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Sunday, April 22, 2012

This picture was presented to me on my last birthday by the artist Jerri Andrews, presnt were Dianna, Ronnie and Glory-Ann Prophet, guest of theirs and Don and Pam of the Casablanca Winery Inn. Thanks Jerri. Banana’s Foster In the 1950's, New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Of course sugar and rum were a large part of Creole cooking as well. In 1951, Owen Edward Brennan challenged his talented chef, Paul BlangĂ©, to include bananas in a new culinary creation. The scrumptious dessert was named for Richard Foster, who, as chairman, served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime Commission, a civic effort to clean up the French Quarter. Richard Foster, owner of the Foster Awning Company, was a frequent customer of Brennan's and a very good friend of Owen. Little did anyone realize that Bananas Foster would become an international favorite and is the most requested item on the restaurant's menu. Thirty-five thousand pounds of bananas are flamed each year at Brennan's in the preparation of its world-famous dessert. Ingredients: 6 tablespoons butter 1 cup dark brown sugar 5 tablespoons rum 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 6 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise, then across 1/2 cup pecan halves 6 scoops vanilla ice cream Preparation: Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon and stir to combine. When mixture starts to bubble, add bananas and pecans to pan. Cook until bananas are hot, spooning sauce over but being careful not to break the bananas. Place a scoop of ice cream in each of six dishes, and divide the bananas and sauce over the dishes of ice cream. French Vanilla Ice Cream
For a richer custard, you can add up to 3 more egg yolks. For a less-rich custard, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream, realizing that the final texture won’t be as rich or as smooth as if using cream. 1 cup (250ml) whole milk A pinch of salt 3/4 cup (150g) sugar 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream 5 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Better Bananas Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup melted butter Topping: 1/4 cup butter 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel 1 tablespoon lemon juice 4 firm bananas -- cut in 1/2" slices 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed Nutmeg, to taste Preparation: Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup melted butter in a medium bowl; mix well. Press crumb mixture into bottom of a buttered 8-inch square baking dish. Bake 5 minutes at 375°. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add lemon peel, lemon juice and bananas. Stir just until bananas are coated with butter mixture. Arrange slices on crust. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Cut into squares to serve warm. Serves 6 to 8. Banana Cake with Banana & Coconut Frosting Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup shortening 1/3 cup butter 2/3 cup buttermilk 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas) 2 eggs Preparation: Sift together the sifted cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, butter, buttermilk, and mashed banana; mix until moistened, then beat on low speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat 1 minute longer. Grease 2 9-inch round or square layer cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper. Divide batter into the two pans; bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, until cake tests done. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes in pans; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Frost with the banana coconut frosting, below. Banana Coconut Frosting 1/3 cup butter 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted 1/2 cup mashed banana 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 cup toasted coconut* 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans 4 drops yellow food coloring Cream butter; add sugar and bananas which have been sprinkled with lemon juice. Blend well. Add toasted coconut and nuts; mix well. Blend in yellow food coloring. Spread between layers and on sides and top of cake. Maui Banana Cake When you drive the island you find the locals selling great loaves of Banana bread roadside, stop and enjoy the bread but the folklore more so. Ingredients: 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 2 tsp. Vanilla 2 tsp. Lemon juice 4 eggs 2 cups bananas (mashed) 1 tsp. Salt 3 1/2 cups flour 2 tsp. Baking soda 2 tsp. Baking powder 1 cup sour cream 1 cup of chopped nuts Preparation: Cream the butter with the sugar, add extract and eggs, one at a time, then add bananas. Sift all dry ingredients, add to wet ingredients, alternately with sour cream, fold in nuts. Bake in two greased (or spray with nonstick coating) loaf pans at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Makes two loaves.
MAPLE BANANA BAKLAVA 2 cups maple syrup 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 cups sliced BANANAS 2 cups pecans, chopped 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon banana flavoring 1 pound filo dough 1 cup butter, melted Mix the nuts and brown sugar. Set aside. Butter 13x9 pan thoroughly. Keep filo pastry covered with a damp tea towel while working with individual sheets. Layer sheets in baking pan, one at a time, brushing each layer with melted butter. After layering six or so, begin alternating layers of filo pastry with nut mixture and bananas. Brush one layer with butter and sprinkle the next with 1/2 cup nut mixture and 1/2 cup bananas. Continue to alternate buttered layers and nut and banana layers until all but ten sheets have been used. Layer the last ten sheets as you did the bottom six, brushing each with butter. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Score pastry into diamond shapes about 1-1/2 inches x 2 inches. Pour syrup over hot pastry. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting and removing from pan.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grillin' Time

Grill N’ Chill
Summer time and everyone is grilling, smoking and barbequing. Everyone has their own special secrets and the aroma fills the entire neighbourhood. War and peace, politics and big money all are resolved over lip smacking baby back ribs, or the world’s best hamburger grilled by the world’s best grill master (in their own mind at least).

