Battle of Ingredients #4 BBQ Edition

battle of ingredients

We’re back from our (previously unannounced summer hiatus). Due to all kinds of busy life things going on, we couldn’t find time to get together so we took a two month break. We still have a bit of mild weather here and there so we decided to get a dose of BBQ in there, all thanks to my co-host of this segment, Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road who offered up somewhere to do this, also giving us a little break from holding the event at our place. The evening was nice and we each brought our own unique take and Phoebe did all the BBQ along with the event help from my husband. With friends in place, husbands there and a toddler in tow, we all got together for the next Battle of Ingredients, we present the Summer BBQ Edition!

Drinks (courtesy of our friends)
Drinks

Pfaff was a light white wine that worked well as we had chicken for the most part. It was quite good. Nothing beats summer like having a sangria and Pepito is a decent choice. I’ve never had the Sangria Blanc of this brand but it turned out really well, especially as it was used to end the evening and added in some summer fruits like watermelon and raspberries. We’ll show this in order we had it, so it’ll be a little later.

Cooking & Evening View

Downtown Montreal is a beauty especially when you can’t see the orange cones everywhere. The sunset and everything made it a beautiful night to BBQ with friends. Phoebe made the Chicken Wings marinated in Chinese Spices and grilled Bok Choy. I had the foil packets, portioned already for each person. In the foil packets were home grown zucchini and cucumbers along with chicken bacon and Mild Italian Sausages and spiced with Herbes de Provences, paprika and ground pepper. My packet was a little different because fancy sausages now all are made with milk so I picked up a pack of Lester’s Jumbo Sausages lactose-free. The extras were grilling on the top with the extra chicken bacon for the little toddler.

The Results

Battle of Ingredients

Chicken Wings & Grilled Bok Choy

Battle of Ingredients

Chicken Wings with Chinese Spices

Battle of  Ingredients

Foil Packets

Everything turned out great. The chicken wings were marinated well. The Chinese spices gave it a nice flavor. Grilled Bok Choy is a nice way to keep the Asian theme we had and it worked well although took a little longer to cook through. My foil packets went in for about 20-30 minutes. The lesson was to make sure that the cucumbers were not sliced so thin because they cooked to a very mushy texture. however, the flavors that I chose worked well. I was pretty pleased with them and I believe the general feedback for everything was very positive.

Dessert & Sangria & Fresh Fruits

S’mores Kit – Laura Secord

S'Mores

S’Mores

First part of dessert was the S’mores. Phoebe picked up the Laura Secord S’mores kit to give it a go. I had to bring my own dark chocolate to make sure it was lactose free. We used the remaining heat of the BBQ to warm it up. It took a little longer but during that time we sat down and chatted while finishing our wines and whipping together our sangria. The fresh fruit was cleverly used in the sangria (as it should). Watermelons and raspberries from our garden. We let soak while the s’mores were heating up.

White Sangria with Fruits

White Sangria with Fruits

The perfect way to end off the night. S’mores was like camping and BBQ and it was an awesome way to get back into the Battle of Ingredients. As hectic as it was (on my part) to get it all together, everything worked out really well.

And we got to enjoy it with a beautiful city lights of Downtown Montreal!

This wraps up this edition of Battle of Ingredients!
Our question to you: What do you like to BBQ?
What meals are particularly summer-y for you?

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Battle of Ingredients #2: Maple Syrup

Welcome to Round 2 of Battle of Ingredients!
If you missed the first round, you can find it here. I will be putting something on the side or above so that it’ll be easier to track soon.

This month’s Battle of Ingredients is all about maple syrup! Why? Because here in our lovely province of Quebec, we have the cabane a sucre (aka sugar shack) tradition. Maple syrup is a big deal around this parts (and apparently also in Riverdale according to the new TV series). It was a no brainer for myself and Phoebe that it would be our choice ingredient as well as trying out a new formula of doing a collaborated full course meal. All our dishes had maple syrup so lets just say, we were in for a sugar rush.

Let’s check out our menu, along with the wines we used to pair with it (although one of them we didn’t end up drinking…yet).

