Tue, 15 September 2009
This is a killer dish from my first book, Barbecue Secrets, followed by a recipe for the best taco filling I've ever had. Thanks to Cindy Crescenzo for the request. Hope you enjoy it! (It should also work fine if you don't want to go through the trouble of adding all the filling - just throwing in some grated cheese and chopped pimentos as the filling would work just fine, too.)
Cowboy Cornbread with Taco Filling
Makes 6–8 servings
This recipe is a meal in itself, but is also a great side dish. I adapted it from a recipe that my Texan friend Amy Walker shared with me.
11/2 cups | 375 mL cornmeal
1/2 tsp | 2 mL baking soda
1 can (14 oz | 398 mL) cream-style corn
1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt
1 cup | 250 mL milk
1/4 cup | 50 mL olive oil
1 cup | 250 mL Mark’s Otherworldly Taco Filling (see recipe below) or, in a pinch, taco filling made from your favoriate commercial seasoning mix
2 Tbsp | 25 mL cornmeal
1 cup | 250 mL chopped onion
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 jar (2 oz | 57 mL) pimentos, chopped
1/2 lb | 250 g grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350˚F | 180˚C. Mix the 11/2 cups | 375 mL cornmeal, soda, eggs, corn, salt, milk, and oil together. Set the batter aside. Warm up the taco filling in a skillet. Sprinkle the 2 Tbsp | 25 mL cornmeal in the bottom of a greased 11 x 7-inch | 2 L casserole dish. Pour in half the cornbread batter. Layer the taco filling, onion, green pepper, jalapeños, pimentos, and grated cheese. Top with the remaining cornbread batter. Bake the cornbread for 60–70 minutes. Cool it for at least 5 minutes before serving it.
Mark’s Otherworldly Taco Filling
Makes 4 servings
We’ve all had tacos made with ground beef and commercial “taco seasoning”—a cheap, sorry imitation of this wonderful dish, which is a staple food in Latin America. This rich, luxurious “chorizo” (a kind of loose version of what we normally think of as Spanish sausage) comes from famous Southwestern chef Mark Miller’s ground-breaking Coyote Café cookbook. It’s a great filling for quesadillas, tacos, or burritos. You can also mix it with scrambled eggs, spice up a soup with it, or just eat it right out of the pot. When I make it I usually double or triple the recipe and freeze some for future use.
1 lb | 500 g fresh ground pork
1/2 lb | 250 g fresh lean ground beef
2 small cloves garlic, finely minced
4 Tbsp | 60 mL ancho or New Mexico chili powder
1/2 tsp | 2 mL cayenne
1/8 tsp | 1/2 mL ground cloves
1/2 tsp | 2 mL freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp | 10 mL ground cinnamon
1 tsp | 5 mL ground cumin
1 tsp | 5 mL kosher salt
3 cups | 750 mL water
Fry the pork and beef in a heavy skillet or big pot over medium heat. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon and do not allow it to brown. Add the garlic, spices, salt, and 1 cup | 250 mL of the water. Cook the mixture slowly over low heat for at least an hour to allow the flavors to marry. Add extra water as needed, though the finished mixture should not be wet; all the excess water should have evaporated and the chorizo should be cooking in its own fat (which you shouldn’t drain off because it’s so full of flavor!). Adjust the final seasonings by adding salt and pepper to taste.
Category:barbecue -- posted at: 4:12pm PST
Tue, 8 September 2009
Yesterday I cooked this delectable dessert, from Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, which was contributed by my friend Jennifer Wah. In response to a reader request, I'm sharing it here:
Lemon Chiffon Cake
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup safflower oil
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla
7 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Separate eggs, putting whites in a metal bowl and yolks into a large pyrex measuring cup.
Beat whites until soft peaks form, then add cream of tartar and continue beating until very stiff peaks form. Set aside.
To the unbeaten egg yolks in the large pyrex measuring cup, add oil, juice(s), zest and vanilla.
Into a large bowl, measure flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the centre.Add egg yolk mixture to flour mixture and beat until smooth.
Using a spatula, very gently fold the beaten egg whites into the flour-sugar mixture.Pour batter into an ungreased 25 cm (10”) tube pan and bake for 1 – 1/14/ hours.
