Monday, May 30, 2011

Spicy Maple Salmon

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this dish, so I included a photo that I am sure most, if not all, Canadians would recognize: the maple syrup tap. How our native Canadians ever figured out how to extract, collect and boil down maple tree sap into syrup, I'm not really sure, but the result really is pure sweet joy. We did this dish on the BBQ, rather than in the oven, and found that it was very helpful to have saved some of the maple/cayenne mixture to pour on your salmon right before serving. Quite a yummy little dish and a fun, new way to spin an old favourite. Bon appétit!

1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 of a whole (4 pound) pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 pieces lengthwise
Lime wedges (optional), for serving

1. Heat broiler, with rack in top position. Cook rice according to package instructions.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, arrange salmon and pineapple in a single layer, and brush with half the maple syrup glaze. Broil until salmon is cooked through, 8 to 11 minutes, brushing salmon and pineapple with glaze halfway through.

or... alternately:
Heat BBQ grill to medium and lightly oil grates. Cook salmon until coated through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Ensure fish is cooked through. Reserve 1/4 of your maple/cayenne mixture to serve on top of salmon.

3. Cut pineapple into chunks. Serve rice with salmon, pineapple, and lime wedges, if desired. If BBQ'ing, drizzle maple/cayenne mixture over fish. Enjoy!

- recipe cred Martha Stewart

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tequila Lime Grilled Shrimp

Yum. Soooo yummy. Today I made up our dinner menus for the week and decided to have BBQ each and every night. It's supposed to be hot and steamy this week so it'll be nice not to have to cook up the house while we're cooking up our dinner. It's not everyday that you get to cook with tequila and we thankfully just happened to have some on hand from a party last summer.  I'm sure this dish would be tasty with any other hard liquor. I had a swig as I was preparing the marinade and almost cried it burned so much on the way down ... I just don't understand the appeal of hard liquor.. I really don't. Served this up with some delicious greens and grilled corn on the cob. Mmmm. Bon appétit!

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup silver or white tequila
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Lime wedges (for serving)

Directions1. In a medium nonreactive bowl, stir together shrimp, tequila, lime juice, and orange juice; season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Grill shrimp until opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes, flipping once. Transfer to a platter and top with jalapeno. Serve shrimp with lime wedges.
- Photo & recipe cred Martha Stewart

Grilled Corn on the Cob

A couple of years ago, a good friend of ours introduced us to what he calls "York Corn on the Cob" (thanks Mr. Rossiter and congrats on getting married buddy!). Essentially, when you've cooked your corn, instead of topping your cobs with the standard salt & butter, 'York Corn' involves topping with a sprinkling of chili powder and a squirt of lime juice. So good! don't knock it til' you've tried it!  This recipe is a little different, but still really quite good. We tried this grilled corn for the first time last week and were so darn pleased with our cooking prowess. If you've never grilled corn before, you're in for a treat. BBQ season is upon us folks - get out there and get grilling :) Bon appetit!

4 ears of corn
Oil, for grates
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pats
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Chili powder or paprika

1. Peel back husks, leaving them attached at the base of the ear. Remove and discard silk; pull husks back over corn. Place ears in a large bowl or pot; cover with cold water. Let soak 10 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to high; lightly oil grates. Drain corn. Arrange ears on grill. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, using tongs, until husks are slightly charred and corn is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove ears from grill. Holding bottom of hot ears with a towel, peel back husks and, with a knife, coat kernels with butter. Season corn with salt, pepper, and chili powder or paprika. Serve.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Asian Stir Fry Sauce

This is a super easy, super yummy sauce for any stir fry. So much better than just throwing on some soy sauce and really not all that complicated. If you have never cooked with sesame oil, I highly, highly recommend you get out there and pick some up. It has such a rich, authentic taste. Mmmm. Bon appétit!

- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbs. cornstarch
- 2 tbs. soy sauce
- 2 tbs. rice vinegar
- 2 tbs. Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry, or we used wine)
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 2 tsp. asian chili sauce

1. Mix all of your ingredients together.
2. Add your sauce to your wok at the end when you have all of your meat/veggies etc. mostly cooked. Stir until your sauce is mostly thickened  - about 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce

In exciting Giles`news, my husband and I bought our very first gas bar-b-que. It`s a cute little Cuisinart Tabletop Portable BBQ ... just right for the 2 of us. We`ve had our little hibachi for some time now but were finding that the charcoal was a bit of a pain (though very, very worth it for taste) and wanted something no-hassle that even I could light. In fact, we`ve got some chicken on the go right now. I thought that I would share this yummy BBQ sauce from Jamie Oliver. A good idea would be to make up a bunch ahead of time so as not to be tempted to use store-bought bottles. Just think about the dollars you'll save :)  The nice thing about this recipe too is that it is very low cal. No big sticks of butter (sad for some I know). Bon appétit!

• 1 orange
• 1 dried chile
• 1 ½ heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
• 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon or English mustard
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 3 tablespoons ketchup
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1/16 teaspoon sea salt and
• freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon liquid heat (if you have some)

1. Finely grate the orange zest into a shallow bowl. Crumble in the dried chile. Add the paprika, mustard, honey, ketchup and a splash of olive oil. Season with a small pinch each of the salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon out a few tablespoons of the marinade and set it aside. 

2. Add your chicken (or shrimp, or pork tenderloin or flank steak) to the bowl with the remaining marinade. Turn them over in the marinade so they’re well coated, cover with plastic wrap and leave to sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until the grill is ready.