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October 2007 Harvest

 

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 October 2007


 

We’re feeling a little sheepish here at the Hot Line.  Guilty even.  Embarrassed.  You see, we think we’ve let you down with this month’s newsletter theme of “The Harvest”.  Upon reflection it seems kind of lame.  Predictable.  Dull.  Flat.  After all, we’re the people that brought you last September’s theme of “Pork, the one you love”.  And remember November of 2005?: “Moose:  the other grey meat.”  A classic.

To be honest we got all excited about trying to grill a pumpkin for this month’s recipe and we just ran out of time to think of a relevant theme.  On reflection we should have gone with “Grilling with Gourds” or “Sleepy Hollow Barbecue Classics”, but, alas, we went all vanilla and chose “The Harvest”.  A topic any elementary kid in the country could have chosen.  Apologies. Anyway, read through this month’s issue of the Hot Line knowing that we’ve already picked a better theme for next month and, pay special attention to the pumpkin recipe – it kicks gourdish ass. Happy Grilling, Barbecues Galore

 

 

Turn it down.   You’d be stunned (well, maybe you wouldn’t be but we are) by how many people comment that their barbecues are too hot.  It happens often. Of course, being customer-focused, iron skinned, uber-polite retailers, we nod our heads, mutter words of consolation and then politely recommend that the customer use the knobs on the barbecue for what they were intended: to vary the heat output! We think it’s because a lot of you grew up with a dinosaur barbecue that only had one heat setting and required a weekend with the lid down to heat up. Well, those days are gone. A good quality barbecue takes less than ten minutes to heat up and has a wider range of heat output than most people’s ovens. Once the barbecue has warmed up feel free to adjust the temperature to the appropriate level to what you’re cooking. If you’re finding that your dinner is being scorched: turn it down!
 

 

 
 

 
      

Grilled Pumpkin Okay, here it is – our grilled pumpkin recipe.  The recipe that got us going on all of this “harvest” nonsense.  And, if we do say so ourselves – it’s worth the wait.  There’s something about plopping a pumpkin full of grilled vegetables down on the table in front of your guests that is immensely satisfying (and tasty too).  We stole (oops, pardon me:  ‘borrowed’) the recipe from www.recipezaar.com.

  Ingredients 6 lb pumpkin OR 6 - 1 lb white striped OR 2 3-lb. pie pumpkins (or a combination of both)   1/3 cup butter melted 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 large sweet peppers, yellow, red, or orange seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 medium red onions, cut into wedges (3 cups) 2 Portabello mushrooms 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups tomatoe wedges Olive oil Balsamic Vinegar

 

  Assemble ingredients.

  Cut the top of the pumpkin off.  This is a good chance to cut ‘jack o’ lantern’ holes into it if you want.  However, be aware that cooking juices will leak out of the holes during cooking.

 

  Remove the seeds and that gross, slimy, pulpy stuff.

 

  Rinse the seeds for roasting later; on your barbecue of course.

 

  Place the punkin and the lid CUT SIDE DOWN in a roasting pan with an inch or two of water in the bottom.  The water will keep your punkin nice and moist. Cut your vegetables into slices or wedges and add liberal (small “L”) doses of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

 

  Grill on your barbecue (preferably using indirect heat) on medium for about 30-45 minutes.  The longer you cook your pumpkin the softer and tastier the pumpkin meat (“flesh”?) will be.  However, as a presentation bowl, a slightly undercooked punkin looks a bit nicer.

 

  Add the chili powder, sugar and cinnamon to the melted butter and stir.  Make lots of this mixture as it adds a nice sweet and earthy taste to the punkin.  We added chipotle chili pepper and it was delicious.

 

  Heat up your grill topper on the barbecue.  You’ll need direct heat for this.

 

  Add your onions and let them soften up a bit.

 

  Add the mushrooms and any harder vegetables you might want to add that will take longer to cook.

  After it is soft enough to eat – remove the pumpkin from the roasting pan.

 

  Baste the inside of the punkin with lots and lots of the butter and spice mixture.  Of course you’ll be using a silicon basting brush to do this.

 

  Place the barbecue and lid ‘cut side down’ on the barbecue grill.  This will add some nice barbecued flavour and char marks to the punkin.
    Add your peppers to your topper and stir them about.

 

  Let your mixed vegetables and your upside down punkin cook for about ten minutes and then remove the pumpkin from the grill.

 

  Spoon your grilled vegetables into the pumpkin.

