Kate's Cuisine

Jun 24 2016

Grilled Potato Wedges

Grilled Potato Wedges

It’s no secret that hot summer days are perfect for grilling. And it’s also no secret that on those days, I try to take everything out to the barbecue. Meats, starches, sides, it all goes on the grill. But what do you do when you just know potato wedges would be a perfect starch to accompany your meal, but you still don’t want to turn on your oven? Well, I just solved your problem. It’s one I’ve had for years and I typically just settle on another starch, usually baked potatoes.

But grilled potato wedges are possible, and they’re so, so easy. What’s even better? They take a fraction of the time to cook. Instead of the usual 45 minutes in the oven, we’re talkin just over 10 minutes!

  • 4 – 5 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes, sliced into wedges $1.05
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for the grill) $0.18
  • 1 tablespoon cumin $0.75
  • 1 tablespoon paprika $0.48
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $2.48
Cost per serving $0.62

1.) Preheat a grill on both sides to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Close the lid so that the grates can get really hot.

2.) Place the potato wedges into a large bowl, add the olive oil and seasonings, and toss to thoroughly combine.

3.) Turn off the flame on one side of the grill. Place the wedges on the hot side of the grill (the side with the flame) and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

4.) Move the potato wedges over to the cold side of the grill (the side with no flame.) Close the lid and grill for another 10 minutes, until the wedges have softened and are completely cooked through.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Jun 21 2016

Grilled Chicken Legs with Beer Marinade

Grilled Chicken Legs

Here in Ontario, Canada it has been hot for the past few days. I mean it’s been stifling, sweaty, don’t-you-dare-turn-on-that-oven kind of hot. So when we’ve absolutely had to eat, everything has gone outside to get cooked on the grill.

After just a couple of meals, barbecue sauce can quickly become overplayed, so when I need something a little different, tinkering around with different marinades is usually the way I go. Beer is most definitely not my favourite thing to drink (not since my college days), but it goes hand in hand with barbecue, and makes for a really great marinade for these grilled chicken legs.

  • 12 chicken legs $7.50
  • 1 bottle of beer, the darker the better $1.25
  • 1/2 onion, chopped $0.23
  • 1/2 cup olive oil $0.23
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated $0.02
  • 1 teaspoon paprika $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon cumin $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper $0.12
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper $0.01

Total cost $9.78
Cost per serving $2.44

1.) Place the chicken legs into a large bowl or resealable freezer bag. Mix together all of the other ingredients, pour them over the chicken legs and stir and mix thoroughly to ensure that the chicken is entirely coated. Place the chicken legs into the refrigerator and let marinate for 6 – 24 hours, turning occasionally.

2.) When chicken legs are finished marinating, coat the grill with oil and preheat to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When hot, remove chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess to shake or drip off. Place on the grill and cook for about 10 – 12 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the juices run clear.

3.) Remove chicken from grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Jun 18 2016

Copycat Two Bite Brownies

Copycat Two Bite Brownies

Copycat recipes are some of my favourite kinds. You get to play around in your kitchen trying to get that dish to taste *just* right, and once you do, well, there’s a certain feeling of accomplishment that will have you strutting around like a superhero for a little while. I really thought copycat recipes couldn’t get any better. And then I added chocolate into the mix.

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, butter $0.60
  • 1/2 cup flour $0.07
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder $1.50
  • 3/4 cup sugar $0.14
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten $0.20
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla $0.22

Total cost $2.73
Cost per brownie $0.12

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a muffin tin, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.) In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium speed. Add cocoa powder and mix well. Add sugar, egg and vanilla and continue to mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add the flour and mix just until the flour has been completely incorporated into the mix.

3.) Using your fingers or two spoons, drop about 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin tin.

4.) Place in the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the brownies are fully set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not over-bake, as the brownies will turn out quite hard!

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Jun 12 2016

How to Carmalize Onions

How to Carmalize Onions

Carmalized onions are the perfect addition to any dish (and I mean any dish – I absolutely love them!) but they can be tricky to make. This is because there’s a massive difference between carmalized onions and fried onions, and it’s very easy to get the latter, even if that’s not what you’re looking for.

Fried onions are thrown into a pan, usually over a moderately high heat and while they do soften, they still retain the sharpness that’s so distinct to the onion. Carmalized onions on the other hand, are quite different. Carmalized onions are cooked for a long time. They need this time so that the sugars can slowly be coaxed out, turning the onions entirely brown (not black or charred), and very sweet. It’s from this sugar that the onions get the name carmalized onions, and it’s also the reason they’re so very, very good.

This recipe calls for 5 onions, which might seem like a lot. But remember, onions cook down to a much smaller size when being cooked. And even if you’re left with an abundance, the onions will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

Just one more thing about these onions before we move on to the recipe. You’ll notice that the recipe also calls for the onions to be sliced “Lyonnaise,” but just what the heck does this mean? Many, many cooks cut their onions with the grain, that is, from side to side instead of top to bottom. This is a big mistake. Slicing your onions this way will cause them to quickly break down, and you’ll be left with little onion bits instead of nice slices. Also, slicing your onions Lyonnaise also just makes for much better-looking onions when they’re done, and it’s what will separate you from the amateurs.

  • 5 onions, sliced Lyonnaise $2.35
  • 3 tablespoons butter $0.18
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil $0.06
  • Wine, vinegar, lemon juice, or broth (optional) $1.00
  • Salt $0.01

Total cost $3.60

1.) Place a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and the oil.

