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Easy Homemade Condiment Recipes | Tasting Table

We all rely on store-bought condiments most of the time, but is there a better option? Who has the time to make things like ketchup or mayo at home? Surprisingly enough, you do! Making your own condiments is a lot easier than you think, gives you better control of the ingredients you and your family eat and they just plain taste better. Tasting Table has put together 7 easy recipes for different condiments that you can make yourself so you can save some money, eat something that tastes great and really impress your family! Check it out!

I am finally over my sickness after several weeks of fighting it. Though work has been pretty crazy lately too, I am going to try to get caught up on my blogging next week so I can get back into my routine. I have some great recipes I have tried recently that will be fun to share. Stay tuned and thanks!

Source: Easy Homemade Condiment Recipes | Tasting Table

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Don’t Go in the Water(Melon)! Make Your Own Watermelon Shark Fruit Salad

It’s July 4th weekend. That means lots of cookouts, parties and barbecues and lots of eating, hanging out with friends and family and fun. The last thing you want to do is cook in the hot kitchen while everyone else is out having fun in the sun. As long as your cooking everything outside you want your desserts to be just as easy for you to put together. Sure you can make or buy some pies, get some ice cream (or make your own) or have a big batch of cookies, but one of my favorite things to do when the weather is warm like this is to make a nice fruit salad. There are so many great fruits that you can use that are in season right now that you can get the chance to put something really great together. If you really want to wow everyone this year, skip the fruit cocktail in a can or jar or the prepackaged fruit tray from the grocery store with the unripe melon and do it yourself. As long as you are doing it yourself, have some summer fun and make this great watermelon shark fruit salad too from Tasting Table.

Watermelon Shark Fruit Salad

1 Baby watermelon (about 2-3 pounds)

4 cups watermelon pieces (from the baby watermelon above)

2 cups bite-size mango pieces (2 mangoes)

1 cup melon pieces (cantaloupe, honeydew, casaba, whatever you like)

1 cup sliced kiwi rounds (2 kiwis, peeled)

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup red seedless grapes

1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks

¼ cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1½ cups bite-size avocado pieces (2 avocados), optional

½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, optional

⅓ cup toasted and roughly chopped macadamia nuts, optional

Handful of Swedish fish, optional

To make the watermelon shark, take a sharp knife and cut off the wider end of watermelon so it will stand at an angle. Turn the watermelon upright so that it is standing on its base. Draw a half-moon shaped mouth on the watermelon with a marker, beginning at the stem mark as a guideline. Use a sharp paring knife to cut along your outline and remove the watermelon wedge. Save the wedge to use for the fin for the shark. Use a large spoon to scoop out all of the watermelon flesh into a separate bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off about 1-inch of the outer edge of the watermelon skin, exposing the light green flesh underneath. Cut out small triangles in the exposed light green flesh of the watermelon to make the teeth of the shark. Cut a wooden skewer in half and use it to attach the shark fin to the top of the shark. Using toothpicks, take 2 blueberries and attach them to the watermelon for eyes.

To make the fruit salad, in a large serving bowl, combine the watermelon, mango, melon, kiwi, blueberries, grapes and pineapple. Season the fruit with the agave nectar and lime juice, tossing gently to mix. Fold in the avocado pieces, if using. Garnish the salad with the coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. If you are serving the fruit salad in the shark’s head, fill the shark’s head with as much fruit as you can. Place the Swedish fish among the fruit pieces, if using, and serve.

