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Summer Eats: Summer Steak Salad

Summer Steak Salad, from 30 Minutes Low Carb Dinners

Valerie Azinge writes,  “I got into a motorcycle accident that left me in the hospital for over 3 months. I had to learn how to walk again and I’m still in recovery. I came up with the concept of low carb 30-minute recipes because I found that when I was bedridden in the hospital, I lost a ton of muscle mass. My metabolism slowed down, my diet was restricted to carbs, and I had very limited nutrition. Since I was still rehabilitating, I didn’t have the energy or capacity to exercise the way that I used to or also spend as much time in the kitchen. So, I started cooking and eating my way back to health with 30-minute low carb dinners.”

Her new book is 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, and we're pleased to excerpt her recipe for Summer Steak Salad with Gorgonzola.

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Steak

4 (1-lb [454-g]) New York strip steaks

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup (57 g) unsalted grass-fed butter

 

Salad

12 cups (360 g) baby arugula

⅔ cup (80 g) crumbled Gorgonzola

2 cups (400 g) cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

 

1. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Coat a 12-inch (30-cm) cast-iron skillet

with the oil and heat it over high heat. Quickly add the steaks to the hot pan and

cook for 3 …

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Summer Eats: Kohlrabi Slaw, from COUNTY HEIRLOOMS

Book Cover County Heirlooms

Get away without leaving your house with gorgeous new cookbook County Heirlooms: Recipes and Reflections from Prince Edward County, by Natalie Wollenberg and Leigh Nash, drawing on the amazing flavours of Prince Edward County to celebrity the culinary spirit of the place. 

This recipe for kohlrabi slaw (it's seriously delicious: my kids ate it!) comes from Ed and Sandi Taylor of Honey Wagon Farms, which grows regular & specialty vegetables without the use of herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides.

One of the most interesting things about County Heirlooms is that it's more than just recipes, and tells the stories of the chefs and farmers who've contributed them—scroll down to learn more about Ed and Sandi Taylor, and how and why they do the work they do.

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Salad

1 large kohlrabi, peeled, stems trimmed off, grated

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1⁄2 red onion, sliced
4 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

1⁄4 cup golden raisins or dried sweetened cranberries (optional)

Dressing

1⁄4 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, unfiltered

1 tbsp maple syrup
(adjust quantity to desired taste)

1 tsp salt

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Summer Eats: Wild Blueberry & Pomegranate Limeade Ice Pops

Chill out with these delicious and positively zippy ice-pops from the revised and updated edition of The Olive Oil and Vinegar Lover's Cookbook, by Emily Lycopolus. 

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Lemon is delicious, yes, but the zippy freshness that only limes can give is second to none. This limeade is perfect with the Pomegranate dark balsamic and blueberries for a tart freshness. If you can’t find wild blueberries, good old standard highbush blueberries will work just fine.  

Makes 10 ice pops

 

2 cups wild blueberries (frozen work well)

1/4 cup Pomegranate dark balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

1 cup lime juice (about 8 limes)

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the blueberries, balsamic, and honey to a simmer until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Place in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl to remove any extra skin and seeds. Add the lime juice and 1 1/2 cups cold water, mixing well.

Pour into ice pop molds or small 3–4 oz paper drinking cups, such as Dixie cups, and place an ice pop stick in the middle of each.

Freeze for at least 6 hours. To remove from the molds, dip in near-boiling water for 5 seconds to loosen slightly. Eat immediately. Any uneaten ones can be wrapped in parchment paper, placed in resealable plasti …

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Drunken Chicken Wings: from Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

Book Cover Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune

There's so much great buzz for Roselle Lim's debut Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortuneplus, Ali Wong's Always Be My Maybe has left us hungry for more stories about food and romance with a San Francisco setting. To give you all a taste of what Lim's novel has in store for readers, we're pleased to feature an excerpt from the book, along with Natalie Tan's recipe for Drunken Chicken Wings, which are exactly what's called for to save an ailing marriage—or so Natalie hopes....

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From Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune: 

I combined five spice, black pepper, Thai chilies, and paprika into a large bowl for the seasoning. I tumbled two pounds of chicken wings out of their brown paper wrapping and into the awaiting bowl where I kneaded the pungent mixture into them, squeezing the spices into the meat like an experienced massage therapist. Another bowl full of shaoxing rice wine combined with red vinegar awaited the wings as the next step after their rigorous massage. They soaked, relaxed, basking in the pool of wine, to become drunken like their namesake. I set them aside to marinate in the fridge...

