Archive for the 'veg' Category

12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

Grilled Sweet Potatoes 1 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

Sweet potatoes: I’m a fan. Also: butter, and maple syrup, and orange – getting them all together on one plate makes me happy. The warm orange-infused maple butter, which takes all of two minutes to get going in a small saucepan, could be drizzled over split roasted sweet potatoes, but grilling them adds a slightly charred, smoky flavour that seems well suited to fall and winter, even though grills tend to be summer appliances.

Whether they’re labeled yams or sweet potatoes, go for the smaller, longer ones, so that they don’t take forever to cook through to the middle. All you need to do is toss them in a pot whole and cover them with water – you bring the lot to a boil and let it go for about half an hour, until the potatoes are tender. This part can be done ahead of time, if you want to get a head start on dinner, or have minimal prep work once the roast or turkey is out of the oven.

sliced sweet potatoes 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

So the tender sweet potatoes are sliced into thick slabs, then grilled – I brushed these with a little oil first – send your husband outside (he may need a jacket) if you don’t have a super sleek indoor grill (I don’t) – and if you do happen to have one, they’ll grill on both sides, and you won’t even need to hover with tongs. They’re already cooked, so you just need some nice char marks. Four minutes.

grilling sweet potato 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

At some point, lob a chunk of butter and a few glugs of maple syrup into a small saucepan and grate some orange zest in as it comes to a simmer; don’t add juice, or it will wind up too runny, and you want the maple butter to stay on your potatoes. Trust me.

sweet potato syrup 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

London Drugs asked me to help get the word out about their selection of kitchen appliances for the holidays, and I’m happy to, having stopped in on many occasions for an emergency hot plate/deep fryer/coffee grinder. I love that you can do all your Christmas shopping at the drugstore, and pick up things like a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Rose’s Lime Cordial (they have an awesome selection of British imports) along with your toothpaste and toilet paper.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes 2 12 Days: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

This recipe is well suited to the Tfal Optigrill – a gadget I don’t have, but will be cooking with at an event next week – it’s like a panini press extreme, able to do things like burgers and chicken and even steaks – with a cooking sensor that gauges the thickness of whatever it is you’re cooking. Which isn’t quite as important when you’re doing slabs of sweet potato.

And London Drugs has offered up a $100 gift card so that one of you can go shopping – for yourself or someone you love a lot – and pick up a fun new kitchen toy. Something fun and gadgety, like an Actifry, or classic, like the aforementioned stand mixer, or festive, like a Breville Waffle Maker (want!), or fancy, like the brushed stainless steel Cuisinart Countertop Steam Oven, or newfangled, like a Breville Fast Slow Cooker (electric pressure cooker). So many fun kitchen toys, so little time.

To enter to win the $100 LD gift card, leave a comment here. I want to know what you’re making for the holidays!

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter

Sweet potatoes can be boiled in advance and then kept in the fridge in their skins until you’re ready for them – a quick turn on the grill and they’re ready in under 5 minutes.

3-4 small-medium dark fleshed sweet potatoes
olive or canola oil, for brushing
¼ cup butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
finely grated zest of half an orange (a teaspoon or so)

Put the potatoes whole into a large saucepan or small pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until just tender when poked with a knife. Pull them out of the water and set aside until they’re not steaming hot. Meanwhile, heat the butter, maple syrup and orange zest in a small saucepan until melted and smooth.

Cut them, with their skins on, into thick slices or lengthwise into quarters. Brush with oil and cook on a preheated grill, turning with tongs, for a few minutes, or until char-marked (and heated through if you cooked them ahead). Serve the grilled potatoes warm, drizzled with maple butter.

Serves 6.

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November 15 2013 | on the grill and veg | 141 Comments »

12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

Asparagus w Prosciutto Cheese 1 12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

Party invitations are starting to maraud my inbox; leaving the morning after Halloween and arriving home in mid-November, it’s suddenly time to look at the calendar and check off dates for parties and cookie exchanges (maybe another this year?) and all the fun stuff that leads up to Christmas, and think about all the baking there is to be done, and dream up food that can be eaten with your fingers. (For the aforementioned party, of course.)

Asparagus w Prosciutto Cheese 4 12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

Since Christmas is in Six! Weeks! I thought I’d post 12 days of holiday-inspired recipes (cliché I know, but there’s no way around it) – two each week: breakfasty things and gifty things and cocktail party things, and then give a fun kitchen toy away each Friday. Deal? And Wednesday’s recipe will hint at the giveaway on Friday. Fun and games! This particular recipe counts as party food and brunch food. Double whammy.

Asparagus w Prosciutto Cheese 5 12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

I know asparagus season is long gone, but these are really crazy tasty, the perfect combination of gooey-salty-crunchy, and can be assembled ahead and finished up in the oven or skillet or on the grill in a few minutes. Every December our Christmas party theme is polyester and cheese – wear polyester, bring cheese – and we wind up with a dining room table practically buckling under the weight of all the dairy products. Besides chunks of cheese, cheese balls and baked brie, there’s usually a batch or two of homemade cheese crackers and maybe some feta marinated in garlicky olive oil. This year I’ll splint spears of asparagus with long chunks of queso fresco, held in place with a piece of tacky prosciutto, which holds everything tightly in place as it cooks.

Wrapping asparagus 12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

All three components of these little tasties go well with balsamic – a dribble of balsamic reduction is never a bad idea (not too much if you’re eating with your fingers), or for something really indulgent, mix up a batch of hollandaise – maybe with pepper and Pecorino? Thick enough for dipping, or dribbling overtop if these wind up on a platter for brunch.

Asparagus w Prosciutto Cheese 2 12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

London Drugs has offered up prizes for our holiday series, and so I browsed the kitchen appliances aisle for some things Santa might bring those of us who like to cook. An indoor grill would work well for these – I don’t have one, but if you’re not the type to pull on your boots and trudge outside to fire up the snowy barbecue, it might be worth adding to your wish list.

Asparagus w Prosciutto Cheese 3 12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

1 bunch thick asparagus
1 pkg. Queso Fresco (I used Fresk-O white fresh semi-firm cheese, made in Alberta)
1 pkg. thinly sliced prosciutto

balsamic reduction or Hollandaise, for serving (optional)

Preheat the grill to medium-high.

Snap the tough ends of the asparagus off where they naturally break. (This isn’t necessary when using Edgar Farms asparagus, as they harvest theirs by hand.) Cut the Queso Fresco into 1/4-1/3″ thick slices and place one piece up against each asparagus stalk; wrap a single (or half) slice of prosciutto around it to hold it on.

Grill for 3-4 minutes, turning as necessary, until the asparagus is charred, the prosciutto is crisp on the edges and shrinks tighter around the cheese and asparagus, and the cheese is oozing a bit out each end. Serve immediately.

Pecorino & Pepper Hollandaise

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
juice of half a lemon (about 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
1/2 cup butter
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Place the egg yolk and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine. Put the butter into a small saucepan or Pyrex measuring cup and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until melted and hot. With the motor running, slowly pour the butter into the blender through the feed tube (or hole in the lid) until it’s all incorporated and the mixture is slightly thick. Grind in some black pepper, add the cheese and pulse to combine.

Serve soon (it will solidify once refrigerated). Makes about 1 cup.

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button print gry20 12 Days: Grilled Asparagus with Queso Fresco & Prosciutto

November 13 2013 | appetizers and veg and vegetarian | 22 Comments »

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