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Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich with Pesto Mayo

Grilled Chicken and Club Sandwich

I know, I know, a chicken club sandwich; how boring. It's on the menu at about half of the restaurants in town and you almost have to cringe when ordering one because most of them get it wrong. Not too long ago I went out for lunch with friends and the restaurants menu was uninspiring so I dared to go for the chicken club and it had to have been the worst sandwich that I have had in a long time. The chicken was all dried out and flavourless which they attempted to cover up by giving the sandwich swimming lessons in mayonnaise. I thought to myself, "You know, this is basically a BLT, which is amazing, with grilled chicken. Really, how could this sandwich not be good?" With that thought I resolved to make a chicken club sandwich for myself.

The primary ingredient in this sandwich is the chicken and you can't go wrong starting with a fresh chicken breast. For cooking the chicken you want to make sure that it is nice and thin so that you do not end up burning the outside while the inside remains uncooked. If the breast is a small one you can pound it thin and if it is larger it is easy enough to slice it in half and get two sandwiches out of it. You are going to want to season the chicken and plain old salt and freshly ground pepper is a great standby but you can take the opportunity to add some flavour by using a seasoning blend. Your favourite store bought blend is fine but they are quite easy to make at home as well. The bacon lettuce and tomato are perfect just the way they are, you just want to make sure that they are fresh and ripe and you are good to go. I always enjoy adding mayonnaise to a club sandwich and it is another chance to add flavour which I like to do by mixing something into the mayonnaise like chipotle chilies or pestos, etc. Since we are fully into summer I though that I would go with a freshly homemade basil pesto mayonnaise for this sandwich.

I have to say that it is in fact not at all difficult to make a really tasty grilled chicken club sandwich! This particular club sandwich was amazing and it disappeared far too quickly leaving me wanting for more. Now I am totally back into the club sandwich which is good because I had several ideas on grilled chicken club sandwich variants that I will now have to try.

Tip: Swirl the insides of the bun in a bit of the bacon grease remaining in your pan and then toss it on the grill for a few seconds to add a ton of flavour and to get nice crispy inside.

Grilled Chicken and Club Sandwich

A grilled chicken club sandwich with a hit of flavour packed pesto.


Servings: makes 1 sandwich

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 small chicken breast, pounded thin
  • salt and pepper to taste or your favourite grilled meat seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 2 leaves lettuce
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1 slice mozzarella
  • 1 sandwich bun, sliced in half
Directions
  1. Brush your grill with oil and heat it to medium heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill until cooked, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  3. Assemble the sandwich and enjoy.

Grilled Meat Seasoning

A tasty seasoning for any grilled meat.


Servings: makes 4 tablespoons

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Directions
  1. Coarsely grind the coriander seeds, dill seeds, hot pepper flakes and black peppercorns.
  2. Mix everything.


Similar Recipes:
Buffalo Chicken Club Sandwich
Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto and Feta
Balsamic Glazed Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich
Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo
Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich with Guacamole and Roasted Jalapeno Mayo
Bacon Jam Chicken Club Sandwich with Avocado and Chipotle Mayo
Strawberry BBQ Chicken Club Sandwich

Duck Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Goat Cheese

Duck Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Crumbled Goat Cheese

When I was growing up taco night made a regular appearance in our dinner rotation and taco night always meant ground beef, packet seasoning, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and tortillas. It was not until later that I realized that the world of tacos was so much bigger and since then I have been kind of obsessed with them. Gone ore the days of the boring plain old tacos as I joyfully experiment with new kinds of tacos. It is with that in mind that I present to you my latest creation, the duck breast tacos with chipotle cherry salsa and goat cheese.

Not too long ago I made a strawberry salsa and I particularly enjoyed how the strawberries worked in a savoury salsa. Ever since I have been thinking about different ways to use fruits and berries to make salsas. Cherries are in season now and so far I had simply been snacking on copious amounts of them. It was finally time to use them in a recipe and one of the first things that came to mind was to use them in a salsa. You know me; I was not going to just make a salsa and leave it at that, I had to use the salsa in something and my obsession with tacos rose its head and I had the rough outline of a plan.

