Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad

Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad

Earlier in the week I made an asparagus and ramp pesto and the first thing that I used it in was a pasta dish. While I was enjoying the pesto pasta my mind wandered as I was thinking about what to do with the remaining pesto and the next thing I knew I was thinking about quinoa salads. I had also recently had fresh baby artichoke hearts for the first time and I wanted to use them again and I had thought that they might go well in a quinoa salad. Inspiration struck! How about mixing the asparagus and ramp pesto into the artichoke quinoa salad? The pesto packs a ton of flavour and it would just make the salad! With the basics down I decided to bulk the salad up a bit with some chickpeas and since there was already some asparagus there in the pesto I figured adding some more would fit right in. I could not resist finishing the salad off with some salty feta. The asparagus and baby artichoke quinoa salad with asparagus and ramp pesto and feta turned out amazingly well! It was nice and light and fluffy and moist and tender and just full of tasty fresh spring flavours! With just a minute or two in the microwave, the leftovers were just as good the next day. I imagine that any kind of pesto would work well in a whole grain salad like this.

Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
8 baby artichokes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1/2 cup asparagus and ramp pesto or asparagus pesto or pesto
1/2 pound asparagus (trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces and blanched)
1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup feta (crumbled)
1 splash lemon juice

Directions:
1. Peel the leaves from the artichokes until you get to the paler tender inner leaves. Cut the top third off and discard and cut the artichoke in half.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Add the artichoke hearts and saute until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
4. Add the quinoa and broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
5. Mix everything and serve


Similar Recipes:
Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Pasta
Baby Artichoke Heart Quinoa Risotto with Shrimp and Meyer Lemon Pesto
Meyer Lemon Pesto and Feta Pasta with Shrimp
Pistachio Asparagus Pesto Pasta
Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Quinoa Salad
Thai Style Black Quinoa Salad
Asparagus, Baby Artichoke, Pesto and Goat Cheese Quiche with Quinoa Crust

Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2010


Closet Cooking is now 3 years old!

It was another great year filled with lots of tasty food and the pure enjoyment of both making it and eating it! On the other side there was the fun of photographing all of the food and writing about it. I somehow managed to squeeze all of this in between the countless hours spent food blogging and drooling over others creations! (My bookmarked recipes 'to try' increased a lot faster than I could cook this year.) Somewhere along the way I blew right past the 1000 post mark without even noticing it!

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of my readers for their continued support! I am looking forward to another year of tasty food!

I will leave you with a roundup of the most viewed recipes on Closet Cooking since the beginning.


No Bake Cheesecake

No Bake Cheesecake - It is not surprising that this effortless cheese cake is number one and given its chilled nature it is perfect for enjoying on warm summer days with fresh fruits and berries.



Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake) - This 'as you like' Japanese pancake or pizza is made with a vegetable base that you can add what you like to and then you can top it with your favourites as well. Common toppings include mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce (similar to a Worcestershire sauce) and bonito flakes or smoked skipjack tuna.



Kare (Japanese Curry)

Kare (Japanese Curry) - This is one of my favourite winter comfort foods! Japanese curry is a little more on the sweet side and it has an amazingly deep and rich flavour.



Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip - This dip is so addictive with its creamy, ooey, gooey, cheesy textures and flavours with the perfect hit of jalapeno heat!



Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip - If you are craving a warm melted cheese dip but you are looking for something a little more on the healthy side, this dip has spinach and artichoke hearts in it. ;)



Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie) - This dish was my first introduction to the amazing spinach, dill and feta flavour combination. Since I discovered it I have used that flavour combination in many dishes but this pie with its light and flaky phyllo pastry crust might just be the best!



7 Layer Dip

7 Layer Dip - This is a nice, fairly healthy take on the classic 7 layer dip that contains so many of my favourite Mexican flavours!



Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks with Marinara Sauce

Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks with Marinara Sauce - This is another great snack that is also healthy! You just can't go wrong with crispy baked sticks of zucchini with a tasty marinara sauce for dipping.



Salmon Teriyaki

Salmon Teriyaki - I am glad that this recipe made it to the top 10 as it is one of my favourite no muss, no fuss, super quick, never fail, meals that is just so good! It is even better when you make your own homemade teriyaki sauce.



Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup - This soup is one of the things that I always like to get when eating Chinese takeout and although it can be a bit tricky to make at home it is well worth the effort!



Similar Posts:
Closet Cooking's Birthday 2012 and 1500 Recipes!
Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2011
Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2009
Closet Cooking's Birthday: 2008

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The other day I was talking to a friend and the topic of chocolate chip cookies came up and I realized that it had been far too long since I had last made any. Although the tried and true basic chocolate chip cookies are always welcome, I like to play around with the recipe adding different things like nuts and/or dried fruit. I picked up a large bag of dried cherries a while ago and I remembered thinking that cherry chocolate chip cookies would be really good since chocolate and cherries are such a great flavour combination. I started with my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and I pretty much just added some dried cherries. At the last minute however I decided that I wanted the cookies to be a bit more chocolaty and I replaced some of the flour with cocoa powder. When I make chocolate chip cookies I prefer to use a good dark chocolate which usually comes in bar form which I cut into chunks rather than just using chips. The cherry chocolate chunk cookies turned out great! They were not as dark as I was expecting but the chocolate flavour was nice and strong and it paired well with the cherries that added a pleasant chewy texture to the cookies. The cookies were slightly crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the center.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(makes 12 large cookies)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup dried cherries

Directions:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl.
2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa in another bowl.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
5. Mix in the chocolate and the cherries.
6. Place the dough onto a cookie sheet one table spoon at a time.
7. Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 10-14 minutes.


