Archive for May, 2010

If you’ve been reading my blog over the past week or so, you may think that I only make recipes from Bon Appetit and Food and Wine. It’s not true! But the June issues of both magazines have several grilling recipes that have been great new finds. This Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa from Food and Wine is no exception.

This is a delicious jerk marinade. I couldn’t find Scotch Bonnet or Habanero peppers this week, so I used a Jalapeno pepper and included the ribs and seeds, to boost the heat. Jicima was also unavailable, so I substituted radishes, which worked fine in the salsa. To avoid additives and chemical preservatives, be sure to use fresh lime juice and tamari soy sauce with alcohol listed as the preservative.

Don’t overcook the pork or it will dry out. I grilled it for 20 minutes over a hot fire, which brought the internal temperature to 135 degrees; then I let it stand for 10 minutes, loosely tented with foil.

I served the pork and salsa with yam frites and steamed broccoli.

Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa


Marinade for the pork

1/4 cup canola oil

2 scallions, thickly sliced

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed and seeded

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger

2 pork tenderloins (14 ounces each)



In a blender, combine 3 tablespoons of the oil with the scallions, garlic, chiles, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, allspice, black pepper, thyme, nutmeg and ginger. Puree until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins, turning to coat. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the pork from the marinade. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and season generously with salt. Grill the pork over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer reaches 135 when inserted in the center of the meat, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the pork and serve with the salsa. Serves 4.

Pineapple Salsa


2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 1/4 pounds peeled pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch dice (3 cups)

2 tablespoons fresh pineapple juice, squeezed from the rind

5 ounces jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 jalapeño—stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced


In a bowl, combine the red onion with the lime juice and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the pineapple, pineapple juice, jicama, cilantro, brown sugar, jalapeño and scallion to the bowl and toss. Serve with the jerk pork tenderloin. The pineapple-jicama salsa can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

From the June 2010 issue of Food and Wine

If you love olives, rosemary and oranges, you must try this new find from the June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit. A stuffing of olives, garlic, rosemary and orange zest goes under the skin of the chicken breasts, which are then drizzled with a similarly flavoured dressing. Be sure to ask your butcher for boneless chicken breasts with the skin on, or bone them yourself. Grilled orange wedges are another nice addition to the finished dish.

If you are trying to avoid additives and preservatives, it can be a challenge to find olives. If you buy your olives from a grocery store olive bar, ask to see the ingredients. I couldn’t find additive- or preservative-free jarred olives for many years, but now use Pilaros green olives stuffed with garlic, which are available at Costco. If you use garlic-stuffed olives, you can omit the garlic called for in this recipe.

I grilled some asparagus, zucchini and eggplant along with the chicken and oranges and tossed the vegetables with a simple balsamic vinaigrette before serving.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rosemary-Orange Dressing


Chicken and stuffing

1 cup pitted brine-cured green olives

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large garlic clove, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel

6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin

Dressing and oranges

6 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

4 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel

3/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup chopped pitted brine-cured green olives

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

2 large unpeeled oranges, each cut into 6 wedges


Chicken and stuffing

Blend first 5 ingredients in mini processor until olives and garlic are chopped. Transfer stuffing to small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Using fingertips, gently loosen skin on 1 chicken breast, leaving 1 long side attached. Spread 1/6 of stuffing over flesh under skin. Pull skin flap over to cover; secure flap with metal pin or toothpick. Repeat with remaining chicken and stuffing. Arrange chicken on large rimmed baking sheet. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Dressing and oranges

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil, then olives. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer 3/4 cup dressing to small bowl; reserve for serving.

Coat grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Divide remaining dressing between 2 small cups. Drizzle chicken with dressing from 1 cup. Arrange orange wedges on sheet of foil; brush oranges with dressing from second cup.

Grill chicken until cooked through, drizzling with dressing from first cup and turning occasionally, 12 to 14 minutes. Grill orange wedges until heated through and slightly charred, turning and brushing often with dressing from second cup, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken and orange wedges to platter. Serve with reserved 3/4 cup dressing. Serves 6.

From the June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit

Strawberries aren’t in season yet, but I couldn’t wait to make these strawberry shortcakes. The balsamic vinegar and black pepper add a lovely depth of flavour to the berries.

I cut the recipe in half, which worked well for the biscuits. But if you cut the number of berries in half, don’t reduce the amount of vinegar, sugar and pepper or else you won’t have enough syrup.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, look for balsamic vinegars labelled “no sulfites added” or “contains naturally occurring sulfites”. Also be sure that your butter does not contain artificial colour (if it says “may contain colour” it probably does) and that your vanilla extract is pure, not artificial.

Strawberry Shortcakes with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup



2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

5 tablespoons sugar, divided

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)


2 pounds fresh strawberries (about 8 cups), hulled, quartered if small, sliced if large

6 tablespoons sugar, divided

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 large pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, process to blend. Add butter; cut in using on/off turns until butter resembles large peas, about five 1-second intervals. Add cream; using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Gather dough into ball; flatten into 8×4-inch rectangle (about 1 1/4 inches thick). Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 4 equal strips, forming 8 square biscuits. Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet and chill 20 minutes. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Brush top of biscuits with egg glaze; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and tester inserted horizontally comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.


