Subscribe: Barbecue Secrets
http://barbecuesecrets.libsyn.com/rss
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade C rated
Language: English
Tags:
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Barbecue Secrets

Barbecue Secrets





Published: Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:10:50 +0000

Last Build Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2017 15:39:23 +0000

Copyright: Ron Shewchuk 2006-2014
 



Latin-Style Smoked Pork Shoulder with Salsa Verde

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:10:50 +0000

In recent years I've had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica and collaborate with chefs there as the country establishes itself on the international barbecue scene. Thanks to the hospitality of my new friends in Central America, I have truly fallen in love with Latin American cooking. Nary a week goes by without me making a batch of delicious empanadas, and I am constantly looking for ways to incorporate Latino flavours into my grilling/barbecue.

Case in point: for my birthday dinner last year, my lovely wife Kate Zimmerman made a super-delish Pork Shoulder with Salsa Verde, which she found on Epicurious.com. I have simply adapted the recipe for the smoker and slightly tweaked the ingredients list. If you don't have a smoker, this works great in the oven. However you cook it, it is amazingly delicious. Enjoy. 

TIP: Celery leaves are hard to come by because in our society we value the stems, so most of the leaves are trimmed away from most bunches of celery before the get to supermarkets. I go to my local organic grocery store and ask the produce person to save the trimmings for me. If you can't get enough celery leaves, the salsa is just fine with parsley alone, or you could substitute cilantro, spinach or arugula.

Serves six to eight

NOTE: You will probably have lots of leftover salsa verde, which is a great condiment for anything else, or, mixed with mayo, is a fantastic dip. 

Ingredients

For the Salsa Verde:

1 small tin of anchovy fillets

2 Tbsp coarsely chopped pickled capers (the small kind)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and coursely chopped

2 bunches of flat leaf Italian parsley, stems removed

1 cup or more (if you can find enough) coarsely chopped celery leaves

Finely grated peel of one or two fresh lemons

1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary

3 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup olive oil

A small squeeze (1 tsp) of Rogers Golden Syrup or corn syrup to balance the flavour (optional)

 

For the Pork Shoulder

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

4 Tbsp chopped fresh sage

4 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp Kosher salt or Fleur de Sel (French sea salt)

2 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 8-lb whole boneless or bone-in pork shoulder butt roast

 

In a blender or food processor, combine all the salsa ingredients and whiz until they are a smooth puree. Adjust the seasonings (add salt, pepper, lemon juice, pepper, or a bit of sweetness to make the salsa perfect.)

Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature up to 200 - 220 F. (If you're using a gas grill, prepare the grill for low, indirect cooking, with the burners on one side of the grill on low-medium, and the other side turned off completely, with a water pan under the cooking grate.

In a nonreactive bowl, mix together the garlic, sage, rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil, and rub the mixture all over the roast. When your smoker or grill is preheated, place the roast on the cooking grate and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 185F. On the smoker this will take at about 10 to 12 hours, and on your grill we're talking about six or seven hours. When the roast reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the smoker/grill and let it rest, wrapped in foil, for at least 15 minutes but preferably an hour or more.

Slice the roast into half-inch chunks and serve, with the salsa verde on the side. 

 




BBQ Secrets Episode 23 - Canadian Jerk, Craziest Basting Brushes Ever, and Nudism, Rockin' Ronnie Style

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:56:56 +0000

SHOW NOTES

In this episode I talk about building an authentic Jamaican-style jerk pit for this year's Brewery and the Beast in Vancouver, where I joined my friends from Johnston's Pork to serve up 14 delicious jerked pork bellies.

A the same event, ninja chef Rob Belcham of Campagnolo restaurant outdid himself by spit roasting a whole 250-lb. farmed sturgeon using three whole octopi stuffed with chorizo as basting brushes.

At the end of the episode I talk about an experience my wife Kate and I had a Jamaican resort a few years ago. Spoiler alert: contains nudism and vodka.


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/BBQ_Secrets_Episode_23_Jamaican_Jerk_Crazy_Basting_Brushes_and_Nudism.mp3?dest-id=23986




Recipe of the Week - Beef Burger with Chili Butter Core

Fri, 21 Aug 2015 20:34:30 +0000

Beef Burger with Chile Butter Core, Dressed with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo and Guacamole Makes 4 large burgers Disclaimers: This isn’t a simple recipe and it involves quite a bit of prep work. The chile butter and mayo need to be made in advance, so a little planning is necessary. Stuffing a disc of flavored butter into the burger patties takes a little practice, but the result will blow your guests away. Be sure not to turn the burgers until they’ve started to get firm, and keep an eye out for flare-ups. Also please note: Warn your guests that the burgers have a molten filling or they could be in for a shock! In any case, have plenty of napkins at the ready. These are very juicy burgers. For the chile butter: 1/2 lb | 250 g butter 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce 2 Tbsp | 25 mL ancho chile powder 1 head roasted garlic (see recipe below) 1/2 tsp | 2 mL salt For the guacamole: 2 large, ripe, but still firm avocados 2 ripe tomatoes 2 Tbsp | 25 mL lime or lemon juice 1 clove garlic, finely minced 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped cilantro 3 tinned green chiles, rinsed, seeded, and chopped 1 finely minced jalapeño or serrano chile (optional) kosher salt For the burgers: 11/2 to 2 lb | 750 g to 1 kg ground beef,  (20 percent fat) 1/4 cup | 50 mL cold water 1/2 tsp | 2 mL garlic salt 1/2 tsp | 2 mL onion salt 1 Tbsp | 15 mL prepared mustard granulated garlic Your favourite grilling rub 1/4 cup | 50 mL Margie’s Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo (see recipe below) 4 slices Jack cheese (optional) 4 hamburger buns To make the chile butter, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them together until they’re smooth. Transfer the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a tube 11⁄2 inches | 4 cm in diameter. Twist the ends of the tube to close it, and place it in the freezer for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight. (It’s a good idea to make the mayo at the same time as you make the chile butter, as both improve when you let the flavors marry.)             The guacamole doesn’t keep well and should be made no more than an hour before you put the burgers on the grill. To make it, peel the avocados and remove the pits. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and avocados. (You can mash the avocados as much as you like, but I prefer a chunky guacamole.) Blend in the lime or lemon juice, garlic, chopped cilantro, green chiles, and hot chiles, if desired. Season the guacamole to taste with salt. Cover it and set it aside in a cool place.             Combine the ground beef, water, garlic salt, and onion salt in a large nonreactive bowl. Mix the ingredients lightly with your hands, being careful not to overwork the beef. Split it into 4 equal portions and roll it into balls. Take the chile butter out of the freezer and slice off four 1⁄4-inch | 0.5 cm discs. Poke your thumb in the middle of each ball to create a hole and insert the disc of chile butter. Encase the butter in the burger as you shape it into a classic burger shape about 3⁄4-inch | 1.2 cm thick, ensuring that there are no openings where molten butter could run out. Set the rest of the chile butter aside to soften.             Coat the burger patties lightly with the mustard and sprinkle them with a light coating of granulated garlic, then a light coating of the rub.             Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Place the burgers on the grill, close the cover, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook them for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye out for flare-ups. Turn them carefully, and cook them for another 5–8 minutes, or until the patties become firm, but not hard, to the touch. If you want to add cheese, place a slice on top of each patty about 2 minutes before you plan to take them off the grill.             Transfer the burgers from the grill to a serving plate. Tent the burgers with foil and let them rest for 2[...]



Recipes of the week - Oysters, oysters, oysters!

Fri, 14 Aug 2015 22:24:51 +0000

With such a hot summer here in British Columbia, it's not surprising that there are concerns about eating raw oysters, which can cause illness when they've got high levels of a naturally occuring bacterium that thrives in warm waters.  As a gesture of good will to BC's oyster farmers, and a celbration of the delicious bivalves they produce, here are a couple of my favourite ways to grill oysters. If you can't eat 'em raw, eat 'em like this and support your local growers! Grilled Oysters with Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette Makes 4 – 6 appetizer-sized portions My friend Kosta the fishmonger suggested this flavor combination to me, and when I tried it out I was astonished at how well the light, refreshing vinaigrette complemented the robust flavor of the grilled oysters. 3 Tbsp | 45 mL French toasted walnut oil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL rice vinegar or champagne vinegar 1 tsp | 5 mL finely grated orange zest 1 tsp | 15 mL maple syrup 1 pint | 500 mL container of large, fresh, shucked oysters (about a dozen oysters) kosher salt and freshly ground pepper neutral-flavored oil like canola or corn oil 1 orange, cut into wedges Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the walnut oil, vinegar, orange zest and maple syrup. Set the mixture aside. Drain the oysters and pat them dry with paper towels. Put them on a baking sheet and set them aside. Prepare your grill for direct high heat, making sure the cooking grate is thoroughly scraped. Season the oysters with salt and pepper and drizzle them with a light coating of oil. Just before you put the oysters on the hot grill, oil it using a paper towel dipped in some oil. Carefully place the oysters on the cooking grate, making sure they don’t fall through. Grill them for a couple of minutes per side or until the’re just cooked through and the outside edges are a bit charred. Transfer the oysters to serving plates, top with a drizzle of the vinaigrette and garnish with orange wedges. Oysters Grilled in the Shell Beach-grown West Coast oysters usually come pre-shucked in tubs, and they’re great smoked or grilled. If you can find them live, in their shells, it’s a huge treat. I’m lucky enough to have a friend, Eric Giesbrecht, who is chef/owner/oysterman of Meta4 Foods, a distributor of premium Canadian shellfish based in Calgary. I asked him to teach me the secrets of grilling oysters in the shell and I thank him for the following guide. Use large West Coast beach oysters for the best results. Ask your fishmonger for Royal Miagis (Eric gets his from one of BC’s most famous oystermen, Brent Petkau, of Marina Island). Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. (“A sliver past medium on your BBQ gas dial,” says Eric.) Rinse the oysters of any extraneous material such as loose barnacles, rocks, sand, or any other hangers-on. Put the oysters, “cup side” up, on the cooking grate. This will help ensure that you don’t lose any of the precious liquor, in which the oysters will slowly poach as they heat up. Grill the oysters for 5 or 6 minutes. You can tell when they’re done when the top shell starts to lift and the nectar begins to spill out. “Be careful not to let the oysters dry out completely in the shell as they will quickly stick and burn,” says Eric. “Once you see the shells separate, take a look inside one of the pieces and see how much the oyster has shrunk by. The flesh of the oyster should be taut and shrunken in size by around half—err on the side of under-done if you are unsure.” Remove the oysters from the grill and shuck them.  If you just try to pull the shells apart, you’ll risk getting unappetizing broken bits of shell in the oysters. Eric recommends using an oyster shucking knife or paring knife to separate the top and bottom shells, cut the muscle attaching the oyster to the shell, and lift the flesh out. Some restaurants like to serve them, cooked and in the shell with a little sauce spooned in, leaving it to their guests to do the shucking.[...]



Recipe of the week - Grilled Pink Salmon in Foil

Fri, 07 Aug 2015 18:45:51 +0000

  Many sport fishermen consider pink salmon to be the least desirable amongst the five species of BC wild salmon, but I love it, and so do some of Vancouver’s leading chefs. Not only is pink salmon delicious and nutritious, it’s a sustainable fishery. One of the interesting things about pink salmon: unlike the other species, which have a four-year cycle, there are only two populations of pink salmon, and on odd years like this one, they return in the millions to spawn in Pacific Northwest rivers and streams. (Along with two BC chefs I’ll be cooking a whole bunch of pink salmon at this year’s Pink Salmon Festival at Vancouver's Hadden Park on Kit's Point on August 30th from noon to 4.00 p.m. and hope to see you there!) Pinks are smaller than their cousins, with an average size of about four pounds or two kilos, so they’re usually sold as whole fish. That means the best way to grill them is to wrap them in foil. The following simple technique (which originally appeared in my cookbook, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! as a way of preparing trout) gives the salmon a subtle and delicate flavor and texture, and the orange adds a lovely flavor and aroma. Get the freshest possible fish—pinks are best soon after they’re caught!  Makes 4 servings 1 whole, cleaned 4 lb | 2 kg pink salmon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 3 Tbsp | 45 mL butter, at room temperature 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped fresh parsley 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and thinly sliced 2 oranges, one sliced into thin rounds, and the other sliced in half for squeezing sprigs of parsley for garnish Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. Tear off a strip of heavy-duty foil 21/2 times as long as the fish and double it. Spread 1 Tbsp | 15 mL of the butter evenly over the top surface of the foil. Distribute about a third of the onion slices on the foil, making a kind of bed for the salmon. Lightly season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper, and sprinkle it with chopped parsley. Place another third of the onion slices and half the orange slices inside the body cavity and the rest on top of the fish. Daub the remaining 2 Tbsp | 30 mL butter inside the fish and on top of the onion and orange slices. Squeeze half the remaining orange over everything and wrap the foil around the fish, sealing it tightly.             Place the foil package on the cooking grate, cover the grill, and cook the salmon for 10–15 minutes, or until the fish is just done (about 140 to 150˚F | 60 to 66˚C). You can poke a meat thermometer through the foil in the last few minutes of cooking to check for doneness. To serve, open up the foil, carefully transfer the fish to a warmed platter, and pour the juices left in the foil over the fish. Garnish the salmon with orange wedges and parsley sprigs, and finish it with a final squeeze of fresh orange.   [Photo of trout in foil copyright John Sinal Photography. Used with permission.]  [...]



Recipe of the week - Ravenswood Ribs

Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:32:26 +0000

Makes 4–6 servings Zinfandel is one of the best wines you can drink with grilled or barbecued food and California winemaker Ravenswood makes some of the tastiest, most popular zins around. Ravenswood’s Executive Chef, Eric Lee, was kind enough to share this rib recipe. This versatile rub/mop combination also works well with other cuts of pork, as well as beef and lamb. Note: I’ve used my Real Barbecued Ribs technique for this recipe, but you can also do them Cheater Ribs style.  For the ribs: 2 racks of back ribs, trimmed by your butcher 1 medium onion, peeled and halved 1 tsp | 5 mL peppercorns 3 or 4 whole cloves a couple of chunks of apple wood     For the rub: 1½ tsp | 12.5 mL dried oregano          1½ tsp | 12.5 mL dried thyme ¾ tsp | 4 mL fennel seed, toasted and ground ½ tsp | 2 mL cumin seed, toasted and ground ½ tsp | 2 mL mustard seed, toasted and ground 1½ tsp | 12.5 mL onion powder           2¼ tsp | 11 mL garlic powder  1/8 tsp | 0.5 mL           ground ginger ¾ tsp | 4 mL ground black pepper 1 Tbsp | 15 mL kosher salt 1½ tsp | 12.5 mL paprika        ¾ tsp | 4 mL chili powder 1/4 tsp | 1 mL cayenne            ¼ tsp | 1 mL sugar   For the “mop”: 1/2 bottle | 375 mL Ravenswood Zinfandel wine 1 cup | 250 mL sparking apple cider   1 Tbsp | 15 mL molasses 1/8 cup | 30 mL olive oil          1/4 tsp | 1 mL ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp | 1 mL ground cloves 1/8 tsp | 0.5 mL ground cinnamon 1/2 Tbsp | 7.5 mL garlic powder 11/2 Tbsp | 22.5 mL kosher salt 1 bay leaf 1/8 cup | 30 mL dark Karo syrup   Combine the rub ingredients in a medium bowl and mix them together thoroughly. Set the rub aside. Combine the mop ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer them for 15 minutes on medium low heat, uncovered.  Remove the membrane from the ribs if your butcher hasn’t already done it for you. Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature up to 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C.             Generously coat the ribs on both sides with the rub. Let the ribs sit for at least 15 minutes, or until the rub starts to draw moisture out of the meat and looks shiny.             Place the ribs on the cooking grate, or place them on a rib rack. Place a chunk of apple wood on the coals. Cook them for 5 or 6 hours, depending on the size of the ribs, mopping them about every half hour and adding another chunk of apple wood about an hour before the ribs are done. Half an hour before the end of the cooking time, test the ribs for doneness. If they pass the pull test (the ribs pull away from one another easily but they’re not falling off the bone) give them one more coat of sauce, wrap them in foil, and return them to the cooker for another half hour or so.             Remove them from the cooker and let the wrapped ribs rest for 20–45 minutes. Unwrap them, cut them into single ribs, and serve them with your favorite accompaniments, including, of course, some Ravenswood Zinfandel!    [...]



Recipes of the week - Jamaican Jerk Pork

Fri, 24 Jul 2015 22:47:06 +0000

What is perfect jerk? Is it chicken or pork? Should the meat be marinated, or just rubbed? How hot should it be? Is it best smoked, grilled, or baked in an oven? After many years of experimentation in my own kitchen I have come up with what I think is a pretty good approximation of the best jerk that my wife Kate and I tasted during the two times we visited the beautiful island of Jamaica. Usually I make jerk chicken, but lately I’ve been cooking jerk pork, and it’s super delish. In the past I’ve made my own jerk marinade, but these days I just use a rub. Some might call it overkill, but I like to serve jerk with a rich, spicy gravy made with chicken broth and jarred jerk marinade. I’m also including the perfect accompaniments to a jerk dinner, a spicy but refreshing slaw, and the classic Jamaican side dish, Rice and Beans (also known as Rice and Peas). Jerk Pork  This recipe also works well with chicken or fish.   Serves 6 6 nice fatty pork loin chops or pork blade steaksJamaican-style Dry Jerk SeasoningVegetable oil Prepare your grill for medium direct cooking. Sprinkle the chops with a generous coating of the rub and drizzle them with enough oil to make them shiny. When your grill is ready, place the pork on the cooking grate and cover the grill. Turn the chops every couple of minutes till they’re done (internal temp of 140F for medium). Let them rest, tented in foil, for at least five minutes. Serve the pork with slaw, rice and beans, and jerk gravy (see recipes below). [Alternative method: cook the pork in a smoker using mesquite, or if you can get it, pimento wood, as a flavouring agent, and finish it on the grill. This technique works great with pork bellies, or you could even do a whole pork shoulder butt roast like this.] Jamaican-style Dry Jerk Seasoning This rub gives chicken, pork or snapper – or whatever else you’re grilling – a classic Jamaican flavor without any fuss.      2 Tbsp|30 mL granulated onion     2 Tbsp|30 mL dried onion flakes (get flakes that aren’t too big)     1 Tbsp|15 mL ground dried thyme     1 Tbsp|15 mL kosher salt     2 tsp|10 mL ground allspice     1/2 tsp|5 mL freshly grated nutmeg     1/2 tsp|5 mL ground cinnamon     1 Tbsp|15 mL sugar     2 tsp|10 mL freshly ground black pepper     2 tsp|10 mL ground dried habanero chilies (or cayenne or chipotle powder if you can’t find habanero)     1 1/2 Tbsp|22.5 mL dried chives Note: Double or quadruple this recipe so you have some on hand. It’s super easy to make a great jerk marinade simply by whizzing 1/2 cup|125 mL of this rub in a food processor with a splash of cooking oil, a chopped habanero, a chopped onion and some chopped scallions. Jerk Gravy 4 cups |1 L chicken or beef broth2 Tbsp|30 mL jarred jerk marinade or jerk seasoning paste (Walkerton of Jamaica makes one of the best, and if you’re in British Columbia there’s a local product called Auntie Bev’s that’s really good, too.)1 Tbsp|15 mL soy sauce (or, if you can get it, 1 tsp of something called “browning,” which is a thick, black liquid made with water, caramelized sugar and salt)2 tsp|10 mL corn starch1/4 cup|60 mL cold waterSalt and pepper to taste   Place the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil. Reduce it by at least half. Add the jerk seasoning and soy sauce (or browning) and stir it into the broth. Quickly mix the corn starch into the cold water and immediately pour it into the gravy, stirring constantly until it thickens and turns shiny.  Season it to your liking and serve in a gravy boat.   Jamaican Cole Slaw This recipe, adapted slightly from the excellent Jerk From Jamaica cookbook by Helen Willinsky (I’ve added raisins and fresh pineapple), is a superb side. If you want to serve it with something other than jerk, substitute your favorite rub for the Dry Jerk Seasoning.  4 cups|1 L shred[...]



Recipe of the week - Planked Salmon with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sat, 18 Jul 2015 00:22:35 +0000

Rosemary and salmon are a classic combination. In this recipe, the honeyed balsamic vinaigrette and brown sugar intensify the flavor.

Makes 6 servings
 

For the vinaigrette:
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp | 5 mL granulated garlic
1 Tbsp | 15 mL balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp | 45 mL extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp | 15 mL liquid honey
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp | 5 mL grainy mustard
1 tsp | 4 mL chopped fresh rosemary

For the salmon:
1 plank (cedar is nice but alder or maple would also work well),
soaked overnight or at least 1 hour
21/2 lb | 1.2 kg boned salmon fillet with skin
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 green onion, finely chopped for garnish
balsamic reduction (optional; see recipe below)

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl and mix them together thoroughly. Coat the salmon fillet with the vinaigrette and set it aside.
            Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
            Place the rosemary sprigs on the plank and lay the salmon fillet on top of the herbs, skin side down. Cook it for about 15 minutes, or until its internal temperature is 135°F | 57°C. During cooking, watch for flare-ups and put them out with a spray bottle of water.
            Take the plank off the grill and transfer it to a heatproof serving platter, tenting the salmon loosely with foil. To finish it, season it lightly with a little more salt and pepper, drizzle it with olive oil, and serve each portion with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of chopped green onion. For an extra-fancy touch, dot the plate with balsamic reduction.

Balsamic Reduction

This incredible, tangy, sweet, rich syrup has a multitude of uses. It supercharges any vinaigrette. It’s great in marinades (or as a simple marinade on its own), and you can even drizzle it on ice cream or fruit.
Pour a 10 oz | 300 mL bottle of cheap balsamic vinegar (you could use more or less as your need dictates; this is just a handy amount to prepare) in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook it at a gently rolling boil, watching it carefully, until the vinegar has reduced to about 1/3 its original volume (10–15 minutes). When it’s ready, it should be a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Set it aside to cool. Transfer it to a squeeze bottle and store it in a cool, dry place. It keeps indefinitely.






Recipes of the week: Grilled Prawns Three Ways

Fri, 10 Jul 2015 20:43:03 +0000

Rum and Honey Prawn Skewers Makes 8 kebabs, enough for 2 lunch-sized portions or 8 hors d’oeuvres The combination of rum, honey, and fresh mint is a revelation in this simple, delicious dish. For the basting sauce: 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped fresh mint 1½ tsp | 7 mL lime juice 1 jigger Appleton Estate dark rum 1/3 cup | 75 mL liquid honey 1 tsp | 5 mL Dijon mustard 2 tsp | 10 mL vegetable oil kosher salt to taste For the prawns: eight 7-inch | 18 cm bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour 16 extra large prawns, peeled and deveined (with tails on) kosher salt lime wedges and chopped mint for garnish Whisk together the basting sauce ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle about 1⁄3 of the sauce over the prawns, tossing them to coat them. Set aside the rest of the sauce.             Assemble 8 skewers with 2 prawns on each.             Prepare the grill for medium direct heat. Place the kebabs on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and cook them for 3–5 minutes, turning and basting the kebabs regularly, until the prawns are firm to the touch. Season them with a sprinkle of salt and serve them with some of the remaining basting sauce drizzled over them. Garnish them with lime wedges and a sprinkle of chopped mint. Super-easy Grilled Jumbo Prawns with Curry Paste My pal Kosta the fishmonger shared this great, simple way to grill jumbo prawns. Butterfly them (split them in half lengthwise, which makes it easy to remove the vein) and coat them with a mixture of your favorite curry paste cut with a little neutral flavored oil (about 3 Tbsp | 45 mL curry paste mixed with 1 Tbsp |15 mL oil will coat a dozen prawns). Grill the prawns over high heat for about a minute or two per side, and finish them by tossing them in a pan with some melted butter. Serve them with lemon wedges for an outstanding appetizer. Skewered Prawns Pistou Makes 4 main course servings or 12 appetizer-sized servings Pistou is the French equivalent of the Italian pesto sauce. In this version I’ve added toasted nuts, anchovies, and lemon zest for an extra kick. The pistou is great with prawns, and these jumbo skewers create a spectacular impression. This sauce also works well as a coating for roast lamb. For the pistou: 1/4 cup | 50 mL lightly toasted pecans (almonds or pine nuts are also excellent) 2 cups | 500 mL loosely packed fresh basil leaves 1 cup | 250 mL loosely packed flat-leaf Italian parsley 12 anchovy fillets, rinsed 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1/3 cup | 75 mL extra virgin olive oil zest of 1 lemon, finely grated or chopped For the prawns: twelve 6-inch | 15 cm bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour 12 jumbo prawns, in their shells kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 12 cherry or grape tomatoes lemon wedges for garnish Combine the pecans, basil, parsley, anchovies, and garlic in a food processor and process them until they’re smooth. Add the oil slowly in a thin stream while the processor is running. Transfer the pistou to a bowl, add the zest, and stir the pistou thoroughly. Transfer about 1⁄2 cup | 125 mL of the pistou to a serving bowl and reserve it for dipping.             Season the prawns with salt and pepper. Toss them with the remaining pistou and refrigerate them for 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. When you’re ready to cook them, thread one prawn onto each skewer, with a cherry tomato threaded between the tail and the head.            Prepare the grill for medium direct heat. Place the prawns on the cooking grate, cover the grill, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Serve them with the extra pistou for dipping and garnish them with lemon wedges. [...]






Recipe of the Week: Greek-Style Ribs

Fri, 03 Jul 2015 20:19:03 +0000

Makes 4 to 6 servings Die-hard barbecue people don’t even like to consider this technique, which I sometimes call "cheater ribs" because it goes against all the principles and values of barbecue culture. These ribs may not be smoky, and they may not be quite as flavorful as true barbecued ribs, but they’re wonderfully tender, they taste great, and they don’t take all day to cook. The original recipe calls for a coating of mustard and barbecue rub and a Kansas City-style finishing glaze, but this Greek treatment is unusual and delicious. 2 racks side or back ribs, trimmed by your butcher 1 medium onion, peeled and halved 1 tsp | 5 mL peppercorns 2 bay leaves Extra virgin olive oil For the rub: 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried (not powdered) oregano 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried mint 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried basil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried rosemary 1 tsp | 5 mL dried parsley 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Kosher or sea salt 1 Tbsp | 15 mL freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp | 2 mL granulated garlic 1/2 tsp | 2 mL crushed chiles (optional) 1 jar mint jelly Fresh mint for garnish Remove the membrane from the ribs if your butcher hasn’t already done it for you. Fill a large pot with cold water and completely submerge the ribs in the water. Add the onion, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring the water just to a boil. With a spoon or ladle, quickly skim off the soapy scum that forms on the top of the water and reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer the ribs for about 11/4 hours, or until the bones start to poke out of the meat. Take the ribs out of the water and cool them on a cooking sheet until they are easy to handle. Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with the rub and drizzle them with a light coating of olive oil. Put the mint jelly in a saucepan and gently heat it until it is liquid. Set it aside and keep it warm. (You may want to add a splash of water to thin it down a bit, depending on how jelly-like it is.) Grill the ribs for 3–4 minutes on each side, applying the melted mint jelly with a basting brush as you turn them. Remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes. Cut them into single ribs, garnish them with some chopped mint, and serve them with classic accompaniments like Greek salad and roasted potatoes. [...]



