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Maple Salmon

Maple Salmon


While I was looking for new maple dishes to try I came across a recipe for maple salmon on allrecipes.com. The recipe immediately caught my attention as it reminded me of my all time favorite salmon dish, salmon teriyaki. This maple salmon is very similar to the salmon teriyaki in that they are both marinated in a sweet and salty sauce and then broiled until just cooked. In fact I have used maple syrup as the sweetener in teriyaki sauce instead of sugar before so this recipe seemed pretty natural to me. One of the best things about salmon recipes like this is that they are so easy to make. You just marinate the salmon for 20 or so minutes and then broil for a few minutes. So little effort for such great reward! The maple salmon turned out great! The sweet and salty sauce went really well with the moist and juicy salmon which seemed to almost melt in your mouth. I really like the way the maple flavour worked in this dish. I will definitely be making this again!

Maple Salmon

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound salmon
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger (grated, optional)

Directions
1. Marinate the salmon in the maple, soy and ginger for 20+ minutes.
2. Cook the salmon in a preheated oven set to broil for 5-10 minutes. (Pour some of the marinade over the salmon several times while cooking.)
3. Place the salmon on a plate and pour some of the maple sauce from the bottom of the pan on top of the salmon.

Similar Recipes:
Salmon Teriyaki
Misoyaki Salmon
Pan Seared Turkey Breast with Apple and Maple Sauce
Salmon Noodle Soup
Maple and Miso Scallops

Other Maple Recipes

Osso Buco

Osso Buco


Osso buco is a dish that has been popping up on my radar for a while now and it always looks so good. Even just the description of it sounds great; "Veal shanks braised in a white wine and tomato sauce." Braising is one of my favorite ways of cooking meat as it always turns out perfectly falling apart tender and full of flavour. The ossobuco veal shank is cut such that the marrow of the bone is exposed and it starts to melt into the pot as the veal braises infusing the dish with even more flavour. Osso bucco is commonly served with a gremolata topping that consists of chopped up garlic, parsley and lemon zest. The gremolata topping sounded so good that I could not pass on it. Risotto alla milanese or risotto flavoured with saffron is also commonly served with osso buco and I thought that it would be a perfect bed to soak up all of the excess sauce.

The osso buco takes a bit of time to make for the braising but otherwise it is pretty simple. While the meat is braising you have plenty of time to make the risotto and the gremolata at a relaxed pace. The osso buco with risotto alla milanese and gremolata was great! The meat was so tender and the sauce was absolutely packed with flavour. The tasty sauce went really well with the creamy risotto which quickly soaked up its flavours. The gremolata added a really nice touch of freshness to the meal. (I wonder what other dishes I can use a gremolata with?) I made enough for leftovers and now I will get to enjoy this tasty meal all week.

Osso Buco

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 veal shank
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup flour
4 ounces pancetta (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 lemon (zest only)
2 cups white wine
2 cups beef stock
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary

Directions:
1. Season the veal with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour shaking off any excess.
2. Cook the pancetta in a large oven proof pan and set aside reserving the grease in the pan.
3. Brown the veal on all sides on med/high heat one at a time and set aside.
4. Add some more oil to the pan if needed and saute the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and lemon zest on medium heat until tender, about 7-9 minutes.
5. Add the wine, stock and tomatoes and deglaze the pan and bring to a simmer.
6. Add the pancetta, veal, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary and bring to a simmer.
7. Cover and transfer to a preheated 350F oven and cook until the veal is fall off the bone tender, about 1 to 2.5 hours, turning the veal over in the middle. (Check the liquid every once in a while and top it off with some more beef broth if it falls to half way up the veal.)

Gremolata



Ingredients:
1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
1 lemon (zest only)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 handful toasted pine nuts

Directions:
1. Mix everything.

