Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

Cheryl's Recipes

I love smoked salmon! When the days start to shorten and the air starts to feel a little cooler my thoughts always turn to fall steelhead fishing in B.C. and, of course, smoked salmon.

My simple smoked salmon sandwiches make a nice fishing lunch or snack. They can also be served for breakfast with some scrambled eggs or for dinner with a salad. The sandwiches pictured here were made with small croissants and are perfect to serve as appetizers.

Smoked salmon, thinly sliced
Croissants (or your favourite buns, bagels, slice of French bread)
Cream cheese, plain
Red or orange sweet peppers, thinly sliced
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Fresh chives, chopped

Stir some chives into the cream cheese and spread liberally over the bottom of the croissants. Top with cucumber slices, salmon and peppers. Sprinkle some chives over the top for garnish.

That's it. All that is left to do is - Enjoy!


Montana Inspired Tapas Board

Cheryl's Recipes

Tapas, the word comes to us from Spanish and describes small dishes that are typically served as an appetizer or snack. Tapas can be hot or cold dishes and a number of these small dishes can be served together to create a meal.

In our house, we generally put together a selection of meats, fish and seafood, cheeses, dips, sauces and breads to create a meal. We have fun with themes depending on the weather, the season or special events. This month I've decided to share a 'Montana Inspired' tapas selection with you. I can see myself, after a long day of fishing, relaxing on the deck at a Montana lodge, snacking on this selection of delicious foods. Everything here goes well with a glass of Montana craft whiskey, beer or even meade!

One of the great things about serving a tapas board is you can serve a little or a lot, depending on the number of people you will be feeding and whether this is your appetizer or entree.

Smoked trout
Bison salami, thinly sliced
Herbed yogurt cheese (see instructions below)
Aged white cheddar cheese
Apple and fig spread
Pickled onions
Assorted tomatoes (red, yellow and green grape size pictured)
Small sweet peppers
1 baguette fresh bread, sliced

Yogurt Cheese: Place 1 - 2 cups of high quality plain Greek style yogurt in a mesh strainer over a bowl. Let sit for 2 - 6 hours, depending on desired consistency. Once the cheese has reached your desired consistency add salt to taste and chopped fresh herbs such as chives, oregano, thyme, dill and/or parsley (fresh dill and chives were added to the yogurt cheese pictured here). Chill your yogurt cheese in the fridge before serving. Tightly covered, your homemade cheese will last in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.

Tapas Board: Use a large platter or serving board. You can use multiple boards if you wish to keep meats separate from cheeses, etc. Load up your serving boards with all your selected dishes in an eye catching and attractive way.

Slice the bread and serve alongside your tapas.


Chilies Rellenos (Stuffed Poblano Chili Peppers)

Cheryl's Recipes

In many parts of Mexico Chilies Rellenos is considered a comfort food and anytime this dish has been served to us at a lodge the chef always takes a great deal of pride in their particular recipe. Which means, of course, that there are as many different versions of this recipe as there are Mexican Grandma's who have handed down their unique family recipe from generation to generation. I like my Chilies Rellenos with cheese for two reasons: 1) who doesn't like melted cheesy goodness? and, 2) the dairy cuts down the heat of the chilies.

This recipe takes a little time to prepare but the end result is delicious! I serve it with rice and beans, which can quietly cook away while you fuss with the chilies. The basic recipe I have provided below can be modified in many different ways to take the meal and the flavours in different directions. Once you have perfected the basic recipe try adding cooked ground or shredded chicken, pork or beef to the stuffing. Maybe try adding a little cumin, or fresh oregano, to the meat. Try adding some roasted corn, sweet peppers or slice some avocado over the top. The possibilities are limitless! What is your favourite modification?

