Today we’re headed out to the plot to do some compost maintenance and give the gardens a general walk-around before some visitors arrive this afternoon. Our fuel for the endeavour consists of local harvest foods, some of our own, and some from others nearby.
We cooked a melange of veggies – potato, onion, celery, peppers, mushrooms in a tiny spoonful of bacon fat (vegetarians, canola oil is fine, or a nice herbed olive oil if you have one). When they were nearly tender enough for our taste, we broke in some fresh eggs, lidded the lot and let them poach until just softly done. This is our tasty result:
These veggies are as fresh as can be – harvested in our own garden and roasted within minutes of being picked.
Choose your own mix of veg and herbs. Chop into bite-sized pieces, toss with a little olive oil and wrap in a double layer of foil. Put this on your grill while it’s heating, turning occasionally. It’ll be done when your steak or pork chop is cooked. Not grilling meat? About 10 minutes (plus the preheating time) should do the trick.
This roast chicken dinner features some traditional fall flavours (like red potatoes and cabbage), with a twist.
First, we zested a lemon and grated some ginger. We mixed this with coriander, the juice of the lemon, and about a teaspoon (5ml) of olive oil. This was rubbed under the skin of the chicken. Then to the pot, we added some quartered red potatoes, and wedges of cabbage. We rubbed the cabbage with a little sesame oil.
We roasted it without a lid until it was nearly done, then added some water, popped on the lid, and put it back in the oven for about 10 minutes to get the chicken up to temperature. When the chicken was done, we tented it to rest and returned the remainder of the dish to the oven (now turned off) to keep warm.
Putting the lemon under the skin gave the chicken a strong, lemony flavour that might have been diluted if we’d rubbed it on the outside. The sesame added a nice touch to the sauce. Best of all, only one pot to clean!
Sometimes certain foods have a “season place” in our minds. We always think of swordfish as a summer food, cooked on the grill, with a fresh salad, some tomatoes, or avocado.
But with fall arriving full-force, we weren’t willing to give up swordfish for the season. This version was grilled, but on a tabletop grill. We served it with some blue fingerlings and steamed carrots, topped with a peach-pear salsa tossed in a mustard vinaigrette.
Yesterday we were at Fermentations to bottle some lovely Malbec. As we often do, we ducked next door to pick up something good from The Friendly Butcher. As always, we were spoiled for choice and almost couldn’t figure out what to do! But we settled on these delicious, tender steaks. Grilled just right (rare, thanks)…we served them with red potatoes boiled together with a clove or two of Ontario garlic, then smashed. Steamed green beans and yellow bell pepper rounded out the plate. Fresh, local, and delicious. Dinner doesn’t get any better than that.
PS, a disclaimer. Although we’re walkable, we did not try and walk home carrying two dozen bottles of wine and our steaks. But if pushed, we could!
We found these delicious fingerling potatoes at the market, tiny and golden. But how to cook them?
Since we had plans to put a chicken on to roast, we decided maximizing our use of the oven was a fine idea. After rubbing the little fellows with some olive oil, we put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and ground on a little salt. Then we topped them with sprigs of rosemary we had growing out back. When the chicken was half-done (after 30 minutes at 450F) we put the potatoes in. At the one-hour mark we took the chicken out to rest, and turned off the oven, leaving these tiny morsels to finish cooking.
They were crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside, and good all over.
Dinner in a hurry! We had a long day yesterday, and needed dinner, fast. In the freezer were a package of perch fillets we had picked up earlier this summer.
There were a couple of potatoes in the bin, and some yellow and green beans we found at the farmer’s market. Here’s what we did:
We peeled the potatoes and put them to boil in the bottom of a steamer pot. Then we put the zest and juice of a lemon, with half a cup (125ml) of water in another pot, and set it to boil. We snipped the beans and added them to the top of the steamer. Finally, we put the frozen fillets in the pot with the lemon, and turned it down to a point where just the occasioal bubble arose from the pot. Within 10 minutes, it was all done. Deliciously!
When it turns unseasonably cold, you might have your heart set on a grilled dinner, but it’s too cold to eat outside, and salad just won’t cut it. That’s when we turn to the BBQ Potato Thing.
Pair it with a lovely striploin steak, or some lamb chops from the farmer’s market or Royal beef (check out the options in our blogroll!)
You’ll have the classic summer grilled dinner flavour, but it will still warm you against the summer storm.
I had thought I’d get burgers on the grill or take-out for my Mother’s Day dinner, but Steve surprised me. Walking about in the neighbourhood while I was at French class, he popped into Royal Beef, where they had some awesome lamb roasts.
He cooked this one one the barbecue with a marinade of Dijon mustard, olive oil, 5-spice powder, salt, and pepper. He served it with some new potatoes and spring asparagus.
Consider me spoiled.
Baked potatoes are nice. And all sorts of side dishes are great. But there are lots of days when you just want to put something on the grill, slice up some tomatoes (maybe dress them up “Jamie style”) and eat.
When that happens, we fall back on the “BBQ Potato Thing” as a real go-to dish. This recipe originally came from our friend Helena, but it’s been changed and adapted a bit over the years.
Start with two large pieces of foil, laid out on the counter in a cross (probably about 24″ long, each).
Onto these, slice up some red potatoes, skins on, about 1/4″ thick. (Peel them if they’re unsightly old potatoes!). I use one potato per person. Add a sliced onion (or two, as you like) and a diced bell pepper (or two, depending on the number of people. Give it a good grinding of pepper, and a little salt. Toss in chopped herbs if you have some (the other night, when we took this photo, we used tarragon). Drizzle with olive oil – not too much, maybe a couple of tablespoons at the most.
Toss this together, then wrap – fold one piece of foil and roll the ends together, then use the other piece and do the same, the opposite way, to form a strong package.
Put this on the gas grill while you’re preheating, turning once. Leave it on the grill while you prepare some chops or chicken breasts, turning occasionally. By the time the meat is done, the Potato Thing will be, as well – and when you serve it up, it will look like you worked a lot harder than you did.