Similar Recipes:
Ossobuco Tagine
Braised Short Rib Ragu
Chicken Giouvetsi
Chicken Cacciatore (Hunter Style Chicken)
Fish a la Spetsiota

Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake

Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake


Last week the food blogging sphere was filled with some amazing looking blueberry coffeecakes which was perfect timing as I had recently found some blueberries in my freezer. I decided to go with this recipe as it is one of my favorites for baked goods like this. I like that it uses lots of good stuff like whole wheat flour and rolled oats. I even used whole wheat flour in to make the crumb topping. The banana and yogurt keep the coffeecake nice and moist while also cutting down on the amount of butter required. Maple goes really well with blueberries and it finished this coffeecake off perfectly. I added even more maple flavour by using maple sugar in the crumb topping instead of regular sugar. The maple blueberry crumb coffeecake turned out amazing! It was nice and light and moist and full of maple and blueberry flavour. Now I am looking forward to eating this coffeecake for breakfasts all week.

Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake

(makes 9+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 over ripe banana (mashed)
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 egg
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
pinch cinnamon

Directions:
1. Mix the brown sugar, maple syrup, yogurt, banana, butter, egg and rolled oats in a bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes.
2. Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients along with the blueberries until just mixed.
4. Pour the mixture into a greased 8 inch square baking pan.
5. Mix the pecans, flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon until they form crumbs.
6. Spread the streusel over the mixture.
7. Bake in a preheated 375F oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Muffins with Pecan Streusel
Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes
Blueberry Coffeecake
Blueberry Crumb Bars with Lemon Cream Filling
Blueberry Buckle
Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Smoothie
Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Blueberry Maple Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Other Maple Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


I have been trying to free up some space in my freezer lately and I have been coming across some amazing finds. My most recent discovery was some pureed pumpkin that I had frozen earlier in the winter when I had more than I had needed. I had also recently come across the steel cut oats in my cupboard and I thought that pumpkin pie oatmeal would be a nice treat for breakfast. You could easily make this with any kind of oatmeal but I prefer the steel cut oatmeal for its chewier texture. Steel cut oatmeal takes a bit of time to cook and I don't really have the time to make in on weekday mornings but a rice cooker with a timer and a porridge setting is the perfect solution. Waking up to the smell of the cooking oatmeal in the morning and knowing that it will be ready by breakfast time is always nice. After the oatmeal was done cooking in the rice cooker I transferred it to a small pan and added the pumpkin, some brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices. The pumpkin pie oatmeal was great! It was just like eating a bowl of pumpkin pie for breakfast. I wonder what I will find in my freezer next...

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

(makes 1 serving)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 serving oatmeal (cooked)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 dash cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1 dash ginger
1 dash cloves
1 splash milk (optional)

Directions:
1. When the oatmeal is finished cooking add the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and spices and cook to heat.
2. Add a splash of milk to cool the oatmeal and to get it to the consistency that you prefer.

Similar Recipes:
Pumpkin Pie
Oatmeal
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Pumpkin Pie French Toast
Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Lemon

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Lemon


The weather is starting to get warmer and today for the first time I was thinking that sometime soon I would have to retire my winter coat for the year. With that I also realized that winters produce would soon disappear from store shelves and that I should get in any last minute enjoyment from them that I can. One thing that I have been enjoying throughout winter but that I seem to have forgotten to post about is brussels sprouts. One of my new found favorite ways of enjoying brussels sprouts this wither was this brussels sprouts dish with bacon and lemon. Bacon always makes vegetables tastier and the lemon in this dish really brightens it up. Shredding the brussels sprouts takes a bit of work but I really enjoy the texture of them done this way so it is worth the effort. Overall this is a fairly quick and tasty side dish that has been a welcome addition to my recipe collection this winter.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Lemon

(makes 4 side dish sized servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 shallot (chopped)
1 pound brussels sprouts (cleaned, shredded, blanched and drained)
4 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the shallot and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the brussels sprouts, bacon, lemon zest, salt and pepper and toss to mix.

Similar Recipes:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Peas with Pancetta and Shallots
Green Beans in Butter and Lemon with Parmigiano Reggiano
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Parmigiano Reggiano
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Covered in Melted Gorgonzola
Brussels Sprouts in Black Bean Sauce

