Tag Archives: Garlic

Bacon Jam

I first learned that bacon jam was a thing when I received a new cookbook in the mail from my aunt on the west coast.  (BEST. MAIL. EVER.) It obviously seemed like a brilliant concept and to be honest I was a little mad I didn’t think of it first, but I got past it and gave this recipe a try.   It’s incredibly rich and indulgent.  And sweet and spicy, and savoury and wonderful.  The mixture simmers aromatically for about 2 hours, cooking itself down into a sticky, sweet, spicy and rich jam like texture.  You can also use a hand held blender at the end to break it up further and make it even more jam-like.

Bacon Jam Ingredients

Bacon Jam Ingredients

Start by cooking up a pound of bacon, remove it to a paper towel lined plate, and drain off most of the grease.  Leave about 2 – 3 tbsp and then throw in onions and garlic, and allow to cook until soft and golden brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 2 hours.  Add 1/4 cup of water every half hour, or whenever it starts to burn a little or stick to the bottom of the pan.  Not surprisingly, your home is going to smell pretty unreal.

Cooking Bacon Jam

Cooking Bacon Jam

Blend the mixture slightly, so that it is spreadable but still has some texture.  Store it in a glass jar in the fridge and use it in any number of delicious ways.

Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam

Like on a grilled cheese sandwich! The one below also has herb and garlic cream cheese, roasted red pepper and old cheddar.  Serve this with Bread and Butter Pickles on the side for a sublime grilled cheese experience. 🙂

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam Recipe

1 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp hot sauce
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp pepper

  1. In a deep pan, fry bacon in batches until lightly browned and beginning to crisp.  Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Drain bacon fat from pan, leaving only about 2 tbsp.
  2. Add garlic and onions to the rendered bacon fat and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Return bacon to the pan and add all remaining ingredients.  Simmer uncovered for 2 hours, adding 1/4 cup water every 30 minutes.  Consistency should be thick and jam-like.
  3. Use immersion blender or food processor to pulse mixture for 2 to 3 seconds, leaving some texture.  Allow to cool.  Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

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Pickled Jalapeños

One of the best things about these jalapeños is that they will keep in the fridge for up to a year, but I made them about a month ago and we’ve burned through about half already.  I really had no idea pickling could be as easy as boiling a few ingredients together, throwing in some spices, slicing up some jalapeños and combining everything in a jar.  I predict that pickled jalapenos will become a staple condiment in my fridge for a long time!

Pickled Jalapeno Ingredients

Pickled Jalapeno Ingredients

Just throw some vinegar, water, salt, celery seed, coriander seeds and peppercorns together in a pot and bring to a boil.

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Pickling Mixture

Put the sliced jalapenos, garlic and bay leaf into a glass jar.

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Jalapenos and Garlic

Pour in the liquid, let it sit in the fridge for a week, and the before and after will look something like this:

Jalapeño Before & After Pickling

Jalapeño Before & After Pickling

Now just start throwing these spicy beauties on tacos, pizza, sandwiches, nachos, salads, etc., etc., etc!

Spicy Italian Sausage with Maple Baked Beans and Pickled Jalapeños

Spicy Italian Sausage with Maple Baked Beans and Pickled Jalapeños

Forgive the Iphone pictures…I don’t always take the time to take a decent shot.  Sometimes a girl just wants to eat!

Pizza topped with Pickled Jalapeños

Pizza topped with Pickled Jalapeños

Love these as part of an amazing taco spread!

Beef Tacos with Pickled Jalapeños

Beef Tacos Ingredients

Yum!

Beef Tacos with Pickled Jalapeños

Beef Tacos with Pickled Jalapeños

Pickled Jalpeño Recipe

3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
Pinch celery seed
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
8 large jalapeños, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

  1. Combine the vinegar, water, salt, celery seed, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a small saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil, and turn off the heat.  Meanwhile, pack an empty glass jar with the jalapeños and stuff the bay leaf and the garlic  slices in and among the peppers.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture over the jalapeños, being sure to get all the seeds into the mix.  The liquid should completely cover the peppers.
  3. Let the jar cool to room temperature, then tightly screw the lid and stash the jar in the fridge.  The peppers are good to go after a week, but they keep up to a year in the refrigerator!

