Fried Green Tomato BLT with Shrimp Remoulade

Fried Green Tomato BLT with Shrimp Remoulade

Over the last few days I enjoyed some blackened swordfish and that reminded me of the blackened shrimp in the fried green tomato with shrimp remoulade po'boy that I often make while green tomatoes are available. The fried green tomato BLT sandwiches were still on my mind and I was craving more of them. With that thought the gears started to turn and I had a new idea; how about a fried green tomato BLT sandwich with shrimp remoulade? Once I got that idea stuck in my head there was little that could stop me from making them and I certainly glad that I did! I mean you really cannot go wrong adding plump and juicy shrimp seasoned with a tasty blend of herbs and spices with a touch of heat to an already great sandwich!

Blackened Swordfish

Blackened Swordfish

One of the things that I really enjoyed about New Orleans was all of the amazing seafood and I took the opportunity to have it as frequently as possible while I was there. One of my favourite meals was a blackened swordfish and I just had to try making it at home! The basic idea behind a blackened fish s that the fish is seasoned and then briefly seared at high heat until the spices and the surface of the fish just start to blacken, but not burn. The high heat cooking helps seal in the fishes juices and toasts up the spices releasing their flavour. You do have to watch out both because you neither want the fish to actually burn or over cook so a brief cooking time is called for. For the seasoning I used a homemade creole/cajun spice blend and I served the blackened swordfish over a sweet and creamy corn maque choux

Maque Choux

Maque Choux

While I was in New Orleans one of the dishes that really stood out for me was a crab cake in a maque choux. Maque choux is a dish native to southern Louisiana consisting of corn, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions that is braised until the vegetables are nice and tender. Many maque choux recipes are pretty simple but it is surprisingly good, especially when you use ripe in season corn from the cob and tomatoes. Since both the corn and the tomatoes were in season when I got back the maque choux was one of the first dishes that I tried making at home from my trip to New Orleans and I have already made it several times!

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Follow Me on Pinterest

I certainly have been into the fresh field ripened tomatoes lately! I have been picking up at least a full basket of them every week and most weeks they have disappeared long before the end of the week. Primarily I have been enjoying them in BLT sandwiches but recently I had a new idea and that was for a caprese grilled cheese sandwich. The idea came from a caprese salad which is a nice and simple salad that consists of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and I figured that it would make an excellent grilled cheese sandwich! I mean you really can't go wrong wrapping something up in buttery and toasty bread grilled to perfection while at the same time melting the fresh mozzarella into an ooey gooey mess!

Fried Green Tomato BLT with Remoulade

Fried Green Tomato BLT with Remoulade

Over the last few weeks I have been enjoying a lot of BLTs and when I made the fried green tomatoes the other day it reminided me of how much I enjoy fried green tomato BLTs. A fried green tomato BLT is just like it sounds, a BLT sandwich where the ripe red tomatoes slices are replaced with gried green tomato slices. These sandwiches take a bit more work to make than your regular BLT but it is well worth the effort! The crispy coated tart and tangy fried green tomatoes go really well together with the salty bacon and the fresh lettuce. Although a smear of mayonnaise is grat on these gried green tomato BLTs, I often loke to go with a tasty remoulade sauce instead.

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes in Fontina

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes in Fontina

I have been totally into all of the fresh ripe tomatoes around these last few weeks and I have been enjoying them every opportunity that I get. When I came across this recipe for roasted heirloom tomatoes with fontina and thyme on Healthy Green Kitchen I was immediately smitten with the idea. Even if your tomatoes are perfectly ripe they can always benefit from a little roasting which concentrates and brings out more of their amazing flavour. If that wasn't enough, those roasted tomatoes are then smothered in ooey gooey melted cheese taking them way over the top and right onto my meal plan!