BBQ Secrets Episode 21 - Summery Steaks

Sat, 27 Jun 2015 17:07:54 +0000

Hey barbecue fans. I hope you enjoy this edition of the show. Here's a link to the recipes I talk about. Like Barbecue Secrets on Facebook and follow me on twitter. And if you haven't found me yet on iTunes, come here

Get grillin'!

Ronnie 


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/BBQ_Secrets_episode_21.mp3?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the week: A couple of simple, delicious beef steaks

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 23:59:58 +0000

Steak, Italian-Style Makes 4 servings Sometimes the simplest treatments are the best ones when you’re grilling a steak.      4 well-marbled T-bone steaks, at least 1 inch | 2.5 cm thick     kosher or Maldon salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste     dried Greek oregano leaves      best-quality extra virgin olive oil     lemon wedges     1 bunch fresh arugula, washed and dried Bring the steaks to room temperature by leaving them out of the fridge for an hour. Season them generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Grill the steaks 4–6 minutes per side, or until they’re done the way you and your guests like them (I recommend taking the steak off the heat when the meat springs back slightly when poked, which is when it reaches an internal temperature of about 125˚F | 51˚C). Remove the steaks from the grill and let them rest, tented in foil, 4–5 minutes. Make a little bed of arugula on each plate and put the steaks on top. Crumble a little oregano on each steak, drizzle it with olive oil, and season it with a little more salt and freshly ground pepper. Garnish it with lemon wedges. The juice and oil from the steak and the squeeze of lemon will create a fabulous natural dressing for the slightly bitter arugula. Lemony Herbed Flank Steak This dish uses a lemony vinaigrette to marinate the steak as well as to dress it. The clean, simple flavors make for a perfect summer meal. Serve it with some boiled nugget potatoes tossed with butter and fresh dill and some grilled asparagus. Makes 4 servings      1 large flank or skirt steak      (about 11/2 to 2 lb | 750 g to 1 kg)     kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper For the marinade/dressing:     1/2 cup | 125 mL lemon-infused olive oil     1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely grated lemon zest     3 Tbsp | 45 mL white balsamic vinegar     1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard     2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced     ½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, and parsley work well)     kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste For the garnish:     sprigs of fresh herbs     lemon wedges Place the flank steak in a baking dish and season both sides with salt and pepper. Let it come up to room temperature for about half an hour. Combine the marinade/dressing ingredients in a bowl and thoroughly whisk them together. Divide the mixture in half, and set aside one half for finishing the dish. Coat the steak with the remaining half of the mixture. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and marinate it for 2 hours or overnight. Prepare your grill for high direct heat. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat it dry. Place the steak on the cooking grate and grill it on high for 30 seconds per side, just enough to get some nice grill marks on the meat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook it, turning it once or twice, for about 4–6 minutes per side, or until the thickest part of the steak has an internal temperature of 125°F | 52°C. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest, loosely tented in foil, for 5–10 minutes. To serve the steak, carve it across the grain into thin slices and arrange the slices on plates. Sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper and spoon on some of the reserved dressing. Garnish with lemon wedges and herb sprigs. How to  Feel When A  Steak is Done Most barbecue cooks use meat thermometers to carefully monitor the internal temperature of big cuts of meat, but for most purposes, you can easily tell whether a steak or chicken breast is done simply by applying pressure to it with your forefinger. If the meat does not spring back, it’s st[...]



Barbecue Secrets Podcast Episode 20, and recipes of the week!

Sat, 20 Jun 2015 00:01:57 +0000

  I'm back with a new podcast! For some reason unknown to me, in the last couple of weeks the number of Barbecue Secrets listeners has jumped from about 40 to over 600 a day. Not sure what's going on, but I figure if there's that much interest in the show I'd better start producing some new episodes. I hope you like this one, and I'm looking forward to making more. For all you CKNW listeners, here are your recipes for this week. Enjoy! Beach-Friendly Snacks As soon as we get unpacked and set up at a picnic table, we like to put out an array of simple but delish appetizers. Obvious choices are a nice variety of stinky cheeses, cold cuts, pate and crackers, olives, fresh pita and hummus, sliced long English cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pickled herring and so on.  Grilled Fresh Smelt This works best with smelt that have just been caught, but you could thaw frozen smelt and do the same thing. If you’re squeamish you can gut and behead the fish before grilling but, in my opinion, why do all that fussing and make a mess when they taste great whole? Makes a great beach picnic appetizer for 4 8 or more fresh raw whole smelt Sea salt (Fleur de Sel or Malden Salt would work best, but Kosher Salt would also work fine)  Pre-heat a portable grill for medium-direct cooking (I prefer The Cobb or a Weber Smoky Joe, but you can also use a hibachi or portable gas grill). Wipe the smelt with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle them with the sea salt and immediately place them on the cooking grate (the fresh coating of salt should help prevent them from sticking to the grate, but if you’re worried about stickage lightly drizzle them with oil before you put them on the grill). If your cooker has a lid, leave it off. Carefully tend the smelt, turning them regularly, until they are slightly charred and a have a light golden colour. Remove them from the grill and eat immediately while they still have a crisp crust. Eat them whole – I know it sounds gross, but the crunchy head is the best part when it’s fresh from the fire. Grilled Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce and Fresh Mango and Jalapeno Salsa Makes 4 servings I like to make my own Teryaki sauce (see recipe below) but the bottled variety is also very good. To keep things very simple, and still delish, you can substitute teriyaki sauce with good quality Japanese soy sauce. For the salmon: 4 8-10 oz | 250-300 g pieces of boneless wild salmon fillets, skin on 1 cup teriyaki sauce For the salsa: 1 ripe fresh mango, diced 1 jalapeno, diced Juice of 1 lime Kosher or sea salt to taste Prepare the salsa by combining all the ingredients. Marinate the salmon pieces in the teriyaki sauce for no more than an hour. I like to bring a big Ziploc bag to the beach and marinate the salmon on the spot. If you soak them in the sauce too long they get too salty and it masks the delicious taste of the salmon. Prepare your portable grill for medium direct cooking. Place the salmon pieces, skin-side down, on the cooking grate and cover the grill. When the salmon is done (internal temp of about 130F or springy to the touch), remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving with the mango salsa and the rice salad on the side.  Rice, Asparagus, and Cucumber Salad Makes 8 servings (so you’ll have enough for leftovers the next day) This is a slight adaptation of a recipe from a 1994 Bon Appétit magazine. The salad tastes like summer itself and it’s one of our go-to beach picnic standards. You cannot make it once without making it again and again. 1 3/4 cups | 425 mL water 1 cup | 250 mL long-grain white rice 1 pound | 500 g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch | 2.5 cm pieces 11/2 cups[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/Barbecue_Secrets_20.mp3?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the week: A couple of fancy salads

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 23:33:53 +0000

Enoteca Smoked Duck Salad  Makes 8 servings as an appetizer or 4 main course servings  My wife, Kate, found this recipe many years ago in a 1990s collection of recipes from American bistros. Seattle’s Enoteca does not exist anymore, but as long as I barbecue, I will have this recipe in my repertoire. The original recipe calls for fresh papaya, which is excellent, but I like slightly tangier mango as the fruit component.  For the dressing 1/2 cup | 125 mL soy sauce 2/3 cup | 150 mL red wine vinegar 1/2 cup | 125 mL sugar 4 Tbsp | 60 mL vegetable oil 4 Tbsp | 60 mL rice wine vinegar 4 Tbsp | 60 mL raspberry vinegar 1 Tbsp | 15 mL lime juice  For the salad 1 pound smoked duck or smoked chicken 2 whole fresh mangoes 2 bags fresh baby spinach, washed and dried well 1/2 small purple onion, diced freshly ground pepper 1 lime 1 cup | 250 mL toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped 1 lime, quartered, for garnish To prepare the dressing, bring the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and oil to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and let the dressing cool. This makes enough dressing for 4 salads, but it keeps for at least a few weeks in the refrigerator.             Cut the smoked duck into bite-sized pieces. (If you are using duck that is frozen, thaw it first, heat it up in a 350˚F | 180˚C oven, then let it rest until it’s cool enough to handle.) Peel the mangoes and slice the flesh off the pits; reserve a few slices for garnish. Place the spinach, duck, mango, and onion in a salad bowl. Grind the pepper over the mixture and squeeze the juice of the lime over it. Add the nuts and just enough dressing to coat and toss. (Too much dressing drowns out the other salad fixings.) Garnish the salad with the lime quarters and the reserved mango slices.   Grilled Scallop and Cucumber Salad Makes 6 servings This recipe comes from Jenni Neidhart, a Calgary caterer I’ve had the pleasure of working with on occasion. It calls for Lebanese cucumbers (small, tender-skinned versions of long English cukes) as well as something called vanilla vinegar. What the heck is that, you ask? So did I. It’s champagne vinegar (which is available in gourmet food stores) infused with leftover vanilla pods for a month or more. So, when you cook any recipes from this book that call for vanilla beans, save the pods to make the vinegar in this recipe. Of course, the salad also tastes great with “plain old” champagne vinegar, or my favorite, Japanese rice vinegar.  TIP: If you can’t find large scallops or if they’re too expensive, get smaller ones and use a grill topper or veggie basket so they won’t slip through your cooking grates.   4 Lebanese cucumbers (or 1 small long English cucumber), finely diced (leave the skin on) 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced 1/2 red onion, finely diced 1 orange, zested and juiced 1 lemon, zested and juiced 1 lime, zested and juiced 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced olive oil vanilla vinegar (or your favourite mild white vinegar) kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup | 50 mL fresh mint, finely chopped 12 large scallops sesame sea salt (optional; make it by combining sea salt and toasted sesame seeds in a mortar with a pestle or in a food processor) Combine the cucumber, bell peppers, and onion in a medium-sized bowl. Make a vinaigrette by mixing the juice and zest of all the citrus, the jalapeño, a tiny bit of the olive oil, the vinegar, and the salt and pepper. Toss the vinaigrette with the diced vegetables, and mix in the[...]



Recipes of the week: Planked Asparagus and Prosciuitto Bundles and Grilled Parmesan Tomatoes

Fri, 29 May 2015 16:24:20 +0000

Planked Asparagus and Prosciutto Bundles  Makes 6 servings This classic combination of flavors takes well to the plank and works as an appetizer, a side, or on top of a salad. If you can’t find real imported fontina, use Parmigiano Reggiano shaved into slivers. You really don’t want a flavorless cheese here. Note: if you want to do these on your grill without a plank, use medium-high indirect heat and lay down a sheet of aluminum foil on the cooking grate so you won’t lose any cheese while the bundles are cooking.   1 plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour 18 choice, thick asparagus spears 1/2 lb | 250 g Italian fontina cheese, cut into thin slices 6 large slices prosciutto 1 Tbsp | 15 mL butter balsamic reduction (optional; see sidebar page xxx) crusty bread as an accompaniment Trim the asparagus and blanch it in salted water for just a minute or two, until it’s deep green and still firm. Stop the cooking by immersing the spears in cold water.             Set aside 12 slices of cheese. (Use the rest of the cheese to place on top of the rolls as described below.) Spread open a slice of prosciutto and place 3 spears of asparagus on it. Place one slice of the cheese between the spears. Wrap the prosciutto around the spears and cheese. Proceed until you have 6 bundles.             Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the bundles on the plank. Working quickly, place the remaining cheese slices over each bundle in a criss-cross pattern. Cook the bundles for 10–15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little mottled. Remove them from the grill, drizzle them with a little olive oil or brush them with the butter, and let them sit for a few minutes. Plate them individually with a few drops of balsamic reduction around the edges, if desired. Serve the bundles with crusty bread.   Grilled Parmesan Tomatoes These tomatoes are simple to make and are a great accompaniment to your favorite steak.  Makes 8 portions 4 large ripe tomatoes ½ cup | 125 mL finely grated Parmesan cheese ¼ cup | 60 mL finely chopped fresh parsley 1 tsp | 10 mL granulated onion 1 tsp | 10 mL granulated garlic kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 8 or 10 fresh basil leaves extra virgin olive oil balsamic vinegar  Remove the stems of the tomatoes and slice them in half, cross-wise. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a tray or baking dish. Season the cut faces with salt and pepper and sprinkle them with granulated onion and garlic. Mix the grated Parmesan and chopped parsley in a bowl and crumble it over the tomatoes.             Prepare your grill for medium direct cooking. Carefully place the tomatoes on the cooking grate and grill for 6–8 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften when you squeeze them and the Parmesan topping is golden brown.             Transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter. Roll the basil leaves into a cigar shape and cut them into fine strips with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the shredded basil over the tomatoes, along with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve the tomatoes immediately.   Photo credit: Rob Baas, used with permission    [...]



Recipes of the Week: Asian BBQ Sauce and Slaw

Fri, 22 May 2015 22:56:14 +0000

Asian Barbecue Sauce Makes about 21/2 cups | 625 mL The cumin seeds in this sauce give its flavor a twist and an interesting texture. Leave them out if you want a slightly sweeter, smooth sauce. This is great as a marinade and a basting sauce for ribs and steaks but is also good with chicken and firm-fleshed fish. Be careful—its strong flavors can overwhelm what you’re cooking. If you’re going to use it as a marinade, marinate meat for a maximum of 4 hours and chicken or fish no more than an hour. 1 12-oz | 355 mL bottle hoisin sauce 1/2 cup | 125 mL light soy sauce 2 Tbsp | 25 mL sherry vinegar 4 Tbsp | 45 mL orange juice 1/2 cup | 125 mL plum sauce 1/2 Tbsp | 7 mL five-spice powder 2 Tbsp | 25 mL toasted sesame oil 2 Tbsp | 25 mL oyster sauce 6 cloves garlic, finely minced 2 shallots, finely minced 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely minced fresh ginger 2 Tbsp | 25 mL honey 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped chives or green onion 1 tsp | 5 mL whole toasted cumin seeds   Mix all the ingredients together in a nonreactive bowl. Use the sauce soon after making it; it won’t keep more than a few days in the refrigerator.   Asian Slaw  Makes 4–6 servings  Asian-flavored meat demands an Asian-inspired slaw, and the peanuts add a nice crunch. For the dressing: 2 Tbsp | 25 mL soy sauce 2 Tbsp | 25 mL rice vinegar 1 tsp | 5 mL toasted sesame oil 11/2 tsp | 7 mL finely minced ginger 1 tsp | 5 mL Vietnamese chili sauce 1/4 cup | 50 mL creamy peanut butter 1 tsp | 5 mL sugar 1–2 tsp  | 5–10 mL water (if needed)   For the salad: 2 cups | 500 mL savoy or napa cabbage, grated or shredded into fine slices 1 cup | 250 mL purple cabbage, grated or shredded into fine slices 1 carrot, peeled and grated 1 green onion, chopped 1 small red bell pepper, julienned 2 Tbsp | 25 mL fresh chopped cilantro 1/4 cup | 50 mL fresh bean sprouts 1/4 cup | 50 mL dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, for garnish Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk them together, adding water a little at a time until the mixture is a smooth, fairly thick liquid. Toss it with the vegetables and serve the slaw immediately, garnished with the chopped peanuts.   A Toast to Spices and Nuts! In India, the first step in almost every home-cooked dish is to toast some spices in a hot pan. The heat refreshes the spices, bringing to life the natural oils that carry their flavor. This technique works especially well with robust whole spices like cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds. All you have to do is preheat a dry sauté pan on a medium setting and toss in a handful of seeds. Shake the pan constantly, watching carefully. After about a minute, when the spices start to brown a little and give off a strong aroma, empty the pan into a cool bowl or plate to stop the toasting before they burn. In a few minutes the seeds will be ready to go into a spice mill, mortar, or coffee grinder. The difference between raw and toasted spices is like night and day.   This technique also works fabulously to toast pecans or other nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and pine nuts. Toast up a handful of nuts and sprinkle some on a salad for sharp, crunchy bursts of nutty flavor![...]



Recipe of the week: Kid-friendly Turkey Burgers

Fri, 15 May 2015 23:15:13 +0000

Kid-friendly Turkey Burgers   Makes 6 burgers   These burgers taste so much like real fast-food chicken nuggets you’ll think you mechanically de-boned them yourself!   For the burger mix: 2 lb | 1 kg ground turkey thigh meat 1 cup | 250 mL fresh bread crumbs 1 tsp | 5 mL granulated garlic 1 tsp | 5 mL onion salt 1/4 tsp | 1 mL freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp | 5 mL freshly ground pepper pinch cayenne 1 egg   To finish the burgers: Your favourite grilling rub vegetable cooking spray 6 hamburger buns   Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Gently combine the burger ingredients, mixing them together with your hands, taking care not to overwork the mixture. Wet your hands with cold water and shape the mixture into 6 patties that are ½ inch | 1 cm thick.                 Sprinkle the burger patties lightly with rub and spray them with the cooking spray. At this point it helps to refrigerate them for about 1/2 hour to firm them up a little. Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Oil the grill and place the patties on it, rub side down. Sprinkle rub on the other side of the patties, close the grill, and cook them for 3–4 minutes per side, or until the burgers are cooked through and springy to the touch. Serve the burgers immediately on soft buns with your favorite condiments. [...]



Final recipe of the week, summer 2014 - Duck Kebabs with Pomegranate Molasses and Harissa Sauce

Sat, 30 Aug 2014 01:00:38 +0000

I had a bunch of duck meat leftover from a sausage-making project and wanted to use it as an appetizer at a big party, so I came up with these tasty kebabs. The pomegranate molasses adds some tang and brings out the flavour of the duck, and the harissa sauce gives it a nice spicy kick. If you can’t find duck or it’s too pricy, this treatment would also work well with boneless skinless chicken thighs, or even lamb. Makes 8 to 12 skewers depending on portion size For the kebabs: 2 lbs | 1 kg boneless, skinless duck or chicken thigh meat 1 tsp kosher salt freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup | 50 mL pomegranate molasses (available in stores that carry middle-eastern foods or see recipe below)   1 Tbsp | 15 mL extra virgin olive oil short bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least an hour or overnight Another 1/4 cup | 50 mL pomegranate molasses for the finishing glaze Apple wood chips (optional) For the harissa sauce ½ cup harissa paste 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses ½ tsp kosher salt 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp water Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and thoroughly whisk them together. Adjust the amounts of each ingredient to suite your taste. Set the sauce aside. To prepare the kebabs, cut the duck or chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, molasses and olive oil and mix everything together to coat the meat. Marinate for at least half an hour (you can marinate them overnight in the fridge if you like). Thread the meat chunks onto skewers so they’re packed tightly together. Prepare your grill for medium direct cooking and use apple wood or your favorite cooking wood as a flavouring agent. If you’re using a charcoal grill, just place a small handful of chips on the hot coals just before you’re ready to grill. For gas grills, place the chips in a cigar-like packet made of aluminum foil. Poke some holes in the foil. When your grill is almost preheated, place the package below the cooking grate, being careful not to burn yourself as you lift the grate with your tongs. When you see light wisps of blue smoke coming out of the grill, you’re ready to go. Just before you start cooking, drizzle or brush a little olive oil on the kebabs. Place them on the cooking grate and cover the grill.  Cook, turning often, until the meat is springy to the touch, about 3 to 5 minutes. During the last minute of cooking time, baste the kebabs with pomegranate molasses to give them a shiny coating. Remove the kebabs from the grill and let them rest just a few minutes. Finish them with a light sprinkling of salt, a drizzle of olive oil and a gentle dab of the harissa sauce along the length of the top side the kebabs.  Serve immediately. Pomegranate Molasses Make this delicious syrup the same way you’d make balsamic reduction. Makes about 1 1/4 cup | 300 mL 4 cups of pomegranate juice ½ cup sugar a squeeze of lemon juice Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture until it’s reduced to a thick syrup, about ¼ to 1/3 of the original volume. Cool and store in the fridge. It keeps for months. [...]



Recipe of the Week: Curried Lamb Burgers with Fresh Peach Chutney and Minted Yoghurt Sauce

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:51:01 +0000

Curried Lamb Burgers with Fresh Peach Chutney and Minted Yoghurt Sauce Makes four burgers I love lamb burgers, and this one is a doozy. Here’s my adaptation of an incredibly delicious recipe by Canadian food icon Lucy Waverman. I’ve gilded the lily by adding a fresh peach chutney and minted yoghurt sauce. Serve it with a Greek Salad or some tabbouleh (see recipe below) on the side.   For the burgers: ½ cup chopped onion ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut 1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger 1 tsp | 5 mL chopped garlic 1 Tbsp | 15 mL garam masala 1 Tbsp | 15 mL mango chutney 1 ½ pounds | 750g ground lamb Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 Tbsp | 25 mL melted butter 4 smallish pitas (the kind that can be made into pockets - you can also use naan bread or flour tortillas) For the spiced mint butter: ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ½ cup chopped mint 1/2 tsp | 3 mL ground cumin 1/2 tsp | 3 mL ground coriander 1/2 tsp | 3 mL ground fennel 1/2 tsp | 3 mL cracked peppercorns 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt For the peach chutney (you can substitute bought mango chutney to simplify this dish): 1 Tbsp | 15 mL sugar 1/4 cup | 50 mL rice vinegar 4 medium peaches, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch | 1 cm dice 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely grated fresh ginger For the yogurt sauce: 11/2 tsp | 7 mL honey 11/2 tsp | 7 mL finely chopped fresh mint pinch ground cumin pinch turmeric 1 cup | 250 mL plain low-fat yogurt kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper   To make the peach chutney, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a nonreactive saucepan over moderately high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it for 1 minute. Stir in the peaches and ginger and return the chutney to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the chutney, stirring it frequently, until the fruit is softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl. To make the yoghurt sauce, combine the honey, mint, cumin, and turmeric in a medium bowl. Whisk in the yogurt until it’s blended and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the sauce. To make spiced mint butter (about 1/2 cup), combine butter, mint, cumin, coriander, fennel and peppercorns. Spread over top of cooked lamb burgers and sprinkle a little Maldon salt over the butter. Serves 4. Prepare your grill for high direct cooking. Combine all the burger ingredients except lamb in a food processor and whiz them till they’re smooth. Transfer to a bowl, add the lamb, season with salt and pepper, and gently mix everything together with your hands. Before you make the patties, take a teaspoon of the mixture and fry it in a sauté pan with a little oil and taste it. If needed, incorporate some more salt and pepper. Divide the burger mix evenly into 4 portions and shape them into 1-inch-thick patties. Brush them with melted butter and grill for 4 to 5 minutes a side or until desired doneness. To serve, slather some of the spiced mint butter onto the burger patties, cut the burgers in half, and stuff them into pita pockets, two per person. Let your guests dress them with the condiments to their taste. Mimi’s Tabbouleh (Couscous Salad) Makes 8 servings as a side This recipe from my friend Michele Allaire uses instant couscous, which is moistened by all the juices that come out of the vegetables as they sit with the grain in the fridge. It is usually served as a side with lamb but can be an attractive alternative main course for a vegetarian guest. To “beef” it up, add blanched green beans, blanched carrots, and cooked chick peas. 1 package (about 10 oz | 300 g) instant [...]



Recipes of the Week - Smoky Soups: Gazpacho with Planked Tomatoes and Smoked Onion Soup

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:37:39 +0000

  Gazpacho with Plank-smoked Tomatoes     Makes 6–8 servings with leftovers I introduced smoked tomatoes to backyard cook Lawrence Davis at one of my cooking classes, and he developed this recipe to showcase them in a classic gazpacho, the refreshing cold Spanish summer soup. The recipe serves 8, but Lawrence says it can be doubled or tripled for a large crowd. For extra flavor and variety add corn, pitted Greek olives, or any seasonal vegetable, coarsely chopped. You can also serve some chopped hard-boiled egg or crumbled bacon on the side for guests to add at the table. 1 maple, hickory, oak, or mesquite plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour (you can use cedar, too, which makes for an unusual and delicious flavor, but a hardwood plank will impart classic barbecue taste and aroma) 4 large, ripe, firm tomatoes 1 long English cucumber 1 green bell pepper 1 yellow bell pepper 2 medium onions 2 stalks celery 6 cups | 1.5 L tomato juice 2/3 cup | 150 mL extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup | 75 mL balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp | 30 mL lemon juice dried or chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, rosemary, thyme, and basil, to taste (if you use dried, don’t use too much or you’ll add a bitter taste to the soup) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Worcestershire sauce Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. (You may want to put a brick on the plank as it’s preheating. This will prevent warping so your tomatoes don’t roll off the plank.) Reduce the heat to low, place the whole, unpeeled tomatoes on the plank, cover, and cook the tomatoes for 15–30 minutes, depending how smoky and soft you want the tomatoes. The skins will split and take on a yellowish cast from the smoke.             Remove the tomatoes from the plank, peel them, and coarsely chop them. Prepare and coarsely chop the remaining vegetables; combine them with the tomatoes in a large bowl. Pour in the tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Season the soup with herbs, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce to suit your taste.                Refrigerate the soup several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld. (Taste it after several hours and add more seasoning, if needed.) Serve the gazpacho cold, in bowls or mugs taken straight from the freezer.  Have the Worcestershire and hot sauce on hand for those who want to spice it up!             Alternative method: You can smoke tomatoes very easily in a water smoker or barbecue pit, although it’s most convenient if you’re about to barbecue something else. It’s hard to justify getting a smoker going for a half hour cooking job. Smoked Onion Soup Makes 6 servings So you've just successfully smoked some ribs or a brisket. Take advantage of the fact that your smoker is chugging away to smoke some onions for later use. The flavor of this soup, which was perfected by my friend Gail Norton, depends on the length of time the onions are smoked and the type of wood used (hickory for a darker, richer flavor, fruitwood like apple or cherry for a lighter, sweeter taste). The cream tends to smooth the smoke flavor, but it can be omitted. 4 large onions 3 Tbsp | 45 mL butter 1/4 cup | 50 mL olive oil 2 cloves [...]



