Veggie Skewers

Veggie skewers II

Veggie Skewers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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When hungry people are chomping at the bit at a BBQ appetizers can buy you time and these ones are so easy and tasty that your guests may even forget about the main course.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 8 ounces Paneer
  • 1/2 of a Large Red Onion -thick sliced
  • 1 large Red Pepper – cut into chunks
  • 12 – 18 Grape tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 Bamboo/Metal skewers

Putting it all together:

  1. Cut the Paneer into small cubes and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes so they won’t burn.
  4. Starting with the Paneer thread the ingredients on the skewers, alternating, until all skewers have been used.
  5. Grill at 350° for about 10 minutes.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                             Bon Appetit

Peanut Butter Hummus

Peanut Butter Hummus

Peanut Butter Hummus

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Had a bunch of cut up and bagged veggies to use for snacks but I didn’t have anything for a dip because we had just finished store bought Hummus and I don’t really like Ranch dressing so I decided to make my own.

Now traditional Hummus is Chickpeas and Tahini as a base and then other ingredients added to your liking. I found I was out of Tahini but I remembered a conversation with a friend who makes hers with Peanut Butter so I decided to give it a go…. and it works.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 1 19 ounce can Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 2 Garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Place all ingredients except the Olive Oil in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. With the machine running add the olive oil.
  3. If the mixture is to thick add some warm water until you get the consistency you like.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                          Bon Appetit

Surf N Turf

Surf N Turf

Surf N Turf

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Surf N Turf is one of those menu items that usually means an 8 – 10 ounce N Y Strip and a 8 ounce Lobster tail that comes with a price tag that crashes the $50.00 mark but it also means most working class people can’t afford it and that includes me so I came up with an alternative in this cost efficient version….. 4 people for less than $50.00.

Cooks note: The skewers are best when done on a grill however if you don’t have one or the weather won’t let you then the oven is perfectly fine.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 1/2 pounds Sirloin Steak tails – cubed into bite sized pieces.
  • 1 package 31 – 40 Shrimp – peeled, deveigned and tail off.
  • 3 tablespoons Garlic butter
  • 1/4 cup Soya sauce
  • 1/4 Fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sambal
  • 1/8 cup Oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 4 Scallions – rough chopped for garnish
  • 12 Bamboo skewers 

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Place the steak pieces into a large non reactive bowl. Mix together the soya sauce, fish sauce, Sambal, oyster sauce and sugar and pour over the steak pieces. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Soak the skewers for at least 30 mins before using so they don’t burn.
  4. Thread the steak on the skewers and place on a sheet tray. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, turning half way.
  5. While the skewers are cooking quick fry the shrimp in the garlic butter until pink.
  6. Serve as an appetizer or as the main for your favourite side dish.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast III

Avocado Toast

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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When it comes to snack food most people think of potato chips, popcorn and that kind of thing and I admit that I do the same thing however I wanted something different and healthy this time so in searching the pantry I found some Avocados and decided they would be perfect in a snack and they were.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Ripe Avocados – pitted and removed from the skin
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 small Shallots – diced
  • 4 Cherry Tomatoes – sliced
  • 2 ounces of Capers
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Small Baguette – sliced on the bias

Putting it all together:

  1. In a medium non reactive bowl mash the Avocado with a fork until just slightly chunky.
  2. Mix in the garlic and shallots and season with the salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. Toast the baguette slices and lightly brush them with the Canola oil, spread on the Avocado and top with the tomatoes and capers.
  4. Enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit 

BBQ Pig tails

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BBQ Pig tails

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I currently live in the Waterloo Region of Southwestern Ontario Canada . Specifically I am in the Kitchener /Waterloo area and the reason I mention this is due to the very rich German heritage this area has. In fact the city of Kitchener was originally named Berlin and the name only changed in September 1916.