Of course you don’t have to use the shark’s head, but hey, it’s a great centerpiece for the table, looks great and the kids love it. It’s really easy to make and Tasting Table has step by step pictures you can follow in their link. I used a baby watermelon but if you feel ambitious you could certainly use a larger one and the same thing and have much more fruit in it. Use any fruit that everyone really likes so you get a good mix of flavors, but don’t forget to use the agave nectar (or honey if you prefer) and lime juice so you get that added flavor to the fruit. The Swedish fish were just a nice touch at the end.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on July 3, 2016 in Cooking, Dessert, Fruit, Holidays

 

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Anytime is Burger Time! Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Pineapple

I love a good hamburger (and probably even a bad one). Burgers make a quick and easy meal, taste great and we always seem to think about them more in the summertime because it is the perfect time to grill. I like to cook burgers all year-long and since I don’t have an outdoor grill to use I make use of my trusty cast iron skillet, nonstick skillet or cast iron grill pan to get the job done for me. Having the same old traditional hamburger can get a little boring at times so I do like to vary things up now and then. That is why when I saw this recipe from the Tasting Table I knew I wanted to give it a try. The original recipe calls for using ground chicken, but I find ground chicken to be pretty bland. Ground turkey may not sound that much better to some people, but I use it a lot more because it seems to hold up better and takes on other flavors really well so I decided to substitute that into this recipe. Besides, I had just gotten some ground turkey on sale at the grocery store so this was the perfect way to use it.

Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Pineapple

For the Turkey Patties:

1¼ pounds ground turkey

¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped chervil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 eggs

1 shallot, minced

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Caramelized Pineapple:

2 cups (12 ounces) finely chopped pineapple

1 cup white wine vinegar

2½ tablespoons honey

½ yellow onion, minced

1 cup water

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For Assembly:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 hamburger rolls, toasted

Arugula, for garnish

To make the turkey patties: In a medium bowl, add all the turkey patty ingredients and mix them together until they are incorporated completely. With your hands, form 4 equal-sized patties from the mixture and place the patties on a plate; cover the plate with plastic wrap then chill the patties in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This will help them to firm up and hold together nicely during cooking.

Meanwhile, make the caramelized pineapple: In a large skillet set over medium heat, combine the pineapple, white wine vinegar, honey and onion. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the vinegar has completely evaporated, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Once the pineapple begins to caramelize, stir in the water. Simmer the mixture until the pineapple thickens to form a compote, another 6 to 8 minutes. Season the pineapple with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the burgers: In another large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, flipping once, until the patties are golden brown and their internal temperature reads 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a patty, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

5. Assemble the burgers: On each toasted bun bottom, place a  turkey patty, then top each with a spoonful of the caramelized pineapple, a handful of arugula and the other bun half and serve.

This is probably one of the best turkey burger recipes I have tried. The turkey was cooked just right and it was moist and flavorful, something I always worry about with turkey burgers. I think the sour cream really helps to add moisture and flavor to the burger. The pineapple is great as well, though I did find that it took me more than 25 minutes to completely get all of the vinegar evaporated in the initial step. I took me more like 30 to 35 minutes, but it was okay with me. The pineapple came out nicely caramelized and was great on the burger. I could see using that type of pineapple for other dishes, like a pulled pork sandwich or even as a side dish for a pork dinner. Sean added a piece of cheddar cheese to his burger to round things off and really enjoyed it. I even I had enough turkey to make a couple of extra burgers that we could have for lunch the next day since I did not make them too large.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Say It’s Simple with Sheet Pan Shrimp and Vegetables

So it’s been way too long since I have done any blog posting at all and I came to the decision yesterday that I need to start making more time to do it, so here I am. Since my last original post I have made lots of great things so I have all kinds of fun recipes to share. Some I have pictures for and some I do not since I had to switch phones in the midst and lost some photos along the way, but I will do my best to keep up with everything.

For the first recipe upon return, we have an easy sheet pan shrimp and vegetables recipe I picked up from the Tasting Table. Sheet pan dinners are just as good as skillet dinners since you can do everything in just one pan for easy clean up and if you use aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan the clean up gets even easier for you. This recipe is a nice combination of shrimp and vegetables and has an Italian/Mediterranean flair to it with a great dressing for the vegetables. It is very much like a panzanella salad meal you might make. Best of all, you can put it all together pretty quickly and have dinner on the table in about 20 to 30 minutes.

