Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread


The farmers market has been overflowing with zucchini lately. They have so much that they are quite literally giving it away! This weekend when I picked up some zucchini at the farmers market they threw in a few extra as I paid. The question was: What was I going to do with all of this unexpected extra zucchini? The first thing that came to mind was a zucchini bread which is always a nice and easy way to use some zucchini. This time however I wanted to try a chocolate version of the zucchini bread. I pretty much just took my standard zucchini bread recipe and added cocoa powder. I kept the walnuts in the bread and added some chocolate chips for even more chocolaty goodness. The chocolate zucchini bread was as easy to make as mixing the ingredients and baking and it turned out wonderfully. I could not resist slicing the bread and trying a piece before it had cooled down from the oven. The chocolate chips were still melted from baking and the bread was nice and light and moist and good! One of the things that I like most about making quick breads like this is that now I will have quick and easy breakfasts for the rest of the week.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Servings: 1
ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini (grated, squeezed and drained)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
directions
  1. Mix the zucchini, sugar, oil, yogurt and egg in a bowl.
  2. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Mix in the nuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 5X9 inch loaf pan.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 50-70 minutes.

Korean Short Rib Burritos

Korean Short Rib Burrito


I certainly enjoyed eating the Korean short rib tacos during the week but by the end of the week I is looking to change things up a bit. Another item on the Kogi menu was burritos and those burritos are breakfast burritos with eggs. Thought the breakfast burritos sounded good I was thinking of a more dinner style burrito. I normally construct my burritos with a base of rice, beans and meat and then add the extras like salsa, cheese, etc. For the barbecue short rib burritos I went with cilantro and lime rice made with brown short grain rice, the Korean style refried beans , the barbecue short ribs and the other fixings from the short rib tacos. The Korean short rib burritos were pretty easy to make given that most of the ingredients were already made and they turned out nicely. The cilantro and lime rice and refried beans went really well with the Korean short ribs and the rest of the taco condiments. The burritos were nice and tasty and filling with the perfect amount of heat. The next time I make kalbi I am going to have to try the breakfast version of these burritos as well.

Korean Short Rib Burritos

Korean Short Rib Burrito

Servings: 4
ingredients
directions
  1. Assemble burritos.

Korean Style Refried Beans

Korean Style Refried Beans


While I was thinking about the recent Korean and Mexican fusion dishes that I made recently, I was also thinking about side dishes and one thing that came to mind was Korean refried beans. When I make refried beans I often spike them with some freshly toasted ground chilies and cumin and I was thinking that a Korean version could use gochujang, a Korean fermented chili paste, and sesame both in the form of toasted and crushed seeds and oil. I usually fry my refried beans in bacon grease to add flavour and since I rarely have bacon grease on hand that means that I need to cook some bacon and if I am cooking it anyways I might as well throw it as well. Since pork belly is commonly used in Korean cooking I decided to replace the bacon with some uncured pork belly. Next up was the beans and since I generally regard azuki beans as Asian I decided to use them instead of the usual pinto or black beans. The Korean style refried beans were easy to make and they turned out really well. They were nice and creamy and full of flavour. I really like the way the spicy and tasty gochujang worked with the creamy azuki beans and the sesame aroma definitely made me think of Asian cuisine while I was eating it. The Korean style refried beans worked well as a side dish for the Korean BBQ short rib tacos .

Korean Style Refried Beans

Korean Style Refried Beans

Servings: 2 cup
ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 ounces pork belly (or bacon, thinly sliced)
  • 1 small onion (chopped, optional)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped, optional)
  • 1 (19 ounce) can azuki beans (or pinto, black, etc., drained and rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted and crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
directions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the pork belly and cook until it turns white.
  3. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the beans and gochujang and cook until warm.
  6. Mash the beans until you get them to the consistency that you want and stir in the sesame seeds and sesame oil. (If the beans are too thick you can add water to thin them out.)