Duck Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Crumbled Goat Cheese

The first question that came to mind was, what meat to use in the tacos? At this point I recalled having seen several recipes for duck breasts served in a cherry sauce and since I had never cooked duck before that immediately made up my mind. With duck chosen as the meet I had a better idea about how I wanted to make the salsa and I quickly fleshed out the recipe by adding fresh basil and a touch of balsamic vinegar to a basic salsa recipe. For the heat I decided to go with chipotle chilies in adobo to add a bit of smokiness to the party. I also decided to puree the salsa to make it more like a sauce. The tacos were almost done and I only needed to round things out by adding some vegetables and some cheese and I went with shredded cabbage tossed lightly in sour cream and creamy goat cheese.

Duck Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Crumbled Goat Cheese

The duck breast tacos with chipotle cherry salsa and goat cheese turned out amazingly well! I really enjoyed how the duck cooked and with most of the fat rendered from beneath the skin, the skin became almost like a crispy, tasty bacon wrapping. All of the flavours in the tacos played wonderfully with each other from the magical duck and cherry combo to the balsamic vinegar to the smoky chipotle heat to the creamy and tangy goat cheese which finished the whole thing off perfectly! I certainly am looking forward to enjoying the leftovers!

Duck Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Crumbled Goat Cheese

Duck breast tacos with a chipotle cherry salsa, cabbage and creamy goat cheese.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 pound duck breast
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 2 cups chipotle cherry salsa (see below)
  • 12 small corn tortillas, lightly toasted
  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced and tossed in 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbed
  • cress sprouts for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Score the skin and fat of the duck breast with a knife trying to cut all the through the fat without cutting into the meat.
  2. Mix the chipotle chili powder, cumin and salt and rub it into the skin side of the duck breast then cover it and let it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes to over night.
  3. Heat an oven proof pan over medium heat.
  4. Place the duck breast into the pan, skin side down and let it cook until the fat has rendered, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Place the pan into a preheated 400F oven for 8 minutes.
  6. Remove and set the duck breast aside and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  7. Drain the excess fat from the pan, add the salsa, deglaze the pan and simmer to remove any excess liquid.
  8. Assemble the tacos and enjoy.


Chipotle Cherry Salsa


Chipotle Cherry Salsa

A savoury cherry salsa with the heat and smokiness of chipotle chillies, the freshness of basil and the subtle hint of balsamic vinegar.


Servings: makes 2 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo or to taste, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1 handful basil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Puree everything in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Simmer the salsa to remove excess liquid. (Optional: This salsa is great fresh but if you are going to use it in something like tacos you will want to simmer it a bit to remover the excess liquid.)

Use the leftover in:
Duck Quesadillas with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Goat Cheese

Similar Recipes:
Salmon Bulgogi Tacos with Blueberry Habanero Salsa
Mojito Grilled Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa
Chicken Mole Tacos
Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos
Blueberry and Basil Habanero Salsa
Coffee Rubbed Roasted Pork Belly Tacos
Carnitas Tacos
Carne Asada Tacos

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg and Chipotle Mayo

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo

Lunch is normally when sandwiches come out but the other week I was enjoying the fantastic poached eggs on toast with chipotle mayonnaise, bacon and avocado, an open faced sandwich, for breakfast and lunch sure was getting jealous! I was feeling a little bad about the whole situation and I had an idea about how to make things right; I could bring some of that chipotle lime mayo lovin to lunch by adding it to one of my favourite sandwiches the BLT. Just to make absolutely sure that there were no hard feeling I also brought along some avocado and a fried egg with runny yolk; which makes almost anything better.

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo

Although a BLT is really good just the way it is, you can make it even better by adding things. Over the last few years I have done a bit of experimenting with different kinds of BLT's including ones with pesto mixed into the mayonnaise, ones with avocado and ones with fried eggs. Both the avocado BLT and the fried egg BLT are great so I knew that adding both could only make things better. Pesto mayo BLTs are also crave inducing so one with creamy and spicy chipotle mayo could only be good!