Recipes of the Week: Grilled Mushrooms with Tarragon Vinaigrette and Smoked Devilled Eggs

Fri, 08 Aug 2014 23:35:30 +0000

Grilled Mushrooms with Tarragon Vinaigrette Makes 24 individual portions or 4 to 6 skewers This is great as a hot starter, or cooled and served as part of an appetizer platter. If you want to get fancy, alternate the mushrooms with chunks of veggies on skewers for a nice side dish. 1/2 cup | 125 mL extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp | 45 mL white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, smashed or finely minced 1 tsp | 5 mL dried crumbled tarragon leaves 1 Tbsp | 15 mL fresh lemon juice kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 24 medium-sized white or brown button mushrooms Optional for skewers: chunks of mixed vegetables, including red onion, zucchini, Japanese eggplant, red, green or yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, etc.) Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5 or 10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, shallot, garlic, tarragon, and lemon juice. Season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the mushrooms or veggies in the vinaigrette. If you’re making kebabs, place the veggies on the skewers. Place them on the grill and leave the heat on medium-high. Cook the vegetables for 6–8 minutes, turning them once or twice, or until they are heated through and starting to brown around the edges. Remove them from the heat and transfer them to a serving dish. Squeeze more lemon over the mushrooms or veggie kebabs and season them with more salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, if you like. The Deviled Eggs Went Down to Georgia Makes 2 dozen deviled eggs You don’t see much of this old-school appetizer, but smoking the eggs makes it modern again. 12 eggs 1/2 cup | 50 mL Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Aïoli (see recipe below) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely chopped cilantro 1 lemon 1 tsp | 5 mL paprika sprigs cilantro, for garnish Choose eggs that are at least a few days old (fresh eggs are harder to peel). Put them in a pot of lukewarm water with a bit of vinegar added. Bring the water to a boil and at the moment the water starts boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Cover the post, and leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. Cool the eggs under cold running water and peel them. Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature up to 200–220˚F |  95–100˚C. Place the peeled eggs on the cooking grate and smoke them for about half an hour using hickory, maple, or oak as the flavoring agent. Sprinkle them lightly with dry rub if you want a little more flavor. The eggs will turn an amber color. Let them cool. Slice them in half lengthwise and remove the yolks, setting the whites aside. In a nonreactive bowl, mash the yolks with a fork and add the aïoli, mustard, and cilantro, along with the juice of half the lemon. Mix these ingredients together thoroughly and spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. Sprinkle the deviled eggs with paprika and garnish them with cilantro sprigs and lemon slices. Margie’s Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo This invention of Calgary caterer Margie Gibb is particularly good as a dip for pieces of smoked or grilled sausage, but it’s also great on just about anything. 11/2 cups | 375 mL mayonnaise 1 whole head roasted garlic, cloves squeezed out of their skins 1 tsp | 5 mL finely ground cumin (preferably made from toasted cumin seeds) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped chipotles in adobo sauce (add more c[...]



Recipe of the Week -- Grilled Beef Tenderloin and some Championship BBBQ Secrets

Fri, 01 Aug 2014 19:14:16 +0000

    Whole Beef Tenderloin on the Grill I love beef tenderloin, especially when it’s done nice and rare. It as big flavour and a smooth, silky texture, almost like the meat equivalent of tuna sashimi. You can get a trimmed tenderloin from your local butcher but it’s cheaper to buy a whole untrimmed one and do it yourself. Here’s a YouTube video that shows you how. Serves 8 to 12 1 whole beef tenderloin, trimmed (about five to five and a half pounds) 2 Tbsp course salt (I like French Fleur de Sel) 1 tsp crushed chili flakes or cayenne pepper (or more if you like) 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary 1 tsp granulated garlic 1 tsp granulated onion ½ cup coarsely ground black pepper ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil lemon wedges and fresh chopped Italian parsley for garnish Let the roast sit at room temperature for maybe an hour, not more than two, at room temperature before you grill it. Generously coat it with course salt, and then sprinkle it evenly with the spices and rosemary, finishing with a thick coating of black pepper. Drizzle the roast with olive oil to help the coating stick. Prepare your grill for medium direct cooking. Place the tenderloin on the cooking grate and cover the grill. I recommend using cherry wood as a flavouring agent but other hardwoods like apple, oak, hickory or mesquite also work well.  Grill the roast for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning often, until the core temperature reaches 120F. Don't overcook it! Remove the roast from the grill and let it rest, loosely tented in foil, for maybe half an hour. It’s also great served at room temperature on a platter as part of an appetizer buffet, so you can cook it well ahead of time. Cut the roast across the grain into thin round slices and fan them out on a serving platter.  Sprinkle a little more course salt over them along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with some fresh chopped Italian parsley and lemon wedges. Serve with your favourite condiments. I like to use a selection of horseradish, Dijon mustard and grainy mustard, and if you want to get fancier than that, make a doctored mayo with a little Dijon, some chopped fresh tarragon and a squeeze of lemon. 10 Secrets of Championship Barbecue 1. Keep it slow and low. The thing that sets real barbecue apart from grilling is the low temperature (about 200–220˚F | 95–105˚C) and the long cooking time (3 or 4 hours for chicken and as long as 18 to 24 hours for a big beef brisket). This technique allows the fibers in the meat to gently break down over time, creating the melt-in-your-mouth texture of real barbecue. 2. The judges eat with their eyes, and so do your guests. Care about presentation. Just as your car runs better after you’ve washed it, great barbecue tastes even greater when it looks so good you want to jump into the plate and wallow in it. 3. Mustard and rub. This simple, time-honored technique gives barbecue its fabulous crust, or “bark,” as the Southerners call it. The mustard provides a base for your rub to stick to, and gives the crust a nice tang when you bite into it. And the rub, with its combination of salty, savory, bitter, and sweet flavors, accentuates the flavor of the meat without overpowering it. 4. Two words: Granulated garlic. The addition of this seemingly modest flavor component makes a difference to that first taste. The judges don’t know why, but there’s something about it that tugs the old taste buds in the right directi[...]



Recipes of the Week: Halibut and Tropical Fruit Kebabs and Grilled and Dilled Halibut

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:27:09 +0000

Grilled Halibut and Tropical Fruit Kebabs Serves 2 for lunch, or 8 for hors d’oeuvres Halibut’s firm, perfectly white flesh makes it spectacular in any recipe. I love these meaty skewers because they excite the eye and the palate with festive colors and tropical flavors. For the marinade: 1 Tbsp | 15 mL lemon juice 2 Tbsp | 25 mL vegetable oil 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped fresh basil 1 clove garlic, finely minced 1/2 tsp | 2 mL dried red chili flakes (or to taste) For the kebabs: 1 lb | 500 g boneless, skinless halibut fillet, about 3/4 inch | 1.5 cm thick twelve 7-inch | 18 cm bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 12 bite-sized chunks half a ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 12 bite-sized chunks 1 red onion, cut into 12 bite-sized chunks kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil for drizzling/brushing lime wedges and basil sprigs for garnish Combine the marinade ingredients in a nonreactive bowl. Cut the halibut into 24 equal pieces (2 cuts lengthwise, 3 cuts across) and toss them with the marinade. Marinate the halibut for 20 minutes to 1 hour, but no longer.             Assemble 12 skewers, alternating chunks of fish and vegetables with the mango and pineapple (mango-fish-pineapple-fish-onion-fish).             Prepare the grill for medium direct heat. Drizzle or brush the kebabs with a little oil and place them on the cooking grate. Grill them for 3–5 minutes, turning them once or twice, until the fish chunks are springy to the touch. Season them with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve them, 2 to a plate. Garnish the kebabs with lime wedges and basil sprigs. Note: This dish also takes well to the plank, which promotes gentle cooking and prevents sticking. The downside is that a plank doesn’t fit more than about four or six skewers. Dilled and Grilled Halibut Makes 4 servings Halibut is such a delicately flavored fish that you don’t want to do much to it. The key here is to use the very freshest ingredients. This dish is excellent with grilled veggies, roasted potatoes and your favorite salad. 4 6 oz | 175 g fresh halibut fillets, skin on kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup | 50 mL fresh dill fronds (stems removed), chopped 2 Tbsp | 25 mL lemon juice extra virgin olive oil lemon wedges for garnish Place the fish fillets in a nonreactive dish or baking pan. Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper and coat them evenly with the dill. Squeeze lemon over the fish and then drizzle it generously with the olive oil, turning it to coat it.  Let it sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the grill for direct medium heat.             Place the halibut pieces on the grill, skin side down. Cook the halibut for about 6 minutes, until it’s just cooked through, to an internal temperature of about 140–150˚F | 60–65˚C. Remove it from the grill (the skin will stick to the grill but should easily separate from the fish) and let it rest for a couple of minutes. To serve the halibut, season it with a little more salt and pepper, drizzle it with olive oil, and accompany it with lemon wedges. Barbecue Secrets One of the problems with grilling fish is the delicate flesh sticks to the cooking grate and the fish seems to fall apart before you can get it off the grill. But today’s covered gas or charcoal grills cook so evenly you don’[...]



Recipes of the Week: Spicy Alder-Planked Wild Salmon with Avocado Mayo, Coriander Buttered Grilled Corn and Curried Zucchini Planks

Fri, 18 Jul 2014 21:28:55 +0000

Spicy Alder-Planked Wild Salmon with Avocado Mayo Here in beautiful British Columbia, it’s wild salmon season and one of the best ways to cook it is on a plank. I like alder because it’s the wood that’s been used for millennia by First Nations peoples, and it adds a super delish smoky flavour, but if you can’t find alder planks, good old cedar will do just fine. Serves 4 to 6 1 alder or cedar cooking plank, soaked overnight or at least 2 hours A spray bottle filled with water (in case of flare-ups) 1 whole, boned fillet of wild Pacific salmon, about 3 lb  | 1.5 kg, skin on For the rub: 1 tsp | 5 mL ground coriander 1 tsp | 5 mL ground cumin 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Hungarian paprika ½ tsp | 3 mL ground turmeric ½ tsp | 3 mL granulated garlic ½ tsp | 3 mL granulated onion 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Kosher salt pinch of cayenne pepper Vegetable oil like canola or corn oil For the mayo: 1 ripe avocado 1/2 cup | 125 mL mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s) 1 tsp ground Ancho chile or your favorite chili powder blend pinch of cayenne 1 Tbsp | 15 mL fresh lemon or lime juice Kosher salt to taste Leaf lettuce, fresh cilantro sprgs and lemon wedges for garnish Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed and peel, and coarsely chop the flesh. Make the mayo by combining the avocado, mayo, chile powder, cayenne and citrus juice and blending them in a food processor until creamy smooth, adding salt to your taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate.             Combine the rub ingredients. Season the skinless side of the salmon with a light coating of the rub. Let the salmon sit for 10–15 minutes at room temperature, until the rub is moistened.             While the salmon is sitting, preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the salmon, skin-side-down, on the plank.             Cover the grill and cook the salmon for 8 - 12 minutes, or until the thickest part of the fish has a maximum internal temperature of 135°F | 57°C, lower if you like your salmon medium rare. Check it periodically to make sure the plank doesn’t catch fire, and spray the burning edges with water if it does, making sure to close the lid afterwards.             When the salmon is done transfer it, plank and all, to a heatproof platter that you’ve artfully covered with lettuce leaves to make a kind of bed for the salmon and the plank. Garnish the salmon with lemon wedges and cilantro sprigs and bring it to the table for your guests to enjoy. I like to serve this dish with Coriander Buttered Corn and Grilled Curried Zucchini planks. (See recipes below.) Coriander Buttered Corn on the Cob This delicious compound butter is great on grilled corn but also excellent as a finishing touch to grilled fish or meat, or frozen and stuffed into a burger. Double or even quadruple the recipe, place the leftover butter on a sheet of wax paper or clear food wrap and roll it into a 2-inch wide log. Store the log in your freezer and cut off pats of butter when you need them. Makes enough butter for at least four cobs of corn 4 to 6 cobs of fresh corn on the cob, husks removed For the butter: 1/2 c[...]



Recipes of the Week: Smoked Oysters and Grilled Octopus Salad

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:41:24 +0000

Smoked Oysters Makes 4–8 appetizer-sized servings The tinned smoked oysters you can buy at the supermarket taste like oily cardboard compared to these plump, delicious beauties. This is a great thing to do when you’ve got your smoker up and running for something else. When you’ve finished your main project, take advantage of the hot smoker and barbecue a few tubs of oysters for later consumption. Keep them in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze them for a month or two, but I’ll bet they won’t be around that long! (Buy the way, this recipe works well on the grill. Just use low-medium heat and it's probably a good idea to grill the oysters using one of those perforated thingys that you put on top of your cooking grate to prevent stuff from falling through. If you use this method, reduce the cooking time to a few minutes per side.) 1-pint | 500 mL container shucked large fresh oysters (8–12 oysters) olive oil 1/4 cup | 50 mL Championship Barbecue Rub (see recipe below) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste barbecue sauce Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C. Drain the oysters and pat them dry with a paper towel. Coat them lightly with oil and sprinkle both sides with rub. Let them sit for a few minutes, until the rub starts to glisten. Spray your cooking grate with vegetable cooking spray and place the oysters on the grate. Smoke them for 1 hour, using hickory as the flavoring agent, until the oysters are springy to the touch and have taken on a smoky golden hue. Remove them from the smoker, put them on a serving tray and pass them around. They’re best fresh out of the smoker, dipped in barbecue sauce. Championship Barbecue Rub, a.k.a. Bob’s Rub Makes about 3 cups | 750 mL The Butt Shredders call this Bob’s Rub, and it’s what we use in competition. Bob Lyon, the granddaddy of barbecue in the Pacific Northwest, shared this at the barbecue workshop that first introduced me to the joys of real barbecue and prompted me to become a barbecue competitor. It follows a rule of thumb that’s worth remembering: A third, a third, a third. Which means one-third sugar, one-third seasoned salts, and one-third dry herbs and spices. 1 cup | 250 mL white sugar 1/4 cup | 50 mL celery salt 1/4 cup | 50 mL garlic salt 1/4 cup | 50 mL onion salt 1/4 cup | 50 mL seasoning salt (I like Lawrey’s) 1/3 cup | 75 mL chili powder (use a commercial blend, or if you want an edge, try a combination of real ground chiles like ancho, poblano, New Mexico or guajillo) 1/3 cup | 75 mL black pepper 1/3 cup | 75 mL paprika Add as much heat as you want to this basic rub, using cayenne pepper, hot paprika, or ground chipotles. Then add 2 or 3 signature spices to suit whatever you’re cooking or your personal taste, like powdered thyme, oregano, cumin, sage, powdered ginger, etc. Add only 1 to 3 tsp | 5 to 15 mL of each signature seasoning so as not to overpower the rub. Grilled Octopus Salad Makes 4 servings When I was a teenager traveling Europe, my friend Rich and I rented Vespas in Rome and cycled to Lido, the beach community just west of the city. We stopped at a restaurant and the garrulous proprietor talked us into eating a seafood salad that featured marinated octopus. I’ll never forget the chewy, tangy chunks of octopus in that salad. It was one of the most satisfying [...]



Recipes of the week: Pork Loin Chops Three Ways

Fri, 04 Jul 2014 19:13:31 +0000

Pork Loin Chops Three Ways I love pork loin chops, especially from locally-raised pork from Johnston’s here in the Lower Mainland of BC. (Wherever you are, support your local farmers and food producers!) The best way to get pork loin chops is to buy a whole pork loin and then cut it into chops. I like to cut them about 1.5 to 2 inches thick. A whole pork loin is a lot of meat, so I cut it up into chops and marinate or rub them all. I use what I need for the day’s meal, and then package the rest of them up in freezer bags. Next time you want pork chops, just thaw them and they’re for you to toss on the grill. To cook chops, preheat your grill for high direct cooking. Place the chops on the grill and immediately turn the heat down to medium, or even low. You’ll get nice grill marks but the pork will cook more gently, which makes for a more tender, juicy chop. Take the pork off the grill when the internal temperature at the thickest part reads 130F for medium rare and 140F for medium. If you want juicy chops don’t overcook them! Let them rest, loosely tented in foil for five or ten minutes before serving. Try these great marinades for your next batch of pork chops, and let me know how you like to cook pork by posting something on my Barbecue Secrets Facebook page. Happy Grilling! Classic Vinaigrette Marinade This simple marinade can be spruced up using flavoured oils and vinegars. It’s great with pork, lamb or chicken – or try it with big portabella mushrooms if you’re …one of those. Makes about 3/4 cup, enough for 4 to 6 chops 1/2 cup | 125 mL extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard (or Ronnie & Denzel’s NATURAL CHAMPIONS Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce 2 Tbsp | 30 mL white wine vinegar, or your favourite infused gourmet vinegar 1 Tbsp | 15 mL coarsely chopped fresh rosemary 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Mediterranean Dried Herb Rub (see recipe below) or herbs de Provence 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or pushed through a press 1 tsp Kosher salt 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp crushed chile flakes (optional)            Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Marinate the chops for at least two hours, or overnight, in your refrigerator. Grill the chops according to the instructions above. These chops go well with grilled apple slices or apple sauce and your favourite grilled veggies. Mediterranean Dried Herb Rub Makes enough to coat several racks of lamb, a couple of chickens, or a whole leg of lamb or pork roast Use this rub for meats like chicken and pork, but it also works well with grilled vegetables. Just toss the veggies with oil and sprinkle them with the rub and some kosher salt. 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried (not powdered) oregano 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried mint 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried basil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried rosemary 1 tsp | 5 mL dried parsley Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together well. Easiest, Tastiest Marinade Makes about 11/2 cups  | 375 mL, enough for 4 to 6 chops, steaks or chicken breasts One of my all-time favorites. I use this mainly as a quick and delicious marinade for steaks and chops, but it’s also great with chicken, as well as rich, meaty fish like salmon, halibut, tuna, and swordfish. I’ve provided precise measurements of the ingredients, but it’s really meant to be a marinade that you just throw together. A few glugs[...]



Recipes of the Week: Prawn & Lychee Kebabs and Planked Caraway-Encrusted Monkfish

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:57:20 +0000

Prosciutto-Wrapped Prawn and Lychee Kebabs Makes 4 main course servings, or 12 appetizer-sized servings This combo might sound strange, but the sweetness of the lychees and the prawns and the saltiness of the prosciutto complement one another very nicely, and the lychee liqueur gives the kebabs a superb aroma. This is ideal as a cocktail party appetizer, but also goes well with rice and a green salad as a main course. (Note: Wrapping prawns with thin slices of prosciutto is pretty fussy. If you’re in a hurry, this dish tastes great even without this embellishment.) 12 7-inch | 18 cm bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour 1 20 oz | 565 g can lychees in syrup 2 oz | 57 mL Soho lychee liqueur (mainly used in fancy lychee martinis) 1 tsp | 5 mL crushed dried red chile flakes 1 shallot, minced 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely minced fresh ginger 3/4 cup | 175 mL coconut milk 1/4 cup | 50 mL sunflower oil or other neutral-flavored oil 24 large fresh prawns (13 to 15 to the pound | .45 kg), peeled and deveined, with the tails still on 12 thin slices Italian prosciutto, halved lengthwise 1 Tbsp | 15 mL cornstarch 1/2 cup | 50 mL cold water 2 Tbsp | 25 mL fresh mint, finely chopped limes, for squeezing Drain the canned lychees, setting aside 12 lychees and 3/4 cup | 175 mL of the syrup. Combine the lychees and syrup with the liqueur, dried chiles, shallot, ginger, coconut milk, and oil. Gently toss the prawns in the mixture in a medium bowl and marinate them for 1 hour at room temperature or 3 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the prawns and the fruit from the marinade, reserving the liquid. Wrap each prawn with half a slice of the prosciutto, as if you are putting a little belt around the middle of the prawn, taking care that about half of the prawn is still visible. Thread the prosciutto-wrapped prawns onto presoaked bamboo skewers, placing a lychee after every second prawn. (For cocktail party canapés, thread 1 lychee and two prawns on each skewer.)             Prepare the grill for medium direct heat. While the grill is heating, pour the reserved marinade into a medium saucepan and bring it to a slow simmer over medium heat. Mix the cornstarch with the water and pour it into the liquid. Bring it to a boil and simmer it for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is shiny and thick. Set it aside.             Oil the cooking grate, place the skewers on the grill, cover them and cook them for no more than 1 or 2 minutes per side, or until the prawns are barely cooked through. Serve the kebabs drizzled with the sauce and garnished with chopped mint and a squeeze of lime. Planked Caraway-crusted Monkfish with Tomato and Green Onion Sauce Makes 4 servings Monkfish is often referred to as the poor man’s lobster because it has very firm, rich, flavorful white flesh. The fillet looks kind of like a pork tenderloin, and it cooks up very nicely on a plank. The tomato and green onion sauce nicely offsets the strong flavor of the caraway-crusted fish. For the fish: 1 1/2 Tbsp |  22.5 mL caraway seeds 1 lb | 500 g skinless monkfish fillet kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp | 30 mL extra virgin olive oil 1 large clove garlic, finely minced finely grated zest of ½ lemon pinch cayenne granulated onion For the sauce: ¼ cup | 60 mL mayonnaise 1 ripe fresh tomato, chop[...]



Recipes of the Week: Lamb Burger with Molten Goat Cheese Core and Mimi's Tabouleh

Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:51:45 +0000

Lamb Burger with Molten Goat Cheese Core Makes 4 burgers We North Americans eat so much ground beef that we almost forget what beef tastes like. When you eat a lamb burger you actually taste the lamb and it makes for a deliciously different grilling experience. The goat cheese stuffing adds an orgiastic twist. Don’t forget to freeze the goat cheese! For the tzatziki: 1 tsp | 5 mL ground cumin 1 cup | 250 mL plain Greek full-fat yogurt 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped fresh mint leaves 1/3 long English cucumber, finely grated To finish the burgers: Mediterranean Herbed Butter (see recipe below) 2 large fresh rounds of pita bread fresh sliced tomatoes 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced 1 bunch fresh arugula, washed and dried For the patties: 11/2 lb | 750 g ground lamb 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped fresh mint 1 tsp | 5 mL dried oregano 1/2 tsp | 2 mL kosher salt freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 oz | 75 g soft goat cheese (chèvre), frozen and sliced into 4 1/2-inch | 1 cm discs 2 Tbsp | 25 mL softened Mediterranean Herbed Butter (see recipe below) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste To make the tzatziki, dry-fry the ground cumin over medium heat for 30 seconds, or until it becomes fragrant and browns just slightly. Transfer the cumin from the hot pan into a bowl. Add the yogurt, mint, and cucumber, mix them together thoroughly, cover the tzatziki, and refrigerate it until it’s needed.             Gently mix the lamb with the mint, oregano, salt, and a few grindings of pepper in a nonreactive bowl with your hands. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and shape them into balls. Make a hole in each patty with your thumb and insert a disc of frozen goat cheese. Carefully seal the hole and shape the ball into a patty 3/4 inch | 2 cm thick, making sure to cover the cheese with the meat. Season the outside of the patties with salt and pepper. Lightly brush them with olive oil and grill them over medium direct heat for 4–5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature is 160˚F | 71˚C.             Take the burgers off the grill and spread a thin layer of the herbed butter on top of each one (if you don’t have any herbed butter, drizzle them with a little olive oil—just enough to make them glisten). Let them rest for 3–4 minutes. Just before you’re ready to serve them, toast the pitas on the grill for 10–15 seconds per side. Cut the pitas in half, open them up, and stuff the burgers inside. Dress them with the tomatoes, onion, arugula, and tzatziki. Mediterranean Butter 4 Tbsp | 50 mL finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley 4 Tbsp | 50 mL finely chopped combination of fresh dill, basil, or mint (or any combination of fresh herbs—try chervil, tarragon, sage, rosemary, etc.) 1 lb | 500 g unsalted butter kosher salt to taste Cut the butter into cubes and place them in a food processor. Add the flavoring ingredients and whiz the mixture until it’s thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape down the stuff that sticks to the sides of the food processor as needed. If you’re serving the butter right away with corn, or on a piece of grilled meat, just place it in a small bowl and serve it.             If you want to store it, use a spatula to transfer the butter onto a sheet of waxed paper or p[...]



Recipes of the week: Kate's Tasty Asian Chicken Thighs with Asian Noodle Salad

Fri, 13 Jun 2014 04:18:12 +0000

  Kate’s Tasty Asian Chicken Thighs Makes 4–6 servings These tangy, flavorful chicken thighs, based on a recipe by Anya Von Bremzen and Jon Welchman in their Terrific Pacific Cookbook, go well with Asian Noodle Salad with Sesame Mayonnaise (see recipe below). This recipe calls for grilling, but you can also barbecue the chicken in a smoker for a truly unforgettable dish, and then finish it by crisping the skin on a hot grill. Because this is a relatively complicated recipe to make, Kate likes to do a double batch and freeze half for later enjoyment. 12 chicken thighs (31/2 lb | 1.75 kg), bone in, skin on 2 tsp | 10 mL ground coriander 1 tsp | 5 mL freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt 11/2 Tbsp | 22 mL tamarind pulp (Thai is best) 1/3 cup | 75 mL chicken stock or tinned broth, boiling 6 Asian dried red chiles (2 to 3 inches | 5 to 8 cm) 4 large cloves garlic, chopped 3 Tbsp | 45 mL chopped shallots 2 tsp | 10 mL chopped fresh ginger 1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh lemongrass or 2 tsp | 10 mL grated lime zest 11/2 Tbsp | 22 mL vegetable oil 3 Tbsp | 45 mL dark soy sauce 3 Tbsp | 45 mL packed light brown sugar 11/2 Tbsp | 20 mL rice vinegar 11/2 Tbsp | 20 mL ketchup 1/2 cup | 125 mL finely chopped fresh basil Rinse the chicken pieces well in cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Prick the skin all over with the tines of a fork. In a small bowl, combine the coriander, pepper, and salt, and rub the mixture into the chicken pieces. Set the chicken aside.             Add the tamarind pulp to the boiling stock, remove it from the heat, and soak it for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture and mash it with a fork to help the tamarind dissolve. Strain it through a fine strainer into a bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the liquid. Discard the tamarind that remains in the strainer and set aside the liquid.             Stem the chiles and shake out and discard the seeds. Using scissors, cut the chiles into 1/4-inch | 5-mm pieces. Soak them in warm water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain them well. Combine the chiles, tamarind liquid, garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass or lime zest, oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and basil in a food processor and process them into a purée. Arrange the chicken in a large, shallow dish and pour the marinade over it. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.             Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and pour the marinade into a saucepan. Heat it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Taste it and adjust the seasonings. Remove it from the heat and transfer it to a bowl.             Prepare your grill for indirect medium heat, with a pan underneath the unheated side of the grill to catch the drippings. Place the chicken on the grill and cook it for 20–25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F | 71˚C, basting it every 5 minutes with the marinade. At the last minute, move the chicken thighs to the hot side of the grill and toss them about to crisp the skins, taking care not to burn them. Place the chicken on a serving dish, spoon over the remaining basting sauce, and serve it immediately. Barbecue Secret Chicken thighs cooked with wood [...]