Creamy Pea and Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pea and Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad


I have been wanting to try making a pasta salad for a while now and when I came across this recipe for a pesto pasta salad on Savoury Sweet Life I could not resist making it right away. Pasta salads are salads formed with a base of pasta and pretty much anything that you can think of can be added after that. Pasta salads are normally served chilled and often have a mayo based dressing. This pasta salad has mayo in the dressing but the dressing is primarily based on freshly made basil pesto. I really liked the sound of combining the creamy and tangy mayo and with the fresh pesto and I just had to try it. Not only did the dressing for this pasta salad sound good but it also contains two other great ingredients, artichoke hearts and peas. Luckily I was still able to find some fresh peas at the farmers market but frozen would also work well. This pasta salad came together easily with the hardest part being the waiting for it to chill in the fridge. The creamy pea and artichoke pesto pasta salad turned out great! It really was nice and creamy and the pesto and mayo dressing was nice and tangy and fresh and really tasty. As I found out just recently, peas go really well with mayo and they added a nice hit of sweetness to this pasta salad. The salad tasted great after chilling for just a half an hour but it tasted even better the day after when the flavours had had a chance to mingle a bit. With a pasta salad under my belt next up to try is a potato salad.

Creamy Pea and Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pea and Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

Servings: 4
ingredients
  • 1/2 pound penne (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (quartered)
  • parmigiano reggiano to taste (grated)
directions
  1. Cook the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. Mix the pesto and the mayonnaise in a bowl.
  3. Toss the pasta in the pesto mixture along with the peas.
  4. Gently fold in the artichoke hearts.
  5. Let chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or more.
  6. Serve garnished with the grated parmigiano reggiano.

Kimchi Quesadillas

Kimchi Quesadillas


While I was researching the Kogi taco truck short rib tacos I came across the kimchi quesadillas on their menu. I am a huge fan of kimchi and I knew that I would have to try the kimchi and melted cheese combo as soon as possible! I immediately started making a fresh batch of kimchi and then I impatiently waited for it to ferment. The thing about kimchi is that the longer that it ferments the better it gets so despite the fact that you can start eating it after a few days it is best to wait a few weeks for the flavour to build up. Based on Kogi's description and photos it looked like the kimchi quesadilla was simply filled with kimchi and cheese. I was a bit worried that the kimchi might be a bit to wet, and no one likes a soggy quesadilla, so I decided to saute the kimchi first to both reduce the moisture in it and to caramelize it a bit to add some flavour. The kimchi quesadilla was nice and easy to make and it was awesome! I cannot believe how good the warm melted cheese and caramelized spicy kimchi combo is! The kimchi was packed with flavour and the perfect amount of heat and the melted cheese held everything together and added a great texture. The tortillas were nice and golden brown and light and slightly crispy making the perfect hand holdable wrapping for the quesadillas. I garnished the kimchi quesadillas with some of the Korean style salsa roja and it added even more flavour and heat. I have to admit that I like these quesadillas so much that I have made them more than a few times already. I'm glad that I made a big batch of kimchi!

Kimchi Quesadillas

Kimchi Quesadillas

Servings: 1
ingredients
  • 2 strips bacon (cut into 1 in pieces)
  • 1/4 cup kimchi (drained and chopped)
  • 2 tortillas
  • 2 handfuls cheese (grated, I used a combination of cheddar and jack)
directions
  1. Cook the bacon and set aside retaining the grease.
  2. Saute the kimchi in the bacon grease until it starts to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
  3. Melt a touch of butter in a pan.
  4. Place a tortilla into the pan and swirl around in the butter and set aside.
  5. Place the second tortilla into the pan and swirl around in the butter.
  6. Sprinkle on half of the cheese onto the tortilla followed by the kimchi and bacon followed by the remaining cheese.
  7. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.

Tip: Place a plate onto the quesadilla and flipped it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan to flip the quesadilla.
Note: For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and fry the kimchi in a teaspoon of sesame oil.

