How to Make Haggis (in North America, Anyway!)

A bit of a weird (TMI?) note here… my body is kind of weird, and I have ridiculous needs when it comes to animal protein, B vitamins, iron, etc. If I don’t eat enough red meat, I get weak and ill, and it feels like I can *feel* my cells slowly dying.

It’s a really gross feeling, so I TRY to keep up on protein… but sometimes it’s hard. I recently got so busy with the next couple of book releases, that I was living on horrible convenience foods that I won’t really admit to… and no animal protein. Got malnourished, got sick, and decided that what I REALLY needed to feel better was some haggis.

I have a different kind of relationship with haggis, than the average person. I tried it at Folklorama as a teen, and LOVED it. I wasn’t surprised, I knew from a young age that a lot of what gets labeled as “icky” is actually really tasty. One of my absolute favourite foods as a kid was steak and kidney pie!

In my teens, I realized that haggis was absolute gold for anemia, so I started to look at it as not only a tasty meal, but medicine. Iron pills never really did much for me, but a serving of haggis would pick me up and make me feel so much better within minutes. It became a go-to cure, for me.

I moved to the east coast, and met a really nice Scottish lady who’d sell it to me by the ice cream bucket-full. I moved to the greater Toronto area, and found a butcher shop that kept it in stock.

Then I moved to Minnesota, and my only option was canned. What?

While I did suffer through the canned option a couple times (it smells like cat food, and doesn’t even have all the good stuff in it!), this most recent time happened after hours for the company I’d buy it from. I decided that enough was enough, I was going to figure out how to make it myself. I’m always up for an adventure, and this would definite be one – I’d never actually worked with most of the meats involved!

I knew I’d have to make a few compromises, in making haggis. While it’s normally made with lamb, beef would be far easier to find ingredients for, and definitely more economical. Also, for my purposes… I’ve found that beef is better for my issues than lamb is. Additionally, lungs were out of the question, due to FDA regulations – so I decided to substitute a beef tongue. Stomach was impossible to find, so I had to figure out an alternate casing option.

A trip to a local butcher for the beef tongue also yielded me a bit of advice on casings… which was helpful, as I’d never even made sausage before this point. After comparing the options, we all decided that it’d be best to go with the casings used for venison sausage. “Mislabeled” for my purposes, maybe.. but they had the widest diameter, so would be closest to the real thing.

I may have SKIPPED out of the butcher shop. I was positively giddy at the idea that I was just a few hours away from my OWN haggis.

I got home, and decided that the occasion required the start of a new Pandora station. Great Big Sea was the seed group for it, as I figured Celtic rock/pop would be ideal haggis making music… and it was!

It was interesting to unwrap the individual ingredients and see what they even LOOKED like for the first time. I don’t have any weird hangups about types of meat being gross – if I can eat a cow face (barbacoa is amazing!) and chow down on roasted chicken skin, I just don’t see why heart would be weird, you know?

I did have something weird *HAPPEN* at one point, though. When I unwrapped the kidneys, the smell hit me … and it was like something out of some cheesy vampire movie. It didn’t smell GOOD, in a way that food’s supposed to… but something surged in me, and I felt extremely ravenous, immediately. I went from happy and giddy, to feeling almost sort of feral with just one whiff. I had to convince myself that it wasn’t a good idea to just eat some of it raw, right then – the urge was there! It was completely bizarre… I wonder what I was smelling? I’ve always had an insane sense of smell (Aspergers super power!), so I’m almost wondering if it was a nutrient or mineral that I was really, really low on. SO weird!

I was able to pull myself together, and whatever that was calmed down once I got the kidney meat soaking.

I pulled everything together – kind of making it up as I went along – without incident. It was easier than I had imagined, and it was the best tasting haggis I’d ever tried – never underestimate the power of having complete control over your seasonings!

As I took my first bite of the fully seasoned haggis mixture, “Ramblin’ Rover” came on over the new Pandora station, and it was a magical moment for me. It felt – and tasted – like victory!