Grilled Vegetable Panini

Grilled Vegetable Panini


A while ago I made an eggplant and mozzarella panini that I really enjoyed. While I was eating it ideas started to form about other tasty sandwiches. The ideas percolated over the intervening days and came to fruition recently when I realized that that I had some chickpeas that needed to be used and a freezer full of roasted red peppers. I had been thinking about a grilled eggplant and zucchini sandwich with roasted red peppers and the leftover chickpeas inspired my to add some hummus to the sandwich. Hummus is one of my favorite dips and I am constantly looking for new ways to enjoy it. Using it as a condiment in a sandwich is something that I have been wanting to try for a while and this was the perfect chance. I also wanted some cheese in my sandwich and since I already had a lot of ingredients that I associate with Greek cuisine, I thought that some crumbled feta would go nicely. I finished the sandwiches off with a splash of balsamic vinegar for even more flavour and a bit of a kick. With the sandwiches contents decided, the only thing left was the bread. I really like the texture of whole grained bread and since it is also healthier I tend to always pick it up and I used some for these sandwiches. The grilled panini sandwiches turned out great! They were nice and warm and full of flavour and oh so good! Everything in this sandwich just worked really well together. I liked the way that the crumbed feta kind of melted into the sandwich and splash of balsamic vinegar was perfect. I have a feeling that I will be making these sandwiches again and again.

Note: I just used a plain hummus but you could easily drop the roasted red peppers and use a roasted red pepper hummus of any other flavour of hummus would go well in this sandwich. I am looking forward to making these sandwiches again and using roasted garlic hummus or maybe sun dried tomato hummus or maybe even sun dried olive hummus.

Grilled Vegetable Panini

(makes 4 sandwiches)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 zucchini (cut into thin slices)
1 eggplant (cut into thin slices)
* olive oil
oregano, salt and pepper to taste
4 roasted red peppers
1 cup feta (crumbled)
4 tablespoons hummus
8 slices of bread
balsamic vinegar

Directions:
1. Lightly brush the zucchini and eggplant in olive oil and season with oregano, salt and pepper.
2. Grill the vegetables over medium-high heat until tender and nice and golden brown.
3. Assemble sandwich including a slash of balsamic vinegar.
4. Lightly brush the bread in olive oil and grill until golden brown on both sides.

Similar Recipes:
Grilled Portobello and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich with Pistachio Pesto
Eggplant and Mozzarella Panini
Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto and Feta
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
Caprese Sandwich
Zucchini Bread with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry


I had been eating kind of heavy meals over the last few days and I was feeling like something lighter and healthier. I remembered seeing a cauliflower and chickpea curry at a restaurant that I thought looked good and I wanted to try making it at home. With the main ingredients of cauliflower and chickpeas this curry sounded like it would fit both the light and healthy bills. I also wanted to fit a green vegetable into the curry and since fresh green beans are still available I decided to add some. I enjoy the chewy texture of brown rice and given that it is also the healthier option I thought that it would make the perfect bed to soak up the extra curry sauce. This curry is really easy to make and it takes very little effort or time so it is perfect for week nights. Given that the curry powder is the primary source of flavour you are going to want to use a tasty one and I used my favorite. The cauliflower and chickpea curry turned out really well. It was nice and tasty and light and yet still filling. I packed the leftovers up into individual servings and I have been bringing them to work for lunches this week. The leftover reheat well in a microwave and they have only been tasting better with age.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

(makes 4+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon ginger (chopped)
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili sauce (optional)
1 head cauliflower (cut into florets)
1 (19 once) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 cup water
1/2 pound green beans (trimmed and sliced into 1 inch long pieces)
salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
2. Add the onion and curry powder and cook until the onion is tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the tomatoes, chili sauce, cauliflower, chickpeas and water and and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
6. Add the green beans and cook until they are just tender and still crisp, about 3-5 minutes.
7. Serve on brown rice and garnish with cilantro.

Similar Recipes:
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
Chicken and Cashew Curry
Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Farro Salad
Roasted Cauliflower
Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

Maple Pots de Creme

Maple Pots de Creme


A big bottle of maple syrup was sitting on my counter just tempting me to use it again and I could not resist. I opened my browser and did a quick search for bookmarked maple recipes and came across this one for maple pots de creme on Eggs on Sunday that sounded decadently delicious. Pots de creme are cream mixed with some kind of flavour, such as chocolate or maple syrup along with a sweetener if required, that is baked with egg yolks until it sets like a custard. Maple flavoured pots de creme sounded irresistibly good and I got to making them right away! The maple pots de creme were pretty easy to make and well worth the hour waiting for them to bake while being tortured by their amazing aroma. They were nice and warm and light and creamy and full of maple goodness! With a nice show of will power I wrapped the extras up in plastic wrap and placed them in the fridge. The leftovers were really nice while still cool from the fridge. They were a bit thicker and nice and cool and refreshing but they were still amazingly creamy and full of maple flavour.