From:  It’s All Good

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Chimichurri

I believe this sauce has it’s roots in Argentina, but it doesn’t really matter where it comes from because I would eat this anywhere, anytime.  The combination of simple flavours is outstanding: the zipiness of the cilantro, fresh garlic, smokey cumin and red wine vinegar create such a delicious blend, this sauce could be used in many ways.  It keeps in the fridge up to a week or so, but I’m sure you could also freeze if it lasts that long!

Chimichurri Ingredients

Chimichurri Ingredients

Once you have all your ingredients, just throw everything into a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.  That’s it!

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It’s perfect with a nice grilled steak and homemade fries! I just love how vibrantly green it is.

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I also stirred some leftovers into a bit of  sautéed corn in my skillet and it was DYNAMITE.

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Chimichurri Recipe

1 cup packed Italian parsley
1/2 cup packed cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Pulse everything together in a food processor.  Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

From: It’s All Good

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Sauces

Cuban Black Bean and Rice soup

Inspired by the marvelous soup from Havana Café, I attempted my own version of their black bean and rice soup.  What made the Havana soup so noticeably delicious was how the fresh lime tied everything toegther perfectly.  The soup was a bit thick because of the rice and bean base, and the lime just freshened everything up.  It was hearty but not heavy.  Everything you could want in a soup!

It turns out that my Cuban soup making skills need some work.  This soup isn’t exactly what I had imagined, but as I was perusing recipes, I was drawn to the idea of making a marinated rice and then adding the broth right before serving,  in order to avoid sometimes over soaked and mushy rice you find in soup.  As a result, this soup wasn’t all that thick, but it ended up being spicy, a bit zesty, and of course fresh because of the lime and cilantro garnishes.  I was very happy with it!

Line up your ingredients to get started:


I tried soaking dry beans this time because I’ve heard it’s better for you health-wise, aaaaand (mostly) because the grocery store didn’t have cans.  Anyways, I loved the soaked beans!  I’m going to make a real effort to plan ahead and soak them from now on.  They just taste so much more beany.

Soaked and Rinsed Black Beans

After you soak them, you have to boil them for a few hours too…

While the beans are boiling, start cooking up the broth.  Sautée the onions, garlic and peppers for a few minutes, then stir in the cumin and oregano.

Add some broth and the beans to the pepper mixture and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Then, add a few scoops of the marinated rice mixture (a bit of olive oil, green onion, diced tomatoes and rice vinegar, by the way) to your soup bowl.  Zesty!

Marinated rice soup base

Pour a few scoops of the simmering broth over the rice and top with cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and of course fresh lime.

Cuban Black Bean and Rice Soup

Cuban Black Bean and Rice Soup Recipe

5 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked brown rice ( from 1 cup dry)
1 1/2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar ( or white wine vinegar)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onions, diced
2 jalapenos, with seeds, minced
2 red bell peppers, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 quart chicken broth or 1 quart vegetable broth
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ( or white wine vinegar)
cayenne pepper
cilantro
nonfat plain yogurt (optional) or sour cream (optional)
cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Prepare marinated rice by mixing cooked rice with green onion, diced tomatoes, olive oil and cider vinegar. Let the mixture marinate at room temperature, if making soup right away. Otherwise, cover, refrigerate, and marinate up to 1 day. Let rice come to room temperature before serving.
  2. Rinse beans in a strainer until canning juices run clear, or soak and boil dry beans if you prefer.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium high, and add onions. Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add jalapenos, bell peppers and garlic; cook until softened.
  5. Stir in spices.
  6. Add broth, vinegar and beans.
  7. Cover and simmer 30 minutes (or longer, if desired), stirring occasionally.
  8. Taste for salt and spiciness. Add cayenne pepper, if more heat is desired.
  9. Serve soup in bowls over a scoop of rice. Top with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.
  10. Store left-over rice separately from soup, so liquid will not all be absorbed.

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Filed under Soups & Stews, Vegan, Vegetarian

Char Siu Pork

You know that really delicious, sweet and tender pork you had a dream about the other night?  No?  Just me? OK.  Well, this char siu pork is definitely dream worthy, and I thought everyone should have the recipe.  It’s an amazing Vietnamese marinade – garlic, honey, hoisin, five spice, etc. – and can be used in oh so many ways.  On sandwiches, in soups (like pho!), rice paper wraps, or pretty much anywhere, really.  It’s more than fine all on it’s own too.

Char Siu Marinade

The longer you can let this marinade, the more delicious it will be.

