Trout with Caper and Butter Sauce and Roasted Balsamic Asparagus

Did you hear about the big storm that hit KW last Friday? I’ve never seen anything like it. The wind and rain was intense. The thunder and lightning actually worried me less than the former. It seems almost everyone in the city has their own story to share… and we’ve been sharing stories all week!

I was at Vincenzo’s, a local grocery store, when the storm hit. The winds were so strong that we could see and hear them shaking. My little brother was on a bus at the time. The bus had to pull over due to poor driving conditions. A tree was struck by lightning nearby and fell onto a hydro pole, which then fell on the bus! I’m happy to say that my brother and everyone else on the bus is ok. We exchanged text messages and a few photos — he was bored being stuck on the bust for almost an hour afterwards!

Trees and branches are still being cleared even today! Check out some images of the damage the storm caused:

I’m also happy to tell you that my garden made it through the storm! No planters were knocked over or damaged. My neighbourhood seems to have missed the worst of the storm.

I started my garden quite late this year. I didn’t plant anything until mid-June. I have two lovely tomato plants, a basil plant, chives, and mint. The tomatoes are from my aunt at Sun Root Organics (if you’re in Ontario, check out her blog and Facebook page). Despite planting the tomatoes later than I’d have liked, they’ve really taken off and are growing like crazy! I took the photos a few days ago, and the tomatoes are more plentiful already! The basil is from a vendor at the St. Jacob’s Market, and the chives and mint came back from last year. I have been using the chives in my cooking recently and can’t wait for some fresh basil and tomatoes!

Since the storm, it has cooled down enough to cook again! Hooray! I’m quite enjoying being back in the kitchen. 🙂

Trout with Caper and Butter Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound steelhead trout fillet – approximate cost $8.50
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/4 cup butter – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 100 mL jar capers – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Preheat a frying pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add butter and grapeseed oil.
  3. Heat until butter is melted.
  4. Add garlic.
  5. Cook until garlic is fragrant.
  6. Sprinkle salt over fish.
  7. Add fish (skin-side down if there is skin on the fillet).
  8. Cook until about 3/4 cooked.
  9. Turn the fish.
  10. Add capers.
  11. Cook until done.
  12. Remove from frying pan.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Balsamic Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus – approximate cost $4.50
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar – approximate cost $0.50

Method

  1. Turn the oven to broil.
  2. Place the asparagus in a large roasting pan.
  3. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Broil until the asparagus turns bright green.
  6. Flip the asparagus.
  7. Broil until the other side is bright green and the tips begin to brown.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Serve with trout and enjoy!

Note: These dishes take about the same amount of time to cook. I started the asparagus first then cooked the fish.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $8.25 per serving).

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Roasted Squab with Balsamic Vinegar, Honey, and Italian Seasoning

I wanted to start this post off with a witty comment about being at the end of the school year and so poor I had to resort to eating pigeons… but when I calculated the approximate cost of the meal, it became very apparent that this meal is a bit on the expensive side of my usual budget.

Loki thinks this dinner is for her

Loki thinks this dinner is for her

A few weeks ago we were selling squab at work. I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first, but not entirely surprised when I was told it was domesticated pigeon. Naturally, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided I needed to try it, even though I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. It looked kind of like a small chicken, so I thought that roasting it might be nice (and the evenings have cooled off enough that I can justify turning on my oven again). The recipe that caught my eye called for the squab to be marinated and grilled, so I adapted it. I didn’t have time to marinate the squab, so I skipped that step. And I roasted the squab whole instead of breaking it into pieces and marinating it.

Loki must be thinking: "Food Girl, this smells like chicken, my favourite. You're going to share, right?"

Loki must be thinking: “Food Girl, this smells like chicken, my favourite. You’re going to share, right?”

So, what did I think of it once it was cooked? It was yummy! The squab is all dark meat, tasting similar to chicken/turkey.  The balsamic and honey was very nice basted over the squab as it cooked. The sweet and tangy sauce was good, but had mostly evaporated by the time the squab was fully cooked, so I’d probably take the time to marinate the squab next time I make it.

Roasted Squab with Balsamic Vinegar, Honey, and Italian Seasoning

Adapted from Honey-Thyme Squab from MyRecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 squab – approximate cost $11.50
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon honey – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 3/4 cup water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rise whole squab well.
  3. Place in baking dish.
  4. Pour water over squab.
  5. Drizzle honey and balsamic vinegar over the squab.
  6. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and sea salt.
  7. Bake breast side down and covered until mostly cooked through.
  8. Baste squab in liquid.
  9. Flip squab so the breast is facing up.
  10. Turn oven to broil.
  11. Uncover and return squab to oven.
  12. Broil until skin is crispy and squab is cooked through.
  13. Remove from oven.
  14. Allow squab to rest for a few minutes.
  15. Serve with sides of roasted potatoes and green beans.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $6.20 per serving).

