Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jamaican for Dinner

I've had a recent hankering for Jamaican food lately. So the other night to satisfy the craving I cooked up some jerk chicken, with beef patties, Jamaican rice and beans, and salad.

I marinated a chicken (cut into pieces) for 24 hours. For the marinate I used, a half cup of fresh coriander, 2 tbs ground allspice, 2 tbs brown sugar, 2 scotch bonnets, 1 lime (juiced), 3 cloves garlic, 2 green onions, a splash of olive oil, all minced in a food processor, with orange juice added until desired wetness.
If your sensitive to spice, use 1 scotch bonnet instead of 2.
For the beef patty crust I used a basic pie crust. And the filling was made from 2 scotch bonnets, 1 lb ground beef, 1 onion minced, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, and a half cup chicken stock. I started by frying the onions and diced scotch bonnets till tender, then adding the garlic for an additional minute. Then I added the beef and curry powder till the beef browned. Then the bread crumbs and chicken stock, and cooked at a simmer with the lid on until most of the liquid was gone (filling was still damp).
Again if your sensitive to spice, use 1 scotch bonnet instead of 2.

My final meal addition was the rice and beans, I used 1 cup of basmatti rice, 1/2 onion minced, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 can of small red beans, 1 can coconut milk, and about a cup of water. I started by frying the onions and garlic, till soft. Then I added the beans and rice, stirred, and added the coconut milk and water. I cooked on a high heat until a boil, and continued to boil until the liquid had reduced to roughly the level of the rice and beans, then covered and simmered until done.

The chicken was cooked at 400 for roughly an hour and 20 minutes.

Before baking the patties, I coated them in egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbs water). Then baked for 30-40 minutes at 400.

I timed everything to finish together and served with a slice of watermelon.
Recipe for the chicken and rice was adapted from one found at

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What Do You Do With Left Over Ribs?

Why not make a sandwich? That's my favorite way to use up left over ribs.
I put mine on whole grain bread, topped with rib meat, pickled jalapenos, onions, and cheese.
I then added lettuce and tomatoes.
Mmmm. Feel free to add condiments of your choice, I didn't have much at hand so I just went basic.

BBQ Ribs, Sweet Potato Chips, & Garlic Spinach Shrimp

So to continue in the trend of oven BBQing, I made a couple racks of Dr Pepper Ribs, recipe courtesy of Whilst I enjoyed these ribs, made with only a few substitutions of personal preference (I used Chili-Cabarnet Sauvingon Mustard). If I decide to make these again the big thing I will be changing is the amount of black pepper in the rub, I like to put a good amount of rub on my ribs, and 1/4 cup was far too much for my tastes. Moral of the story, if you don't like a very strong black pepper taste, use less.

For accompaniment, I made some home-fries, salad, sweet potato chips, and an alternative of garlic shrimp.

For the home fries I diced the potatoes to about one and a half cm cubes. They were then tossed in olive oil, and seasoned with chip wagon french fry seasoning. I then sauteed them whilst adding water periodically for roughly 20-30 minutes.
The sweet potato chips were sauteed in butter, with salt, pepper, brown sugar, and paprika.

For the shrimps I diced 3 pieces of bacon, and sauteed them in butter and olive oil till cooked, then added about 3-4 tbs of minced garlic, sauteed till fragrant. Followed by the shrimps and then the spinach. They were finished off with the juice from half a lemon.
If your like me and don't like the flavour of shrimp and bacon together feel free to leave it out.
Other then the strong pepper flavour, I thought the ribs were quite enjoyable.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lighter BBQ fare

I've been ready and waiting to start grilling things up since the warm weather started. Unfortunatly my home BBQ is out of propane and in very rugged condition. This paired with the rainy days as of late, I've been firing up my oven instead. So last night I prepared a little lighter BBQ fare, Chicken Breast in Honey BBQ sauce, roasted garlic potatoes, and salad with a greek style dressing.