As I placed the haggis chubs in the water for a final cook, another song got stuck in my head – David Guetta’s “The World is Mine“. Yes. It is an amazing feeling to know that this hard-to-find food item is now something I could make… and you can, too!

A note on the photos: Because of my husband’s weird “top of the food chain guilt”, as I call it (he doesn’t want to see meat that looks like it came from an animal, prefers to pretend it grew on trees or something), I wasn’t allowed to make this while he was home, and had to resort to crappy cell phone photography for the progess photos. Sorry about that!

Luckily, he was perfectly ok with the finished product, and graciously took the beauty shots for me 🙂

Enjoy!

Haggis Recipe

1 beef tongue (about 3 lbs)
2 lbs beef heart
5 onions
6 ribs celery
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
4 Tbsp dried savoury, divided
1 tsp dried thyme, divided
2 tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
3 tsp sage, divided
2 lbs beef kidneys
1 cup vinegar
1 lb beef liver
1/2 lb beef suet
2 cups rolled oats, toasted*
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
sausage casings of choice**

In a large pot, place beef tongue, beef heart, 2 peeled and sliced onions, celery, and carrots. Cover with water, add 1 Tbsp savory, and 1 tsp each theme, salt, pepper, and sage. Bring JUST to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 2 hours.

As you wait, rinse the kidneys off, and cut all the meat from the white stuff. Place the kidney meat in a bowl with 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Stir well, let it sit for 20 minutes before draining and rinsing it.

Add kidneys and beef liver to the pot, continue to cook for another hour or so, until the tongue and heart are tender.

Remove everything from the cooking liquid, reserving the liquid for later. Discard vegetables, allow meats to cool until you can handle them.

Use a sharp knife to trim gristle, skin, or “ugly bits” from the heart and tongue. Chop all of the organ meat to ~ 1″ cubes or strips. Run all the meat through the larger grain opening on your meat grinder, mix well. Run through once more, this time with the finer cut attachment.

Grate or finely chop the remaining 3 onions, and grate the suet. Add both to the meat mixture, stir well.

Run your toasted oats through the food processor to break them up a bit, add to the mixture. Stir well

Season the mixture to your liking. I ended up using:

3 Tbsp dried savoury
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground black pepper

Stir well.

I used the sausage making attachment for my Kitchenaid to stuff the sausage casings, which I’d soaked in hot water for a few minutes to soften. As I haven’t made sausage before… not sure what to recommend if you use something else. Don’t stuff them TOO full, or they run the risk of exploding when simmered.

Once the sausage casings are stuffed, tie them off. Prick each casing a few times with a fork or JUST the tip of a sharp knife. Place in a large pot of boiling water, turn the heat down and and simmer for about 3 hours.

YUM!

*I spread them out on a cookie sheet and toasted them in the oven at 350 until they smelled nice. Stir it every once in awhile.

** I used two large “venison sausage” style casings. If I had my time back, I would have used 4 and only done them half full!

My Haggis Making Victory Song:

Roasted Corn Salsa Verde for Canning

Heads up! “Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes” is here! A complete, full-colour overhaul of my now-out-of-print “Sweet Corn Spectacular”, “Maize Craze” features additional recipes and photos for EVERY recipe! Order your copy now, here!

———————————-

Man, I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of the corn recipes. Short season, gotta put them out while the best corn is still available!

This recipe isn’t from my latest cookbook, “Sweet Corn Spectacular“, but IS a result of that book. Much like an earlier roasted corn salsa recipe, this was the result of having to figure out what to do with 4 dozen ears of corn, following a media appearance last month.

With only two of us – Porter being the biggest corn freak alive or not! – it’s kind of impossible to go through that much corn without preserving it!

After a looong day of roasting, cooking, and canning a 5 gallons of 3 different kinds of salsa, this one emerged as the big favourite. A month later, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not making more of it!

Enjoy!

Roasted Corn and Tomatillo Salsa
Makes 12-14 pints

18 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
7 1/2 lbs tomatillos
2 large red onions
2 poblano peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
6-8 jalapeno peppers
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
3 1/2 cups vinegar
2/3 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed, ideally!)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)

Heat your grill – I like to use charcoal for this, but propane is fine also.