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo

I am happy to report that lunch is feeling better now and we can go back to being close friends. The BLT with avocado, chipotle mayo and a fried egg was simply amazing! It certainly is a bit on the messy side with avocado, egg yolk and tomato juices popping out every which way but it is defintely worth it and besides, you can always lick your plate and fingers clean.

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo

A BLT (Bacon Lettuce and Tomato) sandwich dressed up with avocado, a fried egg and some chipotle mayo.


Servings: makes 2 sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 4 slices bread, lightly toasted
  • 2 handfuls lettuce
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 2 eggs, fried
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle mayo (1 chopped chipotle chili in adobo mixed into 1/4 cup mayonnaise)
Directions
  1. Assemble sandwiches and enjoy.

More BLT Goodness:

BLT (Bacon Lettuce and Tomato) SandwichSlow Roasted Tomato BLTAvocado BLT with Fried Egg and Chipotle Mayo
Guacamole BLTBELT (Bacon Egg Lettuce Tomato) SandwichBacon Jam BLT
Fried Green Tomato BLT with RemouladeFried Green Tomato BLT with Shrimp RemouladeFried Green Tomato BLT with Pimento Cheese
Pesto Guacamole BLTBLT Grilled Cheese (BLTGC)Pickled Green Tomato BLT
BLAST (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Shrimp and Tomato) Sandwich

Similar Recipes:
Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado
Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Sandwich
Grilled Chicken and Club Sandwich
Peameal Bacon Breakfast Sandwich with Maple Caramelized Onions and a Fried Egg

Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

When asparagus season started one of the ideas that I came up with to try was asparagus quesadillas. I figured that you could not go wrong stuffing asparagus in between two toasted tortillas along with a bunch of ooey gooey melted cheese! Unfortunately that is about as far as I made it with the recipe; asparagus, cheese and tortillas, and that just did not satisfy me. I wanted something more but for the longest time I was having recipe block.

Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

That all came to an end recently when inspiration struck and all of the pieces came together. The basic idea was to once again combine two of my favourite foods, asparagus and mushrooms, this time in a quesadilla. I had known from the beginning that the asparagus was going to be roasted to bring out its full flavour and the mushrooms just had to be caramelized and since I was already at it some caramelized onions came along for the ride. I seasoned the caramelized onions and mushrooms with some flavours that remind me of Mexican cuisine including cumin, smokey chipotle chili powder and a hit of fresh cilantro to round things off. Next up was the cheese and I wanted a nice melted creamy goat cheese but since melted goat cheese does not do all that great at holding things together I also added some jack to get the job done.

Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

The asparagus and mushroom quesadilla recipe was all set to go but there was still the question of what to serve with them. Quesadillas are often served with salsas, sour creams, guacamoles, etc. for dipping. I had purposefully designed the recipe for these quesadillas so that they would be tasty enough to go it on their own but I figured there was no harm in throwing even more flavour into the mix. I decided to serve the asparagus and mushroom quesadillas with mildly spicy salsa verde and some cool and creamy sour cream. There is really two ways that you can go with your dips, you can serve them as dips or you can just pour them over the quesadillas. Although option number two is a bit messier, it is definitely the best way to ensure that every bite of your quesadillas has some dip.

Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

Luckily I was still able to get some of the local asparagus at the farmers market and I was able set about making the asparagus and mushroom quesadillas right away. One of the things that I like about quesadillas is that they are so easy to make. These quesadillas take a little more time to make with all of the caramelizing and the roasting but they are pretty straight forward just the same.

Roast Asparagus and Caramelized Mushroom Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

Roasted asparagus and caramelized mushrooms and onions covered in melted goat cheese all wrapped up in crispy, golden brown tortillas served with salsa and sour cream.


