West Indies Chicken with Mango Salsa

This dish is a fresh rendition of Jamaican jerk chicken. Traditionally ‘jerk’ means to dry rub, marinate and grill meat with a combination of scotch bonnet chilli and fragrant spices. The quick curry powder marinade stains the chicken a vibrant gold. Serve it with the mango salsa for a fresh summer meal, but it’s so good any time of the year.

prep time 10 mins / marinating time 1 hour / cooking time 10 mins / serves 6

12 skinless chicken thigh fillets, vegetable oil for brushing, coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish. Tabasco or hot pepper sauce, to serve.

Jerk Marinade
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 French shallots, chopped
1 long green chilli, seeds removed and chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime 
80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
 

Fresh Mango Salsa
2 firm ripe mangoes, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Tabasco or hot pepper sauce
juice of 1 lime 

Jerk Marinade: Place the ingredients in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Place the chicken in a shallow dish, season with salt and pepper, pour over the marinade and coat well. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Fresh Mango Salsa: Place the ingredients in a non metallic bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Preheat a barbecue to high and lightly brush with oil. Place the chicken over direct heat and cook for about 5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Scatter over coriander leaves and serve with mango salsa and Tabasco Sauce.

 



Mini Meatloaves with Roasted Tomato Thyme Sauce

This stylish meatloaf had a little makeover by baking it in individual ramekins. A topping of sweet tomato and thyme keeps the meat moist. Make this for a casual winter get-together or when ever your craving comfort food.

prep time 20 min / cooking time 1 hour / makes 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
300 g (10 1/2oz) minced beef
300 g (10 1/2oz) minced pork
60 g (2 1/4 oz / 3/4cup) fresh breadcrumbs  
170 ml ( 5 1/2 fl oz / 2/3 cup) tomato passata (pureed tomato)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
200 g (7 oz) mini roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
3 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar, for sprinkling 

Preheat oven to 170 c (325 f). Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until softened. Remove and transfer to a large bowl. Add the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, half of the passata, Worcestershire sauce, egg and half the thyme to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and gently mix with your hands until well combined. Divide among six 10 x 5 cm (4 x 2 inch), 300 ml (10 1/2 fl oz) capacity ramekins and spoon over the remaining passata. They’ll seem very full but will shrink during baking. Top each with a handful of (plum) tomato, 1/2  teaspoon sugar and season with salt, pepper and remaining thyme. Bake for 50 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Top with thyme springs to serve.

Pairs great with chive mash potatoes and a side salad. You can also serve the meatloaves in the ramekins on a plate with a small napkin folded underneath.



Valentine’s Chocolate Fondue

Enjoy a delicious flirty and fun Chocolate fondue. It’s hip to dip so share with a group of friends or surprise your sweet heart this Valentine’s.

Ingredients:
12oz bag of your favourite good quality chocolate chips (You can use milk chocolate or semisweet)
1/2 cup up to 2/3 cup half and half cream
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Dipping ideas:  Fruit (strawberries are a must), other fruits work too like pineapple…yummy or graham crackers, red velvet cake pieces…

Directions:

 Over a double boiler melt the chocolate and half and half together.  Once the chocolate melts, stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.  Place in a fondue pot to keep warm.  Serve with dipping ingredients. 

Enjoy. 



Grilled Vegetables

Feel free to use what ever vegetables are available. Grilled vegetables not only look great and taste great but are also a healthy choice. You can serve them at any temperature and can prepare them ahead of time to be used as your side dish, on top of sandwiches or in salads. 

(serves 6)

3 red bell peppers seeded and quartered
3 yellow squash (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 zucchini (12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 Japanese eggplants (12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
12 cremini mushrooms or button mushrooms
1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed
 12 green onions trimmed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil 
1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium high heat, or preheat a ridged grill pan over a medium flame. Brush all of the vegetables with a 1/4 cup of oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill all the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 12 minutes for the bell peppers, 7 minutes for the squash, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter.

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil and rosemary, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to blend. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and serve warm or at room temperature. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

If you want to try something different, sprinkle some goat cheese over the grilled vegetables…yummy!

 

Enjoy! 



Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Double Smoked Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes  Servings: 4

Brussels sprouts that are sliced, tossed with garlic and oil, roasted until slightly caramelized, covered in melted parmesan cheese and tossed with double smoked bacon; brussels sprouts never had it so good! 

ingredients
  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced or quartered
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices double smoked bacon (omit for vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
directions
  1. Toss the brussels sprouts in the oil along with the garlic, salt and pepper, place in in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes, mixing them up half way through.
  2. Meanwhile cook the bacon until crispy and drain on paper towels before crumbling.
  3. Sprinkle on the parmesan and return to the oven until it melts, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Toss the brussels sprouts with the bacon and lemon zest, and lemon juice and enjoy!


Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas

This versatile Italian dish isn’t as difficult as you may think, there are endless variations of this creamy comfort food, but this Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas is a favourite that your friends and family will enjoy.

5 3/4 cups canned low sodium chicken broth
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

BRING THE BROTH to a simmer in a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Cover and set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and finely chop. Cover the broth and keep warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms, porcini mushrooms and garlic; saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice, add the wine; cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes. Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan cheese, Season with salt and pepper to taste.

** In order to use dried porcini mushrooms – or any dried mushrooms for that matter, you have to reconstitute them by allowing them to sit in hot water for a few minutes, absorbing that water and plumping up. Then the mushrooms are ready to cook with, and you have all this flavourful liquid as a by-product.**
 

 



Penne Alla Vodka Recipe

Penne Alla Vodka

One of the most mouth watering Penne a la Vodka’s you will try and it’s made right in your kitchen. Each bite oozes deliciousness.

