Tomato Relish

Tomato Relish

What will you do with all those tomatoes?  Firstly, you need to start by making this lovely Tomato Relish.  It’s a little like bruschetta, but saltier and brinier from olives and capers.  Delicious with white fish, chicken, crostini or eggs.  A quick and easy condiment that makes the most of those little red gems drooping from the vine.

With the onset of garden bounties, also comes the realization we’re quickly approaching the end of summer. I pause to think “where has it gone”, always gone in a blink here in central Alberta, and soon enough blogger posts will be filled with back to school specialties.  So make the most of the sunny, warm weather that’s left and enjoy seasonal fresh produce while you can.  Tomato Relish not only highlights fresh cherry tomatoes but also fresh herbs, reminding us that eating healthy and well is easy and delicious. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Tomato Relish:  Compelled To Cook

Tomato Relish
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Tomato Relish
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 3/4 cups 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
30-60 minutes
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir to combine. Allow to rest for 30-60 minutes prior to serving to help meld flavours. Makes about 1 3/4 cups and is best eaten the day it is made. Serve along side your favourite white fish, chicken, crostini or eggs.

Cedar Plank Potatoes

Cedar Plank Potatoes

Want glorious potatoes, creamy on the inside, golden on the outside, without turning on your oven?  You will when you get a look at these amazing Cedar Plank Potatoes.  Mashed potatoes get amped up with a good helping of roasted garlic (also cooked on the grill if you want), fresh herbs and cream cheese.  They’re grilled golden on a cedar plank and can be fully prepped ahead, making them fantastic for entertaining.  But nobody needs to wait for that, right?

What spurred me to these luscious little domes?  My new Napoleon grill of course.  My husband and I recently upgraded our backyard with a deck and outdoor gas fireplace. As luck would have it, some of the more expensive items came in under budget.  This left a little cash for the frills, like furniture and new grill. We decided upon a Napoleon LEX grill, which has been amazing so far.  I love it because it gets crazy hot, has a smoker accessory and searing burner.  Napoleon Grills also have a great user friendly website with numerous recipes, and that’s where I found this great recipe.  I couldn’t wait to try them, and you won’t want to wait either.

I have to say, I didn’t really know how bad my old grill was until I fired up my new one.  We had the old one for at least 10 years, maybe longer.  A couple of parts had been replaced along the way and I figured it still had some life left.  I’m sure it did, but not a very good one comparatively to the new grill.  I guess we all adapt to what we know and sometimes don’t know any different, as was the case for me.  Today I give thanks to my wonderful husband for persuading me to purchase a new one.

Recipe source for Cedar Plank Potatoes, adapted from Napoleon Grills Plank Smoked Mashed Potatoes

Cedar Plank Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Cedar Plank Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" chunks. Simmer potatoes in lightly salted water until very tender 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat. Mash potatoes over low heat, allowing the potatoes to give off any excess moisture. Once potatoes are smooth, remove from heat and add butter, cream cheese, roasted garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until combined and creamy. Stir in fresh herbs.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high or 450℉. Scoop potatoes onto pre-soaked cedar planks using a 1/4 cup scoop, leaving at least an inch between scoops (can fit 6-8 per plank). Place planks on grill and cook for 15-18 minutes until hot and golden. Remove planks from grill and use to serve potatoes or gently place potatoes onto serving dish and garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.
Recipe Notes

Potatoes can be cooked, mashed, scooped and chilled up to two days in advance. Simply remove from refrigerator and place on pre-soaked planks when ready to grill. Makes 12 1/4 cup scoops.

To roast garlic, preheat oven to 350℉.  Cut the top off the head of garlic and place on a double layer sheet of foil.  Drizzle with oil and fold foil over bulb, crimping all edges to seal packet.  Place on a baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes until golden and soft. Alternatively, you can make roasted garlic on the grill, here's how Grill Roasted Garlic

Pickled Corn

Pickled Corn

I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say you can never have too many side dish options. We’ve all been the one who’s put out five different dishes to please the masses.  While this quick and super easy Pickled Corn would maybe be considered more of a condiment, it’s fantastic along side hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled meats and a great addition to any meat and cheese platter.  It’s briny, spicy and sweet all in one, making Pickled Corn a must to make this summer.

 

Need a salad in a hurry, try adding Pickled Corn to black beans, chickpeas and avocado for a healthy and hearty dish.  So the next time you’re thinking of setting out a dish of pickles, you need to stop yourself and amp up your game with this wonderfully spicy mix of sweet corn, red pepper, garlic and onion.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Pickled Corn:  Adapted from Epicurious Pickled Corn

Pickled Corn
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Pickled Corn
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30-35 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss together corn, red onion, red pepper, jalapeño, and garlic. Divide into heat proof mason jars, leaving enough room to add liquid to cover. I used 3-500ml jars because it's nice to have one ready to use and two to keep stored. See note.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat water, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper to a simmer. Pour hot liquid over corn mixture just to cover corn. Add hot water by the tablespoon to top up if needed. Seal jars and allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate.
Recipe Notes

Will keep up to 4 days once opened and up to one month if unopened.  This is why I chose to use 500 ml mason jars, so one or two can stay sealed if needed and one can be used right away.

Zahtar Potato Salad

Zahtar Potato Salad

Zahtar or Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend that I’ve not had the pleasure to work with a lot with over the years. It’s a real shame because I love it!  Earthy and nutty with hints of citrus makes it wonderful with so many foods.  Hummus and pita are probably the first things people think of when they associate it, but it goes way beyond.  Great with chicken, eggs and potatoes to name a few. I recently came across a Zahtar Egg Salad and figured why not incorporate it into a potato salad, and Zahtar Potato Salad was born. 

