Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

October 14, 2009

On Monday, we trekked out to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. Mum prepared the whole works – turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, bread stuffing, sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, cranberry jelly and brussels sprouts. Granny made the gravy (with Bisto that she brought particularly for that purpose as according to Granny OXO is no good). We even had a pumpkin pie taste-off with two different pumpkin pies to choose from. And of course, a blackberry apple pie just in case there wasn’t enough food for the 7 of us.

So not surprisingly there were leftovers. Included in my package full of food was a bunch of uncooked brussels sprouts since apparently not everyone loves them as much as I do. I decided to try them roasted. I have seen recipes for roasted brussels sprouts floating around the internet, but there is never enough room in the oven with the turkey to actually make them on a main turkey day. So with a turkey and stuffing already cooked and just needing reheating, leftover day was the perfect time to try roasting them. It turned out great – very flavourful and I loved the crunchiness of the outer leaves. I think I will have to pick up some more brussels sprouts and make this again.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

Adapted from Ina Garten

2 to 3 cups brussels sprouts
4 carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves.Cut the carrots into medium-sized strips.

Mix the vegetables in a bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the vegetables evenly.

Serve immediately.


Spicy Grilled Corn

August 25, 2009

Corn is one of my essential summer foods. I was lucky enough to spend the better part of my summers on my grandparents’ farm in Chilliwack – home to some of the best corn in Canada – and corn was a staple on the dinner table. My mum and I would drive down to the little drive-thru Corn Barn beside the highway run by my mum’s high-school friend Helen. She had corn-on-the-cob earrings and the most delicious super sweet jubilee corn. We would take it back to the farm in a paper bag and my cousins and I were sent out into the yard to shuck it over the fence while the cows wandered over to munch on the husks. Once we returned with a bowl full of shining cobs, Granny would fire up the pressure cooker and boil the corn. Minutes later we were all rolling our cobs in mounds of butter and lots of salt, faces covered in corn and butter and enjoying every bite.

Recently, I deviated from the boiled corn and butter method when our friend Dan showed up at a barbeque with a lime and a sour cream container filled with spices. He grilled the corn on the barbeque then dipped a lime wedge in the spices and rubbed it on the corn. It was spicy and ohh so good. I pestered him for the recipe. The boil and butter is still the best way to eat freshly picked corn, but this spicy rub is perfect for jazzing up one or two day old cobs of corn.


Spicy Grilled Corn

Adapted from Dan
Yield: 4 servings

4 cobs of corn, shucked
4 teaspoons butter
salt and pepper

1 lime

Spice Rub:
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

To Grill Corn:
Rub each cob of corn liberally with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then wrap individually in a piece of tin foil.

Set barbeque to high and place the foil wrapped corn on the top rack. After 10 minutes, turn and cook for 10 minutes more.

Remove from grill (this will stay warm wrapped in the tin foil for quite some time).

Spicy Corn Rub:
Combine all the spices for the rub in a small dish. When ready to eat the corn, dip a lime wedge into the spice and rub it along the corn squeezing the lime to allow the juices to flow onto the corn. Eat and enjoy.

Potato Salad

July 9, 2009

After being away for over 3 weeks, we invited some friends over for a barbeque to catch up and enjoy all the sunshine. While everyone was bringing something for the grill, I wanted to make a side salad – and nothing says summer barbeque like potato salad. I looove potato salad (must be the Irish in me)! I didn’t have a recipe but I knew I wanted mayonnaise and lots of grainy mustard. So I threw in a bunch of things and it turned out super delicious if I do say so myself!


Potato Salad

Yield: At least 6 servings

1 to 1 ½ pounds new potatoes
½ red onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup really grainy German mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender but still firm (not mushy), about 10 to 15 minute. Drain and then rinse in cool water.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients. Toss to combine.

Serve warm or refrigerated. (This salad lasts several days in the fridge and is great for lunches).

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

May 5, 2009

Mmm. I love garlic. And potatoes. So these garlic mashed potatoes seemed like the obvious choice to accompany C’s birthday roast chicken. Plus I knew I could eat them, if not the chicken.

I used the stand mixer for the mashing and they turned out so smooth and creamy. And loads of butter and cream didn’t hurt in the taste department either!

mashed-potatoesGarlic Mashed Potatoes

Adapted from Martha
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 heads garlic
olive oil
5 large russet potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup cream (or milk)

Heat oven to 425F. Slice the top off of the garlic heads and coat with olive oil. Wrap in foil and bake for 45 minutes until tender and golden. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel.

Peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch slices. Place in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain.

Heat butter and cream in a saucepan until butter melts and the cream is hot.

In the stand mixer bowl, combine the garlic, potatoes, salt, pepper and butter/cream mixture. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the lumps are gone and the potatoes are smooth and creamy.


Roasted Broccoli

February 19, 2009

I made fish again for dinner tonight in my new effort to cook more fish. Nothing too exciting, just some pre-marinated snapper from Save-On. Definitely not as good as the salmon from last Wednesday! But the broccoli I made to accompany it was delish (both C and I gave it a thumbs up) and dead simple…

Roasted Broccoli

Adapted from The Amateur Gourmet
Yield: 2 large servings

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
5-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon pepper
sprinkle of dried chiles
tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 425F.

Put broccoli and garlic on a baking sheet (I covered it in foil first for easier cleanup). Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and chiles.

Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender yet crisp with some browned edges. Remove and serve.

Variation: The Amateur Gourmet recipe suggested adding the following once the broccoli comes out of the oven (which I omitted in attempt to keep the recipe healthier):
Lemon zest
Lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoon fresh basil

Toss all these ingredients with the roasted broccoli and serve.