While grill is heating, prepare your vegetables to roast:

– Remove husks and silk from the corn

– Slice onions into 1/2″ thick slices

– Slice poblano and bell peppers into large flat pieces, Cut jalapenos in half.*

Brush corn and peppers with olive oil, then grill everything until as “done” as you would like – personally, I like some dark grill marks for this, but not an overall char. Remove items as they are ready – the peppers will cook the fastest. Allow everything to cool.

Turn your (oven) broiler up to high.

Prepare a couple cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper. Remove husks from tomatillos, wash well and remove any that don’t look fresh/good. Slice each in half, arrange in a single layer on baking sheets. Roast under the broiler until as charred as you would like. Pour off excess juices, allow to cool.

Once everything is cool, chop up the peppers and onion, and use a sharp knife to remove kernels from the corn. Add all roasted vegetables to a large pot, alone with garlic, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and salt, stir well.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces a bit, and mixture reaches a consistency you like. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and cook for one more minute.

Ladle into hot, sterilized pint sized canning jars. Affix sterilized lids and rims, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.) Allow to cool overnight.

Check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.

* For a more mild salsa, remove ribs and seeds.

If you’re a fan of fresh sweet corn, you’ll LOVE Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes – A full colour overhaul of “Sweet Corn Spectacular” (out of print), now with more recipes, and photos for every recipe!

If you have ever looked at a corn farmer’s market stall and wondered what all you could do with a giant sack of fresh corn, this is the book for you! It features breakfasts, appetizers/side dishes, main dishes, desserts, condiments and beverage recipes, all utilizing fresh sweet corn as a centerpiece. You’d be surprised what all you can do with this versatile grain, and how easy it is to create unique dishes from it!

Order your copy here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

“Porter House” Potato Skins

You know how they say “bacon makes everything better”? Sure, it may be a catchy slogan, but it really does tend to ring true. When it comes to potato skins, bacon is a no brainer. How often to you see restaurant potato skins *without* bacon, after all?

Trust me when I say my recipe for baked potato skins is the only one you’ll ever need. Aside from the speed and ease of preparing them – no deep frying! – I developed this recipe to make judicious used of bacon – not only the bacon itself, but the drippings. “Waste not, want not”, right?

Before you ever get to topping these babies with bacon, you’ve already cooked the potato skins with bacon fat, AND sauteed mushrooms in it. You’re welcome! Muahahah!

Enjoy!

“Porter House” Potato Skins
Serves 2-4 people

4 Large russet potatoes
1 lb bacon
8 oz baby bella mushrooms
Pam of vegetable oil
Salt & Pepper
Shredded Swiss cheese
Hot sauce or BBQ sauce of choice **
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 450F.

Use a fork to prick potatoes all over. Place on a microwave safe dish and nuke for 20 minutes on high.

While the potatoes are cooking, chop and fry the bacon until as crispy as you like it. Strain out the bacon and set aside. Reserve 1 tbsp of bacon drippings in the pan, transferring the rest of it to a small heat proof bowl.

Saute the mushrooms in the pan with 1 Tbsp bacon fat, until soft. Strain off and set aside.

Remove potatoes from microwave. Slice in half and carefully scoop out most of the potato flesh. *

Spray a broiling pan with Pam or brush some vegetable oil to lightly coat. Place potato skins in the pan, cut sides up. Brush generously with remaining melted bacon fat, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, flip all skins over, and roast for another 10 minutes.

Remove skins from oven, and top as you would like. For ours:

Potato #1: Top generously with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss Cheese

Potato #2: Spread some hot or BBQ sauce on the potato skin, sprinkle generously with bacon, top with cheddar.

Return pan to the oven, cook until everything is hot and melted. If you’d like some browning, broil it for a couple of minutes on high.

Top with sour cream and green onions, serve hot!

