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Monterey Chicken

6 Mar

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There’s good reason Chili’s removed Monterey Chicken from its menu: with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy (and broccoli) it topped the scales at a whopping 3,000 calories. Yeesh.

We managed to recreate the delicious combination of smokey sweet grilled chicken with monterey jack cheese and bacon but showered it with juicy diced tomatoes and green onion. We served it with a side of roasted vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli and mixed peppers) so tasty on their own that they needed no embellishment. Pictured below: crispy smashed baby potatoes roasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary.

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Monterey Chicken

6 chicken thighs

1/2 cup barbecue sauce (We used Stubbs)

6 slices monterey jack cheese (we used deli counter slices)

1/2 lb applewood smoked bacon, baked on an elevated rack for 20 minutes at 375F, and blotted after cooking

container of grape tomatoes, diced

3 green onions, chopped

parsley or cilantro (if you have)

Grill chicken on medium heat, basting with barbecue sauce.

When done, turn heat on low and top chicken with cheese slices to melt. Remove from grill onto a warmed platter and immediately top with bacon (slices or crumbled – we put the bacon underneath the cheese the first time and learned it’s better on top). Scatter tomatoes and green onion and greens on top.

 

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Nashville Hot Sauce for Chicken

22 Feb

1/2 cup butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

cayenne pepper (dealer’s choice, here up to 2 Tbsp.)

kosher salt, black pepper 2 tsp each

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

Melt butter in saucepan on low and add spices to bloom. Add sugar, stirring to melt heat until sauce is combined.

Country Club Hamburgers

12 Aug

When we’re not obsessing over 1980s Seventeen Now You’re Cooking pages, we’re smitten with Better Homes and Gardens 1950s and 60s cookbooks.

And this artery-clogging, but super summery supper:

retro recipes, country club hamburgers, seventeen magazine recipes, better homes and gardens

And get a load of these “high-society franks.” Highly questionable, more like.burger 2

high society franks

Stuffed patties are a bit of work, but we are intrigued by the bacon collar and think these patties would be exceptional served sans buns and with a spectacular summer veg and herb salad.

Egads: what if you subbed in split, grilled kielbasa for the franks, swapped the pickle for sauerkraut topped with the same duchess potato topping. Very prairie! Photos to follow!

COUNTRY CLUB HAMBURGERS
Better Homes and Gardens Best Buffets 1963

2 lbs ground beef
Blue Cheese Filling (Note: another online version has doubled these amounts)
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion (we’ll grate and add juice)
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

12 slices bacon, precooked slightly (we will look for the thinnest slices possible).
Salt
Pepper
6 large, well shaped mushrooms

Divide ground beef in 12 mounds. Flatten each between squares of waxed paper to 1/2 inch thickness.

For Blue-cheese filling, cream the cheeses together; stir in onion, horseradish, and mustard. Top half the patties with filling, leaving 1/2-inch margin for sealing.  Cover filling with remaining patties, sealing edges well.  Wrap edges of each burger with the bacon, using 2 slices and securing ends with toothpicks.  Broil 5 inches from heat about 6 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Turn and broil about 5 minutes more or until done just the way you like them; season second side.

Flute the mushroom caps. While burgers are cooking, lightly brown mushrooms in butter (we’ll let them bubble away in our mini cast iron frying pan on the grill, maybe with a shot of brandy). Top each burger with a mushroom.

Makes 6 servings.

*If beef is lean, have 6 ounces of suet ground with this amount.  Burgers will be at their very best!

Bar-B-Qooz

6 Aug

Again with the fantasy cottage food. Cedar-planked brie topped with a mash of wild berries sounds like a good plan. We may not have a summer getaway, but you can bet these oozy cheese treats will be just as good cooked on our city balcony barbecue.

 

FANTASY CAMPFIRE CAMEMBERT
Recipe by Laura Calder
1 block Camembert cheese with its box
white wine
1 sprinkle chopped thyme leaves
Pepper
Remove the cheese from its box and unwrap it.
Put the cheese back in its box.
Poke all over the top with a fork, and splash on a little wine to run into the holes.
Scatter over the thyme and sprinkle over the pepper.
Close the box.
Wrap in foil.
Bake at 400ºF/200ºC for 10 minutes or until very hot and runny.
Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Berry Nice to Meat You

29 Jul

Nyuk nyuk.
Here is a meditation on summer berries paired up with grilled chicken on the barbecue.
Very summery flavours!