5 red tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (plum tomatoes are best but, to be honest, I usually use whatever tomatoes I have on the counter)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 - 6 poblano chilies (depending on size), charred, seeded and de-ribbed (see instructions)
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying

Sauce: Put the tomatoes, garlic and onion in a blender. Blend until smooth. In a heavy medium sized sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sauce and simmer. Some recipes will advise to simmer for 5 minutes but I like to let the sauce slowly simmer away while I take care of the rest of this recipe so that I get fuller bodied taste to the sauce. Just be sure to keep it on a low simmer, stir often, and add a little water if it starts to reduce too much. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chilies: To char the chilies put them over a gas flame or underneath the broiler and cook until they are blackened on all sides. Enclose them in a plastic bag and let stand for 10 minutes to steam, which will make them easier to peel. Peel, de-stem, seed and rib the chilies. A word of caution - use rubber gloves while seeding and ribbing the chilies to avoid burning your hands. Be careful to keep the chilies as intact as possible.

Chilies Rellenos: Mix the cheese and oregano in a small bowl. Either stuff the chili through the stem end or cut a small slit through the side to make the opening larger (the larger the opening the more space for cheese to seep out). Fill each chili with about 1/4 cup of cheese mixture. Close with toothpicks to hold the filling in place. In a medium bowl, using a stand or hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolk and continue to beat for about 1 minute.

In a deep fryer or heavy bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to cover the chilies. Heat until the oil reaches 375°F. Dredge the filled chilies in flour until fully covered. Shake off any excess flour, then dip the chilies into the egg mixture, until well coated. Fry until golden brown on all sides and drain on paper towels.

Arrange the chilies on a serving platter and spoon the sauce over-top to serve.


Tip: I find the charring, stuffing and frying process goes a lot quicker with a nice cold Mexican beer. Every time you take a sip, stir the sauce!

Crawfish Boil

Cheryl's Recipes

A crawfish boil may be common place in Louisiana but here in Alberta it is a very special treat. Anytime I see live crawfish at a market I snap them up and take them home for an impromptu boil. The aroma of this dish cooking on the stove takes me back to Louisiana and walking the streets of New Orleans. Fresh, live crawfish are best, so that you can clean and filter them properly (see tip below). If you buy frozen be sure that the package states that they were purged commercially before freezing. If fresh crawfish aren't available shrimp and/or crab make a very good substitute.

We love to enjoy this delicious and hearty meal with friends and a glass of fruity white wine.

6 litres of water
10 bay leaves
1 cup salt
3/4 cup ground red pepper
1/4 cup whole allspice
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon dill seeds
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 celery ribs, quartered
3 medium-size onions, halved
3 garlic bulbs, halved crosswise
About 12 baby potatoes
4 to 5 ears of corn on the cob, chopped in 3 to 4 pieces depending on size
5 pounds of crawfish

Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add all of the ingredients except the crawfish to the water. Return to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add crawfish. Bring to a rolling boil on high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove stockpot from heat; let stand 30 minutes. For spicier crawfish and vegetables let stand 45 minutes. Drain and pour everything onto large patters or newspaper. Serve with lemon wedges and hot butter.

Adapted from "Southern Living" magazine, April 2001

Tip: Crawfish live at the bottom of muddy rivers and are also known as 'mud bugs'. If you have ever tasted crawfish that haven't been properly cleaned and purged you know exactly why! To get that muddy taste out before cooking place your live crawfish in a large bucket, tub or cooler of fresh water. Make sure that the crawfish are fully covered by the water. You can stir them to remove loose dirt and grime. Remove any dead crawfish that float to the surface. After about 5 to 10 minutes pour out the water and refresh with clean fresh water, let sit for a further 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat the process 3 to 4 times, until the water runs clear. Cook immediately after finishing this process. The crawfish will have had a chance to filter the fresh water through their systems and will taste much better when cooked.

*Keep an eye on the container while you are completing this process. Your meal is not above trying to escape!


Bison Stew

Cheryl's Recipes

Stew is a delicious hearty meal that most people love on a cold winter day or, for me, after a long day of fishing in the spring or fall. Especially after those cool rainy days we sometimes run into while out on our favourite rivers.
Bison is on the menu in many Alberta and Montana restaurants and if it isn't already part of your regular diet I encourage you to try it in many different recipes to explore the versatility and wonderful taste of this alternative to beef. In honour of our Alberta and Montana theme for this month I have modified a Beef & Guiness Stew from Jamie Oliver's recent cookbook to include bison instead of beef.

*Thanks J.J. for the wonderful bison meat!