Wine

Wine

We drank the Kung Fu Girl which is one of my favorite wines. Apparently, it has somewhat of a sour taste which I never really thought about but always found it smooth. Regardless, hopefully we’ll keep the Fetzer in our fridge till the next Battle.

Appetizer – Kim

Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings

Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings

Recipe via Pinterest: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/bourbon_maple_glazed_chicken_wings/

A very simple recipe to put together in general although you do need to simmer the sauce before putting it on the chicken wings and then have to simmer again to thicken it. I somehow managed to get it thicker the first time so that it wasn’t necessary to simmer again. I did have extra sauce however it was covered enough so I put it to the side in case anyone wanted anymore. This one was delicious and definitely a hit. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that I used our good bourbon without knowing it. Whatever the reason, these turned out much better than I expected and honestly, I kind of want to make another batch already.

From our friends: Not dry at all with the sauce, and it matched well. No extra sauce needed for me!

Main Meal + Side – Phoebe

Prosciutto Maple Salmon

Prosciutto Maple Salmon

Recipe via Pinterest: http://gardeninthekitchen.com/prosciutto-maple-salmon/

Phoebe chose this recipe off Pinterest. We don’t usually get the chance to use prosciutto frequently and never had thought to use to wrap around fish and yet, it came together really nicely. She hadn’t worked with dill before and I haven’t been a fan either, however we do have dill lovers at the table. This came together really nicely. Phoebe was a little nervous about the whole grilling part before baking it and we timed it all very nice to serve this and the sides, which we will talk about below.

From our friends: I personally find the dill to match well with the fish. Again, not dry the way it was made, the only slight annoyance was that the prociutto is hard to cut through, so putting any sort of pressure would crush the salmon under… But with patience of sliding your knife back and forth, it’s perfect.

Maple Syrup Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Maple Syrup Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Recipe via Pinterest: http://www.thewholesomedish.com/maple-syrup-roasted-brussels-sprouts/

Huge fan of brussel sprouts here, I found this recipe for Phoebe and she was totally into it, which is great. I’ve always wondered how maple syrup in Brussel Sprouts would work and actually it was the one the absorbed the maple syrup enough to actually taste it the most. It was much more subtle in the salmon for example. However, in the balance of the meal, it worked well.

Dessert

Chewy Maple Cookies

Chewy Maple Cookies

Recipe via Pinterest: http://www.cleverlysimple.com/chewy-maple-cookies/

I decided on making these cookies very last minute. Like an hour before our cooking meet-up. Fact is, I was going to make Maple Ice but that needed Maple Water and Ice Cream Maker, both things that I don’t have or haven’t figured out how to use yet. Then there was the idea of making little maple syrup tarts but that was really complex with heating the pizza stone plate in the oven beforehand and the worry that it would just fail because I was changing this complicated tart recipe from a pie pan to little tarts. Anyways, point is cookies are the safe bet and thankfully, it worked well to not hog up the oven and we were able to get everything we needed done and ready on track.

From our friends: Cookies were good! Wasn’t dry, but wasn’t butter fest either! Maybe it would be even better with some nut in it like cashew, but then again, might alter the taste… But it was great.

Maple Flavored Popcorn (Bad Monkey)

Bad Monkey Maple Flavored Popcorn

In addition, Phoebe brought this Bad Monkey brand Maple Syrup flavored popcorn to match with the theme. I don’t eat a lot of popcorn for health issues but I did try a few and it was pretty delicious. Phoebe did find it a little on the sweet side however our friends did like this one as well. they actually put the popcorn and the cookie together and apparently, it went well together particularly because of the contrast in textures.

That’s it for this Battle!
Maple Syrup was a fun adventure and on all fronts this was a win.
We learned some new recipes and had a great time with friends.
Next month’s Battle is still deciding what will be the star(s) of the show! 

Perhaps this will be the structure from now on as it is easier to get together an acceptable meal but we will shift the courses around to who is responsible next time.
We will see…like I said in the first round, a work in progress. If you have any suggestions, do share with us. 🙂