Mix strawberries, 5 tablespoons sugar, vinegar, and black pepper in medium bowl. Let macerate 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using electric mixer, beat cream, vanilla, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another medium bowl until peaks form.

Cut biscuits horizontally in half. Place bottom half of each biscuit, cut side up, on plate. Using slotted spoon, divide strawberries among biscuits. Spoon dollop of whipped cream atop strawberries. Cover each with top half of biscuit. Drizzle some of juices from strawberries around shortcakes. Serves 8.

From Bon Appetit,  June 2010

This grilled miso shrimp is another great new find from the June 2010 issue of Food and Wine. It is a very fast meal to make; the shrimp marinate for 30 minutes before going on the grill for about 5 minutes. I served it with a refreshing Thai noodle salad that included cucumber, red pepper and cilantro.

Grilled miso shrimp with Thai noodle salad

To avoid artificial additives and preservatives, be sure to use fresh lime juice, as concentrates usually contain sodium benzoate. The sambal oelek available in my grocery store contains artificial ingredients, so I substituted Tabasco hot sauce.

Grilled Miso Shrimp


3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons yellow miso

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined

3 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sambal oelek


Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the lime juice with the miso, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and brown sugar. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Thread the shrimp and scallions on eight 8-inch skewers.

Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the sambal oelek and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Serve the shrimp with the sambal mayonnaise.

Serve with lime wedges and cilantro.

From the June 2010 issue of Food and Wine

Sorrel is a is lovely, leafy plant that is one of the first things to appear in the garden each spring. It has a lemony flavour and can be used to add zing to salads.

Sorrel is one of the first things to appear in the garden each spring

If you cook sorrel, it wilts very fast and turns a rather unappetizing shade of green. However, it is wonderful spring soup ingredient. I recently made this sorrel and chive soup recipe from A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen and it was a big hit. I did not have time to make the chive oil, but I’m sure it would be a great addition. This soup can be served hot or cold.

To avoid additives, preservatives and artificial flavours/colours when making this, either make your own chicken stock or purchase one without additives, such as Imagine Organic Chicken Broth. Also be sure to use fresh lemon juice. Concentrated lemon juice contains sodium benzoate, which is a preservative that many people, including my husband, are allergic to.

Sorrel and Chive Soup with Chive Oil


1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup peeled and cubed Yukon Gold potatoes

1 cup chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups torn sorrel leaves

1/2 cup chopped chives

1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Chive oil


Heal oil in a pot over medium heat. Add potatoes and leeks and saute for 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add sorrel and chives and simmer gently for 4 minutes, or until sorrel has dissolved. Puree soup. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and reheat. Sprinkle with dots of chive oil. Serves 4.

Chive Oil

Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup chives, 1/4 cup chopped green onions (green parts only) and a pinch of salt to blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Heat mixture in a small pot over medium heat until it simmers, about 3 minutes. Cool and strain. Makes about 1/2 cup. Keeps in fridge for a month. Use to garnish plates, soups, fish and poultry dishes.

From A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen by Lucy Waverman

Sorrel Soup

If you’re looking for a tasty variation on lamb souvlaki, try this new find from the June 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. The feta sauce is lovely (for those of you who want to avoid additives, be sure to read the label on the feta to make sure it contains only natural ingredients). The suggested side dish for the kebabs is a green salad with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, olives and red onions, dressed with a balsamic-honey dressing. I can’t find white balsamic vinegar without sulfites added, so used regular balsamic with no added sulfites.

Lamb-and-Cucumber Kebabs with Feta Sauce

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
3 1/2 lbs lamb, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise then cut into 24 pieces
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Feta Sauce
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
4 ounces Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


1. Make the kebabs: Combine oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and lamb; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the feta sauce: mix all ingredients and refrigerate until serving.

3. Heat grill to medium-high. Thread lamb and cucumbers onto 8 skewers finishing with a lemon wedge. Season with salt and pepper. Grill 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare, flipping halfway through. Serve with sauce.

From Martha Stewart Living, June 2010

My dear friend Eileen loves stewed rhubarb and suggested I post a recipe for it on my blog. We have two large patches in the garden that are growing like crazy in this weather.

The fastest recipe for stewed rhubarb is to combine five cups of chopped rhubarb with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water and simmer it until tender. I also recently made this delicious confit from Lucy Waverman’s latest cookbook, A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen. Roasting gives the stalks a different texture and the caramel adds a depth of sweetness of flavour that counteracts the tart rhubarb. It’s delicious on its own, over vanilla ice cream or with just about anything!

Roasted Rhubarb Confit with Caramel


1 lb rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup corn syrup

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup orange juice, preferably from a blood orange


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss rhubarb and granulated sugar together in a buttered baking dish. Spread in a single layer and roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and orange juice in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, cool a little, and pour over roasted rhubarb, tossing gently to mix in any rhubarb juices.