I was not far off the mark thinking it would be delicious. The combination of briny, salty olives and creamy mayonnaise brings baby potatoes to life and makes for a great Mediterranean version.  Even though I prefer the  mayonnaise based potato salad, I did experiment with a warm salad version using olive oil to dress it instead of the mayonnaise.  It too was a tasty version of potato salad but I just couldn’t stop scooping up the creamier version.  Maybe because that was the way my mom used to make it and by far the type I’ve eaten most in my life. 

The Zahtar I purchased contains salt, so I therefore found it was not necessary to add additional salt in this recipe.  If your Zahtar does not contain salt,  be sure to add salt to taste. You can also make your own if desired, here is a simple recipe from The Genius Kitchen

Recipe source for Zahtar Potato Salad:  Inspired by Bon Appetit Mediterranean Egg Salad

Zahtar Potato Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Zahtar Potato Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and place pine nuts in a single layer on a small baking tray or pie plate. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, turning at least once until golden. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat enough water to just cover the eggs and simmer gently for no more than 12 minutes. Drain and immediately cool under cold running water. Once cooled, peel and coarsely chop.
  3. Steam or boil baby potatoes in simmering lightly salted water until just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes depending on size. Drain and cool under cold water. Allow potatoes to drain thoroughly once cool.
  4. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, usually a baby potato cut in half or quartered makes for a nice size.
  5. In a medium size bowl stir together red onion, green olives, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, Zahtar and salt and pepper. Add chopped potatoes, eggs, pine nuts and cilantro. Gently stir into mayonnaise until combined. Serve immediately sprinkled with additional cilantro if desired. Can be chilled for several hours prior to serving if needed. Best served the day it is made.
Recipe Notes

-For time management, the potatoes, pine nuts and eggs can be cooked at the same time.

-The Zahtar I used contained salt, so little extra salt was needed. However, if your brand does not include salt you will need to adjust seasoning to taste.

Panfried Butter Radishes

Panfried Butter Radishes

What’s not to love about radishes?  This root vegetable is easy to grow in most any size of garden and they’re ready to harvest in about 4 weeks.  They’re so crunchy and fresh with a little sharpness in every bite, making them wonderful in salads, pickled, roasted and of course, panfried. The light panfry of these Panfried Butter Radishes brings out their natural sweetness and takes away some of the bite. Simply splashed with vinegar, parsley and sea salt, they’re a quick and easy side dish that takes only minutes to prepare and showcases one of summer’s first bounties.  

As odd as this sounds, I used to eat radishes by the handful as a teenager.  I found them to be actually thirst quenching.  Thinking back, I’m not actually sure what brought the obsession on, maybe hormones, maybe the fact that they’re 95% water, who knows?  I do know that my mom couldn’t keep enough of them in the fridge.  This little stage passed as quickly and oddly as it started but I still love radishes today, raw or cooked. Enjoy!

Recipe for Panfried Butter Radishes inspired by:  Epicurious Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter

Panfried Butter Radishes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Panfried Butter Radishes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Trim radishes of stems and tails and wash thoroughly. Cut in half or quarters, depending on size. You're looking for bite size here. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a medium size skillet over medium/high heat melt butter. When butter starts to foam add radishes and sauté for 8-10 minutes until starting to brown, turning once or twice. Add vinegar and parsley and toss to coat. Remove from heat and season generously with sea salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Mustard Herb Skillet Bread

Mustard Herb Skillet Bread

One could say I have a mild obsession with making bread as it’s rare that I don’t make it weekly and usually feel guilty buying store bread. Most often I make variations of my favourite doughs, because I’m also guilty of liking familiarity and convenience. So, in keeping up with my obsession I thought I’d share this lovely Mustard Herb Skillet Bread. It’s thick and soft with a golden, crusty coating of mustard, herbs and cheese. It’s great for dunking but what I find even better is to split the bread and make a nice sandwich out of it with sliced ham or turkey. And don’t worry about the next day, because it’s almost better when it’s toasted or grilled. The mustardy coating gets even crunchier and that’s when you hit it with a fried egg, cause it’s true, everything is better with a fried egg!!

The mustard rub topping is just a slight variation of my go to mustard rub that I really do put on everything. I simply omitted the lemon juice and added the addition of parmesan cheese. In my humble opinion, bread and cheese are just meant to be together. Plus, the cheese lends to a nice chewy crust. Don’t be skimpy on the mustard rub either, it’s the star of the show. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Mustard Herb Skillet Bread:  Compelled To Cook

Mustard Herb Skillet Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-22 minutes 80 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-22 minutes 80 minutes
Mustard Herb Skillet Bread
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-22 minutes 80 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20-22 minutes 80 minutes
Ingredients
Bread
Mustard Topping
Servings: wedges
Instructions
Mustard Topping
  1. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients except for cheese and set aside until ready to use.
Bread
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together water, yeast and sugar. Allow to ferment for 5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of flour, olive oil and salt. Begin kneading, adding additional flour by the 1/4 cup until dough starts to pull away from the sides. Continue to knead until dough is soft and silky, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Turn out dough into a large greased bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until double in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 425℉. Oil a 10" cast iron skillet and push dough evenly into pan with oiled fingers, creating dimples as you go. Allow dough to rest a few minutes to relax dough if having trouble pushing it out to the edge. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
  4. Brush dough with mustard topping and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes in pan before lifting out onto cooling rack. May be eaten slightly warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

Recipe yields approximately 490 grams of dough.