Recipes of the Week: Yummy Chicken Satay Sticks, Grilled Curried Cauliflower and Curry Mayo

Fri, 06 Jun 2014 22:48:55 +0000

Yummy Chicken Satay Sticks Makes 24 appetizer-sized portions I love Indonesian food and satay is one of the great finger foods. The sauce and marinade can be made in advance, so the satay sticks take almost no time to prepare on the day of your party. twenty-four 7-inch | 18 cm bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 15–30 minutes For the peanut sauce: half of a 14 oz | 398 mL can unsweetened coconut milk (reserve the rest for the marinade) 1/3 cup | 75 mL chunky-style peanut butter 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or pushed through a garlic press 2 Tbsp | 25 mL soy sauce 1 Tbsp | 15 mL light brown sugar pinch cayenne pepper 1 tsp | 5 mL Thai fish sauce (optional) For the chicken: 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 11/4 lb | 625 g) the other half of a 14 oz | 398 mL can unsweetened coconut milk 2 tsp | 10 mL fresh ginger, finely minced 2 tsp | 10 mL curry powder 1 tsp | 5 mL ground coriander 2 Tbsp | 25 mL light brown sugar 2 Tbsp | 25 mL lime juice 2 Tbsp | 25 mL Thai fish sauce (optional) Kosher salt For garnish: Wedges of fresh lime Make the peanut sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing them until they’re thoroughly combined. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and refrigerate it. This can be made several days in advance; the flavour will improve as it sits in your fridge. If you’ve made the satay sauce in advance, take it out of your refrigerator an hour or two before serving it so it comes up to room temperature. Split the chicken breasts horizontally into thin, flat slabs. Cut the slabs into 3-inch by 1-inch | 7.5 cm by 2.5 cm strips. Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, mixing them together well to dissolve the sugar. Add the chicken to the marinade, stirring to coat it. Cover and refrigerate it for 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, one strip per skewer. Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Place the satay skewers on the grill, leaving a little room between each for circulation, and close the grill cover. Cook the satay for 3–5 minutes, turning the skewers once or twice. Transfer the satay sticks to a platter, sprinkle them with Kosher salt to taste, and serve them with the peanut sauce and lime wedges. Grilled Curried Cauliflower Serves 4 as a side dish or makes a tasty part of a grilled veggie platter In these hipsterish times of kale and Brussels sprouts, poor old cauliflower gets ignored. It’s not fair; this delicious vegetable is incredibly versatile. I’ve recently discovered that if you coarsely grate it and steam it, it makes a low-carb substitute for rice or couscous in your favourite side dishes. This recipe is packed with flavour, and it’s great left over, tossed into a summer salad. NOTE: This dish works best if you use one of those perforated grill toppers or BBQ woks designed to keep smaller pieces of food from falling through your cooking grates1 head of fresh cauliflower 2 Tbsp | 30 mL curry powder 1 tsp | 5 mL cayenne pepper (optional, depending on how much heat is in your curry powder) ¼ cup | 60 mL vegetable oil such as canola or corn oil 1 fresh lemon Kosher salt ¼ cup | 60 mL chopped fresh cila[...]



Recipes of the Week: Beef Kebabs and Calgary-Style Ginger Beef on the Grill

Fri, 30 May 2014 23:23:06 +0000

Beef Kebabs Makes 4 main course servings or 8 appetizers Most beef kebab recipes, including this one, call for leaner cuts like sirloin. Those work well, but they are quite chewy and can turn to rubber if overcooked. For truly decadent kebabs, try well-marbled rib roast or tender chunks of fillet. Whatever meat you choose, just remember to cook it gently and don’t overdo it! 8 long metal skewers or 12 presoaked bamboo skewers To marinate the meat: 2 Tbsp | 25 mL dried mushrooms (any kind will do, but some can be expensive) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL ground ancho chile 1 tsp | 5 mL ground cumin 1 tsp | 5 mL ground cinnamon 1 tsp | 5 mL coarsely ground black pepper 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, seeds removed and finely chopped 1 tsp | 5 mL adobo sauce 1 Tbsp | 15 mL liquid honey 1/2 cup | 125 mL neutral-flavored vegetable oil like canola or corn oil 2 lb | 1 kg top sirloin   To make the kebabs: 2 Tbsp | 25 mL vegetable oil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL lime juice 2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into chunks 1 medium purple onion, cut into quarters and separated into pieces 24 small button mushrooms (or 12 big ones cut in half) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Grind the mushrooms to a powder in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Thoroughly mix the mushrooms, chile, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, chipotle, adobo sauce, honey, and oil in a non-reactive bowl. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and add it to the marinade, tossing it well to coat it. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and as long as overnight. Make a basting liquid by combining the oil and lime juice. Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. Thread the beef cubes on 8 long metal skewers or 12 presoaked bamboo skewers, alternating them with chunks of bell pepper, onion, and mushroom. Grill the kebabs 3–4 minutes per side, basting them with the oil/lime juice mixture, until the beef is just done. Remove them from the grill, season them with salt and pepper, and serve. Calgary-Style Ginger Beef on the Grill Makes 6–8 servings In Calgary, Alberta, most Chinese restaurants serve a special version of Ginger Beef that features strips of beef that are lightly battered, deep fried, and then candied with a sweet, sticky, tangy sauce that has lots of heat from crushed chiles and powdered ginger.  This crunchy, chewy dish has become so associated with Calgary that on some menus in other Canadian cities it shows up as Calgary-style Ginger Beef.  For me, it’s a true comfort food, and I was inspired by fond memories of the dish to create this tasty grilled tri-tip. Serve it with some steamed rice and stir-fried veggies with Teriyaki sauce (see recipe below). NOTE: It can be hard to find tri-tip in Canada, although it’s a super-popular cut in the U.S., especially in California. If you can’t find it, substitute a top sirloin roast but be sure not to overcook it! 1 3 lb | 1.5 kg well-marbled tri-tip (bottom sirloin) roast For the rub: 2 Tbsp | 30 mL sugar 1 Tbsp | 15 mL powdered ginger 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated garlic 1 Tbsp | 15 mL kosher salt 1 tsp | 5 mL ground cumin 1 tsp | 5 mL paprika 1 tsp | 5 mL freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp | 2 mL Chinese five spice powder ½ tsp [...]



Recipes of the Week: Tenderloin Steak with Goronzola Butter, Grilled Broccoli and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Fri, 23 May 2014 16:12:59 +0000

Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola Butter Makes 6 servings This is dead simple, and deadly delicious. Just make sure you don’t overcook it! Serve the tenderloin with your favorite steak accompaniments, like Grilled Broccoli and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (see recipes below). six 6 oz | 175 g tenderloin (filet mignon) steaks, about 2 inches | 5 cm thickkosher salt and freshly ground black pepperolive oilGorgonzola Butter at room temperature (see recipe below) Generously season the steaks with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Let them sit for an hour to bring them to room temperature. Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Drizzle the steaks with a little oil and place them on the cooking grate. Cook the steaks for 2–4 minutes per side (depending on how rare you like them). Take them off the grill, tent them in foil, and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve them with a pat of the Gorgonzola butter. Gorgonzola Butter 3/4 cup | 175 mL Gorgonzola cheese 1/4 lb | 125 g unsalted butter at room temperature 1 tsp | 5 mL fresh lemon juice kosher salt to taste Cut the butter into cubes and place them in a food processor. Add the flavoring ingredients and whiz the mixture until it’s thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape down the stuff that sticks to the sides of the food processor as needed. If you’re serving the butter right away with corn, or on a piece of grilled meat, just place it in a small bowl and serve it. If you want to store it, use a spatula to transfer the butter onto a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap and shape it into a rough cylinder. Fold the wrap around the butter and shape it into an even tube about 11⁄2 inches | 4 cm in diameter. Twist the ends so the tube is sealed and tight, and fasten both ends with a twist-tie. Refrigerate or freeze the butter until you need it. To serve, slice off discs of it. Thaw it a while before dressing steaks or corn with it, or use it still frozen to stuff inside a burger. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes Makes 4–6 servings If you’re calorie-conscious, you can substitute milk or chicken stock for the cream in this recipe, but the point of this dish is to celebrate decadence, so I suggest adding extra butter, cream, and truffle oil to taste. This dish goes well with almost any planked meat or fish. 2 lb | 1 kg yellow-fleshed potatoes1 head roasted garlic1/2 cup | 125 mL butter, at room temperature1/2 cup | 125 mL heavy cream1/4 tsp | 1 mL freshly grated nutmeg1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped parsley1 tsp | 5 mL truffle oil (optional)kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters. Place them in a large pot and fill it with cold water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium for 15–20 minutes, or until a fork goes easily through a chunk of potato. Drain the potatoes, reserving a cup or so of the water, and return them to the pot. Add the roasted garlic, butter, cream, nutmeg, parsley, and truffle oil, if desired, and mash the potatoes by hand until they’re creamy. (Never mash potatoes in a food processor. It makes them gluey.) If the mixture seems too dry, moisten it with a little pota[...]



Recipes of the week: Jerusalem Chicken Sliders and Grilled Achiote Chicken Breasts

Fri, 16 May 2014 19:00:53 +0000

Hey barbecue fans! I'm delighted to be back for my fifth year of sharing outdoor cooking tips and recipes on The World Today with Jon McComb on Vancouver's CKNW radio.  Today's topic: chicken. Specifically, delicious British Columbia chicken. For the past few weeks I've been working with the BC Chicken Farmers Association to support a fun and informative social media campaign, Chicken Squad: The Real Chicken Farmers of BC. If you haven't seen the video trailer, watch it and all the episodes of the web series here.  The public awareness campaign is a lot of fun, but the message is serious: chicken raised in BC has been free of steroids and hormones for 50 years, despite the common perception that the long-banned substances are used today. If you eat BC chicken you know it's been fed well and humanely raised by farmers who care. If you know me, you know I LOVE chicken. I developed a new recipe for the big Chicken Squad movie trailer premiere a couple of weeks ago, and I'm sharing it here, along with another of my favourite chicken recipes. Enjoy...and get out there and get grilling! Jerusalem Sliders with Sour Cream and Sumac Sauce This is my adaptation for the grill of a superb recipe from the superb cookbook Jerusalem, by famed restaurateurs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. My thanks to blogger Marc Smith for documenting the Chicken Squad event and sharing his photo.  For the burgers: 1 pound (300g) ground chicken 1 large zucchini, coarsley grated (scant 2 cups/200g) 3 green onions, thinly sliced 1 large free-range egg 2 tablespoons chopped mint 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ to 1 cup dry bread crumbs Olive oil Soft fresh slider buns For the Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce: Scant 1/2 cup (100g) sour cream Scant 2/3 cup (150g) Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 small garlic clove, crushed 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon sumac 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper For garnish: thin slices of fresh tomato Prepare the sour cream sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and store in your refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Place the grated zucchini in a clean dry dish towel and wrap it tightly, twisting the towel to squeeze as much of the moisture out of the zucchini as possible. Place the zucchini and rest of the slider ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix everything together until it’s the right consistency for making burgers. Add extra bread crumbs if it’s too wet to handle.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Starting with a portion about the size of a mandarin orange, form the slider patties, dipping your hands in a bowl of cold water to help keep the mixture from sticking. Place the patties onto the cookie sheet and transfer to your freezer for about an hour to firm up the meat. Prepare your grill for medium direct cooking. Thoroughly scrape the cooking grate. Remove the burger patties from the freezer. Paint a light c[...]



Tips and recipes for hosting a great holiday open house

Thu, 26 Dec 2013 21:43:51 +0000

Hey barbecue fans. Happy Holidays! I hope you had a great Christmas. For many of us, the festivities don't stop between now and 2014, whether you're entertaining relatives, hosting a festive open house or planning a New Year's Eve party. Here are a few tips and some tasty recipes to make your entertaining easy, fun and delicous. How important is planning ahead? Be prepared and you and your guests will have way more fun.  Do as much food prep in advance as possible. If you're grilling, have everything ready to go before the party starts. Rearrange your furniture to make it easy for people to mingle and access the food. Be sure you have lots of ice. Greet your guests in holiday style by offering them a special cocktail when they arrive. (See drink recipes at the end of this post.) What are the best kinds of food to serve? The best food strategy is to make dishes that won't occupy a huge amount of your time at the party so you can visit with your guests.  Go for bright colours and big, bold flavours to make it festive Have lots of protein to soak up the alcohol and be sure you've got some options for vegetarians and gluten-free organically grown hipsters Don't forget about the non-drinkers. Do something special for them like a non-alcoholic punch or some fancy soft drinks. Try to showcase local products at your party. It's a great way to spread the word about the wonderful foods that are produced in your area.  What else can you do to make a holiday party a success? Here are a few more stray tips for making your event a memorable one.  Don't forget about music, it really helps create a festive atmosphere. Put together a long playlist ahead of time so you don't have to be always tending to the stereo. Accept offers from your foodie friends to bring something yummy to the party, and don't be afraid to suggest dishes that fit with whatever theme you've got going. It's fun for them, and it makes it easier for you. Okay, enough free advice. Here are some recipes to make your holiday party super delish! Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms Makes 24 hors d’oeuvres This classic stuffed mushroom recipe, adapted from an old Gourmet magazine, is wonderful on the grill.  24 large button mushrooms (about 2 ½ lb | 1.25 kg) 12 oz | 375 g sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, reserving 4 Tbsp | 50 mL of the oil 1/3 cup | 75 mL finely chopped shallot 1 tsp | 5 mL finely chopped garlic pinch crumbled dried thyme kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 Tbsp | 45 mL heavy cream ¼ cup | 50 mL freshly grated Parmesan Carefully remove the stems from the mushrooms and finely chop 1 cup of the stems, discarding the rest.  Mince the sun-dried tomatoes. Brush the mushroom caps with some of the reserved tomato oil and arrange them on a baking sheet, stemmed side up. Cook the shallot and garlic in the remaining tomato oil in a large skillet over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in the reserved mushroom stems, minced tomatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5–10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick. Stir in the cream, divide[...]



Barbecue Secrets Episode 19: a season-ending feast of barbecue wisdom

Sat, 31 Aug 2013 20:00:00 +0000

Welcome to episode 19 of the Barbecue Secrets Podcast. It's the last episode of the season, and it's a doozie! If you're viewing this on the podcast blog, click on the little "pod" icon to the left of the episode title above to listen to the show. Hope you like it! SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE 19 It doesn't get much better than this, my friends. This show starts out with an interview with my friend Brian Misko of House of Q, a barbecue champion many times over and maker of a great line of barbecue sauces and rubs. Brian tells some great stories from the barbecue trail and shares some killer techniques. Next up is a return visit from Meathead, the man behind the amazing website www.amazingribs.com. Meathead, who knows the art and science of outdoor cooking like no one else, has some fun busting another barbecue myth. Finally, I get to do a deep dive into the world of Kentucky Barbecue with Wes Berry, author of The Kentucky Barbecue Book. Wes is a university English prof who went on a journey of discovery through his great state. In the process he gained some insights into the history of barbecue in America and traced back the roots of a traditional Moore County dish, pork blade steak with a crazy "sop." He shares the recipe for that dish, along with another tasty sauce and something called cornbread salad. You can find the recipes in yesterday's blog post.   I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Back in May, with the help of producer/editor Darcy Reynolds, I relaunched this podcast with a vision of creating an entertaining, informative show about outdoor cooking with professional-quality sound. I wanted to showcase longer interviews with fellow barbecue fanatics and give listeners a richness and depth about the smoky world of barbecue that's hard to find anywhere else on the internet. Kind of a cross between a radio show and an audio book. Something that you can listen to in the car, or while doing chores or working out, or while you're getting ready to cook up some barbecue.  Did I succeed? I need your feedback to help me get ready for next season. Write me at rockinronnie@ronshewchuk.com, tweet me @rockinronnie, or post something on the Barbecue Secrets Facebook page. Let me know what you liked best about this season, and what I can do to improve the show. Tell me if there's anyone you'd like me to interview. And, if you know any potential sponsors, please connect me with them -- I'd love to start next season with a couple of marquee sponsors.  Thanks for listening! I'll try to post at least a couple of new shows over the winter. In the meantime, keep on making that beautiful blue smoke! OTHER WAYS TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW You can subscribe to the Barbecue Secrets Podcast for free on iTunes here.  You can also get a handy Android app to hear the latest show and dive into the back catalogue for only $3.99. You can get the app by visiting this link on your Android phone to the Amazon Appstore. Once you're there, search for Barbecue Secrets, pay using your Amazon account, and you're good to go!  [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/BBQSecretsEpisode19.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipe of the Week: A Taste of Kentucky Barbecue

Sat, 31 Aug 2013 02:11:00 +0000

One of my favourite cuts of meat is the pork blade steak – cut from the same part of the hog as the classic shoulder butt roast that we cook in competition. In certain parts of Kentucky, thinly sliced blade steaks are seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked over a low hardwood fire and “sopped” with a thin sauce made of vinegar, black and red (cayenne) pepper and lard and/or butter. Wes Berry, author of The Kentucky BBQ Book, says he loves the sauce so much he orders extra to put on his side dishes and mop it up with soft white bread. Give this adaptation of the Monroe County classic a try, with Cornbread Salad on the side. Monroe County Style Pork Shoulder Steaks  Serves 4 For the steaks:  Four pork blade steaks, the thinner the better (if they're really thin, like half an inch or less, budget for eight because your guests will easily eat two each) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Hickory wood as a flavouring agent For the sop/dip: 4 cups white vinegar ½ cup lard ½ cup butter 2 Tbsp finely ground black pepper 2 Tbsp cayenne 1 Tbsp Kosher salt   Melt the ingredients in a saucepan. Keep warm so the fat stays melted. Pre-heat your grill for low-medium direct cooking. Season the blade steaks with salt and pepper and place them on the grill. Turn them regularly, brushing some of the sauce on them with every turn, until they’re well done – about 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on how low your heat is.  Use hickory chips or chunks to produce some flavourful smoke. If you’re cooking with charcoal, just place a chunk of hickory on the coals before you start cooking the steaks. For gas grills, place some wood chips in foil, poke holes in the foil and place the packet underneath the cooking grates. Take the steaks off the grill and serve them immediately, with one last coating of the sop, and some on the side for those who want extra. Cornbread Salad This "salad," which is more of a savory trifle, is adapted from a recipe from The Kentucky Barbecue Book by Wes Berry. Wes got it from Trinca Barnette of Tony’s Bar-B-Que Barn in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and then came up with some suggestions for dressing it up. Enjoy! For the salad: 1 batch leftover cornbread, roughly crumbled. (See recipe below.) ½ cup chopped green onion 1 whole large red tomato, chopped 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese  For the dressing: 1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup sour cream 1 Tbsp dried parsley 1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, onion flakes, dried dill, Kosher salt and black pepper Optional additional ingredients: 1 can cooked black-eyed peas or pinto beans, drained 1 can sliced black olives, drained Grilled corn cut off the cob Crumbled cooked bacon Chopped green bell pepper Additional cheeses (like pepper jack) Sliced pickled jalapeños To make the salad, simply layer the ingredients in a large glass bowl. Start with half the cornbread, then layer the other ingredients and top with half the dressing. Repeat this layering one more time, with the other half of the dressing on top, and garnish with some chopped green onion. Let it sit in the refrigerator for[...]



Recipes of the week: Hot-Smoked Salmon and Planked Salmon Pizza on the Grill

Thu, 22 Aug 2013 20:04:00 +0000

I hope you enjoy this week's recipes. If you want to enjoy some delicious wild BC pink salmon, come on down to Haddon Park on Sunday from noon till 5.00 p.m. -- find out more here. Hot-smoked Salmon Makes 6–8 servings When good-quality salmon is barbecued over low heat using hickory, alder, or mesquite smoke as a flavoring agent, the end result is outrageously good. This is my favorite way to barbecue salmon. (NOTE: it's also a great way to treat grilled salmon -- just cook it, skin-side down, over indirect heat, and use wood chips in foil or hardwood chunks under the cooking grate to add smoky flavour.) 1 whole fillet wild salmon (also called a side), about 11/2 to 2 lb | 750 to 1 kg kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 Tbsp | 15 mL toasted sesame oil 1 tsp | 5 mL dried red pepper flakes 1/4 cup | 50 mL brown sugar 2 lemons, halved chopped fresh parsley, for garnish  Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature to 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C. Put the salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet or cutting board. With a pair of needle-nose pliers, pluck the pin bones out of the fillet. Season it with salt and pepper and coat it with sesame oil. Sprinkle the pepper flakes evenly over the fillet and then sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the sugared salmon.             Let the fish sit for 15 minutes or so, until the sugar is wet and glistening.             Place the fillet on the cooking grate, put a chunk or two of hardwood on the coals, close the smoker, and barbecue the salmon for 11/2 to 21/2 hours, or until the internal temperature at its thickest part reaches about 140°F | 60°C. Use two wide spatulas to remove the salmon from the smoker. Transfer it to a warmed platter. Garnish it with chopped parsley and the remaining lemon, cut into wedges. Planked Salmon Pizza Makes 4 servings  My pal Reza Mofakham shared this recipe with me. It’s a tasty way to deal with leftover planked salmon. If you don’t feel like making your own pizza dough, you can buy it frozen at most supermarkets. For the pesto sauce: 2 cups | 500 mL fresh basil 1/4 cup | 50 mL freshly grated Parmesan 1/4 cup | 50 mL toasted pine nuts 2 cloves garlic 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt 1/2 tsp | 2 mL freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup | 50 mL olive oil   For the dough: 1 Tbsp | 15 mL sugar 11/2 cups | 375 mL lukewarm water or beer 2 tsp | 10 mL dry yeast 41/4 cups | 1.1 L all-purpose flour 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt 2 Tbsp | 25 mL oil   For the toppings: 1/2 lb | 250 g leftover planked salmon, broken into bite-sized pieces 1 Tbsp | 15 mL capers 1/4 lb | 125 g goat cheese 2 Tbsp | 25 mL sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped   Place the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend them together until they’re smooth, slowly adding the oil in a stream, until you have a smooth, light green sauce. Set the pesto aside.             If you’re using a breadmaker, prepare the ingredients according to the instructions for ma[...]



Pink Salmon Festival is this Sunday, Aug. 25!

Sat, 17 Aug 2013 16:10:00 +0000

Hope to see you there! A FESTIVAL IN THE HEART OF VANCOUVER TO CELEBRATE PINK SALMON One of B.C.’s most sustainable seafood choices!   Vancouver – The Pacific Salmon Foundation will host its biennial Pink Salmon Festival on Sunday, August 25 at Hadden Park on Kits Point. With 9 million “pinks” forecasted to flood the Fraser River in August, the Pink Salmon Festival will serve up delicious and healthy pink salmon samplings prepared by well-known chefs and sustainable food advocates Robert Clark, “Rockin’ Ronnie” Shewchuk and Garrett Schack. Wild pink salmon will be donated by the Canadian Fishing Company/Gold Seal. The festival is open to the public and pink salmon will be available by donation.  “Pinks are the smallest and most abundant of Pacific salmon and at record high abundance in the North Pacific,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the foundation. “Due to their abundance, fishing for pinks is more sustainable compared to other Pacific salmon species. Some may also argue that pinks are the healthiest type of salmon to consume as their short lifespan and immediate migration to the ocean gives them less opportunity to accumulate toxins and pollutants from the water.”  (For more on why Pink Salmon is the best, see the attached FAQ).   Who:             Thousands of salmon lovers of all ages! Organized by the Pacific Salmon Foundation with sponsorship from Canadian Fishing Company/Gold Seal, CKNW, Newalta, Port Metro Vancouver, Rebel Communications and Rocky Mountaineer.   What:             Barbequed pink salmon samplings by donation, educational interactive displays, children’s activities, music and family fun to celebrate pink salmon. On-site raffles with proceeds benefitting salmon conservation and restoration projects across B.C. and a CKNW hosted VIP tent. When:             Sunday, August 25, 2013, Noon to 5:00 p.m. Where:            Vancouver’s Hadden Park at Kits-Point, 1905 Ogden Avenue (at Cypress, adjacent to Vancouver Maritime Museum)   Why:             There’s no better time to “Think Pink” with 9 million pink salmon forecasted to return to the Fraser River in August. The festival will be an opportunity for consumers to learn about the most sustainable, yet undervalued species of Pacific salmon. The fish return in large numbers allowing for harvesting for human consumption without damaging the overall health of the species and the plants and animals that depend on them for sustenance.    [...]



Recipes of the Week: Rob and Ron's Celebration of Pink Salmon

Sat, 17 Aug 2013 01:18:00 +0000

Hey barbecue fans! If you're in Vancouver next Sunday, August 25th, don't miss the Pink Salmon Festival -- Noon to 5.00 p.m. at Haddon Park. I'll be joining Chefs Rob Clark and Garrett Schack to cook up a few thousand pounds of fresh wild BC pink salmon for the public. Get a fantastic plate full of great, sustainable seafood, pay what you can by donation. Find out more here. Hope to see you there! I'm celebrating salmon this week with two of my favourite recipes, one that I came up with and one from Rob Clark, adapted for the grill. I encourage you to try pink salmon, but any wild pacific salmon will do! Cedar-planked Salmon with Whiskey-maple Glaze Makes 6–8 servings This has become one of my signature recipes. I’ve cooked it scores of times over the past few years, my team has won awards with it, and I often get the comment, “This is the best salmon I’ve ever eaten.” The sweet, woody flavor of the Jack Daniel’s and maple syrup complements the richness of the salmon and the aroma of the cedar in this West Coast dish. I like to present it on the plank and then serve it on a bed of field greens tossed with some French walnut oil, kosher salt, and toasted pumpkin seeds.   1 cedar cooking plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour 1/2 cup | 125 mL Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey 1 cup | 250 mL real maple syrup 1 tsp | 5 mL crushed dried red chile flakes 1 Tbsp | 15 mL butter at room temperature 1 whole, boned fillet wild Pacific salmon (about 3 lb  | 1.5 kg), skin on kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp | 5 mL granulated onion (or onion powder if you can’t find granules) 2 lemons, halved parsley sprigs for garnish 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley Make the sauce by combining the whiskey and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low boil and reduce it by about half, until you have a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Add the chiles and butter and stir the sauce until it’s just combined. Set it aside and keep it warm on the stovetop.             Season the skinless side of the salmon with salt, pepper, and granulated onion. Let the salmon sit for 10–15 minutes at room temperature, until the rub is moistened.             While the salmon is sitting, preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Season the plank with kosher salt and place the salmon, skin-side-down, on the plank.             Cover the grill and cook the salmon for 15–20 minutes, or until the fish has an internal temperature of 135°F | 57°C. Check it periodically to make sure the plank doesn’t catch fire, and spray the burning edges with water if it does, making sure to close the lid afterwards.          [...]