Servings: makes 2 meal sized servings or 4 appetizer sized servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 10 spears asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, room temperature, crumbled
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, room temperature, grated
  • 4 (6 inch) tortillas
  • salsa verde
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and chipotle chili powder and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until they release their water, the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, toss the asparagus spears in the oil, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove the mushrooms from the heat and mix in the cilantro.
  7. Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and mix them into the mushrooms.
  8. Heat a touch of oil in a clean pan over medium heat.
  9. Place a tortilla into the pan, swirl it around in the oil, top it with some of the mushroom and asparagus mixture, some of the cheeses and another tortilla and cook until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side. (Tip: To easily flip a quesadilla, place a plate over it in the pan, flip the pan, lower the plate and slide the quesadilla back into the pan.)
  10. Cut the quesadilla into 6 pieces and serve with salsa, sour cream and a garnish of cilantro.

Similar Recipes:
Asparagus Huevos Rancheros
Mushroom Quesadillas
Spinach and Feta Quesadillas
Warm Mushroom, Roasted Asparagus and Wild Rice Salad with Feta
Duck Quesadillas with Chipotle Cherry Salsa and Goat Cheese
Salmon Bulgogi Quesadillas with Blueberry Salsa
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas with Swiss Chard Pesto
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce
Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas with Roast Zucchini Salsa

Butter Chicken Burritos

Butter Chicken Burritos

You know me, I always enjoy experimenting with new things and while I was making the oh so creamy butter chicken I could not help but think that it would go well in a burrito! The basis of many burritos is some kind of meat, rice and beans. With the butter chicken I had the meat and that meant that next I needed some beans which is where the chickpea curry came in. I just went with some steamed basmati rice, though I was also contemplating cooking the rice with some turmeric and cumin to give it some flavour and make it more aromatic.

I had some ideas for finishing the burritos that included more Indian ingredients like mango chutney along with some crumbled paneer or going with some Mexican style ingredients like pico de gallo and melted jack and cheddar Unfortunately I could not decide which way to go so I searched the web for inspiration and and quickly found that the butter chicken burrito had already been done before by the guys at Curry Up Now. They finished their burritos off with a cilantro chutney and pickled red onions and since I am a cilantro fanatic and a big fan of pickled red onions, my decision was made, though I could not resist adding some crumbled cheese!

These butter chicken burritos certainly are tasty and all of the flavours definitely work well together from the rich and tasty curries to the tangy pickled red onions to the cilantro chutney just bursting with freshness. My leftovers disappeared quickly but I ran out of tortillas a little early. There were however no worries as I ate the rest in the form of 'burrito bowls' to which I added some shredded zucchini to get a vegetable in.

Butter Chicken Burrito Bowl

Butter Chicken Burritos

An Indian take on burritos that filled with creamy butter chicken, a tasty chickpea curry, tangy pickled red onions and a fresh cilantro chutney.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Assemble burritos and grill until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side.


Cilantro Chutney

A vibrant green chutney made with fresh cilantro that is great for adding a kick of Indian flavour to many dishes.


Servings: makes 1 cup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cilantro, packed
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 lime, juice
  • salt to taste
  • water if needed
Directions
  1. Puree everything in a blender until smooth added water only if required.

Similar Recipes:
Moroccan Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Quinoa 'Tagine' Burritos
Korean Short Rib Burrito
Pumpkin and Black Bean Burritos
Burrito Bowls

Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

When I decided to make the butter chicken I had an idea about what I wanted to do with the leftovers but the butter chicken was only the first component that I required. Up next I wanted a bean dish and I immediately thought about doing a simple chickpea curry or a chana masala. Having made a few Indian curry dishes I noticed that chickpea curries have a lot of common ingredients so I was pretty familiar with the base of the recipe already. One things that did stand out was the use of amchoor or dried mango powder which I had never used before. Luckily I was able to track some amchoor down but if you cannot find it, some lemon juice should work as a substitute. (The amchoor adds a sour or tart note to the dish without adding any extra liquids.) Once again, despite having a long list of ingredients, this recipe is really easy to make and it takes very little time to do so. This chickpea curry is amazing by itself and it could easily served as a main or a side dish. I made sure to make and extra large batch so that I would have plenty of leftovers to use in my next dish.

Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

A quick, easy and tasty chickpea curry.


Servings: makes 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 2 green chilies such as birds eye or chilies de arbol, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, toasted and ground
  • 2 teaspoons coriander, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups tomato, diced or 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 (19 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • cilantro (optional for garnish), chopped
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies, cumin, coriander, cayenne, turmeric, amchoor and garam masala and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes, water and chickpeas and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the salt, garam masala and lemon juice and remove from heat.

Use in:
Butter Chicken Burritos

Similar Recipes:
Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry
Curried Cauliflower Rice
Palak Dal
Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the Joey restaurant at the Eaton center. While there I got to enjoy a lot of tasty food including sushi that was made right in front of you, a meat and cheese board made with local and international ingredients and a penang prawn curry bowl. The dish that stood out the most for me however was the bombay butter chicken and I took that as the perfect excuse to try making at home! (If you are interested in seeing some photos of the opening you can take a look at my flickr gallery.)

Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)

Butter chicken or murgh makhani, is an Indian dish where chicken that is marinated in a yogurt based marinade filled with aromatic spices is served in a buttery and creamy tomato based sauce. The chicken is normally cooked in a tandoor but you can just as easily grill it or cook it up any way you like. As luck would have it, I already had a recipe for a tasty grilled tandoori chicken so I went with that. Up next is the tomato sauce which as the name suggests includes butter along with some cream that makes it a very rich and creamy sauce indeed. (To make things even creamier I also added some almond butter.) One of the primary and characteristic flavours of butter chicken is the fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi which I had never used before so I needed to track them down before hand.

Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)

Although the list of ingredients for the tandoor chicken and the curry combined is quite large the recipe is actually pretty easy. Since the chick should marinate over night anyways you just need to worry about the butter chicken sauce which should leave you with some time to make some rice or even fresh naan to go with the meal. I served the butter chicken garnished with cilantro, toasted almond slices and a drizzle of yogurt, though a dab of melting butter is also really nice.

Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Tender grilled chicken in a creamy and buttery tomato curry


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
  • 2 cups tomato (fresh or canned), pureed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 batch tandoori chicken
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cashew or almond butter (optional)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • butter (optional for garnish)
  • cilantro (optional for garnish), chopped
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cumin and coriander and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and cayenne, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken, honey, fenugreek, almond butter and cream and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the garam masala and salt and remove from heat.
  6. Serve over basmati rice garnished with butter and cilantro.

Serve with:
Naan

Use in:
Butter Chicken Burritos

Similar Recipes:
Butter Paneer Masala
Chicken and Cashew Curry
Garam Masala Roasted Halibut in a Tomato Curry Sauce
Egg Curry
Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

Mexican Quinoa and Beans with Pico de Gallo

Mexican Quinoa and Beans with Pico de Gallo

While I was enjoying my first batch of Mexican quinoa as a side dish I was thinking that it would also make for a great main dish if you bulked it up a bit. One thing that I commonly like to do with quinoa is to combine it with beans and the combination of the two gives any meatless dish a bunch of protein. I figured that mixing some black beans or kidney beans into the Mexican quinoa near the end of cooking it would be a nice and simple way to do it. Although things were sounding good already I was thinking, why stop there when you could top it all off with with some salsa or a freshly home made pico de gallo? I was perfectly satisfied with things like this but some crumbled queso fresco would also be nice on top.

Mexican Quinoa and Beans with Pico de Gallo

Mexican quinoa with beans topped with a fresh pico de gallo salsa makes for a tasty and healthy light meal.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 batch Mexican quinoa, warm
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 batch pico de gallo
  • 1 handful queso fresco or feta, crumbled (optional)
Directions
  1. Mix the Mexican quinoa into the beans and serve topped with pico de gallo topped with crumbled queso fresco.

Similar Recipes:
Mexican Quinoa
Black Bean and Quinoa Chili
Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Chipotle Roast Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Black Bean, Corn and Quinoa Picadillo Tacos

Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

It has been a while since I last posted about a side dish! Although they are not the stars of the dinner table they play an important role and sometimes they are even my favourite part of a meal. With my new found passion for quinoa I have been trying to use it more often and that is not hard to do. An easy way to use it is to simply replace the rice in a dish with quinoa and it is with this in my that I undertook making Mexican quinoa.