Similar Recipes:
Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chunk and Pecan Cookies
White Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Nut Cookies
Cranberry, Pistachio and White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Black Forest Pancakes

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart

I was going over the recipes that I posted about last spring and I came across the asparagus and gruyere tart that I had enjoyed so much and it reminded me that I had wanted to try a mushroom version. These puff pastry based tarts are generally quick and easy to make and they have always been really good! I have been having fun playing with the toppings, both sweet and savoury and I was looking forward to the mushroom topping. For this version, I was thinking of slowly caramelized mushrooms and onions flavoured with some garlic and thyme and held together with some creamy and tangy blue cheese. Gorgonzola has to be my favorite blue cheese and it always goes well with mushrooms so it was my first choice for the this tart. Other than the time that it took to caramelize the onions and mushrooms, this tart came together easily and it turned out great! I just can't seem to get enough mushrooms and this tart certainly went a long way towards satisfying my mushroom cravings. I will definitely be making this again and again.

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart

(makes 4+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion (sliced)
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine (or broth)
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed as directed on package)
1/2 cup gorgonzola (crumbled)
1 tablespoon oil
1 handful parsley (chopped)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and cook until it starts to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
3. Add the butter and let it melt.
4. Add the mushrooms and saute until they start to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
6. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add the wine, deglazed the pan and cook until it has evaporated.
8. Roll the puff pastry out to a 16x10 inch rectangle.
9. Score a line around the puff pastry 1 inch from the edge.
10. Spread the mushrooms and gorgonzola over the middle of the puff pastry.
11. Brush the outside inch of the pastry with the oil.
12. Bake in a preheated 400F oven until the a the pastry is golden brown, about 15-25 minutes.
13. Garnish with the chopped parsley.


Similar Recipes:
Asparagus and Gruyere Tart
Strawberry Tart
Burgers Smothered in a Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Sauce
Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas
Zucchini and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Parmesan Tart
Mushroom and Feta Phyllo Pie
Green Bean, Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tart

Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Pasta

Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Pasta

While I was at the market this weekend I came across some local ramps or wild leeks which has to be the first local produce that I have seen so far this year. Ramps are a member of the onion family and taste like a cross between onions and garlic. I first came across ramps last year and I have been hooked ever since! Not surprisingly I picked some ramps up as soon as I saw them and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. One of the things that I did with the ramps last year was make a ramp pesto and now I was thinking of combining the idea of a ramp pesto with another of my favorite spring vegetables, asparagus, to make an asparagus and ramp pesto. I kept the recipe nice and simple where I pretty much just took my recipe for asparagus pesto and replaced the garlic with 2 whole ramps for a nice kick of garlicky goodness. I tried my new pesto out in a pasta containing whole wheat penne and asparagus and it was really good! The pesto was vibrantly green, amazingly fresh and full of flavour! With this first taste of spring, I am now looking forward to the next few weeks and all of the fresh local produce that will come.

Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Pasta

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound pasta
1 batch asparagus and ramp pesto (see below)
1 bunch asparagus (cleaned, trimmed, cut into 1 inch slices and blanched)
1 handful pine nuts (toasted)
1 handful parmigiano reggiano (grated)

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta, drain and toss with the pesto and asparagus.
2. Serve garnished with the pine nuts and parmigiano reggiano.


Asparagus and Ramp Pesto

(makes 1 cup of pesto)

Ingredients:
1 cup asparagus (cleaned, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces and blanched)
1/4 cup spinach (optional, helps keep the pesto nice and green)
2+ ramps (aka wild leeks)
2 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
3 tablespoons olive oil
lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Place everything into a food processor and blend.


Use in:
Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad

Similar Recipes:
Wild Leek Pesto
Pistachio Asparagus Pesto Pasta
Pistachio Pesto
Asparagus Carbonara
Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Mac n Cheese
Ramp Pesto Omelette with Asparagus and Goat Cheese

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup on Thyme for Cooking .

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Quesadillas (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Quesadillas)

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Quesadillas (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Quesadillas)

It seems that I have fallen a bit behind this week in posting about all of the great things that I have been doing with the pineapple dak bulgogi so here is another for you right away and possibly my favorite of the bunch. Quesadillas are one of my favorite foods and when you think about it they are pretty much just a grilled cheese sandwich with tortillas instead of bread and you all know how much I like my grilled cheese sandwiches. I am constantly experimenting with new quesadilla flavours and I could not pass up on the chance to make some with the pineapple dak bulgogi. Of course in addition to the pineapple dak bulgogi there would need to be some cheese to hold everything together and then I wanted something to add a bit of freshness to them and the sweet onion and cilantro relish doused in lime juice seemed like the perfect way to get it. From there I cooked the quesadilla in the same way that I normally do and then I served it with a drizzle of the Korean style salsa roja that packs a bunch of flavour in addition to the extra heat and some freshly toasted sesame seeds. Once again the pineapple shines in these quesadillas and it really goes so well with the spicy chicken and melted cheesy goodness.

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Quesadillas (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Quesadillas)

(makes 1 quesadilla)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 (8 inch) tortillas
2 handfuls of jack and cheddar cheese (grated)
1/4 cup pineapple dak bulgogi (Korean BBQ chicken)
2 tablespoons onion and cilantro relish
2 tablespoons Korean style salsa roja
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (toasted)

Directions:
1. Melt a touch of butter in a pan.
2. Place a tortilla into the pan and swirl around in the butter and set aside.
3. Place the second tortilla into the pan and swirl around in the butter.
4. Sprinkle on half of the cheese onto the tortilla followed by the pineapple dak bulgogi and onion and cilantro relish followed by the remaining cheese and top it all off with the second tortilla.
5. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.
6. Serve garnished with the salsa roja and sesame seeds.

