If you’re in need of an appetizer for the impending Easter holiday that offers some wow factor, try these pretty in pink devilled eggs. The vinegary snap of old-fashioned yellow ballpark mustard—whose vibrant yellow hue is actually due to the addition of the spice turmeric—is ideal for the filling of devilled eggs as well as for a range of dips. Whenever possible, use organic ingredients.
2 medium beets, peeled and quartered 6 large free-range eggs 3/4 cup (180 mL) cider vinegar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) whole black peppercorns 1/3 cup (80 mL) reduced-fat sour cream 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped chives 1 Tbsp (15 mL) yellow mustard or creamy Dijon 1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) paprika 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt Pickled jalapeno, for garnish (optional)
Fill medium saucepan half full with water; add beets and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beets are softened, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, place eggs in separate saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover them by at least 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain, crack the shells gently (this will help with peeling), and place eggs in bowl of cold water for a few minutes to cool, then peel shells.
In large wide-mouthed jar or other large glass container, combine the beets, 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) of red cooking water, peeled cooked eggs, vinegar, and peppercorns. Let the mixture sit at least overnight. The longer the eggs soak the more they will pickle and deepen in colour.
Slice each egg in half. Scoop out yolks and place in medium bowl. Using back of fork, mash yolks. Add sour cream, chives, mustard, curry powder, paprika, pepper, and salt; stir until smooth.
To fill eggs, either spoon yolk mixture into cavities or use piping bag for a fancier presentation. Serve with pickled beets and garnished with pickled jalapeno, additional chives, and/or a sprinkle of paprika. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Each serving contains: 110 calories; 8 g protein; 7 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 4 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 130 mg sodium
from "Cooking with Mustard", alive #365, March 2013
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.