Archive for July, 2017

This recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Grilling uses small new potatoes. They are parboiled, grilled and then tossed with red onion, red pepper, parsley and a mustard vinaigrette. Crispy bacon is a delicious addition.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for bacon preserved with celery salt instead of nitrites. I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar, President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon and Bubbies Pure Kosher Dill Pickles.

Chop red pepper and slice red onion

Parboil potatoes and then grill until tender

Grilled potato salad


2 lbs (1 kg) red, white and/or blue new potatoes, unpeeled

Vegetable oil, for brushing

5 slices lean bacon

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar

2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped dill pickle

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup (250 ml) chopped red bell pepper

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup (15 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to boil. Add the potatoes and parboil just until they can be pierced with a knife but are not completely tender, 5-7 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain and pat dry. Brush potatoes with vegetable oil.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.

Place bacon in cast-iron frying pan over the hottest part of the barbecue (you can also cook the bacon on top of the stove earlier in the day and set aside). Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Oil the grill rack and grill potatoes over hottest part of the barbecue, turning once or twice, until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.

Transfer potatoes to a cutting board, let cool just until they can be handled and then slice or cut into chunks, discarding any loose skin.

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, pickle and salt and pepper to taste.

In a large serving bowl, toss the warm potatoes, bell peppers and onion with the vinaigrette until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Let stand for up to 30 minutes to blend the flavours. Crumble the bacon and mix it into the salad. Garnish with the parsley. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6.

From Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Grilling

This is a delicious recipe from Bon Appetit that uses one of my favourite ways to grill chicken — butterflying the bird. Removing the backbone and flattening the chicken allows it to cook more quickly and evenly. Another good technique in this recipe is chilling the chicken, uncovered, for at least eight hours. This dries out the skin so it becomes crispy on the grill. Coat air-chilled chicken in a garlic, pepper and rosemary mixture, grill and then drizzle with olives, lemon juice and herbs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the pepper to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used President’s Choice green olives stuffed with garlic. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Air chill the chicken for at least eight hours or overnight

Rub pepper, garlic and rosemary mixture all over chicken

Grill until chicken is cooked through

Let the chicken rest before carving


1 3½ to 4-pound (1.6 to 1.8 kg) chicken, backbone removed

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

2 tbsp (30 ml) Aleppo-style pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped rosemary

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, divided

½ cup (125 ml) Castelvetrano or other green olives, pitted, torn

2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped oregano

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped parsley, plus leaves for serving


The night before you plan to grill the chicken, place it on a work surface, breast side up, and open it up against the surface as much as possible. Using your palms, press firmly on breastbone to flatten breast. You may hear a crack. This means you’re doing it right. Set chicken, breast side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season generously on both sides with salt and black pepper. Chill, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and set out on your counter. Combine garlic, Aleppo-style pepper, rosemary, and 2 tbsp oil in a small bowl. Rub chicken all over with mixture and let sit until room temperature, 1–2 hours.

Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Set chicken, skin side down, on grate over indirect heat. Cover grill, placing cover vent (if your grill has one) over chicken so it draws heat up and over them. Grill, rotating chicken as needed so that it colours evenly, until skins are lightly browned, 15–20 minutes.

Turn chicken and continue to cook, covered, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 160 F, (71 C) 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Mix olives, lemon juice, oregano, chopped parsley, remaining 2 tbsp oil, and any accumulated juices from chicken on the cutting board in a medium bowl. Season with salt.

To serve, arrange carved chicken on a platter and top with olive mixture and parsley leaves. Serves 4.

From Bon Appetit

This recipe from the latest issue of Food and Drink is a bit labour intensive, but it’s fun to make and tastes great. Marinate chicken thighs and grill them, slice, toss with a fresh salsa and cheese, pile on top of nacho chips, grill and then drizzle with a delicious cheese sauce. I did barbecue these on a soaked cedar plank but I think you would also have good results using a baking sheet, pizza stone or large cast-iron pan.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use a microbrewery beer with no preservatives added and cheese with no colour added. Check the spices for colour and anti-caking agents. Look for nacho chips with no additives.

