Spice Rub and Shameless Self-Promotion

Photos, Recipes

Spicerub3 SpiceRub SpiceRub2Let’s start with the spices and I’ll get to the promotional details later.

I know it’s almost February and none of you are interested in talking about the holidays but I still haven’t shared all of the Christmas presents I made this year! That said, this recipe isn’t festive at all, unless you gave this spice rub as a Valentines Day present and attached a card that says something adorable like “You spice up my life baby!”

Or not, whatever.

What’s more important: this recipe is so damn easy and yields so much that you’ll probably be running around finding reasons to give spice rub to everyone you know! But you could just hoard it for yourself and make lots and lots of pulled pork.

If you’re like me and don’t have a well-stocked spice rack the upfront cost of all the spices might be a bit alarming. But if you don’t have to buy new spices for every recipe you make then you probably have most of these ingredients at home.

I found the recipe here, but instead of making the 14-spice version I made a 13-spice version because I couldn’t find mace (turns out is not pepper spray), which is totally fine according to the original recipe.

The end result is a smokey blend with a bit of lingering heat that can be used for any kind of meat.

Dry Spice Rub

Ingredients

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup seasoned salt (reduce to 1/8 cup for low-sodium version)
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon celery salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon rubbed dried sage
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until uniform. You can sift the ingredients to make the mixture smoother. Keep unrefrigerated in an air-tight container.

Now for the shameless promotion!

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If you follow me on any social media platform then you’ve probably noticed a post or two about Boiler Magazine.To give everyone a bit more background:

Boiler Magazine is a student-created publication that empowers its readers to enjoy food that tastes amazing without a second thought about guilt or gluttony. The project is the creative work of myself and four other creative geniuses (aka. classmates), Jordan Welwood, Amy Jean MacLean, Trevin Thomas and Adriana Mingo. Together we are writing original stories, making our own ads, becoming layout and design pros, marketing the hell out of our yet to be product and social-mediaing like no tomorrow.

We decided to make a magazine for men because there is a lack of content out there for the male dinner host, the Super Bowl wing aficionado, or the boyfriend who likes to make signature cocktails. But ladies this isn’t meant to alienate you! Speaking as a woman, the content of Boiler Magazine is going to be interesting, engaging and totally drool-worthy.

I’m excited and I hope you are too! Our launch date is April 4th, 2014 and you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook if you aren’t already!

ps. The reason I lumped these two subjects together is because I’ve found out through all of my research that guys like meat – like a lot – so the spice rub was just a ploy to hook all you dudes out there (nooootttttt it’s just really good, go make it)!

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Cabin Comfort Food

Photos

Cfood6 CFood1 Cfood10
This is about a month late, but I wanted to share what I made at the cabin for my anniversary earlier this month. My heart was set on barbecuing because I don’t get enough of it living in an apartment. Also, there’s something intensely satisfying about grilling meat on an open flame (says the former vegetarian).

This dish was inspired by a steak salad that I had at Hermanos this summer. It’s a refreshing salad made with butter lettuce and grilled meat and veggies. All the grillables marinated in an oil and vinegar blend for a few hours before they got skewered and thrown on the bbq.

I made a lemon-potato side dish because of the overwhelming amount of potatoes I had at home. They were aaaaaaaamazing! We pan-fried the leftovers the next morning for breakfast and I highly recommend finishing them in a pan if you like a crispier tater.

I found the potato recipe here and the marinade for the meat and veg was my own creation.

Shish Kebabs

Ingredients

8 oz beef tenderloin steak (or whatever meat you prefer)
1 red onion
1 zucchini
2 red/yellow/orange bell peppers
1 package cremini mushrooms
4-6 long metal skewers

Marinade

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1/3 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Cut all of the meat and veggies into bite-sized pieces. Add all of the marinade ingredients to a lidded container or a ziploc bag.
  2. Add the meat and vegetables to your vessel of choice and shake until the ingredients are covered with the marinade mixture. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to several hours.
  3. Turn barbecue to medium-high and cook skewers until the meat is cooked and the veggies are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Enjoy as skewers, or wash and tear one head of butter lettuce and toss ingredients together to make a super tasty salad. There’s no need for a dressing because the shish kebabs are so flavourful already.

Lemon Potatoes

Ingredients

1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups of water (I found the recipe called for to much liquid so feel free to cut it down to 1 cup and 1 bouillon cube)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cubes bouillon
ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, bouillon cubes and pepper.
  3. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of a medium baking dish. Pour the olive oil mixture over the potatoes. Cover, and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, until tender but firm.

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts

Photos, Recipes, Vegetarian

Cauliflower and brussels sprouts (or alien brains as they where called throughout my childhood) are pretty boring on their own but this mustard-caper butter is a really nice accompaniment to this dish. I steamed both the cauliflower and brussels sprouts separately in the microwave to save time and if you don’t have a mortar and pestle I’m sure a garlic press would do just fine.

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Mustard-Caper Butter

From Smitten Kitchen

2 garlic cloves
Sea salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup drained small capers, rinsed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons chopped marjoram
Black pepper
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 head white cauliflower

1. To make the mustard-caper butter, pound the garlic with a half-teaspoon salt in a mortar until smooth. Stir the garlic into the butter with the mustard, capers, lemon zest and marjoram. Season to taste with pepper. (The butter can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

2. Trim the base off the Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half or, if large, into quarters. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the other vegetables and continue to cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, shake off any excess water, then toss with the mustard-caper butter. Taste for salt, season with pepper and toss again.

Mediterranean Eggplant & Barley Salad

Photos, Recipes, Vegetarian

This thanksgiving my Mama put me in charge of making some vegetarian sides for our dinner. My mind automatically jumped to a hearty salad I had made once before that was greeted with rave reviews. The preparation of each individual part of this salad takes a bit of time, as well as cooling the barely after you’ve cooked it. Make sure you leave yourself enough time, or even make the salad a day ahead (I did this but left the tomatoes out overnight so nothing got soggy). Enjoy!

 

The pictures from this and my next post are a nice treat because I got to play around with my dad’s Panasonic Lumix camera. I’m in the market for a new camera because currently my Canon Powershot SD980 is not cutting it anymore. I’ve been perusing Ebay and some local stores but so far I haven’t found the right camera for the right price.

Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

From Smitten Kitchen (This blog is a source of unending cooking inspiration for me so I wouldn’t be surprised if many more of my recipes come from here)

1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped scallion (from 1 bunch)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium vegetable broth (1 3/4 cups)
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

To cook barley, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallion, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

To make dressing, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. To assemble salad add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well.

Soup Du Semaine.

Recipes, Vegetarian

Soup of the week! I love making soup from scratch, it’s such an easy process that leaves room for improvisation and cuts out a lot of the salt that comes with most store bought soups. Not to mention soup is freezable, allowing for longer lasting, inexpensive meals for months.

This week’s soup is a recipe that I’ve wanted to try for a long time and since I’m in full-on soup making mode its the perfect time!

Also, I wanted to try making my own pesto so I’ve also included a really straight-forward recipe for that as well.

Minestrone with Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 1/4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 spring of fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2-3 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked or canned beans, such as cannellini
  • 3 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Stir in the onion, leek, and cook 5-6 minutes. Add carrots, celery and garlic and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  2. Pour in the hot stock and stir well. Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Stir in the peas if fresh and the zucchini, simmer for 5 minutes. Add the frozen peas, if using, and the tomatoes. Cover the pan and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
  4. About 10 minutes before serving, uncover the pan and stir in the beans. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the pesto sauce, simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Pesto Sauce

from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 gloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl of a food process and blend until it becomes a smooth paste.

Enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potato-Chips

Recipes, Vegetarian

 

This is a super simple recipe that could stand as a thanksgiving appetizer with some homemade aoli. I don’t have a vegetable mandolin so my chips had varying thickness and cooked slightly unevenly. Because of this they didn’t crisp up as much as I would have liked, but overall I’m pretty impressed with the flavour of the chips especially with the lime drizzle.

Baked Sweet Potato-Chips 

from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, preferably sea salt
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in center and lower positions. Divide sweet potatoes between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, toss, and spread them in a single layer on sheets. Bake, flipping once, until centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, and serve with lime wedges.