Maple Pots de Creme

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Bring the cream, maple syrup and salt to a simmer in a sauce pan.
2. Mix the egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl.
3. Mix the cream mixture into the egg yolks a little at a time.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
5. Pour the mixture into 4 ramekins.
6. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and fill the baking dish with hot water until it come halfway up the ramekins.
7. Bake in a preheated 300F oven until set, about 50-60 minutes.
8. Remove from hot water bath and let cool to room temperature.

Similar Recipes:
Chocolate Pots de Creme
Maple Creme Brulee
Molten Chocolate Cake

Other Maple Recipes

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip

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I had been coming across this recipe for jalapeno popper dip on sites like Big Red Kitchen for a while and I had just been itching to try it. I really like jalapeno poppers and this dip has all of the elements that make jalapeno poppers so good, from the jalapenos to the cream cheese and cheddar cheese to the crunchy bread crumb crust. With the temex kick that I have been on lately it was the perfect time to try this dip out. The jalapeno popper dip was easy to make and the results were great! I increased the amount of jalapenos and added some fresh jalapenos for even more jalapeno flavour and heat. The dip was nice and warm and gooey and oh so tasty! I really enjoyed the spicy cheesy dip and its crunchy topping and I will definitely be making it again. I served the jalapeno popper dip with lime tortilla chips for dipping.

Cilantro and Lime Rice

Cilantro and Lime Rice


One of the things that I liked about Chipotles burritos was the cilantro and lime rice. I often enjoy trying to replicate recipes that I remember having had somewhere else and I knew that I would have to try making the cilantro and lime rice. Of course the first way to make it that popped into my mind was the simplest way, just mix in some chopped cilantro, lime juice and lime zest after the rice is finished cooking. This way has the advantage of being quick and easy and you can use a rice cooker to make it even easier. But I thought, why not take the opportunity to make it better. I like the flavour that toasting the rice in oil before cooking adds and since I was going to be using some oil anyways, why not add some onions and garlic to fill out the rice a bit more. I like to use brown rice whenever possible and I thought this was the perfect time to do so. The cilantro and lime rice turned out really well. It was light and fluffy and the lime juice and zest added a nice freshness to the rice. Cilantro is one of the flavours that I associate with Mexican cuisine so it was right at home in the rice as well. I used the cilantro and lime rice in the burritos that I recently made, though it would also make for a great side dish.

Cilantro and Lime Rice

(makes 4+ side dish servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 cup long grained rice (I like to use brown)
2 cups water
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
1 lime (juice and zest)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the rice and toast in the oil for a few minutes.
5. Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until tender, about 20 minutes for white rice or 40-50 minutes for brown.
6. Remove from the heat and mix in the cilantro, lime juice and zest.

Similar Recipes:
Mexican Rice
Cheesy Broccoli Rice
Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach Rice)
Onion and Cilantro Relish
Cilantro and Lime Refried Beans
Mexican Quinoa

Use in:
Burritos
Burrito Bowls
Korean Short Rib Burrito
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Burrito (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Burrito)
Thai Chicken 'Mole'
Chipotle Butternut Squash and Black Bean Burrito Bowl

Serve with:
Chicken Mole

Burritos

Burrito


Toronto has a great number of restaurants representing a large number of cuisines. To my disappointment, one cuisine that I find Toronto is lacking in is one of my favorites, Mexican cuisine. There just aren't all that many Mexican restaurants in Toronto so when I noticed a new one opening on my walk home from work I took note. The new restaurant was a Chipotles and it was billing itself as a 'gourmet' burrito joint. I was pretty curious to find out exactly what a 'gourmet' burrito was so I had to stop by. The Chipotles gourmet burrito turned out to be a pretty normal burrito with rice, beans, meat, salsa, sour cream and cheese (they charged extra for the guacamole). The burrito was pretty good but it was also pretty expensive and I figured that I could do better at home and for a lot less. Shortly after visiting Chipotles I came across a z-Teca which was also billing itself as a gourmet burrito joint and their advertising campaign seemed to revolve around the size of their burritos. I tried their burritos as well and they were really big and they were good, but, once again I felt that I could do better at home. Thus, the burrito quest started.

