A Brief Hiatus


Hiya everyone!

I want to thank every one of you for following me, and for supporting what I do. I need to take a bit of a vacation from Food Forays… I hope you understand? Sometimes you just need a step back..  I hope you’ll bear with me, and catch me on the flip side!

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Grilled Chili-Lime Shrimp


Grilled Shrimp with Chili Lime marinade

Chili Lime Shrimp was part of the Mother’s Day feast I made for my mom :)

I’m a big fan of seafood and this summer I want to work on more grilling recipes for all of you to try. Barbeque doesn’t have to be just burgers and hot dogs. With a few simple steps, you can make a gourmet feast on your grill!

One of the mainstays of successful BBQ is a great marinade. Not only does it impart flavour into what you’re grilling, it often tenderizes the meat as well. With shrimp, you are looking more to add flavour than to tenderize so the marinade is a bit different than what you may be used to.

Seasoning for chili lime shrimp

Preparing the marinade for your chili lime shrimp.

Start with a finely diced jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed unless you like a lot of heat. Smash and roughly chop three cloves of garlic and add 1 tbsp of chili powder.

Honey and Olive Oil for Shrimp Marinade

Olive oil and honey are key ingredients in your marinade.

Add 2 tbsp of liquid honey and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Use a resealable bag for marinating.

A resealable bag makes marinating easy and clean!

Pour the marinade over peeled shrimp you have placed in a resealable bag. Use your hands to lightly massage the marinade into the shrimp once the bag is closed. Allow to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge. After 20 minutes, add the zest of one lime and the juice and return the shrimp to the fridge for 10 more minutes. Do not let your shrimp marinade longer than 20 minutes once you have added the lime because they will cook in the acid.

Thread the Shrimp onto Skewers

This step takes the longest, but it’s well worth it!

Thread your shrimp onto skewers that you have let soak in warm water for at least 20 minutes. This stops the skewers from burning up quickly. Reserve the marinade for grilling.

Grilling Chili Lime Shrimp

Add some of the reserved marinade while grilling.

The skewers should take about six minutes per side over medium-high heat. Look for the shrimp to be just turned opaque, rather than translucent. Right before they are cooked, pour some of the marinade over the shrimp to add extra flavour.

All that’s left to do is serve them up with your favourite sides! Better yet, make a feast of it like I did for Mother’s Day!

Chili Lime Shrimp on the Grill

Grilled chili lime shrimp ready to be devoured!

PS- I know there are a lot of people out there that are not a fan of seafood. This marinade would work really well with a butterflied pork tenderloin. The only difference would be to add the lime components right away, and leave the tenderloin to marinade for at least two hours to get maximum flavour.

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The Ultimate Sloppy Joe Sandwich


Ultimate Sloppy Joe Sandwich

Who doesn’t love a great sloppy joe sandwich?

Sloppy joes are a quick and easy budget-stretching meal that you can sneak some healthy vegetables into and even your fussiest eaters will still enjoy them. Instead of the go-to commercial sauce that’s laden with chemicals, give this recipe a try next time you’re in the mood for a tasty sloppy joe.

In a large frying pan, begin browning your ground beef. Check through your fridge and gather up some vegetables. I like to make these when I have odds and ends of produce in the fridge that may go to waste if I don’t use them up. Cut your vegetables into large chunks and put them in a food processor. In this batch, I used up some celery, onion, red pepper and carrots. Add a few sprigs of fresh basil if you have it. Pulse until the vegetables are about the same consistency as ground beef.

Vegetables for Sloppy Joes

A great way to use up those vegetable odds and ends.

Mincing the vegetables lets you “hide” those that fussy eaters may not like and really enhances their flavour. Not only does it add some great nutrients, it helps stretch your ground beef, which saves you money.

Once the ground beef is browned, drain off the fat and return it to the pan. Add your minced vegetables and allow the mixture to simmer on medium-low heat for two or three minutes while you prepare the seasonings and the sauce mixture.

Minced Vegetables and Ground Beef

Simmering the vegetables with the ground beef brings out the flavour.

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, mix 3 tbsp of tomato paste or one small can with a cup of water. To the meat and vegetable mixture, add 1 tbsp each of oregano, basil (if you did not have fresh), onion powder, chili powder and minced garlic.

Flavouring for Sloppy Joes

Adding the rest of the flavour profile to the sloppy joe mixture.

Stir in the tomato paste mixture and simmer on low heat for five minutes or until the mixture has thickened and is not watery.

Adding Sauce to Sloppy Joe Mixture

Simmer the sloppy joe mixture until the liquid has been absorbed.

Give the mixture a taste and add salt as desired. Serve on your favourite buns and top with grated cheese if desired. I hope you enjoy this healthier twist on the ultimate sloppy joe sandwich!

