· Food For Thought
Recipe of The Month: Canada Day Barbecue Menu
Canada offers a bounty of iconic foods, hobbies and more. We've admittedly honed in on some of the stereotypical Canadian foods in this Canada Day Menu - Mmmmaple syrup, whisky - without the 'e' - and mustard. (Yes, mustard and Canada have a long history.)
With a grillout menu that is family-friendly, get your pen and paper out (or start shouting at Alexa or Google Assistant) and take notes before heading to the grocery store. You won't need to pick up much though, because most of the ingredients are household staples and have less than 6 ingredients in each. It's the long weekend, it should be easy, right? That's what we thought.
Canada Day Barbecue Menu
- Cowboy Dogs
- Whisky-Maple Chicken Wings
- PEI Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing
- Berry Patriotic Strawberry Cups
Cowboy Dogs Recipe
Growing up, this was always a treat to us. We never really ate a ton of hot dogs so it was extra special to us to get these hot dogs that were topped with maple baked beans. Funny what passed for luxury when we were kids, but it's about the same as a chili dog - so maybe somethings never change. They just get a little more refined as you age.
- 4 hot dogs - I like to use All-Beefs from VG Meats
- 4 Small Brioche Hot Dog Buns
- 1 can Clark's Maple Baked Beans
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- Slot Dog Hot Dog Tool
- Cast Iron Basting Station
Like I said before, this recipe is super easy. Why not get the kiddos help you make it? It's never too early to get them fired up about grilling. Okay, maybe there's a cutoff. Let's say 5? So fire up the barbecue and let's get started.
While your barbecue is preheating, empty a can of baked beans into your cast iron pot and put them on the grill. These just need to be warmed up so they can warm up gradually, no need to wait for the barbecue to be hot.
Next, grab your wieners and your Slot Dog and get scoring. Yes, we did that on purpose. We're huge fans of the Slot Dog around here. Some might think it's a gimmick, but once you try it for yourself your hot dog life will be forever changed. Simply lay the hotdogs on a cutting board and press the tool down slowly to create a diamond pattern. This scoring in the hot dog helps it to hold in more of the sauce and to cook more evenly. By now your barbecue should be hot, so get those hot dogs on the grill already.
While your hot dogs are cooking away, grab the buns. If you can't find small buns it's not the end of the world you can always just use two regular buns and cut them in half later. I just love the way brioche buns crisp up when you grill them. Depending on how thick the buns are, either push down the inside of the bun or scoop some of the bread out to form a well.
Once the hot dogs are ready cut them in half and place the halves onto each side of the buns and then place on the grill. Grab a spoon and top the hot dogs with the tasty maple baked beans that should have started to bubble a bit by now. Seal it all in with some shredded cheese and shut the lid for two minutes while it melts. Et voila!
Maple-Whisky Chicken Wings
Sure, you can use any old whisky, but as a Canadian company on a day celebrating our lovely nation, we chose to go with Wiser's. Plus, if you're going to have a glass while you cook, it might as well be the good stuff.
- 1 kg pack of split chicken wings
- 1/2 cup of Ketchup
- 1/2 cup of Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup of Whisky
- 1/4 cup of Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Cast iron saucepot
Heat your barbecue on medium-high. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to your wings while you wait. Once the grill is hot and you've oiled it down, add your wings to the grill with the skin side down.
While the wings are cooking, pour yourself a glass of whisky because it's time to get a little saucy, and by that we mean we're making the sauce. Remember when we promised simple? Measure your ingredients and combine them in your sauce pot. We just reused the one from our baked beans. They were 'mapley' after all and you'll need the basting brush later on. Put the pot on the grill and flip your wings. Stir the sauce occasionally with the basting brush.
Give them about 10 more minutes, then it's time to whip out that instant read thermometer and check for safe cooking temps. (Thermometers are the most underrated grilling tool - if you don't have one, get one.) Once your wings are cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F, it's time to get those wings basted.
Turn the wings over and slather on that sauce liberally. Have a few sips of your whisky - don't rush it or anything - then flip and repeat. Serve with leftover sauce for dipping.
Grilled PEI Potato Salad with Grainy Mustard Dressing
Everyone knows that PEI is the largest potato producing province in Canada. (if you didn't now you do!) BUT... did you know that Canada is the WORLD's largest mustard producer? There is even a Great Canadian Mustard Fest in Saskatchewan.
I've never been a fan of the thick, creamy potato salads anyway. This mustard dressing offers a bit of a healthy alternative to those store bought tubs.
- 2 lb bag of baby or fingerling potatoes - I like red potatoes because it gives it some colour
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Green onions, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your grill to medium. Cut the baby potatoes into halves - some may need to be quartered depending on their size. Toss them in a bowl with a tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper. I like to use Avocado oil because it lends itself better to high heat cooking. When grill is hot, place potatoes directly on the grill.
Optional: Off to the side, place 4 strips of bacon in a ribbed grill pan. This will cook the bacon but prevent any flareups from the grease.
While those spuds are cooking - about 15 minutes or so - prepare the dressing in a medium bowl. Combine garlic, mustards, and red wine vinegar. When blended slowly whisk in the remaining oil until combined.
Remove bacon from pan and transfer to a sheet of paper towel. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, transfer to your bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss until well coated. Top with green onions and optional bacon. Serve at room temperature.