The Artisanal Grill / Now on FoodSided.com

A little smoke goes a long way!

A little smoke goes a long way!

So a new start to a new year!

Creating a new direction in life is a journey of expectation, wonderment, possibilities, and fear.  I’ve travelled this road for over a year now and lo and behold the future I see is bright. I haven’t travelled this path alone; I have the support and love of everyone I know. In addition I’m travelling it with a few friends that are on their own paths.

My concept of taking the indoors outdoors and looking at food as an offering of love and comfort seems to have spread and connected me with like thinkers and food centric renaissance people alike.  BBQ, smokers, grills or whatever you chose to call them are just extensions of your kitchen and can be utilized all year.  Conventional recipes can be updated to add flair and switched up.  How your mother made it is wonderful, but thinks about what you can turn it into if you add your own personality and skill.

So now starts the next dimension to my journey.  I am now a staff writer for FoodSided.com. FoodSided is an extension of FanSided which is dedicated to sports and sports bloggers.  Taking the same passion from their base site, FoodSided is building to become one of the most popular and searched food sites on the web. I look forward to the experience and the continuation of the journey.

I will be posting here and on FoodSided.com along with updates on Twitter and my Facebook page.

Please follow and enjoy the journey with me.

Be well and eat well!

Scott Tait

The Artisanal Grill

 

Advertisements

Don’t cancel your Christmas Turkey people! Take it outside Artisanal Grill Style!!

So the weather in Toronto has left us powerless and cold.  Reports are in that people are canceling orders for their Christmas Turkeys because they are afraid their electricity will be off and they can’t cook their birds.

Really?

Hard times call for creative thoughts. One of the concepts that I have been dictating for some time now is that what you can do inside you can do outside. I’ve been planning a step by step on my Christmas bird from brining to smoking, but that’s to come when I start it tomorrow. But for now as a reminder to all you Canadians out there with BBQs, you can do your bird outside. Dust the snow and ice of the grill, get out your camping stove, and make the lady at the convenience store look at you funny when you ask if they have any charcoal while everyone else is buying salt! Make this Christmas the year of the Q!

Now don’t be scared. Transform your thoughts of grilling on it. Think of your BBQ as an oven. After all, it’s a heating source.

Step 1:  Prep your bird as you would but leave out the dressing (stuffing). It’s better to do it separately.

Step 2:  Set-up your BBQ for offset cooking. Meaning if you have 2 burners, only light one of them, if you have 3, keep the center on off and light the outside ones. You want to set up a cooking environment that has no direct heat underneath the bird. Think about it. In your oven there is no direct heat source underneath the bird. Hot air circulates around it. This is what you’re doing outside.  If you’re using charcoal, place the lit coal to one side so none will be under the bird. (Note. You’ll have to add more to keep the temperature constant so have a way to light more to add to the coals and minimize the open lid time.)

Step 3:  Place a pan on the unlit area to catch the drippings. This gives you a drip pan.  Add water, wine, and whatever else you would place around the bird in the oven. This gives you the base for your gravy.

Step: 4  Bring your grill to the proper temperature (350 degrees f). An 8 to 12lb unstuffed bird should take between 3 to 4 hours cooking time. Time can vary by 30 minutes so have a thermometer ready to check internal temperature (165 degrees f). Place the bird breast side down over the drip pan.

Step: 5  Rotate your bird every 45 minutes or so to brown and cook evenly. Every grill will behave differently so pay attention and remember if you’re looking, you’re not cooking. Take some of the juices that have accumulated in the drip pan and baste. To minimize open lid time, you can create a secondary baste liquid of heated chicken stock with sautéed bacon and onions. Have it ready to go. So open the lid, turn the bird, baste the bird, and close the lid.

Step: 6  Pay attention and follow your bird’s path. Outdoor climate will affect the overall time but with patience you can create a Christmas turkey that will astound your family.

The classic French rules say that your cooked bird should stand as long as you cooked it for. I can’t do that but I will let my bird stand for at least 30 to 45 minutes after it’s out of the heat. Cover with tin foil and let the juices work their way back through the meat.  If you do this and don’t turn off your grill you’ll have plenty of time to cook your veggies, stuffing, and make your gravy on the BBQ. Remember the camping stove I mentioned? Why not use it too!

We’re Canadian folks! Don’t let a little thing like a power outage or an ice storm to make you resort to KD or cold-cuts for Christmas dinner. Take the lead, put on a sweater and get outside!

“Generally speaking, food has to be spicier than it would be if you tasted it on the ground,” Peter Jones

Hot Garlic Drumsticks with Bacon OrzoYou have to try everything. Hot, sweet, savory, strong, smokey, even weird in life. You don’t have to like everything, you just need to try it. After all, if you don’t try something you might miss your new favourite thing, a new direction, a new person, or even a new opportunity. Going through life only doing or trying what you know will never take you down new avenues. Change, stretch, break that envelope that you live in.

Food wise, hot and spicy is a good thing. It wakes up your taste buds and gives them new opportunities to experience. It might be that you aren’t a big fan and that’s OK. You tried and maybe you’ll try again. Look past the hot and see the flavour. That’s what we chili heads do.

Tonight’s offering is chicken drumsticks marinated in garlic, olive oil, and Nando’s Hot Garlic Sauce served on bacon and parmesan orzo. The drums were grilled over charcoal low and slow to keep them juicy.