Delicious and Healthy Sloppy Joe Sandwich

The ultimate sloppy joe sandwich ready to be devoured!

 

 

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Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple


Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce

A versatile sweet and sour sauce that will get even your kids to eat their veggies!

The inspiration for this dish comes from a recipe my mom used to make when my brother and I were younger. Her version was “Hawaiian Hamburgers”, and she would make hamburger patties and top them with this sauce and slices of pineapple. I adapted the recipe some and added some veggies to round out the dish. The beauty of this dish is you can use bone-in or boneless chicken, pork or even shrimp as long as you adjust your cooking times accordingly. For this version I used drumsticks since that is what I had on hand.

Searing Meat

Browning your meat helps seal in flavour and moisture.

Begin with searing the meat you will use in your dish. The idea is to get a nice browning on all sides without cooking the meat through.

Bite-Sized Vegetable Chunks

Do not cut your vegetables too small as they will overcook before your meat is done.

While your meat is browning, cut your vegetables into bite-sized chunks. I used onion, carrot, red and green peppers. You will also need one large can of pineapple chunks, reserving the liquid in a 4-cup measure or medium-sized bowl. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Saute Vegetables for Sweet and Sour Sauce

Lightly saute the vegetables in an oven-proof pan.

In an oven-proof pan, lightly saute your vegetables and pineapple chunks without browning. As they are cooking, prepare the sauce with the following ingredients:

  • Reserved pineapple juice with enough cold water added to make 2 cups.
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 tbsp rice or white vinegar
  • 2 heaping tbsp cornstarch
Sweet and Sour Sauce

Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the pan.

Stir the sauce ingredients well and pour over the vegetables in the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil, stirring often. As the sauce thickens, the cloudiness will clear.

Meat is Added to Sweet and Sour Sauce

Add the meat to the sauce.

Once the cloudiness has cleared and the sauce has thickened, add your browned meat to the pan. Cover and bake for twenty minutes or until meat is cooked through.

Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

Pineapple and Chicken Sweet and Sour

A tasty dish that is easy to make!

This dish reheats well as leftovers however; you may need to add some water to thin out the sauce once it has been refrigerated. I don’t recommend freezing it as the vegetables will get mushy.

 

 

 

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Porketta Sudbury-Style


Homemade Porketta at a Fraction of the Cost!

Make your own Porketta for a fraction of the cost!

Porketta (porchetta) is a traditional Italian-style pork roast that has become a trademark dish of the city I’m from, Sudbury, Ontario. The major difference between the Italian delicacy and Sudbury’s trademark version is the use of dill in place of fennel seeds. Since I could not find fennel at four different grocery stores, I decided to play with the recipe and come up with my own version of Porketta since I love this succulent roast and I find the store versions either too fatty, or too expensive.

While a pork shoulder or butt is traditionally used for this roast, I used a picnic-style pork shoulder cut which is usually only seven or eight dollars for a three-pound roast when you catch them on sale. I trimmed off the fat rind, and made cuts along the natural grain of the meat to hold the spice mix. Since this roast has a bone, if you place it fat-side down, the grain to cut along will be obvious.

Prepping Pork Picnic Shoulder

If you use the picnic shoulder cut, trim the heavy fat and follow the lines of the meat to make deep slices.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare the spice mix in a small bowl as follows:

Porketta Spice Mix

Salty with a touch of heat from the pepper, porketta spices are a unique blend.

Use two tablespoons each of:

Coarse salt, coarsely ground black pepper, whole peppercorns, dill, minced garlic, oregano, lemon zest and onion powder. Add just enough olive oil to make a paste of the ingredients. If you stir as you add the oil, you will see when it just pulls together.

Use Olive Oil to Add Crunch to your Porketta

Although not traditional, using olive oil to make a paste and removing the pork fat still allows you that delightful crunch on the outside of your Porketta.

Press one heaping tablespoon of the spice mix into the two cuts you will make into the roast. Pour the rest of the mixture over the roast and rub it in well with your hands, coating the entire roast. The coarse salt will help the rest of the spices permeate the meat of your roast.

Bake at 350 for two hours, or until the temperature reads 160 on a meat thermometer. Transfer to a serving plate and lightly cover with foil to rest for about ten minutes so the juices can redistribute and you will not have a dry roast.

Do not Overcook Pork

Do not overcook your Porketta. Roasting until it reaches 160 degrees then tenting with foil will ensure a juicy roast at a safe temp for eating.

Serve with your favourite sides. How easy was that? We just turned a roast under ten dollars into a 15-dollar or better pre-made porketta!

Porketta from Home

Did I mention that leftovers make great sandwiches?

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