Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to sift through old recipes, ponder new ones and somehow come up with a foolproof menu.  Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli is the perfect side dish for all your entertaining needs.  Not only because it has the perfect balance of savoury, crunchy and sweet, but because it roasts up in the same amount of time that it takes to rest a roast or turkey.  Meaning, you don’t need to worry about oven space or soggy vegetables.  

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli cooks up al dente with golden roasted edges.  Crunchy almonds and chewy, sweet cranberries add a wonderful dimension of texture and flavour that signifies the holidays. Quick and easy with little fuss and holds up well.   Enjoy!

Recipe source for Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli:  Compelled To Cook

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
  2. Split broccoli spears into large bite-size pieces. Place broccoli and garlic on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Spread out in a single layer.
  3. Roast for 7 minutes. Add almonds and turn broccoli. Continue to roast for another 7 minutes. Add dried cranberries and toss to combine. Return to oven for 5-6 minutes until broccoli is tender and almonds are golden. Serve immediately.

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

With food feasting holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I find myself thinking about side dishes and how having plenty of options makes meal planning easier.  Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips is one of my personal favourites, as it’s not only delicious but simple and a good pairing most anything.

Don’t let the parsnips fool you either, they’re wonderful in combination with the carrots and the honey helps to bring out their natural sweetness and highlights their earthy flavour. Additionally, these amazing Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips hold up well both in texture and colour for serving, giving you time to breathe as you rush to get everything on the table.

Recipe source for Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips:  Compelled To Cook

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Peel and trim carrots and parsnips. Cut into 2" lengths and then slice a small amount from one side to allow the piece to sit flat. Slice a small amount off remaining 3 sides to square up the piece (see note). Cut into 1/4" slices and then cut each slice into 1/4" batons.
  2. Heat butter in a medium skillet until foamy, add garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds, stirring once or twice. Add in carrots and parsnips, stir to coat with butter and garlic. Add water, cover and cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  3. Remove cover and increase heat to high to evaporate any left over water and allow the vegetables to finish cooking, about 3-4 minutes ( they will start to caramelize slightly).
  4. Once they are cooked to your liking, remove from heat and stir in honey, parsley, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

-if using salted butter, adjust additional salt to taste.

-the 2" sections do not need to be perfectly square as that much trimming creates a lot of waste. What is important, is to make sure they are similar in size for even cooking.

Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping Sauce

Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping Sauce

Some years ago, one of my favourite appetizers served at The Keg was a tempura battered asparagus.  In the mix was also snow peas or green beans, but it’s been so long that I just can’t seem to remember.  What I do remember, is that the asparagus was the star of the show, hands down!  Crisp green spears, lightly battered and fried golden were amazing with a soy dipping sauce.  Since the dish is no longer on the menu, I decided to make it for myself, and share with you today Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping Sauce.  You see, it’s simply the best when you can enjoy your favourites at home.

The recipe uses crisp fresh asparagus spears, but truthfully, you could use a multitude of vegetables of your liking.  Think zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, a vegetable Fritto Misto really. For me, it’s asparagus all the way, lightly coated and fried till just tender and plunged into a garlic and ginger studded soy sauce.  They’re addictive to say the least. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Tempura Asparagus:  Compelled To Cook

Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Soy Dipping Sauce
Asparagus
Servings: people
Instructions
Soy Dipping Sauce
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except sliced scallions. Set aside.
Asparagus
  1. Add enough oil to a large deep pot or dutch oven to come up the sides at least 3 inches. Attach a high heat thermometer to the side and heat oil to 350℉. Alternatively, you can use a deep fryer set to 350℉.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together water, flour, white wine, egg, cornstarch, baking soda and salt until smooth. Set aside while oil is heating and asparagus is prepped.
  3. Trim woody ends from asparagus (about 2"). If some stalks are quite a bit thicker than others, thin by lightly peeling with a vegetable peeler to create more uniform stalks.
  4. Once the oil is hot, dip individual asparagus spears into batter to evenly coat and tap off excess batter. Add to hot oil one at a time, cooking 6-8 per batch and cook for about 2 minutes per side depending on size. Remove with a slotted scoop to a paper towel lined tray and repeat with remaining asparagus.
  5. Divided soy dipping sauce into small serving bowls and serve asparagus along side. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.

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.

Kohlrabi Crab Cakes

Kohlrabi Crab Cakes

Are you growing kohlrabi in your garden this year? Fresh kohlrabi is amazing, and with it, you’ll be able to treat yourself to these lovely Kohlrabi Crab Cakes.  They make a wonderful lunch served with dill sauce and a green salad. Not home for lunch most days?  Try them as an appetizer, or top with a poached egg for a heartier meal.

If you happen to have a little fresh kohlrabi left, trim, peel and cut into sticks.  Dunk the fresh sticks in leftover dill sauce or your favourite veggie dip.   You will love how crisp and refreshing the kohlrabi is and wonder why you haven’t been munching on it sooner.  Kohlrabi is also great in stews, soup, gratins, and salads.

Recipe source for Kohlrabi Crab Cakes:  Compelled To Cook

 

Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Dill Sauce
Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
Servings: 3-4" cakes
Instructions
Dill Sauce
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and keep chilled until ready to use.
Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
  1. Trim ends off kohlrabi and peel with a vegetable peeler. Grate using a large grater and add to a separate bowl. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry with a paper towel. Using the same large grater, peel and grate potato and pat dry with a paper towel. Add to kohlrabi.
  2. In a large bowl stir together egg, dill, dijon mustard, celery salt and pepper. Stir in drained crab meat, prepped and dried grated kohlrabi and potato, bread crumbs, flour and green onions.
  3. Add about 1 tbsp of oil to a large non stick skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Form approximately 1/4 cup of batter into a 3-4" round patty. Flatten as much as you can while still retaining its shape. Pan fry for 5-6 minutes per side, adjusting heat if necessary. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm in a low oven while cooking any remaining cakes. Serve immediately with dill sauce.