Grilling in the country

Spent a wonderful Canada Day long weekend in around the Lindsay/Peterborough area at my good friend Victorias place.  It was like a spa for the mind and body.  We had planned on experimenting with cooking up new food ideas so I was very excited.  Some worked really well while others not as much.  I decided to blog even the mediocre in hopes perhaps someone could recommend how to make it better.  Here goes several meals so keep reading after the first:

Brown Rice Paella (not your typical version)

paella1

While this looks really good….it was lacking in intensity of flavour. We didn’t do the typical spicing which is probably why it was lacking in flavour.  Instead we opted to try lime and cilantro to flavour it for a lighter tasting paella.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice (we should have used instant rice but used regular brown rice as it was what we had)

10 large raw peeled shrimp

1 lb of mussels

1 cup of frozen green peas

Juice of 1 lime

1 lemon cut in quarters (to sprinkle over dish)

Fresh coriander

Directions

We marinated the shrimp in some lime juice and coriander first.

Cook the rice in chicken or vegetable broth until just about ready then add the frozen peas, shrimp and then the mussels on top.  Cover and steam for about 5 minutes.  Very quick and easy but the thing that made it taste okay was we added hot sauce to it on our plates.

Please feel free to comment any ideas you think would have improved on the flavour (other than the traditional style).

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Tomato and Feta Salad and Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Turkey burger

tomato and feta salad

This was amazing – We made these burgers in a way I had never made burgers before and low and behold they were awesome!!!!

We did not have any bread crumbs so we used large flake oatmeal instead.  Who would have thought!  Okay every gluten intolerant person probably knows this but we didn’t so it was amazing to learn.

No real need for instructions here as you just combine all ingredients which included the following:

1 lb. ground turkey

1 sweet onion – I caramelized the onion but you can just sauté it.

About 1 cup of large flake oatmeal

Dijon mustard – 3 tbsp

2 cloves of garlic minced

A splash of hoisin sauce

A splash of BBQ sauce

(use any condiments you have in your fridge that you think you might like)

A pinch of black pepper

1 egg

The mixture seemed very wet so we made the patties and put them in the fridge and like magic by the time we went to cook them (about an hour or two later) they had firmed right up! – apparently the oatmeal absorbs moisture (I know all you people that knew this are thinking “Well of course it does” but we really didn’t know – I am not an oatmeal eater so I never use it).

The fun part for us both was grilling on a tiny charcoal grill – after several attempts we got it going and that little sucker really got hot (we kind of charred a couple of the burgers in the process but they still tasted amazing).

Burgers on BBQ

Add to this a roasting pan full of baby carrots from the farmers market fresh that morning, japanese eggplant and asparagus topped with a bit of shredded parmesan cheese and you have a fabulous meal.

Grilled veg

What could be better to add to this meal than a salad of fresh tomatoes with feta cheese and basil from the garden fresh picked and you have the perfect summer meal. (oh yeah I also sautéed some mushrooms to put on top of the burgers…)

Lastly – for lunch Victoria made this yummy Niçoise salad with some fresh tomatoes, baby white potatoes, 2 hard boiled eggs, fresh quick cooked asparagus with a dijon dressing that was absolutely delightful!  So fresh and tasty.

nicios salad

You now know pretty much everything we ate that  weekend 😉

Pretty darn awesome I have to say!

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Veggie Patties

I had some left over lentils, chickpea and vegetables from a light dinner and wasn’t sure how to use them up.  I thought about veggie burgers.  While these might have been called veggie burgers if they were more bulked with ingredients, I ran the food processor longer and it made the “batter” softer hence the term “veggie patties”

I had one for lunch to see what they tasted like and they were actually quite good so I decided to blog the recipe.  This is one of those recipes you can do whatever you want with so please don’t feel obliged to use the ingredients listed below.  Use whatever you have on hand (or whatever is in the fridge that you want to use up).

I put mine into a small baby whole wheat pita pocket with some pickles and a slice of cheese.  It was tasted great and was quite filling.

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Ingredients – made 6 patties medium sized

• Whatever kind of beans you have on hand – I used lentils and chickpeas (1 medium can each)

• Frozen mixed vegetables – at least one cup if not a bit more (again up to you)

• 1 medium onion diced

• 3 garlic cloves diced

• pinch of cumin

• Pepper to taste

• Sweet chilli sauce or ketchup – 2 tbsp

• Dijon Mustard – 2 tbsp

• Half cup bread crumbs – I used an italian seasoned bread crumb – Add more if needed

• half cup of grated parmesan cheese – again add more if needed

• 2 tbsp canola oil

Directions

Saute onions and garlic and when softened add lentils, chickpeas and frozen vegetables.  Add pepper  and cumin to taste. Once this has warmed and the veg is not frozen any longer, put mixture into a food processor and add chilli sauce, mustard, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  Pulse till the mixture is soft enough to make a patty – or lumpy enough for more of a burger texture.

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Form a patty and fry lightly in canola oil until browned on one side – only needs a minute or so – flip and brown the other side.  When finished you can eat as a sandwich or on their own.  Garnish with whatever you fancy. (I was in the mood for pickles….)

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Globe Bistro – Toronto

I had our year end lunch with my good friend Peter (who is also my business associate) the other day and as some of you remember from my post on “the Works Burger Bistro” I talked about the best burger I ever had was at Globe Bistro on the Danforth (near Broadview) in Toronto. Well, we went back there and I was not disappointed….

Globe bistro image

Now that is a burger!!!  Made with Rib Eye Steak (which I have to say you really can taste the difference!). topped with a touch of cheese and sweet onions, this is a burger that can be proud to be called “the best”. It is huge and comes with hand cut yukon potato fries.

It’s funny – I so rarely have a burger (and I take the bun off when I do) but here I was having 2 in the span of a month.  No comparison though.  Again I was so full I didn’t eat dinner that night.

Our service was excellent, the atmosphere was nice and again – that is a burger worth waiting for.  Even the ketchup had a smokiness to it that you knew was homemade (or at least definitely not Heinz).

I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone looking for good food in a great spot.  I do have to say however that it is not cheap.  The price has gone up since last year and is now $18 but I consider it like ordering a steak in a restaurant and it is a once a year splurge. Well worth every penny.