Herbed Zucchini and Feta Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust

Herbed Zucchini and Feta Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust


Over the last few weeks the farmers market has been bursting with zucchini and it has been so cheap that I have been picking up a bunch of it every week. I have really been enjoying all of the fresh local zucchini and in particular I have been focusing on the grated zucchini, feta, and herb combination. So far I have made a raw salad and a Greek style phyllo pie with this combo and both turned out really well. While I was dreaming up the previous ideas it also occurred to me that a this combo would go well in a quiche. I pretty much just took the grated zucchini, feta and herb combo and mixed it into a quiche base including eggs and milk. Although a pastry crust would go well with this quiche I enjoyed the brown rice quiche crust that I made last time so much that I decided to use it again this time. The herbed zucchini and feta quiche with a brown rice crust was easy to make and it turned out great! The brown rice crust was slightly crispy on the outside and the slices held together well. I enjoyed the texture that the brown rice crust added to the quiche and it is not as guilty as a full butter pastry crust. The zucchini, feta and herb combo worked really well in the form of a quiche! The quiche was nice and light and moist and it was just packed with flavour. It is amazing how much flavour the feta, dill and mint bring to the table.

Herbed Zucchini and Feta Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust

Herbed Zucchini and Feta Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust

Servings: 6
ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup graviera (or gruyere, grated)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups zucchini (grated, squeezed and drained)
  • 1/4 cup herbs (such as dill, mint, parsley, chopped)
  • 2 green onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup feta (crumbled)
  • salt and pepper to taste
directions
  1. Mix the rice, cheese and egg in a bowl.
  2. Press the rice mixture into a pie plate, about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Bake in a preheated 450F oven until the edges and bottom just start turning golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Mix the eggs, milk, zucchini, dill, mint, green onions, feta, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.
  6. Bake in a preheated 375F oven until golden brown and set in the center, about 30-35 minutes.

Korean Short Rib Tacos

Korean Short Rib Tacos


A couple of weeks ago I came across the concept of Korean BBQ and Mexican fusion in the form of the short rib tacos from the Kogi taco trucks in California. Combining the facts that I am really into both Korean and Mexican cuisine and that California is so far away I immediatly decided to try making the short rib tacos at home. Since there were no recipes available I set upon creating my own. I started with the kalbi or Koren barbecue short ribs which are short ribs that are marinated in a slightly sweet marinade until tender and then grilled until the sugars from the marinade caramelize infusing the ribs with an amazing flavour. Next up was the Koren style salsa roja which was responsible for bringing the heat to the tacos. I created the salsa roja by combining a chili de arbol salsa with some sesame flavours and a hit of gochujang, a Korean fermented chili paste. An onion and cilantro relish and some shredded romaine lettuce in a chili and sesame vinaigrette rounded out the tacos bringing some fresh ingredients to them. Now that I had all of the ingredients made all that was left was to assemble the tacos.

This project (Project Kogi: Short Rib Tacos) took a bit of effort. After coming up with the recipes, making everything took a bit of time. The next time that I make these tacos I will make the salsa roja two nights ahead of time, marinate the ribs the night before, and make the relish and lettuce with dressing the morning of the meal. This way the only thing left to do is to pull everything out of the fridge, grill the ribs, assemble the tacos and enjoy. Despite the effort it was well worth it! The short rib tacos were absolutely amazing! The sweet and tender kalbi worked really well as a taco meat. The Korean style salsa roja added the perfect heat to the tacos along worth a ton of flavour. Feel free to pile this salsa on as it is really good! Come on, you can take the heat. :) Seriously I was eating this salsa by the spoonful. The onion and cilantro relish combined with the seasoned shredded romaine lettuce added a nice texture, juiciness and freshness to the tacos and finished them of perfectly. Overall the tacos were nice and light and full of flavour and I practically inhaled them.

