Tag Archives: BBQ

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs are one of my summer favorites. I love to eat them with a simple green salad and beautiful sweet corn on the cob. One thing I will tell you is that there are countless thoughts, beliefs & recipes on how to prepare ribs. Depending on where you come from also has a large impact on how you might prepare ribs. After doing a little research I did find a tip that I thought was very interesting and I had not taken this into consideration in the past, but it makes perfect sense. Do not boil the ribs, I was guilty of this in the past, instead slow roast or braise them. When boiling meat and bones you are essentially extracting flavor into the water (think making stock) and you run the risk of drying the meat out if boiled to long.
The recipe I created is not your typical BBQ Ribs, I decided to go with more Asian inspired flavors. One of the ingredients I used was Black Garlic and is perfect for this recipe as it is adds a unique richness with out the pungent fresh garlic acid bite. Mythology also says that it grants immortality so why not give it a try :-). Hope You Enjoy…Jason

Amy’s Wine Picks

Top pick: Riesling from Germany, preferably a dry style. Riesling is one of the best values in the world, is nearly every sommelier’s desert-island wine and has the most diverse range in styles for a noble grape. The residual sweetness will contrast the salty soy flavors, while complementing the orange, honey and ginger. Some of my favorite producers are St. Urbans-Hof, Joh. Jos. Prüm and Blees-Ferber.

Playing it safe: California or Washington Syrah. Syrah has aromas of red and black fruit, freshly crashed pepper, smoked meat, leather and Picholine olives. The tannins will cut through the proteins and it will add another dimension to the already flavorful dish. Some of my favorite California producers are Failla, Ojai and Copain. My favorite producers from Washington are Efeste, Charles Smith and Long Shadows.

Off the beaten track: Plavic Mali from Croatia. Plavac Mali was originally thought to be an ancestor of Zinfandel. In 1998 it was discovered that it’s actually the offspring of Zinfandel and Dobričić, a grape from the island of Solta. The DNA fingerprinting was conducted by Dr. Carole Meredith at UC Davis with the urging of Mike Grgich and researchers from the University of Zagreb. Plavo means blue in Croatian and mali means small. It is a full bodied, peppery and fruit dominant red wine. The flavors of jammed fruits and spice will complement chef McLeod’s glaze. My favorite producers are Zlatan, Bura Dinga, Korta Katarina and Saints Hills.

Cheers,
Amy Payne

Send us your favorite rib recipes to michelinandmom@gmail.com we would love to hear about them. Stay tuned for a very special gnocchi recipe and cooking with Kale.

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Eating & Moving

Thanks to Jay for keeping A Michelin and A Mom going the last two weeks. The lamb and summer squash looks divine. We sold our house at the end of May, leaving us only six weeks to pack up, clean and move up to our cabin for the summer. For the next two months, I’ll be working out of a small, primitive kitchen with a stove that runs on propane. Our lakeside cabin is surrounded by impressive snow capped mountains – it’s a truly Canadian experience. The lake is stocked with trout (I’m hoping to find the magic lure to land us a keeper this weekend). There are bears, coyotes, loons, an heron, eagles and yes – beavers. Between sorting the boxes and packing up the kids and dogs, I’ve had little if no time to cook or even photograph the meals kind friends and family have been feeding us. One of our last meals in civilization, courtesy of my sister-in-law, included thick cut steaks, twice baked potatoes and this gorgeous salad served with fresh peaches.

Up at the cabin, we’ve fired up the grill a few times already, cooking spring salmon with lemon and fresh herbs. Our first night here we ate bison burgers. I like to make my own burgers, but also to keep it simple. To the ground meat I usually add an egg, a handful of breadcrumbs, a little Montreal Steak Spice and about a ¼ of a red onion finely chopped. Remember to make your patties larger than the bun size to accommodate shrinkage during the cooking process. We switched to bison/buffalo for our burgers a couple of years ago after a visit to a working buffalo ranch run by a Swiss couple.


With seven kids to feed this week, my truly awesome neighbor whipped up fresh pizza dough for “individual pizzas”….a huge hit. Despite being in the woods, we still had prosciutto and olives for the grown ups. I love the fact that I’ve landed neighbours who enjoy cooking and eating great food (and drinking wine on our decks). After another long day of hiking and swimming, my kids and my niece devoured their bowls of mixed bean and beer chili with homemade bread tonight.

This view makes everything look and taste better!

