Related Posts with Thumbnails

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ginger Chicken Satay

Well foodies this might be my last post for about 1-2 weeks, as I am pretty much packed and ready to move out of the hot apartment. Once I get moved in to the new home and get the kitchen in working order I will be able to start cooking again. Hopefully I will be newly inspired by my surroundings.

Due to the move I have been trying to clean our my freezer. I found these nice chicken fillets, perfect for making chicken satay. In my fridge I found ginger and fresh cilantro from my dad's garden (it smells so wonderful and energizing). I was inspired to make an Asian style chicken satays. The flavors of the ginger and cilantro really came through well. If you like it hot, add more cayenne. It was served with cucumbers and peanut sauce for dipping.

1 T minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of one lime
1 T brown sugar
1/8 cup oil
1/2 T sesame oil
1 T chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 lbs of chicken fillets

In a large bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, lime juice, brown sugar, oil, sesame oil, cilantro and cayenne. Place chicken in a baggie and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the baggie and mix the marinade into the chicken. Place in the refridgerator for 1 hour.

Thread the chicken onto the pre-soaked bamboo skewers.

Preheat grill to med-high heat. Grill 4 to 6 minutes until chicken is done.

On another note the Tried Tested and True....Take Two roundup has been posted.

Other Skewered Dishes

Grainy Mustard Kebabs
Grilled Salmon Kebabs
Grilled Blackened Scallops

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grilled Salmon Skewers

These are the grilled salmon skewers we had with that amazing Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Salad. The salmon itself is so flavorful that they did not need much seasoning. Just simple pepper, oil, and squirk of lemon juice would do the trick.
With the powerful flavor of the salad it was nice to go plain with the skewers.

Slice salmon into chucks and place in a shallow dish. Add the pepper, splash of olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and any other herbs you desire. Mix into salmon and let sit for 15 minutes in the fridge.

Skewer the salmon onto metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

Lightly oil grill grate. Cook skewers on the preheated grill for 4 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Other Recipes

Thai Curry Salmon

Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa

Monday, July 21, 2008

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

This weekend I enjoyed a couple rounds of golf in the hot sun. I did not play very well, not that I ever break 100, but regardless it was a fun day. The 19th hole was spent on my parents patio where we enjoyed a great appetizer of multigrain crackers with herbed goat cheese spread and topped with hot red pepper jelly. This was followed by grilled salmon skewers served with a shrimp and orzo salad.
The salad was certainly the highlight of the meal. My mother found this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, and has been the hit of many company gatherings. The fresh dill flavor is unbelievable, complimented with lemon juice, and feta. Not to mention larege roasted or grilled shrimps. You can eat the salad without the shrimp as well. Overall highly recommend trying this one out.

olive oil
3/4 pound orzo pasta (2 cups)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
1/2 cup small-diced red onion
3/4 pound feta cheese, large diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 T of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.

Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully.
Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, bring back to room temperature before serving.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

When having company it is nice to have most of the preparation done before the guests get there so you can spend more time socializing then slaving in the kitchen. So salads that can be made a day in advance and still taste and look fresh are perfect. I like this particular salad for summer gatherings as the flavors are fresh, the colors are bright (red, green, purple and yellow) and it is a light compliment to many main dishes. This salad also lasted a week in the fridge making a good lunch. I like to add the feta cheese fresh just before eating rather than mix it into the whole dish.

1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 garlic clove minced
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous

2 T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp sugar
ground pepper
2 T oil

Additional Ingredients
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Place cut eggplant, zucchini and garlic into a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for 20-25 min.

Meanwhile cook the couscous as directed (1 1/2 boiled water, then add 1 1/2 cup couscous and stir until fluffy.

In a skillet add the green onions, cumin, and cayenne and heat for 1 minute. Then add the cooked couscous the skillet and cook for another 3 min. Place ingredients into large bowl Add the roasted vegetables.

Then combine all the ingredients for the dressing and pour over couscous mixture. Stir well.

Next add the tomatoes, olives, feta and parsley. Can be served chilled or a room temperature.

Similar Recipes

Balsamic Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Burger & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Lately I have been keeping it simple with grilled burgers and sausages a couple times a week. There are a couple reasons for this, one is that my apartment is hot and using the oven is really not a wise option during the hot summer months, and the second more exciting reason is that I am living out of boxes with alot of kitchen utensils and pots packed.

That is right I am up and leaving apartment life and getting ready to move into a home in 2 weeks (17 days to be exact). Yeah! It will be nice to have more kitchen space to cook and some different and more interesting places to take photos. The new house has a gas stove, which I am excited about trying... my first few blogs using this might not be so pretty or tasty, as I hear they take getting use to. Not only that but there is a large glass window and door overlooking the backyard and patio, which will make outdoor dinner parties a delight. I cannot wait! But until then it is burgers and sausages on the fire escape patio.