Invert pan and allow cake to cool before running a knife around the inside of the pan and inverting onto a serving plate.Top with Lemon Glaze.
2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon (make sure zest is very fine for glaze)3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juiceUsing a mixer, beat butter, sugar, salt and zest until combined. Gradually add lemon juice until it’s the consistency you want it to be, adding more sugar or lemon juice if needed to get it just right. Drizzle over cake and let it run down the sides, or use a knife to help spread it evenly and glaze the whole cake, if you prefer. Garnish with lemon and orange crescents.
Category:barbecue -- posted at: 11:34am PST
Fri, 28 August 2009
Hey barbecue fans. If you're in the Vancouver area this weekend,
come by Hadden/Vanier park and taste some pink salmon, some of it
cooked by yours truly. See the news release below for details.
Pink Salmon Festival – A Celebration of Health & Plenty
August 30th, 11am – 5pm Hadden/ Vanier Park, Vancouver BC.
(Vancouver) Each summer in BC, millions of salmon return to their
home rivers to spawn and rejuvenate our west coast ecosystem. On August
30th, the Pacific Salmon Foundation is hosting a celebration of the
return of one of the greatest, yet under-appreciated, resources in the
province – Pink Salmon. While sockeye populations on the Fraser River
have not returned in the expected numbers, all indications point to a
run of up to 15 million pink salmon coming home to the Fraser over the
The PSF Pink Salmon Festival is a celebration of all that Pink
Salmon represent and offer. Pink Salmon are the base for BC’s coastal
ecological systems, they are sustainably harvested, and their delicious
and delicate texture and are prized by culinary experts the world over.
Foodies take note: this free event features Robert Clark, the
visionary and celebrated executive chef of C restaurant as well as the
chefs from Raincity Grill and Nu preparing specialty pink salmon
creations for the public to enjoy. In addition, barbecue evangelist
Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk will be preparing a West-Coast classic:
cedar-planked pink salmon with his signature whisky-maple glaze. This
all-star culinary team will be preparing close to 3,000 pounds of
beautiful, succulent pink salmon in free, sample-sized portions for
what is sure to be an appreciative crowd.
Pink Salmon will also be celebrated with live music by Highrise
Lonesome, fish painting by the Stream of Dreams Society, magicians,
entertainers and a 60 foot salmon story telling tent! Attendees can try
their hand at fly fishing and fly tying as well as enjoying a salmon
art show and a fundraising silent auction and raffle. Displays from
community partners such as the Vancouver Aquarium’s OceanWise program
in addition to the PSF education areas featuring ocean creature touch
tanks will inform people of the important role Pink Salmon play in BC
Pink Salmon are a wonderful example of the health and plenty of British Columbia.
Please join us in celebrating their return home this year.
Hosted by the Pacific Salmon Foundation
Category:barbecue -- posted at: 6:23am PST
Sat, 15 August 2009
On August 11th I had a great time on the Christy Clark Show. In this episode I serve Christy the first-place winner in the Backyard Burger event of this year's Canadian National BBQ Championships in Whistler, B.C., my Beef Burger With Chile Butter Core. I also answer a bunch of great listener questions.
Wed, 12 August 2009
A few years ago I launched Barbecue Academyⓒ. It's a day-long corporate teambuilding workshop that teaches participants about championship barbecue in a fun, relaxing atmosphere with plenty of room for socializing.
I think it's the only event of its kind in the world. There are lots of hands-on barbecue workshops for the public, and some of the big barbecue celebrities in the U.S. do corporate cooking demos and catered events. And there are even some corporate team building workshops based on cooking contests. But, as far as I know, this is the only corporate workshop that creates a competitive environment for participants, who divide into teams, prep and cook real barbecued chicken and ribs, and vie for cheap plastic trophies just like the big boys.
I've done three of them so far, for energy companies in Calgary, with positive feedback.
Here's what some of the participants have said:
“You learn a little about smoking and barbecue, and a whole bunch about some folks that I don’t normally work with. We all had fun!”
“A great teambuilding event. The service was outstanding.”
“Lots of laughter, lots of concentration, great tastes, lots of enthusiasm from everyone.”
“An opportunity to mix in a creative environment.”
“It was a great day and I am full!”
