Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade and a risky surprise

Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

My friend Nadine took down a kitchen wall when her boyfriend and my husband were away on their annual fishing trip.

He had no idea.

It was a surprise, kind of like a gift to him.

All sorts of people were in on it which made the whole event even more exciting (and covert).  His mom and dad, brother and sister in law came from out of town to help and an electrician uncle came over too.

It’s hard to feed a crowd when your kitchen is in a shambles so I invited them all over for supper on Saturday night. They brought some food and I prepared a mishmash of dishes.

We had a big, fun family-style meal and joked that may be next year we could all take down a wall in my kitchen to surprise my husband.

Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

I had a two-pound sirloin steak from our local farmers’ market so decided to make kabobs to help it go further. This molasses chili marinade was a hit and tasted great the next day too.

Normally I would have cooked these on the grill but last weekend was not a barbecue weekend. We had record rainfall in my part of the province so I cooked the kabobs under the broiler.

Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

Steak kabobs with molasses chili marinade

From  www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs steak, cut in 1″- 1 1/2″ cubes

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, chili powder and freshly ground black pepper until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place steak cubes in the marinade and toss them around with your hands until well  coated.
  3. Let marinate for 1-4 hours, covered, tossing occasionally.
  4. If using wooden skewers soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Thread meat on skewers, leaving space in between the cubes so they cook evenly.
  6. Turn the oven to broil.
  7. Place the kabobs on a foil-lined cookie sheet and broil 4-6 inches from the heat.
  8. Turn after 3-4 minutes and then check for doneness after another 3-4 minutes. Continue cooking to your preference.
  9. Reserve the marinade and simmer in a small pot for 10 minutes. Strain and serve with the kabobs.

Looking for more barbecue ideas to help sustain you through your kitchen reno? You might like our spice rubbed ribs with molasses slather.

Spice-rubbed ribs

 

Molasses lime grilled chicken and how to become an “oven” barbecue queen

Molasses and lime grilled chicken. A simple marinade with garlic, lots of fresh lime juice and zest, a touch of heat from the spice and sweet molasses

I used to be terrified of gas barbecues.

I’m not a timid person but the gas grills I grew up with were dangerous.

Singe-your-eyebrows dangerous.

That’s because the starter button was always broken. (When dad was away we kids  did not line up to light the barbecue.)

This is why:

We had to light the barbecue with a little match, reaching in that tiny side hole, all the while trying to keep our bodies stretched as far away from the barbecue as possible.

Turn on the gas. Step away. Strike the match. Reach it toward the tiny hole. Whoosh!

See what I mean?

Sometimes, something got a little singed.

That’s reason one.

lime 4

Reason two:

Our barbecue is stored in the garage so we set up a little wooden ramp to haul it out of the side door and onto the grass.

The distance between the kitchen and the barbecue is about 30 strides and includes a door and six steps.

I am not a lazy person but I honestly can’t be bothered running back and forth from the kitchen to the grill. Putting something on the BBQ is not like putting a cake in the oven. Stuff on the grill needs to be tended. So do things in the kitchen.

That’s why I do most of my grilling in the oven. It’s just practical.

I can’t be the only home cook who thinks the barbecue isn’t actually a convenience. Am I?

Molasses and lime grilled chicken. A simple marinade with garlic, lots of fresh lime juice and zest, a touch of heat from the spice and sweet molasses

Molasses and lime grilled chicken

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 1 ½ limes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest (about 1 lime)
  • 1 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ Tbsp. chipotle powder (or 1 Tbsp. chili powder)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper

 

  • About 3 lbs. chicken pieces, skin on
  1. In a small bowl combine the marinade ingredients.
  2. Arrange the chicken pieces in a glass baking dish and pour over the marinade.
  3. Let chicken marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to three hours.

To cook:

Oven method:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place dish with chicken (marinade and all) in the oven and bake, basting often, until done (about 30 minutes but will depend on size of your chicken pieces).

BBQ method:

Preheat grill to medium, turn off one burner and place chicken pieces on “off” side of grill. Close lid and cook until done, turning often.

Recipe slightly adapted from www.alldayIdreamaboutfood.com

molassed and lime grilled chicken with chipotle powder

Have you tried our Finger lickin’ oven barbecue chicken with molasses slather?

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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Oven BBQ chicken

Julie’s rhubarb barbecue sauce

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

I still have a bit of rhubarb in the fridge and plan to raid a friend’s patch on the weekend so I’ll have some in the freezer. When it’s snowing in February I like to make summer pies and pretend…

In the meantime I’m enjoying using up lots of fresh rhubarb and settling into the summer-ish weather that has finally come our way. My kids have been swimming in the river and the brook, they’re wearing shorts to school and I have stocked up on sunscreen.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

But we haven’t pulled the barbecue out yet.

I love the idea of barbecuing but I lack talent and know-how. There is also the fear factor.