Similar Recipes:
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Tacos (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos)
Kimchi Quesadillas
Tandoori Chicken Quesadillas
Duck Quesadillas with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Goat Cheese
Salmon Bulgogi Quesadillas with Blueberry Salsa

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Burrito (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Burrito)

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Burrito (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Burrito)

You knew this was coming. :) I made a really large batch of the pineapple dak bulgogi (Korean pineapple BBQ chicken) because I wanted to have enough leftovers to try it out in all of my favorite Mexican style dishes and up next was burritos. For these burritos, I start with large, 10 inch, tortillas and I proceed to stuff them with as many good things as I possibly can. In addition to the pineapple dak bulgogi I filled these burritos with cilantro and lime rice and black beans for a healthy and filling base and then I added a bit more heat in the form of some Korean style salsa roja and following that I added some vegetable freshness with onion and cilantro relish and shredded romaine in a Korean sesame vinaigrette and I finished them off with some jack and cheddar cheese. When assembling the burritos I make sure that the cheese is near the edge and then I grill them up and this helps make sure that the cheese melts and gets all nice and ooey and gooey and good. I have to say that these are some of the best burritos that I have had in a while! The sweet, tangy and juicy pineapple really takes them over the edge and makes them great!

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Burrito (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Burrito)

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 (10 inch) tortillas
1 pound pineapple dak bulgogi (Korean pineapple BBQ chicken)
1 cup cilantro and lime rice
1 cup black beans
1/4 cup Korean style salsa roja
1 cup onion and cilantro relish
1 cup shredded lettuce in a Korean sesame vinaigrette
1 cup cheddar and jack cheese (grated)

Directions:
1. Assemble burritos and grill if desired.

Similar Recipes:
Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken and Egg Burritos
Korean Short Rib Burrito
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Tacos (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos)
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)
Corned Beef, Cabbage and Kimchi Burrito

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)

This is another treat inspired by the Kogi taco trucks of California; a sandwich that uses the pineapple dak bulgogi that I had recently made and the pickled red onions that I made specifically for this project. Although the pineapple dak bulgogi works great in Mexican fusion dishes like tacos, burritos, and quesadillas; how about in sandwich form? In addition to the pineapple dak bulgogi and pickled red onions there is some cotija cheese (or feta) that works really well as a substitute for your cheddar and jack. The sandwich is finished off with some shredded lettuce in a Korean sesame vinaigrette, which I cannot seem to get enough of, and a splash of tangy mayonnaise.

The pineapple dak bulgogi sandwich is so amazingly good! All of the components combine to create a symphony of flavours and textures in your mouth! This sandwich has it all from the spicy chicken to the sweet pineapple to the tangy and crunchy pickled red onions to the super tasty shredded romaine in the sesame vinaigrette to the creamy mayo. I practically inhaled my sandwich and I am rather glad that there were no leftovers as I would most certainly have had a second or even a third.

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)

(makes 4 sandwiches)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 buns
1 batch pineapple dak bulgogi (Korean BBQ chicken) (warm)
1/4 cup cotija cheese (or feta, crumbled)
1 cup pickled red onions
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce in a Korean sesame vinaigrette
4 tablespoons mayonnaise

Directions:
1. Assemble sandwich and enjoy.

Similar Recipes:
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Tacos (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos)
Salsa Verde Pulled Chicken Sandwich
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Burrito (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Burrito)
Korean BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
Peameal Bacon and Kimchi Breakfast Muffin
Moroccan Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Preserved Lemon Tapenade and Harissa Mayo

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions with Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich) in the Background

When I was a kid I did not like onions but now they are a staple in both my pantry and in my cooking. In fact it is rare that I have less that two different kinds of onions on hand. I am always looking for new ways to enjoy onions and I caught a lucky break in that my next project required pickled onions and I could not wait to try them out. Pickled red onions are pretty easy to make yourself where you pretty much just slice the onions and store them in a vinegar solution. You can use any type of vinegar and depending on how tangy you want it you can water it down a little. To your base vinegar solution you can add flavouring salt, sugar or spices such as pepper, bay leaves, cloves cinnamon, etc. I decided to go with a basic pickled red onion for my first go at it and it turned out great! The onions are ready after a few hours of sitting in the vinegar but they only get better with age. After sitting in the pickling solution the onions turn a nice pink colour and they really mellow out nicely! Pickles red onions are so good and I can't wait to use them!

Pickled Red Onions

(makes 2 cups)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 large red onion (peeled, sliced and divided)

Directions:
1. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes and bay leaf in a saucepan until the sugar has disolved.
2. Pour the mixture over the onions in a jar and let cool completely.
3. Store in the fridge until ready to use.


Use in:
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)
Butter Chicken Burritos
Blackened Catfish Tacos
Carnitas Tacos
Carnitas Eggs Benedict
Moroccan Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Preserved Lemon Tapenade and Harissa Mayo
Moroccan Chicken Manchego Melt

Similar Recipes:
Mexican Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Green Tomatoes
Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radish

Salsa Verde Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Salsa Verde Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Despite the fact that I had just used the salsa verde and leftover cooked shredded chicken to make a salsa verde lasagna I still had some of both left over. Last summer I found a great way to use up leftover chicken in the form of this salsa verde chicken sandwich and since I almost always have salsa verde on hand, whether freshly made or store bought, it is particularly convenient. This is a pretty simple sandwich with the salsa verde chicken, some avocado mayo, a slice of green tomato, some cilantro and some pepper jack cheese. During the summer I was using fresh sliced green tomatoes but now that they are no longer available I have been using the pickled green tomatoes that I made. Although you could just slap a slice of pepper jack cheese into this sandwich and go, I like to place the slice on top of the salsa verde chicken and throw it under the broiler for a few minutes to let it melt. One of my favorite parts of this sandwich is the cool and creamy avocado mayo which seems like a match made in heaven. I think that this sandwich would also work well with pulled pork or beef.