With the rich food heritage the German people have it is a wonder to me, especially with my love affair with pork, that it has taken so long to try this part of the noble pig and while some people may turn up their nose at the mere thought of eating the tail let me tell you it is delicious.

As a side note I used short cut tails because this is the first time making this dish however whole tails are preferable.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound short cut Pig Tails
  • 4 Plums
  • Barbecue sauce

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the pig tails in a large pot with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and let go for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the tails and empty the pot. Put the tails back in the pot and cover with more water until just submerged.
  3. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 90 minutes.
  4. Heat your grill to 350° and add the tails.
  5. As the tails get crispy baste with your BBQ sauce turning every couple of minutes.
  6. Split the plums and lightly grill them.
  7. Pull off the heat and enjoy.

Cooks note: Simmering the tails is necessary in order to render down the fat and ensure the tails do not get chewy or rubbery.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                            Bon Appetit

 

 

 

Chimichurri Steak flat bread

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Chimichurri Steak flat bread

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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I’m not on chef level, but I’d make a good line cook. That’s not too shabby.

Jon Favreau

I’ve worked as a line cook at various establishments over the years and most if not all have had a flat bread of some kind or other on the menu and the one common denominator has been that they all resemble Pizza… you know, basic tomato sauce, some kind of topping and melted cheese. Pretty humdrum fare which is why I have taken two of my favourite things, Steak and Chimichurri, and combined them on a flat bread.

If you are not familiar with Chimichurri it is a condiment that is believed to have originated in Argentina in the early 1900’s and its base is Parsley and Garlic and pairs wonderfully with grilled meats. In my version I have added a couple of other ingredients that I think give it an extra layer of flavour.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 8 ounce Flat Iron steak
  • 2 9 inch Flat Breads
  • 4 tablespoons Chimichurri (recipe to follow)
  • 4 ounces  Onions – sliced
  • 1 Leek, white only, julienne
  • 2 – 4 ounces Goat Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • Small bunch of flat leaf Parsley
  • Small bunch of Cilantro
  • 4-6 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Oregano (can substitute 2 teaspoons dried)

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat your grill to 400°
  2. In a food processor combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and vinegar and pulse until blended. With the motor running add the olive oil in a steady stream and continue blending until smooth. Refrigerate.
  3. Lightly season the steak with salt and pepper and slice thinly.
  4. Saute the onions with salt, pepper and the butter for about 15 minutes.
  5. To build your flat bread: Smear the chimichurri on the flat bread and top with the steak, onions and leeks. Put on your grill for about 10 minutes or until the steak is done to your liking being careful not to burn the crust.
  6. Crumble goat cheese on the top, slice and enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                          Bon Appetit

Grilled peach and prosciutto

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Grilled peach and Prosciutto

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
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“Look up in the sky it’s a bird it’s, a plane it’s a…….. Baseball?”

Yup it’s that time of year again….. the ALCS and NLCS games are on (that’s baseball for those who don’t know)to see who goes to the World Series to play for all the marbles and since my home town team The Toronto Blue Jays are playing in the ALCS I am more interested than I normally would be.

Now I know that the norm for a baseball game is chicken wings, popcorn, nachos etc. but since I did that last week I thought I would do something a bit different this time around— at least as far as an appetizer is concerned and since I wanted to watch the game as well I opted for something simple.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 1 Cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 Semi ripe Peach
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground Black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon granulated Garlic
  • 9 Half slices of Prosciutto
  • 1 small loaf of French bread

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees
  2. Slice the peach into 9 equal parts
  3. In a mixing bowl combine all remaining ingredients, except the bread, and mix well
  4. Grill the peaches for approximately 5 minutes
  5. When cooled enough to handle wrap a half slice of Prosciutto around each peach slice
  6. Slice the french bread on the bias and spread the Ricotta cheese mixture on each slice
  7. Place a grilled peach slice on each piece of bread
  8. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                          Bon Appetit

Bacon wrapped baby potatoes

Bacon wrapped baby potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sometimes finding just the right side dish can be a major chore as well as a major pain in the butt and this is exactly the dilemma I was facing not to long ago when my ever helpful and brilliant wife suggested I make the perfect side dish….. “bacon wrapped baby potatoes”.

