Monday, August 23, 2010

New cereal to watch out for... just an FYI

If it hasn't reached you yet a new cereal hitting the shelves to watch out for is Kellogg's "Berry Yogurt Crunch" the best part is this cereal is it's apart of the healthier line of cereals now becoming available. It is a fibre loaded cereal (so if you are a raisin bran fan this will be right up your ally). The cinnamon oat crunch was not a show stopper, but the "Berry Yogurt Crunch" got a thumbs up all around from my fam.

Fall Off the bone BBQ Ribs

I love the flavor of ribs, I used to hate that you had to pick it up to gnaw on it and get all that great meat off the bone, so I never really ever made them. A friend of mine showed me how to create fall off the bone.. and I do not exaggerate people, the meat literally slides off the bone. Combine that with some spice rub and BBQ sauce you have yourself a showstopper BBQ dinner.
Recipe courtesy Tim Strand 


2-3 racks Baby Back or spare  Ribs  whatever you prefer (Costco has a great pack of baby back ribs that are excellent quality and cook to perfection each pack has 3 racks)

1 bottle your favorite BBQ Sauce
2 TBS Liquid smoke
Rib Rub (see rub recipe)

Rib Rub Ingredients

1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup salt (Kosher is best)
1/8 cup onion powder
1/8 cup paprika
1 TBS black pepper
1 TBS chili powder
1 TBS dry mustard
1 TBS red pepper (Cayenne Pepper)
1 TBS garlic powder
Makes enough for 2 racks of ribs

Pre-Heat oven to 270F (132C)
Remove ribs from packet. Pat dry with a paper towel.

To prepare the ribs for maximum tenderness you need to strip the back of the clear membranes. 
With a sharp knife (preferably one that is long and skinny) you need to try to slip it between the membrane and the flesh. If you have too much difficulty doing this (it took me 2 racks to perfect it myself) at least scour the membrane so it can split off the meat when it cooks. If you do this be careful
 not to slice too deep so as to get into the flesh.
This takes time but I think it makes a huge difference in the end product, if you can try to slice the membrane 
off altogether that will produce the best result.

Prepare a roasting pan by placing approx 1 inch water in the bottom. Add your liquid smoke to this water.

place the roasting rack in the pan to check the water will not be touching the meat.

Apply rub liberally all over the racks of ribs (note if your ribs are too long for the pan you might have to cut them in half)
Once spiced place them on the roasting rack, it is o.k. to place some on top of each other.
Cover with tin foil. Place in ven on middle rack and cook for 7-8 hours.
 When ribs are done in the oven heat your BBQ/Grill to medium temp.
While the ribs are laying on one side coat it with your BBQ sauce. 
coat some nonstick oil on the BBQ right before you put on your ribs .. the tender meat will stick!

Using long tongs or a super long spatula VERY carefully pick up ribs (1 rack at a time people). They are so tender they will slide off the bone when you try to pick them up. Place them on the BBQ sauce side down. Quickly coat the other side with sauce.

Flip oh so carefully when the front side is heated through. Remember the meat is already cooked you are just basting and infusing your bbq sauce flavor.

this is how clean your bones will be!
When heated on both sides remove from grill and serve juicy hot!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Aebleskivers are traditional Danish pancakes that are in the shape of a ball. There are many available recipes each resulting in a slightly different textures- just like normal pancake recipes. They are made in a special cast iron pan called a monk's pan.
This is the recipe I prefer so far. Whipping the egg whites separately gives the batter alot of air and fluff!

4 room temperature eggs, separated
4 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups of all purpose flour (Plain flour)

    Beat egg whites until stiff; set aside.
    Beat rest of ingredients until batter is very smooth.
    Fold in egg whites.
      Heat [at a moderate temperature] a well-seasoned monk's pan (see tip below) with 1/8 teaspoon oil or lard in each of the 7 holes. 
      Fill each hole [about three-quarters full] with batter. (Be sure to add a few drops of oil to each well in the pan before the next round of batter).  When browned on one side (almost right away), turn with the blunt end of a wooden skewer/ Put it on the edge and loosen the pancake by sliding it sideways, once you have loosened it use two skewers to flip it. 
      It takes a couple of rounds before you perfect your technique. Be aware that these cook so fast that by the time you have filled each well with batter you immediately have to flip them. So stay on your toes!
      A great way of really stepping up your aebleskivers is to drop a small filling into the middle. I put in some chopped strawberries, and even tried a little nutella. Remember though you don't have much time to do this and it's best if you have a helping hand to follow behind you putting the batter in the wells.
      Serve with flavored butters, such as maple or cinnamon honey, syrup, jam and brown or white sugar. Tips: You can purchase a cast iron monk's pan at Scandinavia gift shops or at small town hardware stores in Danish communities, Williams and Sonova also stock them.
      As for servings, plan on each person eating 7-10 cakes. Makes approximately 48 pancakes.