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 oz baby pickled onions
1 large onion
2 large carrots
1 celery heart
1/2 a bunch of fresh thyme (about 1/2 0z)
1 3/4 lbs rutabaga
6-10 small mushrooms (cremini work well with the bison)
1 lb bison stew meat
4 cups beef stock
1/2 x 440 ml can of Guinness
2 1/2 cups pearl barley
1 lb fresh seasonal greens, such as kale, cabbage, chard
3/4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
4 heaping teaspoons hot English mustard

Put a large casserole pan on medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and the whole pickled onions. Peel and quarter the regular onion, then pull the quarters apart into petals and add to the pan. Stir regularly while you wash and trim the carrots and celery and slice both into slices 1/4 inch thick at an angle. Stir them into the pan, then strip in the thyme leaves. Cook and stir for 10 minutes while you peel the rutabaga and chop it into 1-1/4 inch chunks, and quarter the mushrooms. Stir both into the pan, then slice the bison into 1-1/4 inch thick cubes and add that too. After a couple of minutes, pour in the stock and Guinness. Bring up to a simmer, cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Cook the barley according to the package instructions. Prepare and steam your greens in a colander over the barley for the last 10 minutes of the barley cooking time. Drain the barley and return it to the pan, grate in the cheese, add the hot English mustard and mix together.

Taste the stew and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve with the barley and greens on the side.

Tips: This stew freezes well so make a big batch!

You can easily adapt the recipe to a slow cooker by lightly browning the bison and then adding all the stew ingredients to the slow cooker. If you turn the slow cooker on low in the morning the stew will be ready to eat and delicious by the time you come home from fishing.


Adapted from "Super Food Family Classics" by Jamie Oliver



Poke Bowl With Avocado

Cheryl's Recipes

Poke is a Hawaiian dish that is usually served as an appetizer. This recipe turns poke into a delicious meal that takes no time at all to prepare.

Poke is traditionally made with ahi tuna, which tastes fantastic and reminds me of spending time relaxing with a cocktail and poke appetizer after a day of bonefishing in Hawaii. However, because suitable sashimi/sushi grade ahi tuna isn’t always available in all markets (like Calgary), a suitable substitute is salmon. Now that I’ve tried poke made with salmon I can’t decide which is my favourite tuna or salmon!

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish (a mixture of both black and white seeds look nice in this dish)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound sashimi/sushi grade ahi tuna or salmon, cubed
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle
1 avocado, cubed

For Serving
Cooked brown rice, at room temperature
Seaweed salad
Pickled ginger

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Add the cubed fish meat and green onions; stir gently to combine and dress the fish meat. Marinade for at least 5 minutes. Cube the avocado and add to the bowl; gently mix together.

To serve, spoon the rice into bowls, top with the poke, seaweed salad and a few pieces of pickled ginger.



Caye Lime Pie

Cheryl's Recipes

Caye Lime Pie tastes like the tropics to me; which places it high on my list of favourite deserts. This recipe is easy to make and looks delicious on the plate!

Hint: Be sure to allow for a few hours in the fridge so that it sets up prior to serving.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar

Mix together and press into pie plate.

2 cans condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
4 eggs
2 teaspoons lime zest

Mix everything together and pour into prepared pie crust. Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F. Let cool and then place in fridge to set.


Source: The El Pescador Table. Favourite Recipes from Belize. By Scott and Gina Morrison.


Rice and Beans

Cheryl's Recipes

Some of you have been asking me what I serve with many of the recipes I have posted. The answer is almost always Rice and Beans! This dish is a staple in many homes throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It can also be found on many restaurant menus throughout these regions – sometimes I ask if rice and beans is available with a meal even if it isn’t on the menu. Chances are usually good that you will be served the requested dish!

Rice and beans is one of those dishes that has many regional differences and each cook has their own secret recipe. Often a recipe has been handed down in a family through the generations. I have sampled many different versions, tried numerous recipes from cookbooks and asked a lot of people to share their recipe with me. In the end I came up with my own favourite recipe that includes coconut milk for a taste of the tropics in my Calgary kitchen.

