Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

With summer creeping upon us, I felt compelled to update one of my first posts as a food blogger and one of my favourite snacks, Pineapple Salsa!!  A fantastic summer snack that’s worth repeating with a couple photos cleaned up.  The original post was done for Cinco Da Mayo, however this fantastic recipe goes far beyond into the warm summer months with its perfect balance of sweet and spicy.  Fresh and vibrant with fresh pineapple and lots of cilantro makes it a recipe I’ve made over and over. It’s always a hit, whether it be at work, at home or a social gathering.  Serve with plenty of lime tortilla chips and watch it disappear.  Enjoy!

Get the recipe ⬇️

Pineapple Salsa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Pineapple Salsa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 cups 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Peel and core pineapple. Chop pineapple along with the tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber into 1/4 inch dice. Set aside together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds, finely chop into 1/8 inch dice. Add to bowl. Coarsely chop cilantro and add to bowl.
  3. Cut limes in half and squeeze juice over mixture. Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Serve immediately with lime tortilla chips.
Recipe Notes

Resting the salsa for an hour will allow the lime juice to cut the bite in the jalapeño and red onion. It is strongly recommended to cut all ingredients by hand to retain the fresh appearance and prevent over processing the ingredients.

Recipe Source: Inspired by The Pampered Chef Pineapple Salsa

Catalina Wings

Catalina Wings

A long, long time ago I used to make wings similar to these piquant Catalina Wings.  I was in college and had a summer job cooking at a golf and country club.  The food was basic fair, nothing too over the top, catering to the golfing crowd, small banquets and business meetings. It was a fun job, good people to work with and a happy crowd, because they’re golfing of course.  It wasn’t unusual for the dining room to be filled with thirsty golfers looking for a mid afternoon snack and beverage.

Like many places of the time, we offered hot wings, but not everyone liked there wings “hot”. So to please the masses we mixed the hot sauce with Catalina Dressing to lighten some of the heat.  The ratio of dressing to hot sauce was adapted to make the wings mild, medium or hot.  We didn’t have a formula, it was always eye balled, so I doubt anyone ever got the same plate of wings twice.  It’s the memory of this job and the tossing of bowl after bowl of chicken wings that Catalina Wings are derived.  Not new in concept but these Catalina Wings are made with fresh Catalina dressing, making them zesty and sticky.  You’ll love them! 

Recipe source for Catalina Wings:  Compelled To Cook

Catalina Wings
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Catalina Wings
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Ingredients
Dressing
Wings
Servings: wings
Instructions
Dressing
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Makes about 1 cup of dressing. Refrigerate extra dressing for up to 1 week.
Wings
  1. In a large heavy duty pot fitted with a clip on thermometer, heat a minimum of 3" of canola oil to 350℉ 375℉. (oil will cool when wings are added)
  2. Pat chicken wings dry with a paper towel. Add half the wings to the hot oil, dropping them in one by one. Cook for 5-6 minutes, depending on size, until no longer pink. Remove with a slotted scoop to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining wings.
  3. Preheat broiler and line a large baking tray with foil. In a large bowl stir together Catalina Dressing and Franks Red Hot sauce. Add wings and toss to evenly coat.
  4. Arrange wings in a single layer on baking tray and broil 8" from broiler for about 2 minutes per side. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Wings can be made hotter if desired by decreasing the amount of dressing and increasing hot sauce to your preference.

Chilled Corn and Crab Soup

Chilled Corn and Crab Soup

Silky and cool, this gorgeous soup makes a delightful first course for those scorching hot days when nobody wants anything heavy but everybody wants to  eat on the patio. Chilled Corn and Crab Soup has a lovely corn flavour that’s married up with fennel and swirled with sour cream. It not only looks pretty, it’s darn delicious. The crab salad swimming in the middle is also adorned with fennel and fennel fronds for a crisp and refreshing spoonful. Enjoy!

Recipe Source for Chilled Corn and Crab Soup:  Compelled To Cook

 

Chilled Corn and Crab Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 1+ hour
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 1+ hour
Chilled Corn and Crab Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 1+ hour
Servings Prep Time
5 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 1+ hour
Ingredients
Corn Soup
Crab Salad
Servings: cups
Instructions
Corn Soup
  1. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Sauté until starting to soften but not brown, about 10 minutes. While vegetables are cooking prepare corn by peeling off corn husks and removing silk. Stand corn on end and remove kernels by running a large knife along the body, cutting at the base of the kernels. Trim ends off bare cobs and cut cob in half. Add kernels and cobs to pot along with vegetable broth, water, thyme sprigs and 1/2 tsp salt.
  2. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove cobs and thyme sprigs and discard. Allow to cool at room temperature for 10-20 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 tsp salt and adjust as needed, remembering that cold foods tend to taste saltier than warm. Using a blender, blend soup in batches until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh sieve, pressing against the sides to extract all the soup. Cover and chill until cool, stirring occasionally.
  3. Scoop approximately 1/4 cup of crab salad into the centre of shallow serving bowls. Ladle soup around crab salad and drizzle with sour cream, swirling into soup slightly. Serve immediately.
Crab Salad
  1. Gently stir together all ingredients. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use. Can be made up to several hours ahead.
Recipe Notes

Yields a generous 5 cups of soup and will serve 6 as a first course or 4 servings as a main dish. Both the soup and crab salad are best if served slightly chilled but not cold. If both have been completely chilled, allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip

Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip

My latest obsession is tomatillo salsa or variations of. Why? Because it’s fresh and spicy like salsa, but because of the avocados there’s just a hint of creaminess. Count in the fresh garlic and cilantro and you couldn’t find a better match for your favourite tortilla chip. Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip brings all the fresh spiciness that you’d expect but with a little smoky char flavour. It adds just a bit earthy bitterness that balances with all the acidity and creaminess from the avocado. It’s a fantastic pairing with my Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp

While it’s pretty easy to throw all the ingredients into a food processor and call it a day, you won’t regret taking that extra step to the grill the veggies for this. It keeps several days in the refrigerator and freezes well too. So make up a batch and use it for a dip, topping for tacos or sauce for enchiladas. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip:  Compelled To Cook

 

Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium. Peel onion and cut into 1" thick slices. Cut lime in half. In a large bowl combine, tomatillos, jalapeños, lime halves and onion slices. Drizzle with oil to coat lightly.
  2. Grill vegetables until starting to char and blister, turning occasionally to slightly char evenly, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor add grilled tomatillos, onion, avocado, cilantro and garlic. Cut stem from jalapeños and cut in half, scoop out seeds and add flesh to processor. Juice grilled lime and add to processor. Pulse until combined but still a little chunky. Season with salt and garnish with additional cilantro and chopped red onion. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or chill until ready to use.
Recipe Notes

The purpose of grilling is to impart a slightly smoky charred flavour.  You only need to char the vegetables a little here to get the flavour.  Too much char will lead to bitterness.

Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp

Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp

Wanna set your food on fire??  Here’s your chance with Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp.  It’s so much fun to cook and share.  These shrimp are spicy but not extreme, just a perfect spicy bite really.  They get a little heat not only from the chili flakes, but jalapeño and spicy vodka if you have it.  Add a good squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro for a great nibble.

Outdoors is definitely the preferred location to perform this act of pyromania.  An ounce of vodka will shoot flames 2-3 feet high, seriously!!  And, the look on your guest’s faces will be priceless.    The flame will dissipate within about 20-30 seconds, so be ready for it, it happens quickly.

I have done this particular flambé outside before, however for this post and for the purpose of taking pictures I used my garage which has high ceilings and a large open area.  It’s really not a maneuver I would ever do in my home.  Too much potential for bad things to happen in my opinion, so I’ll keep this outdoors, and I strongly suggest you do as well.  Besides, that is where your shrimp and hot pan will be coming off the BBQ anyway.  Have fun with it and enjoy!

Recipe source for Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp:  Compelled To Cook

 

Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium high. In a medium bowl combine, oil, garlic, lime juice, chili flakes, salt and cumin. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and toss with oil mixture. Thread shrimp alternating with jalapeño slices onto skewers being sure to skewer through head and tail of shrimp thereby making the shrimp lay flat.
  2. Place a cast iron platter or grill plate onto grill and allow to heat for at least 10 minutes. Grill shrimp for approximately 2-3 minutes per side until slightly charred, turning once or twice to get good char coverage.
  3. At the grill remove shrimp and jalapeño slices from skewers onto cast iron plate. Remove from grill, turn off grill and close lid. While everything is hot, pour vodka over shrimp and ignite using a BBQ lighter. Flames will shoot 2-3 feet high and quickly dissipate. Serve immediately garnished with chopped cilantro, red onion and lime wedges.
Recipe Notes

-If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak accordingly. You should be able to fit 4 shrimp onto each skewer, divided by jalapeño slices.

-It's important to use cast iron for this.  Using ceramic, metal or anything with a coating is likely to crack and chip after pouring liquid on its hot surface.

-DO NOT DO THIS INDOORS!

Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll

Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll

Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll is a fantastic brunch or appetizer dish. It combines convenience with rustic flavours by using Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough, kale and Italian sausage. A great way to use kale as its sturdy leaves stand up to a little braising and pairs well with Italian sausage and cheese.

This perfectly golden pastry roll can easily be made up in advance and popped in the oven at the last minute, saving you time to spend with friends and family. The slices are plump with braised kale, melty cheese and Italian sausage making it delicious with eggs.  It’s a great addition to your brunch table.

Recipe source for Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll:  Compelled To Cook

 

 

Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
55-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
55-60 minutes
Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
55-60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
55-60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Cook sausage until no longer pink and starting to brown. Remove sausage to a paper towel lined plate. In same skillet over medium heat, add remaining tbsp oil and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Stir in kale, broth, Italian seasoning, pepper and chili flakes. Allow to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed and kale is tender, about 15 minutes. There should be no visible liquid left. Remove to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll dough and separate each triangle. On the prepared pan, place 4 triangles in a horizontal line, lining up the corners of the shorter side. Place remaining 4 triangles parallel to the first 4, joining the bottoms of each triangle. 4 triangle tips will be pointing toward you while the other 4 away from you. See blog post for photo. Press dough together along the seam and press out slightly with your fingers, creating an approximate 3" dough surface for the filling.
  3. To the kale mixture, stir in sausage meat, gruyere cheese, and 2 tbsp of parmesan. Scoop out filling onto prepared dough bed in a straight horizontal line, keeping filling on the dough seam and leaving a 1" border at the ends. Slice tomato into 1/4" thick slices and lay slices in a flat row along the top of the filling row. Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Lift and bring triangle tips over and across filling, alternating tips. Cut excess dough from triangle tip and tuck end under. Use any excess dough to stretch and cover any filling spots that get missed in the first pass. Tuck and pinch ends together. The roll should be approximately 14" long.
  4. Whisk egg with a 1 tbsp of water and brush over roll. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and cut into 2-3" slices and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Makes a great brunch item or appetizer.