Bacon, Lettuce and Pickles
It's the top of the summer for fruits and veggies in the market. Why would we make pickles out of all this lovely fresh fruits and veg? Because pickles taste delicious. Pickling enhances the natural flavour of fruits and veg with a bright burst of vinegar, salt and sugar. Use your quickie pickles to bump up your ramen, spike a drink or make an epic summer BLP sammy.
Making quickie pickles is easy! Here is a recipe for our basic brine you can pour over pretty much anything you feel like pickling.
To assemble your epic summer sammy you'll need.
- big slabs of hearty sourdough bread
- gobs of mayonnaise
- loads of crispy bacon
- a bouncy pile of fresh lettuce
- your choice of quickie pickles
Bake your bacon, preheat your oven to 350˚. Spread your bacon into a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until bacon is perfectly even and crispy, place the bacon on a piece of papertowel so it crisps up more.
Assemble your sandwich.
Liberally smear your bread with gobs of mayonnaise.
Scatter on your quickie pickles, pile up the lettuce, and now it's bacon time. Close your sandwich or leave it open faced.
Eat this sandwich in the garden.
Don't over think a simple salad. If these fresh ingredients could speak to you, they'd say, "put me on the plate, drizzle me with a light vinaigrette and enjoy".
Serves 4-6 depending on serving size
A handful of Assorted Leafy Greens
2 bushels of Purslane* (substitue lemon zest if you cannot find this green)
1 sprig of dill, torn
1/2 C Raspberries
1/4 C Green Beans, chopped
2 Marigold Flowers, deflowered
1/2 C Cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 Jalepeno, sliced thin
Wash all freshly picked garden ingredients thoroughly–or if fresh from the grocery store wash them, too. Place your greens nicely on a plate. Chop the green beans to bite size pieces and place a top the lettuce greens, along with the cucumber slices and jalepeno slices. Pull the pretty colourful flower bits from the marigold and sprinkle artfully over top of the plate. Lightly sprinkle dill. When ready to serve drizzle lightly with the raspberry vinaigrette.
1/4 C White Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 C Light Olive Oil
1 tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
2 tbsp Raspberries, muddled
1 tsp Black Pepper, fresh ground
Salt to taste
Muddle the raspberries strain the seeds by squishing the juice through a sieve. In a mason jar, add the raspberry juices, the mustard, white balsamic, olive oil and pepper. Shake to emulsify. Add salt to taste.
*Purslane is a citrusy succulent green. We really enjoy it raw on salads, or sauteed. It is great on anything. It's grown locally by our friends, Leaf & Lyre where you can find all sorts of wonderful locally grown greens and vegetables.
The life of a gypsy is a colourful patchwork of adventure. Constant change is the spice of life for these ragamuffin nomads. Salmagundi, sometimes abbreviated as Salmi, is derived from the old French word Salmagondis which means a mismatched medley of unrelated objects, people or ideas. The concept of a collective chaos works perfectly in a salad bowl and the variety will keep you salad interesting and always fresh.
Build your salad using the following formula
3-5 vegetables, diced
1 fruit (dried or fresh), diced
1 nut (raw or roasted), diced
1 protein (Cheese, meat, fish, egg), diced or crumbled
1 herb or aromatic (fresh herbs, microgreens, lemon zest)
1 pickle or marinated veg (quick pickle, olives, capers), diced
saladmagundi, the ultimate salad
- romaine lettuce
- iceburg lettuce
- bell pepper
- green beans
- chickpeas, cannned or fresh
- edamame beans
- sugar snap peas
- snow peas
- daikon radish
- yellow beets
1 fruit (dried or fresh)
dried: cherries, cranberries, blueberries, figs, dates, mango, pineapple, raisins, papaya
fresh: cherries, blueberries, strawberries, figs, avocado, apple, raspberry, mango, peach, grapes, orange, cantaloupe, kiwi, plum, nectarine, pear, dragon fruit,
1 nut (raw or roasted)
- - walnut
- - macadamia nut
- - hazelnut
- - pecan
- - cashew
- - pistachios
- - pinenuts
- - pumpkin seed
- - sesame seeds
- - flax seed
1 protein (Cheese, meat, fish, egg)
- - feta
- - blue cheese
- - chevre
- - crumbled cheddar
- - prosciutto
- - pepperoni
- - grilled chicken
- - grilled flanksteak
- - pork tenderloin
1 herb or aromatic (fresh herbs, microgreens, lemon zest)
- - citrus zest
- - ginger
- - citrus zest
- - garlic
- - chives
- - fresh dill
- - fresh basil
- - fresh horseradish
- - mint
- - parsley
- - arugula
- - celery leaves
- - chili peppers
1 pickle or marinated veg (quick pickle, olives, capers)
See Quickie pickles for recipe.
