Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Heirloom Carrots, Salt & Vinegar Potatoes...and more

As I was uploading my pictures onto my computer today, I realized how much cooking/baking I have done in the last week. As to not overwhelm you (or myself), I will take it one day at a time. I will go back to Saturday July 31. I lucked out and did not work all weekend, but that left me with a lot of free time with very little to do. Most of the weekend was spent with Jenna, asking each other; "What should we do?" All in all it was a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. We managed to rollerblade at Bayfront, walk Locke St., stroll the Hamilton Farmer's Market, walk to the William's at Bayfront, and of course, cook a delicious meal filled with new recipes and ideas.

Initially I knew I wanted to use up some jarred stewed tomatoes in the fridge, and for some reason I also thought of the package of frozen okra that I had in the freezer. That took care of one dish, Okra with Tomato Sauce. The second dish was inspired by Oh She Glows as well as Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks (surprise, surprise). At first glance of 'Salt and Vinegar Potatoes', I knew I would be making those one day. I LOVE salt and vinegar chips so I was looking forward to making a much healthier alternative. We both agreed the long weekend would be a perfect time to experiment with this recipe.

So the goal of our trip to the Hamilton Farmer's Market was to A) get potatoes and B) other goodies for our meal. As soon as I spotted these heirloom root vegetables, I knew I had to have them and eat them. How cute! I love cute small food.

Our meal was now missing one thing, protein! We opted for tuna (the canned variety), which we made into a delicious salad. To make the salad more complete, we wrapped it in swiss chard leaves, inspired by Oh She Glows.

Okra with Tomato Sauce

1 package of frozen okra
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 jar stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup onion
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Okra is a tricky vegetable to cook with. This is only the second time I have used it, but it turned out much better than the first. Okra secretes a mucous when cut and/or cooked at lower temperatures. Therefore, the best way to cook okra is by frying or high-heat stir fry.

For the sauce: heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat and then add the onions. Cook until translucent. Add the stewed tomatoes and reduce heat. Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. At this point, season to your liking. I just added cumin and cayenne until I liked the flavour. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Once the sauce is almost done, cook the okra.

For the okra: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high and add the frozen okra whole. Keep the pan at as high of a temperature as the oil will allow. This will prevent oozing from the okra. Beware, cooking okra splatters!!! Cook until heated through and browned.

Put the okra in a serving dish and pour sauce over top.

The okra turned out very well, not slimy at all. Jenna was a big fan. Now I know how I like my okra and will definitely use this cooking method in the future. The tomato sauce was nothing special but went well with the okra.

Salt and Vinegar Poatoes from

2 potatoes
vinegar to cover
olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes to your desired thickness (the thinner they are cut, the crispier they will turn out). Put into pot and cover with white vinegar. Cover and bring to a boil. Depending on the thickness of the slices, boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit in the vinegar for 30 minutes. Be ware of the acetic acid vapour, it will burn your nose/eyes a bit.

Spread the potato slices on a baking sheet. Toss in olive oil and salt. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. Turn, adding more olive oil and salt if desired, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

These turned out FANTASTIC! I LOVED THEM. They are vinegary so you gotta love the vinegar to like these potatoes. I can't wait to make them again. This idea of boiling veggies in vinegar can be used for a large variety of vegetables. I can't wait to do some experimenting.

Roasted Heirloom Carrots and Potatoes

Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
oregano, thyme or savory (optional)

Roasted vegetables are so easy to make, and I have been craving them a lot lately. It makes me want fall/winter for the abundance of root vegetables and squashes.
Cut the veggies into appropriate thickness so they will cook roughly in the same amount of time. In a deep baking pan, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs of your choice. We added some fresh oregano.

The dish was covered in foil and roasted in a 425 degree F oven for 30 minutes. We used this temperature becuase they were in the oven with the salt and vinegar potatoes, but normally I would roast vegetables at around 375 degrees F for 30 to 45 minutes.

This dish was very simple and earthy. The heirloom veggies definitely had unique flavours. It was also fun to eat purple carrots.

Tuna Salad Swiss Chard Wrap
, inspired by Oh She Glows

1 can of flaked tuna, drained
hot banana pepper
goat cheese

Chop everything nice and small and mix together. I don't know exactly how much of everything we added but it doesn't matter. The important thing is that you include avocado (or else!). This salad is similar to the Zesty Tuna Salad I made back in June.

The mixture was then spooned into the middle of a swiss chard leaf. Each flexible edge was folded inwards to form a wrap.

While this wrap looks like rabbit food, it was actually very hearty! As far as I can remember, this was the first time I had swiss chard. I really liked using the leaf as a wrap becuase it has structure and crunch.

That all seems like a lot of food doesn't it! Here was our plate in case you forgot anything:

The weekend was filled with other good eats that I will share in due time. I will be volunteering at the Kitchener Blues Festival this weekend so I might have to keep you in suspense until my return. Let's just say I dealt with an abundance of peaches, cooked with a particular fruit for the first time, and made a popular dish that I have never attempted before.

1 comment:

  1. the salt & vinegar chips looking amazing, we will have to make them when we get home. k