“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

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“A hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz.” Humphrey Bogart

Yesterday was a good day. Things happened, issues worked out, and the feeling in the air was happy. It wasn’t a prime rib or porterhouse day, more like a Salisbury steak day, which in the long run is satisfying and comforting. Like a meat hug.

So hitting the #BGE with my more than massive cast iron pan I thought why not switch it up a little bit. Salisbury meatballs in a onion sauce. Then the thought of what to serve them with?  We’ve all had baked potatoes with the works on top. You know chili, bacon and cheddar, broccoli and cheese, whatever. So my meatballs sat on a twice stuffed cheddar potato with the onion gravy ladled on top.

Ok decadent, maybe a little excessive, but my doctor is on holidays, and cholesterol level is surprisingly normal, so why not.

Veal, medium ground and a de-cased  pork sausage for a meat medley. Dehydrated onions, worcestershire, a little soya sauce, garlic and pepper with some bread crumbs to make my balls. I sautéed them in the cast iron over coal till they were browned and removed from the heat. The onion went in to clear added garlic beef stock with a slurry of corn starch to thicken the sauce. Then back in with the meatballs to finish cooking.

The potatoes were baked, scooped and mixed with cheddar and cream till and blended till smooth. Then back in the skins. Balls on top and sauce over everything!

Nice and comforting.

Salisbury meatballs! A different take on an old standard.

Be well and eat well.

Scott

Browned

Browned

Sauced

Sauced

Over the top

Over the top

“I want to be strapped to a table, while a family of chickens argues over who gets to eat my legs.” ― Jarod Kintz,

“If you’ll be my Dixie Chicken, I’ll be your Tennessee Lamb, And we can walk together down in Dixieland Down in Dixieland”. This is one of my favourite Little Feat songs. I didn’t do southern chicken, I did stuffed chicken legs!

I’ve been working on my butchering skills and have only seen this preparation a few times, so I thought, why not?

I had a house full of trolls and a whack of chicken legs. My usual got to is to wrap in bacon and smoke over hickory. Tonight I wanted to try something different. My attack plan was simple, if I can get the first leg deboned, I can do it! Honestly, it was simpler than I thought. Creating these little poultry packs of heaven is something I will definitely go back to.

The fridge and the pantry had genoa, bocconcini, chèvre, tomatoes, and spaghettini. So let’s go Italian!

I blended the chèvre into a paste with garlic, red onion, and Italian seasoning. I placed a dollop of paste on a slice of genoa with a whole basil leaf and a slice of bocconcini. Rolled into a little cigar and then inserted it into the drumstick sealing the end with a toothpick. The outside was rubbed with olive oil and Italian seasoning. The little morsels of love were grilled on the cast iron until they were browned.

The meal was served with a tomato, red wine sauce tossed into the spaghettini.

Being able to take a bite without the bone there is a great experience. I’m thinking a bacon and cheddar stuffing next time!

Be well and eat well!

Scott

Where's the bone!

Where’s the bone!

“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.” Paul Bryant

So thinking outside the kitchen, and in turn sacrificing one of my indoor cast iron pots I decided to make #beefstew on my #BGE #BigGreenEgg.   Incorporating smoke with the flavor of the beef and sauce was one of the best things I’ve ever attempted.

I marinated the beef in beer with fresh rosemary overnight. Patted dry, floured, seasoned, and seared in my cast iron over the fire with hickory smoking away below. Since I was using the Egg, I left the lid off the pot because closing the lid on the Egg had the same effect and allowed the smoke to permeate the flavor. I removed the beef and sautéed the onions in the juices from the beef and then reunited them with more beer and some beef stock. At the halfway mark I joined the union of flavours with peas, potatoes, and carrots. When we were about 15 minutes away from completion, I add my dumplings to cook in the broth.

The comments from the trolls that live with me? This is the best stew we’ve ever had. I have to say I’m really proud of this one. The hickory smoke add to the overall experience of the stew and mixed with the rosemary background in the meat gave it another dimension.

My pot will survive and is now destined for use on the #BGE all the time.

Be well and eat well!

Scott

Beer marinated beef and rosemary

Beer marinated beef and rosemary

Everyone into the pool! You too dumplings!

Everyone into the pool! You too dumplings!

Pretty tasty stew!

Pretty tasty stew!

“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

“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities” Masterchef Canada Audition!

So the big news is I have an audition for Masterchef Canada. @MasterChefCDA

What to do? What to do?

The bad news is, well there is no bad news except I have to commit to 6 weeks of filming. That’s only if I get through the audition. Which I’m sure I will. What am I going to cook? No idea at this point but I’m working on some thoughts.

My question to you is this, What would you do? Everything has to be ready to go and you get 5 minutes of prep time in front of the judges. I have my own ideas and am not looking for help, but it would be interesting to hear from the foodie world what you would do.

I’ll update you on my trials and tribulations cooking on Monday?as I get ready for this.

