Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chuck's Day Off - "Barbecued" Baby Back Ribs

The other day I went to the bookstore to buy Chuck's cookbook and had a rude awakening!  He doesn't have one at least in Chapters or in Cole’s bookstores.

I was watching him on TV the other day and he was making BBQ Ribs in the oven.  I figured since he's a Montrealer, they have to be good.  So I gave them a try.

They were out of this world good!  So good that Mark ask me to make them again in a few days.  The second batch was great too even though I couldn't find another tin of Chipotle Peppers.  I had to use Chipotle chili powder instead, which turned out just as good, maybe even better since I had more control over the heat/spice of the dish.

My Uncle and his wife were over for a visit, but the were unable to stay to try the ribs.  So I promised to put the recipe on the blog so he can test him out himself.

From Chuck's web page;


  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 heads garlic, halved, skins left on
  • 3 apples, halved, unpeeled
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 racks baby back pork ribs
  • salt and pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 cup Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tin of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • A clump of fresh thyme sprigs
  • A clump of fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bottle red table wine
  • Water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Cut your vegetables into nice thick chunks. Halve the garlic and quarter the apples. Don’t worry about skins, seeds etc. All will be strained later.
  3. Take your racks of ribs, cut in half and season with S & P.
  4. In a large bowl, dredge the rib racks with flour on all sides.
  5. In a large wide pot, on high heat, add oil, let it get hot, and sear the ribs until brown on all sides. Don’t tamper with them. Let their surface maintain a nice contact with the hot pan. Will take about 4 – 5 minutes per side.
  6. Remove meat and drain excess oil leaving behind all of the solid meaty bits that are stuck to the bottom.
  7. Add all vegetables, apples and herbs to the pot.
  8. Let them caramelize by leaving them to sit without tossing, for a few minutes, then toss them and let sit a bit longer.
  9. Return the ribs to the pot on top of vegetables.
  10. Place all sauce ingredients in a bowl to combine: Worchester, ketchup, cider vinegar, soy and maple syrup. Add chipotle peppers with their Adobo Sauce. Stir.
  11. Add liquids to cooking pot. Add the wine and top up with water if needed to ensure the ribs are just barely covered.
  12. Bring to a boil.
  13. Cover with foil and place in a 300 degree oven for 1 ½ hours or until barely fork tender – but not so tender they are falling off the bone
  14. Remove meat from pot. Cut into rib sections and set aside.
  15. Strain solids out of the liquid.
  16. Return liquid to the pan and reduce by half to make the barbecue glaze (about 15 minutes.)
  17. When nearly done, place a half cup into a dish, add potato starch and whisk till smooth. Add back to pot, whisking as you do. This will help thicken the glaze and give the shiny look and syrupy texture.
  18. Toss ribs back into glaze to warm and get coated. Mound up on a platter, garnish with a handful of baby greens or sprouts, and serve with Warm Potato Salad.

Ingrid Hoffmann Simply Delicioso

You may have noticed that it took me a bit longer to get through this cookbook.  Don't let it that cloud your judgment on this book.

Simply Delicioso is just that! Delicious.  I love this book.  I call it my great after work/busy day cookbook.  When I've been running the streets all day and I'm freaked out about what to make for dinner and I don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen, I run to this book.

The recipes are fast and tasty.  I enjoy my dinner at home best when it taste like it came from a great restaurant and it took little effort to prepare. This book never let me down yet.

Ingrid you did a great job on this book and my family is happy to have this book in our home.  For this reason my.

VERDICTIngrid Hoffmann Simply Delicioso -Passed the Test!

The Cookbook Addict

Day Four - Ingrid Hoffmann Simply Delicious - Mushroom-stuffed chicken breasts with tomato-cumin sauce

The mushroom-stuffed chicken breasts with tomato-cumin sauce once again was an easy recipe.  You know I like easy, and it tastes great.  The only thing about this dish, which could have been totally my fault was, I found the chicken a bit dry.  But then again, I'm not much of a chicken breast girl.  I will certainly try this recipe again, but I will use chicken thighs next time.  The only catch is you may need to pound two thighs together to get the same effect (size) with chicken breast.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients for the Chicken:
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Two 8-ounce packages sliced white button mushrooms (about 4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon dry sherry
½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon ground coriander
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, tenderloin removed (reserve for another use) and trimmed of excess fat
2 teaspoons achiote powder
Thyme sprigs, for garnish

Tomato-cumin Sauce:
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
(serves 4)
Here’s a technique that gives you a restaurant-ready presentation without a lot of effort. The thin chicken cutlet is rolled around a yummy mushroom stuffing and then tightly rolled in a sheet of plastic wrap, and then again in aluminum foil. Even after cooking and unwrapping, the chicken remains in a perfect cylinder, making the prettiest round medallions after chopping. Achiote is the turmeric of the Latin kitchen, and it adds a soft, musky flavor and intense color to foods like chicken and rice.
1. To make the sauce, place the tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, and paprika in a food processor and pulse until well combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream and process until combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside on your counter or in the refrigerator.
2. To make the chicken, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring a couple of times, until the mushrooms release their moisture, about 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Add the sherry, thyme, and coriander and continue to cook until the mixture is dry, another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
3. Place 1 chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and, using a flat meat mallet or rolling pin, pound until the chicken is ¼ inch thick. Repeat with the other 3 breasts. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the skin side of the chicken evenly with ground achiote powder and turn it over (this will be the outside of the roll). Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the mushroom mixture in the center of the chicken breast and wrap the top and bottom flaps tightly around the filling. Fold the sides around to make a nice little package. Tightly wrap the stuffed breast in a 12 x 18-inch sheet of plastic wrap, twisting the ends like a candy wrapper. Knot the ends and wrap the roll in a sheet of aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining breasts and filling.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken packages and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer the chicken for 18 minutes. Carefully remove the rolls from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
5. While the chicken cools, place the tomato-cumin sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat to warm through. Using kitchen shears, cut the ends off of the foil packets and carefully remove the foil and plastic from each rolled breast (use tongs if it’s still hot). Slice each breast into ½-inch discs. Place the sliced rounds on a plate, drizzle with some sauce, and serve.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day Three - Ingrid Hoffmann Simply Delicioso - Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz Con Pollo -This recipe is the reason I purchased the book.  My girl friend Joanne made this one day and told me to taste it.  It was delicious and refreshing.  She offered to give me a copy of the recipe, but of course I had to buy the book.  There is nothing like having the actual book.