1/2 small onion (finely chopped)
1/2 sweet pepper, colour of your choice (finely chopped)
2/3 cup frozen corn kernels (in the summer I like to roast corn cobs on the barbeque and use those kernels)
1 – 19 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or kidney beans or pinto beans, use your favourite)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water

Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add the onion and sweet pepper. Cook until the onions are just soft. Add the corn and beans and stir until heated through. Add the rice and stir to mix everything together. Add the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, turn to a very low heat, cover and cook for 25 minutes.

I use boxed unsweetened coconut milk.
Rice cooking directions may vary, compare with your rice package and adjust accordingly.
Serve with your favourite hot sauce. Enjoy!


Coconut Shrimp (Camarones al Coco)

Cheryl's Recipes

Seafood is very popular in Campeche and one of the signature dishes of the region is coconut shrimp. In Campeche restaurants, you will often find your coconut shrimp served with apple sauce. This recipe takes me back to the sights and sounds of old Campeche!

This dish makes a great appetizer but I like to serve them with a fresh salad or rice and beans for a complete meal. When buying your shrimp choose the size based on how you will serve them. Smaller shrimp for appetizers and larger shrimp for a main course.

This batter also works well for coconut fish, just substitute your favourite white meat fish fillets (snapper, sole, halibut, tilapia, etc.) for the shrimp.

30-35 medium sized shrimp or 15-20 large shrimp
3 limes (juiced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tablespoon butter (melted)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Canola oil (enough for frying)
3 apples (peeled and cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons sugar
Ground cinnamon to taste

Remove the shrimp shells, tails, devein (or buy pre-cleaned). Wash the shrimp in cold water and set to drain on paper towel. Meanwhile, combine the lime, garlic, pepper and salt in a bowl. Add the shrimp to this mixture and let sit for 15 minutes. Mix together the flour, milk, butter and coconut and coat the shrimp in this mixture. Preheat the oil over medium heat (if using a frying thermometer or deep fryer, it should read 350°F). Fry the shrimp until golden brown on both sides.

Cook the apples and sugar over medium-low heat, in enough water to cover the bottom of the sauce pan. Stir often until apples are soft, add more water if necessary. Mash the apples and add cinnamon to taste.

Serve the coconut shrimp with a side of the apple sauce.


(Source: Translated and adapted from Ellos en le Cocina de Campeche)


Argentine Meat Empanadas and Chimichurri Sauce

Cheryl's Recipes

Empanadas are a favourite South American comfort food. This recipe is very much like the ‘secret family recipe’ that a friend of mine makes every fall. Using prepared pastry saves time.

We like to serve these empanadas with a traditional chimichurri sauce and a glass of Malbec.

½ cup shortening
2 onions, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
¾ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
¼ cup raisins
½ cup pitted green olives, chopped (with or without pimentos)
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
Salt to taste
1 (10 sheets) package frozen round pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten for glazing

In a sauté pan melt the shortening and add the chopped onions. Cook the onions until just before they begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the sweet paprika, cayenne, crushed pepper flakes and salt to taste. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Add the meat to the pan and allow to just cook. Remove from pan, drain off the grease and allow the meat to cool. Place meat in a bowl and add salt to taste, cumin and vinegar. Mix and add the meat to the onion mixture. Add the raisins, olives and eggs; lightly mix.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place a spoonful of the meat mixture on each pastry round. Avoid reaching the edges of the pastry with the filling because its oiliness will prevent good sealing. Slightly wet the edge of the pastry, fold in two and stick edges together. The shape should resemble that of a half-moon. Seal by twisting the edge, step by step, between thumb and index finger, making sure to add pressure before releasing the pinch and moving on to the next curl. Be sure to prick each empanada with a fork to allow steam to escape during baking. Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Glaze with egg for shine and bake until golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.

*For appetizer size empanadas (pictured) use tart size pastry.

Chimichurri Sauce
½ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, or more to taste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or more to taste
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
1 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, stems removed

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times; scrape down the sides using a rubber spatula. Repeat pulsing and scraping process until a thick sauce forms, about 12 times. Let stand 2 hours before serving.

Serve the empanadas with the sauce on the side. Makes a nice light lunch or dinner on their own, but can be served with a soup or salad for a more substantial meal.


