Grilling off the grid…

Fear not, we haven’t fallen out of love with the barbeque — we’ve just been away for a few days.  Just far enough north that cell reception was patchy and internet was non-existent.  The last couple of days looked like this –>

A classic Ontario landscape

Welcome to the Canadian Shield: rocks, lakes +trees galore!

But, thankfully, we’ve never been all that far from a grill.  Over the past week or so, we’ve enjoyed steaks expertly grilled by my dad, some s’mores made with kids just learning to roast marshmallows, and a few juicy burgers made beside a lake after a marathon game of Monopoly.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

We couldn’t do any grilling over a campfire due to the recent drought and the resulting fire ban, but on our night to cook we used the barbeque at our friends’ cabin to cook up some tilapia fillets in foil.  We made pouches with 3 fillets each (barely overlapping) and seasoned the fish with salt & pepper, lemon juice, a few dabs of butter, and some minced garlic and onion before sealing up the foil pouches.  Grilled on high for about 20 minutes the fish turned out pretty well, and I think it would work with pretty much any solid white fish.

As with most meals, however, my favourite part was dessert: grilled pineapple slices served with Greek-style honey-flavoured yogurt.  We will most definitely be doing that again.  I’ve seen quite a few pineapple recipes that involve coating the pineapple with some sort of flavouring and I’m sure that would be delicious, too, but we just did straight pineapple sliced about 1cm (½“) thick.  The juices essentially caramelized all on their own.

Alas, it was a little dark by the time we finished and I only had my phone to take photos with so you’ll have to take our word for it that it worked!

It got a little bit dark....

Barbeque by night… this is the pineapple.

Keeping it Simple

Nothing complicated here!

Simple food, full bellies.

Welcome to the weekend, friends!  Nothing complicated or adventurous here, just good food.

We’re on vacation this week, and that probably means that we’ll spend a little extra time with the barbeque trying something new.  It also means that we’ll spend a little extra time at other people’s barbeques enjoying the fruits of their labour (and blogging about it if they’ll let us!).

But today, we’re easing into the weekend and keeping it simple.

I was craving a ballpark hotdog, so I fired up the grill and hubby added a couple of burger patties from the freezer for himself.  As unglamorous as that sounds, they look pretty good, don’t they?

Since corn is in season now and the grilled corn was such a hit last time, I also added a cob to the grill.  In the spirit of keeping it simple, I didn’t use any oil or melted butter while it was grilling this time and only added a bit of butter and salt just before eating.  The result was an equally delicious if slightly smokier flavour, and it totally worked.

Kudos to these hotdogs, too.  We’d never tried them until a couple of weeks ago, and they’re my new favourites.  You know how infuriating it is when the tiny regular hotdogs only take up about two thirds of the standard sized bun?  And then you get to the last bite and it’s just bread and ketchup?  Well that’s not a problem here.  The bun in the photo is a bakery panini roll and it’s a perfect fit.

"Taaake me out to the ballllll gaaaame..."

Ah, Lester, you make a delicious hot dog.

Apparently they’re also the ‘official hot dog’ of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Go Jays! (Thank goodness for professional sports teams that make you feel good about eating food that’s bad for you by assuring you that by doing so you’re being a supportive fan.)

Burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, baseball.

It must be summer!  Enjoy.

 

 

Late Night Snacks: Chocolatey Treats on the BBQ

Now kids, I’m not advocating that you fire up the grill after 10pm when you’ve had a couple glasses of wine.  But if you DO choose to do that, you should try these delicious barbequed banana boats because that’s exactly what I did and they were AWESOME.  I’m a sweet tooth and hubby is not, so this one is all me.

Delicious!

All the fixings: bananas, strawberries, peanut butter, chocolate chips and Nutella. Does it get any better than this?

The recipe says that you can fill them with “any combination of toppings you desire”, so I tried two classics:

1. Strawberries & Nutella

2. Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter

And you know what? They were totally worth using all of the commercial breaks during ‘Masterchef’ to try this recipe. They were wrapped in heavy duty foil and took about 4 minutes per side over medium low heat.  I used a spoon to eat them, but the recipe says that it would taste great with ice cream and that’s probably true, too. Best 8 minute snack ever.

Then… please triple-check that the barbeque is off because wine might make you peckish but it doesn’t make you smart.

Enjoy!

Now we’re cooking with fire…

A couple of weeks ago, we acquired a barbeque.  My husband bought it one afternoon while I was at work, and not a moment was wasted in making up for lost time.  He’d assembled it and eaten a couple of hamburgers before I even got home that night.  The burgers were apparently totally worth the 2 hours of assembly time spent following direction that were clearly written by a drunk monkey.

Almost ready to eat!

A simple beginning: centre cut pork chops with a little olive oil and spices. Pretty good.

It was an auspicious beginning.

We’ve never had a barbeque.  We have been planning to acquire a barbeque since our wedding a few years back, but somehow we had never gotten around to it.  Neither of us know much about barbeques. My in-laws are vegetarian so there wasn’t a lot of need for one in his house, and I’m more of a baker.  So while we’re both decent cooks and we both really love a good steak (or pork chop, or strip of bacon, or rack of lamb) we’d never really had occasion to pay attention to the minutiae of cooking with fire.

Despite this, we’ve used the barbeque almost every single day for the last two weeks.  This has been substantially encouraged by the current heat wave.  Because we don’t want to turn on any indoor appliances, we’ve tried beef burgers, chicken breasts, bison burgers, ballpark hot dogs, roasted veggies, and steak.  So far everything’s been pretty delicious but we spend an inordinate amount of time saying things like “Do you think it’s done?” and “Well, it looks done.  Let’s just eat it.”

Hence the blog.  Originally, I suggested we try cooking something on the barbeque every day for the next year.  (This is Ontario, so while there may be a heat wave now, there will also inevitably be a blizzard in about 6 months.)  We opted instead to spare ourselves the pressure and embrace the enthusiasm we both have for our new acquisition.  The blog is our way to chronicle some of our successes and inevitable failures as we learn more about how to make really excellent food on the grill.

If you’re already an expert, this may not be the blog for you.  If you’re a purist about the spelling of the word “barbecue”, you may be dismayed about my preference for the letter “Q”.  But if you love food (especially grilled food) then we hope you’ll enjoy it.  Over the next little while we’ll be improving the look of the blog, getting a better camera for photos, and setting up a Twitter feed, so bear with us and feel free to share any ideas you may have for improvements.  Thanks for reading!