Salsa Verde Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Salsa Verde Pulled Chicken Sandwich

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked shredded chicken (warmed)
2 cups salsa verde
4 buns (I like to use whole wheat)
4 slices of pepper jack cheese
1 avocado (stoned, scooped and mashed)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 slices green tomato or pickled green tomato
* cilantro

Directions:
1. Mix the salsa verde and the pulled chicken.
2. Place the chicken mixture on the bottom of the buns, top with the cheese and broil until the cheese has melted.
3. Mix the avocado and mayo and spread it on the inside of the buns tops.
4. Place a slice of tomato on top of the melted cheese followed by a handful of cilantro and finish with the top of the bun.

Similar Recipes:
Salsa Verde Lasagna
Salsa Verde Turkey Burger
Salsa Verde Carnitas
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)
BBQ Chicken with Blue Cheese Slaw Wraps
Korean BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Slaw
BBQ Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese
Apple BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Apple Slaw
Pineapple Char Siu Pulled Pork Sliders

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Tacos (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos)

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Tacos (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos)

If you guessed that the first thing that I would use my new pineapple dak bulgogi in was tacos then you were right! The thing that started me down this road of Korean/Mexican fusion food was hearing about the Kogi taco trucks in California that serve up fusion food with the most famous being their tacos. Not being able to wait for the chance that I might visit California to sample the Kogi tacos I decided to try to recreate them myself and I enjoyed the results so much that I have been experimenting with Korean/Mexican fusion flavours since. With my new pineapple dak bulgogi in hand I could not resist trying it out in some tacos along with some spicy Korean style salsa roja, some fresh onion and cilantro relish and some tasty shredded romaine lettuce in a Korean sesame vinaigrette that are described as being used in the Kogi tacos. The pineapple version of the tacos were even better that the original with the sweet, tangy and juicy pineapple melding perfectly with the spicy Korean and Mexican flavours! Once again I am very pleased with how well adding fruit to a savoury dish can work!

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Tacos (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos)

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
12 small tortillas
1 batch pineapple dak bulgogi (Korean BBQ chicken)
1 cup Korean style salsa roja
1 cup onion and cilantro relish
2 cups shredded lettuce in a Korean sesame vinaigrette
6 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted and crushed)

Directions:
1. Assemble tacos as you like and enjoy.

Similar Recipes:
Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken Tacos
Korean Short Rib Tacos
Tacos al Pastor
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Burrito (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Burrito)
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Quesadillas (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Quesadillas)

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi (Pineapple Korean BBQ Chicken)

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi (Pineapple Korean BBQ Chicken)

Bulgogi is a Korean barbecue dish where the meat is first marinated in a marinade that is just packed with flavour. When I make bulgogi, the marinade often includes a grated Asian pear and or apple to help tenderize the meat and add a bit of sweetness along with some extra flavour. The last time that I made dak bulgogi, the chicken version of bulgogi, I was thinking about the use of the fruit in the marinade and it reminded me of tacos al pastor, a Mexican slow roasted pork dish where the pork is often marinated in pineapple. I enjoy those tacos al pastor so much that I just had to try a pineapple version of dak bulgogi! For the recipe, I took the dak bulgogi recipe and replaced the Asain pear and/or apple with diced pineapple and the bit of juice that was at the bottom of the container of the freshly peeled pineapple that I used. When I cooked the chicken I threw the marinade, including the diced pineapple into, the pan as well so that I would still have those pineapple chunks in the finished dish.

The sweet and tangy pineapple worked so amazingly well in the gochujang spiced version of the dak bulgogi! The juicy pieces of pineapple were perfect in amongst the heat of the chicken. I made a really large batch of this stuff and I am looking forward to experimenting with it for the rest of the week!

Pineapple Dak Bulgogi (Pineapple Korean BBQ Chicken)

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound chicken breast (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup gochujang
5 cloves garlic (grated)
1 inch ginger (grated)
1 small onion (grated)
1 cup pineapple pieces & their juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 green onions (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted and crushed)

Directions:
1. Mix everything in a freezer bag and marinate for an hour.
2. Grill, saute or stir fry the chicken and pineapple pieces until cooked.

Tip: Place the chicken breasts in the freezer for an hour or two to stiffen them up a bit and they will be much easier to slice thinly.

Use in:
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Tacos (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Tacos)
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Sandwich (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Sandwich)
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Burrito (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Burrito)
Pineapple Dak Bulgogi Quesadillas (Korean Spicy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Quesadillas)

Similar Recipes:
Dak Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken)
Tacos al Pastor
Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)
Daeji Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Pork)
Salmon Bulgogi

Salsa Verde Lasagna

Salsa Verde Lasagna

Lately I have been making some progress in clearing some room in my freezer and I recently came across some tomatillos that I had frozen last summer. Of course the first thing that I thought about after finding the tomatillos was salsa verde which is my favorite way of using them. Right behind the tomatillos was some frozen cooked and shredded chicken and I had an idea; How about a chicken salsa verde lasagna? I kept the recipe nice and simple mixing a freshly made batch of salsa verde in with the chicken and layering it with cheese and noodles. For the cheese layer, I went with a simple ricotta with some texmex cheeses, cheddar and jack mixed in. This salsa verde lasagna was probably the easiest lasagna that I have made to date and it turned out great! The salsa verde packed this lasagna with flavour and just the right amount of spicy heat and the creamy cheese rounded everything out nicely. I served the lasagna with sides of black beans and avocado.

