Sheet Pan Jambalaya - © 2022 Taste of Home

Fun, Easy Recipes For Summer I’ve Just Come Across…

I confess: I’m a recipe junkie. So… I was surfing one of the big recipe websites when I came across ’85 Brand New Dinners’, and I just had to look at them all. Many of the recipes were merely old standards with a few new tweaks, but I did find several that tweaked my taste buds…

Rhubarb Beef - © 2022 Taste of HomeIranian Rhubarb Beef: ‘Tis the season!

As you probably already know, I don’t usually use recipes word-for-word. I use them as jumping-off points for my own creations, employing the universal techniques I know and love, and often subbing ingredients in and out to suit my taste. With that in mind, I invite you to explore the following summer supper suggestions..

A note on the source

I found the above-mentioned feature post as soon as I landed at Taste of Home on a routine ‘culinary tourism’ visit. So I dove right in, devouring the scrumptious photos with my gluttonous eyes and wondering how I’d handle each concept. Some were no-brainers; just familiar old faves with a new twist for 2022. But a few grabbed me because they had something truly new or intriguing to offer…

Sheet Pan Cauliflower Jambalaya

Yes, one usually uses a saucepan or (preferably) a high-sided skillet to make classic Jambalaya. But this recipe calls for a large (10 in. x 15 in. / 22 cm x 33 cm) sheet pan (see photo, top of page). Since the Jamb doesn’t simmer in a bath of savoury liquid as in the classic method, you have to be sure to add the cauliflower (standing in for rice) last thing before serving, with the shrimp, which will take only minutes to cook.

The ingredient list will be familiar to everyone who’s a Creole fan – except for the cauliflower. But there’s nothing to say you can’t use fully-cooked rice in place of the cauli. The cauliflower is intended to convert high-Cal, high-carb, standard Jambalaya to a low-carb dish. Not a bad idea, in itself, but I’ll be using rice, thanks.

The dish bakes in the oven, and it would be easy to over-cook it, drying it out. So keep a hustle on, checking on progress while cooking.

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

Who says Meatloaf has to be ‘your granny’s recipe’? Update yours, and thrill your family and dinner guests with this spicy, indulgent, contemporary version!

I need to point out that this is a Chicken Meatloaf. But you can go with the usual Beef and Pork mixture if you’re afraid to get too far off the beaten path. The end result will be different, but just as good in its own way.

Buffalo Wing Meatloaf - © 2022 Taste of Home

I would also like to point out that the source recipe calls for a full cup of crumbled Bleu Cheese. Unless you absolutely love your Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese dip, I’d suggest you cut down on the Bleu, here, or cut it out all together. Replace the amount you remove with Mayo or Yogurt.

I feel compelled to remark on the directive to wrap the loaf with bacon strips. I approve highly of this finishing touch on any meatloaf. Usually, we just use regular bacon. But this spicy version presents a good opportunity to inject a complementary flavour using rich, smoky rashers.

And… Don’t forget to make the Honey-Mustard Glaze. With or without all that Buffalo Sauce (which may make it too spicy for your and yours), it’s a crowning glory!

Rhubarb Beef

If you thought rhubarb was unique to Western Europe and the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, think again! This Iranian recipe, served on steamed white rice, will open all your senses to the broader possibilities!

You need read no further than the ingredient list to see that this is truly a middle-eastern dish, redolent with the zip of the rhubarb, lemon juice, onions, parsley, mint and saffron. It’s a simple prep involving throwing everything into a Dutch Oven (or tajine!), and letting ‘er go low and slow for about 2.5 hr.

This recipe especially caught my eye because – here in Eastern Canada, at least – Rhubarb season is fast coming upon us, in spite of a much wetter than usual spring. And I can almost taste the fresh, tangy concoction in my overactive imagination.

And that’s not all

I have more summer recipe ideas in my back pocket. But I still have to ‘digest’ them and make them my own before presenting them to you. Soon, folks. Soon!

~ Maggie J.