* Usually, we’ll add shredded cheddar and sour cream to this, mash it up, and use it as a filling for some of the potato skins… twice baked potato! We weren’t in the mood for that last when we did these photos, though 🙂

** We tend to use Billy Bear BBQ sauce for this. It’s a local sauce we found at a Farmer’s market… SO INSANELY GOOD. If you can find this, get some! We use “Hot Apricot” and “A-Blaster” flavours.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Cool Corn Dip Recipe

Heads up! “Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes” is here! A complete, full-colour overhaul of my now-out-of-print “Sweet Corn Spectacular”, “Maize Craze” features additional recipes and photos for EVERY recipe! Order your copy now, here!

———————————-

Summer may be (Almost?) over, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy this cool, creamy corn dip!

This recipe – from my book, “Sweet Corn Spectacular” – comes together quickly and is a huge hit at any party.

Cool Corn Dip
Makes about 6 cups

3 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 or more jalapeños
1–2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
corn chips

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn; place in a large mixing bowl. Place peppers and garlic in bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.

Add chopped peppers, green onions, and cheese to mixing bowl with corn; stir to combine. Add pepper, salt, and lime juice, tossing to coat. Add mayonnaise and sour cream, and stir until well combined.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld. Serve with corn chips.

Variation: Add ½ cup or more chopped cilantro plus ½ teaspoon cumin for a great Tex-Mex flavor.

If you’re a fan of fresh sweet corn, you’ll LOVE Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes – A full colour overhaul of “Sweet Corn Spectacular” (out of print), now with more recipes, and photos for every recipe!

If you have ever looked at a corn farmer’s market stall and wondered what all you could do with a giant sack of fresh corn, this is the book for you! It features breakfasts, appetizers/side dishes, main dishes, desserts, condiments and beverage recipes, all utilizing fresh sweet corn as a centerpiece. You’d be surprised what all you can do with this versatile grain, and how easy it is to create unique dishes from it!

Order your copy here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Roasted Corn Salsa for Canning

Heads up! “Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes” is here! A complete, full-colour overhaul of my now-out-of-print “Sweet Corn Spectacular”, “Maize Craze” features additional recipes and photos for EVERY recipe! Order your copy now, here!

———————————-

Apologies in advance – I have another corn recipe today. What can I say, it’s a short season!

This recipe actually isn’t from my new cookbook, “Sweet Corn Spectacular“, but it’s definite a result of that book. Last week, we had to buy a BIG burlap sack of fresh corn, for our Kare 11 appearance. 4 dozen ears of corn, that we had a day or two to do something with.

Now, my husband may be the World’s Biggest Corn Freak, but two of us tackling 4 dozen ears of corn in a couple days? Not going to happen without involving some preservation!

After discussing some options, we decided to make some salsa. As the corn salsa recipes in the book aren’t suitable for canning, that meant researching things like acid levels, and coming up with a new salsa recipe.

We spent the day preparing, roasting, and cooking our salsa – 3 different batches, with this being the favourite for tomato based versions. It was handy to do it as a two person thing – I’d roast the tomatoes inside, while he grilled all the rest of the vegetables.

At the end of it all, we were left with a ton of the BEST salsa we’ve ever had – it was definitely worth the effort! Yep, I think we’re definitely ruined for store bought salsas, after this.

I had considered adding 2-3 tsp of cumin to this, but as my husband isn’t super fond of cumin, I skipped it. If you’d like to use it, add a bit with the sugar and salt, and adjust to taste at the end.

Enjoy!

Roasted Corn Salsa
Makes 12-14 pints

18 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
7 1/2 lbs tomatoes
2 large red onions
2 poblano peppers
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
6-8 jalapeno peppers
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
3 1/2 cups vinegar
2/3 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed, ideally!)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup)

Heat your grill – I like to use charcoal for this, but propane is fine also.

While grill is heating, prepare your vegetables to roast:

– Remove husks and silk from the corn

– Slice onions into 1/2″ thick slices

– Slice poblano and bell peppers into large flat pieces, Cut jalapenos in half.*

Brush corn and peppers with olive oil, then grill everything until as “done” as you would like – personally, I like some dark grill marks for this, but not an overall char. Remove items as they are ready – the peppers will cook the fastest. Allow everything to cool.