Mexican rice, or Spanish rice, is a rice side dish that is generally cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic and a bit of chili pepper heat. In addition to being really easy to make, Mexican rice is packed with flavour and it is always a welcome addition to any meal. One of the nice things about Mexican rice is that it is easy to play around with the recipe and change things up by adding other ingredients like diced bell peppers or even corn or peas. The tomato component is really flexible and I often make Mexican rice to finish off cans of tomato products that were only partially used in other dishes. Canned whole tomatoes work just as well as diced or pureed and fresh ripe tomatoes that are diced are also wonderful.

I figured that Mexican rice would go great with the rice replaced by quinoa and I was not wrong! My favourite part of quinoa has to be the texture and those soft, tiny, chewy pearls work amazingly well in Mexican rice! Now I have another way to make "Mexican rice" and I have a feeling that I will be using it often!

Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

A take on the classic "Mexican" rice with quinoa. This tasty quinoa dish makes the perfect side for your favourite Mexican or Texmex meal.


Servings: makes 4 side dish sized servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato or 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and saute until fragrant about a minute.
  4. Add the quinoa, broth, tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the the quinoa is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Similar Recipes:
Mexican Quinoa and Beans with Pico de Gallo
Mexican Rice
Cilantro and Lime Rice
Black Bean and Quinoa Chili
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Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado

Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado

Not too long ago I came across some poached eggs on toast with chipotle mayonnaise, bacon and avocado on Cookin Canuck which was great because it reminded me that it had been far too long since I had last made these tasty little breakfast sandwiches. Normally I would serve these sandwiches in English muffins but they are particularly messy with the egg yolk and avocado spilling out all over so I really liked the idea of serving them open-faced so that you could eat them with a knife and a fork! This really is a magical combination of flavours with the salty bacon, the spicy hot chipotle mayo, the cool and creamy avocado and you of course cannot go wrong topping it all off with a runny egg yolk! This truly is a breakfast to look forward to waking up to!

Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado

One of the things that I like about these sandwiches is that there are a lot of variations that you can do and I spent all of last week playing around with them. Although the poached eggs are definitely healthier, when you have some bacon grease on hand anyways, frying the eggs in a bit of the bacon grease adds a ton of flavour! In another variation of the sandwich, I like to replace the bacon with cheese that I sprinkle onto the egg while it fries and then I add a bit more to the sandwich as well. When I serve these sandwiches in English muffins I sometime like to mash the avocado and mix in some creamy mayonnaise which is an awesome combination that works well, though it makes the sandwich slightly messier. There are so many ways to enjoy these delectable breakfast sandwiches!

Fried Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado

Poached Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Bacon and Avocado

Open faced bacon, avocado and poached egg sandwich with creamy chipotle lime mayonnaise.


Servings: 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices bread, lightly toasted (I used multigrain)
  • 1/4 cup chipotle lime mayo (see below)
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Crack an egg into a bowl, swirl the water in the pot and pour the egg from the bowl into the water and repeat for another egg.
  3. Let the eggs cook until the whites are set but the yolks are not, about 2-3 minutes and fish them out.
  4. Repeat for the remaining 2 eggs.
  5. Assemble sandwiches and enjoy.


Fried Egg on Toast with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Cheese and Avocado


Chipotle Lime Mayo

Spicy hot and smoky chipotle peppers mixed with creamy mayo and a hint of lime.


Servings: makes 1/2 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce or to taste, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juice
Directions
  1. Mix everything.