2.) When the butter and oil have melted together, add the sliced onions, along with a generous pinch of salt, and toss to complete coat them in the fat. Stir, keep over medium-low heat and let cook for 45 minutes to one hour, until the onions are very soft and entirely brown. The level of carmalization you take the onions to is up to you, but you definitely need to remove them from the heat once they turn dark brown. Otherwise, you’ll be left with burnt onions instead of carmalized ones. Also remember to stir the onions regularly while they are cooking so they all brown evenly and they don’t get stuck to the bottom of the pot.

3.) Once the onions are finished cooking, you can use the wine, vinegar, lemon juice, or broth to deglaze the pan. This step isn’t necessary, but doing so can lift any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and will give you onions even more flavour.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Jun 10 2016

Korean Bean Sprout Salad

Korean Bean Sprout Salad

I have a bean sprout problem. Or rather, I used to have a bean sprout problem. I don’t think any stir-fry is complete without the addition of a couple handfuls. But once that’s done, I’m left with an entire bag of bean sprouts that I don’t know what to do with, and that will turn bad in just a couple of days. But now, my problem has been solved, thanks to this Korean bean sprout salad.

Okay, I’ll admit, it does sort of look like worms (which makes me tip my hat to the Korean vendors selling it as street food every day.) But. It’s delicious with just a little bit of spice, and the sprouts don’t lose their crunchy texture, even with the blanching and dressing. I like to marinate mine in the fridge for an hour or two before serving to really boost the flavour and get everything really cold, but it will still keep for only a couple of days. That’s a bean sprout problem I have not yet been able to solve.

  • 2 cups bean sprouts $1.32
  • 1 cup water Free!
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder $0.46
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce $0.05
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil $0.20
  • 4 green onions, chopped $0.28
  • 1 jalapeno, minced $0.30

Total cost $2.63
Cost per serving $0.65

1.) Place the water in a medium-sized saucepan, along with the salt, and bring to a rapid boil. Add the bean sprouts and blanch for one minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sprouts from the pan and place in a bowl of ice water just until they’ve cooled. Remove and pat dry with paper towels before placing the bean sprouts in a large bowl.

2.) Meanwhile, thoroughly combine the chili powder, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, and jalapeno in a small bowl.

4.) Pour the seasonings over the bean sprouts and stir thoroughly to combine. Place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Jun 03 2016

Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

Mexican food is one of my very favourites, so when we featured it at the restaurant for the month of May, I was so excited I came home and started cooking what I had spent so much time on at work. My home version of pork carnitas features authentic Mexican pulled pork (which is all pork carnitas really is,) and a chipotle barbecue sauce we made for the carnitas at work, but you can leave out the sauce if you wish and still enjoy authentic pork carnitas.

Just like you can go with or without barbecue sauce, you can also eat the carnitas as is, or you can wrap them in taco shells or soft tortillas. I found these cute tortilla bowls at the grocery store, which let you first dig into the pulled pork and delicious toppings with a fork before wrapping it all together and finishing it off.

For the pork carnitas:

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder $8.50
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano $0.40
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin $0.25
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped $0.47
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.04
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped $0.30
  • 1 orange, cut in half $0.58
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil $0.06
  • Sour cream (optional) $0.30
  • Guacamole (optional) $0.75
  • Shredded lettuce (optional) $0.20
  • Red onions, chopped (optional) $0.10
  • Tortillas, taco shells, or tortilla bowls    $1.99
  • Salt $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper $0.01

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup $0.76
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice $0.06
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped with adobo sauce $0.22
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped $0.05
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.01
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard $0.06
  • 1 teaspoon cumin $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder $0.06
  • Salt $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper $0.01

Total cost $15.64
Cost per serving $3.91

1.) Generously salt and pepper the pork shoulder. Mix the oregano and cumin with the olive oil and rub all over the pork. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 hours.

2.) When the meat is nearly ready, place all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3.) Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork. In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the pulled pork into the oil and fry until crusty on one side.

4.) Mix the pork carnitas with barbecue sauce before piling into tortilla bowls. Top with red onion, guacamole, and sour cream, if using.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

May 31 2016

Sweet Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Grilled Lamb Chops

We don’t have lamb around these parts too often, and when we do I typically make it the same way – my favourite way – every time. A good sprinkling of rosemary and garlic, lots of olive oil, and maybe a squirt of lemon across them. But when lamb was on sale at the grocery store last week, I picked some up and was determined to find another delicious way of eating them. And I think I’ve done it.

I really wanted to veer away from the herby/garlicky combination that I had clung to for so long, so I went in the direction of sweet and smoky, using brown sugar and cumin as a base for the rub and then quickly searing them on the grill. The lamb loin chops I had were quite thick and meaty so they took several minutes per side to get to medium-rare. If you like your meat more on the well-done side of things, cook them for a minute or two longer but be sure not to leave them for too long. Lamb loin chops are crazy tender but if you over-cook them they will become tough and chewy.

  • 8 lamb loin chops $16.08
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil $0.06
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar $0.03
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin $0.75
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano $0.60
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder $0.90
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander $0.32
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $18.76
Cost per serving $4.69

1.) Combine brown sugar, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and coriander in a large bowl. Add lamb chops, pressing rub in as you do, and making sure you cover all sides. When each lamb chop has been coated, place on a baking sheet and let sit for 30 minutes.

2.) After 30 minutes, preheat the barbecue or an indoor grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle the lamb chops evenly with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3.) Place lamb chops on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking other side for another 4 – 5 minutes.

4.) Remove lamb from the grill, turn off heat, and let rest for 5 minutes.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

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