“This was an exceptional workshop. It is filled with the science, the art and the lifestyle of barbecue. Ron is very knowledgeable and entertaining.”
“Ron’s team is terrific! Everyone is friendly, fun and extremely knowledgeable. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!”
“Fostered good camaraderie while incorporating some healthy competition. Highly recommended!”
Here's a promo sheet:
Please pass it on to anyone you know who might be interested.
Category:barbecue -- posted at: 9:34am PST
Tue, 7 July 2009
This article appears in the latest edition of Calgary's City Palate, and I'm pleased to share it here.
North American society has nearly killed its beloved hamburger.
The anti-fat movement, which shamed us into using extra lean ground beef, robbed the meat of most of its flavour. And worries about E coli contamination led to stringent regulation that pretty much requires today’s restaurants to cook the life out of their burgers.
As a result, most fast-food burger patties are not much more than dry, grainy hockey pucks – charred, pitiful pieces of meat that, to be palatable, need to be overwhelmed by their toppings and shielded by their buns. Even real restaurants often resort to frozen, pre-maid patties.
That just ain’t right. Although there are some notable exceptions to today’s crappy, overcooked commercial burgers, it’s left to backyard cooks to keep the sacred tradition of the real, tasty, juicy hamburger alive.
And so, dads everywhere have developed their perfect burger recipe. This is the story of how I arrived at mine.
When I challenged myself to imagine the perfect burger, I couldn’t help but think back to my youth.
I remembered hot, juicy A&W teenburgers, delivered on a tray that hitched onto the window of my family’s two-tone ’56 Chevy, devoured by my brother and me in the back seat and washed down with long drafts of cold sweet root beer from heavy glass mugs.
And then there was my first Big Mac. At 49 cents when it came out in 1968, it was an expensive gourmet treat, the tallest and fanciest restaurant burger of its day. Its super-soft triple-decker sesame bun, two all-beef patties and combination of American cheese, iceberg lettuce, pickles, onion and special sauce sent my palate to new heights, and the red sleeve of 10-cent fries and cardboard cup of ice cold Coca-Cola were the perfect accompaniments. The Big Mac was the first burger I can remember where you needed to unhinge your jaw to take the first bite, which would always leave a trail of shiny juice running down your chin.
Of course, I can’t forget the homemade burgers grilled over charcoal briquettes at our family cottage at Alberta Beach – softball-sized lumps of charred ground beef laced with crunchy bits of chopped raw onion. After having the life squeezed out of them by dad’s spatula, those homemade burgers were almost as dry as the restaurant burgers of today. Luckily, it was a condition that was easily cured by a cold, clear bottle of Crush cream soda.
I recount these memories because, as with any classic comfort food, our best early memories become the Proustian references by which we judge every other burger we eat. The perfect burger is the one that comes closest to the idealized conglomeration of one’s remembrances of burgers past.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Canadians are not adventurous burger eaters. A Harveys/Ipsos Reid survey in 2007 found that 61 percent of respondents order the exact same toppings on every single burger they eat, and the three most popular toppings are cheese, onions and ketchup. Interestingly, the distinguishing characteristic of prairie burger eaters is that we’re the most likely to eat naked hamburgers. Don’t mess with that Alberta beef!
But then there’s the other 39 per cent of us, who still want our burgers to hit that comfort-food nerve, but also need a little adventure and appreciate some extravagance now and then. One of my favorite adult burger memories is a lamb burger served with goat cheese and roasted red pepper on a toasted ciabatta bun at River Café in the spring of 1994. Another one that stands out in the current decade is the hilariously extravagant, Daniel Boulud-inspired $28 Feenie Burger, stuffed with braised short ribs and topped with a slice of seared foie gras.
On a hot August day in the summer of 2003, at the Canadian National Barbecue Championships in Whistler, B.C., everything I’d ever learned about what makes a great burger came together.
I knew it had to be juicy and tender, so I added a spash of cold water to the meat as I blended the seasonings into the ground beef with my hands, taking care not to overmix. (In this case I had no choice of meat, but the ideal would be to get your butcher to custom-grind chuck with at least 20 per cent fat content and mix it with ground pork or veal.)
