Browsing all articles tagged with summer
Jun
22

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

Directions:

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

Jun
4

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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Aug
20

Culinaire Soup Recipe Round Up and Start From Scratch!

Tomato and Roasted Poblano Gazpacho

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 Calgary (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!

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Aug
6

Swiss Chard Stem and Shallot ‘Salsa’

Swiss chard stems

Now that summer is at its peak, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk past a community garden or glance into someone’s backyard (not in a creepy way!) and not see this vegetable growing strong and tall. While the hearty green leaves are great in a variety of ways – steaming, sautéing, left raw and thinly sliced – the stems can throw people for a loop.

I spent the August long weekend in Kelowna with some friends. In exchange for a comfy bed to sleep in, my friend Kerry Bennett and I, cooked our awesome hosts a big dinner on the Friday night. We served up a big platter of barbecued chicken, which I topped off with this fresh-tasting ‘salsa’.

When chard stems are sliced thin they give a nice crunch and add a brightness, not to mention some nice colour if you are lucky enough to have a handful of the rainbow variety. Anyway, enough from me! Try whipping this up some time this week!

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Jul
22

Grilled Romaine and Chorizo Salad

Grilled romaine salad

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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Jul
1

The Kenwood Cooking Chef and Vodka, Apple and Cranberry Granita

Apple cranberry granita

Well, it finally feels like summer is here. I mean, that’s what three whole days in a row without rain has got to mean, right? When it’s sunny outside, everyone likes a chill dessert –  with a little bit of booze in it too. So, time to make some granita that’s a nice, vibrant red for Canada Day. How patriotic!

Kenwood Cooking Chef

I’ve had The Kenwood Cooking Chef now for about two months and am still enamoured with the cooking abilities of this superhero mixer. Last time I wrote about it, I had it cook me up some caramelized onions and since then, have used it for a variety of berry compotes, curds simple syrups and more. Since it uses induction to heat the base of the mixing bowl, I find it gets the job done quickly with whatever I’m tossing in there.

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