Black Bean Guacamole Omelette

Black Bean Guacamole Omelette

A little while ago I made a guacamole omelette with salsa and while I was enjoying it I thought about the black bean guacamole that I had liked so much and I wondered how a black bean guacamole omelette would work. The black bean guacamole is nice and creamy similar to an avocado guacamole and I figured that the bean version would be a nice healthy alternative to the avocado version. I kept the recipe dead simple with just the eggs, the black bean guacamole, some cheese and salsa and it was really easy to make. I may have overstuffed my omelette a bit (just look at all of that black bean guacamole and melted cheese oozing out), but it was mighty tasty! The black bean guacamole certainly worked well in an omelette like this and it made for a perfectly satisfying breakfast. I think I prefer the avocado version just slightly as the avocados creaminess is a bit more juicy than the black beans creaminess and that works a little better with the eggs but this will be a great alternative! Now I am thinking refried beans... :)

Black Bean Guacamole Omelette

(makes 1 omelette)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
1/4 cup black bean guacamole
1/4 cup salsa

Directions:
1. Heat a pan, pour the eggs in and let them cook until they just start to set.
2. Sprinkle the cheese on and let it start to melt, about a minute.
3. Spread the guacamole over half of the eggs and cook until the eggs have set, about a minute.
4. Fold the the egg over the guacamole and slip the omelette onto a plate.
5. Pour the salsa onto the omelette and enjoy.

Similar Recipes:
Guacamole Omelette with Salsa
Black Bean Guacamole

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto and Feta

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto and Feta

Earlier this week when I made the lamb and mint meatballs with farro risotto and cilantro pesto I made a double batch of the cilantro pesto because I wanted to make sure that I had some estra. Leftover pesto is always good and I like to use it in pastas, whole grain salads, soups and this time I had my heart set on using it in a sandwich. I still had some roasted red peppers in the freezer and I was thinking that a chicken sandwich with roasted red peppers and cilantro pesto would be good. I often like to add cheese to my sandwiches and I was thinking that goat cheese would go well in this one but I already had some feta on hand and I figured that would be just as good. I also like to try to at least try make my sandwiches look a bit healthy so I often add some green in the form of lettuce or in this case some baby spinach. I thought that the sandwich was all done and then while I was thinking about the mediterranean flavours going on, inspiration struck and I knew that I would just have to add a touch of hot smoked paprika!

The sandwich was easy to make and it turned out great! The sweet roasted red pepper went well with the salty feta and the cilantro pesto added a really nice touch of the exotic that rounded out the flavours nicely. Just look at how the feta was starting to melt and ooze out spreading its goodness throughout the sandwich! Adding the smoked paprika was the right call as it really made this sandwich with the hint of smokiness and the touch of heat!

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto and Feta

(makes 1 sandwich)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 chicken breast (pounded thin)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices of bread (or 1 bun)
1/2 roasted red pepper
1 handful baby spinach
2 tablespoons cilantro pesto
1 handful feta (mashed)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
1. Dust the chicken with the paprika and season it with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Add the chicken and cook until it is golden brown on both sides and cooked all the way through, about 4-7 minutes per side.
4. Assemble sandwich, brush both sides with olive oil and grill until golden brown on both sides.

Similar Recipes:
Grilled Portobello and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich with Pistachio Pesto
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
Grilled Vegetable Panini
Roasted Red Pepper, Pistachio and Feta Stuffed Chicken
Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Sundried Tomato Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Sandwich
Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled Chicken and Club Sandwich
Grilled Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich with Halloumi
Moroccan Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Preserved Lemon Tapenade and Harissa Mayo

Scallop Saganaki

Scallop Saganaki

I have been enjoying the baked tomato, feta and fresh herb flavour combination a lot lately and it was still stuck in my head. I was introduced to this flavour combo in the form of shrimp saganaki and since I first tried it I have been experimenting with different versions and there was one more that I wanted to try, a scallop saganaki. Shrimp may be my favorite seafood but scallops are not too far down and I was salivating at the thought of baking some up in that tomato and feta sauce. This recipe is pretty easy; you start by making a simple tomato sauce on the stove top, mix in the feta and scallops and transfer to a baking dish to finish cooking in the oven. The scallop saganaki turned out really well! There was one small snag in that the scallops released a bit of water into the sauce while they cooked but it was just as tasty in the end. Since this dish is more of an appetizer you will probably want to use the smaller bite sized scallops as they would be easier to eat in appetizer fashion. I served the scallop saganaki with some crusty bread to make sure that none of that tasty sauce went to waste.

Scallop Saganaki

(makes 2 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion (diced)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 medium tomato (diced)
1/4 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful fresh herbs (chopped, I used dill and parsley)
1/4 pound scallops
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)

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 red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and mix in the fresh herbs, scallops and feta.
6. Transfer to a baking dish and bake in a preheated 425F oven until the sauce is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)
Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs
Bouyiourdi
Garides Tourkolimano (Greek Shrimp)

Lamb and Mint Meatballs with Farro Risotto and Cilantro Pesto

Lamb and Mint Meatballs with Farro Risotto and Cilantro Pesto

With spring here, I have been thinking about lamb more and when I came across the recipe for mint lamb meatballs with spelt risotto and cilantro pesto on What's for Lunch Honey I just had to get it onto my meal plan right away. Lamb is a meat with a strong flavour which means that it goes well with herbs with strong flavours including mint and cilantro and this dish includes both! The mint is mixed right into the meatballs and there is a cilantro pesto on the side. Something that caught my eye about this recipe was the use of the cinnamon in the meatballs. I first came across the idea of using cinnamon in savoury meat dishes a while ago and I have been intrigued ever since and I am always on the lookout for new dishes that use the combo. These meatballs were really easy to make, though I do need some practice in the cooking meatballs in such a way that they retain their shape. The mint lamb meatballs were really nice! The mint and lamb flavour combo was wonderful and the cinnamon took it over the edge. When combined with the creamy risotto and the fresh cilantro pesto this was quite the meal and it really shouted spring.