This is Canada Day weekend, what are you grilling, smoking (food), or cooking! Remember to take it outside!

Love smoking my meatloaf

Love smoking my meatloaf

This was 2 nights ago. Beef mixed with italian sausage meat, smoked on the #BGE and served with Parisian mixed veggies in a Beurre Blanc Sauce with blue cheese roasted tomatoes.

Be well and eat well.

Scott

“There’s no straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends” Harry Chapin

“There’s no straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends;

There’s no clear-cut beginnings;  And so far no dead-ends.”   Circle (Harry Chapin)

This lyric has permeated my mind for the past year. The way people and things from my past keep reoccurring in my life. Since I have had the last 12 months to analyze myself and the world, I have come to the conclusion that I’m happy. Things haven’t gone as planned. But whose do. You’re dealt cards that you have to try and make sense of. You plan your hand, and then someone pulls from the bottom of the deck. It’s not your fault how your hand plays out. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But the point is to stay at the table and handle your cards as best you can.

I started #TheArtisanalGrill as an outlet for my cooking and my thoughts.  Its growth has been organic. Simple quotes, alternative methods of cooking conventional meals, and twists on life and the world.

So now comes the next step; Last night I met with one of my high school English teachers. Neil is the Editor of The Bluffs Advocate, a local community newspaper in south east Toronto. We’ve had discussions over the past month regarding me contributing a BBQ piece for the summer edition.  Exciting, yes, scary, yes, fun, absolutely!

The images below are from the Official Launch Party they held @DoraKeogh last night.  Music, beer, and laughs filled the popular Irish pub.

Back to talking about food!

Tonight; Meatloaf on the BGE

Be well and eat well

Scott

Dora Keogh

Bluffs Advocate Launch Party

Bluffs Advocate Launch Party

Bluffs Advocate Launch Party

Neil Walker and Jim McQueen

Medicine Line

Medicine Line

Medicine LineParty people

The Griller and his lady

The Griller and his lady

 

 

“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.” Paul Prudhomme

I know, I know I’ve been absent. Life happens when you’re busy doing other things. I need to read emails better. My dinner last week with the 2 ladies is actually this week. It’s been raining on and off for days and although I don’t mind getting wet, after a while it gets old. So the #BGE has been still. Except yesterday!

The smoke billowed to roast off sweet potatoes, garlic and red onion for the base of #sweetpotatosoup.  I had been craving a basic, uncomplicated meal and soup hits the buttons. I started the day making a shallot and parmesan #focaccia to accompany it. Something about soup and fresh bread is so comforting when life around you is so uncertain. Pureed and served with a dollop of sour cream in the middle to cream it out and the focaccia to dip.  Soup is not just for the fall. The BGE with a little oak wood for smoke enriched the flavor. Not too smoky, just right! Why roast in the oven when you can add a little of the outdoors too it!

Tonight, Tequila lime pork roast.

Be well and eat well.

Scott

Sweet, sweet, sweet potato!

Sweet, sweet, sweet potato!

RT for @throwbackthursday @foodbloggersCA In the beginning….

So here I am, the avid outdoor (amateur) Chef sharing my adventures with fire and smoke with the world.

My philosophy is simple and straightforward. What you can do inside, you can do outside.

I started this journey years ago when I became the chief cook and bottle washer in our home. Wanting to introduce my children to all the different flavours and tastes in the world became a mandate of mine.  “You don’t have to like everything, just try it.” “Just because it’s different or unfamiliar to you doesn’t mean you wont like it.”

This is also the way I look at the world. Different is neither good nor bad. It’s just different.

So here I go sharing my culinary triumphs (and failures too), some literary quotes, and my life adventures with the world.

BON APPETIT

Scott Tait

Grilled Chicken breast with Puttanesca

“The mere thought hadn’t even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.” Douglas Adams

You try, you do, and you hope that someone is listening or at least paying attention. Then you realize that you are the only one doing it and everyone else is on a cerebral vacation from reality. Life is funny, but someone has to be serious. Never thought it would be me?

Burgers are the combination of effort, taste, and love. Buying a frozen ready-made patty and throwing it on an assembly line bun is not a burger. That’s why the condiment companies make so much money. People try and hide the flavor.

My favourite go to burger is a mixture of lean ground beef and Italian sausage. The pork and the seasoning bring a new taste and adds some juiciness to the burger. You definitely need a napkin with them. Grilled mushrooms, red pepper, crisped pancetta, and some melted Havarti topped them off.

The burgers were plated with a warm potato and radish salad with a yogurt and Dijon base, sweetened with honey.

It takes only a few minute more to go artisanal than mass produced. It’s worth it!

I have 2 friends for dinner tomorrow night so the BGE will be smoking.

Be well and eat well

Scott

When the meat hits the grill like a big dollar bill...That's amore. OK, I tried.

When the meat hits the grill like a big dollar bill…That’s amore. OK, I tried.