Kogi also serves a bunch of other Korean/Mexican fusion dishes that sound really good. Stay tuned for more.

Korean Short Rib Tacos

Korean Short Rib Tacos

Servings: 4
ingredients
directions
  1. Assemble tacos.

Shredded Romaine in a Korean Sesame Vinaigrette

Shredded Romaine in a Korean Sesame Vinaigrette


Now that I had the meat in the form of the kalbi or Korean barbecue short ribs and the heat in the form of the Korean style salsa roja , the next items up for the Kogi short rib tacos were the fresh ingredients. For me, the fresh ingredients play an important roll in any taco whether it be in the form of a fresh salsa such as a pico de gallo or something a simple as chopped tomatoes and lettuce. The fresh ingredients add some extra layers of texture and a refreshing juicy break from the heat of the tacos. The Kogi short rib tacos are described as having a "julienne romaine lettuce and cabbage tossed in Korean chili-soy vinaigrette" in them. From the dressings name I used the soy sauce and some gochugaru, a Korean red chili powder. From there I used sesame oil for the oil and lime juice for the 'vinegar' thus adding the Texmex element. This 'salad' turned out pretty good despite being so simple. It worked even better in the tacos after letting it sit for a while to let the flavours mingle and to allow the lime juice to just start to wilt the lettuce. I imagine that this spiced romaine would do well as a condiment on many spicy meat dishes.

Shredded Romaine in a Korean Sesame Vinaigrette

Shredded Romaine in a Korean Sesame Vinaigrette

Servings: 4
ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 lime (juice)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce (shredded)
directions
  1. Mix the dressing and toss with the salad.

Onion and Cilantro Relish

Onion and Cilantro Relish


The next element in the Kogi short rib tacos was the "cilantro-green onion-lime relish". This relish sounded pretty simple except that when looking at photos of the Kogi tacos I always saw square white onions in addition to the elliptical green onions. Since I have often used a simple sweet white onion and cilantro relish in tacos before I decided to make a more generic onion and cilantro lime relish with both the green and white onions in it. This is such a simple condiment and yet it is really amazing. The onions in it add a nice sweet element to any dish followed a mild hidden pungent bite. A really nice freshness is added to whatever this condiment is used in by the cilantro and lime combo. The green onions are a nice addition to this version adding the Korean aspect to the relish.

Onion and Cilantro Relish

Onion and Cilantro Relish

Servings: 4
ingredients
  • 1 sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 bunch green onions (sliced, optional)
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 lime (juice)
directions
  1. Mix everything.

Korean Style Salsa Roja

Korean Style Salsa Roja


Continuing in my quest to create the Kogi short rib taco experience at home I came to the salsa. I generally associate tacos and Mexican food in general with spicy heat as I also do with Korean food. Since the Korean barbecue short ribs were relatively sweet I knew that the salsa would be a very important part of the tacos. Unfortunately I was not able to find an actual Kogi recipe so I needed to come up with my own.

The Kogi web site describes the salsa as such: "sesame-chili salsa roja". With that description I was thinking about a sauce made with a base of gochujang , a Korean fermented chili paste, with some sesame oil and seeds and maybe some ginger. After searching the Kogi site in depth I came across an old archived post that mentioned that it was a chili de arbol based salsa with 'secret' ingredients. When I saw that description I knew immediately what I wanted to do! I started with a basic chili de arbol salsa consisting of tomatoes, chilies de arbol, onion and garlic and I added some tomatillos for a depth of flavour. (Of course I roasted the tomatoes, tomatillos and onion to add even more flavour.) For the Korean fusion ingredients I added some ginger for a bit of a bite, some sesame oil for the aroma and flavour, some crushed toasted sesame seeds for some texture and the gochujang paste for some more heat and an additional layer of Korean flavour.