 

  During the transfer of vegetables to the pumpkin be careful not to drop any of the vegetables on the ground…

 

  Place the lid on the pumpkin and you’re ready to serve.  Letting the vegetables ‘stew’ inside the punkin allows the flavours to mingle and intensify.  You may even consider putting the full pumpkin on the grill for a few more minutes.

 

  Eat. You or your guests will have to carve into the soft punkin to get at its meat. This was an interesting extremely tasty way to cook fall vegetables. When we do it again we’ll add some green vegetables to brighten things up a bit. Using “pie pumpkins” worked well as they have a sweeter taste.  If you could find smaller pumpkins so that you could serve one per guest that would be ideal.
 

Seranda is in charge of purchasing here at Barbecues Galore.  If you’ve ever been looking for an unusual barbecue part or accessory you’ll know what a great job she does.  Seranda is from the tiny, almost unheard of town of Fnert, Saskatchewan and knows a thing or two about the Harvest (ask her about ‘harvesting’ chickens with her mother – it’ll make your blood run cold and thin like a high mountain stream).  While she has never grilled a pumpkin, her husband Harold is a professional chef and has grilled about everything imaginable for Seranda and their eight year old daughter Sadie. Seranda is familiar with Neil Young’s “Harvest” but prefers his Crazy Horse stuff.  She once had a ‘Harvest Gold’ Maytag refrigerator which, unfortunately, got mouldy due to two weeks away and a really, really lousy roommate named Heather (boo Heather!).
 

No self respecting griller should be without some type of grill-topper.  These handy gadgets allow you to grill the un-grillable: those tiny little pieces of food that would ordinarily fall through your cooking grills.  Things like chopped vegetables, shrimp and cubed meat.  The grill-toppers come in many shapes and sizes.  There are stainless steel versions which will last a long, long time and withstand a lot of abuse.  There are porcelain coated versions which are easy to clean.  Food doesn’t stick to the porcelain versions as much but you need to use a non metallic spatula to ensure you don’t chip the porcelain coating.We prefer using the grill-toppers with side walls – either round or wok shaped.  When ‘stir-frying’ small items on the grill the sides allow you to move items around without them jumping out of the topper and through your cooking grills.  

 

And now it’s time for a “gotta have it” sneak preview…  In December’s issue of the Hot Line we’ll feature a bbq’d turkey recipe that we’ll cook using the slightly pornographic “Turkey Cannon”.  If you’re grilling your turkey for Thanksgiving this month you might want to investigate this gadget before December – it’s fantastic.

FAQ

Question: How do I clean the cooking grills on my barbecue?

Answer:  There are a few of us around here who consider cleaning a barbecue unlucky – sort of like washing your hockey equipment.  There are others of us – with wives mostly – who realize that everything needs to be cleaned occasionally.  However, it’s not something we’re overly excited about so we do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.  In the case of cooking grills here’s what you do:  turn the heat on your barbecue WAY up and put the lid down.  Wait ten minutes.  Take a brass or stainless steel bristled brush (both brass and stainless steel are soft enough metals to pose no threat to your porcelain coated cooking grills) and scrub the hell out of your grills.  Put the lid back down.  Wait another ten minutes and turn your barbecue off.  Scrub again.  If you want to get the other side of your grills clean, flip them over (when cool to the touch) and repeat the procedure.  You can put any high quality cooking grill in a self cleaning oven or dishwasher but the above procedure is quicker, easier and just as effective.
 

 

NEXT ISSUE

For next month’s issue of the Hot Line we’ll be discussing wine and the barbecue (great theme Eh?).  This is not only appropriate to the time of year but also dovetails nicely with one of our stronger addictions here at the Hot Line.

Now, we know for a FACT that some of you have some entertaining stories, pictures or recipes that involve grilling and wine.  If you send us a picture and/or story of your experience we’ll send you a $25 gift certificate usable in any of our four stores.  That’s as close as you’re going to get to free money so email us today.
          

Sauce Prize Pack Prize pack includes a selection of hot cooking supplies. This includes our featured hot sauces, skewers, a basting brush, seasoning, a mitt and a wok. Congratulations to this month's winners:

 

F. Deshayes (Calgary South)

Gord Robertson (Calgary North) Mary E. Dent (Burlington) John Webb (Oakville)

 

Each month names are drawn from those collected at each store and online to win. Claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification.

 


Finally, we want this newsletter thing to be a two-way street. We interrupt your work day with a barbecue missive of miscellany, and you get to call us and have your questions, queries and complaints addressed. Email us at:query@barbecuesgalore.ca Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

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