This recipe is really quick and easy to make! You start by dicing the tomatoes, tossing them in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper then you roast them, top them with cheese and broil for a few minutes to melt the cheese. All said and done you can have this tasty treat in front of you in about a half an hour with very little actual hands on time. These cheese covered roasted tomatoes go great with some bread to top or scoop with and it would easily work as an appetizer at a dinner party or even as a light meal along with a salad!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Buttermilk Marinated Fried Green Tomatoes

Ever since I discovered green tomatoes I have been hooked and in particular to fried green tomatoes! Unfortunately around here green tomatoes are usually only available for a few weeks at the end of the summer so when that time of year rolls around I make the most of it. Fried green tomatoes are so simple to make and yet so addictively good with that crispy cornmeal coating! You pretty much just need to soak the sliced green tomatoes in butter milk for a while, batter them up in a seasoned cornmeal mixture and then fry them until they are nice and golden brown. (With respect to frying them, oil would definitely be the healthier option but bacon grease would be the tastier way to go.) As good as they are by themselves, a tasty remoulade sauce is always a tasty addition!

If you have not tried fried tomatillos yet, you need to! So good!

Fajita Burgers

Fajita Burgers

Not too long after I last made fajitas I came across this recipe for fajita burgers on Good Life Eats which sounded really good. I always enjoy playing around with different flavours or themes for burgers and I particularly liked the sound of a tasty texmex burger topped with tender sauteed onions and peppers. With the days starting to get cooler, it was time to get the burgers in and this weekend I got the chance to make them.

These burgers start out with all beef patties that are flavoured with salsa, taco seasoning and a healthy does of fresh cilantro which I covered with slices of pepper jack cheese that were added just at the end of cooking. Next up was the sauteed onions and peppers which I flavoured with even more taco seasoning . At this point the burgers are good to go but you don't have to stop there as you can easily add any of your favourite fajita or taco fillings and I went with some roasted tomatillo and avocado salsa . Luckily corn is still in season and I served the burgers with some fresh corn on the cob topped with cilantro lime butter.

Black Bean Chili Omelette

Black Bean Chili Omelette

By the end of the week I was getting near the end of my second batch of the Mexican baked eggs and I was just itching to experiment. All week I had been baking the black bean and tomato sauce, effectively a simple black bean chili, with eggs on top and I had been thinking that it would also be nice to reverse it and cook it with the eggs on the bottom, a black bean chili omelette. I kept things nice and simple and went with a two egg omelet as it fits perfectly in my pan and I topped it with some of the black bean chili along with cheese. (I always like making my omelettes open-faced as that allows for more filling to be placed on top!) Some tricks to help ensure that the cheese on top melts is to bring it up to room temperature and to warm up the black bean chili before adding it to the omelette. I served these tasty black bean chili omelettes garnished with some fresh chopped cilantro and with a side of sliced avocados for a perfectly satisfying breakfast! (I imagine that pretty much any leftover vegetarian chili would also work well in a omelet like this.)

Mexican Baked Eggs

Mexican Baked Eggs
Follow Me on Pinterest

For the last little while I have had some pretty big cravings for Mexican flavours and over the weekend I certainly did indulge them. Although the salmon tacos with blueberry salsa were really good, they did not completely satisfy my cravings and I was looking for more. With dinners and lunches already planned for the week that left breakfasts and I knew just the dish to make! I came across this recipe for Mexican baked eggs on Kalyn's Kitchen a while ago and as soon as I saw it I knew that I would have to make it as it uses so many of my favourite Mexican ingredients and flavours!

Slow Roasted Tomato BLT

Slow Roasted Tomato BLT

For the last little while we have been in the middle of tomato season where the field tomatoes are perfectly sun ripened and just packed with flavour. One of my favourite ways to enjoy these tomatoes while they are at their peak of deliciousness is in a simple BLT sandwich where the juicy tomato takes the center stage and shines in all of its wondrous glory! After having enjoyed perhaps a few too many BLTs I wanted to change things up a bit and I remembered that I had wanted to try doing a roasted tomato BLT. As amazing as the tomatoes are right now, they get even better when you slowly roast them as their flavour concentrates, rather like a sun dried tomato.

The idea was to start with some roma or plum tomatoes and cut them into roughly quarter inch slices so that they would roast quicker and this meant that the smaller ones could be cut in half and the larger ones would need to be cut into three. These tomato slices are then tossed in olive oil along with some thyme and a touch of salt and pepper before roasting. (A splash of balsamic vinegar would also work wonders here.) The tomato slices are then slowly roasted at a lower temperature until they shrivel up but still contain some juices on the inside. Roasting the tomatoes can take 3 or 4 hours so it is a good idea to do it the day ahead of time and they keep well in the fridge for a few days. Just make sure to roast as many of them as you can fit into your oven as they are like candy and you will find yourself heading back to the fridge throughout the day to snack on them!