Make your own quickie dill pixels.
or create a pickle out of all kinds of diced fruit or vegetable. Peaches, plums, cherries, onions, carrots, cucumber, green beans, etc... the choice is yours.
2 cups water
1 cups vinegar or acid
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
spices of choice
1½ cups of diced, sliced or broken down vegetable/fruit
Suggestions: carrot ribbons, cucumber, halved cherries, sliced onion
Bring all the ingredients for the brine to boil until the sugar and salt dissolve. Let it steep for 10 minutes.
Place the vegetable/fruit in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the brine, straining out the spices if necessary, directly over the vegetable/fruit to cover.
Wrap the bowl tightly in plastic wrap and allow pickles to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Will be good to eat in an hour and will last in the fridge for 2 weeks.
This pot brownie is righteous and it's half-baked.
Dude, wrap your head around the concept of a brownie that you mix and bake in one pot. Did that just blow your mind?
Just wait until you try this gooey, fudgy brownie with a sticky-icky centre like a molten chocolate cake. I guarantee your mooching buds will be rolling around looking for freebies when they catch a whiff of this righteous brownie.
I tweaked this recipe on Chopped Canada using Instant mashed potatoes, fennel seed, strawberries and sandwich cookies.
Check out our Chopped Canada inspired t-shirt Chop Chop.
¼ cup of almonds
1 large bunch of mint.
2 Tbsp honey
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2-3 Tbsp water
In a blender, combine the almonds, oil and mint. Blend until smooth. Add the zest and juice of lemon and the honey. Blend again and set aside. Add water if needed to thin out the consistency.
Grill some strawberries. Putting them on skewers makes them easier to handle. Or just use raw strawberries. Whatever, man.
1 cup of chocolate chips
½ cup of butter
½ cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
In a medium pot combine the butter and chocolate chips. Place over simmer to let them melt together.
In a bowl combine the eggs and brown sugar, whisk or beat with an electric beater until they are very light and fluffy. Super floofie!
Add the flour and baking soda to the eggs. Whisk it into the melted chocolate, scrape down the sides of the pot and pop the whole thing into the oven for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool and serve scoops of brownie with grilled strawberries and pesto.
Life isn’t all peaches and cream, but sometimes it can be.
It’s the truly perfect peachy micro-moments of unquantifiable bliss that make life worth living. Don’t get caught up in trying to beat the monotony of life with canned peach-attempts at happiness, pick the perfect moments and savour the sweetness while it lasts. Enjoy those juicy bursts of peachy perfection that give us the real warm, fuzzy navel feeling inside.
6 very ripe peaches (can also be over ripe, or slightly bruised for this recipe)
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp runny honey
500 ml 2% or homogenized milk
250 ml of whipping cream
pinch of salt
honey as needed
Get a large pot of water on to boil.
Meanwhile fill a large bowl halfway with ice and add enough cold water to fill the rest of the bowl ¾ of the way up. Leaving enough room for the peaches to fit in the bowl.
When the water is boiling rapidly, drop all the peaches in at once. Careful not to get splashed with hot water.
Boil the peaches for 30-60 seconds to loosen the skin and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and dunk immediately into the ice bath to cool for 1 minute.
Use your fingers to peel away the loosened skin and discard. If the skin does not come away easily simply pop it in the boiling water for another 30 seconds and back into the ice bath to cool.
Now you can tear open the peaches using your fingers and discard the pits. Pile all the peaches in a medium pot and add the milk, honey, pinch of salt and fresh grated ginger. The whipping cream goes in much later.
Over medium heat bring the pot to a bare simmer. When you see little bubbles forming quickly around the edges of the pot and some steam rising from the middle you can remove it from the heat and get ready to purée the soup.
Using a stand up blender and blending while hot makes your soup super smooth, much better than a hand blender. However, puréeing hot soup in a stand up blender requires kitchen know-how so you don’t end up splatter painting your kitchen and face with the hard to colour match “peach explosion”.