Then, bake @ 475 F for about 30 to 35 minutes, flipping and basting the pork in the marinade every 10 minutes.  Don’t dump it all on right away, because the sugar will burn.  But if you just put it on a bit at a time, it will help form a nice sticky glaze.  MMMMmmmmmm sticky glaze…

Char Siu Pork

Here is one potential serving option:  on rice, with a bean salad on the side!

Char Siu and Bean Salad

Or sliced up and used in pho

Pho with Char Siu

 

Or buried under a bunch of other toppings to make up rice paper wraps!  This will very likely blow your mind.

Char Siu Rice Paper Wraps

Char Siu Pork Recipe

2 1/3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (tenderloin works well too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 ½  tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Cut the pork into strips about 6 inches long and 1 ½ inches thick.
  3. To make the marinade, take a large bowl and whisk together the garlic, sugar, five-spice powder, hoisin sauce, honey, wine, soy sauces and sesame oil.  Add the pork and use a spatula or tongs to coat evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, turning the pork 2 or 3 times.
  4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, line up pork on top and reserve the marinade.
  5. Roast, basting every 10 minutes, for 30 to 35 minutes.  The pork is done when it looks glazed, is slightly charred and registers about 145 Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer.
  6. Let the meat stand for about 10 minutes to finish cooking and seal in the juices.

From:  Into the Vietnamese Kitchen

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Tzatziki

I have a mild obsession with Greek food at the moment, caused largely by the discovery of a fantastic new restaurant just a few blocks from my place.  I went to the Greek Souvlaki Shack two nights in a row because the food was so amazing and fresh, I couldn’t get it off my mind after my first visit.  But more details on that to come…

Anyways, it inspired me to post this tzatiki recipe, since it’s an essential condiment for any Greek feast.  Just line up a few simple ingredients…

Tzatziki Ingredients

…and turn it into this!  (Dill works nicely in this recipe too, just didn’t have any this time around.)

Tzatziki

Allow me to show you some possibilities for using this beautiful stuff….

Like along side chicken souvlaki and lemon rice pilaf, for example!

Tzatziki with Chicken Souvlaki and Lemon Rice Pilaf

But of course, it’s fresh, creamy goodness isn’t limited to just Greek food.  Use it as a dip for roasted potatoes, or spread it on falafel…mmmmmm!

Tzatziki and Falafel

Tzatziki Recipe

1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
1 – 2 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
1 tsp salt
1 -2 tbsp fresh dill (optional)

1.  Mix all ingredients together.  Make a few hours ahead if possible, and refrigerate until serving.  If you let it sit for a few hours, the flavours will get really nice and strong.  Also, make sure you use a nice thick Greek yogurt to get good texture.

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Dips, Easy Peasy, Vegetarian

Baba Ghanouj

Apart from being incredibly fun to say, baba ghanouj is incredibly fun to eat!  This would be a great mid-afternoon pick me up snack if you have it with fresh veggies or pita bread, but keep it in the fridge for a week or so and enjoy it in any number of ways.  Like as a spread to fancy-up a sandwich.  Or with black olives for a late night snack. You name it.

I also love that this dish is on the healthy side too;  nothing but smokey roasted eggplant, garlic and tahini goodness.  And some other spices, for good measure. 😉

And you get to take out any aggressions you may have on the eggplant, because you have to stab it with a fork multiple times so it doesn’t explode during the cooking process.  Delicious and therapeutic!  Talk about a good for you recipe!

Here are the fresh out of the oven ooey gooey roasted eggplant guts:

Roasted Eggplant

Pull out the eggplant innards and blend with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne and salt in a food processor or blender, until well mixed and slightly creamy.

Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and start dipping!

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ghanouj Recipe

1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ lb)
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup tahini
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  1. Preheat oiled grill to medium-high and oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prick eggplant with fork in several places and grill, turning frequently, until skin blackens and blisters and flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer eggplant to baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until very soft.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Peel off skin and discard.
  4. In food processor, blend eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, cumin and cayenne; process until smooth.  (If mixture is too thick, thin with a lemon juice or olive oil to desired consistency.)
  5. Transfer mixture to serving bowl and use back of spoon to form shallow well.  Drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with parsley.
  6. Serve at room temperature with fresh veggies, olives or pita wedges.

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Dips, Vegan, Vegetarian