Turn your (oven) broiler up to high.
Prepare a couple cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper. Slice tomatoes in half, arrange on baking sheets. Roast under the broiler until as charred as you would like. Pour off excess juices, allow to cool.

Once everything is cool, chop up the peppers and onion, and use a sharp knife to remove kernels from the corn. Add all roasted vegetables to a large pot, alone with garlic, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and salt, stir well.

Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces a bit, and mixture reaches a consistency you like. Stir in the cilantro, if using, and cook for one more minute.

Ladle into hot, sterilized pint sized canning jars. Affix sterilized lids and rims, and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.) Allow to cool overnight.

Check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.

* For a more mild salsa, remove ribs and seeds.

If you’re a fan of fresh sweet corn, you’ll LOVE Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes – A full colour overhaul of “Sweet Corn Spectacular” (out of print), now with more recipes, and photos for every recipe!

If you have ever looked at a corn farmer’s market stall and wondered what all you could do with a giant sack of fresh corn, this is the book for you! It features breakfasts, appetizers/side dishes, main dishes, desserts, condiments and beverage recipes, all utilizing fresh sweet corn as a centerpiece. You’d be surprised what all you can do with this versatile grain, and how easy it is to create unique dishes from it!

Order your copy here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Roasted Corn and Potato Salad

Heads up! “Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes” is here! A complete, full-colour overhaul of my now-out-of-print “Sweet Corn Spectacular”, “Maize Craze” features additional recipes and photos for EVERY recipe! Order your copy now, here!

———————————-

Today’s recipe is one of my favourite, go-to recipes from my latest cookbook, “Sweet Corn Spectacular“.

When I created this recipe, I intended it to be a roasted take on a traditional — cold !— potato salad. But as soon as the dressing was tossed on the hot potato salad, we couldn’t help ourselves: we were picking at it long before it had a chance to cool. Oh, it was amazing — I actually preferred it hot, rather than its later, chilled incarnation!

This is my ideal vision of a non-creamy potato salad (for creamy, nothing beats my “Grandma’s Potato Salad“!). It has the perfect combination of textures. The sweetness of the roasted corn plays well with the salty, smokiness of the bacon…

… and the dressing is to DIE for! Creating this recipe sent me on a several-week-long cider vinaigrette bender. I had to put this on everything, and found myself making salads just as an excuse to consume more of it!

So, yeah… just an all-around amazing potato salad.

Enjoy!

Roasted Corn and Potato Salad Recipe
From “Sweet Corn Spectacular

Serves 4–6

1 pound bacon, chopped
3 pounds red potatoes, cut into X- to 1-inch chunks
salt and pepper
3–4 ears grilled fresh sweet corn
4 ribs celery, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 medium red onion, chopped
1–2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy; use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan and set it aside. Toss potato chunks with bacon drippings. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.

While potatoes are roasting, use a sharp knife to carefully cut kernels off the ears of corn. In a large bowl, toss kernels, celery, red onion, green onions, and cooked bacon. Set aside. Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, and ½ teaspoon pepper until emulsified. Season with salt to taste.

When potatoes are ready, mix them into the large bowl of vegetables. Pour vinaigrette over top, tossing to coat. Serve immediately, allow to cool slightly and serve warm, or chill for later service.

If you’re a fan of fresh sweet corn, you’ll LOVE Maize Craze: Spectacular Sweet Corn Recipes – A full colour overhaul of “Sweet Corn Spectacular” (out of print), now with more recipes, and photos for every recipe!

If you have ever looked at a corn farmer’s market stall and wondered what all you could do with a giant sack of fresh corn, this is the book for you! It features breakfasts, appetizers/side dishes, main dishes, desserts, condiments and beverage recipes, all utilizing fresh sweet corn as a centerpiece. You’d be surprised what all you can do with this versatile grain, and how easy it is to create unique dishes from it!

Order your copy here.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Porter House Guacamole

With the long weekend coming up, I think it’s about time to post my guacamole recipe 🙂

My husband HATES tomatoes, especially when raw. He’s ok with tomato sauce if he has no other option, and he LOVES ketchup… but finds raw tomatoes to be the nastiest thing possible. It’s something I’ll probably never understand, but have learned to work around – and today’s recipe is an example of that.