 

1 lb (500 g)             Penne Pasta         (about 6 cups) 

4 tbsp                     Butter

1/4 lb (126 g)          Pancetta   (you can also use lean smoked bacon)

4                            Garlic cloves minced

1/2 tsp.                  Nutmeg

1/2 tsp.                  Cayenne pepper or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

3/4 lb (375 g)         Ripe tomatoes peeled & diced (approx. 2 – 3 large)

** You can use peeled 28 oz canned tomatoes when fresh tomatoes aren’t in season**  

1/4 cup                  Vodka                  

1/2 cup                  Whipping cream

Salt & Pepper to taste - 

1/2 cup                  Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese  

Directions - 

1.      Boil water for pasta

2.      Melt butter in skillet.  Add pancetta or bacon, garlic, nutmeg, cayenne pepper                     tomatoes & vodka.  Cook until vodka absorbed.           

3.      Cook pasta in boiling water until just tender. approx. 8 – 10 min.  Drain.

4.      Stir in cream.  Season with salt & pepper.  Cook until sauce thick and creamy, stirring          from time to time.  Toss with penne.

5.      Sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano cheese.  Garnish with fresh basil or parsley.  

 Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings.  

 



BBQ The Perfect Steak – Recipe Included

BBQ - delicious, flavourful, tender, mesquite, heat, outdoors, friends and family, these are the words that come to mind when we think of a BBQ. Let’s consider the various things you should do before you BBQ the perfect steak.

It is important to allow your steak to reach room temperature, this helps to BBQ a steak faster and more evenly. Just before you grill, brush Olive Oil on both sides and season your steak with black pepper and kosher salt, be generous, seasoning is entirely a personal preference so you can get fancy if you want.

Preheat the grill as hot as it will go before putting on your steaks. Place each steak on the grill for one minute then turn and grill on the second side for an additional minute. Some BBQ’s have a searing section and this is the perfect opportunity to try it out. After searing, turn down your BBQ to a medium heat, or move steaks to the indirect heat side of your charcoal grill to finish cooking. Make sure to turn and rotate your steak 45 degrees and grill for half the remaining cooking time turning over only once on the other side for the remaining time to get a nice diamond pattern of grill marks.

Remove your steak from the BBQ when it has reached your desired doneness. You can use the pressure test to check your steak by using your index finger, press down on the middle of your steak, a rare steak will be soft, a medium steak will be firm but will spring back up, a well done steak will be firm with no spring.

Another important trick is to let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving. This will allow the natural juices to flow out from the center and redistribute the moisture, leaving you with a perfect, juicy steak, cover with foil to keep warm.

While NY steaks can be seasoned and grilled, other meats, which aren’t as tender, such as flank steak or flat iron steaks need to be marinated a day in advance. Allow the meat to marinate overnight in the fridge. When ready to barbecue remove from marinade, season, and barbecue until desired doneness.

A BBQ wouldn’t be complete without the Old Mill Toronto’s favourite BBQ sauce recipe to enhance your meat. The great thing about this sauce is its versatility, as it goes well with a lot of different proteins such as chicken, wings, quail, ribs, and pork.

BBQ Sauce -

• 1 Bottle of ketchup / 2 cups

• 1 tsp. of mustard seeds

• 5 cloves garlic chopped

• 1 tsp. oregano

• 3 oz of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce 

• 1 oz of packed brown sugar

• 1 Medium Spanish onion chopped

Cook the onions until slightly caramelized, add the garlic and continue cooking until a nice aroma presents itself (approx 1-2 minutes) add brown sugar and cook until you reach a nice deep brown colour. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Let the mixture cool and blend well using a hand held immersion blender or a standard blender and blend until smooth. 

The next time you have friends and family over for a BBQ  keep these suggestions in mind and your guests will be happy and satisfied. Happy barbecuing!



Grilled Shrimp with Citrus Aioli

Perfect summer appetizer that pairs well with a chilled glass of white wine. The citrus dipping sauce is quite refreshing. Use a variety of citrus fruit or use 1-1/2 tsp of grated rind and 1tbsp juice of either orange, lemon or lime.

Serves 4
12 oz. (340 g) raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp (10 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cumin
Pinch each of cayenne pepper and salt

Citrus Aioli:
1/3 cup (75 ml) light mayonnaise
1/2 tsp (2 ml) grated lemon rind 
1/2 tsp (2 ml) grated lime rind 
1/2 tsp (2 ml) grated orange rind  
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Preparation:
Citrus Aioli: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, orange, lemon and lime rinds and juices, garlic and pepper. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 2 days).

In a bowl, combine shrimp, oil, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt. Place shrimp on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until shrimp are pink and opaque, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate; refrigerate until cold. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 2 days). Skewer with toothpicks and serve with Citrus Aioli.

Simply Delicious!

 



Tomato Feta Basil Salad

This tomato, feta, basil salad is easy to make and it’s a simply delicious Summer salad that everyone will enjoy! Pairs great when served with a crunchy fresh baguette…mmmm

Recipe (serves 6-8)

3 pints (6 cups cherry tomatoes)
3/4 pound Feta Cheese
1 small diced red onion
3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1/4 good olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 Tsp. ground black pepper 
2 Tbs. fresh chopped basil
2 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley 

Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, basil and parsley to the tomatoes in the bowl. Toss together well. Dice the feta in 1/4 inch pieces, try not to crumble. Gently fold the feta into the salad and serve at room temperature.