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5 Step Pasta Salad

13 Nov

Step 1: Cook pasta of your choice, but ensure its not linguine, spaghetti, or spaghettini, use a penne, rigatoni, tortilglioni, or some of the other million different other types of bite sized pasta.

Step 2: Dice tomatoes, celery, onions.

Step 3: Cool pasta, combine vegetables, pasta, salt, and dressing of your choice (I used a Japanese Citron Sesame) into a container.

Step 4: Shake the container and mix it all together.

Step 5: Eat.

Chicago Style Hot Dog & Home-made Coleslaw

5 Sep

So it may not be a poppy seed bun, and it may not have the sport peppers, but here’s my take on a Chicago Style Hot Dog, complimented with some easy to make home-made cole slaw. For this dish you’ll need:

Hot Dogs/Smokies

Buns

White onion (diced)

Red onion (diced)

Green onion (chopped)

Sweet Peppers

Dill Pickles (Sliced)

Tomato (Sliced)

Red Cabbage

White Cabbage

Eggs

Celery Seed

Paprika

Vinegar

Best to start off making your coleslaw first, as this will need to cool in the fridge for some time. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, paprika, celery seed, ground mustard or a heavy spoonful of real mustard in a sauce pan. Separate a few egg yolks and add them in as well, pour a little water in and let the mixture simmer as you mix or whisk it all together. While that’s happening time for the main component in any cole slaw; cabbage. You can now chop up your cabbage, or use a grater and shred it depending on how you like it, I used red and white cabbage, but your free to use what you like. Once ready, you can add your sauce you just made and mix it all together, this is where I added in some green onion as well. And your done, easy right? Make sure to get the coleslaw in the fridge to let it chill.

Now everyone knows how to make a hot dog, but here’s a few key ingredients to get that Chicago style taste. Slice up dill pickles, tomato’s, and prepare your onions as well. Grill the hot dogs on the BBQ, and prepare your buns. If you have poppy seed buns great, if not I used large sesame seed buns. Garnish your bun with sweet peppers, tomato, red and green onion, relish, and the king of all condiments; mustard, and please, refrain from using ketchup! Finish with a small pinch of celery salt and your ready to chow down.

Coupled with your home-made coleslaw, some chips, and a beer, you’ve got a fantastic meal that is sure to please everyone. Enjoy!

BBQ Corn? Of Course!

5 Jun

If you are thinking of what to make for lunch or supper, why not pick up some corn husks and fire up the BBQ? These are some great summer idea’s that can easily all be done on the BBQ.

For a delicious meal of sweet chili corn, BBQ chicken, and oregano lime seasoned sweet potato grilled fries, try getting these items together:

Corn in the Husk

Chicken

Sweet Potatoes

Butter

Sweet Chili Sauce

Lime Juice

Olive Oil

Oregano

Curry Paste

Mayonaise

The key to using the BBQ to cook your corn is to let the husks soak in cool water well in advance of putting them on the grill. This will prevent dried out corn and husks that instantly go up in flames, so get that corn in the sink with some water right off the bat (preferably hours before you plan to start cooking).

Next prepare the sweet potatoes, start off by setting a large pot on the stove and begin boiling water. Wash the sweet potatoes and cut the pointy ends off, and begin to cut them into wedges or slices, the size will affect the cooking time, but don’t be afraid to cut them a little big.

While you wait for your water to boil you can prepare the seasoning. Mix oil, lime juice, and oregano in a small bowl and mix it. This will be the basting sauce when they are on the BBQ. Once your water is boiling you can toss your sweet potato slices in the water and let them cook for about 10 minutes. The goal here is to get them partially cooked before going on the BBQ, so get them soft, but not too soft that they fall apart.

Now to make some sidekicks that will really set this meal off, start by making a dip for those sweet potato fries. Please leave the ketchup in the fridge, in Europe mayonnaise is the french fries compliment of choice and we’re gonna build of that. Dish some mayo in a mixing bowl, and add lime juice from 1 lime, or squirt in some from the bottle, don’t be shy with this. Next add about a teaspoon of curry paste, this you can be shy with as it really has some kick. Mix together and add more mayo or curry paste to taste. Keep mixing until you get a well blended mixture with nice color.

Next scoop some butter in another mixing dish, now you can make your own chili addition, but I find that sweet chili sauce is just as good. Pour in the sweet chili and really mix it in well with the butter, give it a taste to check the amounts, and keep mixing until you get a whipped butter texture.

You can now place those corn husks on the BBQ, pull the sweet potatoes out of the water and get them on the grill as well. These items will take longer to cook so get them on while you get your chicken ready. You can begin brushing the basting sauce on your fries continually as they cook (Tip: You can lather the fries in egg to ensure they are crispy). Turn the corn a few times, as well. For this dish, the features were the corn and the fries, so just simple boned chicken on the grill with some BBQ sauce was an easy addition to round out the meal.

Pull everything off the grill, pull the husks off the corn, and start eating! Make sure your friends get some mayonnaise mix for their fries, and lather that corn on the cob with your sweet chili butter. Yum!

