Some like it hot! Like realllllllly hot. This is really simple and spicy vinaigrette to try out with anything you might be grilling or roasting this week. Try a couple spoonfuls over top of seared steaks, pork chops, charred romaine…whatever you want, really!
What you’ll need…
4 thai chilies (very thinly sliced, remove seeds for a little less heat)
1 small gala apple (cored and diced)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
salt (to season)
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Season to taste, cover and place in fridge until ready to use.
Use as desired.
Yields 1 1/4 cups vinaigrette
Total prep time…5 min
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
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.
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!
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!
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?
- Maple Sriracha Shishito Peppers
- Bird’s Eye Chili and Apple Vinaigrette
- Watermelon Rind Chutney
- Roasted Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Maple Olive Vinaigrette
- Spicy Olive and Sea Asparagus “Relish”
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