Archive for July, 2012

The best part about this recipe from the July 2012 issue of Bon Appetit is the fantastic cilantro-chile-ginger-lime sauce. It is fresh and fiery and was delicious on the shrimp. It was so delicious that I served the leftover sauce the next day over grilled Mediterranean sea bass and the day after that with grilled steak fajitas! If you make the shrimp, you might want to cut back on the amount of fish sauce in the marinade, as I found it to be very salty.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients to check are the fish sauce and turmeric. Look for fish sauce that lists only anchovies, water and perhaps alcohol as ingredients – many brands include MSG. Make sure the turmeric does not contain colour. Also, be sure to use fresh lime juice, as concentrates tend to contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate.

I pureed the other sauce ingredients before adding the cilantro

The sauce is terrific with seafood, fish and grilled steak

The shrimp is marinated in fish sauce, oil and turmeric

Grill the marinated shrimp until just cooked through

Grilled shrimp with chile, cilantro and lime sauce


16 jumbo shrimp, unpeeled, preferably head-on

6 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla), divided

4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, plus more for grill

2 teaspoons turmeric

30 cilantro sprigs, chopped

10 long red chiles (such as Holland or Anaheim), stemmed

8 garlic cloves

2 1″ pieces ginger, peeled

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons palm sugar or (packed) light brown sugar


Combine shrimp, 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, 2 Tbsp. oil, and turmeric in a large bowl; toss to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Purée 4 Tbsp. fish sauce, 2 Tbsp. oil, cilantro, and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor until a coarse mixture forms; transfer dipping sauce to a small bowl and set aside.

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Oil grill grates. Shake excess liquid from shrimp and place shrimp on grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until shrimp are charred and cooked through, 5-6 minutes.

Serve immediately with sauce. Serves 4.

From the July 2012 issue of Bon Appetit

The spicy-sweet sauce in this recipe from the July 2012 issue of Canadian Living is a real winner. It comes together in a jiffy and has great flavour. The trick with this recipe is to not overcook the pork, which dries it out. Use a meat thermometer or cut into the pork – if just a trace of pink remains in the centre of the meat, it is done. Loosely tent the pork with foil and let it rest for five or 10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute through the meat, making it more juicy. The recipe includes grilled asparagus as a side dish, which I’m sure would be very good. I opted for sautéed corn instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Peach jam, white wine vinegar and chipotle peppers may contain artificial ingredients. I used Smucker’s jam, Spectrum Naturals white wine vinegar and La Costena canned chipotles in adobo sauce. These products don’t contain colour, sulfites or additives/preservatives.

Peach jam and chipotles combine to make a sweet and spicy sauce

Grill the pork until just a trace of pink remains in the centre

Drizzle reserved sauce over the sliced pork


1/3 cup (75 mL) peach jam

3 tbsp (45 mL) white wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, drained, seeded and chopped

1 lb (454 g) pork tenderloins

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper

1 bunch (9 oz/255 g) asparagus, trimmed

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil


In small saucepan, bring jam, vinegar, garlic and chipotles to boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until jam is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove 2 tbsp glaze to bowl and set aside.

Sprinkle pork with pinch each of the salt and pepper. Brush pork all over with glaze. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning occasionally, until digital rapid-read thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 160°F (71°C), about 18 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before carving. Drizzle pork with reserved glaze.

Meanwhile, toss together asparagus, oil, and remaining salt and pepper. Add to grill and cook, turning occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 7 minutes. Serve with pork. Serves 4.

From the July 2012 issue of Canadian Living

This grilled yam salad from the Earthbound Farm Organic website tastes as good as it looks. Peeled yam slices are parboiled, grilled and then placed atop a lovely mixture of baby spinach, red onion, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. The balsamic/honey/mustard dressing is a perfect complement to the sweet potatoes, tangy cheese and pungent onion. Don’t overcook the yam slices in the water or they will fall apart. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon, as pouring them into a sieve will also break the slices. This is a great side dish for barbecued steak, chicken or ribs and is hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian entrée.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients to watch out for in this recipe are the balsamic vinegar, mustard and feta. Look for balsamic vinegar that contains only naturally occurring sulfites and feta with no preservatives. Mustard often contains colour, sulfites and sodium benzoate – I used President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon, which is additive- and colour-free.

Parboil the yam slices and let them cool.

Grill sliced in a ridged pan until marks form.

The yams top baby spinach, red onion, pine nuts and feta.

Grilled yam salad


1 pound yams (peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices)

½ tablespoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons mild honey

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon whole grain mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

5 ounces baby spinach

½ small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup toasted pine nuts


Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and add the salt. Add the yam slices and simmer until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the slices in a single layer until cool.

Brush the slices with the 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and then cook them in a ridged grill pan over high heat (or on a barbecue) until grill marks appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the slices and cook on the other side for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

While the yams are cooling, make the dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil and mustard in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper as you like. Set aside.

When the yams are cool enough to handle, cut the slices in halves or quarters, depending on their size.