Not much else to say after bacon wrapped potatoes except……….. “Let’s eat”.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 12 – 18 medium sized “Baby potatoes” (allows for 3-4 potatoes per person)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 8 slices of Bacon – cut in half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Rosemary
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Putting it all together:

  1. Blanche the potatoes in salted water for about 5 minutes
  2. Put the blanched potatoes in an ice bath and set aside
  3. Put all the ingredients except the bacon in a large mixing bowl and blend well
  4. When the potatoes have cooled add them to the mixture and coat well
  5. Wrap each potato with a half slice of bacon and put, seam side down, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the bacon is crispy
  7. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                              Bon Appetit

Salad Nicoise

  • Servings: “1”
  • Difficulty: “Easy”
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This classic appetizer was the First course of my Culinary School Practical Exam and although it looks difficult it really isn’t. The biggest pain is getting all the components together and then figuring out how to plate it. This was my design—- simple but classy at the same time. Now you may notice the Tuna is well done when it should be rare and that is because my “taster”wanted her Tuna and her Steak well done without realizing that well done Tuna slices terribly and falls apart which makes plating a wee bit difficult….. aw well…. did the best under the circumstances.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Mixed greens—- small bunch
  • Potatoes— Fingerling 3
  • Green beans washed and trimmed— 8
  • Tuna (yellow fin)—- One three ounce piece
  • Anchovy fillets—- 1-2 depending on size
  • Black olives— Pitted 6
  • Hard cooked egg, sliced or quartered—- 1 egg
  • Tomato wedges—- 4
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

For the vinaigrette:

  • 40 ml Olive oil
  • 10 ml White wine vinegar
  • Chopped garlic— 1-2 cloves
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just fork tender
  3. Slice and grill the potatoes just until there are grill marks.
  4. Dress with a little of the vinaigrette and refrigerate
  5. Cook the bean in boiling salted water.
  6. Drain, cool and dress with a bit of the vinaigrette
  7. Line a small salad bowl with the mixed greens
  8. Plate the green beans and potatoes how you like
  9. Grill the Tuna until it is rare. Cool and slice
  10. Place the Tuna on the top of the mixed greens.
  11. Arrange the Anchovies on top of the Tuna
  12. Arrange the tomato wedges, olives and egg around the plate as you wish.
  13. Sprinkle with some of the chopped parsley
  14. Serve cold.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time…….

Bon Appetit

 

 

 

Crabby Patties

  • Servings: ”6-8″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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Crabby Patties

Don’t let the title fool you—- this recipe has nothing to do with Crab of any kind. Instead when my grandson heard we where having burgers and fries for dinner he declared “I want to help make Crabby Patties“.

Now for the uninitiated Crabby Patties come from the kids cartoon Sponge Bob Square Pants and they are sold in an underwater restaurant that ANY 4 or 5 year old would recognize. So being the soft touch “pops” that I am I said “okay” let’s do that and “do you want to help” to which I got a “not this time……. you do them”. Kids…… gotta love em.

So for your taste bud consideration I present to you my grandson’s “Crabby Patties”……..

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • One pound ground beef
  • One pound ground pork
  • Two eggs – whisked together
  • 1/3 cup Bread crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons All Purpose dry rub (see Dry rubs and Marinades)
  • Slider Press (optional)

Slider Press

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large non reactive bowl mix all ingredients
  2. Form 3 ounce meatballs
  3. Place meatballs in slider press (if using one) or form patties by hand
  4. Place patties in refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the burgers to set up
  5. Grill until patties reach 160° internal temperature

There you have it “another simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” courtesy of my grandson Logan.

Until next time……..

                        Bon Appetit