I cannot really take credit for the burgers, as my husband has perfected (or almost perfected) his five alarm burgers. Five alarm as they contain five great spices. Not even sure I am allowed to reveal the recipe (but can say they contain
DeArbol chili powder, cayenne, chipotle chili powder, paprika, hot
sauce, cumin and jalapenos). I can tell you about the fries though. I typically use my versatile blackening rub, but thought I would change it up slightly. I used a recipe from The Kitchen Sink. The lime juice added a great flavor.
2 sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 " stripes
1 T ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cayenne
1/8 tsp sea salt
juice of 1 lime
1 T extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 or 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients stirring until a loose paste forms. Add the sweet potatoes and toss to coat the potatoes.

Spread the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet in one layer.
Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing every 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and crisp. I like to broil them for the last 5min.

Similar Recipes

Spicy Fingerling Fries

Monday, July 14, 2008

BBQ Beer Butt Chicken

I love cooking with wine or beer, as it dramatically enhances the flavor and moisture of meat. I have had my fair share of dried chicken, you know the kind where you almost chock trying to swallow eat bite, only to wash it down with a tasty beverage. Well this recipe will certainly avoid the need for that, as it is extremely moist. The flavor is excellent provided you use the right beer. I myself prefer using Kilkenny as it has a nice creamy bitter flavor that seems to infuse the meat nicely. As I like things spicy, I used once again a blackened rub on the outside of the chicken, but you could season it with anything (lemon and rosemary, bbq sauce...).

All you need is 1 whole 5 to 6 pound chicken, a large can of beer, 1 cup or so of blackening rub and some melted butter.

First clean the chicken (inside and out) and make sure that the can you are using will fit inside the bird and that when standing the bird up in the bbq it will not be too tall. I sometimes remove the grill on one side and place a baking pan inside so that the bird has enough room to sit with the top closed. The chicken is cooked using indirect heat, so the pan will be fine and not burn.

Now you can either take the entire top of the can of beer off using a can opener, or as I prefer you can make a number of holes in the top of the can (4) using a jus can opener. Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 of the beer out (recommend that you drink it). Then place the bird on the can.

Rub the blackening rub all over the bird.

Wrap the birds wings with tin foil so as not to burn his wings off.

Now preheat one side (the side opposite where the bird will be) to 400 F. Once heated place the beer butt chicken on the pan and cook for about 1.5 to 2 hours. The internal temp of a chicken should be 165F. You should rotate the chicken every 15 min to ensure even cooing. In addition, you may need to baste the outside of the bird with melted butter to make sure the outside stays moist.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tried, Tested & True....Take Two Grilled Blackened Scallops

Back in April 2008 I heard about this event called Tried, Tested and True hosted by Equal Opportunity Kitchen. I had every intention of participating in this event, but never got my submission in on time due to procrastination. So when I noticed that Gizmar of Equal Opportunity Kitchen was hosting Tried, Tested and True….Take Two, I was not going to miss the opportunity to participate again. This time there are prizes!! And the judge is Christine Cushing of Food Tv. How cool is that...although a little intimidating.

The purpose of this particular event is also to bring awareness to organ donation. Gizmar has therefore asked anyone to share an experience or story they had relating to this topic. I cannot say I have had much experience with this issue myself, but my cousin, who has kidney disease and whom requires dialysis, struggles with this everyday.

She was at one time on a list for organ donation and found out how the long this waiting list can be and how difficult it is to find a perfect match, as there is more to consider than simply blood type. It was determined that she would not be a candidate to receive an organ at this time and perhaps never would be. Learning about the desperation of needing a new organ, the long waiting list and the difficulty in finding the right match, definitely brings light the important of the issue and the need for more donors and more awareness about the issue. I am constantly inspired by her courage and positive outlook on life despite her daily struggles.

The Tried, Tested and True….Take Two is also to be a health-promoting dish. I would have to say that most of my dishes fit that description and hence this was not a huge leap for me. Whether it meets the other criteria for taste, inventiveness, ease of preparation, and visual appeal will be left up to the judge.

Considering that it is summer time I knew that I would likely be grilling something for this event and that I would include fresh market vegetables. While walking around the market for veggies, I found some really fresh looking scallops from the fisherman’s market. Knowing these are low in saturated fats and low in calories (about 26calories per scallop) I decided to use them for this event. Not only are they low in cals, but they are not your everyday meal (at least not for me) and hence thought it was a nice food to serve company. One of my new favorite dishes to make for company is Moroccan Scallops with Eggplant Confit, which is a beautifully looking dish to serve company. However, as noted above I could not resist the urge to use the grill.

I coated the scallops in my favourite blackening spice and grilled a bunch of asparagus, zucchini and cherry tomatoes on the side. This recipe is not only healthy but very quick and easy to make. I sort of went a little camera crazy.