Sheet Pan Shrimp and Vegetables

INGREDIENTS

For the Shrimp:

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon lemon zest

2 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Dressing:

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

¼ cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

8 ounces asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces

½ cup marinated artichokes hearts

½ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, halved

½ red onion, large dice

¼ cup (10 each) sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced

Dressing

4 cups roughly torn sourdough bread

For Assembly:

½ cup (6 ounces) small mozzarella balls, halved

¼ cup parsley leaves

¼ cup basil leaves, torn

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Prepare the shrimp: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, toss all of the shrimp ingredients together and place the shrimp in the center of the sheet tray.

To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey. While whisking constantly, slowly stream in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the asparagus, artichoke hearts, olives, red onion and sun-dried tomatoes with the dressing to coat. Scatter the vegetables around the shrimp, then top the salad with the chunks of sourdough bread. Bake the shrimp and vegetables until the shrimp are cooked and the bread is crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Transfer the contents of the baking sheet to a large bowl and toss with the mozzarella balls, parsley leaves and torn basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to a platter and serve.

I did make a couple of slight changes to the recipe. Instead of using sun-dried tomatoes, which I didn’t have on hand, I used grape tomatoes instead. I also added a couple of ears of corn on the cob that I had cut into thirds to roast along with the other vegetables. Personally I liked the way it all turned out this way. I simply served the sheet tray platter on the table for the 3 of us and kept the mozzarella balls on the side for anyone to add if they wanted them. The vinegar dressing went really well with all of the vegetables and left a nice bite on the asparagus, artichoke hearts and red onion. The shrimp was done perfectly. I had used some wild American shrimp I got on sale and they were an ideal size and tasted delicious. The garlic and lemon also worked over to the corn on the sheet to give the corn some great added flavor. The sourdough bread worked nicely as well and was great for sopping up the dressing. It was certainly an easy meal to make and one that you can put together quickly on those busy summer nights.

That’s the recipe for today. I’ll try to be back tomorrow and get on a better routine again to keep things going. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day now that summer is here and enjoy your meal!

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A Great Thanksgiving Side Dish (or Any Time) – Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash and Apples

While making the turkey is certainly the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving adventure when you are cooking, the side dishes can be more fun and even more memorable. You get the opportunity to really try out some new things if your willing to break from tradition a bit. Sure you can still have mashed potatoes and stuffing, but you have a lot of options with the ways you make both and with your vegetables, the combinations seem almost endless. Since we will be away this Thanksgiving and I won’t be cooking the meal this year, I wanted to try out some dishes and recipes I have seen recently for sides for Thanksgiving. A personal favorite of mine is always Brussels sprouts and I love them roasted, so when I came upon this recipe from Tasting Table for roasted Brussels sprout with squash and apples, I had to give it a try. The original recipe also tops it all with candied walnuts, which I omitted because Michelle and Sean don’t eat walnuts, but you can certainly include them back in to give you some extra crunch to your vegetables.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash and Apples

1 pound Brussels sprouts (about 30 sprouts), trimmed and halved

2 pounds butternut squash (about one small squash),cut into 1-inch chunks

1 apple, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 shallots, thinly sliced

15 sage leaves

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, the squash, the apple, the sliced shallots and the sage leaves. Add the melted butter and the maple syrup and season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Toss all of the ingredients until all of the vegetables are well coated with the butter-maple syrup mixture.

Spread the vegetables in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Roast, turning the vegetables occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are golden brown and tender and the butternut squash is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving dish, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve, topping with walnuts if you desire.

It is a nice and simple combination of vegetables that provides you with some great fall flavors. You get the taste of the sprouts and the squash combining nicely with the apple and the hint of maple syrup throughout the dish adds a nice glaze and flavor to the vegetables overall. We all loved the dish when I made this past weekend and I think it would go really well not just with turkey, but with any poultry, pork or beef meal where you wanted some nice roasted fall vegetable flavor on your plate. It’s definitely one I will make again this fall since it all comes together pretty quickly.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

 

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