We both LOVE guacamole, but he hates having bits of tomato in his. I like the colour and additional flavor that the tomato adds, so I created this recipe as kind of a compromise. Red bell pepper adds that colour and flavor to the mix, and the taste is amazing – NO compromise there!

As with most guacamole recipes, this is highly adaptable. You can trim the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno for less heat, or add more jalapenos for more heat. Toss in a chopped up mango for even more colour, and to up the sweetness if you like – it’s really quite flexible!

Enjoy!

Porter House Guacamole Recipe

5 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled
1 lime, zested and juiced
1-2 Tbsp tequila
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

Place about half of the avocado into a food processor with about half of the lime juice and all of the tequila. Blitz until almost smooth.

Chop remaining avocado into small, bite sized pieces and place into a mixing bowl. Toss with remaining lime juice.

Add bell pepper, onion, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and pureed avocado to the mixing bowl, gently fold in until ingredients are well distributed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Fromage Fort, or “How to Make Garlic Cheese Bread like a BALLER”

Recently, I woke up from dreaming about Fromage Fort. Literally, I woke up to making a mental list of the bits of cheese that we had in the fridge, if we had any appropriate wine already open, etc.

To be fair, it HAD been a while since I’d made the stuff. It was just an odd thing to randomly wake up to, you know?

Anyway, for those not familiar with it, Fromage Fort (“Strong cheese”) is recycling at its finest. This is a ridiculously delicious cheese spread that you make from whatever odds and ends of leftover cheese you may have laying around in your fridge. Add some garlic, white wine, maybe some fresh herbs… yeah. Awesome stuff!

Our favorite use of the spread is to lightly toast some baguette slices in the oven, spread liberally with fromage fort, and then broil until it’s all melty and insane. That’s actually what my husband woke up to for breakfast, that morning! SO GOOD.

Like some of my other recipes, this is less a “recipe”, so much as “guidelines and suggestions”. This is very much a case of your final product being very much the result of what ingredients you have on hand, and your personal tastes!

The amounts of ingredients that you’ll use will vary, depending on a few factors.

– Generally speaking, for every 1/2 lb of cheese, I’ll use 1/-8-1/4 cup of white wine. This depends on how soft the cheese are that I start with, and how soft I want the final spread. More soft is great for a dip, less soft is great for spreading on a baguette and broiling.

– If I’m using a lot of hard cheeses, I’ll add a couple Tablespoons of butter for every 1/2 lb of cheese.

– I like to use a ton of garlic, maybe 2-3 cloves per half lb. Some people will use as little as ONE clove per POUND of cheese. Do what you like!

– Fresh herbs: Use whatever you like, in whatever amount you like. Start with a little, taste, and add more if desired.

Fromage Fort

Bits of leftover cheese
Butter
Fresh garlic, peeled and pressed
Dry white wine of choice
Fresh herbs, optional
Salt & pepper, optional

If any of your cheeses have a rind on it, trim the rind and discard it.

Place all of your cheese into a food processor, blitz it till it’s finely chopped. Add butter and garlic, continue blitzing until finely chopped and well combined.

Slowly stream in your wine, a bit at a time, until the cheese mixture reaches the consistency that you’re looking for. Taste, and add any herbs that you’ll be using, and blitz again.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Cover spread tightly, chill for at least a day to allow flavors to mingle. (Assuming you have patience. We usually do NOT.)

Savory Shortcake

Back when I was preparing and training for MasterChef, I spent a good deal of time thinking about potential ingredients, challenges, etc. I brainstormed about unique ideas I could put forth, that may bring an edge to my game.

Today’s post is one of the ideas I came up with – just a fun, summery appetizer: Savory Shortcake!

I almost feel guilty about posting this today, just a day after my Sushi Cake yesterday. My roomie from MasterChef ended up posting about it, saying that I have this “thing” about making savory dishes look like dessert. I thought “What? I’ve done it like.. twice now. What?”… and now, this. Ok, three times! (The first time being my Buffalo Chicken Buns!)