Similar Recipes:
Avocado BLT with Fried Egg And Chipotle Mayo
Breakfast Reuben Sandwich
Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Eggs Benedict
Roasted Asparagus with Poached Egg
Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict
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Peameal Bacon Breakfast Sandwich with Maple Caramelized Onions and a Fried Egg
Roasted Portobello Mushroom with Poached Egg in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Smoked Salmon Asparagus Quinoa Cake Eggs Benedict
Breakfast Chorizo Quesadilla Topped with a Fried Egg
Avocado Breakfast Pizza with Fried Egg
Bacon Jam Chicken Club Sandwich with Avocado and Chipotle Mayo
Bacon Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Asparagus, Halloumi and Chickpea Farro Salad

Asparagus, Halloumi and Chickpea Farro Salad

Not too long ago I did a grilled asparagus and halloumi salad and I particularly enjoyed the combo and I wanted to use it again. I often like to do salads that have a base of a whole grain, a bean and a seasonal ingredient and this time I was thinking that a whole grain salad with the grilled asparagus and halloumi would be the perfect fit. It had been a while since I last used farro so I decided to go with that for the whole grain and chickpeas seemed like the natural fit. I always like to include a fresh herb and I was thinking that a combination of dill and mint would hit the spot. Next up was the dressing and I was thinking that a honey dijon vinaigrette would help keep things nice and bright and summery.

Asparagus, Halloumi and Chickpea Farro Salad

A summery whole grain salad with asparagus, grilled halloumi, chickpeas, a bunch of fresh herbs and a lemony vinaigrette.


Servings: makes 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 cup farro
  • 4 ounces halloumi, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound asparagus, blanched and cut into small pieces
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful dill, chopped
  • 1 handful mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey dijon vinaigrette
Directions
  1. Cook the farro as directed on the package.
  2. Brush the grill (or grill pan) with oil and heat to medium-high heat.
  3. Grill the halloumi cheese until golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side, let cool and dice.
  4. Mix everything and enjoy.

Similar Recipes:
Grilled Asparagus and Halloumi Salad
Warm Mushroom, Roasted Asparagus and Wild Rice Salad with Feta
Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini and Halloumi Salad
Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Eggs Benedic

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Peas

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Peas

When I was at the farmers market on the weekend I came across some local summer peas and since I always enjoy fresh peas I picked some up right away. After too much good food over the long weekend I was looking for something a bit on the lighter side and since it was a weeknight I also wanted something quick and easy. Pastas are often my go to meals under these circumstances and it had been a while since I last did a carbonara pasta so I was thinking that a carbonara with peas would be just about right. A carbonara is a pasta that is dressed in a creamy egg based sauce along with bacon, romano cheese and a healthy dose of fresh ground black pepper. I often like to add seasonal ingredients to carbonara pastas like asparagus or zucchini and I figured that sweet peas would work wonderfully in the creamy and salty sauce. One of my favourite things about a carbonara pasta, other than tasting great, is that it literally comes together in less time than it takes to cook the noodles. This dish was definitely a great way to enjoy those summer peas!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Peas

Spaghetti served in a creamy egg based sauce with bacon, fresh summer peas and Pecorino Romano cheese.


Servings: makes 2 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound pasta
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 1/2 cup peas (fresh or thawed frozen)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mint, julienned
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. Meanwhile cook the bacon in a pan until crispy and set it aside on paper towels to drain.
  3. Mix the egg yolks, heavy cream and pecorino romano in a large bowl.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.
  5. Mix the pasta, peas and bacon into the egg mixture adding pasta water as needed and season with pepper to taste.
  6. Serve garnished with grated pecorino romano and julienned mint.

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Pasta alla Carbonara
Creamy Pea and Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad
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Banh Mi Burgers with Vietnamese Caramel BBQ Sauce

Banh Mi Burgers

The long weekend was the perfect time to get some grilling done and I took full advantage of it! Burgers were on the top of my list of things to grill but I wanted to try something a little different. The last time that I made a banh mi sandwich I remembered thinking that a burger with all of the flavours and condiments of a banh mi sandwich would be a good idea.