Lamb and Mint Meatballs

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound ground lamb
2 handfuls mint (chopped)
1/4 cup red onion (diced)
1 egg
1/4 cup whole wheat breads crumbs (freshly made)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander (toasted and ground)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
1. Mix the lamb, mint, onion, egg, bread crumbs, cinnamon, coriander, salt and pepper.
2. Form the mixture into balls.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the balls a few at a time, without crowding the pan, and brown on all sides until the middle is cooked, about 10 minutes.

Lamb and Mint Meatballs with Farro Risotto and Cilantro Pesto

It is pretty hard to go wrong serving these meatballs with a creamy and cheesy risotto and if you make it a bit healthier by using a whole grain then it is all the better. I have made risottos barley before and I liked the sound of a spelt version, unfortunately I could not find the spelt but I did have some farro on hand. This is a pretty basic risotto with the only difference being precooking the farro a bit before using it to make the risotto as farro takes longer to cook than rice. The farro risotto came out nice and creamy and it was so good! I really liked the 'al dente' kind of bite or chew the farro had and I will definitely be making it again.

Farro Risotto

(makes 4 servings)

Ingredients:
1 cup farro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano

Directions:
1. Cover the farro in a lot of water in a pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil and melt the better in a pan.
3. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Add the farro and wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
6. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock at a time stirring until the liquid has been absorbed.
7. Mix in the butter and cheese.



If the mint in the lamb meatballs was not enough fresh herbs for you then how about some cilantro pesto? Cilantro pesto is pretty easy to make and it goes great with a lot of things including pastas, soups, sandwiches and of could these lamb meatballs. I liked the Asian twist on this particular cilantro pesto with the ginger and red chili pepper adding a nice hint of the exotic and a touch of heat. Continuing with the Asian theme I swapped the cashews out for some toasted and ground sesame seeds.

Cilantro Pesto

(makes 1 cup)

Ingredients:
1 cup cilantro
2 teaspoons ginger (grated)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted and ground)
1 red chili
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 splash lemon juice

Directions:
1. Puree everything in a food processor.

Also use in:
Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto and Feta

Similar Recipes:
Greek Style Lamb Burgers
Lamb Souvlaki
Greek Meatballs (Keftedes) in a Pita with Tzatziki Sauce
Pea and Barley Risotto
Lamb Meatballs in Minted Tomato Sauce

Artichoke and Spinach Frittata

Artichoke and Spinach Frittata

I first came across artichokes a little after I started food blogging and I shied away from them as they seemed a little intimidating at the time. Just over a year ago I finally got around to trying them and I have been hooked ever since! Over the winter I was using canned artichokes but I have been seeing fresh ones in the grocery stores the over last few weeks and I have just been itching to use them again. As luck would have it I recently came across this recipe for an artichoke and spinach frittata on Cara's Cravings that sounded really good. The spinach and artichoke combo reminded me of one of my favourite dips, the hot spinach and artichoke dip, which I can never get enough of. I made a few changes to the recipe including using fresh chopped dill, replacing the cheese with feta and of course using the fresh artichokes.

I started with 2 medium sized artichokes, and I quartered them after picking off the inedible outer petals and peeling their stems. I then removed the fuzzy insides and quickly blanched them before adding them to the frittata. Preparing the fresh artichokes took a bit of work but it was worth it! (Of course you could easily save yourself some time and simply use frozen or canned artichokes.) I ended up with nice large pieces of artichokes that gave the frittata a rustic feel to it and they were definitely tasty! The spinach, feta and dill flavour combo has been one of my favorites for a while now and it worked really well in this frittata and the artichoke took it over the edge making it that much better! Luckily I made enough that I will be enjoying this frittata for breakfasts for the rest of the week.

Artichoke and Spinach Frittata

(makes 4-6 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach (roughly chopped, or frozen that is thawed and squeezed of excess liquid)
2 cups artichoke hearts (quartered)
6 eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful dill (chopped)
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)

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 1 minute.
4. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts.
5. Mix the artichokes, eggs, yogurt, salt, pepper, dill, spinach and feta in a bowl.
6. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until the eggs are almost set, about 10-15 minutes.
7. Transfer the pan into a preheated 400F oven and let the eggs finish cooking, about 10-15 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Baby Artichoke Heart Quinoa Risotto with Shrimp and Meyer Lemon Pesto
Creamy Pea and Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad
Agginaropita (Greek Artichoke Pie)
Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Frittata topped with Marinara and Mozzarella
Butternut Squash, Mushroom, Kale and Sausage Frittata
Spinach and Artichoke Dip Tortellini Soup
Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta

Monte Cristo Quesadillas

Monte Cristo Quesadillas

The ham and cheese sandwich is a classic and a while ago I came across a new way of enjoying that classic, in the form of a monte cristo sandwich. A monte cristo sandwich is a ham and cheese sandwich that is dipped in french toast batter, fried up and then served with strawberry or raspberry jam or even maple syrup. The sweetness of the jam added to the otherwise savoury ham and cheese sandwich was surprisingly good and I have been addicted ever since. The idea of a mote cristo quesadilla has been percolating in the back of my head for a while now and now that I had some ham leftovers I seized the opportunity to try making it.

I started off with the basics of the ham and cheese sandwich, the ham and cheese, and then I added some mustard for some zing and I figured that I might as well add some jam inside the quesadilla as well. Since I was using ham from the leftover apricot glazed ham I decided to go with apricot preserves but raspberry or strawberry jam would also be great. The next question was whether to batter the quesadilla up like french toast or not... I knew that that was an essential part of the monte cristo sandwich but I was not sure how a french toast quesadilla would work out. In the end I decided to try it and see how it worked.