I knew it had to be rich and unctuous, so I stuffed the patty with a frozen disk of butter that had been blended with fresh basil, mint and parsley. Freezing a log of the herbed butter made it easy to slice it into disks and also prevented overcooking. (James Beard used to put an ice cube into his burger patties to keep them moist and juicy.)
I knew it had to be smoky, so I cooked it over hardwood charcoal with a chunk of cherry wood thrown in.
I knew the toppings had to add richness, complexity and balance to the flavour and texture of the burger, so I slathered it with creamy, tangy Saltspring Island goat cheese, topped that with a filet of roasted red bell pepper that had been soaked in extra virgin olive oil infused with fresh basil leaves, and topped the whole thing with a dollop of sweet, shiny brown caramelized onions that had been flavoured with cinnamon, sugar and a touch of cayenne pepper.
And I knew the bun had to be soft and tender, but to add some extra flavour I brushed it with some melted herbed butter and toasted it for a few seconds on the hot grill.
That burger won first place in the burger category at the Nationals, so technically I cooked the best burger in Canada that year. What matters more to me is that, years later, my kids still think their dad makes the best burger ever.
Man, oh, man. I need a perfect burger right now, don’t you? To help you hit that burger nerve, here are three of my favorite burger recipes, ranging from the over-the-top extravagance of my award-winning herbed-butter-stuffed burger to the comfort food flavour of what I call the Classic Dadburger Deluxe. I hope at least one of them is perfect for you.
Beef Burger with Herbed Butter Core and Caramelized Onions
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 (butter whizzed in a blender with fresh herbs like bazil, mint, parsley)
1 Tbsp | 15 mL Dijon mustard
Championship Barbecue Rub (or seasoned salt)
4 hamburger buns
extra softened Herbed Butter for the buns
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 recipe below)
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 _-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.)
Coat the burger patties lightly with the mustard and sprinkle them with a light coating of the rub. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Either spray the burgers with vegetable oil spray, or coat the grill with oil. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 4–5 minutes per side, or until the patties become firm, but not hard, to the touch.
Remove the burgers from the grill, tent them with foil, and let them rest for 4–5 minutes. In the meantime, coat the buns with the softened herbed butter, sprinkle them with a little granulated garlic, and toast them for 30–60 seconds on your grill.
Dress the burgers with a slather of goat cheese, a piece or two of roasted red pepper, and a dollop of caramelized onion. Inhale. (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.)
Makes about 1 cup | 250 mL
This makes a great topping for burgers but is also an excellent all-purpose condiment. Try it as an omelet filling or as a topping for grilled pork chops. Mix it with goat cheese and spread it on crackers for a tangy, sweet appetizer. It’s also a great topping on a planked round of brie.
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
Heat the butter/olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and sauté them until they’re soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne and continue to sauté the onions, stirring them regularly, until they are shiny and brown, about 15 minutes, being careful not to burn them (add a little water, if necessary, to prevent burning).
Classic Dadburger Deluxe
Makes 12–16 patties, depending on how big you like them
This recipe will feed a crowd, or four teenagers. You can easily halve the recipe. If your kids are like mine and don’t like bits of onion and garlic in their burgers, substitute 1 tsp | 5 mL each of granulated onion and granulated garlic for the fresh variety.
For the burger mix:
6 lb | 2.7 kg medium ground beef
(or half-and-half ground beef and ground pork)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 head roasted garlic, cloves
squeezed out and mashed with a fork
1 Tbsp | 15 mL toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp | 25 mL dark soy sauce or
Worcestershire sauce or a combination
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
1/2 cup | 125 mL cold water
To finish the burgers:
your favourite barbecue sauce
12 to 16 cheese slices (optional)
12 to 16 hamburger buns
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Mix the burger ingredients together with your hands in a large nonreactive bowl. Wet your hands in cold water before you form the mixture into chunks the size of tennis balls. Flatten them into patties, placing them on the cookie sheet. Each patty will be about 1/2 lb | 250 g before cooking. Place them in the freezer for an hour to firm them up.
Preheat your grill for medium direct heat. Take the burgers out of the freezer and grill them for 6 minutes per side, or until they are springy to the touch, glazing them on both sides with barbecue sauce. Top each patty with a slice of cheese for the last couple of minutes of cooking. Serve the burgers on buns with your favourite condiments.
