Saturday, June 11, 2011


I have a personal policy where I never write anything on a bad day, it's generally negative and not your proverbial best foot forward. Although I'm having a bad day, I had a great time teaching and cooking lunch with some new recruits about barbecue headquarters today. And so here’s how that went, argh!..

Today was a little challenging, we had a few food allergies to contend with and I’m not a big fan of making one thing for the group and another for someone with allergies; we all eat the same thing and work together preparing it. I don’t do all of the cooking in these sessions either, actually I do very little of it. I supervise and instruct as much as possible and then demonstrate where necessary, it’s important for the process and I feel that people take more away from doing rather than watching.

Anyway, we prepared a simple menu: New York strip loin steaks with home made steak spice, a sesame stir fry, butternut squash and roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and grilled pork tenderloin.


I’ve grilled a lot of steak, I spent the first two years working at Broil King grilling and steak was on the menu demo after demo store after store. People love steak and grilling it properly is important. Check out The Perfect Steak for grilling instructions and remember the rule of thumb. Before you start, make sure you have defrosted steaks, do not grill frozen steak. Once your steaks are defrosted pat them dry to remove any excess water or blood then make the following rub:

Homemade Steak Spice:

¼ cup course salt or salt flake
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh minced rosemary
1 tablespoon course ground pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, I use lemon thyme; easy to grow in Southern Ontario

Mix your spices, coat your steaks in olive oil and generously rub the steak spice on your steak. Let them sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes while your grill preheats. Grill! 

Sesame Stir Fry

This one is easy on the grill; all of the work is in the vegetable prep:

You’ll need

A grilling wok, holes or no holes both work
Lots of heat, it’s the most important part of a stir fry
Carrots, julienne them
Green onions, julienne them also
Bean sprouts
Snow peas, clean them properly. Remove the head and tough stringy spine.
Chicken, cut into strips
Sesame seeds
Peanut oil
Sesame oil
Chili flakes
Fresh garlic, minced
Fresh ginger, also minced

Coat your chicken generously in peanut oil and toss it in the wok, you want to hear insta-sizzle. The chicken will cook quickly so you’ll want everything else that you’ve prepared before hand nearby. As the chicken is cooking season it with chili flakes and pepper. As you chicken starts to brown add your carrots; wait a few more minutes and add the rest of your vegetables, they all cook at different rates so you’ll want to add them accordingly. For example bean sprouts cook in no time but carrots can take quite a while. As you add the last of you vegetables add your garlic and ginger, a dash of sesame oil and more chili flakes. Don’t over cook your veggies, once the carrots are soft enough to eat you’re pretty much done; nobody likes limp pea pods and dry chicken. Your medley should have a nice golden brown sear on it while maintaining that fresh vegetable crunch.

Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Super easy recipe ahoy!

2 lbs. of red potatoes
1 small butternut squash
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of milk or cream it’s your health we all know what tastes better
¼ cup of butter

Wash and cut up the red potatoes, leave the skins on they won’t kill you. Put them in a pot completely submerged and boil until they’re soft enough to slide off of a fork after being pierced. While your water is heating peel, core and cube your butternut squash. Lay the cubes out on a baking tray and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375°F turning once at the half. While you're roasting the squash, chop the top off of your garlic clove to expose each bud, then wrap it in aluminum foil and drizzle a little olive oil into the bulb; wrap it up and roast in the oven with the squash. Garlic is roasted when it feels squishy soft. Hold on a minute, Jen just found out what happens when you put hot parsnips in a magic bullet blender, boom!
Alright where was I, everything will probably finish cooking about the same time… Drain and mash your potatoes, mash the squash in also and squeeze the softened roasted garlic into the mix and as you can imagine keep mashing. Side note, Pampered Chef has the coolest potato masher ever! CHECK IT OUT! Add milk and butter, mash mash mash, season with pepper. Done-zo!

Grilled Pork tenderloin

I’ve been using this recipe for quite a few years, nobody complains so I keep using it. Add your defrosted pork tenderloin to a glass locking container or a zipper lock freezer bag. Add a generous amount of sherry, real maple syrup, and the steak spice from above… Steak spice not just for steak. Let this marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature or 1 hour in the fridge. Grill!

At this point you could slice and serve to your guests as a great piece of meat but the following is also fun. Toast some thin slices of French bread, sauté strips of red onion and red pepper in a little olive oil and lemon thyme. Stack it up! Toasted bread on the bottom, slice of pork tenderloin, sautéed vegetables, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze and to top it all off a pinch of alfalfa sprouts. A pretty handy appetizer.

Bon Appetit

Post from: Wednesday June 8, 2011

PS: I'm on YouTube, new line of Broil King Grilling Accessories. Great Stuff, the stone grill set is my favorite!

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