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Canada Day and 4th of July

I always look back on my life and smile as I have had such a great journey that some how just keeps getting better. Growing up in Canada in a small town I never really dreamed of traveling the world, it just seemed to happen, and boy what a journey it has been. The first few days of July are always exciting for me because I live in the US and I am Canadian, so that translates to celebrating both National holidays, and why not? I have found no real reason not to 🙂
This year was no different, well OK a little, I actually had a BBQ in my own back yard for the first time since I can remember and what a treat it was. To top the night off we were able to watch the fireworks from our front steps, pretty cool.
I decided to create a some what traditional summer BBQ meal; burgers, potato salad & corn on the cob. The corn was simple, cooked and rolled in lots of butter topped with a pinch of sea salt. For the potato salad I went with a German style salad made with a vinaigrette, and for the all mighty burger I went with a recipe similar to what I first tried in 1989 while I was in Coffs Harbour, Australia. Yes a burger with fried egg & beet root. (I left out the pineapple sorry my Aussie friends) I will never forget that day, 19 years old traveling Australia by myself and craving a burger. I found myself a small shop, ordered a burger with the works and when it arrived, man was I surprised. I was used to a burger with cheese at this point in my life. I realized at that moment that the world was a big place and something as simple as a burger could have so many different interpretations.
Hope you enjoy.

Amy’s Suggestions
Alsatian Riesling and Zinfandel. The zin would bring out the charred flavors of the burger. Riesling simply goes with everything and the acidity helps cleanse the palate in between bites. If you want to find out more why it is a great summer wine (and more), read my article in RMGT Magazine in this month’s edition.

I love Moscow Mules and think they would go splendidly as well. Burgers and beer are a match made in heaven, so you can’t go wrong with that either.

Moscow Mule
Vodka
Ginger Beer
Lime Juice
Simple Syrup
Mint
Ice

Mix all together and enjoy.

Cheers, Amy

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Sockeye Salmon

Growing up on Vancouver Island, on the West Coast of Canada, I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have access to amazing seafood. It just did not mean that much to me, as I had “better” things to do with my time – sports, girls, sleep, hanging with buddies (not necessarily in that order). Now 25 years later I wish I would have paid a little more attention to the trips to Goldstream park in the Fall with my Dad to watch the spawning salmon. I was content being with my dad and really did not care so much about the amazing spectacle that was happening right in front of my eyes; of course hind sight is 20/20. Even though my dad explained the process of spawning salmon to me over and over, I didn’t really understand nor did I really care about this wonder of nature. Goldstream Park is home to Chum, and in some years Coho, Chinook and Spring Salmon.

Salmon has had many problems over the years and most a result of human mistakes. For many years, the salmon population suffered due to bad fish farm practices on Northwest Vancouver Island (Campbell River). The young wild fish (Fry) had to swim through the fish farm areas as they headed back to sea; during which they were infected by sea lice which killed vast numbers of the young fish. Today, these practices are guided by stricter regulations and there has been a concerted effort to save the salmon population. I hope it’s not too late.

As a chef, the Sockeye Salmon season (about four months in late spring to early summer) is a special time because this fish reminds me of “home”. I am a big fan of Sockeye, because it is the most flavorful and flexible of all the salmon. The texture of Sockeye Salmon makes it perfect for grilling and smoking. I just had to use my new BBQ for this salmon recipe challenge, but you can easily create this recipe in your oven. What makes this recipe so tasty and easy is that all the ingredients are cooked together and the flavors are trapped inside the package that you create. There are so many flavor combinations you can create with this dish, so be creative! Hopefully this recipe will trigger you to discover and create delicious new dishes.

Next up on my reading list is a book that deals with the depletion of our wild fish stocks, Four Fish by Paul Greenberg. This link leads to a review of this book.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Being a Canadian living in the USA, I feel it is important to participate in all things American. There are not many differences between the two countries, but there are a few and Memorial Day is one of them. Since being a part of the Navy Seals Foundation Charity Event a couple of weeks ago (I was auctioned off to cook dinner for 8 and raised $4400), I have been feeling extremely patriotic, so we decided to spend Memorial Day with friends. We have just moved into our new home that has a great little back yard, perfect for BBQs. Inspired, I purchased a new grill (had to build it, something I am not usually very good at, but I did succeed) and started thinking about what to cook for our Monday dinner. One of the menu items I knew we had to have was Rhubarb Upside-down Cake (I am on an upside down cake kick right now) for dessert. Rhubarb is definitely one of my favourite fruits to cook with, as I am a huge fan of sweet and tart together; rhubarb is a perfect ingredient to achieve this, so don’t be afraid to use it. There are so many great uses for rhubarb and I think it’s an under used ingredient; I’ve also challenged my little sis to a “rhubarb challenge”!

Off to the La Jolla Farmer’s Market I went to find my rhubarb, when I also came across some beautiful plums I could add to the recipe. For the rest of the meal, I decided on beautiful grass-fed ribeye steaks (from a local butcher), beet salad with hazelnuts and goat cheese, mixed greens with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette, and a delicious quinoa salad. The great thing about upside down cake is that the name makes the dish sound more difficult than it really is, but once you have a base recipe you can really add any fruit to this dish and it it will be wonderful. Another great fruit to use this time of year would be apricots. It was an amazing afternoon, spent with close friends Robert, Amy & Gigi.
The weather was perfect and we all enjoyed some pretty tasty food and drinks!

We owe it all to the many men and women who have protected our freedom past, present and future.

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