A burrito is a tortilla that is wrapped around a filling and with such a simple definition the possibilities are almost endless! The tortilla wrapping makes burritos nice and convenient and portable so you can grab one while on the run. Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with and really enjoying various burritos and fillings. What follows is a list of what I have tried and ideas that I would like to try.

Meat Fillings


Carnitas: Slow braised moist and tender pork fried until slightly crispy on the outside.
Salsa Verde Carnitas: Carnitas that were braised in salsa verde and then the salsa verde is mixed back in with he pork after frying it until it is crispy.
Pork al Pastor Style: Pork marinated in a chili and pineapple sauce and then slow roasted until it is falling apart tender.
Tinga: Pork stewed in a tomato and chipotle sauce.
7 Chili Chili: Tender beef braised in a spicy chili sauce. (After reheating the pot of chili a few nights in a row, most of the liquid had evaporated and I used it in a burrito and it was really good.)
Taco Seasoned Meat: Taco seasoned meats such as Texmex seasoned ground beef or Texmex seasoned shredded chicken.

Seafood Fillings


Crab: I have not tried this one yet but I imagine that using the crab from these crab quesadillas would make for a great burrito filling.
Shimp: I also want to try using the shrimp from these shrimp quesadillas or these shrimp tacos in a burrito.
Fish: The spicy texmex seasoned flaked fish from these fish tacos would also make a great burrito filling.

Other Fillings


Cilantro and Lime Rice

Cilantro and Lime Rice: Rice is a pretty standard burrito filling and I like to liven it up a bit with some chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest. I also like to use brown rice rather that white rice whenever possible.



Refried Beans

Refried beans: Beans are also a common burrito filling whether plain or seasoned with cumin, chili powder and oregano or even refried.



Onion and Cilantro Relish

Onion and Cilantro Relish: A simple condiment of chopped sweet onions with a pungent kick along with some chopped cilantro for added freshness.



Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo: Fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers and cilantro.



Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde: A really tasty salsa made from tomatillos, jalapeno peppers and cilantro with just the right amount of heat.



Guacamole

Guacamole: This cool and creamy avocado salsa provides a nice balance to the sources of heat in your burrito.







Sour Cream
Cheese
Chopped Cilantro

Examples


Carnitas Burrito

Carnitas burrito with cilantro and lime brown rice, seasoned black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar cheese in a whole grain tortilla.

7 Chili Chili Burrito

7 chili chili burrito with cilantro and lime brown rice, seasoned black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Vegetarian Burritos


Pumpkin and Black Bean Burrito




Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito

These sweet potato and black bean enchiladas also make a tasty burrito.

Breakfast Burritos


Ham and Egg Burrito


Chorizo and Egg Burritos
Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken and Egg Burritos

Similar Recipes:
Burrito Bowls
Tacos
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tostadas
Chipotle Butternut Squash and Black Bean Burrito Bowl

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is a condiment like a salsa that is made with fresh chopped tomatoes, onions and chilies. It can be used just like a salsa for dipping tortilla chips into or as a side dish or a condiment. One advantage that it has over salsas is that there is less liquid and that makes it a perfect filling for tacos and burritos etc. The thing that I like most about pico de gallo is that it is nice and fresh and it brightens up almost any meal. To maximize the freshness I typically make the pico de gallo just before I use it. It is also really quick and easy to make, a real winning combo in my books! This recipe is really loose given that I normally just throw it together with what I have on hand. I do like to throw some extras in like lime juice and cilantro to brighten things up a bit. I recently made some pico de gallo to go with the carnitas that I made.

Pico de Gallo

(makes 2 appetizer sized servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1 jalapenos (seeded and chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1 lime (juice)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix everything.