Barbecue Secrets Episode 18 - a chat with the Godfather of Zin

Sat, 10 Aug 2013 02:24:00 +0000

Welcome to episode 18 of the Barbecue Secrets Podcast! Click on the little "pod" icon to the left of the episode title above to listen to the show. You can subscribe to it for free on iTunes here. You can also get a handy Android app to hear the latest show and dive into the back catalogue for only $3.99. Find out how at the end of this post! SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE 18 In this episode I sift through the ashes of my team's spotty performance at the Canadian National BBQ Championships in Whistler, B.C. At some point I guess I'm going to have to start referring to myself as a former barbecue champion.  Although they can't ever take all those cheap plastic trophies away from me.  After a bit of post-Whistler soul-searching interspersed with some audio snippets from the contest, it's time to share my conversation with the Godfather of Zin, Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood Winery and California wine legend. Joel and I have done a couple of wine/food events together and he is one of the best storytellers I've ever met. I'm delighted that he agreed to tell my favorite from his youth -- a hilarious wine-making near-disaster that never fails to generate side-splitting laughter. Joel and I were written up in the local Whistler paper, The Pique. Check it out.  For this week's recipe, I'm sharing our team's Championship Barbecue Chicken, which, with a few tweaks from chicken master Vince Gogolek, saved our dignity with a third place finish. Oh. One more thing. Here's a pic of the giant tomahawk rib roast I mentioned in the podcast. It placed fourth in the chef's choice category, but it was number one in my books as a piece of over-the-top barbecue theatre.  I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Write me at rockinronnie at ronshewchuk.com, tweet me @rockinronnie, or post something on the Barbecue Secrets Facebook page. Hey, if I get enough good questions, maybe I'll do a special Q&A edition of the show! Get the Barbecue Secrets Android App! You'll need the free Amazon Appstore app, which you can get by visiting this link on your Android phone. From the Amazon Appstore, search for Barbecue Secrets, pay using your Amazon account, and you're good to go!  [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/BarbecueSecretsEpisode18revised.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipe of the Week: Championship Barbecue Chicken

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 22:35:50 +0000

This recipe was first developed by my old friend and fellow Butt Shredder, Ann Marie “Amo” Jackson and further refined by another Butt Shredder, Vince Gogolek. It has won us some trophies over the years. The sauces are based on recipes by Paul Kirk, the one and only Baron of Barbecue. The key with this recipe is to cook at a low heat and baste often to keep the skin moist and tender. You’ll have lots of barbecue sauce left over. It keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator. Makes 6–8 servings For the chicken: 2 medium-sized chickens (4 to 5 lb | 1.8 to 2.2 kg), quartered and backbones removed 1 recipe Asian Poultry Brine (See recipe below) For the barbecue sauce: 2 cups | 500 mL ketchup 1 cup | 250 mL white vinegar 1 cup | 250 mL dark brown sugar, tightly packed 1/2 cup | 125 mL pineapple juice 2 Tbsp | 25 mL soy sauce 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt 1 tsp | 5 mL cayenne pepper or ground dried chipotles For the chicken baste: 3/4 cup | 175 mL pineapple juice 2 Tbsp | 30 mL lime juice 1/4 cup | 50 mL butter, melted 2 Tbsp | 25 mL soy sauce 2 Tbsp | 25 mL clover honey 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped fresh parsley 1 garlic clove, smashed or pushed through a garlic press 1/2 tsp | 2 mL kosher salt Marinate the chicken with the brine in a nonreactive pot in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours, or even overnight.             Make the barbecue sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer it for 15–20 minutes, stirring it occasionally. Cool it.             Make the baste by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan. Heat it just enough to melt the butter. Keep it warm. It’s best freshly made, but it can be kept in a covered nonreactive container for up to a week in the refrigerator.             Take the chicken pieces out of the brine and pat them dry. At this point, you can sprinkle them with a little barbecue rub, but it’s not necessary.             Prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature up to 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C. Line the drip pan of your smoker with a double layer of foil and fill it with apple juice.             Place the chicken pieces in the smoker. Cover it and cook the chicken for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, painting the chicken with the baste every 15 minutes, until the internal temperature at the thigh joint reaches 160°F | 71°C. Give the chicken a coat of the barbecue sauce and cook it another 5 minutes. Transfer it to a serving platter, tent it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 5–10 minutes. Serve it with some barbecue sauce on the side for dipping. [Alternate method for a gas grill: use low indirect cooking and some wood chips wrapped in foil placed above a burner to emulate a smoker.] Asian Poultry Brine Makes enough for 2 cut-up chickens or a dozen thighs The high salt content makes this more of a brine than a marinade, and my barbecue team has used it very successfully i[...]



The Barbecue Secrets Podcast has an Android app!

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 00:48:00 +0000

Big news! You can now get the Barbecue Secrets Podcast app for your Android phone for just $3.99!

All you have to do is install the Amazon Appstore app (it's free) by visiting this link on your Android phone.

From the Amazon Appstore, search for Barbecue Secrets, pay using your Amazon account, and you're good to go.

Of course, you don't need the app to listen to the show. You can find every episode here on the show blog, and if you're an Apple fan you can subscribe to the show for free on iTunes here.

 




Barbecue Secrets Episode #17 - An Audience with Barbecue Queen Karen Adler

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 10:20:00 +0000

Welcome to episode 17 of the Barbecue Secrets Podcast! Click on the icon to the left of the episode title above to listen to the show. You can subscribe to it for free on iTunes here. You can also get a handy Android app to hear the latest show and dive into the back catalogue for only $3.99. You'll need the free Amazon Appstore app, which you can get by visiting this link on your Android phone. From the Amazon Appstore, search for Barbecue Secrets, pay using your Amazon account, and you're good to go! SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE 17 This show features a conversation with another barbecue icon, the wonderful, wise and funny Karen Adler, who has written some fabulous cookbooks, many of them in collaboration with her friend and fellow Barbecue Queen Judith Fertig. Their latest is The Gardener and the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill.  In the show I asked Karen to name some of her favorite cookbooks. She recommends: Michael Chiarella's Live Fire America's Best BBQ Homestyle: What the Champions Cook in Their Own Back Yards, by Ardie Davis and Paul Kirk Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue, by Jeff Phillips, and Championship Barbecue Secrets for Real Smoked Food by Karen Putman and Judith Fertig.  You can get all these books online through the usual sources, but I recommend that you buy them directly from Karen's book distribution business, Pig Out Publications.  I also asked Karen to share a couple of her favourite recipes for the grill, which I posted on the blog last week. I encourage you to give them a try! I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Write me at rockinronnie at ronshewchuk.com, tweet me @rockinronnie, or post something on the Barbecue Secrets Facebook page.   [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/BarbecueSecretsEpisode17.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the week from the BBQ Queens: Rainbow Carrots and Grilled Chocolate Crostini

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 01:13:00 +0000

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of interviewing Barbecue Queen Karen Adler for Episode #17 of the Barbecue Secrets Podcast (coming soon!). Karen was kind enough to share a couple of her favourite recipes from her and co-author Judith Fertig's cookbooks, The Gardener and the Grill, and BBQ Bash.  Visit Pig Out Publications to buy their books and shop for many more! Rainbow Carrots with Cilantro Chile Drizzle Carrots make great container garden plants or fern-like borders in the garden. And they grow in different shapes (round, thin and long, or cylindrical) and colors (pale yellow, orange, dark pink, and purple). For grilling, we like Rainbow Hybrid (lots of different colors) or the traditional Nantes cylindrical orange carrot. Just pick the carrots when they’re about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, scrub off the garden soil, and trim back the tops a bit.  Then, brush them with olive oil and grill. Cilantro Chile Drizzle highlights the sweet flavor of this garden favorite. Adapted from The Gardener and the Grill by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig.  Serves 4 For the Cilantro Chile Drizzle: 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems 1 canned ancho chile in adobo sauce 1 large garlic clove, minced 1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 2 tablespoons honey 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil Kosher or sea salt to taste For the grilled carrots 2 bunches baby carrots (about 16), trimmed, with some of the green tops 1 tablespoon olive oil Kosher or sea salt to taste 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro to garnish For the Cilantro Chile Drizzle, combine the cilantro, 1 ancho chile, garlic, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, honey and oil in a food processor and process until emulsified. Salt to taste. Transfer to a jar with a lid. The drizzle will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Prepare an indirect fire in your grill. Place the carrots in a 9 x 13-inch disposable aluminum pan, drizzle with olive oil, and salt to taste. Place the carrots on the indirect or no-heat side of the grill and close the lid. Grill the carrots for 15 to 20 minutes or until the carrots are crisp-tender when pierced with a knife in the thickest part. To serve, drizzle the carrots with some of the Cilantro Chile Drizzle and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.   Grilled Chocolate Crostini Who says dessert has to be difficult? This one is chic, but oh so easy. The Gardener and the Grill co-author Karen Adler remembers a delicious breakfast in Belgium with chocolate sprinkled on homemade buttered bread. Similar to s'mores, but not quite as messy, this is a grownup version for the grill. Serve with a bowl of juicy ripe strawberries. Adapted from BBQ Bash by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig. Makes 16 crostini One 10-inch baguette 6 to 8 ounces good-quality milk or bittersweet chocolate, in bar or block form Extra-virgin olive oil for drizz[...]



BBQ Secrets #Sweet 16 - Brisket Secrets, a Texas BBQ Adventure, and a talk with Chris Lilly!

Sat, 27 Jul 2013 00:27:00 +0000

Welcome to episode 16 of Barbecue Secrets! Click here to listen to the show, or subscribe to it on iTunes here. SHOW NOTES In the first segment I talk about brisket. Here's a link to my brisket recipe (along with a bonus lamb dish). The second segment of the show features highlights of my trip to Central Texas a few years ago that includes behind-the-scenes visits to Smitty's Market and Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que in Lockhart, Texas and Southside Market in nearby Elgin. I made a short YouTube video about my adventure that you can watch here.  I saved the best for last. Legendary pitmaster Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. Find Chris on Twitter @chrislillybbq, follow him on Facebook and buy his Big Bob Gibson BBQ Book. It's one of the best you'll ever see, full of great tips, stories and recipes.  I'd love to hear from you -- write me at rockinronnie at ronshewchuk.com, tweet me @rockinronnie, or post something on the Barbecue Secrets Facebook page. You can listen to this episode by clicking on the icon next to the title of this blog post, but one of the easiest and best ways to listen to the show is to subscribe to it through the iTunes store. The latest show will automatically download to your Mac, PC or iPhone. It's convenient, and it's free. Find Barbecue Secrets on iTunes here.   [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/BBQSecretsEpisode16.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the week: Chris Lilly's Airline Chicken Breast and Ronnie's Summer Potato Salad

Thu, 25 Jul 2013 20:25:46 +0000

Chris Lilly's Airline Chicken Breast with Basil Butter and Summer Potato Salad with Dill and Spring Onions This recipe is from the award-winning cookbook, Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book. Award-winning author Chris Lilly was kind enough to share it with me as the Barbecue Secrets Podcast Recipe of the Week. (The podcast will be coming out tomorrow, Friday July 26, watch for it!) This is one of the most delicious chicken recipes, and with only five ingredients (plus a little smoke), it’s one of the simplest. It's written for a charcoal or wood-burning cooker, so I’ve adapted it slightly to include cooking on a gas grill. Chris calls it airline chicken breast because it’s a skin-on breast with only the drumette of the wing attached. In his book he says, “back when commercial airlines still served real meals …. Leaving a portion of the wing attached to the small chicken breast made the serving look larger while still allowing it to fit nicely into an airline food tray.” I think you’re going to find it will send your taste buds on a first-class flight!  Serves 4 Cooking Method: Direct and Indirect Heat Suggested Wood: Hickory, Pecan or Oak Cooking time: 40 minutes 4 chicken breasts (skin-on breast with only the wing drumette attached) Kosher salt Black pepper   Basil Butter 12 Tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) butter ½ cup chopped fresh basil With a sharp knife, remove the bones and cartilage form the underside of each chicken breast. The only bone left in the breasts should be the drumette bone. Season the chicken breasts lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Prepare your grill for high indirect cooking. If it’s a charcoal grill, build a charcoal or wood fired on one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. If it’s a gas grill, preheat the grill on high and then turn half the burners off, so that one area of the cooker can be used for direct cooking and the other for indirect cooking. The heat inside the gas grill cooking chamber or above the hot coals should be very hot (approximately 450 – 500°F). Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the basil and mix well. Please the chicken breasts directly over the coals or on the cooking grate that has the flame under it, and baste with half the basil butter. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Transfer the chicken to a shallow baking pan, skin side up, and place it over the void/flameless side of the grill. Baste with the remaining basil butter. Cover the grill and cook with indirect heat (approximately 400°F) for an additional 35 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 160°F. Slice the chicken breasts across the skin into small medallions to serve. Summer Potato Salad with Dill and Spring Onions This is a great dish to make when summer produce marke[...]



Recipes of the Week: My Favourite Rubs

Fri, 19 Jul 2013 20:44:00 +0000

Here is a collection of some of my favourite rubs, from Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! You can buy a hard copy online at Amazon or Indigo/Chapters, or an e-book on the iTunes Store or on kobobooks.com. Rockin’ Ronnie’s Grilling Rub Makes about 1 cup | 250 mL I like to use this combination of seasonings for everyday grilling (grilling rubs contain little or no sugar because the higher heat of grilling would make a sugary rub turn black). It perfectly balances the earthiness of the toasted cumin, the sharpness of ground pepper, the smokiness and heat of the ground chipotles, and the natural sweetness of the ancho chile, granulated onion, and garlic.  4 Tbsp | 60 mL kosher salt 1 tsp | 5 mL ground pepper 2 Tbsp | 25 mL ground toasted cumin seeds 1 Tbsp | 15 mL ground oregano 2 Tbsp | 25 mL granulated onion 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated garlic 2 Tbsp | 25 mL ancho chile powder 1 tsp | 5 mL ground chipotles (if you can’t find this, substitute cayenne) 1 tsp | 5 mL dried parsley Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together well.   Texas-style Rub Makes about 2 cups | 500 mL Everyone has a friend of a friend of a friend who knows someone in Texas with a great rub recipe. This one came to me through occasional Butt Shredder and barbecue enthusiast Ian “Big Daddy” Baird. The cayenne gives it a nice burn. Use it as an all-purpose rub, but it really makes brisket sing. 3/4 cup | 175 mL paprika 1/4 cup | 50 mL kosher salt 1/4 cup | 50 mL sugar 1/4 cup | 50 mL ground black pepper 1/4 cup | 50 mL chile powder 2 Tbsp | 25 mL garlic powder 2 Tbsp | 25 mL onion powder 1 Tbsp | 15 mL cayenne, or to taste  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together well.   Mediterranean Dried Herb Rub Makes enough to coat several racks of lamb or a whole leg of lamb or pork roast These days, food lovers tend to shy away from dried herbs in favor of the fresh ones that are so readily available. We tend to associate unpleasantly stale, dirty flavors with dried herbs, but that’s probably because we use them so rarely that the ones in our pantry are too old. Dried herbs, when used within a few months of purchasing them, can add a wonderful earthiness and complexity to grilled foods. In fact, the high heat of grilling often destroys the delicate flavors of fresh herbs. In most cases fresh herbs, other than the very strong rosemary and sage, are best used after your meat is off the grill, as a finely chopped sprinkle to add color and aroma. Use this rub for meats like chicken and pork, but it also works well with grilled vegetables. Just toss the veggies with oil and sprinkle them with the rub and some kosher salt. 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried (not powdered) oregano 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried mint 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried basil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried rosemary 1 tsp | 5 mL dried parsl[...]



BBQ Secrets #15: National BBQ Day!

Sat, 13 Jul 2013 17:18:00 +0000

Hey barbecue fans, welcome to edition #15 of the show!  I'd love to hear from you -- write me at rockinronnie at ronshewchuk.com, tweet me @rockinronnie, or post something on the Barbecue Secrets Facebook page. You can listen to this episode by clicking on the icon next to the title of this blog post, but one of the easiest and best ways to listen to the show is to subscribe to it through the iTunes store. The latest show will automatically download to your Mac, PC or iPhone. It's convenient, and it's free. Find Barbecue Secrets on iTunes here.  SHOW NOTES This week's show features a call with Peter Kapler, Executive Director of Meal Exchange, to find out about Canada's National BBQ Day, plus interviews with two old friends, Gary Johnstone of Johnstone's Barbecues and Parts and Denzel Sandberg, my partner-in-sauce and owner of Denzel's Gourmet Foods.  RECIPES OF THE WEEK - Planked Salmon Two Ways MORE LINKS Here's the official announcement of our new Canadian Maple flavour of Ronnie & Denzel's NATURAL CHAMPIONS BBQ Sauce. My cookbook Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! is available at fine bookstores and online through sites like chapters.ca and amazon.com. It's also available as an e-book from places like iTunes and kobobooks.com.  For more about me, visit www.ronshewchuk.com.    [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/Podcast_15_FINAL.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the Week: Planked Salmon Two Ways

Fri, 12 Jul 2013 15:47:00 +0000

To help celebrate National Barbecue Day tomorrow (July 13), I'm sharing a couple of great planked salmon recipes, including one from the father of barbecue in Canada, the late, great David Veljacic. Cedar-planked Salmon with Canadian Maple BBQ Sauce Makes 6–8 servings This is about as Canadian as you can get, barbecue-wise. For this recipe we’ve recommended Ronnie & Denzel’s new BBQ sauce, Canadian Maple, but you can substitute your favourite barbecue sauce – the sweeter and tangier, the better. Note: Wild BC sockeye and spring salmon are in season right now.  1 cedar cooking plank, soaked overnight or at least 2 hours A spray bottle filled with water (in case of flare-ups) 1 whole, boned fillet of wild Pacific salmon, about 3 lb  | 1.5 kg, skin on kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp | 5 mL granulated onion (or onion powder, if you can’t find granules) ½ cup Ronnie & Denzel’s NATURAL CHAMPIONS Canadian Maple BBQ Sauce (or your favourite sauce)  A head of green leaf lettuce Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs for garnish             Season the skinless side of the salmon with salt, pepper, and granulated onion. Let the salmon sit for 10–15 minutes at room temperature, until the rub is moistened.             While the salmon is sitting, preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Season the plank with kosher salt and place the salmon, skin-side-down, on the plank.             Cover the grill and cook the salmon for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the fish has an internal temperature of 135°F | 57°C. When the salmon is nearly done, apply a light glaze of the barbecue sauce with a basting brush. Check it periodically to make sure the plank doesn’t catch fire, and spray the burning edges with water if it does, making sure to close the lid afterwards.             When the salmon is done, apply one more light coating of barbecue sauce and transfer the fish, plank and all, to a heatproof platter that you’ve artfully covered with lettuce leaves to make a kind of bed for the salmon and the plank. Garnish the salmon with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges and bring it to the table for your guests to enjoy.   The Fire Chef’s BBQ Salmon on a Plank Makes 4–6 servings The late David Veljacic was the father of barbecue in Canada, founding the Canadian National Barbecue Championship in New Westminster back in 1988. David was a firefighter, hence his nickname, “The Fi[...]



It's time for a truly Canadian barbecue sauce!

Fri, 12 Jul 2013 15:30:00 +0000

News Release July 12, 2013 It’s time for a truly Canadian barbecue sauce! Introducing Canadian Maple: a new addition to an award-winning line of BBQ Sauces ENDERBY, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Look out, Kansas City! Move over, Texas! Make room for a new regional barbecue sauce: Canadian Maple, the latest addition to the award-winning line of Ronnie & Denzel’s NATURAL CHAMPIONS BBQ Sauces. “Although Canada doesn't have the rich tradition of the US when it comes to barbecue, we’re hoping to establish one with this distinctly flavoured sauce,” says Denzel Sandberg. “Ronnie and I are real proud of this one.” Sandberg and barbecue evangelist Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk introduced Ronnie & Denzel’s NATURAL CHAMPIONS BBQ Sauces in 2009 as a tribute to four of their favourite regional barbecue styles – Kansas City Style, Southwestern Red, Honey Mustard (a Carolina-style sauce) and Island Heat (a cross between a traditional barbecue sauce and spicy Jamaican jerk). The sauces have earned a strong following among folks who appreciate tasty, locally made products featuring natural ingredients, and they’ve won scads of awards. But for Ronnie and Denzel, something was missing. For over two years they experimented with new combinations of ingredients, striving for a truly Canadian taste. “What could be more Canadian than maple syrup?” asks Ronnie. “We’re using Canada No. 1 grade Quebec maple syrup along with traditional barbecue sauce ingredients, and we think it’s a real winner." “Canadian Maple goes great with all the usual suspects – beef, chicken and pork,” says Denzel. “But it’s also awesome on planked salmon, and wild meats like venison or moose. To be honest, I think it would even make another Canadian classic, roadkill, taste good!” Ronnie & Denzel’s NATURAL CHAMPIONS BBQ products are available at many fine retailers in BC and Alberta, including Save On Foods, Whole Foods, The Gourmet Warehouse, Edible Canada and Well Seasoned: A Gourmet Food Store in BC, and Calgary’s Cookbook Co. Cooks.    For more information, contact Ronnie or Denzel directly at the numbers and email addresses below, or visit the Natural Champions Real BBQ page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/natural.champions.bbq. About Ronnie and Denzel Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk has authored three bestselling BBQ cookbooks, including his latest, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! Ronnie was named one of “America’s greatest grillers” in Food & Wine magazine, and his competition barbecue team, the Butt Shredders, has a wall full of trophies. Ronnie is the host of the Barbecue Secrets podcast, available on iTunes and on the web. Find out more about Ronnie, including links to his Barbecue Secret[...]



BBQ Secrets #14: Blues legend Amos Garrett and Kosta the Fishmonger, plus Ronnie's rotisserie tips

Sun, 07 Jul 2013 14:54:00 +0000

Hey barbecue fans, welcome to the latest edition of the podcast! You can listen to this episode by clicking on the icon next to the title of this blog post, but one of the easiest and best ways to listen to the show is to subscribe to it through the iTunes store. The latest show will automatically download to your Mac, PC or iPhone. It's convenient, and it's free. Find Barbecue Secrets on iTunes here.  SHOW NOTES This week's show features talks with two legendary figures -- guitarist and blues icon Amos Garrett and fishmonger extraordinare Kosta Zogaris.  Please write me at ron@ronshewchuk.com with any questions or comments. I'd love to here from you! RECIPE OF THE WEEK Kosta’s Grilled Halibut Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Make sure to scrape the grill before you put the halibut on.  A nice piece of boneless, skinless halibut Kosher salt or sea salt Freshly ground black pepper Olive oil Dried oregano leaves Lemon Season the halibut with salt and pepper and drizzle a little oil on each side. Just before you’re ready to cook, put some oil on a scrunched up paper towel and oil the cooking grates (be careful not to burn yourself). Place the halibut on the grill. As you put it on, use your tongs to move it back and forth along the cooking grate for the first few seconds to help avoid sticking. Turn it after just one or two minutes and close the grill. The halibut is done when it’s firm to the touch, or it reads 130F at its thickest part. Remove the halibut from the grill, let it rest for a couple of minutes and finish it with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of oregano and a drizzle of oil.  Serve it garnished with a lemon wedge with some rice and grilled veggies. LINKS You can find Amos Garrett's home page here, and there's a great listing on Wikipedia, too. For more about Kosta, including links to lots of great seafood recipes, go here.  My cookbook Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! is available at fine bookstores and online through sites like chapters.indigo.ca and amazon.ca in Canada, and Amazon.com. It's also available as an e-book from places like iTunes and kobobooks.com. For more about me, visit www.ronshewchuk.com.    [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/Podcast_14_Final.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the Week: Halibut Two Ways

Fri, 05 Jul 2013 15:10:00 +0000

My friend Kosta the Fishmonger is the owner/operator of The Salmon Shop at North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. Kosta has been a regular on CKNW, and is one of the best cooks I know. On this week's podcast (coming out soon) I asked him to share one of his favourite seafood recipes. It’s about as simple, and as delicious, as it gets.  Kosta’s Grilled Halibut Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Make sure to scrape the grill before you put the halibut on.  A nice piece of boneless, skinless halibut Kosher salt or sea salt Freshly ground black pepper Olive oil Dried oregano leaves Lemon Season the halibut with salt and pepper and drizzle a little oil on each side. Just before you’re ready to cook, put some oil on a scrunched up paper towel and oil the cooking grates (be careful not to burn yourself). Place the halibut on the grill. As you put it on, use your tongs to move it back and forth along the cooking grate for the first few seconds to help avoid sticking. Turn it after just one or two minutes and close the grill. The halibut is done when it’s firm to the touch, or it reads 130F at its thickest part. Remove the halibut from the grill, let it rest for a couple of minutes and finish it with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of oregano and a drizzle of oil.  Serve it garnished with a lemon wedge with some rice and grilled veggies. Halibut and Morel Hobo Packs Makes 4 individual portions These hobo packs really pack a punch when it comes to flavour. The halibut and morel combination is a rich dish combining lots of complementary flavours and textures, and the aroma when you open up the pack on your plate is out of this world. Serve these with a simple green salad and some nice French bread to sop up all the rich juice. You can, of course, adapt this recipe so you’re cooking all four pieces of halibut, or one bigger piece, at once, which is slightly less fussy (but still pretty fussy). four 8 oz | 250 g halibut fillets 4 slices of double-smoked bacon 1 large white onion 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes 1 lb | 500 g fresh morel mushrooms, trimmed, washed well, and patted dry (other kinds of mushrooms will do, but they won’t be as flavourful; if you use button mushrooms, thinly slice them) ¼ lb | 125 g butter truffle oil 1 cup | 250 mL heavy cream 1/2 cup | 125 mL dry Riesling ½ cup chopped Italian parsley kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup | 60 mL chopped fresh chives 4 lemon wedges  Cut the bacon slices in half and set them aside. Thinly slice the onion and the potatoes and set them aside. Slice the morels into 1/8 inch | 3 mm rounds and set them aside.             Prepare 4 squares[...]