I decided to go with pork as the meat and I built the flavour using ingredients from my favourite Vietnamese dishes including garlic, ginger, fish sauce, cilantro, green onions and a birds eye chili for some heat. I have been hooked on Vietnamese caramel shrimp ever since I discovered it and I find that the sweet and savoury caramel sauce works particularly well in a banh mi sandwich and I could not resist making a caramel sauce to both use in the patties and to smother the burgers in. I finished the burgers off with some pickled carrots and daikon radish, cool and juicy cucumbers, spicy jalapenos, cilantro and mayonnaise to complete the medley of flavours.

Banh Mi Burgers

The banh mi style burgers turned out amazingly well! In addition to being super easy to make they tasted fantastic! I really enjoyed the combinations of flavours and all of the fresh ingredients were definitely fit for summer. I served the burgers with a side of mayoless sesame and ginger coleslaw.

Banh Mi Burgers

Banh Mi Burgers

Pork burgers filled with the fresh flavours of Vietnamese banh mi sandwich.


Servings: makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cramel sauce (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 birds eye chili, sliced
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce (see below)
  • 4 buns
  • 1/2 cup pickled carrots and daikon radish
  • 12 slices cucumber
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
  • cilantro to taste
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
Directions
  1. Mix the pork, garlic, ginger, green onion, cilantro, fish sauce, caramel sauce, lime zest and jalapeno.
  2. Form the mixture into 4 patties.
  3. Grill over medium heat until cooked, about 4-6 minutes per side.
  4. Assemble burgers and enjoy.


Vietnamese Caramel BBQ Sauce

A Vietnamese caramel sauce seasoned with fish sauce, lime juice and shallots


Servings: makes 1/4 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablsepoons water
  • 2 tablsepoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 1 birds eye chili, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
Directions
  1. Melt the sugar into the water over medium heat and simmer until it turns a deep golden brown.
  2. Mix the water, fish sauce and lime juice and carefully add the water, heating until the caramel dissolves.
  3. Add the chili, garlic and shallots and simmer to reduce by half, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. mix the cornstarch into the water, mix it into the sauce and simmer until it thickens, about a minute.

Similar Recipes:
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Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp Banh Mi
Thai Peanut Turkey Burger
Cuban Burgers
Vietnamese Caramel Salmon Banh Mi
Pad Thai Shrimp Burgers

Mojitos

Mojito

Since I had all of the ingredients out for mojitos to make the mojito grilled fish tacos with strawberry salsa it was just the right time to make some mojitos to enjoy with them. A mojito is a Cuban drink consisting of rum, mint, sugar, lime juice and club soda. The lime juice gives it a tartness that the sugar or syrup balances out and the mint makes it super refreshing and when the glass is filled with ice it is a great drink for hot summer days. I certainly enjoyed my mojito last weekend with the tacos but it is also the perfect drink to be relaxing with this long weekend!

Mojito

A sweet, tart and minty lime drink that is always refreshing!


Servings: make 1 drink

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 4 mint leaves
  • ice
  • 1 ounce lime juice, about 1 lime
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup*
  • club soda
Directions
  1. Place the mint leaves in the glass and muddle them to release their oils.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Pour in the lime juice, rum and syrup and fill the glass with club soda.


Note: A simple syrup is 1 cup of sugar dissolved into one cup of water in a sauce pan over the stove.


Rhubarb Mojito


Rhubarb Mojito

You know me; I like to play with things and I could not help but try using some of the rhubarb syrup in place of the simple syrup. It was a simple substitution and it turned out really well! The rhubarb flavour was the perfect pair to the tart lime and refreshing mint. With the door open, the possibilities are near limitless! How about a strawberry mojito with some crushed strawberries and strawberry syrup or a blueberry mojito...

Rhubarb Mojito

A pink take on the classic mojito using sweet and tart rhubarb syrup with mint, lime and rum.


Servings: make 1 drink

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Printable Recipe
Ingredients
  • 4 mint leaves
  • ice
  • 1 ounce lime juice, about 1 lime
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 ounce rhubarb syrup
  • club soda
Directions
  1. Place the mint leaves in the glass and muddle them to release their oils.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Pour in the lime juice, rum and syrup and fill the glass with club soda.

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Rhubarb Soda
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