Salmon Bulgogi Quesadillas with Blueberry Salsa

Salmon Bulgogi Quesadillas

When I make tacos I tend to keep them on the lighter and healthier side but invariably while I am going over the recipe, I start thinking about loading up on cheeses and sour cream, etc. Luckily there is an easy solution to get the best of both worlds and that is to make sure that there is enough left over from the tacos to use to make some quesadillas!

Salmon Bulgogi Tacos with Blueberry Habanero Salsa

Salmon Bulgogi Tacos with Blueberry Habanero Salsa

Although snacking on the blueberry and basil habanero with tortilla chips was perfectly satisfying, I wanted to do something more with the salsa. My obsession with tacos surfaced at this point and I could not shake the idea! The only question was what goes with blueberries in savoury tacos? After thinking about it for a while I narrowed my choices down to shredded buffalo and salmon as both sounded like they would pair nicely with the blueberry salsa. The slow roasted and shredded buffalo was sounding good but the salmon was calling my name and it was a perfect way to get some more fish into my meal plan which is always one of my goals. As for how to cook the salmon, my mind immediately jumped to salmon bulgogi which would complement the hints of Asian flavours in the blueberry salsa, though teriyaki salmon was a close second thought. I finished the tacos of with zucchini ribbons, queso freso and some sprouts for garnish.

I have to say that the salmon bulgogi tacos with blueberry salsa turned out phenomenally well! The The blueberry and salmon combo was amazing and the tasty bulgogi marinade brought everything together perfectly.

Blueberry and Basil Habanero Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Habanero Salsa

This summer I have had a lot of success in experimenting with fruit and berry salsas like the chipotle cherry salsa and there was one more that I wanted to try, a blueberry salsa with habanero peppers. I had come across the idea of a blueberry salsa from the Kogi food truck and I really liked the sound of it. With weather starting to get a bit cooler I figured that it was the perfect time to try making it while the fresh local blueberries were still in season. Salas recipes seem to kind of write themselves these days; you start with the main ingredient, the blueberries, then add some heat, the habanero, then some onions and garlic and a touch of lime juice to keep things fresh. I also normally add a fresh herb and it is almost always cilantro but this time I wanted to go with some basil as I thought that it would work well with the blueberries. The final touch is to season with salt and pepper and I thought that I would go with an Asian twist and used soy sauce and ginger instead.

The blue berry salsa turned out to be another wildly successful berry salsa! All of the fresh flavours play amazingly well together and you could easily polish off a whole batch with a bag of tortilla chips handy. Of course I had to restrain myself from eating too much as I wanted to use the blueberry salsa in another dish!

Corn and Tomato Pie

Corn and Tomato Pie

With fresh local corn in season I certainly have been enjoying a lot of it! In particular I have been making my favourite hot corn dip a lot, maybe a little too frequently even, so I was thinking that I should change things up a bit. The first idea that I had was to try to use the flavours from the corn dip to make something else like a corn casserole to make more of a meal out of it. I searched for a recipe with a few of the ingredients that I wanted to use in addition to the corn and a few corn casserole dishes came up but the recipe that caught my eye was this one for a corn and tomato pie on Gourmet .

Biscuit Pie Crust

Biscuit Pie Crust

Normally when I am making a pie I go straight for my standard all butter crust but I recently came across the idea of a biscuit like pie crust that was just begging to be tried. This pie crust starts out a lot like a biscuit recipe where butter is cut into a mixture of flour and baking powder to form a coarse meal like texture and then milk is mixed in to form a dough. From there, instead of forming a disc and cutting out biscuits the dough is rolled out into a thin pie crust. As you might guess after seeing the baking powder in the ingredients, this crust will rise a bit as it bakes and it forms a really nice light and fluffy and yet crispy crust. One of the things that is good about this pie crust is that it uses significantly less butter than a butter crust which makes a great alternative for when you are trying to eat lighter.

Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes

One the the things that I like about weekends is that I have more time to spend on breakfast. Instead of quickly making something so that I can dash out the door on my way to work I have the time to actually make something nice and over the long weekend I took advantage of that. With the recent success of the fresh corn pancakes I had pancakes on my mind though this time I was thinking about blueberry pancakes. Mini blueberry cheesecakes were also dancing through my head and at some point the two ideas collided and I soon found myself obsessing about blueberry cheesecake pancakes!

Chicken with Cherry Tomato Pan Sauce on Fresh Corn and Basil Polenta

Chicken with Tomato Pan Sauce

These days the farmers market has been absolutely packed with fresh local produce! There is so much selection that it is often difficult to choose just what to get. When I came across this recipe for chicken with tomato herb pan sauce on Pink Parsley it seemed like the perfect way to celebrate summer by incorporating so many of those fresh in season ingredients! Right now the tomatoes are at their best and I hardly needed an excuse to make a dish that includes them and when you lure me in with a simple pan sauce that is as tasty sounding as this one is, I did not stand a chance and I just had to make it. In addition amazing sounding chicken in tomato pan sauce I also really liked that it was served on polenta made with fresh corn and basil bring even more fresh ingredients to the table!

Blueberry Mascarpone Cheesecake with Amaretti Crust

Blueberry Mascarpone Cheesecake with Amaretti Crust

One of my favourite treats in the summer is a cool and creamy no bake cheesecake which is particularly nice because you do not have to turn the oven on to enjoy it. This no bake cheesecake is made by mixing cream cheese and whipped cream and placing it on a buttery nutty crust that is simply pressed into the bottom of the pan. The cheesecake is then chilled in the fridge until it 'sets' when you can pull it out and top it with some fresh summer fruit and or berries.

Not too long ago I came across a variation of the no bake cheesecake, the blueberry and mascarpone cheesecake with amaretti crust on Gourmantine that used Italian mascarpone instead of cream cheese. This cheesecake also used an amaretti crust and I know just how good the blueberry and almond flavour combo is! In fact I have used it many times like in this blueberry amaretti crisp . The coup de gras of this cheesecake is the layer of blueberry caramel sauce between the crust and the cheesecake and there was absolutely no question that I would have to make it!

The mascarpone cheesecake is almost as easy to make as my regular no bake cheesecake though you do have to briefly bake the crust for this one. With minimal effort I had two individual sized cheesecakes chilling out in my fridge while I impatiently waited for them to set. When I pulled them out of the fridge I noticed that they did not set quite as solidly as the cream cheese ones do but that was ok, they were just a bit messier, but certainly worth it! (I have already modified the recipe to go lighter on the whipped cream so that the next batch is a firmer.) I topped the entire surface of these cheesecakes with fresh blueberries and dug into them! I have to say that they were absolutely amazing! The almond flavours in the crust from the amaretti cookies really paired well with both the ooey gooey blueberry caramel sauce and the fresh blueberries. The cool and creamy 'cheesecake' filling was the perfect foil for all of the flavours and the juicy fresh blueberries help keeping things from getting too creamy. I will definitely be making these again!

Blueberry Caramel Sauce

Blueberry Caramel Sauce

A few weeks ago when I was making a batch of blueberry syrup I idly thought that the basic ingredients of the syrup were a lot like a caramel sauce with the sugar and water and got me to wondering what a blueberry caramel sauce would be like. I mean if water, sugar and blueberries are good then how cold adding more flavour by caramelizing the sugar first not make things better? Alas, I got distracted by something before I could write the idea down and I promptly forgot about it.

Recently I came across a recipe that called for a blueberry caramel sauce and I knew that I just had to make it! Over the holidays I made a cranberry caramel sauce for the cranberry turtle bars that I made. For the cranberry caramel sauce I just threw the full cranberries into the caramelized sugar and waited for them to burst in the heat and then I left them in the sauce. For the blueberry sauce however I wanted to have a smooth texture so I decided to puree the blueberries before adding them and after letting everything simmer for a while, I strained the large solid bits from the caramel sauce before returning it to the heat to thicken a bit.

The blueberry caramel sauce turned out unbelievably well! After it cooled down it thickened up nicely and it had the most amazing aroma of blueberries. After just one taste I was hooked and found it difficult to not finish it all right then and there! The deep amber caramelized sugar adds a real depth of flavour that makes this sauce truly special. It would certainly be great to serve this straight up over vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt but I had something else in mind for it entirely.