Archive for June, 2023

Summer has arrived, so it’s time for potato salad! This recipe from NYT Cooking tops cooked baby red potatoes with tartar sauce and fresh herbs. You can use any extra tartar sauce for cooked or canned fish.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Hellman’s original mayonnaise and Marty’s bread and butter pickles (made in Hamilton!), which contain no colour or preservatives. Unico capers are additive-free.

Potato salad with tartar sauce and fresh herbs


Kosher salt and black pepper

2 pounds (907 g) small (2- to 3-inch-/5- to 7.5-cm-long) red potatoes, scrubbed

2/3 cup (165 ml) mayonnaise

¼ cup (60 ml) minced bread and butter pickle chips, plus 5 tablespoons (75 ml) brine

2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced, drained jarred capers

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lemon

3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil

Torn fresh parsley and dill, for garnish


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high. Add the potatoes and cook until tender when speared with a fork, about 10 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large colander to drain and cool.

While the potatoes cook, prepare the tartar sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, minced pickles and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pickle brine, minced capers, garlic and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Once cool enough to handle, slice the cooked potatoes crosswise into ½-inch- (1-cm-) thick rounds. Transfer to a large bowl, drizzle with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil and the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) pickle brine. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange on a large serving platter in an even layer, setting some of the rounded pieces skin-side up.

Just before serving, drizzle with the tartar sauce and top with torn parsley and dill. Zest the lemon on top and serve right away. Serves 6.

From NYT Cooking

This recipe from Food and Wine includes marinating pork chops in a spiced yogurt sauce prior to cooking. The yogurt tenderizes the pork and adds flavour. Once you have cooked the chops, set them aside to rest and make a quick shallot-wine-mustard sauce to serve with the meat.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Astro Balkan-style yogurt, which is free of additives. Keen’s mustard powder is free of colour and additives. Check the celery seeds to make sure they don’t contain anti-caking agents. I used a white wine from Frogpond Farm that has a sulphite level below 10 parts per million, butter that contains only cream and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard.

Yogurt-marinated pork chops with white wine-shallot sauce


3 cups (750 ml) plain whole-milk yogurt, plus more as needed, or 6 cups (1.5 L) yogurt whey

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 tablespoon (15 ml) mustard powder

1 teaspoon (5 ml) celery seeds

6 (8-ounce/227 g) bone-in pork chops (loin or rib-cut chops)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) kosher salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) black pepper, or to taste

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, divided

2 medium shallots, minced (about ½ cup/125 ml)

½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine

2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter, sliced

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard


In a large, flat-bottomed container, stir together yogurt or yogurt whey, garlic, mustard powder, and celery seeds. Add pork chops, turning to coat; add more yogurt if needed to fully coat pork chops. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours.

About 30 minutes before cooking, remove pork chops from marinade, and place on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Discard marinade. Pat pork chops dry using paper towels. Season with salt and pepper, rubbing liberally on both sides of pork chops.

Heat a 12-inch (30-cm) cast-iron skillet over medium-high until very hot, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil, swirling to coat skillet; add 3 pork chops. Sear until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip pork chops, and cook until seared on other side, meat is just slightly pink in centre, and a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of pork chops registers 145°F (63°C), 3 to 4 minutes, reducing heat if exterior gets too brown before pork chops are cooked through. Transfer pork chops to a clean plate; tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe skillet clean and repeat cooking process with remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil and remaining 3 pork chops.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shallots to skillet, and cook, stirring often, until soft and caramelized, about 3 minutes. Pour wine into skillet; using a spatula, scrape up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Cook until wine is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes; turn off heat, and stir in butter and Dijon mustard. Pour sauce over pork chops. Serves 6.

From Food and Wine

This tasty chicken and pasta salad from Half Baked Harvest feeds a crowd. Marinate the chicken in pesto and balsamic vinegar. Make the dressing, which contains fresh herbs, while the orzo cooks. Add the hot orzo to the dressing and toss well. Grill the chicken and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken, feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, peppers and pepperoncini to the pasta, toss well and serve. Cook’s note: I used a jalapeño pepper instead of pepperoncini.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar, President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon Mustard, freshly squeezed lemon juice and pure honey for the dressing. I made the pesto with fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Check the pine nuts for preservatives and use genuine Parmesan, which has the name stamped on the rind. Acetaia La Bonissma balsamic vinegar has no added sulphites. Tre Stelle feta cheese is additive-free, as are Pilaros black olives and Unico roasted red peppers.

