to go wrong with stuffed mushroom caps, especially when cream cheese and lobster are involved, but I must admit, the green pepper was an enjoyable addition to this recipe and everyone seemed to love them, so maybe I just need to cool it on my anti-green pepper campaign…
Mmm…you’d have to be a fool not to be in love with cauliflower lately. I mean, it’s on almost every menu in this country right now so even if you don’t like it, it’s certainly hard to ignore. Heck, I just wrote a piece on the humble vegetable for Food Network Canada a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I have a soft spot for it or something…
While this vegetable is definitely toting the line between being lovingly embraced and being overused, when something becomes this popular I’d like to think it forces everyone to get more and more creative with the ingredient in question. This past Monday, my friend and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a big group of people. After the potatoes were mashed and the turkey was resting, we focused on completing this cauliflower only to be distracted by turkey carving and gravy making. So, the cauliflower may have sat by its lonesome in the oven while everyone sat down to eat, only to be remembered around dessert time.
Anyway, neglected or not during our actual dinner, this super simple take on roasted cauliflower is pretty kick ass. Just don’t smother it with cheese sauce, that probably wouldn’t taste so good.
Now that it’s back-to-school season, my Start From Scratch program is only a few weeks away from starting up. We cook a ton of recipes throughout the 10-week course, but this one for a simple homemade granola that I made originally for Chopped Canada Mystery Solved on FoodNetwork.ca is one of the first that we tackle. Granola always makes for a great start to a day, either by the handful straight to the mouth or on top of a generous serving of greek yogurt topped with a bit of honey.
I’m going to be on Global Calgary this Saturday morning talking a bit about the free cooking program for post secondary students and assembling this granola, so tune in if you’re up!
When August rolls around, I’m always scrambling to make the most of the last few weeks of summer before ‘back to school’ mode kicks in. This month has been ladden with road trips to Saskatoon, Kelowna and Edmonton and I’m about to take off to Vancouver for a few days as of tomorrow.
While I do have a parrot, I do not have any children, nor do I attend university, but I do run the cooking program Start From Scratch, so that’s how the ‘back to school’ feeling creeps into my life.
If you haven’t heard of the program before, Start From Scratch is a free 10 week cooking course for post secondary students in Calgary (MRU, U of C or SAIT) and Saskatoon (U of S). We take 30 participants in Calgary each semester and 15 in Saskatoon.(Start From Scratch alumni getting ready for service in the kitchen with Chefs Paul McGreevy and Dilan Draper.)
Now in our fourth year, the program is still a ton of fun. Just this week, we had a pop-up dinner in collaboration with Test Kitchen YYC where we brought some of our awesome alumni participants into the restaurant space to help cook and serve a coursed dinner to a full dining room. Was it scary? Of course! But, we pulled it off!
I’m not going to lie. I took this picture with my cellphone – blasphemous, I know. Sometimes, you just cook things for the sake of enjoying a meal with your friends and leave your DSLR on the sidelines. I occasionally have to remind myself that there is nothing wrong with that. Just breath, Dan. Just breath.
Anyway, back to the salad! Grilling romaine gives it a more robust taste and makes for a perfect summer dish. I think we can all agree that no matter how much we all love kale. It is definitely overused in the standard salad these days, so let’s give the green, curly guy a break this week, shall we?
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- Calgary & Area
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- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
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