Similar Recipes:
Tomatillo Pico de Gallo
Onion and Cilantro Relish
Salsa Verde
Korean Style Salsa Roja
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Pineapple and Banana Salsa
Strawberry and Avocado Salsa
Habanero Salsa

Use in:
Summer Vegetable Quinoa Burrito Bowls with Corn, Zucchini and Black Beans
7 Layer Dip
Carnitas
Tacos al Pastor
Tinga
Fish Tacos
Shrimp Tacos
Burritos
Burrito Bowls
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tostadas
Chipotle Butternut Squash and Black Bean Burrito Bowl
Mexican Quinoa and Beans with Pico de Gallo
Taco Pizza
Fajitas
Seven Layer Dip Cornmeal Pancakes
Chorizo Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Tacos
Blackened Catfish Tacos
Ham and Egg Breakfast Quesadillas
Carne Asada Salad
Carne Asada Tacos
Mini Pepper Nachos with Corn, Black Beans and Avocado

Carnitas

Carnitas


Mexican cuisine is one of my favorites and I often find myself craving those flavours that I like so much. Last week the craving were getting stronger and I satisfied them on the weekend by making carnitas. Carnitas is pork that is traditionally braised in lard on low heat until it is falling apart tender and then the heat is increased so that the pork begins to get crispy on the outside. This combination of moist and tender pork with a slightly crispy outside is simply amazing! The only problem is that cooking the pork in lard does not sound too appetizing. As an alternative, the last time that I made carnitas I simmered the pork in salsa verde until it was falling apart tender and then I shredded it and roasted it in the oven until it was nice and crispy on the outside. I then mixed the pork back into the remaining salsa verde.

The salsa verde carnitas were really good but I recently came across a new method of making carnitas on Homesick Texan that intrigued me. This recipe called for braising the pork in water for the first few hours and then increasing the heat and cooking it until the water had evaporated leaving the rendered pork fat. The pork is then cooked in the rendered pork fat, effectively frying the outside of the pork until it is crispy. The pork is then shredded and ready to go. Although this would probably still not be the same as cooking it in lard, it sounded like a great compromise that would have a very similar results and I just had to try it.

This way of making carnitas was really simple, requiring very little effort and just a bit of patience. I added some spices to the liquid while the pork was simmering to add some aromatics and a touch of flavour. The carnitas turned out great! I left them in fairly large chunks and they were nice and crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. What a great mix of contrasting textures. I will definitely be making carnitas like this again. I served the carnitas with tortillas, refried beans, guacamole and pico de gallo. I have been enjoying the carnitas all week and they have satisfied my Mexican cuisine cravings for now.

Carnitas

(makes 6+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 pound pork butt (cut into 2 inch cubes)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup of orange juice
3 cups of water

Directions:
1. Place everything in a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
2. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil uncovered until the liquid has evaporated and the fat has rendered, about 45 minutes, stirring a few times to make sure that the pork turns golden brown and crispy on all sides.
3. Shred or cut the pork to the desire sized pieces.

Note: Can be used as a filling in burritos.

Similar Recipes:
Lighter Carnitas
Salsa Verde Carnitas
Chili Verde
Tacos al Pastor
Beef Rendang
Jerked Pulled Pork Wraps with Mango and Banana Relish
Cochinita Pibil (Puerco Pibil)
Cochinita Pibil Tacos
Cuban Roast Pork (Lechon Asado)

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberries

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberries


I had been seeing a few lemon yogurt cakes around that looked good and I was thinking that the rest of my meyer lemons would go well in one. Recently I have been trying to clear some space in my freezer and I came across some blueberries that I had frozen in the summer. I really like the lemon and blueberry flavour combo and I could not resist adding the blueberries to the lemon yogurt cake. With he cake down the only thing that was left was the topping. I was thinking about going with a simple lemon glaze when I came across a bookmark for a lemon blueberry cake with a limoncello glaze on Dragon's Kitchen that sounded great! The lemon yogurt cake with blueberries was really easy to make, though it took a bit longer than I expected. (I think that was because I used still frozen blueberries.) The toothpick test worked and the cake came out perfectly baked even though it took a little longer. The cake was nice and light fluffy and moist and infused with blueberry and lemony goodness! The limoncello added a really nice zing to the lemon glaze that finished the cake off nicely. I think that I will be having this cake for breakfasts for the rest of the week and I am certainly looking forward to them.