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
1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/3 long English cucumber, finely grated
To finish the burgers:
Softened butter that’s been blended with some fresh herbs like mint, basil or flatleaf parsley
2 large fresh rounds of pita bread
fresh sliced tomatoes
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh arugula, washed and
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 herbed butter
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.
For extra-juicy burgers, add some cold water (about 1 Tbsp | 15 mL per lb | 500 g) to your raw burger meat before you mix it. For extra-tender burgers, don’t overwork the burger mix.
We can follow the roots of the modern hamburger back to Hamburg, Germany in the 19th century, where cheap cuts of beef were chopped, seasoned, and served cooked or raw to the lower classes. The “Hamburg Steak” first appeared on New York menus in the mid-1800s, and by the end of the nineteenth century it was served in restaurants as far away as Walla Walla, WA. It’s a lot harder to determine exactly which American state’s residents first had the idea to create a sandwich out of that chopped beef steak to create the burger we know and love today—there are at least five different claims ranging from Wisconsin to Texas.
A Library of Burger Toppings
We’re all so used to iceberg lettuce, ketchup, mayo, ballpark mustard, green relish, and sliced onion and tomato on our burgers that we hardly notice them any more. Try these unusual toppings for a change and experiment with your own combinations.
• thinly sliced button mushrooms sautéed with a smashed garlic clove in butter and olive oil
• crunchy-style peanut butter, bacon, raw onion and lettuce
• an egg fried in butter, over easy, with a leaf of iceberg lettuce and a slather of mayo
• avocado slices, bacon and tomato salsa
• caramelized onion, roasted red pepper and goat cheese
• tomato slices, thinly sliced red onion and fresh arugula
• black olive paste and slices of hard-boiled egg
• brie or Gorgonzola cheese
The ultimate “special sauce” – Margie’s Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo
This invention of Calgary caterer Margie Gibb is the best burger condiment I know, 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 chipotle if you like it hot)
Please all ingredients in a food processor and whiz them until they’re thoroughly combined.
Category:barbecue -- posted at: 11:48pm PST
Fri, 26 June 2009
Now I see why the neighbors complained.
(Find out the real story here and check out this stunning animated view.)
Category:barbecue -- posted at: 10:57am PST
Fri, 26 June 2009
Just before Father's Day, my friend Gary Johnstone, owner of Johnstone's BBQs and Parts, and I talk about grills and accessories on Vancouver-based chat show Urban Rush.
The cool charcoal cooker at the beginning of the segment is a Cobb cooker, my favorite portable charcoal grill/barbecue.
Tue, 23 June 2009
Hey, barbecue fans.
First, let me apologize for being late in announcing the winners for the last three weeks of my BBQ tweets contest. I had a death in my family earlier this month and was completely preoccupied with that, as well as other work and barbecue responsibilities.
It's been a fun contest. Although the number of entries I received was pretty small, those who entered showed a lot of imagination and good humor and shared some interesting and useful tips.
In week five (the week of June 1), I got some excellent recipes. Steve Hagemoen shared his technique for "No mess roast garlic. 1 head peeled. 1pc parch. paper wrapped alu foil. olive oil. Salt pepper. 425F 45 mins. No burnt fingers."
That week I also got a couple of good hobo pack recipes. From Sandra Post in Vernon, B.C. came this recipe with an icy twist: "On the BBQ put foil packet of potatoes, onions, & carrots drizzled with butter and an ice cube. Provides just enough moisture to help steam veggies and speed up cooking."
Week five's winner, from Barb and Gord Parker, only slightly tops Sandra's with the addition of some extra flavor: "On foil slice 1 pepper/2C mush/1C broc/add 2T butter/2T oyster sauce/fold foil shut/10m or tender/top 1T parm." Congrats, Barb and Gord!
Deciding on the week six winner was a no-brainer for several reasons: it's a nice, simple recipe, it names me -- and it was the only submission I got that week! "Place boneless chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag along with one of Ronnie's excellent dry rubs. Pound to flatten with mallet - grill until done. Neat and delicious!" Lucky it wasn't a dud! Thanks and congrats, Harold Watson of Calgary!
Finally, last week's entries were among the best of the bunch. My friend Angie Quaale (@AngieQuaale) shared some barbecue wisdom: "Give a man a bbq feed him for a day,teach a man to bbq ,feed him for the summer-Jesus You don't make friends with salad." Ha!
