Almond Peaches

Almond Peaches

These amazing Almond Peaches are adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Nigel Slater.  Tender peaches with a thick layer of almond crumble, the kind that has enough butter to make it packable.  It’s the best kind, baking up golden and crunchy. I’ve made the recipe with the opt ins that Deb suggests, such as the oatmeal and cinnamon. I enjoy the oatmeal in the mix, and it gives me the rationale I need to eat them for breakfast.  The almonds retain their crunch and provide a wonderful nutty taste that plain oatmeal just can’t deliver.  Almonds, butter and sugar make the most amazing topping, and what better way to enjoy it, than on fresh peaches. I’ve chosen to cook mine in a cast iron skillet on the grill, enjoying a warm dessert without heating up the house during the summer.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I make the almond topping and bake it over sliced peaches like a fruit crumble and eat it with yogurt for breakfast.  Definitely on the dessert end of the scale for breakfast, but trust me, adding tart yogurt makes one heck of a yummy breakfast. I’ve made the crumble numerous times, using it on both sliced and halved peaches, but almost always, it’s made for myself (I’m selfish that way), for breakfast, with yogurt, vanilla or coconut Greek yogurt to be precise.  Believe me, it’s a breakfast worth getting up for, and you just might become as selfish as me.  But don’t get me wrong, this recipe is a simple, yet delicious dessert with ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!

Recipe for Almond Peaches adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Almond-Crisp Peaches

Almond Peaches
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 peach halves 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 peach halves 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Almond Peaches
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 peach halves 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 peach halves 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: peach halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill or oven to 350℉. If using grill, turn on side burners only, cooking peaches in the centre over indirect heat.
  2. Using a food processor, blend almonds, sugar and spices until a course crumb is achieved. Add oatmeal and pulse several times to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is evenly mixed and crumbly.
  3. Wash peaches, cut in half vertically and remove pit. Lay peach halves cut side up in a cast iron skillet, trimming bottom slightly if needed to make peaches sit flat. Scoop 3tbsp (lightly packed) crumb mixture onto each peach half. Press down mixture until flat and covering entire peach half. Place in centre of grill using indirect heat or alternatively place in oven and cook for 40-50 minutes until peaches are tender and crumble is golden and crisp.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly for warm peaches. Serve with ice cream, sweetened whipped cream or yogurt.

Bacon Jam Mozza Burger

Bacon Jam Mozza Burger

Did someone say bacon? Yes indeed, and you won’t want to let Father’s Day go by without firing up the grill for this amazing Bacon Jam Mozza Burger. Thick ground beef chuck patties topped with mozzarella and plenty of sweet and smoky bacon jam. Trust me, dad will be happy!

So let’s talk meat shall we?  Even though the bacon jam in this recipe makes a statement, it’s the beef that’s gonna make or break your burger experience. We’ve all eaten the pre made frozen hamburger patties and we’ve all made hamburgers from regular ground beef, but let me tell you, there’s a better way to go.  

Ground chuck my friends is the meat of choice for your beef burger.  Specifically, ground  chuck with a 20% fat ratio. This is a highly recommended ratio because it lends to a nice juicy burger without being overly fatty, which isn’t required with ground chuck because you can cook it to your liking of medium, medium rare…..not the well cooked mandatory standard for frozen patties or burgers made from regular ground beef that need to be cooked to a minimum of 160℉ for food safe reasons. Most butcher shops will carry ground chuck or will be super happy to grind it for you.  Even in my small community, where it is hard to find fresh bean sprouts, I was able to source ground chuck at Sylvan Quality Meats.  A simple call ahead landed me several pounds of ground chuck at an 80/20 ratio, neatly packed in 1 pound pouches.   

So back to the burger….probably the two most significant differences between burgers made with ground beef and those made with ground chuck is flavour and tenderness.  Ground chuck yields a beefier taste and is tender due to the fat ratio and the fact that you can cook it similar to a steak, medium rare, medium etc.  This ability to serve the burger with a little pink in the centre lends to a more tender burger.   You could say beef steak rules apply in this case.  Plus, there’s no filler, additives, or excess salt, just good quality beef with tasty toppings.  What’s not to love about that? Enjoy!