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberries

(makes 6+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup yogurt
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon limoncello (or more lemon juice)
lemon zest to garnish

Directions:
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
2. Mix the lemon zest, yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla extract in another bowl.
3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
4. Mix in the blueberries.
5. Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about an hour.
7. Mix the confectioners sugar, lemon juice and limoncello and pour over the cake after it has cooled.

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberries


Similar Recipes:
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Muffins with Pecan Streusel
Raspberry and Lime Muffins
Blueberry Mochi Cake

Meyer Lemon Bars

Meyer Lemon Bars


Not to long ago I got the chance to use key limes for the first time and I used them to make a key lime pie. This weekend I stumbled across meyer lemons for the first time and I grabbed some right away. I had been hearing about meyer lemons for a long time and I had been wanting to try them. A meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange which sounded like a great combination. I really like using lemons in desserts and one of my favorites is the simple lemon bar. A lemon bar is a bar with a shortbread crust and a layer of lemon custard topped with icing sugar. I was thinking that meyer lemon bars be would be the perfect place to start enjoying my meyer lemons. I used a pretty standard recipe for the lemon bars that I found of Joy of Baking and I just substituted the lemon juice and zest for meyer lemon juice and zest. They meyer lemon bars were nice and simple to make though I did run into one small snag; I had some trouble getting the bars out of the baking pan. No worries though, the crumbled lemon bars were still great! I really enjoyed the meyer lemon bars and the meyer lemon flavour was a nice change from ordinary lemons. I am still surprised that something so naturally tart as a lemon can become so magically good in sweet dessert like this. The next time I make these lemon bars I think I might double the recipe for the lemon filling to get even more lemony goodness in each bite. For now, I still have a few meyer lemon left to enjoy.

Meyer Lemon Bars

(makes 16+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
confectioners sugar

Directions:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl.
2. Mix in the flour and salt until it comes together.
3. Press it down into a greased 8 inch square baking pan.
4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
5. Beat the eggs and sugar until smooth.
6. Mix in the lemon juice and zest.
7. Mix in the flour.
8. Pour the mixture onto the crust.
9. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until set, about 20 minutes.
10. Let cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Similar Recipes:
Key Lime Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Cranberry Turtle Bars
Lime Meltaways
Orange Cookies Dipped in Chocolate

Reuben Dip

Reuben Dip

Over the last week I had been enjoying the leftover corned beef in the form of reuben sandwiches. I made sure to save one serving of the corned beef for the weekend because there was one more recipe that I wanted to try with it. I had come across a recipe for a reuben dip a while ago and I just knew that I would have to make it. It has all of the great flavours of a reuben sandwich in the form of a dip! I tweaked the recipe a bit and added some cream cheese as it the base of all of my favorite hot cheesy dips. I also decided to serve it with some toasted rye bread which was the one component of a reuben sandwich that was missing. The reuben dip was amazingly good! It was nice and warm and ooey and gooey and stringy and addictively tasty. I have never seen a bowl of dip disappear so quickly! I ran out of toasted rye before the dip and the dip was eagerly finished off with a spoon. I will definitely be making this again.

Nutella and Banana Sandwich

Nutella and Banana Sandwich


One of my favorite go to breakfasts, lunches and/or snacks are nutella and banana sandwiches. I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand and if you combine that with how yummy they are and how quick and easy they are to make, I tend to have them fairly often. Nutella goes really well with a lot of fruits, though banana seems to be the one that I keep coming back to. I normally eat them in sandwich fashion with two slices of bread but an open faced sandwich, or toast, also works really well. I sometimes even butter them up and grill them so that they are nice and golden brown on the outside and the nutella is warm and melted on the inside. You could also easily turn it into french toast for something a bit different.

Nutella and Banana Sandwich

(makes 1 sandwich)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 or 2 slices of bread
1 tablespoon nutella
1 banana (sliced)

Directions:
1. Assemble sandwich.

Similar Recipes:
Nutella and Banana Crepes
Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Sandwiches
Strawberry and Nutella Crepes
Nutella Stuffed French Toast

Sugar Shack (Top Recipes with Maple)

Maple Syrup


A sugar shack is a cabin out in the woods where sap is collected from maple trees and boiled into maple syrup. It is always fun to visit sugar shacks for the maple festival during maple season. They are always fun and it is a great opportunity to stock up on maple products for the rest of the year. Since maple season is getting under way and maple festivals are starting up I thought I would take the opportunity to round up some of the maple recipes that I have tried recently.