The french toast battered quesadilla took a bit longer to cook and it was a bit softer that the quesadillas that I am used to but otherwise it worked out really well! The sweet and savoury combination was even better in quesadilla form. (There was less of that pesky bread to get in the way of the flavour.) I really enjoyed the flavour combinations of this quesadilla and the confectioners sugar sprinkled on top was nice extra sweet touch. I served the quesadilla with some extra apricot preserves for dipping the quesadillas into.

Monte Cristo Quesadillas

Alright, enough with the ham leftovers already! I will take a break and freeze the rest for later. :)

Monte Cristo Quesadillas

(makes 1 quesadilla)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 (8 inch) tortillas
1 tablespoon mustard
2 handfuls cheese (grated, I used cheddar)
1/4 cup cooked ham (sliced or shredded, warmed)
1 tablespoon jam (I used apricot)
powdered sugar
jam for dipping (I used apricot)

Directions:
1. Mix the egg, milk and vanilla in a large shallow bowl.
2. Melt the butter in a pan.
3. Dip one side of a tortilla in the egg mixture and then place it in the pan.
4. Spread the mustard out over the top of the tortilla and cover with one handful of cheese, the ham and the remaining cheese.
5. Spread the jam on one side of the remaining tortilla, dip the other side into the egg mixture and place it on top of everything in the pan with the egg mixture facing up.
6. Let cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes and flip. (Tip: I slid the quesadilla onto a plate and then flipped the pan, placed it on top of the plate, flipped the pan upright again and removed the plate.)
7. Let cook until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.
8. Slide the tortilla out of the pan, cut it into triangles and serve topped with powdered sugar and a side of jam for dipping. (Note: You could also drench the quesadilla in maple syrup!)

Similar Recipes:
Monte Cristo
Chipotle Chicken, Apricot and Brie Quesadillas
Turkey and Cranberry Quesadillas

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Rice

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Rice

With springs produce coming soon I have been trying to clear my freezer of things that I froze last spring and summer to make some room for more. On top of my list of things to finish were the plethora of roasted red peppers. When the roasted red peppers were at their peak last year I got a big basket and roasted them, placed them individually into ziplock bags (with the charred skin still on) and tossed them into the freezer. They keep really well that way and you just thaw them out, pinch off the skin and you are good to go. While I was pulling a few of them out of the freezer I was wondering what to do with them and my eyes wandered and came to rest on a package of frozen spinach which immediatly made me think of spanakorizo, a Greek spinach rice). My next thought of course was that of a roasted red pepper version! I wanted to keep things simple and continue with the Greek flavour theme which meant that I wanted at least one fresh herb and oregano sounded like the way to go. With that, I pretty much had my recipe though, I could not resist finishing it off with some feta. This is another one of those dishes where after a bit of up front work, you can pretty much just sit back and let it simmer away, unattended until it is done which makes it a great side dish. The roasted red pepper rice with feta turned out really well! It was nice and light and fluffy and full of the roasted red pepper and oregano flavours which are so good together. The feta had just started to melt into the rice making it nice and creamy and spread its salty flavour even more. I imagine that a risotto version of this rice would also work well.

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Rice

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 roasted red peppers (sliced)
1 teaspoon oregano (chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dry)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup long grained rice (I used brown rice)
2 1/2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1/4 cup feta (crumbled)

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 roasted red pepper and oregano and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the rice and broth and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes (40 minutes for brown rice).
7. Remove from the heat and mix in the feta.

Similar Recipes:
Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach Rice)
Spinach and Feta Quinoa Salad
Cheesy Broccoli Rice
Mexican Rice
Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Quinoa Salad
Greek Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta with Feta and Kalamata Olives
'Souvlaki' Chicken Salad Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta
Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Fritters
Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Mashed Potatoes

Ham and Pineapple Melts

Ham and Pineapple Melt

I have had this recipe for ham and pineapple melts bookmarked ever since I found it on A Year From Oak Cottage about a year ago and I have just been waiting for the opportunity to make them. Armed with my ham leftovers I finally got the chance and it was certainly worth the wait! Ham and pineapple is a classic flavour combination and one that I particularly enjoy. How could you possibly go wrong with smothering it with some melted sharp cheddar cheese? Lets not stop there though, when we can add some sweet and spicy honey dijon mustard and top it all off with a splash of Worcestershire sauce! These are so good! With the sweet, spicy, tangy, salty, warm, melted and gooey they have a magical combination of flavours and textures. I have already made them several times and they are quickly depleting my supply of leftover ham. I made them with whole wheat english muffins and they go great for any of breakfast, lunch or dinner or even as a snack.

Ham and Pineapple Melts

(makes 2 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 whole wheat english muffins (cut in half and lightly toasted)
4 teaspoons honey dijon mustard
4 slices ham
4 slices pineapple
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 small splashes Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
1. Spread the mustard on the english muffin and top with the ham, pineapple, cheese and top with a small splash of Worcestershire sauce.
2. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.

Similar Recipes:
Croque Hawaii
Shrimp and Pineapple Teriyaki

Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs

Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs with Crusty Bread

Over the Easter long weekend I had three days where I could spend some time to do breakfast, or brunch, right and I wanted to take the opportunity to do so. While I was thinking about what I could do my mind kept wandering to the shakshuka, a dish where eggs are poached in a tomato and pepper sauce, that I had made a while ago and enjoyed so much. The shakshuka kind of reminded me of shrimp saganaki, a dish where shrimp is baked in a tomato and feta sauce, and one thought led to another and then I had arrived at the conclusion that I would have to combine the two to make eggs poached in a tomato and feta sauce or eggs saganaki.

Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs with Crusty Bread

For the recipe I started out with the shrimp saganaki recipe which I enjoy so much for its simplicity. Don't let that simplicity fool you though as it is just packed with flavour. You just need to use good ingredients including nice and ripe tomatoes and some good feta. Luckily the green house tomatoes around here are pretty good and I was able to get some nice ones. (Note to self: Make this again with perfectly ripe field tomatoes during the summer.) The only tricky part to this recipe is pulling the eggs out at the right time. I like the whites of my eggs to be set but the yolk to still be runny and it can be hard to tell when they are just right when looking at them in the oven. The tomato and feta baked eggs came out with the whites set and the yolks still mostly runny and they made for a really nice weekend breakfast treat! The tomato and feta sauce was nice and tasty and the fresh herbs added that something special that just hinted at spring. I could not let any of that amazing sauce or the runny egg yolks go to waste so I served some crusty bread to sop it all up with.

Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs with Crusty Bread

Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs

(makes 2 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 medium tomatoes (diced)
1/4 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful fresh herbs (chopped, I used dill and parsley)
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
2 eggs

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 red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and mix in the fresh herbs and feta.
6. Divide between two individually sized baking dishes, indent the centers with a spoon and crack the eggs into the indentations.
7. Bake in a preheated 425F oven until the sauce is bubbly and the egg whites have just set, about 8-14 minutes.

Tomato and Feta Baked Eggs with Crusty Bread

Similar Recipes:
Shakshuka
Garides Saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)
Scallop Saganaki
Baked Goat Cheese Marinara
Bouyiourdi
Cod Baked in a Tomato and Feta Sauce
Mexican Baked Eggs
Italian Style Baked Eggs
Shrimp Linguine in a Tomato and Feta Sauce
Brussels Sprout Hash with Sweet Potato and Bacon

Ham and Chickpea Soup

Ham and Chickpea Soup

One thing that I always like to do with leftover ham is to make a soup as it adds a ton of flavour to soups. If you got your ham with the bone in you can toss it into the soup and it will add even more flavour. The ham bone freezes well so if you do not plan on making a ham soup right away you can easily freeze it until needed. (You can also use the ham bone to make a tasty ham stock that can be used in other soups.) To the tasty ham broth and diced ham I like to add a bunch of vegetables starting with some classic soup vegetables including onions, carrots and celery and from there I often add another green vegetable such as green beans or spinach to make it a bit healthier. To make the soup a little more hearty I add some legumes and chickpeas, lentils or pretty much any bean works well here. After you have done all of your chopping and dicing you can pretty much just sit back and let the soup simmer away. It is better to let a ham soup simmer for a long while to bring out all of the ham flavours but if you are in a hurry you can cut the cooking time short. I like a chunky soup so I do not use as much broth and this ham and chickpea turned out nice and chunky and full of flavour! I served the soup with some toasted cheesy garlic bread which was perfect for soaking up that last bit of broth at the bottom of the bowl.

Ham and Chickpea Soup

(makes 4-6 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
4-6 cups ham broth or chicken broth or chicken stock
2 cups ham (diced)
1 ham bone (optional)
2 (19 ounce) cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
pepper to taste
1/2 pound green beans (cleaned, trimmed and cut)

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.
2. Add the onions, carrot and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.
4. Add the stock, ham, chickpeas, oregano and bay leaf and simmer, covered on low heat for at least 20 minutes.
5. Add the green beans and simmer until the green means are cooked al dente.

Similar Recipes:
Ham and Lentil Soup
Split Pea Soup
Spinach, White Bean and Turkey Sausage Soup
Maple, Bourbon Ham and Baked Bean Soup
Bean and Ham Soup

Looking for more soup recipes?

Meyer Lemon Pesto and Feta Pasta with Shrimp

Meyer Lemon Pesto and Feta Pasta with Shrimp

Last week I made a meyer lemon pesto that I enjoyed so much that I just had to make it again. One of my favourite ways of enjoying a freshly made pesto is on a simple pasta that allows the flavours of the pesto to shine. I have also been getting back into shrimp lately and I could not resist adding some to the mix. While I was pulling things out of the fridge to make this meal, I noticed some feta and I thought that it would make a nice addition. As with most pesto pastas, this one was super easy to make and it was pretty much done in as much time as it took to cook the pasta. I was going to just mix the cooked shrimp, pesto and feta and toss it with the pasta but after cooking the shrimp, I could not let all of those browned bits of flavour on the bottom of the pan go to waste so I added the extra step of deglazing the pan with a bit of white wine to get all of that flavour. The meyer lemon pesto and feta pasta with shrimp was so good! Using the full meyer lemon in the pesto really works well giving the pesto an amazing brightness and freshness that paired particularly well with the salty feta and juicy shrimp.

Meyer Lemon Pesto and Feta Pasta with Shrimp

(makes 4 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound shrimp (shelled and de-veined)
1/4 cup white wine (of broth)
1 batch meyer lemon pesto
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)

Directions:
1. Cook the pasta as directed.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan.
3. Add the shrimp and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side, and set aside.
4. Add the white wine, deglaze the pan, remove from heat and mix in the pesto.
5. Mix the feta into the pesto and toss with the pasta to coat.

Similar Recipes:
Baby Artichoke Heart Quinoa Risotto with Shrimp and Meyer Lemon Pesto
Basil Pesto on Penne
Creamy Pea and Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad
Wild Leek Pesto on Penne
Pistachio Pesto on Penne
Asparagus and Baby Artichoke Quinoa Salad

Take a look at the Presto Pasta Nights roundup on Once Upon a Feast.