So this then is the idea behind Grill N’ Chill allow the grill master to express creativity on what comes from the grill but also what is served as a beverage alongside that great grilling effort. We have given great recipes for both.

There are a few simple rules that every great grill master has mastered some basic unbreakable rules for grilling. They may seem simple but forget them and you face a possible down fall, poor quality food presentation or even worse food that is not edible.

First be sure you have enough fuel, charcoal is best, so be sure to have good quality charcoal or briquettes on hand. Usually 6 quarts of charcoal will see you through, use 30 briquettes to cook 1 pound of meat. Be sure you select a high quality charcoal made from burning high quality woods in the absence of oxygen, so it will light quicker, burn hotter, gives a nice smoky flavour and leaves little ash. Briquettes on the other hand are less expensive, easily found gives an even temperature. Made from wood by products they tend to need chemicals to burn and therefore need to be burned off to begin with otherwise the chemicals will enter your food and taste like fuel not the flavour you’ll desire. However they tend to maintain temperature longer than lump charcoal. Time is also very important 30-40 minutes are required to create a proper ash layer which gives you the even temperature you require. Look for grey ash spread over the briquettes a good indication it is time to get cooking.

Secondly be sure your grill is clean. Pieces of black carbon burned on to the grill will cause your proteins to stick to the grill and give your products a bitter burnt taste. A clean grill is not only important for the presentation of your food but more vitally for the final flavour of your meal.

Judging the temperature of your grill may be a little tricky if you do not have a grill thermometer (you really should have one) so to judge temperature without one use this method.

Hold the palm of your hand over the heated coals, the length of time will indicate the temperature of the grill:
5 Seconds = low heat, Ash coating thickens, red glow less visible
4 Seconds = medium heat, Coals covered with light gray ash
3 Seconds = medium high heat
2 Seconds = high heat, Red glow visible through the ash coating

Stay committed, once you begin pay close attention to your grill. This open flame should never be left unattended. Any one of many factors can cause flare up’s and ruin your food. Stay involved, it is your dinner on that grill.
Want the extra flavour of mesquite, hickory or maple soak the wood chips in water before placing them over the hot coals.

Flare ups will instantly burn your food so avoid using anything which would cause such flare ups. A common mistake which causes flare ups, are sugary sauces (most BBQ sauces) basting with such sauces should be done only during the last ten minutes of cooking. The sugars burn easily and that will ruin your meal as well.
Every good cook needs a good instant read thermometer.

Steaks are done on the thermometer as follows:
Rare: 120 to 125 degrees F (35C) centre is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion
Medium Rare: 130 to 135 degrees F (50C) centre is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion
Medium: 140 to 145 degrees F (55C) centre is light pink, outer portion is brown
Medium Well: 150 to 155 degrees F (60C) thin line of pink outer portion evenly browned
Well Done: 160 degrees F (70C) no pink and above steak is uniformly brown throughout


1 tbsp 15 ml olive oil
1 tbsp 15 ml Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp 15 ml garlic minced
1 tbsp 15 ml paprika
2 tsp 10 ml dried thyme
2 tsp 10 ml dried oregano
1 ½ tsp 8 ml black pepper
1 tsp 5 ml salt
1 tsp 5 ml lemon pepper
1 tbsp 15 ml red pepper flakes
4-6 oz 4-170 g rib eye steaks

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the steaks in a small mixing bowl. Place the steaks in a shallow baking dish, spoon the mixture over the steaks and press into the meat with the back of the spoon. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Grill over medium heat to desired doneness.



