I have been searching for a good French-Canadian summer recipe. Searching being a relative term and it roughly translates to asking my mother repeatedly for some recipes. When I asked what 'they' ate during the summer I was told it was all just cooking and to forget seasonal food. Of course, no one ate Cipaille, no one ate Tourtiere, no one ate ANY of the french recipes that I was familiar with. The best I could get was that people didn't barbeque just because people didn't barbeque then. I did get a few general ideas for recipes, no instructions or amounts, per usual, so I will have to experiment with those first. Le dessert de nos ancestres - translated directly to be "The Dessert of Our Ancestors" is one of those simple, good, bad recipes all at the same time. Simple because there are three ingredients, good because it tastes so, so good, and bad because two servings will immediately clog your arteries and stop your heart. I don't have a picture of it yet - the humidity is so high here today that the cream will curdle as it pours out of the carton.
I know I say that I don't eat pre-packaged food and stay away from chemical additions, but I have a confession to make - I have a thing for Quaker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins. The frugal side of me cringes at the thought of buying a package of Muffin mix, but there is just something about it that I like. In the effort to save face, and money, I searched and found an Oatmeal Muffin recipe that is similar to the packaged kind. I added the chocolate chips - what's an Oatmeal Muffin without chocolate chips? - and I'm pretty happy with the results. I think I'll still have the occasional lapse but I'm pretty sure this muffin methadone will help me cut back.
I must have cursed myself with the comment about grilling this time of year, because I'm back to baking in the oven. The 60km per hour north wind makes it hard enough to keep the barbeque on the deck let alone lit! So, the oven it is... One of my favourite 'super easy supper' recipes, Glazed Chicken with Tarragon has 4 ingredients and still tastes amazing. Another thing I like about this recipe is that I can use cheap chicken pieces. This time I used chicken drumsticks, a favourite with the kids, but I often use very cheap chicken leg quarters. No pre-browning required, could probably be done in the crockpot (I just haven't tried it yet), goes together in 5 minutes and cooks without supervision. If only the rest of my life were this simple.
You may have noticed a theme going on here -- everything is being grilled. Well, it's summertime, and every summer we abandon the house to whatever critters are in here and move out onto the deck. I just can't stand heating up the house by turning on the oven so everything I make is done on the barbeque. Souvlaki is something I tried once, many years ago, and decided I didn't like. Then last Canada Day I was practically starving to death in the samosa line when a friend dragged me into the souvlaki line-up with her. Not one to pass up almost instantaneous food, I ate the souvlaki. Maybe it was the hunger but at that minute I really thought it was the best thing I had ever eaten. Tangy and very, very flavourful, it was totally satisfying.
Not a quick weeknight meal, this Caribbean Grilled Pork is awesome nonetheless. The salsa is what takes time, especially if you are like me and are completely clueless on Mangoes (like - how do you pit a mango?), but it can be made in the morning or even the day before if necessary. The pork itself grills in about 30 minutes, so no time issues there. The 'Caribbean Pork Tenderloin' recipe comes from the cookbook "Eating for Life", part of the Body for Life series by Bill Phillips. All of the recipes in the cookbook that I have tried have tasted fabulous and are good for you too. Caribbean Pork especially is just a beautiful meal to look at, especially if you actually have the baby spinach to serve it with (I forgot). I just modified the recipe for the grill but it can be roasted if you can't find your barbeque.