(Source: Adapted from Allrecipes)


Lobster Bisque

Cheryl's Recipes

We like to serve this recipe with a light meat and cheese tray, some delicious warm bread and a nice glass of white wine. Perfect for a quiet evening at home or to wow dinner guests!

We also like to substitute the lobster for crab to make a crab bisque. Feel free to use your favourite variety of crab. Any left over bisque freezes well so make a double batch. Take it out of the freezer in the morning and slowly warm that evening for dinner, stirring often to bring the broth back together.

One 1 to 1 ½ lb cooked lobster
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons all-purpose four
½ cup whipping cream
To taste – salt, pepper and cayenne pepper
2 ounces brandy
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or chives
Cut the lobster in half lengthwise. Rinse out the cavity, and then pull out the tail meat. Crack the legs and claws and remove the meat. Thinly slice the lobster meat and set aside in the fridge.

Cut or break the shells into smaller pieces. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the shells, garlic, carrot, celery and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 -6 minutes. Add the wine, 3 ½ cups of the stock, tomato paste, tarragon and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook 30 – 40 minutes. Strain the lobster stock into another pot. Bring to gentle simmer. Mix the flour with the remaining ½ cup of stock until it’s smooth. Whisking steadily, slowly pour the mixture into the simmering stock. Gently simmer until the flour has cooked through and the soup has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and lobster pieces. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Divide the brandy among 4 heated soup bowls. When the lobster is heated through, ladle the bisque into the bowls, sprinkle with parsley or chives and serve.


(Source: Everyone Can Cook Seafood by Eric Akis)



Cheryl's Recipes

This recipe is a little time consuming but the end result is well worth the effort!

Every year, in the late summer/early fall, we always spend the day or day and a half that it takes to make an extra large batch of this salsa. As soon as the days start getting shorter and the farmer’s markets fill up with ripe tomatoes and peppers we know it is time to get the salsa simmering. This year we ran out of last years’ batch in June and couldn’t wait until we had this salsa on the pantry shelf again!

7 kilograms (15 lbs) tomatoes - about 35 medium sized
½ cup pickling salt
1 – 369 millilitre can of tomato paste
2 cups vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
20 assorted large sweet peppers
4 to 8 jalapeno peppers
2 large onions
2 large green peppers (stemmed and seeded)

The evening before prepare the tomatoes by blanching. Boil water in a wide pot and fill the sink with cold water. In batches of about 5, place the tomatoes in boiling water for 60 to 90 seconds. Remove and place in cold water for a few seconds, just to cool off. Cut out the big stem end and slip off the skin. Cut tomatoes into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Place in a large plastic bowl or pail and mix in the pickling salt. Cover and let sit overnight (8 to 12 hours).

Sterilize about a dozen clean large jars with lids by pouring boiling water over them and set aside to dry. Only use new lids, not reused ones, as reused lids may not always seal.

In the morning, pour off as much water as possible (most of the salt will be poured off with the tomato water). Put the tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar and sugar in a large stock pot and start heating at medium. Place a saucer/small plate in the freezer. Chop all the peppers and 4 jalapenos in the food processor, using everything except the stems, chop very fine and add them to the pot as soon as possible. Keep the pot at a gentle simmer and stir constantly. If you want a chunky salsa, chop the onions and green peppers into ½ inch pieces; for a less chunky final result finely chop the onions and green peppers in the food processor. At about the 30 minutes’ mark of the simmer, place a spoonful of salsa on the saucer in the freezer (taste when cool and add more jalapenos to taste). Simmer for about 10 to 15 additional minutes. Remove from heat, fill the jars, wipe rims and tighten the lids onto the jars.

This recipe can be canned in a canner for 15 minutes. I skip this step but make sure that all of the jars seal right away (from 1 to 6 hours after closing the jars). Your lids will ‘snap’ when they seal so you can be sure that the jars have sealed and stay sealed to avoid harmful bacteria.

Store your salsa in a cool dark place.

Your salsa will taste best if you let it sit for about 4 weeks before opening the first jar – if you can wait that long! Chill before serving and refrigerate after opening.
Some Tips:
1) The original recipe called for barely ripe and 5 under ripe tomatoes. I prefer to use ripe and slightly over ripe tomatoes as they are much easier to peel and are usually less expensive. From late August to September, many farmer’s markets will have at least one vendor who has tomatoes that are over ripe and on sale but you usually have to ask.