Toss the cooked orzo with the dressing

Marinate the chicken in pesto and balsamic vinegar

Grill the chicken

Assemble the other ingredients and add to pasta with the chicken

Greek chicken orzo pasta



2/3 cup (165 ml) extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice

1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard

1 shallot, chopped

½ cup (125 ml) chopped herbs, dill, basil, oregano, and/or thyme

kosher salt and black pepper


1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken tenders (omit if vegetarian)

1/3 cup (83 ml) basil pesto

2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar

1 pound (454 g) dry orzo

2 cups (500 ml) cubed feta cheese

2 cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved

2-3 Persian cucumbers chopped

1 cup (250 ml) pitted kalamata olives

2 roasted bell peppers, sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped pepperoncini


To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Toss the chicken with pesto and balsamic vinegar. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Give it a chop.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente. Drain. Add the hot orzo to the salad bowl full of dressing. Toss, toss! Add the chicken, feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, peppers, and pepperoncini. Toss, toss! Serve warm or cold. The salad will develop more flavour as it sits. Serves 6-8.

From Half Baked Harvest

This great recipe from the LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine is a keeper. Cook zucchini and shallot and set aside. Pound chicken breasts into cutlets, dredge in flour, brown the chicken and set aside. Sauté shallot, capers and dill pickles and add pickle brine and stock. Return chicken to the pan, add sliced lemon and cook until the chicken is done. Serve the chicken over the zucchini, top with lemons and sauce and garnish with fresh dill. Cook’s note: I peeled the zucchini into strips with a Y-shaped peeler

Avoiding Additive and Preservatives

Use unbleached flour and butter that does not contain colour. I used Unico capers, Imagine Organic stock and Sunshine Farms dill pickles and brine. All are free of additives and preservatives.

Cook the zucchini

Dredge the chicken

Brown the chicken and set aside

Cook shallot, pickles and capers

Add broth, brine, chicken and lemons and cook until chicken is done

Serve the chicken over the zucchini


¾ lb (340 g) zucchini, about 2 medium zucchini or 1 pkg (340 g) prepared spiralized zucchini

¼ cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour

2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) sea salt

Generous grinds of fresh black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) butter, cut into

1 tbsp (15 ml) pieces

1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced, divided

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, divided

1 dill pickle plus 1 tsp (5 ml) pickle brine

2 tsp (10 ml) drained capers

½ cup (125 ml) chicken broth

4 lemon wheels, seeds removed, plus 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp (30 ml) coarsely chopped fresh dill


If using whole zucchini, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to pull long, thin strips of zucchini until all zucchini is in strips.

Add flour to a pie plate. Slice each chicken breast in half crosswise. Place between two pieces of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound until thin and even. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Turn chicken cutlets in flour and remove to a plate.

Melt 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When bubbling, add half of shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened slightly, 1 minute. Add zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Divide zucchini between two plates, including scraping any bits from bottom of pan. Keep warm by covering plates with foil.

Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) each butter and oil. Add chicken, making sure not to crowd the pan. You may need to cook chicken in two batches, adding remaining oil to pan if needed. With the exception of flipping halfway through, cook chicken undisturbed until golden on each side, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Add more butter, if needed. Remove from heat. Add chicken to a separate plate. Do not add to plates with zucchini as chicken may not be fully cooked through. Cover with foil.

Return pan to medium heat. Add another 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter, remaining shallot, pickles and capers. Cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from pan bottom, until softened, 1 minute. Pour in broth and brine. Cook, scraping up and stirring in any brown bits until sauce reduces by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken and any juices back into the pan along with lemon wheels. Continue cooking, turning occasionally until chicken is nicely coated and cooked through, about 3 to 6 more minutes depending on chicken thickness.

Remove pan from heat. Working quickly, set chicken over zucchini noodles. Discard lemon wheels if you prefer. Stir lemon juice and any remaining butter into sauce in pan. Taste and season with salt and pepper if you like. Pour over chicken. Serve sprinkled with dill. Serves 2.

From Food and Drink