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!
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
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
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
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
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