The side dish for the drunken chicken wings was a pickled slaw. This was my recipe and something I had picked up from my travels in Vietnam. I julienned carrots …

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Everyone's Welcome: Blueberry Vanilla Cake

Image Blueberry Vanilla Cale

Amanda Orlando has learned firsthand about the social and emotional impact of anaphylactic reactions, which is why she started blogging about it at EverydayAllergenFree.com. Her brand new cookbook Everyone's Welcome: The Art of Living and Eating Allergen Free is for people with anaphylactic allergies to any of the “big eight”: peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish. Most of the recipes are free from all eight allergens, with the rest offering alternatives to suit your particular allergy—and you’ll know whether the recipe is coconut-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan. 

We're excited to be featuring the recipe for her gorgeous blueberry cake—with frosting! With a special added bonus recipe for applesauce, which is an ingredient in the cake. Enjoy! Everyone is welcome... 

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Blueberry Vanilla Layer Cake

Vegetarian and vegan if coconut oil is used instead of lard

 

Cake:

⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce (see below for recipe!)

¼ cup canola oil

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup coconut milk

Pinch of salt

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

 

Frosting:

½ cup lard or coconut oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

5–6 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup coconut milk

 

Decoration: 

fresh blueberries

lemon zest

 

Preheat the ov …

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Summer Eats: Our Taste Canada Shortlist Extravaganza

If a few of the books on the 2018 Taste Canada Shortlists sound familiar to you, it might just be because we've been featuring them (and sharing their delicious recipes!) on our blog during the past year. And now with summer at its height and with the shortlists just announced, the time seems just as ripe as the fruit is to spotlight these incredible recipes again. 

Explore all the nominated books and blogs at the Taste Canada website. 

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Make This:

Apricot Curd Tart

from Rod Butter's and Kerry Gold's The Okanagan Table

"My chef de cuisine Robyn Sigurdson, who has worked with us since Fresco, came up with this simple and yummy tart, showing off the tasty union that is apricot and thyme."

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About the book: The Okanagan Valley, 125 miles long and 12 miles wide, is home to some of B.C.’s most historic farmland, and every summer, the region explodes with apricots, peaches, sweet cherries, pears, plums, nectarines, grapes, and apples. There is no greater pleasure than seeing the reaction to true, honest cooking, and home cooks know this feeling, too. The Ok …

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Say YES to Sangria

Sangria Photo

Sangria is for sun and summer, it's true, but sangria is also for Spain. And Emily Lycopolus' cookbook series continues with her latest, Spain: Recipe for Olive Oil and Vinegar Lovers, which shows readers how to create and enhance spectacular Spanish dishes by using specialty olive oils and vinegars. Hook yourself up with some Grapefruit White Balsamic Vinegar and get started with her delicious, if unconventional, recipe for sangria. Why not? Because summer is on the horizon... And then save the rest of the bottle for other delicious dishes in the book. 

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Serves four

1 orange

1 apple

1 peach

4–6 large strawberries

4–6 large blackberries

1/2 cup rum or brandy

1/4 cup Grapefruit white balsamic vinegar

1 bottle of fruity red wine

2 cups soda water

My version of this well-known Spanish wine punch isn’t exactly traditional, although it sure is tasty! Found in all the tourist places in Spain, and on almost every restaurant menu in North America too, sangria is the perfect summer beverage to enjoy on a sunny patio with lots of great company. The grapefruit w …

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Summer Eats: Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream from All the Sweet Things

Top-rated food blogger Renée Kohlman's All the Sweet Things is a gorgeous celebration of dessert with traditional tastes and unexpected twists on the familiar. This recipe for Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream is incredible, and will never be as delicious as it is right now with strawberries plump, ripe and abundant. Enjoy! 

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I have stacks of cookbooks all around my house. Most of these books are too beautiful to be stuffed away into a cupboard. Now and then I’ll cozy up with one of them to read while sipping tea on a lazy afternoon, or when I'm nestled in bed—you know, to encourage sweet dreams. Nigel Slater’s Ripe is one of my favourite go-to books for such times, as much for the photographs as the writing. Devoted to all things fruit, this book is an education and an inspiration. From that inspiration, I came up with this recipe on a sweltering July day when I had a mountain of strawberries practically bursting with ripeness.

There’s no need for an ice cream maker here; all you need is a food processor, a mixer and a handful of ingredients. The result? A fresh, creamy taste, with deep strawberry flavour and just a murmur of balsamic. Simple. Sensational.

Makes about 4 cups

3 3/4 cups fresh, ripe strawberries, rinsed

1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 tsp balsamic vi …

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Summer Eats: Rhubarb Custard Pie from PANTRY AND PALATE

Pantry and Palate Book Cover

Simon Thibault's Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food, has been setting the Canadian foodie scene on fire since its release last month, and we're thrilled to bring you Thibault's recipe for rhubarb custard pie, right now while the rhubarb-getting is good. 

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RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE MAKES 1 PIE

Rhubarb is a harbinger of spring in Atlantic Canada. It’s one of the first hints of the summer sweetness soon to come, even though by itself rhubarb is actually a vegetable and not a fruit. That doesn’t matter in Acadian households. After the winter, any excuse for a wee bit of fresh fruit and douceur (sweetness) is a welcome thing in many kitchens.

Monsieur F. G. J Comeau, better known as Francois Gregoire Justinien, was incredibly active in promoting Acadian culture throughout the Maritimes. He started his own newspaper, L’Echo, in Meteghan in 1884. He was instrumental forging reconnections with the Cajuns living in Lousiana and people of Acadian descent living in France. He helped in the development of Grand-Pre as a historic site to commemorate the deportation of the Acadians. He served as president of the Societe national de l’Acadie, or the Acadian National Society. He was also my grandfather Augustin’s uncle. Augustin named his first-bo …

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Summer Eats: Dulce de Leche Buttermilk Ice Cream

Dulce de Leche Buttermilk Ice Cream

Photo Credit: Michelle Furbacher

You know how there are people who talk about reading cookbooks in bed, just for the pleasure of the reading? Susan Musgrave's A Taste of Haida Gwaii is precisely the kind of cookbook they're talking about. For example, the chief appeal of the following recipe for Dulce de Leche Buttermilk Ice Cream is not actually the inevitable delicious, but lines like, "When things end up burnt in my kitchen there isn’t usually a happy ending. My burnt messes never end up starring in a Winning Desserts of the World cookbook. They go over the cliff onto the riverbank where the ravens and eagles do daily fly-by’s hoping for a fiasco in my kitchen."

Amazing. 

But yes, enjoy the ice cream too. Technically (by which we mean seasonally, and not by the school calendar) there still remain weeks and weeks of summer. 

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I have combined Smitten Kitchen’s Buttermilk Ice Cream and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream recipes to come up with a recipe that is the best of both worlds.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream

3/4 cup (190 mL) dulce de leche (purchased, or homemade, see Aside)

6 large egg yolks

1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk

1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla or one whole vanilla bean, scraped and simmered with the cream

Pinch of salt

Sprinkling of edible gold flake …

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Summer Eats: Roasted Tomatoes from Per La Familiglia

Roasted Tomatoes

Photo Credit: Jonathan Bielaski

In most parts of the country, August is peak-delicious. The peaches are ripe and dripping, corn-on-the-cob is beautiful golden, and the tomatoes are huge and full of flavour. Give your Canadian summer a mediterranean twist with this recipe for roasted tomatoes from Emily Richards' Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of  Southern Italian Home Cooking, setting aside some extra to be enjoyed down the line when the August sun is just a hazy memory.

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It is a family tradition to buy bushels of tomatoes to make pasta sauce each year. It is an easy way to save money and enjoy the in-season flavour of tomatoes year round. I always take away about half a bushel to make roasted tomatoes to store away in the freezer. Sweet, dark roasted tomatoes retain a slight juiciness to them. On their own, sit them atop a sliced baguette that has been spread with ricotta or goat cheese for an easy appetizer or add them to soups, stews or pasta dishes.

2 lb (1 kg) plum tomatoes, about 20 (all about the same size)

1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh basil

2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh oregano

 

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and …

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Summer Eats: Cranberry Mousse

Cranberry Mousse

Photo Credit: Tracey Kusiewicz

Here is a refreshing dessert perfectly paired with fresh summer berries from Maria Depenweiller's new cookbook, Russian Cuisine. You can eat it while discussing the virtues of Checkhov versus Munro. 

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This light, festive looking dessert can be enjoyed with heavy cream and fresh berries. Add some mint leaves to the garnish for an extra splash of colour.

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh cranberries

2 cups (500 mL) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) + 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar

1/4 cup (60 mL) Cream of Wheat

1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream or whipping cream (approx.)

6 fresh mint leaves (optional)

Place the cranberries in a small saucepan, crush them with a potato masher or fork, add water and sugar, bring to a boil and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a ceramic or plastic dish and reserve the cooking liquid in the pan. Metal dishes are not suitable as they oxidize the cranberries and give the mousse an off-taste.

Mash the cranberries well and use a fine sieve to separate juice from the skins and seeds. Add the juice to the saucepan with the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and gradually add the Cream of Wheat, stirring constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Continue stirring and cooking on low heat for 12 minutes.

Po …

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