CHICKEN SATE WITH WILD BLUEBERRY PEANUT SAUCE
Recipe from Wild Blueberry Association
3 tablespoons finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
1 shallot or 1/4 cup onion
1 teaspoon oil
6 oz of water
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups wild blueberries
squeeze of lemon or lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 single chicken breasts or 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breast
salt and pepper/grill seasoning/curry paste or rub.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
skewers
Preparation
Peel the ginger and shallot, finely dice. Heat oil and briefly sauté both. Add the water and peanut butter over medium heat and whisk together. Add blueberries. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut the chicken breast filets lengthwise into thin strips or use prepared sliced breasts. Flavor with salt and pepper. Put the strips in an accordion manner onto a lightly oiled skewer. Heat oil in a coated pan and cook the skewers from both sides for 2-3 minutes each. Serve together with the blueberry sauce. Serves 4. Preparation time: Approximately 30 minutes

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CHICKEN KEBABS WITH SASKATOON BERRY SAUCE
Published by Chatelaine on 7/1/2007

We prefer chicken thighs for these kebabs; they’re inexpensive and get super juicy on the grill when glazed with our Saskatoon-berry sauce.

•1/2 cup (125 mL) barbecue sauce
•1/4 cup (50 mL) Saskatoon berry jelly
•5 garlic cloves or 1 tbsp (15 mL) bottled chopped garlic
•2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary
•1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
•8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or 4 skinless, boneless breasts
•1 large zucchini
•1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
Oil grill and heat barbecue to medium. If using wooden skewers for kebabs, soak in water. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir barbecue sauce with jelly, garlic, rosemary and salt.
Cut chicken into large chunks. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, then thickly slice. Place chicken chunks, zucchini slices and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add sauce. Stir to evenly coat. Alternately thread chicken, zucchini and tomatoes onto skewers.
Barbecue kebabs, with lid closed, turning occasionally, until chicken is springy when pressed and vegetables are tender, from 12 to 15 min.

Pizza Pizzazz

26 Jul


ABOVE: Margherita pizza and corn and pesto, before hitting the barbecue…

We could eat pizza and salad for dinner every night.

With summer fruit and vegetables abounding right now, there’s no better time for our favourite duo, paired with a glass of cool rose or robust malbec. Sunset optional.

For us, the simpler the better when it comes to pizza. Pesto and cheese. Tomato and basil. Garlicy zucchini and onion. Shaved asparagus.

This season, we’d like to try adding fruit to our molten cheese pizzas blasted on our barbecue.

We’ll keep taking inspiration from 1980s pizza heroes Alice Waters (goat cheese and duck sausage, etc) and Wolfgang Puck (pesto and shrimp etc). Or Pizza Bianco’s the Rosa: topped with red onion, Parmigiano-reggiano, rosemary, and pistachios.

Summer slices over at Cheese Board include:

* Peaches, mozzarella and ricotta salata cheese, arugula in a Lemon vinaigrette.
UPDATE: We added skinned peaches, ribbons of spicy salami, pine nuts and a drizzle of chili honey to our mix of mozzerella and provolone.

* Fresh corn, onions, mozzarella and feta cheese, basil pesto.

How about thinly sliced baby beet, chopped beet greens, goat cheese and parmesan.

Or eggplant with reduced balsamic.

And we never get sick of our go-to fig and prosciutto; and pear, pine nut, gorgonzola.

Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Pizza Dough will do just the trick.

Pizza Dough/Sponge:

1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Light Rye Flour

Pizza Dough:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1-3/4 cups unbleached King Arthur’s all purpose flour
1/8 cup Bob’s Redmill cornmeal (reserved for pizza peel)

Pizza Topping Ingredients:

1 package fresh mozzarella
1/2 can Muir Glen Organic tomatoes
2 tbsp oil olive (to brush crust)
Torn fresh basil leaves (topping)
Directions:

Mix the dough with the wooden spoon, then knead on a floured board. It will be soft and sticky. Use quick light motions with your hands so the dough won’t stick.
Add more flour to the board as you knead so the dough won’t stick (but no more than is absolutely necessary). A soft moist dough makes a light an very crispy crust.
Knead for 10-15 minutes to develop strength and elasticity in the dough.
Put the dough in a bowl rubbed in olive oil and cover and let rise in a warm place. (If making in advance put dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use). Let the dough rise to double in size about 2 hours.
Punch dough down, and let rise 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 450-500 degrees.
Generously cover peel with the cornmeal to help with the transition to the oven (act as ball bearing and slides the pizza right of the peel onto the stone).
Roll out/shape pizza, brush with olive and add toppings (reserving the basil).
Bake until cooked to your liking — 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven.

Why the Prairie Chicken Crossed the Road

6 Jul

Ho-hum to beer butt chicken or dry, stringy barbecue breasts during Stampede.

Wagons ho for Prairie Chicken Wings basted with Saskatoon or rose hip jelly glaze.

Or savory sage rubbed chicken skewers with a maple-butter glaze.

These combinations have the flavours of Canada.

SAVORY SAGE RUB
1 Tablespoon ground sage
1 Tablespoon lemon pepper
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt

Coat wings or chicken skewers with rub. Grill on medium until done. Baste with rose hip jelly and let caramelize slightly on the grill. Or baste with maple butter glaze.

MAPLE BUTTER GLAZE
1/2 stick of salted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
If you want to add a kick – 1 tbls of cayenne pepper.