Fri, 15 May 2015
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
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.
Category:general -- posted at: 4:15pm PDT
Sat, 17 August 2013
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.
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.
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10am PDT
Thu, 8 August 2013
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.
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm PDT
Fri, 12 July 2013
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 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 alder, cedar or hickory plank, soaked overnight
or at least 1 hour
one 21/2 lb | 1.2 kg boned salmon fillet,
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 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. Place the salmon on the plank and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook it for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the fish has an internal temperature of 135°F | 57°C. Remove the plank and the salmon from the grill and serve it.
Here’s a great kitchen staple that works well baked in the oven or planked on the grill. Roasted garlic is as versatile as it is delicious. Use it as a flavor enhancer in mayo, an enricher of mashed potatoes, and a flavor note in soups and sauces—or just spread it on a piece of toasted French bread.
Preheat the oven to 350°F | 175°C (or preheat your grill in preparation for plank-cooking). With a sharp knife, slice off the top of a garlic bulb, just enough to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle it with a little olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, and wrap the bulb tightly in foil. Place it in the oven (or on a soaked, preheated? plank in your grill with the heat turned down to low), cut side up, and roast it for about an hour, or until the garlic is soft and lightly browned. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can squeeze the head and the roasted garlic comes out like toothpaste.
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am PDT
Fri, 5 July 2013
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
Dried oregano leaves
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
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 of doubled, wide aluminum foil (about 18 inches | 45 cm square). Lightly coat each square with butter, leaving about a 4 inch | 10 cm margin all the way around. Place two half slices of the bacon in the middle of each sheet of foil. Lay down a layer of onion slices on top of the bacon slices and give them a very light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put a layer of potato slices over the onions and give them a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper and place them on top of the potatoes. Divide the morels into four equal portions and place them on top of the halibut. Sprinkle some chopped parsley over each pack.
Gather the corners of the foil and shape them around each fillet so that when you pour the cream and wine in it won’t spill out. Pour a splash of the wine and ¼ cup of the cream into each pack. Drizzle a few drops of the truffle oil over each one and place a small daub of butter on top. Tightly seal each pack, taking care not to spill any of its precious contents.
Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. Place the hobo packs on the cooking grate and grill for 12–14 minutes. Remove one of the packs, open it, and test the potatoes for doneness. If they’re not quite tender yet, reseal the pack and put it back in the grill for another 3 or 4 minutes.
Remove the packs from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes. Place them on serving plates and let your guests open them up and sprinkle the contents with chopped chives. Garnish with lemon wedges.
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Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am PDT
Fri, 24 May 2013
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
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.
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54pm PDT
Mon, 24 December 2012
Recipes of the season, Christmas 2012 - Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Oysters and Leftover Turkey Quesadillas
Happy Holidays, everyone! Here are a couple of my favorite festive season recipes. Enjoy!
Makes 4–6 appetizer-sized portions
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33pm PDT
Fri, 10 August 2012
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
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44am PDT
Fri, 18 May 2012
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!
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm PDT
Fri, 23 September 2011
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
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 for direct high heat. Season the venison tenderloin with salt and pepper and wet it with a little oil. Grill it, turning it often for just a few minutes, until the exterior is nicely charred and the tenderloin reaches a core temperature of no more than 120°F | 50°C. Remove the meat from the grill and set it aside to rest, loosely tented with foil, for 5 minutes.
While the tenderloin is resting, heat up the sauce and stir in the Grand Marnier just before serving.
Slice the tenderloin into 3/4 inch | 2 cm medallions and arrange the slices on plates. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve.
Photo copyright John Sinal Photography, used with permission.
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34pm PDT