Thursday, April 12, 2007

Our new best grill friend

Last Thursday a new and beautiful piece of metal arrived at our home, courtesy of Preston Hardware and my loving, wonderful in-laws (and I mean that without a trace of irony, they are awesome). Yes, we are now the proud owners of a propane gas grill, hereafter referred to as the BBQ. We tried it out on Saturday night, with a delicious chicken recipe borrowed from our friend CanDragon. It's just boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I bought them whole and removed the skin and bones myself, for I am cheap) marinated in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil and tarragon, sliced green onion, chopped garlic and tomatoes, with a sprinkle of chili powder for depth. Once marinated, the breasts are grilled over medium heat, turning once and adding the veggies and herbs from the marinade to the tops and allowing it all to heat through before devouring.

The chicken, before grilling:

The raw veggies:

The finished meal:

And devour we did, alongside some balsamic caramelized onions and red peppers and a nice glass of red wine. It tasted of summer and the great outdoors, even though there was a dusting of snow still on the ground and Chris had a heavy jacket on while grilling. We are now officially addicted to grilling, and did it for two more dinners this week. Tuesday was flank steak, marinated in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, mirin, lime juice and brown sugar, quickly grilled, with red peppers and zucchini slices done on the grill and more of those amazing onions. I brought the leftover steak to work with me today and once I heated it up, I got three comments on how good it smelled. I'm making that at least every 2 weeks this year.

Last night I made a couple of turkey burgers, zinged up with some mango chutney, cumin, chili powder and ginger in with the ground poultry. Chris grilled them up and we devoured them topped with more chutney, along with some corn and sweet potato mash. Divine.

Also, I forgot to mention that I hosted Easter dinner at our place this year for both of our families - there were nine of us in total, including four parents, one grandmother, my sister and her fiance. Finally, there was room enough for everyone to sit comfortably at a table (we used two, the dining and the kitchen, both pulled into the dining area) and space in the kitchen for myself and up to three helpers. It was, in a word, awesome. I was in charge of the main course, for which I provided a ham (glazed with honey and dijon), a roast chicken (stuffed the cavity with a lemon, some garlic and a handful of fresh tarragon - best chicken I've ever made, hands down), a lovely brown rice pilaf with dried cranberries and apricots, sliced almonds, and cinnamon, and some steamed broccoli and maple-dill carrots.

My mother provided appetizers: a gorgeous spinach dip with pumpernickel and baby carrots, and utterly divine bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese and a whole almond. My in-laws brought a delicious tossed salad, while my sister and her boy were responsible for desserts - plural. J baked a stunning, deceptively light lemon-buttermilk pound cake and a pan of sinful butterscotch chip brownies (recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma, which always means decadent), while D rounded out the selection with a terrific fruit salad. And my grandmother, that sneaky woman, brought an enormous pot of traditionally bacon-and-sugar-laden homemade baked beans. To, Die. For.

I think we might still be digesting that meal.

1 comment:

Ceedy said...

Damn, now I want to make that chicken again. Isn't grilling marvelous? You should buy a smoker box and different varities of wood chips next. Makes for the yum.