The chicken was done by first pounding out the breasts, and then rubbed with creole spices and then quickly browned on either side in a skillet. I then placed them onto a tray and into the oven. When almost cooked I applyed the sauce, which consisted of roughly 4 tbs honey and 3/4 cup bbq sauce. I decided to make a few spicy, to do this, I just added a layer of sriracha before the BBQ sauce.

Meanwhile I made the potatoes, 5 or 6 potatoes, diced and boiled. After the potatoes were soft I drained and added back to the pot. I added 4 or 5 tbs of butter 1/4 cup milk, and 2 heads of roasted garlic. Also salt and pepper.

For the greek dressing I used roughly 5 tbs fresh oregano, 2 or 3 tbs feta, 1 lemon juiced, and about a cup of olive oil.

A lovely light and fresh flavoured meal for not too much work.

Chicken Wings 4 Ways & Beer Battered Onion Rings

So after the Victoria day May 24 weekend BBQ we had, I had a slew of chicken wings left over that have been sitting in the freezer. As its been pouring rain all day I had some extra time to cook them all up today. I didn't have enough space to do them all in the oven so I brought out my fryer as well.

In the oven:

Sweet and spicy BBQ. I made a simple sauce of roughly 1/2-3/4 cup BBQ sauce (store bought) 1.5 tbs maltose, and 2.5 tbs sriracha.
Thai style. See post "No Ketchup Added".

In the Fryer:
Honey Garlic. Roughly 1/2 cup honey, 2 tbs soy sauce and 2 heads of roasted garlic. Wings were tossed in a season flour mixture first. The mixture was 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper.
Battered Wings. See beer batter bellow.
Onion Rings:
I made these in a beer batter which was made from (again rough measurements) :
1 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Paprika to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 bottle beer (I used a pale ale)
Everything turned out well. Next time I will add some fresh garlic to the honey garlic sauce.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Poutine Take #1

So one of the things on my list to master is poutine. Now some might think, whats so hard to master in a dish consisting of fries, cheese, and gravy? Well a proper Quebec poutine, is fresh fries, cheese curds (as fresh as humanly possible), and a poultry (sometimes veal) gravy. Now this may not seem the hardest thing to accomplish, and yet, its near impossible to find a true, consistent, Quebec style poutine in Toronto.

So what do you do when you can't find what you want from someone/somewhere else? You do it yourself. And so I headed out to the market. I bought some cheese curds, and a couple potatoes. I got home only to realize I had no chicken stock, but I did have a thing of beef stock. So I already sacrificed the gravy principle (although fine by me as I enjoy a beef gravy just as much), at least I still have the fries and fresh curds. So I made my twice fried fries, and put on my simple gravy of butter roux and beef stock. I put a layer of fries into the bowl, topped with cheese curds, and ladled over the gravy.
(there just aren't enough foods that sparkle)
Verdict? Well the cheese curds weren't as fresh as initially thought, and thus didn't squeek (yes the squeek is very important). The fries however were close to perfect, nice and crispy, and light and fluffy inside. The gravy was good, but next time I want to go with a poultry gravy!

I am researching how to make your own curds, hopefully next time I will be able to do so! Freshness will never be a problem again.

Breakfast of Champions

Ok so maybe the cup of ginger lemon green tea doesn't exactly spell champion - but I'm sure it will help prepare my stomach for the mass of red meat. Whilst hunting through my spice cabinet one morning I came across a long lost bottle of Barbarians Steak Rub (purchased from Barbarians Steak House, 7 Elm St, Toronto).

I decided to put it to good use right then and there. I got the steak I was saving for some dinner in the near future from the fridge, liberally added the spices. I pre-heated my cast iron skillet, and added my steak. Mean while I cracked a few eggs, whisked, and went into the pan following the removal of my steak, 6 minutes later.
Ain't nothing quite like a nice medium rare steak with eggs cooked in beef drippings for breakfast! Served with the tradition HP sauce, an addition steak sauce, and a touch of ketchup (that didn't really get used). Maybe next major holiday I will replace the green tea with a beer and wait for my stomach to divorce me.