The salsa roja was pretty easy to make and it turned out so well! The only issue that I had with making the salsa was straining it, where I had to really work the salsa through the strainer with the back of a spoon to get all of the good stuff. It was well worth the effort though! The red salsa was nice and fiery hot and full of flavour. The first thing that hits you is the aroma of sesame oil which always reminds me of Asian food. Once you get it in your mouth you are hit be the intense heat which as it fades leaves you with a really tasty sauce. Since I added the crushed sesame seeds after straining the salsa they added a really nice texture to the otherwise smooth salsa. This red sauce is so addictive! I find myself eating it by the spoonful every time I pull it out to use.

Korean Style Salsa Roja

Korean Style Salsa Roja

Servings: 2 cup
ingredients
  • 1/2 pound plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 pound tomatillos (husked and washed)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ounce (about 20) dried chilies de arbol, toasted
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
directions
  1. Roast the tomatoes and tomatillos until charred on all sides, about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, water, chiles de arbol and onion into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer until the onions are tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Drain the water reserving it.
  4. Place everything other that the sesame seeds into a food processor or a blender and puree adding some of the reserved liquid if necessary.
  5. Strain the bits from the salsa.
  6. Mix in the toasted and crushed sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper.

Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)


A couple of weeks ago I came across an article about the Kogi taco truck in California. The Kogi taco truck is a taco truck that serves fusion Korean and Mexican foods in various locations in California letting people know where they will be by way of twitter. Since Korean and Mexican cuisines are among my favorites I immediately went into research mode trying to find out as much as I could about the Kogi taco truck. The Kogi taco trucks main products are Korean BBQ tacos and burritos with the short rib tacos being their signature dish. Since I probably won't be going to California any time soon I decided to try to create the Kogi taco experience at home and I thought that it would be a good idea to start with the short rib tacos. Of course a quick search of the internet brought up no results as far as Kogi recipes go, so I would have to come up with my own.

I figured that I would start with the most important part of the taco, the Korean BBQ short ribs otherwise known as galbi or kalbi. Kalbi is pretty much just beef short ribs that are marinated and the barbecued and there were no shortage of recipes on the web. One thing that I noticed about a lot of the recipes was that they were similar to the recipe that I used for Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef) even to the point of using grated Asian pears and/or apples as a part of the marinade. Having really enjoyed the bulgogi marinade I just decided to use a variant of that to use for the short ribs.

Kogi describes their short ribs being soft and tender and having them until the sugars from the marinade caramelize. I had a sweet marinade with sugars and I left the beef to marinate in it over night to make sure that they would be nice and tender. The Korean BBQ short ribs were pretty easy to cook and they turned out great! I made sure to grill the beef until it started to char and caramelize and doing so added a ton of flavour and a really nice texture to the beef. The short ribs were nice and tender and juicy and the slightly sweet caramelized goodness promised to go well in the spicy bbq short rib tacos.

Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Servings: 4
ingredients
  • 2 pounds short ribs (trimmed)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 inch ginger (grated)
  • 4 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (grated)
  • 1 Asian pear (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted and crushed)
directions
  1. Mix the marinade and marinate the ribs over night in the refrigerator.
  2. Remove the ribs from the marinade discarding the marinade.
  3. Grill the ribs until they are slightly charred and caramelized on both sides.

Fig and Brie Panini with Prosciutto

Fig and Brie Panini with Prosciutto


Summer is in full swing and we are just spoilt for choice. Not only are the markets filled with a ton of locally produced fruits and vegetables but they are also filled with great imports. In particular, I have been enjoying the figs lately. Mostly I have just been snacking on them but when I found some extra brie in my fridge I decided to do something more. After discovering that jams and preserves went well in grilled cheese sandwiches one of the first jams that I tried in a grilled cheese was a fig jam and I really enjoyed it. I was thinking that a grilled brie and fresh fig sandwich would also be great. This time I decided to beef (or pork in this case) the sandwich up a bit with some tasty prosciutto. The brie and fig panini turned out really well. The brie melted nicely and the sandwich was nice and ooey and gooey and good with every bite trailing strings of melted brie. The sweet fig, brie and prosciutto were a great combination and I practically inhaled the sandwich. Luckily I have enough of everything to make a few more of them.