May be it was one too many half-cooked, half burned chicken legs at community barbecues while I was growing up. Although more than likely my aversion is related to the jury-rigged gas barbecues I grew up with.

Why is it the handy starter button always conked out?

We’d end up poking a lit match through the little hole in the side of the BBQ, and hope for the best.

There are videos on YouTube of people who do things like that.

As a result, I do a lot of “oven” barbecuing. Works for me.

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Now let me tell you how great rhubarb is in a BBQ sauce. The sour, puckering flavour of rhubarb is a perfect foil for the tangy sweet of molasses and the cooked rhubarb gives the sauce lovely texture. This recipe would work with frozen rhubarb too.

 

Julie’s Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce recipe

Slightly adapted from Dinner with Julie blog

  • 2-3 large stalks of rhubarb, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  1. In a small saucepan simmer the rhubarb with the water until the rhubarb is very soft.
  2. In a medium pot sauté the onions in the oil until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add the rhubarb mixture along with the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer; cook for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Puree

Makes about 2 cups. From Dinner with Julie

rhubarb barbecue sauce is tangy and sweet

Try my Uncle George’s Beer Barbecue Sauce recipe

Beer barbecue sauce recipe

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

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Barbecue e-Book Featuring 21 Barbecue Recipes for Summer

BBQ - small

You might be surprised to discover just how well molasses suits summer.

Something about its tangy sweetness seems to fit right into the rhythm of relaxed eating and backyard meals.

I have great summer memories of picnics on the beach and potlucks on the deck, enjoying the company of family and friends. Braided into these memories are the favourite summer foods often shared at these events, like my Uncle George’s beer barbeque sauce and my mom’s cheery potato salad.

Beer BBQ sauce and potato salad

Just in time for Father’s Day we have gathered many of our favourite summer barbecue recipes into a Barbecue cookbook featuring 21 recipes for the grill (sauces and marinades for meat and fish) a variety of side salads and dressings, and of course summer sweets.

 

In this barbecue recipes collection you’ll find:

  • My Uncle George’s beer barbeque sauce
  • Molasses glazes for shrimp
  • Spice rubbed ribs
  • My mom’s potato salad
  • Pecan pie squares
  • Peach gingerbread, and more.

Twenty-one new ways to make your summer celebrations and lazy weekends more memorable.

View our BBQ e-book here (no e-reader required).

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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Two grilled shrimp recipes with a molasses twist

Molasses grilled shrimp with garlic and herbs

I don’t know about you but it’s HOT in my neck of the woods. Atlantic Canadian “hot” isn’t exactly stifling compared to other parts of the country so we’re all in a happy mood. No complaints.

It isn’t great driving weather though for those of us with kids who have had enough of the road trip before we’re even out of town.

Our new solution, the Perplexus. It’s a brilliant car toy. My son received one as a birthday gift and it kept three kids entertained during our 2 ½ hour drive to a friend’s cottage over the weekend. An electronics-free enjoyable two-and-a-half-hour car trip in 30 degree weather with three wrong turns. Okay, they fought over it a bit. But there were no punches thrown, no Perplexus thrown and hardly any hair pulling.

All this heat has been great for eating supper on the deck and getting out of the kitchen in general. As I have said before, I’m no wiz with the barbeque but grilled shrimp I can do. Here are my two favourite shrimp marinades for speedy outdoor meals. Both work in the oven too.

Molasses grilled shrimp recipe

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 ½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled

Combine all ingredients, except the shrimp and mix well. Place shrimp in a dish and add the marinade, tossing to coat. Let marinate in the fridge up to two hours.

Thread on prepared skewers and grill over medium heat until done (turns pink), turning once.

Jamie’s citrus grilled shrimp recipe with a molasses twist

(Adapted from Jamie Oliver)

  • Zest of 1 orange (a microplane grater is great for this)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled

Combine all ingredients, except the shrimp and mix well. Place shrimp in a dish and add the marinade, tossing to coat. Let marinate in the fridge up to two hours.

Thread on prepared skewers and grill over medium heat until done (pink), turning once.

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Chipotle beer marinade & how to BBQ the perfect steak

Chipotle beer marinade for steak

I am no barbeque expert. In fact, I’m very much a beginner. I like the idea of cooking outside but it makes for a lot of running in and out of the house. If there were two of me I’m sure I’d get better at it.

But, I have an expert teacher two doors down. My brother-in-law, Phil, is an extraordinary grill master.

Last weekend he gave me a tutorial on how to barbeque the perfect steak:

  • Preheat grill to 350 F. Lay the steak on the grill at an angle (makes the grill marks look nicer).
  • Cook for 2 minutes and flip.
  • Cook 2 more minutes and flip again, rotating 90 degrees (so you get the crisscross grill marks).
  • Cook 2 more minutes and flip one more time, again rotating 90 degrees.
  • That’s it, eight minutes for your average steak. Thicker steaks will take a little longer.

