I have some catching up to do! July has been a busy month. I’d planned quite a few BBQ-centric recipes for this month and that was put on hold while we had a new deck built. But it’s all done now, and we have an even better outdoor space for cooking and entertaining. Look!
I also happened to choose a pretty challenging book for this month, Out of New Nova Scotia Kitchens by Craig Flinn. Craig Flinn is a well-known chef in Halifax and runs a few establishments including Chives – one of my favorite restaurants for a nice meal.
I will be cooking four recipes from this book, one for each Sunday in July. Tonight I made two recipes, but I plan to write separate posts to keep things simple.
This is a GREAT book. It’s obviously of particular interest to me, as a Nova Scotian. It’s divided into seasons, with a fifth section for year-round dishes. Since it’s local, the in-season ingredients actually align with what I see at the market.
That said, I think it’s definitely a chef’s book. Some of the recipes are quite involved and fancier than what I’d typically make at home. I think I’m special for making my own tea biscuits and whipped cream for strawberry shortcake. Well, this book has a special strawberry sauce recipe, a scone recipe, and a white chocolate whipped cream recipe. Since it’s summer, the first two recipes I chose were from the “Summer” section of the book. I began with Grilled Greek Salad with Crispy Fried Feta.
The salad called for a lot of ingredients, i.e. red, yellow, and green bell peppers, or green and yellow zucchini. Since I was only making the salad for myself and Rob, I simplified it a bit and just used red pepper, green zucchini, and smaller amounts of all the other vegetables.
As we were preparing to barbecue, we heard thunder rolling in the distance. Even though it was perfectly sunny! With the threat of a downpour looming, I edited the recipe slightly. The book says the grill your peppers whole, and then grill your onion and zucchini directly on the grill. For ease and speed, I threw everything onto a foil sheet.
Then it was time to fry the feta. I get really nervous about frying things but this was quite simple and turned out great.
My only complaint is that the book reads: “In a shallow dish, sprinkle flour. In a second dish, stir together eggs and bread crumbs.”
This isn’t my first rodeo. Usually, the eggs and breadcrumbs are in separate bowls and it’s a three-step process: dip your item in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. But in good faith, I tried mixing the eggs and breadcrumbs. It was total garbage! I had to throw the mixture away and keep them separate. Maybe I did something wrong, but it seemed like a bizarre instruction.
It was very easy to fry the feta in a little oil in the pan, and I laid them on a napkin afterwards to soak up some grease.
My recommendation: these should be the last thing you make. They were DELICIOUS when hot and fresh. I was really impressed and will do this again. (I used locally produced Holmestead feta cheese. I love feta and probably buy a small container every week or two.)
The warm grilled salad with crispy-on-the-outside, melt-in-your-mouth-on-the-inside feta cheese was the perfect accompaniment to our main course… which just happens to be my next blog.