Fish En Papillote

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I truly truly LOVE grilling season I mean what’s not to love? Meat, flame, warm temperatures and cold beer there really is only one thing better but this is a G rated blog so…… well never mind. Oh and I should point out that En Papillote is nothing more than a fancy cooking term for “In Paper”.

Like everyone else I struggle with what to put on the “barbie” as the Ausies would say. How many times can you do burgers and ribs and chicken and steak before you get tired of the same old same old—– Okay that was a silly question but you get the idea and if you’re like me BBQ’d veggies just don’t really do the trick —- well not always. So I made this particular dish the other day because I was in a mood for something different and I should kick myself for not remembering this technique earlier than now—— IT TURNED OUT AWESOME  and the real bonus is that it is so easy to do. Here’s how.

Ingredients:

– Fish fillets… whatever type you like. I use Tilapia

– Three lemon slices per filet

– Old Bay seasoning or whatever type of fish seasoning you like

– Spring onion

– Asparagus

– Chopped garlic to taste

– One sprig of Rosemary and Dill per filet (or more if you like)

– Parchment paper

Method:

– On a piece of parchment paper that is at least an inch and a half longer than the filet on BOTH ends lay down the lemon slices.

– Place the fish filet on the lemon.

– Sprinkle on whatever fish seasoning you happen to be using

– Lay the asparagus on top of the filet

– Sprinkle on the garlic

– Add the spring onion

– Top with the Rosemary and Dill

– Fold up the parchment like it was an envelope, place it on a cookie sheet and place it on a 350 degree BBQ for approx 20-25 minutes.

Serve with baby potatoes or rice or if you want to go whole hog (sorry couldn’t resist)  with the healthy eating thing then why not try it with herbed Quinoa.

The other really great thing about this dish is the clean up since to eat the fish you merely open the parchment paper and dig in and when you are finished your parchment paper plate simply goes in the garbage.

So there you have it a “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time—— BON APETITE

 

 

Grill pan

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When I originally went looking for a Grill Top to be used on my stove I went with a 10” Cast Iron because not only did it give me the grill marks I wanted on my meat or vegetables but it could also be put right into the oven to finish off whatever I was grilling.

After a few uses I decided it was not the right fit for me so I gave it to my son and it has enjoyed a happy home since that time. What I bought instead was a dual purpose Grill Pan where one side was a Grill and the other is a Flat Top and this combination is just perfect since not only can it be popped in the oven to finish off the grilling but when it’s not being used for grilling you can turn it over and use the Flat Top side to make eggs, pancakes, hash browns  and even sandwiches. Just remember to place it on two burners and turn the burners to the same heat level otherwise you will get uneven heat distribution.

My big caution is NEVER and I mean NEVER put it in the dishwasher or you can say bye bye to Mr. Grill Pan. Simply wash it with mild soap and water, dry and wipe some Olive Oil on it to help protect it.

If you happen to purchase one of these must have kitchen gadgets then I hope you find many “simple but tasty” dishes for it.

Bon Appetit

Pulled Pork

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One of the great things about having a backyard Smoker is I can do so many more things than if I was just using the propane grill. Besides smoking I can direct grill and I can offset grill or do a combination of both but for this post we will stick with smoking and we will visit direct grilling and offset grilling in a future post.

One of the most popular items to smoke, if not THE most popular, is PORK BUTT and no this does not refer to the South bound part of a North bound pig (that would refer to its bum folks) but it actually refers to the shoulder oh and— don’t ask me why it’s called the Butt because I simply don’t have any idea. What I can tell you however is that when it is done right it makes one of the tastiest meals you could wish for.

Now in the BBQ/Smoker community there are three camps  when it comes to doing a pork butt:

Camp one:  Do it LOW. All sides agree on this point and the low is no more than 250 degrees otherwise the pork will get ruined.

Camp two: Bone in versus no bone. While I have never tried doing it with the bone in I can attest to the fact that “bone in equals added flavor” and one day when I find a bone in pork butt I will try it that way.