Remove the little plastic thingy center hole from the lid of your stand up mixer, and cover the hole with a folded dry tea towel. (This stops it from being airtight, which would cause an ugly kick at the start—although the steam can sometimes get slightly warm on your hand.) Fill up your blender only half way and do batches. Start on low, and build up the speed incrementally.
When the soup is looking smooth, turn it off.
Pour the soup into a container, wrap the top tightly with plastic wrap and get it into the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to serve get a large bowl and a big whisk and beat the whipping cream until it is nice and thick. Soft peaks if you want to get technical.
Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the peach purée and mix it in until smooth. Add another 1/3 of the whipping cream and mix in. Now add the last of the whipped cream and stir it all until smooth.
To serve, simply pour the thick creamy soup into lovely chilled bowls or teacups. You could also add a splash of champagne to each serving or dig out that bottle of peaches schnapps.
Back during the Great Depression food mostly came out of a can. A tinny version of Succotash using canned corn was choked down so regularly it coined the catchphrase “Suffering Succotash”. Nowadays with an abundance of fresh food we no longer need to suffer any boring fodder and we can enjoy virtually limitless variety. This pasta is so expletifly good that it may soon spur a new explurge “Sweet-ass Succotash!”
If you are a purist who loves their corn with butter, here's a shirt for you.
Pass that Succotash Pasta, sucka!
200g small shell pasta or orecchietti (little ears)
2 corn cobs
4 slices bacon, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup of white wine
½ cup fresh or frozen broad beans (fava, lima or edamame), shucked
1 cup sour cream
3 sprigs chives, finely chopped
good pinch of salt
nice crack of pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil.
Hold the ear of corn upright on the cutting board. Use your chef knife to slice straight down the sides of the corn to trim off all the corn kernels. They will be popping around like popcorn so be careful about the bouncing kernels.
After you trim off all the kernels remove all the corn milk by using the dull side of your knife to scrape down the length of the cob. The chunky milky stuff that comes out is the corn milk, or corn cream.
Cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium high heat until crispy. Remove crispy bacon with a slotted spoon so the fat stays in a pan and set aside. Keep the pan off the heat until the pasta water is boiling.
Dump the pasta in the boiling salty water. It should take 8 minutes to cook the pasta, so set a timer.
Get the pan with the bacon fat back on the stove over high heat and toss in the red pepper, cook until soft, 3 minutes.
To the red peppers, add the white wine, all the corn and broad beans. Bring it all to a rapid boil and let it bubble while the pasta cooks.
Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and immediately dump it back into the same large pot. Pour the corn sauce and all into the pot. Add the sour cream, a good pinch of salt, a crack of fresh pepper and the blue cheese. Stir it all around so it is nice and smooth.
Serve it up all steamy hot and garnish with chives and crispy bacon.
If you have the skills and steel to be a knife monkey, here is your shirt.
2 (3-4 oz) flat iron steaks
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Mirin (or sweetened Japanese cooking wine)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp yuzu or lemon juice
10 drops of sesame oil
1/2 small head of Savoy Cabbage
1/2 daikon radish
1/2 cucumber, peeled and de-seeded
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
2 green onions
1 firm mango
1/4 cup crushed cashews
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Mirin (or sweetened Japanese cooking wine)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp yuzu or lemon juice
5 drops of sesame oil
1 nob of fresh ginger, grated on a zester
1 Tbsp almond or cashew butter
Start by getting your meat very cold in the refrigerator.
While the beef is chilling get a grill pan or a cast-iron skillet on super high heat and let it get blazing hot, about 10-15 minutes.
Make sure the pan is dry (no oil or food particles) or they will start to smoke like crazy and probably set off an alarm. Put on the hood fan to suck out any smoke. It’s going to smoke anyways, you just don’t want things getting out of control.
Meanwhile make the very simple marinade of soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice and a drops of sesame oil. Divide the mix in two and set them aside.
When the pan is smoking take the beef out of the fridge and pat it dry with paper towels. It’s important that the beef is very dry before it goes in the pan.
Because the pan is hot enough, you don’t need any oil. Simply lay the steak into the pan and count slowly to 30. Flip the steak and count to 30 while you get a clean plate.
Take the steak out of the pan and onto the clean plate. Pour one half of the marinade onto the beef and flip it over to make sure it is covered. Put the steak into the fridge immediately and let it cool down for 15-20 minutes.
To make the slaw.
Using a Japanese mandoline or a very sharp Japanese knife, finely slice or julienne the cabbage, daikon radish, cucumber, fennel, red & yellow peppers, carrot, green onions
and firm mango. Toss all the veg in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Toss with your fingers to coat.
