Peaches bring a tempered sweetness to this homemade barbecue sauce, while ancho chili peppers, which are the dried version of poblano peppers, supply just the right amount of fiery kick. It’s the perfect way to take chicken up a gastronomic notch. Serve with roasted potatoes and a summer salad for a delicious complete meal. It’s very likely you’ll have extra sauce on hand—consider that a blessing when you learn how amazing it is on everything from coleslaw to pizza.
If a recipe calls for peeled peaches, slice an “x” in the skin and then submerge in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and submerge in ice water. Once cooled, the skin will peel off effortlessly.
Heat heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add dried chili peppers to pan and toast for about 30 seconds per side, being very careful not to scorch peppers. Slice tops off toasted dried chili peppers and pour out seeds. Reserve seeds. Place peppers in bowl, cover with hot water, and let soak for about 15 minutes.
Drain peppers and place them in blender or food processor along with 1 tsp (5 mL) reserved pepper seeds, peaches, tomato paste, vinegar, shallot, garlic, honey, Worcestershire sauce, allspice, black pepper, and salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and blend in more pepper seeds if a hotter sauce is desired. Place some sauce in separate bowl for brushing on uncooked chicken.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush chicken thighs with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place chicken on greased grill grate and heat, with lid down, for 5 minutes. Brush tops with sauce, flip chicken, brush more sauce on grilled sides of chicken, and continue grilling until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest parts registers 165 F (75 C), about 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and brush on more sauce if desired.
Serve with fresh steamed green beans, and garnish with a sliced peach and chopped parsley.
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.