Pure Maple Indulgence


Maple Snickerdoodles

Snicker Snickerdoodles - These snickerdoodles are nice and chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. Sweetened with maple syrup and topped with maple sugar these cookies pack intense maple flavour!



Maple Cheesecake

Maple Cheesecake - This was a recent successful experiment to combine one of my all time favorite desserts, cheesecake, with one of my favorite flavours, maple. The cheese cake is sweetened with maple syrup and then served drenched in even more maple syrup.



Maple Creme Brulee

Maple Creme Brulee - Smooth and creamy and decadent creme brulee flavoured with maple syrup and topped with slightly crispy layer of caramelized maple sugar.



Maple Pots de Creme

Maple Pots de Creme - Another smooth and creamy maple treat.



Treats with a Touch of Maple


Maple Pecan Pie with Maple Whipped Cream and Maple Syrup

Maple Pecan Pie with Maple Whipped Cream and Maple Syrup - I added a maple twist to a classic pecan pie with amazing results.



Maple Butter Tarts

Maple Butter Tarts - Butter tarts are a childhood favorite of mine and I added a maple kick that made them even better.



Savoury Maple'y Mains


Maple Salmon

Maple Salmon - This is such a quick and simple meal and yet so good. The sweet and salty maple sauce goes so well with the salmon which seems to just melt away in your mouth...mmm...



Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken

Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken - Maple also works well in savoury dishes like this sweet and tangy maple and mustard glazed chicken which is quick and easy and full of flavour!



Pan Seared Turkey Breast with Apple and Maple Sauce

Pan Seared Turkey Breast with Apple and Maple Sauce - This is another quick and tasty maple dish. The savoury chicken boulion contrasts the sweet maple syrup nicely and the tart apples finish the dish off with a kick. This is a dish that I make over and over again.



Maple and Miso Scallops

Maple and Miso Scallops - The sweet and savoury maple syrup and miso sauce works really well well on both the pan seared scallops and as a salad dressing.



Maple Sides


Roasted Squash with Gorgonzola and Maple Syrup

Roasted Squash with Gorgonzola and Maple Syrup - This side dish combines roasted butternut squash with sweet maple syrup and tangly blue cheese for a stunning flavour sensation.



Maple Glazed Carrots with Dill

Maple Glazed Carrots with Dill - This is a simple and quick side dish where maple syrup helps bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots and the dill works surprisingly well.



Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole - I took a classic sweet potato casserole and added a hint of maple to change things up a bit.



Maple Dijon Green Beans

Maple Dijon Green Beans - Here is that amazing maple syrup and mustard combination again and this time it make simple green beans a pure pleasure to eat.



Maple Breakfasts


Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Muffins with Pecan Streusel - Blueberry and maple is such a great combination and these muffins are the perfect way to enjoy them. They are nice and light and fluffy and moist and good. Better yet, they have a healthy twist.



Maple Pecan Granola

Maple Pecan Granola - Granola is great for breakfasts and for snacking and it is even better when made with maple syrup.



Blueberry and Maple Pecan Granola Parfait

Blueberry and Maple Pecan Granola Parfait - Of course you could always make it better by adding some yogurt and blueberries and drowning it in even more maple syrup.



Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake

Blueberry Crumb Coffeecake - Another great maple and blueberry combo is this maple crumb blueberry coffeecake.



Maple Oat Bread

Maple Oat Bread - How much maple-y goodness can you get into one loaf of bread? Between the maply syrup baked into this yeast bread and the maple sugar topping and then you enjoy it with some maple butter...mmm...



Pancakes


Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes - Of course you can't talk about maple syrup without talking about pancakes and blueberry pancakes are among my favorites. Once again we see that maple and blueberry combination working so well.



Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes - Light and fluffy banana and buttermilk pancakes are another great way to go.



Even with all of the dishes above there are still a lot more. It seems that I have been using maple syrup a lot over the last two years. I have added a new Maple label to all of the posts with maple if you are interested in more.