BBQ’D Sweet and Sour Chicken

BBQ'd chicken

BBQ'D Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Learning to cook for me has been a long but fascinating journey and I am happy to say that I am still learning which means that cooking still holds my interest and still has mysteries to figure out.

One of the mysteries it has taken me a while to figure out is how to BBQ chicken without burning the hell out of it and quite simply the solution to the “mystery” is to simply par boil the chicken to reduce the amount of grease the skin will produce thereby reducing the flair ups and the burnt chicken.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 Chicken legs
  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/2 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Granulate Garlic

Putting it all together:

  1. Par boil the chicken legs in a large pot for 7 minutes.
  2. Remove the legs to a sheet pan and dispose of the water.
  3. Heat the BBQ to 400° and place the legs bone side down for 10 minutes then turn over for another 10.
  4. While the chicken is cooking mix all the other ingredients together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Brush the chicken with the sauce and turn over once the sauce has “glazed” the chicken and repeat.
  6. Remove and enjoy.

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

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit 

Mini Banana Bread Loaves

Banana Bread loaves IV

Mini Banana Bread Loaves

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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In my ever continuing quest to become a baker I have decided to practice with very easy baking formulas and ones that I have had some success with before therefore I have chosen this one as it is super easy and even I can’t mess it up….. well I can but not this time.

I decided to use my mini loaf pan for this as the results are the perfect after school snack size and they can go in my grandsons lunch for school.

Cooks note: I have referred to this as a “formula” because I was taught in culinary school that Baker’s use formulas and Cooks/Chefs use recipes and it kind of stuck in my mind. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 cups smashed overripe Bananas
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Pam® Olive Oil spray

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the bananas, eggs and the remaining wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  5. Spray the loaf pan with the Pam and pour the batter into each loaf slot.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the loaves comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

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

Until next time………

                             Bon Appetit

Pad Thai Meatballs

Pad Thai Meatballs

Pad Thai Meatballs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Fusion in cuisine is the blending of two cultures into one and making it work which I guess is what this recipe really is because it has taken what is considered a traditional Italian dish, Meatballs, and blended it with a traditional Asian dish, Pad Thai, and frankly it works.

Now as a time saver and the fact I was feeling rather under the weather today I used frozen meatballs and that’s okay with me.

Cooks note: At the end of the day this recipe fed 4 Adults and 1 Child for a total of $20.00 which is astounding for anyone’s budget.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds frozen Pre Cooked meatballs 
  • 1 package Extra Broad Egg Noodles
  • 3 tsps Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1/3 Cup Fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup Soya sauce
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Sambal
  • 2-3 tsp Lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 4 Garlic cloves – rough chopped
  • Salted Peanuts – crushed for garnish
  • Cilantro – chopped for garnish
  • Scallion greens – chopped for garnish
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch and 4 tbsp Water   (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan and heat the meatballs on medium high.
  2. While the meatballs are heating mix the remaining ingredients, except the peanuts and cilantro, and mix well.
  3. When the meatballs have heated trough add the sauce mix stirring well. If you wish for your sauce to be thicker this is the time to add the slurry of cornstarch and water.
  4. Plate the noodles and top with the meatballs
  5. Garnish with the peanuts, scallions and Cilantro
  6. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit 

Baked Apple Pie Enchiladas

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Baked Apple Pie Enchiladas

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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My baking experience is somewhat limited and the past few attempts have been less than stellar…. my Clafoutis didn’t rise and my Peach Cobbler was more like peach gelatin so what I decided to do with this one was to follow the formula to the letter and see what happens.

The flavour profile was certainly there although it could use a bit of tweaking but the overall appearance of the finished product was not what I was expecting and I’m a little disappointed with it however as they say practice makes perfect so I will keep trying this “baking” thing and hopefully it will get better.

Here’s how we do this one.

 

Shopping list:

  • 1 21 ounce can Apple Pie filling
  • 6 8 inch Tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Water

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish
  3. Put the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften so they are easier to roll.
  4. Put about a 1/4 pie filling just off center of the tortilla, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and roll up. Place the roll ups seam side down in the baking dish
  5. In a medium sauce pan bring the butter, white and brown sugar as well as water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately three minutes. Stir constantly
  6. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar if desired and let stand for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake in your preheated oven until golden brown.
  8. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce

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

Until next time……

                            Bon Appetit

BBQ Ribs

 

Ribs II

  • Servings: “4-8”
  • 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

Honey Garlic Ginger sauce

  • Servings:
  • Difficulty: “easy”
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Honey Garlic Ginger sauce

I’ve been working part time in a fast food Chicken Wing joint for about a year now and of all the sauce combinations that we have the one that people to gravitate to the most is Honey Garlic. Honey Garlic on its own, Honey Garlic and Maple, Honey Garlic and Jamaican Jerk and so on and so on.

Now I’m not a big fan of commercial honey garlic sauces because I find them just  a little bit to sweet and they have a ton of sugar in them. So with that in mind I decided to see if I could make my own Honey Garlic sauce, mainly because my darling wife Christine likes honey garlic and I’m always up for a challenge.

What I found in my search is that most if not all Honey Garlic sauces have three things in common—- Honey, Garlic and Soy Sauce. Being the “push the envelope” kind of guy that I am I couldn’t help but think “how do I make this my own?”  and the answer was so simple…. add Ginger!!

Well “surprise surprise” as Gomer Pyle was once heard to say it turned out really quite good—- even for a guy who is not fond of Honey Garlic.

So without further ado here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 5 Garlic cloves— minced
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1 cup Honey
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Ginger powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • Corn starch (optional)– 2 Teaspoons to 1/2 cup water

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan
  2. Saute garlic for approximately 2 minutes
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring periodically so it won’t burn
  5. Remove from heat and let cool
  6. If you wish to have a thicker sauce add Corn starch 

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

Until next time……..

                       Bon Appetit

 

 

Balsamic Poached Chicken

Balsamic Poached Chicken

  • Servings: ”4-5″
  • Difficulty: “Easy”
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Was looking for something really really easy to make for dinner today because this past week has been a whirlwind of activity and quite frankly I’m beat . I’m not entirely certain how I happened to stumble onto this recipe but it turned out to be awesome and may have just made me a convert to Balsamic Vinegar so much so that it may also become one of the family favourites.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  1. 4 – 5 Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  2. 2 Cups chicken broth
  3. 1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  4. 1/4 Soya sauce
  5. 2 Teaspoons granulated garlic
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  7. Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  • Place the chicken in a large saucepan but don’t let the chicken overlap
  • Add the remaining ingredients
  • Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and cover
  • Simmer for 18 – 20 minutes or until the chicken hits 160° internal
  • Serve with your favourite side

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

Until next time………

                        Bon Appetite

 

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