Fig and Brie Panini with Prosciutto

Fig and Brie Panini with Prosciutto

Servings: 1
ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread (or a bun cut in half)
  • 2 figs (sliced)
  • 4 ounces brie (sliced)
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • olive oil
directions
  1. Assemble the sandwich and brush the outsides with olive oil.
  2. Grill until the brie is nice and melted and the bread is golden brown.

Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas

Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas


The farmers market has been overflowing with zucchini lately and I have been picking some up every week. Lately I have been enjoying working with grated zucchini and the last time I used it this way I thought that it would be perfect as a quesadilla filling. I have also been picking up some corn every week at the farmers market and while I was thinking about the zucchini quesadilla I thought that some sweet corn would also go well in the cheesy quesadilla. After the corn and zucchini I threw in some of my standard quesadilla ingredients including some green onions, cilantro and of course some jalapeno pepper for some heat. I was a little worried that the grated zucchini might be a little moist for quesadillas and since no one wants a soggy quesadilla I made sure to squeeze out and excess moisture from the zucchini after grating it. The corn and zucchini quesadillas turned out great! They were nice an golden brown on the outside and warm and gooey and cheesy and good on the inside. The zucchini and corn filling worked really well in a cheesy quesadilla. I served the quesadilla along with some salsa and sour cream for dipping.

Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas

Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas

Servings: 1
ingredients
  • 1 ear corn (grilled and kernels cut from cob)
  • 1 small zucchini (grated, squeezed and drained)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (chopped)
  • 1 green onion (sliced)
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (toasted and ground)
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 2 tortillas
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
directions
  1. Mix the corn, zucchini, jalapeno, green onion, cilantro, cumin and lime.
  2. Melt a touch of butter in a pan.
  3. Place a tortilla into the pan.
  4. Sprinkle some cheese on the tortilla followed by corn and zucchini mixture and top with more cheese and finally the other tortilla.
  5. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.

Tip: Place a plate onto the quesadilla and flipped it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan to flip the quesadilla.

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes


The last time that I made cornbread I tried serving it with maple syrup and it reminded me of pancakes. My next thought of course was, why not try cornmeal pancakes? With all of the fresh local blueberries available right now blueberry pancakes are often on my mind and I figured that it was the perfect time to try some blueberry cornmeal pancakes. The blueberry cornmeal pancakes came together quickly and easily and they turned out great! They were nice and golden brown on the outside and light and fluffy and filled with blueberry goodness on the inside. Blueberries and maple syrup are a great combo and I could not resist drowning these blueberry pancakes in maple syrup and topping them with a dab of melting butter to finish them off. I really enjoyed the texture that the cornmeal added to the pancakes and I am definitely going to be making cornmeal pancakes again.

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

Servings: 2
ingredients
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup blueberries
directions
  1. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the buttermilk, eggs and butter in another bowl.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients making sure to not over mix.
  4. Mix in the blue berries.
  5. Heat a pan and melt a touch of butter in it.
  6. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and heat until the surface starts to bubble and the bottom is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until the bottom is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

Agginaropita (Greek Artichoke Pie)

Agginaropita (Greek Artichoke Pie)

I still had a lot of phyllo dough left over after making the zucchini pie and I knew just what I wanted to use it for. Not too long ago I came across the concept of an artichoke pie on Kali Orexi and given my new found appreciation of artichokes I could not resist making one. I pretty much just took the zucchini pie's recipe and replaced the zucchini with artichoke hearts. I used canned artichoke hearts as that is what I could find but feel free to use frozen or fresh if you prefer. Working with phyllo dough is getting easier the more that I use it and this pie came together quite easily and it turned out great! The phyllo was a nice golden brown, light, crispy and flaky and good. The artichoke hearts worked really well in the pie and I enjoyed the freshness and flavour that the herbs added. I don't really think that you can go wrong with these vegetable pies with the feta and herbs all wrapped up in flaky phyllo and I look forward to experimenting with more versions.