BBQ Secrets #13: The Joys of mezcal ... and Meathead tries to bust a BBQ myth

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 14:13:00 +0000

Before I get into this week's podcast, I want to make sure you know about one of the best ways to listen to the show. Subscribe to it through the iTunes store and it will automatically download to your Mac, PC or iPhone. It's convenient, and it's free. Find Barbecue Secrets on iTunes here.  SHOW NOTES This week's show is a doozy. I have a long, boozy, smoky talk with Eric Lorenz of Lorenz Agave Spirits, along with another busted barbecue myth from Meathead Goldwyn of amazingribs.com.  Please write me at ron@ronshewchuk.com with any questions or comments. I'd love to here from you! RECIPE OF THE WEEK Oaxacan Daisy (Courtesy of Eric Lorenz) 1.5 oz Sombra Mezcal 1 oz. Cointreau .75 oz. Meyer Lemon juice Shake in iced cocktail shaker, then strain into coupe glass. Garnish with Meyer Lemon peel. Super easy but surprisingly delicious! BOOK OF THE WEEK This week I want to pay tribute to uberchef Rick Bayless for helping bring the flavours of Mexico to the North American home kitchen. Get his book, Mexican Everyday. Quick, easy recipes that make great-tasting meals -- many of which go well with mezcal! LINKS More information about all the delicious mezcals Eric Lorenz and I tasted can be found on the products page of Lorenze Agave Spirits.  You can find Meathead Goldwyn at amazingribs.com, on twitter @ribguy, and like him on Facebook. My cookbook Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! is available at fine bookstores and online through sites like chapters.indigo.ca and amazon.ca in Canada, and Amazon.com. It's also available as an e-book from places like iTunes and kobobooks.com. For more about me, visit www.ronshewchuk.com.    [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/Podcast_13_Final.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the Week: Delicious Summer Drinks

Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:46:00 +0000

Generally I like to serve beer and wine to accompany grilled or barbecued food. Dry, hoppy beers go nicely with richer barbecue, as do fruity, spicy white wines like Gewürtztraminer and crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blancs. And, of course, there’s nothing like a big chewy red like Ravenswood Zinfandel to go with steak or lamb. I recently discovered that the smoky, intense flavour of artisanal Mescal (a relative of Tequila) is insanely good with barbecue. More on that in my next podcast, coming soon! The key to summer beverages is to maximize your eating and drinking pleasure, and one way to turn up the fun volume is to start off the party with a nice cocktail. Here are a few of my favorites.   Cuba Libre Makes 1 drink Have one of these and it’s summer … even if it’s 20 below zero. 11/2 oz | 45 mL best quality white rum (I like Appleton best) 1/4 fresh lime cold Coca-Cola 1 lime slice             Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, pour in the rum, squeeze in the lime juice, and top the glass up with Coke. Garnish the drink with the slice of lime. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup and Ginger Makes 1 drink These sneaky little cocktails are innocuous enough, until you’ve had a couple and your face starts to feel as if it’s made of rubber. 11/2 | 45 mL oz Pimm’s No. 1 Cup liqueur cold ginger ale 1 orange slice Fill a highball glass with ice, pour in the liqueur, top it with ginger ale, and garnish the drink with an orange slice. Sangria Makes one large pitcher full Make this great Spanish-style cooler a day ahead to give all the flavors time to meld into the ultimate summer drink. 2 bottles of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, or Shiraz) 2 tsp | 10 mL Cointreau 2 oz | 60 mL Brandy 2 oz | 60 mL Curacao 4 Tbsp | 60 mL Sugar 2 navel oranges, cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices 2 ripe peaches, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices half a ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices 2 cups | 500 mL club soda Combine all the ingredients except the club soda in a pitcher. Mix them together, cover the sangria, and refrigerate it, overnight if possible but for at least a couple of hours before serving. Just before serving, stir in the club soda. Serve the sangria in tall glasses. Dirty Banana Makes 1 drink This rum-based drink, from my friend Chris Brown, makes any time, or day, or location, a tropical celebration. 11/2 oz | 45 mL Appleton Estate VX 1/2 oz | 15 mL Sangster’s Jamaica Rum Cream 2 oz | 60 mL pineapple juice [...]



BBQ Secrets #12: Checking in With Old Friends

Fri, 21 Jun 2013 19:30:00 +0000

When I launched this podcast back in 2006, I had some superb guests. I thought it would be fun to re-connect with some of them and find out how they've been up to. It was great fun to get caught up with Jackie Weight, the first and only non-American, and the first woman, to win the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue, way back in 2004. Jackie recounts the story of the contest that changed her life and talks about the evolution of Southern-Style Barbecue in the UK. I also touched based with Meathead Goldwyn, the founder of amazingribs.com. When I first talked with Meathead he had just launched the site, which has grown over the years to become the most popular barbecue destination on the internet. Meathead is a true barbecue geek. Maybe he's the king of all barbecue geeks. Obsessed with the science of outdoor cooking, he's assumed the role of a kind of barbecue iconoclast -- think of a cross between Alton Brown and Discovery Channel's Mythbusters. He's sharp, he's funny, and he's opinionated to say the least. Meathead is going to be a regular guest on the show, busting a new myth with each appearance. In this episode he deconstructs one of the most famous grilling techniques, Beer Can Chicken. LINKS Recipes of the week: Southwestern Style Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich and Tuscan Grilled Game Hens. Cookbook of the week: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. Jackie Weight is on twitter @MadCowsBBQ and you can find her company on the web at bbqconsultant.co.uk. You can find Meathead at amazingribs.com, on twitter @ribguy, and like him on Facebook. The recipes above are from Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, which is available at fine bookstores and online through sites like chapters.indigo.ca and amazon.ca in Canada, and Amazon.com. It's also available as an e-book from places like iTunes and kobobooks.com. For more about me, visit www.ronshewchuk.com.  Photo copyright John Sinal Photography. Used with permission. All rights reserved.    [...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/Barbecue_Secrets_Podcast_12_June_21_2013.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipes of the Week: SW Chicken Club and Tuscan Grilled Game Hens

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 23:02:00 +0000

Tuscan Grilled Game Hens Makes 2 main course servings or 4 servings as part of a multi-course meal This is a delicious way to enjoy Cornish game hens. Serve these with some grilled vegetables and your favorite risotto, polenta, or pasta with a creamy sauce. If time allows, season the hens and refrigerate them for several hours before cooking them. 2 Cornish game hens 1/4 medium onion 3 large cloves garlic 1/4 cup | 50 mL tightly packed fresh basil leaves 1/2 tsp | 2 mL dried basil 1/4 tsp | 1 mL dried oregano 1/4 tsp | 1 mL dried marjoram 4 slices (11/2 to 2 oz | 40 to 50 g) pancetta, chopped 5 Tbsp | 75 mL high-quality balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp | 15 mL extra virgin olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/2 to 1 cup | 125 to 250 mL dry white wine 1/2 cup | 125 mL olive oil fresh parsley or thyme sprigs, for garnish Wash the hens and pat them dry with paper towels. Mince the onion, garlic, fresh and dried herbs, and pancetta by hand or in a food processor. Blend 2 tsp | 10 mL of the vinegar with the 1 Tbsp | 15 mL oil and add it to the mixture. Season it with salt and pepper.             Cut out the hens’ backbones and open them out flat, skin side up. With your palm, firmly press down on the breast area to flatten the hens. Stuff most of the herb mixture under the skins of the thighs, legs, and breasts. Rub the rest all over the hens.             Prepare your grill for medium indirect cooking with a pan underneath the cooking grate to catch the drippings. Combine the wine and the 1/2 cup | 125 mL oil. When your grill is up to temperature, place the birds skin side up on the grate above the drip pan. Grill them for 20 minutes, baste them with the wine mixture, and turn them. Cook them for another 20 minutes, basting and turning them every 5 minutes or so, until the internal temperature at the base of each thigh is 160˚F | 71˚C. If the hens are not golden brown by this time, crisp them, skin side down, over direct heat for a few minutes, watching out for flare-ups, before taking them off the grill. Let the hens rest for 5 minutes tented with foil. Drizzle them with oil, season them with salt and pepper, and garnish them with fresh parsley or thyme sprigs before serving them. Southwestern Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich Makes 2–4 servings You may never go back to Subway after eating this juicy, tender chicken club sandwich, a great post-golf Saturday lunch. Serve it with cold beer or a crisp, fruity white wine. For the rub: 1 Tbsp | 15 mL kosher salt 1 Tbsp | 15[...]



BBQ Secrets #11: Richard Campbell's Paella on the Grill and a chat with Angie Quaale

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 21:38:00 +0000

I'm BAAAACK! After a multi-year hiatus, the Barbecue Secrets Podast returns, better than ever. In this episode I connect with tech and barbecue geek Richard Campbell, who shares his recipe for Spanish-style Paella on the Grill and recounts his experience of regional barbecue in Romania, and I have an in-depth conversation with one of the leading lights in Canadian barbecue, Angie Quaale.  Here's a link to more about Richard, and here's the recipe for Paella on the Grill.  Here's more about Angie Quaale. If you'd like to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, click here.  You can buy my book, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, as an e-book or an old-school paper book in Canada at Indigo, and elsewhere on the net at places like amazon.com. One last thing -- send me your questions, comments and suggestions to rockinronnie@ronshewchuk.com, or post them on the Barbecue Secrets Facebook page and I'll respond in future editions of this podcast.  Hope you like it! Ronnie   One more thin[...]


Media Files:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/barbecuesecrets/BBQ_Secrets_Podcast_11.m4a?dest-id=23986




Recipe of the week: Spanish-style Paella on the Grill

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 14:28:00 +0000

My friend Richard Campbell is one of the world’s leading podcasters, and he’s also a great outdoor cook. He taught me this great technique for cooking traditional Spanish style paella on the grill. I’ve tried it a few times now and it’s delicious and spectacular. The traditional way to cook paella is outdoors, over an open fire, in a specialized paella pan, which you can get at kitchenware shops or online at places like paellapans.com, amazon.ca, amazon.com, and creativecookware.com. I have a Weber Summit grill that has a central burner called a “searing station” that helps concentrate heat on the paella pan but any regular-size gas grill would work here. This is sized for an 18" paella pan. Ingredients: Two tablespoons of Spanish paprika (spicy or sweet, depending on taste) One tablespoon of oregano two pounds of boneless chicken thighs (skin on if you can get it) a pound of fresh chorizo sausage (dried in a pinch, but fresh is better for this application) A Spanish or other sweet onion 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes (San Marzano if you can get them) Big bunch of flat leaf parsley Four cloves of garlic 4 cups of short grained Spanish rice (Italian Arborio works well) 4 cups of chicken stock (low sodium of course) 1 cup of water 1 cup of dry white wine 1/4 cup of olive oil Pinch of saffron 12-16 mussels 12-16 jumbo shrimp Half a lobster tail per person (optional) 1/2 cup of frozen sweet peas Lemon wedges Good quality salt (Kosher or sea salt) and freshly ground black pepper  Prep: Mix up the paprika and oregano on a plate for dredging. Dredge the chicken thighs in the mixture, place in a zip lock bag to get tasty for a couple of hours before cooking. Dice the onion, de-stem and chop the parsley (save a handful of leaves for garnish), coarse mince the garlic. Drain and hand-crush the tomatoes, break 'em into fairly small pieces. Put the saffron in a small bowl and soak in hot water to get that dye moving. (Be careful not to get anything on your clothes or wooden or marble countertops – it stains!) Thick slice the chorizo. Get your seafood ready by adding a bunch of ice and cold water to a big bowl, along with a handful of sea salt or Kosher salt.  Scrub and inspect all the mussels and drop them in the bowl. Peel and devein the shrimp and into the bowl. Drop the lobster tails in the bowl too (Richard normally gets frozen, which defrost nicely in the bowl.) Cooking gear: 18-inch paella pan (or a similar large and shallow frying pan) Tongs Holding dish[...]



Recipe of the Week: Mediterranean Roast Chicken on the Grill

Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:48:00 +0000

Makes 4 servings This is a great way to roast chicken using indirect heat. If you’re using a gas grill, you can throw a chunk of hardwood over the burners to add some great barbecue flavour. Serve the chicken with your favorite roasted vegetables and Dilled Lemony Rice (see recipe below). 1 5-lb. | 2.2 kg chicken kosher salt to taste 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard 2 Tbsp | 25 mL Mediterranean Dried Herb Rub (see recipe below) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL coarsely chopped fresh rosemary 1 tsp | 5 mL freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp | 5 mL granulated garlic 1 tsp | 5 mL granulated onion 1/2 tsp | 2 mL cayenne 1/2 cup | 125 mL extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp | 5 mL lemon juice Prepare your grill for indirect medium heat, with a drip pan underneath the unheated portion of the grill to catch the drippings. (Alternative method: prepare the grill for rotisserie cooking, with a drip pan underneath the roast.) Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Generously season it with salt and coat it with mustard. Combine the herbed rub, rosemary, pepper, garlic, onion, and cayenne in a small bowl. Coat the chicken with the mixture, patting it on with your hands to ensure it sticks. Drizzle the rubbed chicken with 1 Tbsp | 15 mL of the olive oil. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the unheated side of the cooking grate.             In a small bowl, combine the rest of the oil with the lemon juice.             Cook the chicken, using a small amount of fruitwood like apple or cherry as a flavoring agent, for about an hour, basting it every 20 minutes or so with the oil/lemon juice mixture, until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh reaches 160˚F | 71˚C. Remove it from the grill, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 10–15 minutes. Carve it and serve it. Mediterranean Dried Herb Rub Makes enough to coat several racks of lamb, a couple of chickens, or a whole leg of lamb or pork roast Use this rub for meats like chicken and pork, but it also works well with grilled vegetables. Just toss the veggies with oil and sprinkle them with the rub and some kosher salt. 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried (not powdered) oregano 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried mint 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried basil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried rosemary 1 tsp | 5 mL dried parsley Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together well.     Dilled Lemony Rice   Makes 8 servings This sticky, fragrant rice is a great accompaniment to just about anything. 2 Tb[...]



Recipe of the week: Beef Burger with Chile Butter Core, Dressed with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo and Guacamole

Fri, 31 May 2013 22:46:00 +0000

Makes 4 large burgers Disclaimer: This isn’t a simple recipe and it involves quite a bit of prep work. The chile butter and mayo need to be made in advance, so a little planning is necessary. Stuffing a disc of flavored butter into the burger patties takes a little practice, but the result will blow your guests away. Be sure not to turn the burgers until they’ve started to get firm, and keep an eye out for flare-ups. Note: Warn your guests that the burgers have a molten filling or they could be in for a shock! In any case, have plenty of napkins at the ready. These are very juicy burgers.   For the chile butter: 1/2 lb | 250 g butter 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce 2 Tbsp | 25 mL ancho chile powder 1 head roasted garlic (see recipe below) 1/2 tsp | 2 mL salt   For the guacamole: 2 large, ripe, but still firm avocados 2 ripe tomatoes 2 Tbsp | 25 mL lime or lemon juice 1 clove garlic, finely minced 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped cilantro 3 tinned green chiles, rinsed, seeded, and chopped 1 finely minced jalapeño or serrano chile (optional) kosher salt   For the burgers: 11/2 to 2 lb | 750 g to 1 kg ground beef,  (20 percent fat) 1/4 cup | 50 mL cold water 1/2 tsp | 2 mL garlic salt 1/2 tsp | 2 mL onion salt 1 Tbsp | 15 mL prepared mustard granulated garlic Your favorite grilling rub 1/4 cup | 50 mL Margie’s Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo (see recipe below) 4 slices Jack cheese (optional) 4 hamburger buns To make the chile butter, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them together until they’re smooth. Transfer the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a tube 11⁄2 inches | 4 cm in diameter. Twist the ends of the tube to close it, and place it in the freezer for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight. (It’s a good idea to make the mayo at the same time as you make the chile butter, as both improve when you let the flavors marry.)             The guacamole doesn’t keep well and should be made no more than an hour before you put the burgers on the grill. To make it, peel the avocados and remove the pits. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and avocados. (You can mash the avocados as much as you like, but I prefer a chunky guacamole.) Blend in the lime or lemon juice, garlic, chopped cilantro, green chiles, and hot chiles, if desired. Season the guacamole to taste with salt. Cover it and set it aside in a cool place.             Combine the ground b[...]



Recipe of the Week: Big Daddy's Thai Chicken Thighs

Sat, 25 May 2013 00:54:02 +0000

  Makes 4 servings Ian “Big Daddy” Baird is a sometime member of The Butt Shredders barbecue team who has traveled in Asia. He tells me that one of the best pieces of meat he’s ever eaten was a whole chicken thigh and drumstick he purchased from a street vendor out the window of a train as he waited to cross the Thai/Malaysian border. He tried numerous times to re-create it himself, but it wasn’t until he married this recipe with real barbeque technique that he came close. Serve this chicken with some steamed rice, grilled veggies and cold beer. For the chicken: 10 to 12 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on 6 Tbsp | 90 mL fresh lime juice 1/4 cup | 50 mL fresh orange juice 1/4 cup | 50 mL Thai fish sauce 1/4 cup | 50 mL peanut or canola oil 1/4 cup | 50 mL raw sugar or lightly packed brown sugar 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Asian chili sauce 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely minced ginger 5 to 10 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/4 cup | 50 mL minced fresh basil 1/4 cup | 50 mL green onions 1/4 cup | 50 mL cilantro For the basting mixture: 1/2 cup | 125 mL peanut oil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL lime juice Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat. Mix all the remaining ingredients together and put them in a resealable plastic bag. Place the chicken in the bag, remove the air, and seal it. Marinate the chicken at least 2 hours, and up to a maximum of 8 hours, in the fridge.             If you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, prepare it for low to medium indirect cooking. (That’s where you turn off one or two burners completely and put whatever you’re cooking on that part of the grill, so your kind of baking rather than grilling. If you’re using a smoker, bring the temperature up to 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C. Make the basting mixture by combining the oil and lime juice in a bowl.             Discard the marinade and cook the chicken on a covered grill for about an hour, turning it every 15 minute or so, or in the smoker for 21/2 hours, turning and basting it every hour. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat – it’s done when it reaches 160F at the thickest part next to the bone. If you wish, give the skin side a quick 30 seconds on a hot grill to really crisp the skin before you take it off the heat. Let it rest, tented with foil, for 5 minutes before serving.    [...]



Recipe of the Week: Tasty Pork Tenderloin Treatments

Fri, 17 May 2013 21:44:00 +0000

These little cylinders of tender, juicy pork are a staple of Chinese cooking and are wonderful on the grill, and they’re also ideally suited to planking. They have just the right amount of surface area to cook quickly without losing moisture. They go with all flavors of smoke, from cedar to mesquite. And they take to marinades and rubs extremely well. Here are some basic techniques and a little collection of ideas for how to flavor pork tenderloin, but use your imagination and experiment with your favorite rubs, marinades, and basting sauces. Technique Marinate and/or rub the tenderloin and have it ready to go before you start the grill. (Three small tenderloins are usually enough for 4 servings.) I like to drizzle a little olive oil or vegetable oil on them just before putting them on the grill. Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Grilling If you’re cooking the tenderloins on a gas or charcoal grill, it couldn’t be more simple. Make sure your cooking grate is clean (use a wire brush; I prefer to scrape the grate after the grill has been preheated), When your grill is preheated, just place the meat over direct heat and cover the grill. Use a pair of tongs to turn the tenderloins every few minutes, and cook until the temperature in the thickest part is 140F. (This will give you juicy pork cooked to a medium doneness. The internal temperature will come up slightly when you let the meat rest.) Take the meat off the grill and let it rest, tented loosely in foil, for about five minutes. Plank Cooking If you’re cooking the tenderloins on a plank, be sure to soak the plank in cold water for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Preheat the grill as described above. Place the soaked plank on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium and place the tenderloins on the plank (you can fit three or four on a plank, depending on the size of the tenderloins and the plank. Cook for 10 minutes, turn the meat, and cook for another 5–10 minutes, basting if you like, until the pork is springy to the touch or reaches an internal temperature of 140°F | 60°C. If you like, just before the tenderloins are ready, you can move the tenderloin from the plank onto the co[...]



Recipes of the season, Christmas 2012 - Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Oysters and Leftover Turkey Quesadillas

Tue, 25 Dec 2012 02:33:00 +0000

Happy Holidays, everyone! Here are a couple of my favorite festive season recipes. Enjoy! Bacon-Wrapped Oysters Makes 4–6 appetizer-sized portions This simple, old-fashioned way to grill oysters makes a great party appetizer. 1 pint | 500 mL container of large, fresh, shucked oysters (about a dozen oysters) 1/4 lb | 125 g thinly sliced bacon, each slice cut in half kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Barbecue sauce or Louisiana-style hot sauce             Fry the bacon over medium heat in a heavy skillet until it’s cooked but not quite crispy. Place the cooked bacon strips on a paper towel and set them aside. Prepare your grill for direct high heat. Drain the oysters and pat them dry with a paper towel. Wrap half a slice of cooked bacon around each oyster, skewering it with a wooden toothpick. Place the oysters on the cooking grate and grill them for 2 or 3 minutes per side, or until the bacon crisps and the oysters are cooked through and just starting to char. Remove them from the heat, place them on a platter, season them with salt and pepper, and pass them around with a bottle of hot sauce or some barbecue sauce in a little bowl for dipping. Leftover Turkey Quesadillas This is a superb, easy way to continue enjoying Christmas flavours and and excuse to fire up your grill over the holidays. Ingredients: Large wheat flour tortillas Leftover turkey, shredded or chopped Cranberry sauce Monterey jack cheese, grated (mozzarella would also do) Gouda cheese, grated (cheddar or any other flavourful, salty cheese would work great) Thinly sliced jalapeño chile (or some of your favorite hot sauce) Chopped parsley (optional) Anything else that’s leftover from Christmas dinner, chopped up (Brussels sprouts, mashed potato, stuffing) Salt and freshly ground pepper Place a large flour tortilla on a cutting board or cookie sheet and cover half of it with a 1/4-inch | 5 mm layer of cheese – a mix of the jack and Gouda. Layer on the toppings, taking care to distribute them evenly. Sprinkle the toppings with salt, pepper, and a little hot sauce or some slice jalapeños to taste. Coat the toppings with another thin layer of the grated cheeses. Fold over the tortilla and it’s ready to hit the grill. To cook, preheat your charcoal or gas grill to a medium-high heat. Place the quesadilla directly on th[...]



Recipes of the week: Summer Salsas and Blackened Snapper on the Grill

Fri, 07 Sep 2012 23:15:54 +0000

This is the time when all the freshest ingredients are available locally. Visit your favorite farmer's market and find some ingredients to make a salsa, the perfect accompaniment to grilled meat and fish. These recipes, and many more, are available in my cookbook, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, available in bookstores and as an e-book from the Apple Store. Black Bean and Grilled Corn Salsa This salsa is great on grilled fish, but it also stands up on its own as a dip. 1 14 oz | 398 mL can black beans, rinsed and drained 3 whole fresh cobs of corn, shucked 1 tsp | 5 mL minced fresh jalapeño pepper 2 medium tomatoes, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1/3 cup | 80 mL chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 cup | 60 mL red onion, diced 1/4 cup | 60 mL fresh lime juice (about 2 limes, squeezed) 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt 1 avocado tortilla chips for dipping Prepare your grill for direct high heat. Grill the corn until the kernels turn a bright yellow and there’s some nice charring. Remove the cobs from the grill and let them cool long enough so you can handle them. Cut the corn from the cobs with a sharp chef’s knife or a mandoline. Combine all the ingredients, except the avocado and chips, in a bowl. Cover and chill the mixture for at least two hours. Dice the avocado and add it just before serving the salsa with the chips. Chimichurri Makes about three cups | 750 mL This is the classic Argentine condiment. It takes various forms, some finer, like a pesto, and some, like this one, chunkier, like a salsa. Chimichurri goes well with almost anything grilled, planked, or barbecued, but I like it best on lamb. Make it at least a day before you’re going to use it to let the flavors come alive. 1 small bunch flat leaf-parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup | 125 mL) 1 medium red onion, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced (optional) 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped (optional) 2 Tbsp | 25 mL fresh chopped oregano (or 1 Tbsp | 15 ml dried oregano leaves) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL paprika 2 bay leaves 1 Tbsp | 15 mL kosher salt 1 tsp | 5 mL freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp | 10 mL crushed dried red chile flakes 1/2 cup | 125 mL extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup | 50 mL sherry vinegar 1/4 cup | 50 mL water             Combine all the ingredients except the oil, vin[...]



Recipes of the week: Really Easy Chicken and Planked Pork Loin with Whiskey Apricot Glaze

Fri, 31 Aug 2012 18:28:36 +0000

With Labour Day coming up, this is a tribute to the working man, which means lots of meat, inexpensive but delicious cuts, and, for the first recipe at least, ease of cooking to give more time for getting stuff done. Really Easy Chicken Makes 6–8 servings One of the biggest challenges of championship barbecue is finding a way to cook chicken so the skin doesn’t turn out rubbery. This recipe is based on a technique some barbecue competitors use to get chicken skin that melts in the judges’ mouths. The secret is the acid in the dressing, which softens the skin while the chicken is marinating. 2 chickens, cut into pieces, or 12 chicken thighs kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 bottle store-bought zesty Italian salad dressing Reserve ½ cup |125 mL of the Italian dressing. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place them in an extra large freezer bag. Add the rest of the dressing, making sure all the pieces are coated, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.             Prepare your grill for medium indirect cooking. For propane grills, this means preheating the grill on high, turning off the burner underneath where you’re going to place your meat, and then turning the other burner or burners to medium.             Place the chicken pieces on the cooking grate, skin side up, leaving at least a little space between them to ensure good air circulation. Cook the chicken, basting it periodically with the reserved salad dressing, for 25–35 minutes, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reads 160°F | 71°C. Transfer the chicken from the grill to a serving platter and tent it with foil to rest for about 5–10 minutes. Serve it with your favorite accompaniments.                        Planked Pork Loin Roast with Whiskey Apricot Glaze Makes 4–6 servings In this recipe, the aromatic, spicy, mildly astringent flavor of the cedar smoke nicely complements the pork’s sweetness and richness. The trick to plank-cooking a roast this big is to get the plank smoldering on high or medium-high heat and then turn it down to medium as soon as you get the meat on. Serve slices of the pork with grill-roasted vegetables and boiled new potatoes tossed with butter and chopped[...]



I have seen the future, and it will be carbonized: a charcoal primer

Thu, 30 Aug 2012 22:51:00 +0000

It’s time for us to start weaning ourselves from the convenience of gas grilling and rekindle our relationship with charcoal. All it takes is one whiff of smoke from some charcoal briquettes, mixed with an aromatic hint of lighter fluid. That distinctive aroma activates an area at the base of our skull that I like to call the Kingsford Olfactory Cortex. The smell of charcoal instantly transports us back to the campfires and cottage weekends of our youth: Dad’s in an apron, burgers are sizzling, hot dogs are plumping up, corn cobs are roasting, and Mom comes out the screen door with a pitcher full of cherry Kool-Aid, ice jingling and sparkling in the summer sun. I think I want to cry. Those memories never leave us, but few new ones are being made now for our own kids. Sadly, Canadians don’t grill much over charcoal any more. According to Weber’s Grillwatch survey, only about one in 10 Canuck backyard cooks owns a charcoal grill compared to almost half of our counterparts south of the border.  I know, it’s a lot colder up here, and running outside to push a button on a gas grill is a damn sight easier than going to the trouble and mess of ripping open a bag of charcoal, dumping it into the grill and getting it going, not to mention having to clean up the ashes left behind. But that convenience comes at a cost. Charcoal imparts such great flavour that there’s almost no comparison between a steak seared on a gas grill and one that’s kissed by smoke. I would argue that pretty much anything tastes better when cooked on a charcoal grill, from your lowly skinless chicken breast to a roast duck.  Even sweets are lifted to a new level when they’re cooked over charcoal. I’ll never forget an evening at the beach a few years back when, after grilling some brats in my Smoky Joe portable grill, I used the leftover coals to reheat a pear crisp. The vapours from the fire turned a great dessert into a mind-blowing revelation. A little history Charcoal has, of course, been around for a long time. Back in the olden days, tradesmen called colliers would stack wood in a giant cone-shaped pile and then cover it with soil or clay, with a hole in the bottom for air and one at the top to serve as a flue. They’d light a smouldering fire and, se[...]