Place the spinach and onion in a large bowl and toss. Add half of the balsamic dressing and toss again. Transfer the greens to a large serving platter and scatter the feta and pine nuts over the salad. Add the yams and drizzle them with some of the remaining dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

From the Earthbound Farm Organic website

This jerk chicken recipe from the July 2012 issue of Cook’s Illustrated is the best one I’ve tried. The difference? In addition to marinating in an intensely flavoured jerk paste, the chicken is grilled over a packet of hickory wood chips, allspice berries, rosemary and thyme, which approximates the smoke from Jamaica’s pimento wood. I was somewhat skeptical that the charcoal grill technique suggested would cook the chicken in the stated time, but it worked perfectly. After 30 minutes of cooking over indirect heat, the chicken was beautifully burnished and a quick sear over direct heat yielded a nicely charred finished product. If you like jerk, try this recipe, and don’t omit the smoke. Scotch Bonnet peppers can be used instead of habaneros. You can marinate the chicken at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the fridge; I opted for the latter to maximize the flavour.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check your spices, vegetable oil and mustard to ensure they don’t contain anti-caking agents, colour, additives or preservatives.

Marinate the chicken in jerk paste

Make a smoke packet with hickory chips and moistened herbs and spices

Most of the grilling is over indirect heat

A few minutes over direct heat creates a nice char

Serve jerk chicken with lime wedges and a grilled yam salad


Jerk Marinade

1½ tablespoons whole coriander seeds

1 tablespoon whole allspice berries

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

1 – 3 habanero chiles, stemmed, quartered, and seeds and ribs reserved, if using

8 scallions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, peeled

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (3 limes), plus lime wedges for serving

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

2¼ teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dried basil

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks, and/or thighs)

2 tablespoons whole allspice berries

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons water

1 cup wood chips, soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained


For the jerk marinade

Grind coriander seeds, allspice berries, and peppercorns in spice grinder or mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Transfer spices to blender jar. Add habanero(s), scallions, garlic, oil, soy sauce, lime zest, mustard, thyme, ginger, brown sugar, salt, basil, rosemary, and nutmeg and process until smooth paste forms, 1 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides as necessary. Transfer marinade to gallon-size zipper-lock bag.

For the chicken

Place chicken pieces in bag with marinade and toss to coat; press out as much air as possible and seal bag. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preparing grill, flipping bag after 15 minutes. (Marinated chicken can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

Combine allspice berries, thyme, rosemary, and water in bowl and set aside to moisten for 15 minutes. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap soaked chips and moistened allspice mixture in foil packet and cut several vent holes in top.

For a charcoal grill

Open bottom vent halfway. Arrange 1 quart unlit charcoal briquettes in single layer over half of grill. Light large chimney starter one-third filled with charcoal briquettes (2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over unlit briquettes, keeping coals arranged over half of grill. Place wood chip packet on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.

For a gas grill

Place wood chip packet over primary burner. Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips begin to smoke, 15 to 25 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium and turn off other burner(s).

Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken, with marinade clinging and skin side up, as far away from fire as possible, with thighs closest to fire and breasts furthest away. Cover (positioning lid vent over chicken if using charcoal) and cook for 30 minutes.

Move chicken, skin side down, to hotter side of grill; cook until browned and skin renders, 3 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken pieces and cook until browned on second side and breasts register 160 degrees and thighs/drumsticks register 175 degrees, 5 to 12 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with lime wedges. Serves 4.

From the July 2012 issue of Cook’s Illustrated

Finding all-natural ice cream can be a challenge, so we make our own, using an electric ice cream maker and a simple recipe that combines 2 cups of whipping cream, 1 cup of half-and-half, ¾ cup of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. It is much easier than making a custard ice cream base and I think it’s just as good. I usually top ice cream with berries and orange liqueur or some stewed rhubarb. But last weekend, as a birthday treat for our dear friend Allan, I decided to make ice cream sandwiches. I’m not much of a baker, but this recipe from my dog-eared copy of The Canadian Living Barbecue and Summer Foods Cookbook, published 23 years ago, turned out well. The sandwiches were a big hit with Allan and Eileen, our little pool visitors Ben and Sean, and our son and grandchildren Andrew, Thompson and Sarah. I’ll be making these again, although I will likely make the cookies a bit smaller, as the full size makes a very large sandwich. Thanks, Eileen, for taking the photo of the finished product.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients to look out for in this recipe are the spices, butter, vanilla and chocolate chips. Make sure the spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents and that the vanilla is a pure extract, not an artificial one. Use butter with a single ingredient: cream. It can be difficult to find additive-free chocolate, but I was delighted to find some in the  grocery store made by Enjoy Life Foods, which makes products without additives and the eight most common allergens.

Place the balls of dough far apart as they spread during baking

The baked cookies are about 4 inches in diameter

Ice cream sandwiches with Allan's birthday candle


2 cups rolled oats

½ tsp baking soda

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 cups vanilla ice cream (if it’s in a rectangular carton it’s easier to slice for the sandwiches)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, combine rolled oats, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix well.

In separate bowl, cream together butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

Shape about 3 tbsp dough at a time into balls (this will produce cookies that are about 4 inches in diameter). Arrange well apart (dough spreads during baking) on baking sheets; press with fingertips into three-inch circles to make 18-20 cookies, about 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Let cool on wire racks.

To assemble sandwiches, cut ice cream into squares about ½ inch thick and sandwich between cookies. Arrange on baking sheet and freeze until solid; then wrap individually in plastic wrap or foil. Makes 9 or 10 sandwiches. Serve within two weeks.

From the Canadian Living Barbecue and Summer Foods Cookbook