Summer is nearly here!

We have lived in other jurisdictions where the middle of June seems like an unlikely start to summer. It’s already been hot for ages. But here in Atlantic Canada, even when the temperature is in the 20s (70s or 80s, my Fahrenheit friends), the wind is sufficient that it rarely feels hot.

But today we had an awesome, sunny, warmish day. And so we barbecued. This is the result. Veg from our garden, except local tomatoes and spuds.

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Awesome Burgers with Sesame Orange Dijon Salad

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The evenings are starting to cool off and the days are getting shorter. In just a few weeks I fear we will be faced with the f word…fall.

But for now there is plenty of tremendous produce in the garden to make salad, and we grilled these juicy burgers. Putting a dent in the middle (in tribute to our daughter’s man-friend, we call it “Paulito style”) keeps the patties from shrinking. They didn’t need much to top them off…tomatoes, pickles, a little grainy mustard and some relish.

For the salad dressing:

15ml/1T Dijon
15ml /1T sesame oil
30ml/2T orange juice

Whisk until smooth.

Take it Outside!

20130602-084335.jpg It’s foggy over the bay this morning, but yesterday was the first hot, sunny, really summery day of the year. We started with golf, then into the city to do some shopping and “summer hair”.

Local pork chops were secured from Highland Drive (recommended by Fred as The BEST) and grilled with a little chipotle powder and a light hand on the sea salt. On the side, steamed young turnips and radish, and a salad of greens from our garden – turnip, Vulcan and Simpson lettuces, Bibb, romaine, arugula, and Swiss chard. On top, some steamed young asparagus, and a dressing of Dijon, sesame oil, and Mirin.

Get Grilling!

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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.

The Potato BBQ Thing

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.

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