Recipe source for Bacon Jam Mozza Burger has been inspired by: Epicurious Whiskey Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam Mozza Burger
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Bacon Jam Mozza Burger
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 3 minutes
Ingredients
Bacon Jam
Servings: people
Instructions
Bacon Jam
  1. Chop bacon into 1/4" dice. Heat a large sauce pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add diced bacon and cook uncovered until crisp and rendered, stirring often. Scoop out bacon onto a paper towel lined plate, leaving behind approximately 2 tbsp of bacon fat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped onion. Cook uncovered until softened and starting to caramelize, approximately 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients including cooked bacon and heat to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for approximately 30 minutes until mixture is "jammy"
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. If you like a chunkier texture, serve bacon jam as is. If you prefer a jammier texture, add 1/2 the bacon jam to a food processor and pulse several times to break down bacon. Stir together with unprocessed half and serve. Yields an approximate 1 1/4 cups of bacon jam and will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to one week. Rewarm gently prior to use once it has been chilled.
Burgers
  1. Preheat grill to medium high.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Weight ground chuck into 6 ounce portions. Form each portion into 4 1/2"-4 3/4"patties using a press or your hands, making sure not to overwork the meat. Using your thumb, make an indent in the centre of each pattie. Place formed patties onto parchment lined tray and lightly brush both sides with oil. Sprinkle both sides generously with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  3. Place patties onto grill and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side for medium or 140-145℉. Flip patties only once. Remove from heat onto a plate and top with cheese. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for about 3 minutes, giving the meat time to rest and the cheese time to melt.
  4. While burgers are resting, toast buns and warm bacon jam. Assemble burgers with bacon jam and other toppings as desired and serve immediately.

Grilled Riverside Pizza

Grilled Riverside Pizza

Pizza and camping? Not your usual combination, but why not? Individual Grilled Riverside Pizza is an easy and super fun meal to build up with your favourite toppings and takes only minutes to grill. For me it’s always pepperoni, green peppers and sometimes black olives with a sprinkle of fresh basil and of course plenty of cheese. A pretty standard pizza for some, but ohhh so perfect with crispy charred bits reminiscent of a wood burning oven. Plus eating it from a napkin in my camp chair enjoying a river view is pretty great too. Any grill will work for this, so you don’t necessarily need to be camping to pull this off, but where’s the fun in that?

A little prep is required if you choose to make your own dough, but of course you can use pre made frozen bread dough which works well. Plus it’s convenient, leaving you more time to enjoy the great outdoors. The main trick is to work the dough fairly thin so it cooks quickly without burning over the open flame. It may also be necessary to pierce any large dough bubbles that form before turning to keep things cooking evenly. Most of all, have fun, be creative with your toppings and enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Riverside Pizza:  Compelled To Cook

Grilled Riverside Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Grilled Riverside Pizza
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5-6 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 70 minutes
Ingredients
Pizza Dough
Pizza
Servings:
Instructions
Pizza Dough
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Stir in half the flour, olive oil and salt. Continue to knead with mixer, adding flour by the 1/4 cup until smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, using a little less or a little more flour to achieve this. About 7 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size in a warm draft free area, about an hour. Punch down dough and divide into 5-6 equal portions approximately 125g each.
Pizza
  1. If making right away, preheat grill to medium and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough portion into an approximate 9"x6" rectangle or any shape really, the key is to have the dough fairly thin. Immediately place dough onto hot grill and cook for 3-4 minutes until dough is crispy on the bottom and the top is starting to puff a little. Pierce any large bubbles on the top and flip dough. Spread with pizza sauce and add desired pizza toppings and continue to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until toppings are hot and dough is cooked. Remove from grill, drizzle with oil and top with additional fresh basil if desired. Cut into desired portions.
  2. If saving dough to use later, wrap portions with plastic wrap and chill or freeze dough until ready to use. Allow enough time to defrost dough in refrigerator and bring either to room temperature prior to grilling. Once dough is at room temperature, continue by working dough into a thin disc and proceed with grilling.
Recipe Notes

Use purchased frozen bread dough if desired.  Allow dough to come to room temperature and divide into portions prior to proceeding.

Regardless of the dough used, the key is to work each portion fairly thin so it cooks quickly enough on the grill before becoming too dark.  It's also important to not over fill the pizza with toppings, as too much prevents the toppings from heating through and melting the cheese.