Agginaropita (Greek Artichoke Pie)

Agginaropita (Greek Artichoke Pie)

Servings: 6
ingredients
  • 2 pounds artichoke hearts (quartered)
  • 1 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup herbs (such as dill, mint, parsley, chopped)
  • 1 bunch green onions (sliced)
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough (thawed over night in the fridge)
directions
  1. Mix the artichoke hearts, feta, herbs, green onions, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Brush the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking pan with olive oil.
  3. Brush the top of a sheet of phyllo dough with olive oil and place it in the pan. (You may have to cut the phyllo dough to fit the pan.) Repeat until you have 6 layers.
  4. Place the artichoke mixture on top of the phyllo dough.
  5. Brush the top of a sheet of phyllo dough with olive oil and place it on the artichoke filling. Repeat until you have 6 layers.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 30-50 minutes.

Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad


I had a bunch of corn on hand and after all of the tacos and burgers lately I was looking for something on the lighter side. The first thing that came to mind of course was a salad and I was thinking of a whole grain with quinoa. Given the Mexican theme that I have been on lately the next things that went into the salad were some black beans, a red pepper and a jalapeno pepper for some heat. Just one jalapeno pepper was not going to make it hot enough for me so I decided to add some more heat in the form of a chopped up chipotle in adobo sauce in the dressing. I always enjoy a nice whole grain salad as they are nice and light and yet filling and satisfying and this one was no different. The smoky chipotle dressing added the perfect amount of heat which was balanced nicely by the sweet corn and red pepper. The black beans added a nice creaminess and the cilantro and lime made the salad nice and fresh. This salad was great when I first served it while it was still warm from cooking the quinoa and the leftovers were really nice when served chilled straight from the fridge.

Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Servings: 4
ingredients
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 ear corn (grilled and kernels cut from cob)
  • 1/2 red pepper (sliced)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (sliced)
  • 1 green onion (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
directions
  1. Simmer the quinoa in the water until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  2. Mix the quinoa, black beans, corn, red pepper, jalapeno, green onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the oil, lime juice, chipotle in adobo sauce, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Toss the salad in the dressing.

Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)

Mexican Corn on the Cob

The fresh locally grown corn has been in the farmers market for the last few weeks and I have certainly been enjoying it. I have mostly just been eating off the cob with a little melted butter and some salt but I was looking for something new and I remembered seeing and interesting recipe for a Mexican corn on the cob or elote that I had wanted to try. The Mexican corn on the cob is covered with melting butter, mayonnaise, cotija cheese and cayenne pepper. I had never thought about using mayo on corn but mayo is easily one of my favorite condiments and I was interested in trying it out. Though I decided to roast my corn in the oven, you could easily cook it up on the grill until it is just slightly charred and good. I was pleasantly surprised by just how good the Mexican corn on the cob was! Of course butter and corn go hand in hand and the tangy mayo also went really well with the sweet corn. The salty cheese rounded things out and perhaps my favorite part was the spicy heat of the cayenne pepper which I loaded on. What a great way to enjoy corn! Part way through the week I got tired of picking corn from between my teeth so I tried just cutting the cook corn from the cob and mixing up all of the ingredients in a bowl and the combo was also great in that form.

Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)

Mexican Corn on the Cob (Elote)

Servings: 1
ingredients
  • 1 cob corn
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cotija cheese (crumbled, or feta or parmigiano reggiano)
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 lime wedge
directions
  1. Bake the corn in a preheated 350F oven for 25 minutes.
  2. Let the corn cool until you can handle it and peel the husk back.
  3. Spread butter on the corn followed by the mayonnaise.
  4. Sprinkle on the cheese and season with cayenne pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with a lime wedge.