Award-winning BBQ Chef Bubba-Q (@BBQTalk) sent in a some hot tips: "Boil rice, not ribs! Never ever boil your ribs! Also, never take a laxative and a sleeping pill in the same night!" I have to say I like the laxative tip more than the rib one (I like to simmer ribs but I do agree you shouldn't boil the heck out of them.) and "Hot Tip #2: 1 beer for every 20 minutes on the grill!" Thanks, Bubba-Q! I can't think of many better ways to mark time.
Those are great tweets, but the best of the bunch from the final week of the contest comes from @cachesk from Montreal, who calls herself a "nature loving gadget queen." It's a superb barbecue tip featuring an unusual ingredient to put in the smoker. "Meat done, still got smoke? Open can black beans, rinse, put can in smoker. Smoke 1hr., Store for use in salads, salsas."
GRAND PRIZE WINNERS!
And now, a drum roll please!
The Grand Champion, and winner of a Weber Q120 portable gas grill from Johnstone's Barbecues, a Bottle of Ravenswood Zin, a Ravenswood set of barbecue tools with matching straw cowboy hat, a complete set of all three of my cookbooks, a set of Ronnie & Denzel's NATURAL CHAMPIONS BBQ Sauces and a package of cedar cooking planks from Westcoast Lifestyles is:
@YVRBcbudz: "I had real BBQ from a southern grandma the day the LA riots started and it was a coming together of races over pulled pork."
Second place (or Reserve Grand Champion, as we say in the world of competitive barbecue), and a Cobb portable charcoal grill from Johnstone's Barbecues, a bottle of Ravenswood Zin, a Ravenswood set of barbecue tools with matching straw cowboy hat, a complete set of all three of my cookbooks, a wet of Ronnie & Denzel's NATURAL CHAMPIONS BBQ Sauces and a package of cedar cooking planks from Westcoast Lifestyles goes to:
@8chocolate: "When cooking fish on barbq, wrap seasoned fillets in cabbage leaves. Protects fish, keeps juices in and can eat the cabbage 2."
Tied for third, fourth and fifth prizes, which are a copy of Barbecue Secrets DELUXE!, a bottle of Ravenswood Zin and a set of Ravenswood BBQ tools are:
@dougflet: "Dad bbq'd a turkey when I was a kid. While resting, dog got at it. When served, no one asked where the leg went! Good stuff!"
@DivaQBBQ: "32rawshrimp 8orangesliced 32skewers shrimponorange piercewithskewer sprinklewithvegeta grill indirect glazemandarinBBQsauce"
@cachesk: "Meat done, still got smoke? Open can black beans, rinse, put can in smoker. Smoke 1hr., Store for use in salads, salsas."
Congrats to the winners, who I'll be contacting directly to arrange to get you your prizes, and thanks to everyone who participated in and followed this contest!
Category:BBQ Tweet Contest 2009 -- posted at: 5:35pm PST
Mon, 1 June 2009
The dust has finally settled for me after a couple of weeks of intense book promotion activity, including a great four days in Calgary and a fun appearance last Thursday on Vancouver's Urban Rush.
The BBQ tweets have gone down to a trickle (I'm not sure barbecue fanatics are active twitterers....yet.) But the ones I did receive have been great. Here are the winners.
Week three's best BBBQ tweet is a story, told well in 140 characters or less, from @dougflet:
"Dad bbq'd a turkey when I was a kid. While resting, dog got at it. When served, no one asked where the leg went! Good stuff!"
And last week's winner is this excellent, very condensed recipe for barbecue beef tri-tip from @TailgatingTimes:
"3lb tritip/1slcd onion/1can stout/2TB hrsrdsh/2tsp ppr/2TB djn mstrd/1bch rsmry/TB evoo/slt/-mix/mrnte12hrs/smoke&mop@250/2hrs"
Once again, thanks to everyone who entered...and get your tweets in for this week for your chance to win a copy of Barbecue Secrets DELUXE! and a chance at big grand prizes to be awarded Father's Day weekend. Here are the contest rules and a rundown on the grand prizes. Get on it!
Category:BBQ Tweet Contest 2009 -- posted at: 3:26pm PST