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Everyday Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Tomato and cucumber salad is a staple in our home. We enjoy it at least once per week. More often in the summer when fresh vegetables are cheaper. We served this salad along with the hanger steak last week.

I posted a fancier version of this salad when we hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. However, I wanted to share this version as well to reinforce that healthy and hearty salads don’t necessarily have to be expensive.

Because it’s summer, we’re eating salads more often than usual. Not just because the ingredients are cheaper this time of year, but also because it’s too hot to be cooking in the kitchen for a long time! Throwing a salad into the mix (instead of cooked vegetables) means less time making the apartment unbearably warm.

One of the nice things about preparing this salad in separate bowls is that we can choose our own salad dressing. Bryan generally opts for the balsamic vinegar. Lately, I go for an apple cider vinegar (prior to that, I would use lemon juice) .

While we love this salad, but I’m looking to branch out and make a few more type of salads. Not just to try something new, but to make sure we don’t get bored of this one!

What’s your favourite summer salad? Please share links to your favourites!

Everyday Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 English cucumber – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 package of mixed tomatoes (grape cherry, etc.) – approximate cost $2.50
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05

Method

  1. Slice the cucumber bite-sized pieces and divide into two bowls.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half and divide evenly into two bowls.
  3. Pour 1 1/2 teaspoons of desired vinegar over each serving.
  4. Sprinkle each serving with ÂĽ teaspoon of sea salt.
  5. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $1.73 per serving).

Come share in the tomato love at the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day.  Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.

Day 25: Chop chop

Chop chop… tomato, avocado, and artichoke chopped into pieces and smothered in balsamic vinegar. Makes a very yummy salad!

Spinach salad with beets, yellow peppers, and goat cheese

Bryan’s not fond of beets. I happen to enjoy them. So I was looking for ways that I could enjoy beets but easily leave them out of Bryan’s portion of the meal.

Growing up, we always ate beets boiled and topped with salt and pepper. We didn’t have them often, so I never got tired of eating beets the same way time and time again.

So, when trying to decide a new way to incorporate beets into a meal, I talked to Janne, from Livessence. She had mentioned a while back that she makes a salad with beets (apparently I only remember conversations about food), which sounded like a good idea. However, I didn’t really know where to start. Do you use fresh, cooked, or canned beets? Should I put any spices on them? What kind of salad do they go well in?

With some advice from Janne, I decided to make fancy salads with dinner, one with and the other without beets. The resulting salad was a great way to accommodate both mine and B’s taste preferences!

Spinach salad with beets, yellow peppers, and goat cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 bunches of baby spinach – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 can of beets – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 yellow pepper – approximate cost $1.50
  • 100 grams of goat cheese with herbs – approximate cost $2.00
  • Balsamic vinegar – approximate cost $0.25

Method

  1. Julienne the beets and yellow pepper.
  2. Crumble the goat cheese pieces.
  3. Divide the baby spinach, beets, yellow peppers, and goat cheese into four bowls.
  4. Drizzle each with balsamic vinegar.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings (approximate cost: $1.69 per serving).

Spinach, Beet, and Goat Cheese Salad with Vinaigrette

I purchased beets at the market again this week. I’m determined to find some interesting ways to prepare this vegetable. Recently, I posted about honey, balsamic, ginger beets and, inspired by the Raw Cooking Workshop that I attended, I decided that this time I would not cook the beets (which is very time consuming). I break a lot of the “rules” of raw foods, for example the tasty goat cheese that I added to the salad is not part of the raw food repertoire. I’m also not very creative with it yet. I’m sure that will come with practice though. For now, salad is a start.

Spinach, Beet, and Goat Cheese Salad with Vinaigrette

Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 handfuls of spinach, enough to fill each salad bowl about Âľ full – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1 beet, sliced into thin, spaghetti-like pieces – approximate cost $0.50
  • 50 grams of goat cheese, crumbled – approximate cost $1.75
  • Balsamic vinegar – approximate cost $0.10

Method

  1. Tear spinach into bite-sized pieces and place in a salad bowl
  2. Top with beet slices and goat cheese
  3. Drizzle with a balsamic vinegar

Note: I did not attempt to toss this salad. I prepared individual servings.

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $1.68 per serving).

This salad looked so good even the cat wanted to try! 🙂
(Unfortunately for her, I did not share)

cat wants salad

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