Serve a tall proud pile in a bowl. Using your finger tips to add some height.
Get your grilled and chilled steak out of the fridge and slice it very thinly. Top the slaw with strips of beef tataki and serve with the remaining marinade in shallow serving dishes.
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar, or any vinegar of choice
1 tsp Dijon or grainy mustard
salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic
Get a clean mason jar with a tight fitting screw top lid. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in the jar and give them a good shake.
Leave it to let the flavours infuse. The mixture will separate over time, but all you need to do is give it a good shake before using. The dressing will keep in the fridge for 1 month.
There are bound to be some unexpected assorted nuts at your holiday party. Maybe a crazy uncle with an eye patch or a dance troupe of Danish Marzipan Sheperdesses. Forgo the usual boxed crackers, skip the untouched bowl of whole nuts and make your very own nut crackers. You just never know when a dancing royal Nut Cracker might show up at your party. Wouldn’t that be nuts?
While you are in the Christmas Holiday mood, check out our festive Merry Kissmyass shirt.
The Nut cracker
1½ cup of almond flour, packed
¼ cup of nut oil (almond, hazelnut or walnut)
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/3 cup filled with assorted unsalted nuts and seeds, chopped small
Here are some excellent examples of nuts and seeds
• pumpkin seeds, left whole
• sesame seeds, left whole
• chopped walnuts
• chopped hazelnuts
• sunflower seeds, left whole
Serve with assorted cheeses and cold cuts
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
To make your own almond flour, just blitz blanched slivered almonds in the food processor until they resemble fine sand, or buy it already ground.
Get a large bowl.
Combine all the ingredients in the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is thoroughly combined.
Get a large baking sheet ready.
Place a large sheet of parchment paper down on a counter.
Scoop out the ball of nut dough and place it in the center of the parchment. Use your hands to flatten it out into a large rectangle. Place another piece of parchment on top and grab a rolling pin (or a wine bottle).
Use just a little pressure to roll out the dough starting in the middle and rolling up, then starting back in the middle and rolling down. Rotate and repeat.
Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick all over and try to keep the edges from getting to crumbly.
Now slide the flat dough onto the baking sheet.
Remove the top piece of parchment. Before you bake, cut out the crackers using a round cookie cutter or a pizza cutter. For the cookie cutter cut out rounds and leave them where they lie with all the filler dough left untouched too. Or you could use a pizza cutter to cut squarish shapes.
Blap the tray into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave them to cool. They will become more cracker-like as they cool.
When cool keep the crackers in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Sweet potatoes were the first of the North American roots to show up in Europe. People went crazy for them because they have that unbelievable jammy sweetness that no one had ever had before. They called it a batata. Next came the potato and they called it a patata because they thought it was related to a batata. They’re not related and potato found out pretty quick that batatas are a tough act to follow. That’s why we saved the best for last.
2-3 sweet potatoe, about the same circumference as a muffin tin
¼ cup brown sugar
½ stick butter, melted
ground cinnamon to taste
1 package of puff pastry
2 cups whipping cream
1 Tbsp ground ginger
splash of vanilla
Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
Roll out the puff pastry to ¼ inch thick. Keep it as cold as possible at all times. Cut out the puff pastry rounds using a cookie cutter the size of the middle circumference the muffin tin. Place the puff pastry into the freezer on a flat surface to chill while you prepare the sweet potato.
Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Make sure the rounds fit perfectly into the bottom of a muffin tin. Use a sharp cookie cutter to cut them to the perfect size.
Get a muffin tin. Plop a soup spoon of melted butter in the bottom of each muffin vessel. Sprinkle with a tsp of brown sugar and a little cinnamon. Place a round of peeled sweet potato on top. Top the potato with another pinch of sugar and a little bit of butter.
Bake the sweet potatoes so they begin to soften, about for 20 minutes. Check by poking with a fork in the center to make sure it is soft.
Remove from the oven and working quickly place a round of puff pastry on the top of the sweet potato and quickly get it back in the oven.
Bake the pastry until it gets golden brown and flakey… about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the tarts cool for 10 minutes before inverting them onto a clean cutting board.
Meanwhile make the whipping cream by using a large balloon whisk and a clean chilled glass or metal bowl, or use an electric mixer. When the whipping cream is thickened but still soft add the ground ginger and vanilla. I have omitted sugar because the sweet potato is quite sweet.