Marinate the chicken thighs

Soak the plank for at least two hours.

The cheese sauce contains beer, mustard, cayenne and cheddar.

Make the fresh salsa.

Grill and slice the chicken, then combine with the salsa and cheese.

Planked and ready for the grill.

Barbecued planked chicken nachos


1 large cedar plank, at least

12 x 8 inches (30 x 20 cm)

Chili, beer & lime-marinated chicken

¾ lb (375 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, about 6 small

1 lime

1 cup (250 ml) Canadian beer

2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil

¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped coriander

2 tbsp (30 ml) minced jalapeño pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

Cheese and beer drizzle

1 tbsp (15 ml) butter

4 tsp (20 ml) all-purpose flour

Pinch each of cayenne pepper, dry mustard powder and salt

½ cup (125 ml) Canadian beer

¼ cup (60 ml) milk

1½ cups (375 ml) coarsely grated extra-old

Canadian cheddar, preferably orange


1 cup (250 ml) seeded and diced plum tomatoes

2 to 3 cup (80 ml) coarsely chopped coriander

2 tbsp (30 ml) seeded and finely chopped jalapeño pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped sweet white onion

Kosher salt

1½ cups (375 ml) coarsely grated extra-old

Canadian cheddar, preferably orange

5 cups (1.25 L) large tortilla chips, about two-thirds of a 220-g bag

Hot sauce


Place plank in sink. Cover with water and soak at least 2 hours. For chicken, cut each thigh in half then place in a medium bowl. Finely grate lime peel over chicken, then squeeze out juice into same bowl. Add beer, oil, coriander, jalapeño and garlic to chicken in bowl. Stir well. Refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Just before barbecuing or up to a day in advance prepare cheese drizzle. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour, cayenne, mustard powder and salt. Whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in beer, then whisk in milk. Continue to whisk until mixture boils. Turn off heat and stir in cheese until melted. Set aside and keep warm if using right away. If preparing in advance, refrigerate until ready to use. Then reheat over low heat.

In a medium bowl, stir tomato with coriander, jalapeño and onion until mixed.

Preheat barbecue to high and grease grill.

Remove chicken from marinade. For simpler grilling, skewer chicken. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked and nicely charred. Leave barbecue on. Remove chicken to a cutting board and slice into strips. Add to tomato mixture; stir. Add cheese and stir.

Preheat the plank for a couple of minutes (it may sizzle and begin to smoke a little). Place half the nachos on plank, leaving about 1½ inches (4 cm) as a border around the edges. Sprinkle with half the chicken mixture. Layer with remaining chips then chicken mixture. It will be quite high.

Cover and barbecue just until cheese is melted and bubbly (keep an eye on it), 5 to 8 minutes. Very carefully using 2 large spatulas, remove plank with the nachos from grill to a large flat platter (or the back of a baking sheet). Serve nachos on plank, drizzled with a little cheese sauce. Serve remaining cheese drizzle on the side along with hot sauce. Serves 4.

From Food and Drink

This is a great summer salad that is tasty and colourful. Boil green beans and peas until tender-crisp and then toss with radishes, avocado and an Asian-style dressing.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Soy sauce usually contains sodium benzoate, so use tamari, which has alcohol as a preservative. I use Eden toasted sesame oil, Marukan rice vinegar and PC Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard.

This salad has both colour and crunch

Green bean and radish salad


5 cups (1.18 L) green beans, trimmed

1 cup (250 ml) shelled fresh or frozen peas

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sodium-reduced soy sauce

2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame oil

2 teaspoons (10 ml) seasoned rice vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon (7.5 ml) Dijon mustard

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) grated fresh ginger

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seeds, toasted


In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook green beans until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes; add peas during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain green beans and peas. Place in bowl of ice water; chill for 10 minutes. Drain again and pat dry.

In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, mustard and ginger.

In serving bowl, combine green beans, peas, radishes and avocado. Drizzle with dressing, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living