Be well and eat well!

Scott

“Life is like a grapefruit. Well, it’s sort of orangy-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It’s got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have a half a one for breakfast.” Douglas Adams

So you sit and wait, and wait, and wait.  No matter how much of yourself you put into something and take a personal stake in it, it seems you always end up waiting for others to act. There seems to be this pause in the universe that puts a hold on things and makes you ponder your actions. What’s it for? Why can’t we just get on with things? What’s the hold up?

The rain in Toronto put a damper on my efforts to do a Lobster Mac on the grill. A little rain doesn’t usually hamper me but that was ridiculous. We’re still drying out! Needless to say the Mac went in the oven against my better judgment.

So I realize that I’ve been slow to post but once again life threw a wrench in my direction. No complaints just waiting for stuff to happen.

I’m still working on the presentation for Masterchef Canada? I have an idea and am working on a plan. The biggest question? Do I wear my kilt? Do I go for the spectacle? It’s 30 days till the audition and I’m in 2nd gear. 3rd and 4th gear are in hand but still to come.

The backyard has had a few meals go through it. Here are a few images of what’s happened on my deck.

Be well and eat well!

Scott

Wet time, Summer in the City. My backyard grills get wet.... well wetter!

Wet time, Summer in the City. My backyard grills get wet…. well wetter!

Trying to get through that bottle of Maple flavoured Rye!

Trying to get through that bottle of Maple flavoured Rye!

Took it inside. I don't mind a little rain, but I look bad when I'm drenched!  Really bad!

Took it inside. I don’t mind a little rain, but I look bad when I’m drenched! Really bad!

Garam masala rubbed Mutton with curried rice

Garam masala rubbed Mutton with curried rice

#Beach BBQ and Brew Fest 2013

This past weekend the Beach BBQ and Brew Fest http://beachbbqandbrews.com/ took over Woodbine Park for 3 days. Other than a short interlude of rain Saturday night and first thing Sunday morning, the event was ablast!

Beaches BBQ and Brew Fest

Beaches BBQ and Brew Fest

US and Canadian Teams served the usual fare that was happily washed down with the assistance of local craft beer artisans. I have attended others throughout the province and have to say that “The Beach”, (formerly The Beaches, but that’s another story) embraced the event and instilled its sense of calm and relax amongst the revelers. It was a blast!

Pork bliss in the Beach

Pork bliss in the Beach

All the participant’s smoked treats were good but my particular tastes ran to the ribs and Alabama Pulled Pork that Camp 31 was offering.  The diehards and smoke heads knew the biggest lines offered the best fare.

BBQ demands beer and the craft artisans didn’t disappoint. I did get introduced to #Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, a refreshing different taste with a bite. Quite nice!

Presentations led by Ted Reader marked the big tent. Ted’s take on Warm Bourbon brownies with bacon and blue cheese made my heart stutter for a second. But as everyone knows, bacon makes everything better!

Ted and me!

Ted and me!

I finished Sunday as a judge for the Amateur Rib contest. Everyone that entered deserves kudos for having the guts to put their money where their mouth is.  Good ribs all around and well done.

So I have a back log of food photos to catch up on. Watch over the next few days.

Because of the meat overload, tonight is #BGE tomato roasted soup, grilled corn with oregano/ chévre butter and homemade bread.  Dessert is rotisserie pineapple with grilled pound cake and rum whipped cream.  OK, so we’re good with the veggies and not so good with the dessert.

Be well and eat well

Scott

Food linesbeer guyCamp 31 sauceFeeding time

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook” Julia Child

Watched my friend Ted Reader on Breakfast Television in Vancouver this morning. You gotta love time shifting on TV.  Cool, composed and professional as always.  Ted, make sure you have sushi while you’re there!

So I’ve had some chipotle in adobo sauce sitting in the cupboard for a while trying to figure out how to use them. The one troll likes spicy but the other one doesn’t so my dilemma. I blended the chipotle with honey, lime and added a rehydrated Guajillo pepper. The pork tenderloin marinated in the saucy sweet and spicy bath for 4 hours and then was grilled over cherry wood.  The accompaniment was a take on a Insalata Caprese replacing the mozzarella with avocado.  Sour cream flavoured with lime juice and zest brought it all together.

The honey cut the spiciness and made both trolls very happy. Along with the tortilla chips that went on the plate.

Be well and eat well.

Scott

17 days till The Beach BBQ and Brew Festival  @BBQandBrewsFest

This little piggy went to marinade

This little piggy went to marinade

This little piggy hit the grill

This little piggy hit the grill

This little piggy went all the way down!

This little piggy went all the way down!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

What a beautiful day. Sun, warmth, and hope for new directions. Yes I said hope. I haven’t been a fan of hope. I believed it handcuffs people from action and taking forward steps.  I’ve decided to open up to the idea that #hope is a good thing.

So I have 12 hours of #Doctor Who being recorded and no idea of what to do for dinner.

Last night was Lamb meatloaf with mint yogurt sauce, grilled corn and almond and maple pinwheels with ice cream for dessert.

Have good BBQ this weekend!

Scott

Lamb meatloaf with yogurt mint sauce. Don't tell the adopted troll she ate lamb!

Lamb meatloaf with yogurt mint sauce. Don’t tell the adopted troll she ate lamb!

Fun with puff pastry

Fun with puff pastry