What I’ve been making lately – June 16
Tacos Al Pastor
Pork was on sale, so we thought we’d make tacos. Not just tacos, but my favourite kind of tacos – Al Pastor. I love pineapple on anything and everything. I was going to just cook the meat in a slow cooker. Ethan wanted to try out a sort of spit method, closer to the traditional cook of the meat. He was inspired by this video by Tasty. We really loved cooking the meat this way. It was really, really tasty. We’d like to try this method with Shawarma too.
Barbecue Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries, and Fiddleheads
With the warm weather, we’ve been trying to use the barbecue a bit more. For the chicken, we just grilled it with a little bit of store-bought barbecue sauce, and slapped on some more after it was cooked. The sweet potato fries were homemade, but they could have been a lot crispier. I had never tried fiddleheads before, but they came in a produce box. First, I steamed them. Then sauteed in butter and minced garlic.
Strawberry Banana Jam
I had strawberries. I had bananas. Then saw this post on Instagram, and thought that maybe I should make jam. I had never made jam before. This recipe doesn’t call for pectin, so it’s not as firm as a normal jam. I think I may have overcooked it a bit? I don’t know. It was a delicious jam, and I hadn’t had a jam like it before.
Buffalo Wing Dip
I looooove Buffalo wing dip. Really, I love anything Buffalo wing inspired. Living in close proximity to Buffalo, I think it’s in my blood. This dip is super easy to make. I put two chicken breasts in the slow cooker with some vegetable stock, Frank’s Buffalo Sauce, and a little bit of butter. If you don’t have the Frank’s Buffalo, regular Frank’s and more butter will do the trick.
For the dip, I added a couple scoops of the chicken in with a brick of cream cheese, about a cup of plain greek yogurt, some more Buffalo sauce, and shredded cheese. I mixed this around until incorporated, then put in a few French onion soup bowls, topped with cheese, and cooked in the oven for about 20 minutes on 425. We usually have the dip with nachos, but my friend Toni introduced me to using cucumber as a vehicle for this dip and I love it. We also toasted some naan bread from the freezer.
I have v much been loving ‘sauceless’ pastas lately. Really there is just a lot of olive oil, garlic and cheese that comes together to make the sauce with help from the pasta water. I was inspired by this Well Plated recipe. I didn’t one pot it, so I didn’t use the chicken stock and made it a vegetarian recipe. You could easily omit the cheese and make it a vegan recipe. My favourite part was the toasted bread crumbs. I’m going to throw those on top of pasta more often.
I was going to make Ricotta Banana pancakes one Sunday morning, but the ricotta didn’t seem too fresh so I stuck to just bananas. I followed this recipe. They were tasty, and crispy, but fluffy on the inside. They were also very banana-y.
Buffalo Chicken Salad
The reason I love doing the Buffalo chicken in the slow cooker is that I can make a bunch and use it for a couple meals. We also used Buffalo chicken in quesadillas. For the salad, I used two kinds of lettuce that came in our produce box, topped it with chopped carrot and cucumber. I then sprinkled on the chicken. Okay, I heaped on the chicken. For dressing, I used blue cheese along with some more Buffalo sauce.
We had so many apples. All from produce boxes. I thought maybe I should do something with them. First, I made this 3-ingredient, sugar-free apple sauce. Then, I made some really delicious apple muffins. Ethan doesn’t particularly like apple and cinnamon together (crazy I know), so I wanted to find a recipe that wasn’t cinnamon heavy. I loved the way these muffins turned out and I would absolutely make them again. Find the recipe here.
Homemade Burgers, Corn with Barbecue Butter, and Buffalo Cauliflower
The burgers were homemade – nothing too special. I used a pound of ground beef with egg, Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, bread crumbs and milk. I topped them with cheese slices, onions, barbecue sauce and mayo. For the corn, I was inspired to try something a little different by my latest copy of Food Network Magazine. I melted some unsalted butter in a pan, stirred in some barbecue sauce and minced garlic. Put in a little salt and painted it on the corn. Then topped it with some chives. Ethan made some buffalo cauliflower using this recipe.
Portobello Burger and Greek Pasta Salad
We also got portobellos in our produce box (that was some good value, my friends!) They were grilled on the barbecue for a few minutes. I topped mine with provolone, ricotta, roasted red peppers, and balsamic glaze. These were delicious. For the pasta salad, it was just mixed in Greek dressing with some chopped onions and chives.
We had bought some mint for mojitos (delicious, btw). So while I was flipping through my copy of Craft Cocktails and found this recipe to use up some more mint. We had everything but the crushed ice, which turned out to be a pretty vital aspect. I had never had a mint julep before, and I believe that they are closer to a snow cone than I was able to make. Get the recipe here.