12 medium to large scallops (6 per person)
blackening spice (recipe below or follow the link)
1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and with the ends snapped off
1-2 T olive oil
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini, sliced 1/2" thick

Blackening Spice

1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tbsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp oregano


Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container for up to 2 mths. Makes 1/2 cup. In a small bowl add about 1/4 cup of the blackening spice. Add the scallops and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Divide the scallops between the skewers, threading them through the sides. I used metal skewers, but if using bamboo skewers make sure to soak them in water for 20 minutes prior to grilling.

In a roasting dish add the cleaned asparagus, cherry tomatoes and zucchini. Add 1-2 T of olive oil and add the ground black pepper. Toss to coat.


Place the vegetables in a non stick grill pan and place on one side of the grill, leaving room for the scallops on the opposite side. Grill the veggies for about 8-10 mins, tossing occassionally.

After the vegetables have been on the grill for 2-3 minutes add the skewered scallops. Grill the scallops on both sides for about 4 minutes per side. The scallops should look golden brown on both sides and opaque in the center.

If serving to company you can serve individual plates. Or place all the asparagus and vegetables on a large serving platter and lay the skewers on top of the asparagus and let company serve themselves.

Serves: 2

Other Recipes:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

100th Blog Anniversary

Well I started my food blog back in August 2007 - almost 1 year ago. My first recipe was Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad. When I look back at all my posts, I feel that with inspiration from the foodies, my blog and culinary skills have grown.

At the time I started my food blog I had no idea that a foodie community or shall I say world even existed. When I started to find more and more foodies, I was astonished at the vast number of food bloggers and what incredibly inspirational sites they had. I was seriously impressed by so many of your blogs, from the write ups, photography and the food itself. I am happy to be part of a growing community that is so passionate about food and cooking.

Since my start in August 2007 I have developed some faithful blogger buddies and will continue to reach out to more of this fabulous community. Thank you for those who have supported my blog and left messages, it is much appreciated.
In reviewing my past 100 blogs (or shall I say 99) there are certain blogs and/or events that stand out to me.

The first would have to be joining the Foodie Blogroll, where would I be with it? So I wanted to thank Jenn, The Left Over Queen who developed the blogroll, allowing foodies everywhere to unite (is this what trekkies feel like?), as well as for her great blogs (interesting stories, fabulous photos and inspiring recipes).

The cancer events that I participated in were a unique way to bring awareness to this disease. Having had both friends and family battle cancer, these events were certainly more than just about the food, but a way to provide support to victims and their families, raise money, as well as provide knowledge on the prevention of this disease. My thoughts and prayers are always with those of you who have lost a loved one, or struggle yourself with this disease.

These cancer events included LiveSTRONG with a Taste of Yellow hosted by Winos and Foodies, allowed me to try my skills at making a banana cheesecake (1) and banana cheesecake (2).

As well as Cooking to Combat Cancer, hosted by Mele Cotte in which I made a Mexican Black Bean Salad.

The final cancer event was one that was not a foodie event, but one that is close to home. My husband, brother in law, friend and I hiked 100km to raise $5000 for the Canadian Cancer Society, this hike was fueled by my mother in laws great spaghetti sauce.

My very first foodie event was a bread baking event hosted by Wild Yeast, where I was able to show off my Irish Soda Bread. Since then I have joined not only the aforementioned events, but also enjoyed making Spicy Mussels Wheat Beer for Mmmm Canada, hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict; and making Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms a Healthy Cooking event hosted by
Fun and Food.

Most recently, I have become part of the Foodbuzz community, which I am sure will introduce me to many more wonderful events and foodies from around the world.

For the next 100 blogs I am looking forward to joining the Royal Foodie Joust, hosted by the Leftover Queen among many more.

So thanks again to those that stop by my blog from time to time and thanks so much for inspiring me to work on my cooking and photography.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Everything Cookies

Well I am back from a long and fun week at the cottage. I have been busy catching up on all your blogs. Some great Canada Day and Fourth of July blogs out there.

The week at the cottage was amazing with hot and sunny weather the entire time. I was able to enjoy swimming, relaxing on the dock, enjoy more than enough beverages and best of all just spending time with some great friends. As it was a friends cottage, they were great hosts and cooked a great meal each night (grilled chicken kebabs & salad , grilled steak & beans and pizza). It was certainly a nice break from cooking every night in a hot apartment. I did however make some cookies for the cottage to nibble on. I found this recipe from the Joy of Baking. They are called everything cookies and as you can probably guess that is because they are loaded with ingredients from raisins, nuts, chocolate to coconut and oats. The only adaptation I did was that I did not toast the nuts as suggested in the original recipe.

1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Then l ine two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars until creamy and smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat just until incorporated (the batter will be sticky). Stir in the nuts, raisins, coconut, and chocolate chips.

Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls (can use a small ice cream scoop) onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Flatten the cookies slightly with your fingers so they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. The longer the cookies bake the more crisp in texture they will be. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 48 cookies