Raised Veggie Garden

 

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When I first decided to do a blog my wife and I kicked around various and sundry themes in an effort to come up with something unique but also something that would reflect what we both like. After about a half a dozen ideas we hit on the simple reality that she liked to garden and I liked to grill and so gardensandgrills was born.

Now in the very beginning I had every intention of writing as many garden posts as I did grilling ones however as oft time happens life jumped up and my wife became sick so she could no longer garden as she loved and since I was picking up the slack doing things she couldn’t the gardening aspect for us was put on the back burner.

Fast forward and she is doing remarkably better than she has in years and she can get back into the garden which then allows me the time to get back to my second love, or maybe my third after my wife and cooking….. veggie gardening.

What you see pictured here is a raised garden idea that I found on the web and decided that it was exactly what I had in mind and that with a little time and patience (it’s 14 feet wide, six feet deep, ten inches of soil and each side section is five feet wide in the front) I could build myself however mother nature had something to say about my schedule but after three straight days of rain I managed to get it finished and the planting done….. all for around $350.00.

Now, as with anything else that gets planted into the ground, I need to weed, feed and pray because I really really want a bumper crop of veggies and herbs and since I planted things I use all the time, Celery, Cucumbers, Red Onions, Tomatoes, Garlic, Chives plus the Hot Peppers for some awesome Salsa and Relishes….. I’m a wee bit on edge but we will see what happens.

So there you have it, my raised veggie garden and although it may not be another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond” what it grows will surely contribute to that.

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit

 

 

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BBQ Ribs

 

Ribs II

  • Servings: “4-8”
  • Time: “Inactive
  • Difficulty: “Easy”
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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
― Hippocrates

Ribs and grilling go together like pizza and beer, Hepburn and Bogart, sandy beaches and sunburns….. you get the idea….. so when the opportunity presented itself as it did this past long weekend I decided that racks of ribs were the perfect way to celebrate.

Like everything else most people have their own way of doing ribs but I think there is one common denominator and that is they need to be done low and slow and if at all possible cooked over charcoal. My plan then was to brine the ribs over night before putting them in my smoker with some nice Apple wood chunks. Alas (nice word eh?) mother nature had other plans and proceeded to rain all day on my parade so I had to resort to Plan “B”—– low and slow in the oven and then finish on the propane BBQ and I know to some that’s sacrilegious so don’t tell Patrons of the Pit okay??—- only kidding.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 4 racks of Ribs (side or back)
  • 12 ounces Lager Beer
  • 2 tablespoons ground Pepper
  • 6 Garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons dry Thyme
  • 4 tablespoons Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Onion
  • 2 tablespoons Seasoned Salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Paprika

Putting it all together:

  1. Dress the  ribs by peeling the silver skin off the bone side of the rack and place in a large airtight container and refrigerate over night.
  2. Mix the last 7 ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
  3. Remove the ribs from the brine and discard the liquid. Liberally season the ribs with the dry rub and place in a 300° oven for 2 hours.

Ribs

4. Remove the ribs from the oven and put on the grill at 375° for 20 minutes. Baste with your favourite BBQ sauce.

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

Until next time………

                         Bon Appetit

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Asian inspired Grilled Turkey

 

Asian inspired Grilled Turkey

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: Inactive 24 hrs Grill 25 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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A grill is just a source of heat. Just like a stove, it is very user-friendly.

Bobby Flay

Grilling season is here in South Western Ontario Canada and comes with it the challenge of finding something different so you don’t get bored with the same old stuff…. unless of course you don’t mind the same thing all the time in which case rock on. 

When it comes to my family we strive to have something different when we grill and it does become a bit of a struggle however this one was quite easy and tasty and frankly you can’t get any simpler than this.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 large boneless and skinless Turkey thighs
  • 3/4 cup plain BBQ sauce
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium Soya Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons granulated Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated Onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried Ginger

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large non reactive bowl mix all the ingredients, except the turkey, until well incorporated.
  2. Place the turkey in a large airtight container and pour the marinade over top an coat well. Seal and refrigerate over night.
  3. Heat your grill to 375° and grill the turkey thighs for 20-25 minutes or the internal temperature reaches 165°.

