Monthly Archives: July 2015

Crunchy Baked Barbecue Chicken

Crunchy Baked Barbecue Chicken

When your chips turn to crumbs, use them up in this slightly spicy chicken dinner. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans or carrots. A white bubbly would pair perfectly.

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 4 cups barbecue potato chips
  • 4 bone-in chicken legs or breasts
  • 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

Spray a rack with nonstick cooking spray and set over a baking pan. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg with hot sauce. Crush chips into large crumbs. Place in a wide shallow dish.

Remove skin from chicken. Dip in egg mixture then sprinkle with seasoning. Press chicken in chips, pressing to help them adhere. Sprinkle any bare spots with crushed chips-they don’t need to cover perfectly.

Place chicken on rack. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

Slow-Barbecued Caribbean Pork with Mango Salsa and Chili Potato Wedges

Slow Barbecued Caribbean Pork

Braised to moist tenderness with Island seasonings, pork shoulder roast is not only economical, it’s robust with flavour. If using a gas barbecue, more than 1 burner is essential to cook with indirect heat. If your barbecue doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, place an oven thermometer on the unlit side beside the roast to be sure the temperature is maintained. The oven version is just as tasty and easy. Cut roast into thin slices and serve on roti, tortillas or buns and top with fresh, colourful Mango Salsa and Chili Potato Wedges (recipes follow) – serves 8. This dish represents a variety of flavours so it paired perfectly with a young fresh white of a sparkling wine.

  • 4 lb (2 kg) boneless pork shoulder blade (butt) roast, tied
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh hot pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried thyme
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice

Place roast in a large foil pan (for barbecue) or a roasting pan (for oven). Combine garlic, ginger, sugar, hot pepper, thyme, allspice, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the coconut milk. Spread all over roast. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the barbecue to high or oven to 350°F (180°C). Combine remaining coconut milk and lime juice and pour around roast in pan. Cover entire pan with foil, sealing tightly around pan but not touching roast.

If barbecuing, turn 1 side of barbecue off and reduce other burner(s) to medium-high or temperature required to maintain 350°F (180°C). Place pan on unlit side of barbecue or place in oven. Grill or roast for 2 to ½ hours.

Uncover and baste roast with pan juices. Grill or roast, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes longer, basting twice more, until fork tender and a meat thermometer reads 170°F (75°C). Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Transfer roast to a cutting board, discarding pan juices. Cut off strings and cut roast into thin slices. Serve with Mango Salsa and Chili Potato Wedges.


Mango Salsa

This fresh and tangy salsa is the perfect complement to the pork. It is best made just before serving but can be covered but can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

  • 2 firm ripe mangos
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh hot peppers (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

Peel mango and cut flesh from pits. Dice flesh and place in a bowl. Add lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, hot pepper and salt. Toss gently to combine. Taste and check seasonings. Makes about 2 cups (500 mL)


Chili Potato Wedges

Traditional foil-packet barbecued potatoes get a boost that will liven up any barbecue meal. Ancho chili powder is increasingly available and gives a nice chili flavour without overpowering heat. If you like a smoky heat, add ¼ tsp (1 mL) chipotle pepper powder to the butter mixture. The zesty dip is easily put together as the crispy-crusted potatoes cook.

  • 3 lbs (1.5 kg) baking potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) butter, softened
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) ancho or other chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt or kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper



  • 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream or mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime zest
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ancho or other chili powder

Preheat the barbecue to medium-high or oven to 350ºF (180ºC).Scrub potatoes under running water. Pat dry and cut each lengthwise into 8 wedges. Place on a large piece of heavy-duty foil.

Mash butter, chili powder, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Drop in small dollops randomly over potatoes on foil. Top with another large piece of foil and seal both pieces together with a tightly crimped edge. Slide onto a baking sheet.

Slide packet off baking sheet onto grill or place on sheet in oven. Grill or bake for 30 minutes, gently shaking packet a few times and flipping over halfway. Carefully unseal a small section and check potatoes with a fork to ensure they are tender. If not, reseal and cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, make dip. Combine sour cream, lime zest and chili powder in a serving bowl.

Let potatoes stand for 5 minutes. Open packet and, using a lifter, remove potatoes from foil (you may have to scrape the crispy ones) and transfer to a serving platter. Serve dip on the side.



Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions

Pork Tenderloin is on sale this week at Zehrs. This was a quick inexpensive meal that will definitely be done again.  The combination of the fennel and Dijon mustard left my mouth watering for more.  I served it with a Marsanne Viognier

  • 1 large pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or apple cider

Preheat oven to 450°F. Season pork with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and sear until all sides are brown, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to plate. Cool slightly. Spread mustard over top and sides of pork; press fennel seeds into mustard. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion slices and apples; sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Spread evenly in skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork atop apple-onion mixture.