From A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen by Lucy Waverman

This is a great new find from the June issue of Food and Wine. The chicken is marinated in a spicy harissa sauce, which is also used as the dressing for the delicious salad of roasted green chiles, grape tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. I couldn’t find frying peppers, so I used a green pepper – you could also use a green pepper and a jalapeno to increase the heat.

The harissa sauce is also used to dress this delicious salad

The harissa sauce is made from scratch, so no worries about artificial ingredients that may be in a purchased sauce (the only possible exception would be the chipotles in adobo sauce; we use Herdez brand, which is free of artificial ingredients).

Harissa-marinated chicken on the grill

I served the chicken and salad with grilled asparagus and the fingerling potato salad with herbs from the June issue of Bon Appetit. Enjoy!

Harissa chicken, chile-tomato salad, grilled asparagus and fingerling potato salad

Harissa Chicken with Green Chile and Tomato Salad


2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground caraway

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, lightly pounded

2 mild green chiles, such as Italian frying peppers

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 pound grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup chopped cilantro


In a mortar, combine the paprika, chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, caraway and olive oil and pound until a paste forms. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half of the harissa all over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the chiles over moderately high heat until charred all over. Place the chiles in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel, seed and stem the chiles, then cut them into 1/2-inch pieces.

Transfer the chiles to a bowl and add the onion, tomatoes, cilantro and 1 tablespoon of the harissa. Season the salad with salt and pepper and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the chicken with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until cooked through, 9 minutes. Serve the chicken with the salad and remaining harissa.

The Victoria Day weekend is here and the weather is going to be beautiful.

And nothing goes better with a warm and sunny long weekend than ribs. Succulent, sweet and smoky ribs.

These ribs are basted with a delicious orange-maple sauce

This recipe starts with a dry rub and baking technique from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food (issue #4, July/August 2003). The ribs are then finished on the grill; during the final few minutes they are basted with a fabulous no-cook orange and maple sauce  from the LCBO’s 2007 Canada Day newspaper insert. Half the sauce is reserved for dipping. I’ve tried many rib recipes and this is my all-time favourite. They are great for entertaining because you can bake them ahead of time and then refrigerate until it’s time to grill them.

The only ingredients in this recipe that may contain additives or preservatives are the ketchup and the hot sauce. We use Heinz tomato ketchup and Tabasco hot sauce, which have no artificial ingredients. The Tabasco we use is the original recipe hot sauce; if you have another Tabasco brand sauce be sure to read the label, because some do contain artificial colour.

Be sure to reserve half the sauce for dipping!


2 lbs. pork ribs (about 2 racks)


1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine rub ingredients in small bowl. Make sure membrane is removed from ribs. Sprinkle ribs on both sides with rub mixture. If you aren’t ready to bake them, wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bring ribs to room temperature before baking.

Line bottom of baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and place a metal rack that fits inside the baking sheet on top. Place ribs, meaty side up, on metal rack. Cover tightly with another piece of heavy-duty foil. Bake for 90-105 minutes or until ribs are fork tender.

At this point, you can refrigerate the ribs until ready to barbecue or proceed directly to barbecue them. If barbecuing right away, make sure the sauce is already prepared.


Zest of half an orange, about ½ tsp

1 large orange, juiced, about ½ cup

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup ketchup

2 tbsp white vinegar

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cumin

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or ½ tsp dried)

hot pepper flakes and Tabasco to taste

Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients. Reserve half for dipping sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Barbecue ribs over medium-hot grill for 15-20 minutes, turning and brushing with glaze every five minutes. You can leave the racks intact or cut into smaller portions after 10 minutes on grill. Serve with reserved sauce.

My husband’s allergies to additives and preservatives, artificial colours/flavours mean that many restaurants – and all fast-food places – are off limits.

But we love Mexican food and I often whip up a plate of nachos for a quick and tasty lunch.

These nachos are ready in five minutes

This vegetarian version includes just five ingredients – tortilla chips, red onion, jalapeno peppers, salsa and cheese. You could certainly add refried beans, cooked chicken or other toppings. We microwave our nachos, but they could also be baked in a 350-degree oven until the cheese melts.

We make our own salsa, but you can find brands that are all-natural. Look for tortilla chips made from organic corn with only salt and oil added. Many brands do contain a trace of calcium hydroxide (slaked lime). This does not bother my husband and the online guide to food additives that I consult ( indicates that calcium hydroxide causes no adverse side effects in small quantities. We use Que Pasa organic corn tortilla chips and Tostidos organic yellow corn tortilla chips.

When buying cheese, be sure to check the label to ensure it does not contain colour.


Tortilla chips (enough to cover a microwave safe plate or platter)

Salsa (mild, medium or hot)

Chopped red onion – ½ cup

Jalapeno pepper – 1, chopped (remove seeds and ribs if you want to reduce the heat; wear gloves to chop if your skin is sensitive to the heat from the peppers)

Monterey Jack cheese – 1 cup, grated


Spread chips on plate. Dot with spoonfuls of salsa. Sprinkle with chopped onions and jalapeno. Top with grated cheese. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until cheese has melted