Grilled Lamb Koftas

Grilled Lamb Koftas

For those who don’t know, another passion of mine is overland travel, camping and the combination of both in our Jeep. My husband and I are self contained and have everything we need in the confines of a Jeep Rubicon with a roof top tent. We have hot water, power, fridge/freezer and the necessities required to live well for days when in the middle of nowhere. It’s quite amazing how much you can pack into a jeep with a little planning and the right gear, not to mention a pretty smart husband. We have the ability to go places that RV’s just can’t, which allows us to head into the hills for solitude and relaxation. It’s a shame our Canadian summers are so very short and there aren’t enough vacation days to do all that we want most years. Most of the time during the summer months it’s weekend getaways to the Rocky Mountain foothills and in the fall a longer trip to Canyonlands Utah. Grilled Lamb Koftas is Compelled To Cook’s first outdoor post and the weekend’s meal on the grill. Showing you that camping, whether it be tenting, or RVing does not mean a sacrifice on great food.

For a weekend getaway Grilled Lamb Koftas are perfect. Easy to mix together and take little time to grill to perfection. No need to worry about making side dishes and salads, just stuff the juicy lamb koftas into a pita and top with your favourite sprouts, lettuce, onions and plenty of Minted Yogurt Sauce. I’ve used a combination of ground beef and ground lamb and added greek yogurt and chickpeas to the meat to add moisture and texture. They’re nicely spiced but not overpowering, making them great for the whole family. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Lamb Koftas: Compelled To Cook

Grilled Lamb Koftas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Grilled Lamb Koftas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time
12 minutes
Ingredients
Minted Yogurt Sauce
Lamb Koftas
Servings: servings
Instructions
Minted Yogurt Sauce
  1. Stir together all ingredients and chill until ready to use.
Lamb Koftas
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and gently mix with your hands until well combined but not overworked. Cover and chill for up to one day in advance. Shape approximately 2 1/2 ounces of meat mixture into a 3" long log, making 13-15 in total. Thread onto skewers and chill until ready to grill.
  2. Preheat heat grill to medium and grill lamb skewers for approximately 12 minutes turning to brown all sides. Meat should no longer be pink and the internal temperature should reach a minimum 160℉. Split pitas and fill with 2 koftas. Top with Minted Yogurt Sauce and desired toppings such as lettuce, sprouts, and onions.
Recipe Notes

Recipe makes approximately 35 ounces of mixture and can be made into burger patties as well.   I used metal skewers, however if using wooden skewers be sure to soak in water according to directions prior to use.

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.

Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Unexpected guests? No need to worry, Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus is quick and easy and definitely guest worthy! Just a few quality ingredients and 8 minutes on the grill will yield an addictive little appetizer that’s always worth sharing.

The lemon pepper vinaigrette is a nice little addition but optional really. What it does do is cut the saltiness of the prosciutto and brightens the asparagus. I’ve made these several times with no vinaigrette and they still disappear in no time. So simple yet delicious, it’s one of my favourites to put together, even when I’m not short on time.

I prefer to grill the asparagus as it produces a slightly charred and crispy prosciutto. However, if your not up for grilling, just place wrapped asparagus on a parchment lined baking sheet in a 400℉ oven for approximately 8 minutes, turning once. Grilled or baked, either way you’ve got it on the table before your guests have finished there first glass of wine. Enjoy!

Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Print Recipe
Crispy, salty, fresh and earthy are all wrapped together in this addictive appetizer.
Servings
4-6 people
Servings
4-6 people
Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Print Recipe
Crispy, salty, fresh and earthy are all wrapped together in this addictive appetizer.
Servings
4-6 people
Servings
4-6 people
Ingredients
Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette
Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Servings: people
Instructions
Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette
  1. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until emulsified. Set aside.
Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
  1. Preheat grill to medium. Cut each prosciutto slice in half lengthwise, yielding 24 slices. Cut the woody bottom 1-2 inches off of each asparagus spear. Using a vegetable peeler shave off any remaining woody or thick bits from the bottom portion of the asparagus spear so the whole spear is uniform in thickness.
  2. Wrap one piece of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, overlapping just slightly. The prosciutto will stick to itself as it's wrapped. Grill on preheated grill for approximately 8 minutes, turning once or twice to brown on all sides. The exact time will vary depending on the thickness of the asparagus. The asparagus should hold it's shape and still be slightly firm to the bite.
  3. Arrange asparagus on platter. Re-whisk Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette if needed and drizzle over asparagus. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette on the side.
Recipe Notes

Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook