Warm Asparagus and Corn Salad with White Wine Vinegar

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I recently had one of those nights where I knew I had barely anything left in the fridge for a proper dinner and was too lazy to go out to the grocery store (it was probably a Monday). Luckily, I knew I had some fresh veggies kickin’ around. I grabbed what I thought would work well together and settled on making a vegetable salad. So, with some asparagus, corn, onion and red pepper I created a delicious, comforting, warm vegetable salad on a whim. What’s great about this dish is how well it re-heats the next day. Just under two minutes in the microwave will warm the vegetables up just enough and keep their crunch.

Even though I enjoyed this on a cold winter night, this salad is sure to go well with some chicken or fish at your next summer barbeque.

Servings: 6 (as a side dish)

Total time: 30 minutes

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 – 2.5 cups fresh or frozen corn, if frozen: steam
  • 1 bunch of asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into large pieces
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup Spanish OR red onion, chopped
  • Small bundle of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Steam corn and set aside to cool. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on medium to high heat. Once oil is hot, add the asparagus and red pepper. Cook and stir frequently until tender but still firm, about 3-5 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer your asparagus to be. Transfer into a large bowl.

In the large bowl, add the steamed corn, parsley, onion, parmesan cheese, remaining olive oil and white wine vinegar. Toss gently to evenly coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with paprika and Italian seasoning and toss gently again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm and enjoy!

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Recipe: Grandma’s Hungarian Green Bean Soup

This is the perfect soup to make on a cold winter day, or any day for that matter. Just be prepared to set aside half of your day to make this flavourful, indulgent soup. This recipe has been handed down to me from my Hungarian grandmother. I’ve attempted it only twice in my life since recently sitting down with her to record the recipe for myself. Everything about this soup brings back wonderful memories of visiting my grandma and grandpas place when I was younger. There’s nothing better than the smell of dill that fills the air when this soup is on the stove. Hungarian green bean soup (Friss Zoldbab Leves) combines fresh dill with green beans and sour cream to make a creamy, full bodied soup.

You’ll need:

  • 3lbs of green beans (ends cut off, and halved)
  • 15 cups of cold water
  • 1 extra-large pot
  • 1 bundle of fresh dill (stems removed, slightly chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of lemon pepper

Roux:

  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 5-7 tbsp of bacon fat
  • 6-8 tbsp of flour

Sour cream mixture:

  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 500ml container of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of cold water

1. Prep green beans by cutting off the tip of both ends and cut into halves. Rinse well under cold water.

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2. Fill your extra-large pot with cold water (approx 15 cups). Make sure that the beans are fully covered with water. Add in the garlic cloves, dill, bay leaves, bullion cubes and salt. Stir to combine and boil on low to medium heat for three hours.

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3. When there’s approximately 40 minutes left, begin to prepare the roux that will be added to the soup. In a small sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, set aside. In a small, deep metal frying pan, melt the bacon fat at medium temperature.

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4. Once the bacon fat has melted, gradually add 6-8 tbsp of flour – stirring constantly. Continue to stir until the roux turns a dark orange colour and the consistency is like smooth peanut butter. At that time, slowly add the boiling water and continue to stir until all lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth again. Slowly add the roux to the soup, folding it in.

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5. Prepare the sour cream mixture. Empty the sour cream into a medium sized bowl. In the empty sour cream container, combine 3 tbsp of flour and  1/2 cup of cold water- mix until blended. Add to the sour cream and combine.

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6. Slowly add the sour cream mixture to the soup. Stir well.

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7. Add 5-6 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tbsp of lemon pepper to the soup. Continue to boil for an additional half an hour.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!

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This is by far one of my favourite soups to make at home. It’s an enjoyable, relaxing experience and it fills your home with enticing scents. This recipe makes about 4 liters of soup.

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That’s a lot of soup! I like to jar some up and give them to my family and friends to enjoy. I also save some for my grandma of course. Her recipe will live on in our family for years to come. I hope your family will enjoy it too!

Happy eating!

-Rach

Recipe: Easy, Cheesy Bacon Chicken Bake

This is my first time creating a recipe from only what I had available in the kitchen. This chicken bake is refreshing, delicious and indulgent. With 5 simple ingredients, it’s easy to make and in no time, you’ve got a satisfying dinner. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of basmati rice
  • 1 (796ml) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 2 large)
  • 1 package of bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried parsley flakes for garnish

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9×12 baking dish, combine the diced tomatoes (with juice), rice and half of the Italian seasoning. Place chicken breasts on top of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remaining Italian seasoning. Cover with tinfoil and place in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, based on size of chicken breasts.

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Check the chicken once or twice to be sure that it is fully cooked. Also check to see that the rice is fully cooked from the tomato juice. If not, add a 1/4 cup of water and cook for another 5 minutes.

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Once fully cooked, sprinkle shredded cheese and chopped bacon on top and return to the oven until the cheese has melted and started to lightly brown. Approximately 5 minutes.

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Garnish with dried parsley flakes. Serve immediately.

I served this dish on its own as it was pretty filling but a fresh salad or grilled vegetable would be a great addition. The tomatoes bring a juicy freshness, combined with the gooey cheese and crunchy, salty bacon, it’s to die for!

Try this out and give me your feedback in the comments below!

Happy eating!

-Rach

Recipe: Tuna & Potato Patties

I found this great recipe a while back and finally got around to making it this weekend. I made a variation of the original recipe by adding an additional can of tuna and some garnish. They are ridiculously easy to make and are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, they are quite filling so I had a them as a late breakfast. They require only a handful of ingredients and there’s lots of room for creativity and substitution in this recipe. You’ll need:

  • 2 cans of flaked tuna, drained
  • 2-3 large potatoes, boiled (skin on adds great texture)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs (1/2 in mixture, 1/2 for coating)
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese

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In a bowl, mash the boiled potatoes and add the tuna flakes. Once combined, add the corn kernels, onion, egg, breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine all ingredients.

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Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 patties and coat them with the remaining breadcrumbs.

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Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and cook the patties for a few minutes on each side or until you’ve reached desired browning. Gently remove excess oil with a paper towel.

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I really wanted to add some refreshing topping to these patties, so I diced up some roma tomatoes and sprinkled them on top with a dash of Parmesan cheese. I also made a quick chipotle mayo to dip these bad boys in and boy, did they go well together.

They keep well in the fridge and are so easy to fry up for a quick and easy meal. As I mentioned before, they provide a great opportunity for creating different variations. I really think some diced chorizo or cured ham would be great in these patties, maybe even a little garlic. Whatever you choose to add, I’m sure will be delicious.

Share your ideas in the comments!

You can find the original recipe I used here.

Happy eating!

-Rach