2) For sweet peppers I like to use a mixture of colours. The more yellow and orange peppers you use the brighter your salsa will be. The more green and red peppers you use the darker your salsa will be. Buy a mixture of colours according to your preference.

3) Instead of using just jalapenos you can mix in some of your favourite hot pepper varieties and make your salsa as mild or as hot as you like.

4) I always put some of our salsa in smaller jars to give as gifts.



Bacon Bourbon Jam

Cheryl's Recipes

During a recent stay at Skeena Spey Riverside Wilderness & Lodge in Terrance, British Columbia we had the pleasure of sampling Chef Malcolm’s delicious offerings and he was kind enough to share a couple of his recipes with us. His Bacon Bourbon Jam is not only one of his favourites but came highly recommended by guests, guides and staff alike! Enjoy.

3 lbs diced bacon
4 cups diced red onion
2-3 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground mustard
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar

Start by putting bacon in large rondo or pot, on medium heat, and cook bacon until brown, crisp, and delicious. Add the onions and garlic, cook about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the chili powder, ginger, mustard, and cook down for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium-high, and add the bourbon. Light it on fire (please be careful with this step) once the flame has died down scrape all the delicious brown bits up from the bottom of the pan. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until it has thickened to a nice glaze, stirring occasionally. Transfer mixture to food processor and blitz up. Cool and put into mason jars. Enjoy on Flat Breads (see photo) or anything you fancy. Its quite wonderful in a quiche with goat cheese, caramelized onions and green onion.

Who can go wrong with bacon bourbon jam. Chefmal.



Cheryl's Recipes

This quick and easy recipe goes with just about anything! I make it to serve with nachos, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, cochinita pibil – you name it!

1 avocado, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
½ a small onion, finely chopped
Jalapeno (or other hot pepper), finely chopped (add to taste, if you don’t have a fresh pepper on hand add some of your favourite hot sauce to spice it up)
1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped (add to taste)
½ lime, squeeze juice over ingredients
Pinch of salt

Mix all of the ingredients together and let sit while you prepare the rest of the meal.



Tailing Bonefish/Rising Trout Drink

Cheryl's Recipes

We created these beverages one evening when we discovered that our novelty fish ice cubes stood up in an ice wine/dessert wine glass. Since then this sipping drink has become a favourite at our house and goes over well with our fishing friends.

Ice wine/dessert wine glasses
‘Fish’ ice cubes (We found our fish ice cube tray at IKEA.)
1 ounce of your favourite dark rum or whiskey

For a tailing bonefish place fish ice cube in the glass tail up and fill the glass with rum. For a rising trout place your fish ice cube head up in the glass and fill the glass with whiskey.



Cochinita Pibil

Cheryl's Recipes

Over the years, on our travels through the Mexican Yucatan peninsula and Belize, Alan and I have been lucky enough to sample many variations of this delicious dish. Pibil is a pork dish that has its origins in traditional Mayan culture and is traditionally cooked in a covered pit dug into the ground. Each time we have sampled the dish I have asked how the chef prepared it and have combined this knowledge into the recipe below.

3 pounds of pork roast (cut of your choice)
1-2 tablespoons of achiote paste
*Available in North America at many specialty Mexican food stores; known as red recado in Belize.
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 beer or the juice of 3 oranges
*Use a light Mexican or Belizean beer such as Corona or Belikin. If you prefer not to use alcohol substitute orange juice for the beer.
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Rub the achiote paste into the meat and place in a large cast iron roaster. Combine the oregano, beer/orange juice and salt and pepper and pour over the meat. Add the bay leaves. Cover and cook at 325˚F for about 3 hours or until the meat starts to come apart. If the juices in the bottom of the roaster start to dry out, add more beer/orange juice. Pull the meat apart and mix with the juices in the bottom of the roaster.
Serve in tortillas or hard tacos shells, on nachos or with rice and beans. Don’t forget your favourite salsa and guacamole!

*This recipe freezes well. When I make it I prepare as much as my large roaster will hold and freeze the leftovers in meal size containers.


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