BBQ Flat Chicken

The best way to get an even cook on a barbecued chicken without a rotisserie is to remove the spine, open it up and flatten it.  I have filmed a video of my husband flattening a chicken so you can see how easy it is, but if you’re at all squeamish, make sure the sound is turned off because you do hear the bones.  It actually sounds louder in the video than it does in real life, though. (Technical difficulties–okay, it’s all User-related–loading the video.  Please bear with me.  It’s coming.)  Opening up the chicken allows you to season and flavour the inside of the chicken as well as the outside and creates a “rack” (ie, the rib cage) for you to cook the chicken on so it doesn’t stick to the grill. You will end up with a juicy, succulent chicken with nice, crispy skin, in just about an hour.  This recipe is the directions for a very basic chicken, but the Tips section below includes flavour variations and how to apply them. Continue reading

Chimichurri

In the same way every country has its own version of stew, most countries have their own version of pesto, using the flavours and ingredients readily available to their region.  Chimichurri is the South American version of pesto, although it is predominantly associated with Argentina. Rather than being used as a pasta sauce, though, it is used as a baste for grilled meats and vegetables, and as a condiment to accompany the meal.  It’s verdant and garlicky, with a hint of heat (or a slap of heat if you’re so inclined). It goes well on chicken, beef, and pork, but lends its own flavour to each dish, rather than making everything taste the same. Continue reading

Meal Plan for the Week of June 9, 2018

We are still loving the grill, and the weather is supporting this love affair. We’re running the gamut of proteins this week: chicken, fish, beef, and pork (and beans!).   We had to make some adjustments to last week’s plan because life just got in the way, so the Thai Beef with Spicy Green Beans is on repeat because we never actually got to make it.  Monday is Corn on the Cob Day, so we will be having grilled corn with our fish tacos, because who are we to let a “holiday” go by unacknowledged?
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Southwest Black Bean and Quinoa Burger

While we like our veggies in this family, it is hard to convince some family members to go meatless for the occasional meal.  So when I decided to go with a Meatless Monday this week it was met with resistance.  Well, guess what?  It was a delicious experiment.   My oldest heard “veggie burger” and went “No way!”, but I sort of shoved it in his face and told him to try it.  His reaction was “You never said it would taste like Mexican Black Beans.  I’m going to have one after my bike ride.”  Can you hear my eyes rolling?  You’d think he’d know by now that I know what I’m doing!  Since there is no tweaking required, I’m posting the recipe right away.  We garnished with avocado, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and Tomatillo Salsa. Continue reading

Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillos are the main ingredient in a traditional Mexican green salsa.  Part of the appeal of these green tomatoes is their light, tangy flavour and the fact that they come canned for easy storage.  The other key ingredients are cilantro and jalapeno.  Whether you leave the seeds in the jalapeno is entirely dependent on your heat tolerance level.  Adding yogurt to the leftover salsa makes a great salad dressing.

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Meal Plan for the Week of June 2, 2018

I decided to plan a themed week once again, using a variety of flavours and ingredients.  It’s fun to challenge myself to come up with the themes, but it can get old.  If you have some fun theme days you use in your family, I’d love to hear about them so I can try to incorporate them into the blog.  The fresh local produce is starting to appear as well, so that means salads, salsas, and fruity desserts–Oh my!  Finally, I’m extending the Meal Plan to include a shopping list of meal-specific ingredients you would need to make each dish.  It will not feature what I consider to be pantry staples, because, well, they’re staples so I would expect most kitchens to have them on hand.
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