Recipes of the week: Grill-Seared Scallops and Grilled Pacific Snapper with Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

Fri, 24 Aug 2012 22:58:45 +0000

These recipes celebrate the bounty of fresh seafood from Pacific waters available in BC right now.  Visit your favorite fishmonger today and grill some over the weekend! Grill-Seared Scallops with Sea Asparagus There’s not much that can beat the glorious flavour and meaty texture of scallops, except scallops that are seared on a hot grill. The key to great scallops is to let them speak for themselves, so this is a very simple recipe. I’ve added sea asparagus, which is a great complement if you can find it, but otherwise you can serve them straight up. Serves two or three as an appetizer   Six jumbo Alaskan Weathervane or Digby sea scallops             ¼ lb sea asparagus (optional)             Kosher salt             Olive oil             2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley             fresh lemon wedges             truffle oil (optional)             Preheat your grill for direct high cooking. While your grill is preheating, bring some water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the sea asparagus and cook it for a minute or two. Remove the asparagus from the water and set it aside in a bowl. Lightly salt the scallops, drizzle them with a little olive oil and take them out to the grill. Scrape the grill so the cooking grate is as smooth and clean as possible. Place the scallops on the grill. Cover the grill and cook them for about two minutes, turning them about every 30 seconds, until the scallops have nice char marks and are starting to feel firm to the touch. Transfer the scallops from the grill to a plate and let them rest. While the scallops are resting, toss the sea asparagus with just a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Serve the scallops on a bed of sea asparagus and sprinkle some chopped parsley on top. A bit of juice will have come out of the sea scallops while they were resting, so be sure to drizzle that over everything. Garnish with a lemon wedge and, if you want to get fancy, finish the scallops with just a drop or two of truffle oil. Grilled Pacific Snapper with Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce Fresh Pacific snapper is a firm-fleshed fish that is great on the grill. In this recipe I’ve paired it with a delicious[...]



Recipes of the Week: The Joys of Mesquite - Tequila Lime Quail and Grilled Pork Tacos

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 20:52:47 +0000

This week let’s celebrate good old mesquite, one of the most flavourful and versatile cooking woods. It grows everywhere, but I suppose it’s most associated with places like Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, where mesquite wood and charcoal have been used for ages to produce some of the best barbecue in the world. In the early 1980s a bunch of fancy New York and California chefs started to use it to fuel their grills, and the mesquite fire spread from there to become popular in restaurants across North America. Mesquite is a dark-coloured, dense, hard wood. It’s actually a member of the legume family and produces beans that were a staple food for the aboriginal people of the American Southwest. Its smoke has a sweet, strong aroma with a bitter edge; if you’re not careful you can use too much of it. In competition I like to use a blend of mesquite, hickory and a fruitwood like apple or cherry for a nice, well-rounded flavour, but mesquite on its own works extremely well in many applications. Mesquite charcoal is highly valued by outdoor cooks because it burns clean and hot for maximum searing power. Lump charcoal – even if it’s made from mesquite – doesn’t impart a lot of flavour, so if you use it, add a few chunks of mesquite wood on top of the coals once you’ve got them going.  You can buy mesquite chips and chunks at most barbecue stores and in the grilling section of home improvement stores. Chunks work best when you’re using a covered charcoal grill like a Weber kettle. If you’ve got a gas grill, the easiest way to get some mesquite smoke into your food is to wrap a couple of handfuls of mesquite chips in aluminum foil sort of like a big cigar, poke some holes in it with a fork, and place the package under your cooking grate, right above the heating elements. As your grill heats up, the chips will start to smoulder and throw off lovely aromatic smoke into the cooking chamber. If you want extra smoke, soak the chips for an hour or so before using. Here are a couple of great recipes that take full advantage of mesquite’s magical powers. Hope you like them! If you do, let me know by posting a note on the Barbecue Secrets Facebook page. Tequila-Lime Quail This dish is i[...]



Recipes of the Week: Rob's Salmon and Ronnie's Lingcod

Fri, 10 Aug 2012 15:44:35 +0000

These recipes feature the best of British Columbia's seafood bounty and showcase a couple of great grilling techniques. Both recipes are from my cookbook, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, now available as an iBook from the iTunes Store. Wild BC Salmon with Homemade Tartar Sauce and Tomato Salad Makes 4 servings Rob Clarke, Executive Chef of C Restaurant, Nu Restaurant, and Raincity Grill is the best seafood chef in Vancouver, and that’s saying something. This is his recipe, adapted for the grill. It’s a sophisticated version of a salmon grilling technique I learned many years ago that’s as easy as pie and as delicious as it gets. The concept is to slather a side of salmon with mayo, put it on a hot grill, skin side down, and cook it until the salmon is done and the mayo has sort of set, like a savory pudding, on the fish. Pair this salmon with some BC Pinot Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc. For the tartar sauce: 1 cup | 250 mL mayonnaise 2 tsp | 10 mL dried dill 3 Tbsp | 45 mL finely chopped cornichons (gherkins) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped stuffed green olives 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped shallots  1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped capers 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped fresh parsley 2 Tbsp | 30 mL lemon juice 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard 15 mL For the salmon: four 6 oz | 175 g  boneless wild BC salmon fillets (skin on) (Rob prefers pink salmon but coho or sockeye also work well) sea salt For the tomato salad: 2 Tbsp | 30 mL extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp | 10 mL rice wine vinegar 1 tsp | 5 mL Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely minced shallot 1/8 tsp | .5 mL cayenne pepper kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 4 medium fresh heirloom tomatoes (yellow ones work nicely)             Prepare the tartar sauce by combining the mayonnaise, dill, cornichons, olives, shallots, capers, parsley, lemon juice, and mustard until well blended. Set the mixture aside.             Prepare the tomato salad by whisking together all the ingredients except the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch | 6 mm rounds. Gently toss the tomato slices in the vinaigrette and divide the salad between 4 serving plates.             Season the salmon fillets wi[...]



Recipe of the Week - A Tribute to the Brits - lamb kebabs and minty potato hobo pack

Sat, 04 Aug 2012 06:26:27 +0000

Zesty Lamb Kebabs Makes 4 main course servings, and 6–8 appetizer servings These easy, delicious kebabs make a great party appetizer or a tasty main course. The secret to this dish is to not overcook the lamb, which becomes tough and rubbery if it’s left on the grill too long. Serve it either as an appetizer or as a main course on a bed of rice. 8 long metal skewers or 12 7-inch | 18 cm bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour   To marinate the lamb: 1 2 lb | 1 kg leg of lamb 1/4 cup | 50 mL chopped fresh mint 1/4 cup | 50 mL chopped fresh basil 1 tsp | 5 mL dried mint 1 tsp | 5 mL dried basil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL ground coriander seed pinch cayenne 1/2 cup | 125 mL extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp | 5 mL Dijon mustard zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped For the kebabs: 1 purple onion, cut into bite-sized chunks 16 cherry tomatoes kosher salt to taste olive oil, for drizzling 1 lemon (the same one you zested), cut in half for squeezing Cut the lamb into 11/2-inch | 4 cm chunks. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix them thoroughly with the lamb. Place the lamb in a resealable plastic bag or a nonreactive bowl, refrigerate it, and marinate it for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.             Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Thread the lamb chunks on the metal or bamboo skewers, alternating them with the onion chunks and cherry tomatoes. Grill the kebabs, turning them 2 or 3 times, until the lamb is medium rare (6–8 minutes), taking care not to overcook it. Remove the skewers from the grill, sprinkle them with salt, drizzle them with oil, and squeeze some lemon juice over them. Serve the kebabs immediately. Tandoori Lamb Kebabs Makes 4 servings Tandoori paste is available in the Indian food section of most supermarkets, and it’s a great thing to have in your fridge. It adds intense flavor to chicken and lamb, and if you have the foresight to marinate the meat overnight, it also has a tenderizing effect. Serve these lamb kebabs with steamed basmati rice, a vegetable curry, and your favorite chutney. eight 7-inch | 18 cm bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour 1/2 cup | 125 mL tandoo[...]



Confessions of a Meat Freak

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 23:39:00 +0000

Eating meat is so important to my diet that, when I’m traveling on business, I pack an emergency can of Spam. There are times when, rushing to get to a meeting in my rental car, I crack open a can, shape a makeshift spoon/fork/knife out of the lid, and shovel the pink, salty, unctuous processed pork into my mouth with one hand while gripping the steering wheel with the other. By the time half the can’s contents are down my gullet, I can feel the meat’s healing powers as it nourishes my body, sharpens my brain and calms my soul. For me, a day that starts with meat is going to be a good day. I don’t know why meat and I get along so well. I know there’s a popular theory that says people have different dietary needs based on their blood type. Some are natural omnivores, others are wired to thrive on pure animal protein, and some, the poor sods, are genetically predisposed to eat nothing but vegetables. I’m not sure of my blood type, but I know that meat is good for me, and I’m glad, because I love it so. I’m not alone. Most humans love meat. Our cravings for fleisch are inexorably tied to memories of past meals: the sound of a steak hitting a hot skillet; the aroma of a plump, glistening turkey as an oven door is pulled open; the dark, shiny, bubbling surface of a pot full of braised lamb shanks; the multi-sensory explosion of a smoky, fat, juicy pork shoulder, fresh from the smoker at the magic moment that it’s first pulled apart. Each new meat-eating experience conjures up and connects us with a rich stew of Proustian remembrances of meats past, each bite building on the last and adding to the richness of the current meat moment. As someone who has seared, fried, boiled, baked and barbecued and eaten enough meat to feed several armies, I’ve developed some strong preferences for certain types of meat and cooking techniques , but it’s impossible to narrow them down to one favourite. How can one choose between a bite of tender, succulent pork rib with its salty crust and sweet, tangy coating of sauce, and the first glistening slice of chicken breast that’s been carved from the bird, its golden [...]



Recipes of the week: Thai Beef Burgers, Wakefield Inn Oyster Burger and Easy Alabama Potato Salad

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 23:06:00 +0000

These recipes (except the potato salad) are from my cookbook, Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, now available as an iBook from the Apple iTunes store. Check it out! Thai-flavored Beef Burgers with Sautéed Shiitakes Makes 4 burgers For the burger mix: 11/2 lb | 750 g ground beef chuck (80 percent lean) 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely chopped fresh Thai or Italian basil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL fresh lime juice 2 tsp | 10 mL fish sauce 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 tsp | 5 mL grated or finely chopped lime zest 1 tsp | 5 mL grated fresh ginger 1/2 tsp | 2 mL freshly ground black pepper For the mushrooms: 3 Tbsp | 45 mL unsalted butter 2 Tbsp | 25 mL canola or peanut oil 1 small shallot, finely chopped 2 tsp | 10 mL grated fresh ginger 8 oz | 250 g fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1/4-inch | 5 mm slices few drops sesame oil 1/4 tsp | 1 mL kosher salt 1/4 tsp | 1 mL freshly ground black pepper To finish the burgers: 4 hamburger buns, lightly buttered and sprinkled with granulated onion 1 tsp | 5 mL toasted sesame seeds Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Gently mix the burger ingredients in a large bowl with your hands, taking care not to overwork the meat. Wet your hands with cold water and shape the mixture into 4 patties about 3/4 inch | 2 cm thick. Cover them and refrigerate them for at least 1/2 hour or up to 4 hours.             Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. While the grill is heating, prepare the mushrooms. Melt the butter with the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, and add the shallot and ginger. Add the mushrooms and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it’s tender, 4–6 minutes. Add the sesame oil, salt, and pepper and mix them in thoroughly. Set the mushrooms aside and keep them warm.             Brush the burger patties with oil and grill them over direct medium heat for 4–5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F | 71˚C. Remove them from the heat. Grill the buns for 30–60 seconds, butter side down, until they’re nicely toasted. Serve the hot burgers on the toasted buns, topped with the mush[...]



Recipes of the week: The bigger cuts - Barbecue Beef Brisket and Planked Leg of Lamb

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:37:00 +0000

From Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! Now also available as an e-book!  Buy it now from the iTunes store. The King of Barbecue: Beef Brisket Makes 10–16 servings, depending on the size of the brisket and guest appetites This sinewy, fatty cut of beef may not be something you see often in the supermarket’s meat section, but it’s one of the most flavorful meats, and it’s the classic barbecue choice in Texas. The bigger the brisket, the juicier the end product. Smaller cuts can end up dry. Cooking a brisket requires a long-term commitment. Plan to do this on a day when you can stay around the house doing yard work or watching sports on TV. The process I’ve described here is as close as possible to what we do in competition. The end result is succulent, fork-tender slices of meat that need no accompaniment, but if you insist, serve them with a little dipping sauce, some coleslaw, beans, and pickled onions. The charred, fatty crust of the brisket can be cut off and roughly chopped to make “burnt ends,” which are superb either in a bun or thrown into some baked beans to give them an extra jolt of smoky, fatty flavor. 1 whole brisket, 10–14 pounds | 4.5 to 6 kg, with a nice white fat cap 3 quarts | 3 L apple juice 1 cup | 250 mL prepared mustard 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated garlic 11/2 cups | 375 mL Championship Barbecue Rub or Texas–Style Rub 2 cups | 500 mL apple juice mixed with bourbon and maple syrup in a spray bottle 2 cups | 500 mL Ron’s Rich, Deeply Satisfying Dipping Sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce For large cuts like pork butts and briskets, the rule of thumb is to cook them 11/2 hours per lb | 500 g. That means a 10 lb | 4.5 kg brisket will take 15 hours to cook, so you really need to start cooking it the night before you’re going to serve it. Your timing doesn’t have to be exact, so you shouldn’t have to get up at 3 in the morning to put on the roast. (I usually put a big brisket on just before going to bed, at about midnight). Sealed in foil and wrapped in a blanket (or in a 160˚F | 70˚C oven), a cooked brisket can sit for [...]



Recipes of the Week: Grilled Corn and Other Veggie Delights

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 20:50:24 +0000

Honestly, I have nothing against vegetables. Some of them are good friends of mine, as you'll see in this week's recipes! Supercharged Grilled Corn on the Cob with Savory Butters Allow one whole cob per guest Almost nothing goes better with grilled or barbecued meat than good old corn on the cob, and it’s so easy on the grill. It’s also easy to do a little bit more to give it an extra jolt of buttery flavor. 1 unshucked ear of corn per guest savory butter or butters kosher salt Soak the whole, unshucked corn in cold water for an hour. Prepare your grill for direct high heat. Remove the corn from the water and place it on the grill. Cook it for about half an hour, turning it regularly. Don’t worry if the husks turn brown or black—the corn inside will be protected. Remove it from the grill, let it cool enough that you can handle it, remove the husks, and serve the corn with herbed butter and kosher salt. (If you want a more rustic, charred look and flavor, husk the corn cobs before cooking them, then grill them naked for 10–15 minutes, watching to make sure they char but don’t burn.) Barbecue Secret Roasted corn is excellent with plain soft butter and a sprinkling of a simple rub consisting of one part kosher salt and one part ancho chile powder. Barbecue Secret If you feel like fussing a little, you can bend the husk back to one end of each cooked corn cob and tie the leaves together with a bit of twine for a handy corn cob holder. Flavored Butters for all Occasions Once you’ve made any of these savory butters you’ll always want to keep some in the freezer. Brought to room temperature, they’re incredible on roasted corn on the cob or slathered on cornbread, and a pat of flavored butter on a freshly grilled steak or fish fillet is heavenly. You can even use one of these as a sautéing butter for thinly sliced mushrooms or scrambled eggs, or toss one with some cooked noodles for a quick, easy side. Mediterranean Butter 4 Tbsp | 50 mL finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley 4 Tbsp | 50 mL finely chopped com[...]



Recipe of the Week: Planked Brie with Roasted Tomato-Cherry Relish

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 22:32:03 +0000

Planked Brie with Roasted Tomato-Cherry Relish From Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! Buy it now in iTunes! Makes 8–12 servings I know. Just the name of the recipe sounds luscious. And it is. Roasting the cherries and tomatoes takes a while, but there’s no heavy lifting involved, and planking the cheese is a snap. One taste of this molten, smoky, tangy/sweet concoction and you’ll be addicted. I  want to acknowledge my friend Gail Norton for the relish recipe, and planking god Ted Reader for the cooking technique, which he showcases in his great Sticks & Stones cookbook. 1 maple or fruitwood plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour 2 small rounds brie (1/4 lb | 125 g each) 1 cup | 250 mL Roasted Tomato-Cherry Relish (recipe follows) 2 Tbsp | 15 mL balsamic reduction (see sidebar page xx) Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Cut the top of the rind off each of the rounds of brie. Grind a little pepper over the exposed cheese. Spread about 1⁄2 cup | 125 mL of the relish over the brie rounds.             Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Place the cheese on the plank and cook it for 10–12 minutes, or until the cheese turns golden and starts to soften (be careful not to overcook it—the cheese can fall apart, and then you’ve got a tasty mess on your hands). Remove the brie from the grill and drizzle it with the balsamic reduction. Garnish it with a few fresh grape tomatoes and/or cherries and serve it, on the plank, with crusty bread, rye crisps, or your favorite crackers. Roasted Tomato-Cherry Relish Makes about 2 cups | 500 mL 1 lb | 500 g ripe fresh cherries, pits removed 1 lb | 500 g grape tomatoes or small cherry tomatoes 1/4 cup | 50 mL extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt balsamic reduction for drizzling (see sidebar page xxx) Preheat the oven to 350°[...]



Recipe of the Week: Florida-style Grilled Zucchini

Fri, 22 Jun 2012 20:58:17 +0000

Makes 4 servings

Why Florida? In 1990 there was a feature in Gourmet magazine about cooking dinner in Florida. Must have been about low-cal eating for the diet-conscious retiree. That’s all I remember, except for this incredibly simple and delicious grilled zucchini.

1 large clove garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 tsp | 2 mL kosher salt

2 Tbsp | 25 mL fresh lemon juice

1 tsp | 5 mL white wine vinegar

1/4 cup | 50 mL vegetable oil

freshly ground black pepper

2 zucchini (each about 11/2 inches | 4 cm in diameter), scrubbed

Whisk together the garlic paste, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, and pepper. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish. Halve the zucchini lengthwise and toss the pieces in the marinade, making sure they’re well-coated. Cover and refrigerate them overnight, turning the zucchini several times. Prepare your grill for medium heat. Grill the zucchini for 4–5 minutes, cut side down. Turn them, brush them with some marinade, and grill the other side for 4–5 more minutes, or until they’re just tender. Transfer them to a cutting board, slice them diagonally, and serve. This is a perfect dish to make while a large cut of meat is off the grill and resting.




Recipe of the Week: Real Barbecued Ribs (and a rant)

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 22:45:00 +0000

I have a (rib) bone to pick with a story that ran in the Globe and Mail earlier this week. I like the writer's enthusiasm, and he has a certain sense of bravado that's consistent with my barbecue values, but the piece stinks of Toronto-style, know-it-all arrogance. Here's a passage that got my blood boiling: ...I don’t buy most of the southern barbecue mythology. These guys who go around calling themselves “barbecue chefs,” and “pitmasters?” Most of them were IT specialists until approximately four months ago. Barbecue doesn’t take a lifelong apprenticeship or a trove of secret family recipes. Weekend hobbyists with no-to-little previous cooking experience routinely clean up at big-money southern barbecue competitions – there’s even a booming circuit in Canada. A lot of the time, they steal first prize. As chief cook of a barbecue team that took seven years to win its first championship, and who has competed in a few of those "big money" contests, I take issue with this pompous ignoramus. I've done a lot of work to demystify barbecue and share my secrets, but this guy's implying that there's nothing to it. Hogwash. Barbecue is high ceremonial cooking, and those who cook it well deserve a little more respect than this. And as for the "booming circuit in Canada," make that WESTERN Canada, please. If you're going to write about this for a publication that claims to be Canada's national newspaper, do a little research. You'll discover that the trend that you think you've uncovered has been around and growing steadily for about 20 years in Alberta and B.C. and is making great gains in the other Western provinces. And yes, there are some great barbecue cooks in Ontario, too, like the world-famous Diva Q. But did she even get a mention? The only expert referred to is a cookbook author from Oklahoma. Sheesh. He also claims that "If you’ve got a decent smoker, ribs are just a parlour trick. Anybody can do them incredibly well." Harumph. It's true t[...]



Recipe Korean-style Rib-Eyes

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 18:55:41 +0000

Korean-style Rib-Eyes Makes 6 servings Koreans like a little sweet and sour in their marinades and so do I. This recipe draws on the flavors of Korean barbecue, but with a distinctly North American cut and portion size. For the marinade: 1 cup | 250 mL soy sauce 1/4 cup | 50 mL rice vinegar 1/3 cup | 75 mL chopped green onions 2 Tbsp | 25 mL liquid honey 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely minced garlic 2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely minced ginger 1 tsp | 5 mL toasted sesame oil 1 tsp | 5 mL Vietnamese hot sauce For the steaks: three 16 oz | 500 g rib-eye steaks, about 2 inches | 5 cm thick, with rib bones attached toasted sesame seeds 1 green onion, chopped for garnish Combine the marinade ingredients in a nonreactive bowl or pan. Place the steaks in the marinade and turn them to coat them. Refrigerate them, uncovered, for at least half an hour and up to 2 hours, turning them once or twice. Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and cook it over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the marinade for 5 minutes. Set it aside.             Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Cook the steaks for 4–6 minutes per side, or until they have an internal temperature of 125°F | 52°C. Remove them from the grill and let them rest, loosely tented in foil, for about 5 minutes.             Remove the steaks from the bone and cut them into 1⁄2-inch | 1 cm slices. Divide the slices between 4 plates and drizzle them with a little of the sauce. Garnish the meat with chopped green onion and sesame seeds. Put the remaining sauce in a serving dish so guests can help themselves. [...]



Recipe of the Week: The Wings Variations

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 00:52:45 +0000

Chicken wings are so easy to grill or barbecue. To trim them, just cut the wing tips off and discard them. I like to leave the wing/drummettes together, but you can separate them if you like. Flavor the wings with your favorite rub or marinade. On the grill, cook them for 15 - 20 minutes using medium direct heat, turning them regularly, until they’re almost charred, basting them with your favorite barbecue sauce for the last few minutes of cooking. To barbecue them, prepare your smoker for barbecuing, bringing the temperature up to 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C. Cook the wings for about an hour with hickory, mesquite, or fruitwood as a flavoring agent, and then crisp them up on a grill and give them a last-minute coating of barbecue sauce if you like. Fiery Southwestern Wings: Make a simple rub with 1 part powdered chipotles, 1 part ancho chile powder, and 1 part garlic salt. Grill the wings till they’re crispy, and finish them with a drizzling of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a squeeze of lemon. Teriyaki Wings: Marinate the wings in teriyaki sauce for 2 hours. Grill them till they’re crispy, basting them with more sauce. Finish them with extra sauce and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Buffalo–Style Grilled Wings: Melt 1/4 cup | 50 ml of butter and add 1/2 cup | 125 mL of Louisiana–style hot sauce (Franks, Tabasco, etc.). Salt and pepper the wings and grill them till they’re crispy. Take the wings off the grill and immediately toss them in the butter/hot sauce mixture. Serve them with blue cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks. Lemon Dijon Rosemary Wings: Season the wings with salt and pepper and coat them with Dijon mustard. Sprinkle them with dried rosemary and a very light dusting of cayenne. Grill them until they’re crispy, season them with a little more salt and pepper, and squeeze a lemon over them just before serving. Cumin Seed Wings: Season the wings, coat th[...]



Recipes of the Week: Tasty Marinades

Fri, 25 May 2012 21:52:27 +0000

Whether you just douse your meat in a tasty marinade and let it sit for an hour, or soak it in salty-sweet brine over night, these are great ways to add extra flavour to what you're planning to throw on the grill. Mediterranean Marinade Makes enough for a couple of racks of lamb, four chicken breasts, or eight chicken thighs Don’t let the anchovy scare you. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor, and the end product doesn’t taste fishy at all. 1/2 cup | 125 mL extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp | 15 mL olive paste or 6 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped 1 anchovy fillet 1 Tbsp | 15 mL coarsely chopped fresh rosemary 1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh basil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh mint 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Mediterranean Dried Herb Rub (see page xx) 2 Tbsp | 25 mL lemon juice 1 Tbsp | 15 mL balsamic vinegar             Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz them together until they’re blended but not totally puréed. Asian Poultry Brine Makes enough for 2 cut-up chickens or a dozen thighs The high salt content makes this more of a brine than a marinade, and my barbecue team has used it very successfully in competition. It gives the poultry a nice saltiness and a rich, complex Asian flavor. I marinate duck overnight in this; for milder-tasting chicken, a couple of hours is all you need. Pat the excess moisture from the meat after you’ve taken it out of the marinade and then use a barbecue rub doctored with Asian flavors, like powdered ginger and five-spice powder. Barbecue or grill as you like, and finish the meat with your favorite barbecue sauce. 11/2 cups | 375 mL water 1 cup | 250 mL soy sauce 1/2 cup | 125 mL sherry or vermouth 1/2 cup | 125 mL apple or pineapple juice 1/4 cup | 50 mL brown sugar 1/4 cup | 50 mL coarse salt 2 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed 1 shallot, minced 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 2 Tbsp[...]



Recipe of the Week: Ronnie & Denzel's Perfect Pulled Pork Burger

Sat, 19 May 2012 00:53:25 +0000

At the 2011 BC Home & Design Show I faced my old friend and barbecue competitor Brian Misko in a burger throwdown, and this juicy, spicy burger was the victor. One of the judges said that the Perfect Pulled Pork topping was my “ninja in the closet” that kicked the flavor into the stratosphere. The pulled pork helped – but so did my friend Denzel Sandberg’s awesome garlicky mayo/cream cheese slather. This burger is complicated but delicious – lots of work, but well worth the effort! Makes 6 burgers For the burger mix: 3 lb | 1.4 kg medium ground beef (or half-and-half ground beef and ground pork) 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 1 tsp. | 4 mL granulated garlic 1 tsp. | 4 mL toasted sesame oil 1 Tbsp | 25 mL dark soy sauce 1/2 tsp | 2 mL freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 tsp | 1 mL cayenne (or more, if you like more heat) lots of freshly ground black pepper 1 egg 1/4 cup | 75 mL cold water For the caramelized onions: 2 Tbsp | 25 mL butter, olive oil, or a combination of both 4 medium onions, peeled and sliced into rings 1/2 tsp | 2 mL kosher salt 1 tsp | 5 mL sugar 1/2 tsp | 2 mL ground cinnamon pinch cayenne best quality balsamic vinegar For the fried mushrooms ¼ cup olive oil 1 lb | 454 g white button mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and lightly crushed with the back of a knife kosher salt and pepper fresh lemon For Denzel’s garlicky mayo/cream cheese slather one ½ lb. | 250 g block of cream cheese 1 cup | 250 mL mayonniase 2 Tbsp | 25 mL Worcestershire sauce 10 cloves of raw garlic, finely minced Salt and pepper to taste For finishing the burgers: 1 lb. | 545 g Ronnie & Denzel’s NATURAL CHAMPIONS Perfect Pulled Pork, heated and ready to eat Your favorite flavor of NATURAL CHAMPIONS barbecue sauce 6 hamburger buns 1 large fresh jalapeño chile, thinly sliced To prepare the burger patties: Line a cookie she[...]