Chipotle beer marinade for sirloin steak

  • 3 tbsp canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce pureed
  • 3tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn, crushed
  • 3 bottles of dark ale
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2-2 ½ lbs sirloin steak
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the steak). Divide the marinade in half.
  2. Place steaks in a heavy- duty resalable plastic bag or shallow glass or ceramic dish, add half the marinade and refrigerate overnight or for several hours.
  3. Remove meat from marinade, pat dry with paper towels and let it come to room temperature.
  4. Take the unused half of the marinade and place in saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until marinade is reduced by half. Use the marinade to glaze the meat near the end of its time on the grill.
  5. Preheat grill to 350
  6. Lightly oil the grill.  Place meat on grill and cook for 2 minutes and flip. Cook 2 more minutes and flip again. Cook 2 more minutes and flip one more time. (8 minutes in total). Apply glaze during final 4 minutes of cooking.
  7. Transfer steak to cutting board or tent in foil and allow to rest several minutes. Cut in thin slices across the grain of the meat. (Try not to cut it in uneven slabs like I did below).

Serves six

Chipotle beer marinade for steak

I confess I took a shortcut with this recipe.  I was missing a few things so for the marinade I only used the first nine ingredients (omitted that carrots, celery, bay leaves, celery salt and cilantro) and I used amber ale because that’s what we had). That’s summer for you. Isn’t it great to have recipes that can handle shortcuts? The flavours are deeper when you make the recipe properly but the shortcut is pretty darn good too.

What’s your perfect way to barbeque a steak, or any meat for that matter?

Bourbon molasses salmon – simple with a little panache

Much of what I love about summer has to do with simplicity. No school lunches to pack, no socks, fewer washes and less clutter by the back door. My kids would be happy to live in their swim suits (even though they don’t go swimming every day) and “bedtime” is a very fluid term.

I still like to eat well though I just don’t want to spend too much time inside.

That’s where a marinade comes in handy. It takes about five minutes to pull together and then you can let it sit while you do something else. If you only have 30 minutes to let it marinate that’s okay too. Fish cooks quickly (whether prepared on the BBQ or in the oven) and pairs well with raw veggies and cold grain salads. (Try it with marinated tomatoes!)

I still don’t have the hang of grilling, especially fish. (Those lovely grill marks on the salmon in the photo are courtesy of my friend Nancy and her big green egg.) But I keep trying and have discovered that even BBQ messes are tasty.

Any BBQ tips? I could use a little help…

Bourbon molasses salmon

  • 1 lb fillet of salmon, skin on
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine salmon and marinade ingredients in a dish or Ziploc bag and let marinate for 2-3 hours (refrigerated).

Cook on a 450 F barbeque, starting on the skin side. (Four to five minutes on each side should give you a moist salmon) This can also be cooked in a 450 F oven, if you’re BBQ-challenged like I am.

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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Beer barbecue sauce – let summer begin!

Homemade beer barbecue sauce takes just minutes to make

This is that last day of school for my kids so the official kick off to summer in my books. The occasion calls for a summer barbecue to celebrate two months of freedom and a break from the morning rush.

This beer barbecue sauce recipe came from my Uncle George decades ago. He was very into grilling and we were not so this recipe helped us along.

Use it on chicken, steak, vegetables or whatever else you like to grill. It’s great for oven “barbequing” too.

Beer barbecue sauce

  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worstershire sauce
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup beer
  1. Combine in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Brush barbecue sauce on grillables during the last few minutes of grilling. (If you brush it on too early the sauce will burn before your meat is cooked through.)

Homemade beer barbecue sauce takes just minutes to make

Finger-licking oven barbecued chicken

Easy spice rubbed chicken with molasses slather. Bake in the oven or grill on the barbecue

 

I love food that defies cutlery and makes you want to lick your fingers. I mean you could use a knife and fork I suppose but I suggest serving these when you don’t feel obliged. As my mom used to say, “There were fingers before there were spoons.” Amen to that.

This is an adaptation of a rib recipe we found in a Food & Drink magazine (LCBO). Once you’ve tried it you’ll be hooked so you might as well double (or triple) the spice rub. (You want to be ready when the next craving strikes.) You’ll see what I mean…It’s irresistible.

 

Oven barbecued chicken with spice rub and molasses slather

  • 3-4 lbs. of chicken pieces

Rub:

  • 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Slather:

  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Coat chicken with spice mixture and tuck into a parchment paper-lined baking dish.
  3. Drizzle with oil and place on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to 350 and bake until cooked through (about 45 min) basting often and flipping over, if you like.
  5. Remove from oven and brush with slather.
  6. Turn heat up to 425
  7. Bake another 5 minutes, remove from oven and baste again. Do this for a third time, if you like.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve hot or at room temperature.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

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