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

Until next time………

                           Bon Appetit

 

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Meat on a stick

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Meat on a stick

  • Servings: 18-20
  • Time: 24 hrs Inactive 15 Mins grill
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I love the culture of grilling. It creates an atmosphere that is festive but casual. 

Bobby Flay

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and instead of taking the women in my life….. my wife, daughter and daughter in law….. (my mom lives 2 hours out of town and at 85 doesn’t like to travel far anymore) out to a restaurant for dinner I did the next best thing….. I made them dinner starting with appetizers so they could do as they please and be waited on as befits the day.

The main drawback to this particular recipe is the prep time. The meat needs to be marinated and assembling the skewers is time consuming and somewhat labour intensive however as my son says “there is something about wood and meat that makes it all worth while” and I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds bottom Sirloin steak tails (see cooks note)
  • 9″ Bamboo skewers
  • 2 large Yellow peppers
  • 2 large Red peppers
  • 2 large Orange peppers
  • 1 large Red Onion

For the Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup sodium reduced Soya sauce
  • 1/3 cup Fish sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Garlic Chili sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar

Putting it all together:

  1. Cut the steak and vegetables into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a non reactive container mix together the soya sauce, fish sauce, garlic chili sauce and sugar. Put the steak in a zip lock bag, pour in the marinade and place in the fridge overnight.
  3. Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 mins as this will help to stop them burning on the grill.
  4. Preheat the grill to 375° and then build your skewers by alternating the meat and the veggies until all the skewers are filled.
  5. Grill and enjoy.

Cooks note: I chose bottom sirloin steak tails because one of our independent grocers carries them and the price is really quite good as is the product however feel free to use whatever steak you wish.

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

Until next time………..

                         Bon Appetit

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Piri Piri Pork

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Piri Piri Pork

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 mins inactive 20 mins grill
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Support a small chef. Not these big chains… but support the people who are out there trying to do things right and working hard to do that.

Tom Douglas.

I am extremely lucky to live in Waterloo Region in Southwestern Ontario because we have a plethora of highly talented and innovative chefs  to choose from when it comes to our dining experiences.

This particular post has been inspired by just one of those chefs….. Chef Lance Edwards of Puddicombe House in New Hamburg Ontario. Now I don’t claim to be anywhere near the same caliber of cook that Chef Lance is however I do know my way around the kitchen and I do know how to read a recipe and adapt it to my needs and it was after reading chef’s post about Piri Piri Chicken that this particular dish came to fruition.

Thanks for the inspiration chef.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 Pork Butt chops
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated Garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the pork butt chops in a large zip lock bag and set aside.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a non reactive bowl until well incorporated.
  3. Pour the marinade into the bag with the chops, coat evenly, and refrigerate for about 40 minutes.
  4. Heat your grill to 375° and grill the chops for approximately 10 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your chops.

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

Until next time…….

                          Bon Appetit

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Stuffed Poblanos

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Stuffed Poblanos

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: Inactive time 1 hr Bake time 40 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
Orson Welles

 

I’m not a fan of traditional Stuffed Peppers mainly because the ones I’ve had usually contain too much tomato sauce and therefore I wind up with major indigestion due to the acid content in the dish. That being said I have to admit that I have always wanted to try my hand at making them just to see what the end result would be however, being who I am I of course have to add a little spin to the dish. I will also point out that this is not an original dish but I have added enough changes to make it my own.

Cooks note: I used Poblanos because they have a medium heat level without being to heavy handed but feel free to substitute whatever kind of pepper you wish keeping in mind that whatever pepper you use it should be as round as possible for ease of stuffing.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 large Poblano peppers – halved (cut north to south) and seeded
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground Pork
  • 1 10 ounce can of Black Beans
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 8 ounce can Niblets corn
  • 3/4 cup Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican Cheese
  • 2  tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Granulated Onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle Powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried Parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground Black Pepper
  • pinch of Salt
  • Fresh Parsley for garnish (cilantro can be a substitute)
  • Sour cream for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large non reactive bowl combine the pork, dry spices, black beans and corn. Cover and set aside for an hour to allow the flavours to develop.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan, add the pork mixture and cook until the pork is just done . Add the cream cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is nice and smooth. Pull from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Evenly fill the poblano halves with the pork mixture . Put in the oven until the poblanos have softened, about 30 minutes. Top with the shredded cheese and put back in the oven until melted and bubbling.
  5. Plate and garnish with the parsley and sour cream.

