Archive for June, 2017

If you don’t have a barbecue (or if it’s raining, again) you can still enjoy a juicy steak, courtesy of this one-skillet meal from Bon Appetit. Whip up a tangy mustard sauce, sear the steak in a cast iron pan and, while it is resting, sauté the vegetables.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Dijon and wine vinegars often contain sulfites or sodium benzoate. I use PC Old-Fashioned Dijon and Eden Organic red wine vinegar. Check the cayenne pepper to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Make mustard sauce

Sear steak, let it rest and then slice just before serving

Saute garlic and scallions

Add peas

Add asparagus

One-skillet steak and spring vegetables with spicy mustard


1 pound (454 g) boneless New York strip steak, patted dry

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

5 garlic cloves, 1 grated, 4 thinly sliced

⅓ cup (37.5 ml) Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) honey

1–2 pinches cayenne pepper

⅓ cup (37.5 ml) plus 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, divided

1 10-ounce (283 g) bag frozen peas

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces


Season steak all over with salt and pepper. Whisk grated garlic, mustard, vinegar, honey, cayenne, ⅓ cup (37.5 ml) oil, and 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water in a medium bowl to combine; season spicy mustard with salt and pepper.

Heat a dry medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Rub steak all over with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) oil and cook, turning every 2 minutes or so and making sure to get color on the fat cap, until medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the centre will register 120° F/49° C), about 10 minutes. Transfer steak to a plate to rest. Pour off oil from skillet, leaving crispy bits behind.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) oil in same skillet over low. Add sliced garlic and all but about 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) scallions (save those for serving) and cook, stirring often, until translucent and softened, about 3 minutes. Add peas and a splash of water and cook, stirring and mashing to break up slightly, until peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until asparagus is just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Slice steak and shingle over vegetables in skillet. Drizzle some mustard sauce over steak and top with reserved scallions. Serve with remaining mustard sauce alongside. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

Barbecuing weather is here and this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated is a terrific way to kick off the season. Brine chicken drumsticks in salted water for 30 to 60 minutes, coat them in a spice rub and then grill them over indirect heat for about 55 minutes. Grilling over indirect heat keeps the meat tender, the fat renders and there are no flare-ups! To finish the chicken, crisp the drumsticks up over direct heat for about five minutes before serving.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check your spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Prepare spice rub and put it on a plate

Dip brined drumsticks in spice rub to evenly coat them

Grill over indirect heat for about 25 minutes

Rearrange drumsticks so the other side is closer to the heat and grill for another 20 to 30 minutes

Grilled spice-rubbed chicken drumsticks



½ cup (125 ml) salt

5 pounds (2.26. kg) chicken drumsticks

Spice rub

3 tablespoons (45 ml) packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) paprika

1 tablespoon (15 ml) chili powder

2 teaspoons (10 ml) garlic powder

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) salt

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) pepper

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) cayenne pepper


Dissolve salt in 2 quarts (1.89 L) cold water in large container. Submerge drumsticks in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Place spice rub on plate. Remove drumsticks from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Holding 1 drumstick by bone end, press lightly into rub on all sides. Pat gently to remove excess rub. Repeat with remaining drumsticks.

FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). Adjust primary burner or, if using three-burner grill, primary burner and second burner. as needed to maintain grill temperature between 325 and 350 degrees F (163 and 177 degrees C).

Clean and oil cooking grate. Place drumsticks, skin side down, on cooler side of grill. Cover and cook for 25 minutes. Rearrange pieces so that drumsticks that were closest to edge are now closer to heat source and vice versa. Cover and cook until drumsticks register 185 to 190 degrees F (85 to 87 degrees C), 20 to 30 minutes. For an accurate reading, insert a probe into the thickest part of the drumstick until it hits the bone and then pull back about ¼ inch (0.63 cm).

Move all drumsticks to hotter side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until skin is nicely charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serves 6.

From Cook’s Illustrated

This salad from the latest issue of Food and Drink is a great accompaniment to grilled meats and would also be hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian entrée. Toasting the quinoa takes a few minutes but it imparts a nutty flavour. You can use broccoli instead of broccolini; grilled asparagus would also work well. The pesto is delicious — I used pecans instead of walnuts and tossed a few extra into the salad.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Dried fruit often contains sulfites so check the label on the dates; I use Parnoosh brand. The other ingredients to check for additives and preservatives are the feta, nuts, red wine vinegar and cumin. I use Krinos feta, Eden Organic vinegar and No-Name nuts and cumin.

Toasting the quinoa gives it a nutty flavour

Grill the broccolini on a barbecue or grill pan until tender and charred in places

Walnut dill pesto

Combine the dates, feta, green onions and broccolini before adding the quinoa

Toasted quinoa, broccolini and date salad


1 cup (250 ml) quinoa

2 cups (500 ml) water

1 bunch broccolini

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus extra for brushing

12 pitted dates, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

5 oz (150 g) crumbled sheep’s milk feta

2 cloves garlic

½ cup (125 ml) toasted walnut pieces

½ cup (125 ml) roughly chopped, loosely packed dill

¼ cup (60 ml) roughly chopped, loosely packed parsley

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

2 tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Pour dry quinoa into a medium pot and set over medium heat; leave undisturbed until quinoa begins to pop. Stir continuously from this point for about 5 minutes or until quinoa smells distinctly nutty and is noticeably darker. Carefully pour water over (water will sputter vigorously). Cover and boil for 12 to 14 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove lid and let stand until cooled to room temperature.

Meanwhile, heat barbecue or grill pan to high. Brush broccolini with a little olive oil and grill for 6 to 7 minutes or until tender and charred. Remove to a board and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large serving bowl along with the dates, green onion, feta and quinoa. Set aside.

Add ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, garlic, walnuts, dill, parsley, salt, vinegar and cumin to a food processor; pulse until mixture resembles a chunky pesto. Pour over salad and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with pepper, and adjust salt only if necessary. Serves 6.

From Food and Drink