Final Recipe of the Week for 2011: Grilled Venison Tenderloin with Cumberland Sauce

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 19:34:00 +0000

Makes 4 servings I love the gamy taste and silky texture of venison tenderloin, which needs to be cooked rare to medium-rare. This recipe treats the venison very simply, but dresses it up with a lovely, complex, old-school British sauce that I found in The Joy of Cooking. Serve this dish as a course on its own; it doesn’t need any accompaniment but its own sauce, which can be served warm or cold. Of course, this recipe would also work well with good old beef tenderloin, or pork tenderloin for that matter! For the venison: one 1 lb venison tenderloin kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper olive oil  For the Cumberland sauce: 1/2 cup | 125 mL slivered almonds 1 tsp | 5 mL dry mustard 1 Tbsp | 15 mL brown sugar 1/4 tsp | 1 mL powdered ginger a pinch of cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp | 1 mL kosher salt 1/4 tsp | 1 mL ground cloves 1 1/2 cups | 375 mL port wine 1/2 cup | 125 mL seedless golden raisins 2 tsp | 10 mL cornstarch 2 Tbsp | 30 mL cold water 1/4 cup | 60 mL red currant jelly 1/2 Tbsp | 7.5 mL finely grated orange rind 1/2 Tbsp | 7.5 mL finely grated lemon rind 1/4 cup | 50 mL orange juice 2 Tbsp | 30 mL lemon juice 2 Tbsp | 30 mL Grand Marnier liqeur  Lightly toast the almonds in a sauté pan over medium heat, taking care not to burn them. Set the almonds aside.             Combine the mustard, sugar, ginger, cayenne, salt, cloves, port, raisins, and toasted almonds in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 8–10 minutes.             Thoroughly combine the cornstarch and cold water and stir the mixture into the sauce. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes. Stir in the jelly, orange and lemon rind, and orange and lemon juice until you have a smooth, glossy mixture. Set the sauce aside.             Prepare your grill fo[...]



Where to get Perfect Pulled Pork

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 13:57:00 +0000

 Here are all the places you can currently get Perfect Pulled Pork. (Be sure to call ahead, because it's been selling out fast, and if your favorite meat shop or gourmet food store doesn't carry it, get them to call Sellar Sale Agency at (250) 889-9404.) ___________________________________________________________ Vancouver: Gourmet Warehouse 1340 East Hastings Street (604) 253-3022 ‎ Edible Canada 1596 Johnston Street (604) 682-6675 ___________________________________________________________ Langley: Well Seasoned, A Gourmet Food Store  Suite 302C-20771 Langley Bypass (604) 530-1518 ___________________________________________________________ North Vancouver: Lynn Valley Meats 1264 Lynn Valley Road (604) 985-5969 ___________________________________________________________ Ladner: Superior Fish Trennant Park Square, 5229 Ladner Trunk Road (604) 946-2097 ___________________________________________________________ Victoria: The Market on Yates 903 Yates Street (250) 381-6000 Slater's First Class Meats 2577 Cadboro Bay Rd. (250) 592-0283 ___________________________________________________________ North Saanich: Deep Cove Market 10940 West Saanich Road ___________________________________________________________ And here are some useful links: If you're on Facebook, please 'Like' the Natural Champions BBQ Facebook page to get updates or ask questions about our products. Visit Rockin' Ronnie Shewchuk's Barbecue Secrets websites for recipes, audio and vido podcasts, great barbecue photos and much more: Barbecue Secrets Facebook Page Barbecue Secrets Blog Barbecue Secrets Audio Podcast on iTunes Barbecue Secrets YouTube Channel Barbecue Secrets Twitter Stream (@rockinronnie)  [...]



Recipe of the Week: A Grilled Quesadilla Library

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 21:28:00 +0000

Easy to make and quick to cook, quesadillas are the perfect party food. Think of the soft flour tortilla as a palette upon which you can paint beautiful taste-scapes for your guests. Or something like that. Preparing a quesadilla is as easy as one, two, three, four, five. 1. Place a large flour tortilla on a cutting board or cookie sheet and cover half of it with a 1/4-inch | 5 mm layer of shredded cheese. (What you want is a gooey but bland cheese like mozzarella or Jack for the right texture, plus, if you want to get fancy, a more robust-tasting cheese like Asiago, Gouda, or blue cheese for extra flavor.) 2. Layer on the toppings, taking care to distribute them evenly. 3. Sprinkle the toppings with salt, pepper, and a little hot sauce to taste. (If you’ve used a salty cheese like blue, go easy.) 4. Coat the toppings with another thin layer of shredded cheese. 5. Fold over the tortilla and it’s ready to hit the grill. To cook, preheat your charcoal or gas grill to a medium-high heat. Place the quesadilla directly on the grill and cook it for 2 or 3 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt and the tortilla is toasted and slightly charred. Flip it with a big spatula and cook the other side for another 2 or 3 minutes. Take it off the grill, place it on a cutting board, and let it rest for a minute or two. Cut it into pizza-like slices with a big sharp knife.             Accompany the quesadillas with fresh salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for dipping. Quesadillas can also easily be made on a stovetop or on the propane burner on the side of your grill in a large, lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. You can prepare the quesadillas in advance and keep them covered and refrigerated for an hour or two before grilling (if you try to keep them overnight, ho[...]



Recipe of the Week: Plank-Roasted Prime Rib

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 13:51:00 +0000

Makes 6–8 servings This is a novel way to cook a classic cut of beef because it imparts an unexpected smoky flavor (even more unusual if you use a cedar plank). The key with cuts like this is to be careful not to overcook. If you don’t want to plank your roast, you can easily cook it using indirect heat. See alternate cooking instructions at the bottom of the recipe. For the dry rub: 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated garlic (or garlic powder) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated onion (or onion powder) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL freshly ground coarse black pepper 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dried rosemary 1/4 to 1/2 tsp | 1 to 2 mL cayenne pepper For the roast: 1 plank of your choice, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour one 5 lb | 2.2 kg rib roast, bones attached kosher salt or, if you want to get fancy, fleur de sel (French sea salt) 2 Tbsp | 25 mL. Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp | 15 mL coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves extra virgin olive oil 4 or 5 whole rosemary branches, 5 inches | 12 cm long Combine all the rub ingredients and set the rub aside.             Take the roast out of the fridge and let it sit for an hour to come to room temperature. Season it on all sides with kosher salt. Coat it with the mustard. Sprinkle the rosemary evenly on the roast, then sprinkle it generously with the dry rub (you’ll have some left over). Drizzle it with olive oil and pat the rub and rosemary into the roast.             Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low.             Lay the [...]



Recipe of the week: Cowboy Steaks

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 18:52:00 +0000

Makes 4 servings This is pretty close to my favorite steak. The earthiness of the cumin seeds, the sharpness of the cracked pepper, the sweetness of the onion and garlic granules, and the smoky, tart bite of the ground chipotles create an explosion of flavor. Serve whole steaks with beans, a slab of cornbread, and some coleslaw. Alternative serving suggestion: Slice up the steaks and serve them fajita–style with salsa, guacamole, and shredded Jack cheese alongside some warm flour tortillas. 4 big rib-eye steaks, bone in, about 11/2 inches | 4 cm thick kosher salt (or another fancy coarse salt like Maldon or fleur de sel) to taste 1/2 cup | 125 mL black peppercorns 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated onion 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated garlic 1 tsp | 5 mL ground chipotle chiles (if you can’t find chipotles, use the same amount of cayenne) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL toasted cumin seeds extra virgin olive oil   Place the steaks in a dish or on a large cutting board and let them come to room temperature (it’ll take about an hour). Use a spice mill or a mortar and pestle to give the peppercorns a coarse grinding, or put them in a thick paper or plastic bag and pound them with a hammer or rolling pin until they reach the desired consistency. They shouldn’t be powdery, but more like coarse sand. Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper. Combine the granulated onion and garlic, ground chipotles, and cumin seeds in a bowl. Coat the steaks on one side with the mixture, patting it on so it sticks nicely. Drizzle the rubbed steaks with a light coating of olive oil, turn them over and repeat the seasoning, rub it in, and drizzle some oil on top.             Prepare your grill for medium direct heat and cook the steaks 4–6 min[...]



Recipe of the Week: Wild BC Pink Salmon Two Ways

Fri, 26 Aug 2011 18:52:00 +0000

I love pink salmon, the delicious but often overlooked species of the West Coast. During salmon season you’ll see pinks next to the other wild species like sockeye and coho in the seafood section of supermarkets. It’s just as fresh, just as delicious but often costs a lot less. Most of the time I see fresh pinks packaged as whole, cleaned fish, but you can also get them in fillets in the freezer section. Here are two great ways to cook this excellent, wild, sustainable seafood. Grilled Whole Pink Salmon in Foil Makes 4-6 servings The following simple technique gives the fish a more subtle and delicate flavor and texture than grilling over direct heat, and the orange adds a lovely flavor and aroma. 1 whole, cleaned 3-4 lb | 1.5 - 2 kg wild BC pink salmon (you can also do this with other salmon species or trout) kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 3 Tbsp | 45 mL butter, at room temperature 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped fresh parsley 1/2 medium white onion, peeled 2 oranges sprigs of parsley for garnish Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. Tear off a strip of heavy-duty foil 21/2 times as long as the fish and double it. Spread 1 Tbsp | 15 mL of the butter evenly over the top surface of the foil. Place the fish on the buttered foil. Lightly season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper, and sprinkle it with chopped parsley. Slice the onion and one of the oranges into thin rounds and place half of the onion and orange slices inside the body cavity and the other half on top of the fish. Daub the remaining 2 Tbsp | 30 mL butter inside the fish and on top of the onion and orange slices. Squeeze half the remaining orange over everything and wrap the foil around the fish, sealing i[...]



Recipe of the Week: Grilled Little Fish

Fri, 19 Aug 2011 15:04:39 +0000

Makes 2–4 servings This technique works with sardines, smelts, fresh herring, or any other smallish fish, like pan-fry-sized trout. Just make sure the fish are scaled, gutted, and ultra-fresh. The only thing you need to serve with these is a crisp, dry white wine.  1 lb | 500 g fresh, cleaned small fish kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste dried oregano (or finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice) extra virgin olive oil fresh lemon wedges finely chopped fresh parsley Prepare your grill for direct high heat. Pat the cleaned fish dry with a paper towel and place them in a nonreactive dish. Cut 3 or 4 diagonal slashes with a sharp knife, about 1/8 inch | 3 mm deep, along each side of each fish. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and crumbled oregano or chopped fresh herbs. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and pat the herbs and oil into the little slashes with your fingers.             When the grill is hot, place the fish on the grate. Cover them and cook them for no more than a couple of minutes per side. Remove them from the heat and season them  with a little more salt and pepper. Drizzle the fish with some more olive oil and squeeze some lemon juice over them. Finish them with a sprinkle of the chopped parsley and serve them with a lemon wedge and a cold glass of wine.  [...]



Recipe of the Week:

Fri, 12 Aug 2011 17:08:59 +0000

Whiskey and Honey-planked Peaches Makes 8 servings This delicious recipe is based on the technique of planking god Ted Reader. You can easily substitute ripe pears or nectarines for the peach halves. The key is to use perfectly ripe freestone peaches so it’s easy to halve and peel them. 1 cedar plank, soaked for 6 hours or overnight 3/4 cup | 175 mL Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey 1/2 cup | 125 mL honey freshly ground black pepper to taste freshly grated nutmeg to taste 8 ripe but firm freestone peaches, peeled and halved 1 Tbsp | 15 mL fresh lemon juice 1 cup | 250 mL whipped cream, sweetened with   a dash of Amaretto, or premium vanilla ice cream 8 sprigs fresh mint          Combine the whiskey and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the mixture with the pepper and nutmeg. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer it until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove it from the heat and cool it.          Arrange the peaches cut side up in a dish just large enough to hold them in one layer and brush them with the lemon juice. Spoon 1 Tbsp | 15 mL whiskey-honey mixture over each peach and let them marinate for 1 hour.             Preheat the grill to high. Place the soaked plank on the grill, close the lid, and bake it for 3–5 minutes, or until it begins to crackle and smoke. Carefully lift the lid, place the peaches on the plank, cut side up, and close the lid. Cook them for 3–5 minutes, or until the peaches are hot and tender and starting to char on the edges. Remove them from the plank and transfer them to dessert plates. Garnish each peach with a dollop of whipped cream or ice [...]



Recipe of the Week: Lamb Meatball Kebabs with Mint Jelly Glaze

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 21:37:00 +0000

Lamb Meatball Kebabs With Mint Jelly Glaze Makes 4 main course servings or 8 appetizers The combination of toasted pine nuts and fresh and dried herbs gives these kebabs a rich flavor and tender but nutty texture. This recipe is a bit fussy because the raw lamb meatballs are very delicate and need to be handled gently when they’re placed on the skewer and when you’re turning them on the grill. But man, are they worth the trouble! This is an unbelievably succulent kebab. Serve it as an appetizer or as a main course with some rice, tabouleh and grilled vegetables.   eight 7-inch | 18 cm bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 1 hour 1/2 cup | 125 mL mint jelly 1/4 cup | 50 mL water 1/2 cup | 125 mL pine nuts 1 lb | 500 g ground lamb 1/2 cup | 125 mL fresh breadcrumbs 1 egg, slightly beaten 1/4 cup | 50 mL chopped cilantro 1/4 cup | 50 mL chopped fresh flatleaf parsley 1/4 cup | 50 mL chopped fresh mint 1/2 tsp | 2 mL dried mint 1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh chives 1/2 tsp | 2 mL dried oregano 1/4 tsp | 1 mL freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 tsp | 2 mL kosher salt generous grinding black pepper 2 or 3 small zucchini, sliced into 3/4-inch | 2 cm discs 10 ripe cherry tomatoes 10 smallish button mushrooms, or 5 larger ones cut in half   Combine the mint jelly and water in a small saucepan and heat the mixture, stirring, until the jelly is melted. Set it aside.             Toast the pine nuts in a skillet or nonstick sauté pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Remove them from the pan, cool them for a few minutes, and then coarsely chop the nuts. Gently but thoroughly combine the ground lamb, pine nu[...]



Recipe of the Week: Planked Saffron Halibut with Avocado and Tropical Fruit Salsa

Fri, 29 Jul 2011 13:21:00 +0000

Makes 4–6 servings This unusual recipe from my friend Mike the fishmonger, which I’ve adapted for the plank, pairs the intense flavor of the spiced halibut with a cool tropical salsa. Substitute snapper for halibut for a stronger flavor. Cuban-style Black Beans and Rice go very well with this, so I’ve included the recipe at the bottom of this post. For the fish: 1 plank (cedar or fruitwood), soaked overnight or at least 1 hour four 6 oz | 175 g halibut fillets kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp | 5 mL ground cumin 1/2 tsp | 2 mL turmeric pinch saffron threads, crumbled pinch cayenne pepper 1 lime, cut in half extra virgin olive oil   For the salsa: 1 batch Tropical Fruit Salsa (see recipe below)   Prepare the salsa and set it aside.             Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper. Combine the cumin, turmeric, saffron, and cayenne in a bowl and sprinkle the rub lightly over the fillets. Squeeze the lime halves over the fillets and drizzle them with a little olive oil. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes.             Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low.             Place the fillets on the plank and cook the fish for 15–20 minutes, or until the fish has an internal temperature of 135°F | 57°C. Remove it from the grill and[...]



Recipe of the week: Beef Burger with Herbed Butter Core and Caramelized Onions

Fri, 22 Jul 2011 16:08:00 +0000

Makes 4 burgers This recipe won the burger category at the Canadian National Barbecue Championship in Whistler, British Columbia, in the summer of 2003. More than a burger, it is the Atkins equivalent of a jelly doughnut (if you forego the bun). It’s a life-shaping experience that should probably be accompanied by some kind of parental guidance message. Be careful to whom you serve this—your guests may stalk you until you cook it for them again. 11/2 to 2 lb | 750 g to 1 kg of ground beef, 20 percent fat content 1/2 tsp | 2 mL freshly grated nutmeg 4 1/2-inch | 1 cm discs of frozen Mediterranean Herbed Butter (see following recipe) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard Your favorite barbecue rub 4 hamburger buns extra softened Herbed Butter for the buns granulated garlic 1/2 cup | 125 mL chèvre (a creamy white French-style goat cheese), at room temperature 2 large roasted red bell peppers, torn into quarters Caramelized Onions (see following recipe) Combine the beef and nutmeg in a large nonreactive bowl. Mix together the spice and the meat lightly with your hands, being careful not to overwork it. Split the meat into 4 equal portions and roll it into balls. Poke your thumb in the middle of each ball to create a hole and insert a frozen disc of herbed butter. Encase the butter in the burger as you shape it into a classic burger shape about ¾-inch | 2 cm thick, ensuring that there are no openings where molten butter could run out. (It may be helpful to dip your hands periodically into cold water to prevent the meat from sticking to them.)            [...]



Recipes of the Week: Three Great Summer Salads

Fri, 15 Jul 2011 16:55:22 +0000

Even though it's not much of a summer so far here in the West, and the growing season is extraordinarily late, we're getting into the best time of year for fresh fruit and veggies. Serve any or all of these great summer salads along whatever you've got coming off the grill, and even if you can't see the sun, you'll surely taste it! Tomatoes in Paradise Makes 4 servings Two words: simple and sensational.  3 Tbsp | 45 mL extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp | 15 mL lemon juice 1 tsp | 5 mL Dijon mustard 1 clove finely chopped or pressed garlic 1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh herbs (mint, basil, rosemary, etc.) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 exceptional tomatoes, cut into quarters 1/2 cup | 125 mL chopped red onion 1 cup | 250 mL kalamata or other Mediterranean olives Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and herbs in a salad bowl. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the other ingredients and toss them together gently. Let the tomatoes stand for half an hour at room temperature, then serve.   Tidewater Coleslaw Makes 8–10 servings My dear friend and fellow Butt Shredder Kathy Richardier discovered this slaw many years ago and I have substituted my favorite toasted cumin seeds for the celery seeds in the original recipe. This pungent, high-sugar slaw is best as a condiment, piled high on top of a pulled pork sandwich or burger, or on the side of a few slices of barbecued brisket. 11/2 cups | 375 mL mayonnaise 1/2 cup | 125 mL white vinegar 1/3 cup | 75 mL white sugar 1 Tbsp | 15 mL toasted cum[...]



Recipe of the Week: The Fire Chef's BBQ Salmon on a Plank

Fri, 08 Jul 2011 21:49:00 +0000

The Fire Chef’s BBQ Salmon on a Plank Makes 4–6 servings The late David Veljacic was the father of barbecue in Canada, founding the Canadian National Barbecue Championship in New Westminster back in 1988. David was a firefighter, hence his nickname, “The Fire Chef.” He was diagnosed with cancer several years before he succumbed to it in 2001, and while on medical leave he wrote cookbooks and taught barbecue and grilling to a generation of backyard cooks. This is his most famous recipe, adapted for the plank.  For the marinade: 1/3 cup | 75 mL finely chopped parsley 3 Tbsp | 45 mL oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped 1 Tbsp | 15 mL oil from the sun-dried tomatoes 1/3 cup | 75 mL extra virgin olive oil For the salmon: 1 cedar, alder or hickory plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour one 21/2 lb | 1.2 kg boned salmon fillet, skin on 1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt 1 head roasted garlic (see recipe below), cloves squeezed out of their skins Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place the fillet in a nonreactive dish (a lasagna pan would do). Pour the marinade over the fillet. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. Score the salmon with 2 long slits along the length of the fillet. Don’t cut all the way through the fish. Mash the salt together with the roasted garlic and spread the mixture over the fillet and into the slits. Re-coat the fillet with the marinade after you’ve spread the garlic paste over it. Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or [...]



Recipe of the Week: Cheater Ribs

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 16:51:00 +0000

  Cheater Ribs (From Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!) Makes 4 servings  Die-hard barbecue people don’t even like to consider this technique, which goes against all the principles and values of barbecue culture. These ribs may not be smoky, and they may not be quite as flavorful as true barbecued ribs, but they’re wonderfully tender, they taste great, and they don’t take all day to cook.  2 racks side or back ribs, trimmed by your butcher 1 medium onion, peeled and halved 1 tsp | 5 mL peppercorns 3 or 4 whole cloves 2 Tbsp | 25 mL prepared mustard 1/2 tsp | 2 mL granulated garlic 1/4 cup | 50 mL or so Championship Barbecue Rub 1 cup | 250 mL barbecue sauce, the sweeter and tangier the better Remove the membrane from the ribs if your butcher hasn’t already done it for you. Fill a large pot with cold water and completely submerge the ribs in the water. Add the onion, peppercorns, and cloves. Bring the water just to a boil. With a spoon or ladle, quickly skim off the soapy scum that forms on the top of the water and reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer the ribs for about 11/4 hours, or until the rib bones start to protrude from the meat. Take the ribs out of the water and cool them on a cooking sheet until they are easy to handle.             Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Coat the ribs with mustard, sprinkle them lightly with the granulated garlic, and lightly coat them with the rub. Let them sit until the rub starts to glisten, about 10 minutes. Gril[...]



Recipe of the week: T-bone Steak with Rosemary and Balsamic Marinade

Fri, 24 Jun 2011 18:27:00 +0000

Man, I love a good T-bone. It’s the ultimate steak, in a way, because it combines the strip loin and the filet in one handy cut (the two live in peaceful harmony on either side of the bone). The key ingredient here is the balsamic reduction, which penetrates the steak and gives it a bright, distinctive flavor. This dish goes well with mashed or roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables. (Note: these days you can buy a product similar to balsamic reduction at Italian grocery stores or in bigger supermarkets - it's called crema, and works nicely.) Makes 4 servings   2 T-bone steaks, 16 to 20 oz | 500 to 600 g each and about 2 inches | 6 cm thick kosher salt cayenne pepper 1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped fresh rosemary 2 cloves garlic, smashed or pushed through a press 1/3 cup | 75 mL balsamic reduction (see recipe below) ¼ cup | 50 mL finely chopped parsley kosher salt and pepper extra virgin olive oil   Take the steaks out of the fridge and put them in a nonreactive dish. Season them with salt and a pinch of cayenne on both sides. Evenly spread the rosemary and garlic over the steaks. Set aside half of the balsamic reduction and drizzle the rest over the steaks, turning them to coat both sides. Refrigerate the steaks, uncovered, for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning them once or twice.             Prepare your grill for direct medium heat. Grill the steaks 4–6 minutes per side,  or until they have an internal temperature of 125°F | 52°[...]



Recipe of the week: Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 17:34:56 +0000

Last night I made jerk chicken. Again. My family can't seem to get enough of this classic Jamaican dish, with its old-world flavours and fiery habanero heat. I posted my jerk chicken recipe, along with some great traditional side dishes, on this blog a few years ago - find that post here.

And for more about the wonders of Jamaican cuisine, check out my report on a trip I took to Jamaica last winter. It's an amazing country. If you get a chance, get down there and experience it for yourself!




Recipe of the Week: Spice-Crusted Pork Blade Steaks

Fri, 10 Jun 2011 23:36:00 +0000

Makes 6 servings   I developed this recipe for the folks at Food & Wine magazine for their 2005 summer barbecue issue. I love pork blade steaks because they’re inexpensive, extremely tasty, and very hard to ruin. The cumin seeds add an earthy tang and interesting texture to these rich, flavorful, chewy steaks. Serve them with your favorite summer sides (I like grilled asparagus and cherry tomatoes).   For the rub: 2 Tbsp | 25 mL powdered ancho chiles (if you can’t find ground anchos, any chili powder will do) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated garlic 1 Tbsp | 15 mL granulated onion 1 tsp | 5 mL freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp | 5 mL ground chipotles (substitute cayenne pepper if you can’t find ground chipotles) 1 tsp | 5 mL dried oregano 1 tsp | 5 mL dried parsley   For the steaks: 6 pork blade steaks (8 to 10 oz | 225 to 300 g each) kosher salt 2 Tbsp | 25 mL Dijon mustard (regular prepared mustard will also do) 1 Tbsp | 15 mL cumin seeds extra virgin olive oil   Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and set the rub aside.             Toast the cumin seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium heat until they’re fragrant and just starting to turn light brown. Remove the cumin from the pan and set it aside.             Generously season the blade steaks with salt. Using the back of a spoon or a basting brush, coat the steaks with a thin layer of mustard. Sprinkle the c[...]



Summer 2011 Recipe of the Week #2: Triumphant Torres Tacos

Fri, 03 Jun 2011 04:35:00 +0000

Triumphant Torres Tacos This recipe for delicious grilled salmon tacos is my tribute to Vancouver Canuck Raffe Torres, who scored the game-winning goal in the first game of this year’s Stanley Cup Final series. Serve this dish with a cold Canadian beer, or a crisp, fruity British Columbia white wine. Makes 16 tacos, enough for 4–6 as a main course, or 16 appetizer servings For the sauce:  1/2 cup | 125 mL Margie’s Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo (see recipe below) ¼ cup | 60 mL sour cream or yoghurt 1 Tbsp | 15 mL fresh lime juice For the Red Onion, Green Mango, and Jalapeño pickle: 2 cups | 500 mL rice vinegar or white wine vinegar 3 Tbsp | 45 mL freshly squeezed lime juice 1 Tbsp | 60 mL kosher salt 1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin strips 2 large jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips 1 green (unripe) mango, peeled, cored, and cut into thin strips For the salmon tacos: one 2 lb | 1 kg side of wild sockeye or coho salmon, skin on about 1 tsp | 5 mL Rockin’ Ronnie’s Grilling Rub or seasoning salt For the rest of the fixins: 16 white corn tortillas 1 batch of Smoked Tomato Guacamole (see recipe below) half a head of iceberg lettuce, chopped ½ cup | 125 mL chopped fresh cilantro Louisiana-style hot sauce Combine the sauce ingredients and set the mixture aside in the refrigerator. Combine the rice vinegar, [...]