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

Until next time……….

                          Bon Appetit

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Nacho Cheese Dorito Chicken Fingers

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Nacho Cheese Chicken Fingers

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 18 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” 

Harriet Van Horne

I  came across this recipe while searching for something different to make for my grandson since the adults where having something spicy and I have to say the concept is really quite intriguing. I mean seriously, who would think of crusting chicken tenders with Nacho Cheese Doritos™? Certainly not me but it works and was a great success.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 8 to 10 Chicken Tenders
  • 2 cups ground Nacho Cheese Doritos
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup AP Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Granulated Onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Set up your dredging station by seasoning the flour with the salt, pepper, garlic, onion and parsley and place in one container. Whisk the eggs in a second container and place the ground Doritos in a third.
  3. Working in batches, two or three at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, the egg wash and finally the Doritos and place aside. Repeat with the remaining tenders.
  4. Place the tenders on a baking sheet and put in the oven until they are golden brown (about 18 mins.) or they reach 160° internal temperature.
  5. Plate and enjoy.

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

Until next time……….

                         Bon Appetit

 

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Sole Meuniere

Sole

  • Servings: “2-4”
  • Time: “20
  • Difficulty: “easy”
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‎” I think every woman should have a blowtorch.” 

Julia Child

 

I had to pick up a few things from the grocery store the other day and while I was there I was contemplating what I would make for dinner and frankly I was stumped. I could BBQ something but it was raining and miserable so that was out and I didn’t fancy a soup or stew to counteract the weather. It was while passing the seafood counter that I swear I heard a little voice saying “Pick me. Pick me” and there right in front of me was the answer to my dinner quest……. Sole!!

To be honest I have never cooked sole before but I knew there were thousands of recipes on the net for cooking fish, especially sole, so I Googled it and found this recipe which it turns out is truly a “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2-4 fillets Sole (about 140g/5oz each)
  • 6 tbsp plain Flour
  • 9 ounces Butter
  • 3 tbsp light Olive oil
  • juice from one Lemon
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • 4 ounces chopped Parsley 

Putting it all together:

  1.  In a pie pan or similar sized container mix the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the sole in the seasoned flour shaking off any excess.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add 3 ounces of butter. When the butter has melted gently place two of the filets in the pan and cook for about six minutes, turning once using a fish spatula, or until the filets are golden brown. Repeat for the remaining filets.
  3. Remove the filets and keep warm. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining 3 ounces of butter and melt. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Mix well.
  4. Plate the sole and spoon the butter parsley sauce over top.

Cooks note: To add another level of flavour add some Capers to the butter parsley sauce before spooning over the sole.

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

Until next time………

                         Bon Appetit

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Chimichurri Steak flat bread

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Chimichurri Steak flat bread

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30 mins prep 10 minutes cook
  • 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

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Stuffed Chicken Breast

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Stuffed Chicken Breast

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30 mins prep 30 mins cook
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child

This is one of those “I can’t believe healthy tastes so good” recipes and that’s due to it not being your “traditional” stuffing of stale bread and spices.

Now to be honest I don’t have the slightest idea where this recipe first came from but it is one that I have NOT tampered with (much to my wife’s delight) and it is so good that I don’t feel the need to try and change it however feel free to put whatever spin on this dish you like.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 boneless/skinless Chicken Breast
  • Handful of Spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces dried Sundried Tomatoes
  • 8 ounces Goat Cheese 
  • 2 small Shallots – chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a non reactive bowl cover the Sundried tomatoes with boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. In the thickest part of the chicken breast cut a pocket being careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients together and stuff into the pocket of each breast.
  5. Lightly sprinkle the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.

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

Until next time……….

                         Bon Appetit

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