Bok Choy Salad

20 Feb

So if you’re in a situation like me, and you have some left over bok choy from a recent dish you made, you might be scratching your head on what to do with the left over greens. Fortunately you still have options, and one of those options is to prepare a delicious salad with it. Unlike lettuce, bok choy has a very distinct taste, which gives it a little bit of kick. So the key to using it in a salad is to mix it in with a variety of other greens so that kick isn’t a little too strong.

I tossed mine together using the following:

Bok Choy

Tomatoes (Diced)

Red Onion (Diced)

Green Onion (Chopped)

Cucumber (Sliced and Halved)

Grated Gouda Cheese

Sweet Onion Dressing

After I tossed the vegetables together I grated the gouda over the top, and finished things off with the sweet onion dressing. It made for a delicious and different salad than the norm, and is a great way to use that left over bok choy. Enjoy.

Shrimp+Cashews=Yum

10 Oct

After whipping up a delicious dish the other night, I thought I’d share what it was all about. This is a pretty quick dish which only takes about 15 mins to make.

Here is what I used in this stirfry:

Shrimp, Cashews, Celery, Romain Lettuce, Ginger, Garlic, Honey, Canola Oil, Soy Sauce, Ketchup, Chili Peppers, Rice.

First things first, I cut up all my veggies into decent portions, remember that if your cooking lettuce it shrinks alot, so dont break it up too small. I then thinly sliced up the ginger and pressed the garlic, and put them both in the pan with some oil. You can start to slowly simmer your ginger and garlic while you prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, I read online about the use of ketchup, so I gave it a try. But before starting, you can put your shrimp and cashews in the pan and let them start to warm up. As thats going, I put a little bit of ketchup in a bowl, added, soy sauce, honey, canola oil, some water, and some chili peppers. I mixed this all together with a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.

I was using precooked shrimp so I didnt need to wait long to start adding everything together. I added the lettuce and celery, and then poured all the sauce into the pan. Keep your heat on medium and keep stirring it all together, and after about 5 more minutes, your done!

Served it all over some rice, but you could also serve this over noodles if you like. Time to eat!

BBQ Trout: The Easy Way

17 May

The health benefits of eating fish is not breaking news. White flesh fish contains less fat than any other animal protein, and oily fish is especially good for you as it contains that key component; omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient which is essential for our health.

With that in mind, I thought it was a good time to do a blog about a recent bbq meal I did. I recently brought back a lake trout from the great slave lake when I was last in Yelloknife, Canada for work. And this fresh fish was just begging to be cooked up with a delicious meal.

Since it really feels like summer these days I thought what better way to cook it than on the BBQ, and so along with a friend, we prepared a fast tasty meal all on the BBQ again. Heres what we did:

For this meal I cooked the fish whole, head, tail you name it. I started out by gutting the fish, you do this by slicing the belly open from the anus up to the head, and removing the inside ‘unwanted’ parts. I then rinsed the fish inside and out with cold running water, dont forget this step. After the fish was rinsed, I prepared a double layer of tinfoil on the counter, and poured some olive oil on it, spreading it around evenly to accomadate the size of the fish. I then layed the trout down on the foil, and begin using olive oil to coat the inside of the fish and a little on the outside as well. Once oiled, fresh lemon slices were places evenly inside the cavity of the fish. Sprinkle parsley, salt, and pepper, and a squeeze of more lemon juice over the whole fish, and you my friend are pretty much done. Wrap the whole fish up with tinfoil and place in the fridge while you prepare the other components of your meal.

For us we decided to cook stuffed peppers, a really easy and tasty sidekick to any meal. For these I simply use half red peppers, and fill them with preseasoned goat cheese, setting them aside, we prepared our potatoes. Slicing up the potatoes, adding parsley, pepper, and onions we then sealed up the potatoes in foil as well. You should now have the BBQ warming up.

Place your potatoes on the grill first, these will take the longest. Next is the fish, pull it out of the fridge and carefully set it onto the grill. Cooking time for the fish all depends on the size and heat, I used medium heat and it took roughly 25 minutes to cook the trout.

Check your potatoes, and if they are close to being cooked, you can now put your stuffed peppers on the grill, simply lay them all on face up and let them cook until the cheese begins to melt. Start pulling all your food off the BBQ, and open up that fish, it should really be smelling good now. Serving the fish is easy, if cooked right the flesh will just fall off the bones, start dishing out peices of fish, potatoes, and your stuffed peppers, serve with a fresh garden salad and thats it, another tasty and healthy meal!

Make yourself a ceasar to go with, and eat out in the backyard, bliss…

Breakfast: French Toast

7 May

Maybe you eat french toast alot, maybe you’ve never had it, either way, it’s a tasty sweet breakfast treat. Originally thought up to put stale bread to use, it quickly became a favorite among many families.

Today there are many ways to make it, but here’s how I usually make mine.

For about 5 or 6 pieces of bread you’ll need to crack 3 eggs into a bowl. Lightly wisk the eggs and then add some milk, a good squeeze of honey, cinnamon, and a little sugar to top it off. Mix that all up really well, and get your frying pan warmed up.

Dont forget to put some butter in the pan, and as you coat your bread slices in the mixture, place them flat in the pan, 1 or 2 at a time. Careful not to burn them, checking frequently, also try not to squish them down, as you want them to be light and fluffy. Cook both sides nice and brown, drizzle with syrup, fruit, whipped cream and serve. YUM!