1 lb 454 g lean ground beef
¼ lb 120 g sausage meat
1 1 small onion finely diced
½ tsp 3 ml each of fresh basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper
2 2 slices bread, milk soaked, broken in small pieces
½ cup 125 ml soy sauce
½ cup 125 ml pineapple juice
½ tsp 3 ml each of white pepper, garlic powder
1 tsp 5 ml ground ginger
2 tsp 10 ml canola oil
2 tbsp 30 ml sherry

In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, sausage meat, onion, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and bread.

Make into small meatballs, skewer with water soaked bamboo skewers. Place on a tray, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a small sauce pan combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is reduce to half the volume.

Grill the meat balls for 3-5 minutes per side (depending on the size) over medium hot heat, brushing frequently with the sauce. Brush one final time just before serving.


2 cups 500 ml chilli sauce
3 cups 750 ml catsup
1 cup 250 ml brown sugar
2 cups 500 ml Coca-Cola® soft drink beverage (do not use diet)
2 tsp 10 ml black pepper
1 tsp 5 ml each of white pepper, garlic granules, onion powder
½ tsp 3 ml cayenne pepper
1 tsp 5 ml each of dried basil leaves, thyme leaves, oregano leaves
2 tbsp 30 ml mustard
3 tbsp 45 ml honey

2-¼ lbs 1 kg Danish or baby back pork ribs
½ tsp 3 ml each of salt, paprika, thyme leaves, oregano leaves, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
1 tbsp 15 ml chilli powder

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Pour into a mixing bowl and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
Cut the ribs into 5 bone sections.

Combine the seasonings. Sprinkle on the ribs and then rub into the meat.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Bake the ribs in the oven for 1½-2 hours, until fork tender. Grill ribs for 15 minutes over medium heat brushing frequently with the sauce. Brush 1 final time before serving.

1 1 egg
¼ cup 60 ml dry bread crumbs
1 1 small grated onion
2 tbsp 30 ml chopped fresh green onion
2 tsp 10 ml chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp 15 ml water
2 tsp 10 ml Dijon mustard
½ tsp 3 ml salt
¼ tsp 1 ml Pepper
1 lb 454 g ground chicken
6 6 Kaiser Buns
¾ cup 180 ml prepared mustard
¾ cup 180 ml red wine vinegar
1½ tbsp 23 ml margarine
2 tsp 10 ml salt
1 ¼ tsp 6 ml black pepper
½ tsp 3 ml Tabasco sauce
½ tsp 3 ml Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup 60 ml granulated sugar

In a bowl, beat egg; mix in bread crumbs, onions, chives, water, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix in chicken; shape into 6 ¾ inch (2 cm) thick patties. Place on greased grill over medium high heat; cook for 6 to 7 minutes per side or until no longer pink on the inside.

In medium saucepan, combine mustard, vinegar, margarine, salt pepper, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and sugar; mix well. Simmer 10 15 minutes on low heat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Baste the burger with the sauce while grilling. Brush one final time, place burgers in buns, garnish with lettuce, tomato or any of your favourite burger toppings, and serve at once.


New York Steak

1 cup 250 ml safflower oil
¼ cup 60 ml garlic vinegar
2 tbsp 30 ml lemon juice
2 tbsp 30 ml minced onion
1 1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp 5 ml salt
1 tsp 5 ml marjoram
1 tsp 5 ml basil
1 tsp 5 ml thyme
½ tsp 3 ml cracked black pepper
1 tsp 5 ml Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp 3 ml Tabasco sauce
1 cup 250 ml steak sauce
6 8 oz 6 225 g New York Strip steaks (AKA Kansas City Strips)

Blend all the ingredients except the steaks.

Place the steaks in a large shallow baking pan, pour the marinade over the steaks, marinate 4 6 hours covered and refrigerated.

Broil the steaks on a char broiler over medium heat or coals to desired doneness. Brush frequently with the marinade, brush one final time before serving.


Carmenere Marinated Skirt Steak with Blueberry Chimichurri

• 2 cleaned and skinned skirt steaks
• 2 cups carmenere Chilean wine
• 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 small sliced white onion or shallots
Blueberry Chimichurri

1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons dark red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons minced onion or shallot
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cracked black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, marinate for 24 to 48 hours. Remove, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and grill until desired doneness.

Blueberry Chimichurri:

Blend all ingredients together until pureed. Season to taste. Serve with grilled skirt steak as a side condiment. Note: If allowed to stand, run blender briefly before serving.

Samples of Chef K's new cook book Grill N' Chill