Anyway, this savory take on shortcake starts with a savory baking powder biscuit, topped with a cheese infused whipped cream, and crowned with jewel like cherry tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar. SO GOOD.

This would be great served as a light lunch, appetizer at a garden party, or with tea. Also, as the result of weird schedules being subject to my whim.. I can tell you that this makes a great breakfast, too! Enjoy!

Savory Tomato Shortcake

Tomato Topping

1-2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar of choice*
Salt and pepper
~ 1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons

Toss tomato slices with balsamic vinegar until well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste, the add in as much of the basil leaf ribbons as you want. Cover and chill until use.

* I like to use a light colored, lemon flavored balsamic for this.

***

Biscuits – makes about 6 large biscuits

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch cayenne powder
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 green onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne powder.

Measure shortening into the same bowl, and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork(s). The ideal is to work it in until it’s evenly distributed throughout, in very small pieces. Stir in cheese, garlic, and green onion.

Add milk, stir until dough comes together. Don’t over stir or beat it. Gently compress the dough slightly, then roll to about 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick. Use a glass or round cookie cutter (about 3 – 3.5″ in diameter) to cut biscuits.

Gently arrange biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10-12 mins, or until golden brown. As the biscuits are baking, prepare your goat cheese whipped cream.

***

Goat Cheese Whipped Cream

2 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup heavy whipped cream

In a small food processor, blend together goat cheese and ricotta until smooth. Add a little whipped cream – about 1/4 cup – blending once again, just until incorporated.

Add remaining whipped cream, process until mixture is at least doubled in volume, and reaches a consistency that you like – it will be thicker than normal whipped cream.

***

To Assemble:

Split each biscuit in half, top with a generous dollop of goat cheese whipped cream. Use a slotted spoon to garnish with tomato mixture, serve immediately.

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette

The Minneapolis Farmers Market opened this past weekend, and we’d been looking forward to it for a very long time.

This was definitely the winter that wouldn’t end, stubbornly “gifting” us with another 3″ of snow just a week ago, before jumping up to highs in the mid 70s days later. WTF, mother nature?

Anyway, it was great to wander the aisles that we hadn’t seen since last summer, and get some fresh air. While there wasn’t much in the way of fresh produce yet, we did end up buying – among other things – a tray of fresh Brussels sprouts. I was happy – it’s been a while.

Growing up, I LOVED Brussels sprouts. Fresh or frozen, usually mushy and included in stew.. whatever. Loved em! As I grew a bit older, it kinda shocked me to learn that Brussels sprouts had kind of a bad reputation, and was a commonly DISliked food.

As it turns out, my husband is in a weird middleground. He doesn’t love them, doesn’t hate them… but is OK with them in small doses. He says they are “too much… something”.

Yeah, I don’t know.

So, I decided to try to make a Brussels Sprouts Believer out of him. Forget the stew, I’d do my second favourite presentation – roasted. I knew it would be hard to turn up his nose at bacon roasted Brussels sprouts, even if left plain… but these are also tossed in a tweaked version of my go-to favourite vinaigrette.

SO good… he loved em! I hope you will, too!

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette

1 lb thick cut bacon, chopped
1 1/2- 2 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cook bacon to desired doneness – I like to stop just short of crispy, for this recipe.

As bacon is cooking, remove any yellowed or otherwise ugly outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Cut off the very end (brown) of each stem end, before cutting each sprout in half. Place on a baking sheet.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon from pan, setting aside. Measure 1/4 cup of bacon drippings into a bowl or measuring glass, set aside for now.

Pour remaining bacon drippings over the Brussels sprouts, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle sprouts with brown sugar, season with salt and pepper, gentle toss to coat. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring the sprouts every 8-10 minutes or so.

Whisk cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt into the the (slightly cooled!) reserved 1/4 cup of bacon drippings until mixture becomes thick, well combined, and smooth.

Once sprouts are as roasted as you would like them, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and bacon, season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.