Camp three: This particular camp is the most contentious as it deals with “time” because after all the mantra for the smoker community is “Low and Slow” and when I first started smoking meat, especially pork butt, I was dead fast that the longer the better and so I would monitor the smoker for 14 hours to make sure the butt turned out just right. Now I didn’t mind but my wife was ready to shoot me so I set out to find a faster way to do it and guess what? I found it!!!!

The Ontario Pork Producers Marketing Board (the place I am proud to say my DAD worked at for 40 years) has their saying “Put Pork on your Fork” and now I am happy to say so do I—- “INJECT YOUR PORK AND SAVE TIME”. That’s right you did read that correctly I did say” inject your pork”. By doing this you can smoke a 6 pound pork butt in just 5 hours and get the same results if you smoked it for 14 without injecting . Here’s how.

Ingredients:

–          One 6 pound Pork Butt

–          4 Tablespoons Kosher/Sea salt

–          2 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic

–          2 Tablespoons Granulated Onion

–          2 Tablespoons Ground coriander

–          2 Tablespoons ground Cumin

–          2 ½ Tablespoons ground Pepper

–          ½ cup Brown sugar – separated in to two batches

–          ¼ cup Apple juice

–          ¼ Apple Cider vinegar

–          Wet apple wood chunks (the amount will vary on how much smoke flavor you want). We use wet so that the wood smoulders and gives off more smoke in the smoker chamber.

Method:

–          Mix all dry ingredients in a non- reactive bowl.

–          Mix the wet ingredients in a measuring cup

–          Add half the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well

–          Using a Meat Injector, inject the wet mixture into the pork making sure to hit as many places as possible.

–          Liberally rub the remaining dry ingredients on the pork and let sit for approximately 20 minutes

Put the pork in the smoker and monitor the temperature for the next 5 hours adding wood chips as you like(charcoal as needed).

Let cool slightly and then shred, add your favorite BBQ sauce, sides and enjoy!!!

And there you have it……. a simple but tastey recipe for the grill

 

Bon Appetit

Hello and welcome

Hello, my name is Paul Sinclair and welcome to Gardens and Grills the site that will bring you simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond.

Now why “Gardens and Grills” you might ask?  The idea came from the days when my wife and I would spend all day outdoors. Her gardening—- me grilling. Now “grilling” to me is more than a hobby which is evidenced by the fact that at one time I had FOUR BBQ’s and ONE CHARCOAL GRILL/SMOKER.  Regrettably those particular grilling days are gone and I’m down to One Propane BBQ and my Charcoal Grill/Smoker but that has not diminished my enthusiasm, passion, or whatever you wish to call it when it comes to cooking or grilling and I still spend as much time with the BBQ’s as is possible.

Now I started cooking a little later in life, early 40’s to be precise, and to be quite honest when I started I didn’t know a food mill from a grocery bag but with five kids to feed and a wife sick with Cancer I had to learn in a real hurry and somewhere over the last 16 years I found I really enjoyed cooking. In fact the kitchen has become my Fortress of Solitude and if my wife is looking for me she usually looks there first.

The recipes I will be sharing are not all my own creations but they definitely are time proven, tasty and simple and if you are like me you will take these recipes and add your own little twists and tweaks until they are yours. You may notice when going through the ingredients list of the recipes I will post that I try to use as much non pre- packaged food as is possible. That is due to my close proximity to a Farmers Market which makes it easier to get fresh ingredients  and besides, it gets me out of the house and my grandson loves the outing and the “cookies”.

When I’m not in the kitchen I may be found on a golf course or in a pool hall playing in one of two pool leagues that I and my daughter belong to. I guess that’s one of the benefits of being semi- retired and having time on my hands. Oh and…. some day I hope to cross a few items off my “bucket list” and they are to enjoy a culinary tour of Tuscany, or do a CIA Boot Camp (that’s Culinary Institute of America—- not the “other” CIA) in Napa Valley or the East Coast of Canada.

With all that has been said above my goal for this blog, time permitting, is to post one or two recipes a week along with a photo of the finished product and I hope that someone, somewhere, will find their inner foodie and begin their own culinary journey.

I would also like to point out that the awesome header picture for this blog was found in a Homes and Gardens magazine and is not my garden or grill so kudos to Homes and Gardens for such a great shot.

Thank you for visiting and I hope to see you in the future.

Bon Appetite