    Grilled Mushroom, Potato and Bacon Hot Toss

    A great and extremely flavorful side to your BBQ dishes. Easily place it on the side of your grill while your main dish is cooking.
    1 tub Button mushrooms chopped to preferred size (about 1 inch cubed - see picture)
    2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
    olive oil
    2 medium potatoes
    2 sprigs fresh oregano
    2 sprigs fresh thyme
    1 tsp fresh parsley chopped
    1 tsp beef Bullion
    3 garlic cloves smashed
     salt to taste

    Get the leaves off your sprigs of herbs and finely chop them all together. Place aside.
    Cut potatoes so they are smaller than your mushrooms, they take longer to cook so you want them to all be done at the same time and not have mooshy mushrooms.
    Cut your bacon into good sized pieces. I like to know I'm really eating bacon when I take a spoonful of this toss.
    With aluminium foil create a tray with good sized sides. (Give it enough room so you can bring the sides into the middle to form a mini lid).
    Spray the foil with non stick spray.
    Put the potatoes, bacon and mushrooms on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on the herbs and beef bullion powder and salt on mixture.... roll up your sleeves and toss it through with your hands.
    Nestle the garlic cloves on the bottom under the mushroom mixture.
    When ready place it on your grill and fold the edges of the foil inwards to keep some of the steam in. Let it sit on there without stirring for about 15-20 minutes.
    Vegetables should be starting to soften, Drizzle on your Worcestershire sauce over the top. With a spoon start mix/stir the vegetables and let them sit again, open the foil and continue to stir and then mix your toss until the potatoes are completely cooked through. 
    Remove from grill and plate as you desire.!

    Root Beer Can BBQ Chicken

    You've heard of Beer Can Chicken, well why get a beer when you can use root beer. I don't think I've ever cooked such a perfect chicken before. The good thing is if you can't eat it all in one meal.. use the left overs for tacos the next day. mmmmmm.

    1 small-medium whole chicken, cleaned
    1 can root beer
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp. Barbecue Rub, Recipe Follows
    2 cups your favorite BBQ Sauce

    Pop the tab off the root beer. Using a church key style can opener make some more holes around the edge of the top of the can. (I didn't have one so I used a hammer and the end of a sharp knife.. it was a little dangerous so try to get a can opener)

    Set up the grill for indirect grilling - I have a gas grill so I turned on the left side burners and placed my chook on the opposite side.
    Use a drip pan if you have one, there are good disposable ones in the grocery store, I didn't have one so I created my own pan with a double layer of Aluminium Foil (See the picture)

    Remove and discard any other pieces in the cavity of the chicken. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. 
    Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, drain, and blot dry inside and out with paper towel.

    Loosen the skin from off the body of the chicken by gently sliding your fingers in between the skin and meet. This will create a great added flavor cavity for you to use.

    Lightly coat the chicken with olive oil.

    Sprinkle the chook cavity with  2 teaspoons of the dry rub.

    Set aside 2 tsp of your rub. With remaining dry rub apply it to the outside of the chicken, making sure you are thorough. (Yes it's gross but good food is worth getting your hands dirty)
    Put some rub also under the skin, careful not to tear it.

    Spoon your 2 tsps of rub in the root beer can.  Don't worry if it foams up, this is normal.  Insert the can into the body cavity of the chicken and spread out the legs to form a sort of tripod. Tuck the wings tips behind the chicken's back. You might need help in inserting the can.. my 6 year old thought it was the coolest and most funny thing ever!

    When you are ready to cook, stand the chicken up in the center of your drip pan on the opposite side of your running gas burners.  If using charcoal grill, toss some wood chips on the coals.

    Cover your grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 180 Degrees F. About 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 depending on the size of your bird.

    Monitor it closely you do not want to over cook this juicy bird!

    I had to rotate my chicken about half way through to get all sides evenly crispy.  A good sign it was done was when the juices in the pan were coming out clear.

    Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken.  You might need help removing the can. One person holding the can with tongs and the other sliding off the chicken.

    Allow it to rest before carving it up. Serve it with your BBQ sauce, I also served it with some grilled bacon and button mushrooms. (See Recipe to follow.)
    1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup paprika
    2 tbsp ground black pepper
    3 tbsp salt
    1 tsp garlic salt
    2 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp onion powder
    2 tsp celery seeds
    1 tsp cayenne pepper

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Creamy Mushroom and Smoked Gouda Burger

    Sauteed Mushroom and onion, a seasoned beef patty, melted soft gouda cheese on a toasted sesame bun.  Need I say more?
    Prepared Perfect Hamburger Patty (see recipe)
    4 oz Cream cheese softened(1/2 a brick)
    1 punnet button mushrooms chopped into small pieces
    1/2 a small onion medium finely chopped
    2 tbsp Salted Butter
    1 tsp beef bullion
    Sliced Smoked Gouda cheese(regular gouda cheese would be great too of course)
    Hamburger buns. (Feel free to experiment with different rolls I recommend a soft roll though rather than a harder bread)


    Heat a saucepan on the stove to medium to low  heat. Add butter and melt. combine mushrooms and onions to the pan and saute and sweat them until they are really soft. 

    While they are cooking sprinkle the beef bullion granules on top and blend in.

    Once they are completely softened remove them from the heat and allow them to sit and cool a little for 5 minutes or so. 
    In a small mixing bowl place the cream cheese and mushroom mixture together and stir until well combined. The beef bullion will spread through out the cheese and give it a great beefy flavor for the burgers.

    Heat BBQ grill to a medium heat. 

    While grill is heating butter the rolls generously so they are ready to go on the grill when needed.
    Once grill is ready , spray with non stick spray and cook the patties .. generally only turning once, never EVER squish your patties down. This is squeezing all the juice and moisture out of them. Slow and steady will keep your patties nice and juicy.

    After turning patties place your buns on the grill also, if you need to press gently to have all the areas of the bun toasting. Remove quickly when done to your preference.
    When patties are almost ready place your slices of cheese on top of them and close the BBQ lid to quickly melt the cheese on top.

    Remove when the cheese is melted and gooey!

    To put the burgers together place the patty on the bottom bun, spoon a generous amount of the mushroom mixture on top and spread it out. Place the bun top on and allow the heat from the patty and top of the bun to melt the cream cheese mushroom mixture.