Despite the recent cold snap, grilling season is ramping up once again. This weekend we picked up these delicious chops from Rowe Farms, as well as a mixed bag of organic veg.
To cook veg in a packet is foolproof! Take two layers of foil, and put sliced veg of almost any variety (we had carrots, spinach, radish, onion, sweet potato…). Toss with a little olive oil and herbs of your choice. Wrap it up tightly and put it on the grill while it’s heating. Continue to cook, turning occasionally, until chops, steaks, or burgers are done.
Yesterday we had a typical Canadian spring shock to the system. After days of gloriously mild weather, it turned very chilly, gray, and windy. Since we spent the day running around (Alliance Française for French class, some lunch, then the Canada Blooms show, then errands…whew!) we wanted a warming sort of dinner.
We made this easy chicken and pasta dish, which serves 3 (leftovers for Sunday lunch, with a salad).
Cook 100g (3.5 oz) whole wheat spaghettini.
Meanwhile, in 10ml (2 t) olive oil, sauté a leek that has been sliced and rinsed (white and light green parts only) until it starts to become translucent. Add 125 ml chopped cauliflower (1/2 c) and two spears of asparagus, sliced into bite-size lengths. Put a lid on this and give it a couple of minutes to release a bit of liquid. Then stir in a diced tomato, 30ml (2T) pesto, and 60ml or 1/4 c of pasta water. Lid, turn down the heat, and let it simmer til the pasta is done.
Drain the pasta and mix into the veg. Put the lid back on and let the whole thing sit on very low heat for 3 or 4 minutes for the flavour to develop.
Last night’s grilled chicken was organized for three, and one dropped off the list. (When you’re semi empty nest this happens). So we used the leftovers, plus some soda bread from the weekend’s festivities, and made a sandwich:
Four slices soda bread
Chop chicken and one tomato in 1cm or 1/2″ dice. Mix with 15ml/1T fat free sour cream and the same amount of Dijon.
As local grocery stores begin to stock spring vegetables from distant producers, it can be tempting to fill the table with fresh green foods like asparagus. But St. Patrick’s Day or thereabouts is a good time to remind ourselves that there are still delicious ways to serve the carrots, cabbages and potatoes that are the staple of Canadian winter locavores. In our case we heated and puréed the leftovers from Saturday night’s Boiled Dinner. Then we stirred in a little cream we picked up at Better Bulk, and garnished with a few carefully-hidden slices of corned beef.
Last night, a lovely, if smaller, family dinner. And this morning, a chance to relive the memories over a plate of corned beef hash, topped with a nice fresh egg. One more meal to go out of last night’s Boiled Dinner…for lunch, Potato and Cabbage soup.
For the breakfast: in a nonstick skillet or seasoned cast iron pan, cook a chopped mix of whatever veg are left over, with a small dice of any leftover corned beef (if there is any!) when it’s getting nicely browned, make a small hollow for each egg and tip them gently in. Cover and cook until the eggs are done as you like.
Next…off to Mass and then to prep for the afternoon ceilidh.
It’s been said that St. Patrick’s Day was given to the Irish as a break from the sacrifices of Lent. Whether or not that’s true, one thing is for certain: around here St. Patrick’s Day means Boiled Dinner. Whether the family gathering is large or small, we cook a bit pot of corned beef with onions, carrots, potatoes and cabbage. Somehow no matter how much meat is set aside to make hash the next morning, it is somehow stolen by leprechauns and only the vegetables remain. Still, they make a lovely soup, combined with the cream left over from the Guinness cake.