Transfer skillet to oven and roast until apple-onion mixture is soft and brown and meat thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent with foil. Let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour white wine over apple-onion mixture in skillet. Stir mixture over high heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Cut pork on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon apple-onion mixture onto plates. Top with pork and serve.

Honey, Mustard and Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Split Peas with Honey-Sweetened Eggplant

Honey, Mustard and Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

This was an amazing food and wine adventure.  The eggplant tasted very similar to a bruschetta so I decided to make Cheddar Mashed Potatoes to go with this meal.  The sweetness of the Pork along with the savory eggplant made pairing a Gamay Noir the perfect choice.


  • 1 Ontario Pork Tenderloin (about 1 lb/454 g)
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 Ontario Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Ontario Leek (white and light green parts only), halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) Honey
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) sodium-reduced chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cornstarch
  • Fresh Ontario Rosemary Sprigs (optional)

Cut pork tenderloin into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick slices. In large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; brown pork slices on both sides. Transfer to plate; set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat; cook carrots, leek, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper until leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add maple syrup, broth, mustard and vinegar; bring to boil. Add pork; reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until juices run clear when pork is pierced and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

In small bowl, stir cornstarch with 1 tsp (5 mL) cold water until smooth. Stir into skillet and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly.

Garnish with fresh rosemary, if using. Serve with creamy Mashed Potatoes

For split pea purée

  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Greek)
  • 1 lb yellow split peas (2 1/4 cups), picked over, rinsed well, and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

For eggplant compote

  • 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Greek) plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey
  • 1 tablespoon drained bottled small capers (in brine), rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil or chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic or Greek raisin vinegar

Make purée:

Cook onion in 1/3 cup oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add split peas and stir until well coated, then stir in water and bay leaf. Increase heat to moderately high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and slowly simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is soupy, about 1 hour. Stir in salt and continue to cook, stirring more frequently as purée thickens, until water is absorbed and mixture is the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes, 30 minutes to 1 hour more. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup oil, then cool to room temperature, pot covered with a kitchen towel. (Purée will thicken as it cools.) Discard bay leaf.

Make eggplant compote while split peas simmer:

Toss eggplant with 3/4 teaspoon salt in a colander set over a bowl. Place a plate or bowl directly on top of eggplant to weight it down and let drain 1 hour. Rinse eggplant (discarding liquid) and pat dry.

Cut a shallow X in bottom of each tomato with a paring knife and blanch tomatoes in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan of boiling water 10 seconds. Transfer tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and, when cool enough to handle, peel, beginning from scored end, with knife. Halve tomatoes crosswise and seed, then cut into 1-inch pieces.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add eggplant and sauté, stirring occasionally, until just golden, transferring to a plate. Reduce heat to low, then add remaining 3 tablespoons oil and onions to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in honey until incorporated. Add eggplant, tomatoes, capers, basil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then gently simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar (to taste) and remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, uncovered.

Serve purée topped with eggplant and drizzled with olive oil.

Tequila-Lime Grilled Chicken Breast with Sweet & Sour Potato Pepper Salad

Tequila-Lime Grilled ChickenThe newest LCBO Food and Drink Magazine came out last week and had to try a couple things out.  I saw these two recipes and altered them slightly. If you have tequila and white wine on hand the cost of this meal for 4 people is less than $15.  I paired it with the rest of the bottle of Pinot Gris that I used for the recipe and it worked well. Serves 4.


Tequila-Lime Grilled Chicken Breast

1/3 cup gold tequila

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 to 3 limes)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

12 green onions

4 chicken breasts, skin on, bone in, for best flavour and moistness

Lime wedges, for garnish


Combine the first 11 ingredients. Add the green onions and chicken breasts – make sure it is all well coated. Cover and Refrigerate overnight. Bring chicken up to room temperature about an hour before grilling.

Heat the grill to medium.  Place the chicken (reserve marinade) bone-side down for the first half of cooking time; about 10 minutes.

When ready to flip the chicken, put the green onions on the grill. Flip chicken over and grill for another 10 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 160 F.

While chicken is grilling, in a large skillet over medium heat bring the leftover marinade to a simmer and reduce by half, about 15 minutes.

Garnish with grilled onions, fresh lime wedges and a side ramekin of the cooked, reduced marinade for dipping.


Sweet & Sour Potato Pepper Salad


1/2 cup olive oil

1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced

2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced

1 large orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 large onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 lbs yellow-fleshed potatoes

1/2 cup firmly packed parsley


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry garlic until light golden, about 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside. Add peppers and onion to pan; season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring from time to time, until vegetables are very soft, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in reserved garlic and balsamic vinegar.

Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces and cook in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 12 minutes; drain. Add to a large shallow serving bowl or platter. Spoon oil and pepper mixture over potatoes and gently toss to combine. Serve scattered with parsley.