Through the Kitchen Window

August . . . For a lot of reasons, this month is my favourite. Summer is in full swing and most important, it's my birthday month.

Backyard BBQ's, cool summer salads, lovely fresh fruit, and ice cold frosty Corona with lime: that's my idea of a perfect celebration.

Following are two of my favourite grill recipes. Try them for yourself, I can promise they're worth it.

Garlic Pork Chops with Balsamic Vinegar

This is a recipe I've adapted from one of my cooking for Diabetes books . . . The main change I made was to adapt it for the grill since the original called for baking. It was also originally served over noodles. The sugar exchange for the full recipe is 3.5.
  • 1 small head garlic, separated into cloves and minced
  • 6 centre-cut loin pork chops (approx 2 lbs), trimmed of fat
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sweet vermouth
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Chopped parsley

Combine the minced garlic, vermouth, mustard, balsamic vinegar, a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, and salt to taste. Pour the mixture over the pork chops in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate over night.

When ready to grill, remove the chops from the fridge and drain the marinade. Heat your grill to high heat and grill the chops till just done. Serve with extra balsamic vinegar for sprinkling over the hot chops.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time

Steak with Ale

This recipe is a family favourite and as we all know that alcohol cooks off, it's safe enough for the kids or grandma and they're guaranteed to give rave reviews!!!
  • 1 1/2 lb lean boneless top sirloin steak, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 flat pale ale or light beer
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp beef bouillon granules
  • Cooking spray
  • Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Combine onion, water, ale, sugar, vinegar, thyme and bouillon granules in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Pour the remaining mixture over the steak in a glass dish and marinate in the refrigerator at least eight hours, turning occasionally.

Remove steak from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Place the steak on the grill over med hot coals and grill covered five to six minutes on each side, basting often with the reserved half cup of ale mixture.

Garnish with thyme if desired and serve.

  • Yields: 5-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
Recipe Exchange

In reply to a readers' request from a while ago, Barb sent in the following:

    Jessica requested a strange meatloaf recipe a while back. The description sounds Amish to me. Here are some of my favorite Amish recipes. Perhaps she can kit-bash them to recreate the meatloaf she talked about.

    Amish Country Casserole

    • 1 lb. beef chunks or ground beef
    • 1 chopped onion
    • 1 can tomato soup
    • 1 lb. egg noodles
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil

    Saute chopped onion in olive oil. Add beef. Cook well. Add can of tomato soup undiluted. Cook egg noodles according to directions on package. Drain well. Add can of cream of mushroom soup, undiluted. Grease casserole dish. Place 1/2 of beef mixture in bottom of casserole. Add 1/2 of noodle mixture. Put rest of beef on noodles. Add remaining noodles. If desired, sprinkle paprika lightly over top of noodles. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly.

    • Yields: 4 servings
    • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

    Poor Man's Steak - Amish Recipe

    • 3 lb. hamburger
    • 1 c. cracker crumbs
    • Salt & pepper
    • 1/4 c. chopped onion
    • 1-2 cans mushroom soup

    Mix well and press onto cookie sheet. Chill overnight to set. Cut in squares, roll in flour and brown both sides. Place in baking dish. Pour soup over meat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

    • Yields: 8-10 servings
    • Preparation Time: 90 minutes, plus chilling time

    Swiss Amish Meatloaf

    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 c. evaporated milk
    • 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
    • 1 c. Ritz cracker crumbs
    • 3/4 c. grated Swiss cheese
    • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
    • 2-3 strips bacon, cut in 1" pieces

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add evaporated milk, sage, salt and pepper, and mix. Add beef, crumbs, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the onion; blend. Form into a loaf and place in a 2 quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange bacon pieces on top of loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake 10 minutes longer.

    • Yields: 4 servings
    • Preparation Time: 1 hour

Hopefully, Jessica, you'll find something like what you were looking for among these recipes from Barb.

Keep those requests coming in!

Pot Luck

Beer Can Chicken

  • 1 - 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 can beer (your favourite brand)
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp of your favourite dry spice rub (I usually use Emeril's Bayou blast mixture)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Rise and dry chicken inside and out. Rub it lightly with oil, then mix the salt pepper and dry spice rub together and rub the chicken inside and out with the mixture. Set aside.

Open the beer and take several gulps, making them fairly big gulps so the can is slightly more than half full. Place the beer can on a solid surface, and firmly plunk the chicken cavity over the bird (so the bird is "stuffed" with the beer can). Transfer the bird to the center of your grill, balancing it on the can and its two legs.

Cook the chicken over medium high indirect heat (no coals or burner directly under the chicken) covered, for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature is 165 in the breast area and 180 in the thigh. Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

  • Yields: about 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 90 minutes

I do these chickens three or four at a time sometimes cuz they're great cold. Try setting potatoes around the chickens on the grill and letting them bake while the chickens cook, as they make a great addition to the meal.

Happy grilling!!!

    Did you ever notice that when it comes to restaurants, the lower the lights, the higher the prices??
See you next month!!