Anyway, I went home and tackled this recipe.  The ingredient listing looks long and challenging but its pretty quick.  I purchased the Adobo Seasoning which I found at Loblaws.

This may sound crazy, but what makes this recipe so tasty is the subtle sweetness of ketchup.  This helps you sell the dish to your kids, even with the vegetables looking back at them. LOL!

My husband and son loved this dish and they have requested that I make it everyday.  However, as good as it is, the recipe does yield a large amount.  We'll be eating left overs for days, so I guess they're getting their wish.

The photo below is from Ingrid's web page.  My camera needs batteries.  I didn't add the olives since my husband doesn't like them, which is actually fine with me since I found the taste of the olives a bit too intense.

Give this dish a try.  The recipe is below.  Enjoy  The Cookbook Addict

  • 1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut in 8 serving pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered, plus 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1 cup light beer, such as lager
  • 3 tablespoons Delicioso Adobo, recipe follows
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups white rice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pimento stuffed olives


Place the chicken, quartered onions, 1 cup of chicken broth, beer, Delicioso Adobo, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 of the cilantro, and garlic in a large pot or skillet over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool; once cool shred and set aside. Strain the broth into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve discarding the onion pieces.
Pour the broth into a measuring cup and add water to make 4 cups of liquid. Return it to the pot or skillet and add the rice, peas, carrots, green beans, ketchup, and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Let the liquid evaporate to just below the level of the rice, about 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and fully cooked, 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and the remaining sliced onions and cook until they're tender, 8 minutes. Shred the cooked chicken meat discarding the skin and bones, and add the chicken to the vegetables. Cook until it is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and add the chicken and vegetables to the rice mixture. Stir in the olives, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve.

Delicioso Adobo:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder or flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon achiote powder*
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
Combine all measured ingredients in a small glass jar with an airtight lid and shake to blend. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.
Note: This recipe for adobo is a staple seasoning for many of my Latin recipes. You can make a large batch, store it in an airtight container and use it as a flavor enhancer in your favorite dishes.
*Achiote is also known as Annatto seeds
Yield: about 1/2 cup

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day Two - Ingrid Hoffmann Simply Delicioso - Arugula, Avocado, and Fennel Salad and Chicken Enchiladas with Fastest-ever Salsa

Well, I survived a few challenges over the past week or two and I am so ready to get back in the game of cooking and testing recipes.  But before I talk about the recipes I tired out, I need to tell you about the food in Montreal.  Yes I was there for a funeral, but my husband and I couldn't leave without trying out a few of our favorite foods.

The day we arrived in Montreal, my husband wanted an order of steamy's (hotdogs with a steamed bun dressed with cabbage, relish and mustard).  My husband calls these dogs sweaty's.  His favorite side dish with his steamy's is poutine.  For the record!  There is no poutine in Ontario that taste as good as poutine in Montreal and the fries are out of this world.  I've been trying to replicate the fries, poutine and steamy's for sometime.  I'm getting closer, but I'm still not there yet.

I had a Kojak Gyro the second day for a late lunch.  OMG!!! I don't know how they make their sauce, but its *%(#*$ amazing.  I almost ate the foil it was wrapped in it was so good.  I always get the garlic sauce and sweet sauce yummy yummy.  You have to have it to understand it.  Then for dinner we had Pizza. Not just any pizza, it was Miss Italia Pizza.  This Pizza is so good, that even my severely lactose intolerant cousin wanted to know why I didn't save her some.  I brought home a piece of the pizza and had it for lunch today. Hmmm hmmm, it was delicious. I savored each bite in hopes that I could identify each ingredient.  I even pulled a piece of pepperoni off the pizza, bagged it and took it to the grocery store to see if I could find a match.  No luck as of yet.  But I'm still looking.  Why can’t the food in Toronto taste as good as Montreal?

Now for tonight’s dinner: I started with the Arugula, Avocado and Fennel Salad.  It was really easy to make and it was totally refreshing.  I will certainly have this salad for lunch tomorrow.

I also made the Chicken Enchiladas.  I like making this dish because you get to use a store bought cooked rotisserie chicken and my 5 year-old son can help me make it.  I admit, the dish is a bit rich, but it's absolutely fantastic.  It's a great dinner to make if you are in a rush for dinner.  But just a word to the fat police, don’t try and substitute ingredients for low fat and high fiber, you will not get the same results.  My girlfriend tried and she was very disappointed.

The Cookbook Addict

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm Still In The Game

It's been a few days, which feels like weeks since I've posted my results on a cookbook.  Sorry!  I'm experiencing a death in the family, which has hit the family and myself pretty hard.  And my 5-year-old was home for a few days sick with a Sinus infection and the baby has been teething.  Needless to say, I really needed and still need a bit of a break.

I'm still testing Ingrid Hoffmann's Simply Delicioso cookbook and I have to say I haven't been disappointed yet.

I'll post my findings this coming weekend, April 11, 2010.  In the meantime, please excuse my absence.

The Cookbook Addict