· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Dec. 2009: Greek Christmas

December 2009
Welcome This month's topic was supposed to be "Greek Grilling". Problem is, we've got so much going on for Christmas around here that we've ended up giving the Greeks short-shrift. We've got one Greek recipe (see below) and that's it for Greek content. We promise to stock up on ouzo and make it up to you in the future. In the meantime, we've got lots to tell you about so let's get going...

Your Christmas Gift For the last three years, we've included a coupon for a free gift in our December newsletter. And, for the past three years, we've stressed the fact this was a no-strings-attached, absolutely free offer. Seems like you've been listening because we've given away a shocking amount of free stuff. This is a bit of a problem because, well, it's expensive. I mean, we're happy to see you and everything but jeepers; free is only free to half of those involved. But, because we love you and we love Christmas and we love our fellow man, we're going to give away another gift this year: This year we're giving away a porcelain coated grill topper. This 16"x12" topper is perfect for grilling smaller items that might otherwise slip through your grills. Things like shrimp, sliced vegetables and fajita fixings. The thick porcelain coating on this steel topper makes it easy to clean and the ridges around the side keep your menu items contained.
 

Barbecue Tipster This year's Christmas tip is: do your gift shopping at a hassle-free store. "Where's that" you ask? Why at Barbecues Galore of course. Our stores are jammed full of inexpensive gift ideas such as kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and unique barbecue rubs and spices. If you need to find a gift for someone that enjoys cooking I guarantee you that you can find them something fun in our stores. To make the experience even better we offer no lineups, no crowds and enough parking to handle Chrysler's inventory problem. So, it's your choice: lineups and headaches at the mall, or fast, fun and easy at Barbecues Galore. If you can't decide on a specific item for the griller in your midst we've assembled some hot-looking gift baskets for you to choose from. These baskets are affordable, sleek and professional. Whether you're buying for one or many, these baskets will set you apart from the cheese and chocolate crowd. And yes, to the thousands of you that have been asking: we DO have barbecue themed tree ornaments. Rest easy fanatics.
   
 

Gotta Have It
  A fireplace is an important part of Christmas. If you don't have one, we can help: we carry a wide assortment of high quality wood, gas and electric fireplaces in all four of our stores. If you already have a fireplace and you need some accessories to make it more fun or functional, we've got that too. We stock more fireplace accessories than anyone else in the country. Do you need a fireplace screen to keep little hands away from the heat? We've got it. How about a rugged set of fireplace tools to make things easier for your household pyromaniac? We've got that too.

Meet the Experts Last month we told you the story of the Barbecues Galore bear. He's been holding the door for our customers for many, many years. Then a few months ago we made the decision to retire Mr. Bear as he had a few 'accidents' involving toddlers and gravity. After we announced the retirement a vocal group of readers (ok, one reader, but she was vocal) argued for Mr. Bear's rejuvenation. We're on it. Keep your eyes peeled for a faster, higher, stronger Mr. Bear in the future. And thanks to another generous reader that donated some garden gnomes to help Mr. Bear with his door duties. Much appreciated - they're already hard at work.
Moving along to some of our more organic staff... this is Lee. He's our fireplace service expert in Calgary. When you've got a problem or safety concern with your existing gas fireplace, Lee is the guy we send to your house to make things right. Whether you have a clearly defined issue or just want a cleaning and safety check, just let us know and Lee's on his way.

Recipe of the Month And now for the 'Greek' portion of the newsletter. This month's recipe is a simple little number. Short on difficulty and long on taste. Baste it and Taste it Greek Chicken Taken from Stephen Raichlen's 'Sauces, Rubs and Marinades' 1/2 cup lemon juice 3 cloves minced garlic 1 tsp coarse salt 1 tsp black pepper 2 tsp dried oregano 1 cup extra virgin olive oil Chicken pieces (we used breasts)
Assemble your ingredients.
Try to use Greek oregano. Apparently there are dozens of types of Oregano; think of it as a flavour instead of as a particular herb. "Greek Oregano" is stronger and sharper than many other varieties. Look for it at specialty food stores and, probably, in Greece. Bring me back some if you go. Whisk all ingredients (except chicken) in a bowl to make your basting sauce.
Consistently brush the sauce onto the chicken using fresh Rosemary stems. It's surprised me how much you can taste the rosemary in the chicken afterwards.
While grilling - be vigilant. There is a lot of oil in the basting sauce and you can easily lose your chicken to flare-ups. Don't stray too far and keep the heat directly under the chicken to a minimum.
Remove chicken and garnish with fresh rosemary.
We served with couscous, pita bread and Greek salad. Incidentally, we used the basting sauce as our Greek salad dressing. Before we started basting the chicken we just poured it on our salad. Delicious. A terrific, simple recipe. Sadly, there was no retsina…

Ask Dr. McGrillemup
Question: Dear Doctor, My neighbour told me that I should only use a brass bristled cleaning brush to clean my barbecue grills because anything else will scratch my porcelain coated cooking grills. Is that true? Mr. A. Nall  
Answer: Mr. Nall, Your neighbour is mostly right; you definitely don't want to scratch the grills of your barbecue. And yes, brass is soft enough so that it won't harm your grills. However, other metals are also soft enough to leave your porcelain coating intact. Stainless steel, for example is soft enough to use (as an added bonus, stainless steel bristles tend to last a wee bit longer than brass ones). Sincerely, Dr. McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue Often in life, things just don't line up the way we think they ought to. The supermarket is out of milk, your car won't be fixed on time, the cops find your moonshine-still in the backyard; you know, everyday disappointments. Well, I've found something that makes up for all of that. Something that is so perfect in presentation and timing that I'm starting to believe that a Supreme Being not only exists but he/she has a hell of a day timer. I'm talking about a YouTube video showing the 'Barbecue' clip from Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas. Talk about the perfect intersection of grilled food and the holy season. Man, it gives me shivers. Check it out:  
In other barbecue related news, here are a few of the grilled lunches we've had around BBQ- HQ in the last few weeks:
Always on theme: Leslie grilled chicken souvlaki, roast potatoes, Greek salad, tzatziki and pita bread.
Trevor smoked a ham and grilled some scalloped potatoes over hardwood charcoal.
Ross grilled ginger beef and shanghai noodles with vegetables and oyster sauce.
Lana barbecued some curry pork and with an eye to adventure grilled some...bread.
Pictures of us are nice but we want to see you too. Send us a picture and/or story of you (or a friend of yours, or an enemy of yours) grilling and we'll send you a $25 gift certificate usable throughout our massive chain of four stores.

This Month's Winners
Every single month, we randomly draw four winning names (one per store) from our newsletter mailing list. We only post the winning names below so you've got to keep your eyes peeled each month. If you win, you can claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification. Congratulations to this month's winners of a Greek style gift: Jasmin Ohlhoff (Calgary South) Tom Taylor (Calgary North) Clark Olson (Burlington) Mike Bucci (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue
  Next month we're talking about citrus flavours and grilled food. Sweet! (er...Sour!)

Contact Us We want to hear from you! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: query@barbecuesgalore.ca Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

North Calgary 3505 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, Alberta 403-250-1558 South Calgary 5875 9th Street SE, Calgary, Alberta 403-258-4440 Burlington #1 3100 Harvester Road Burlington, Ontario 905-639-5952 Oakville 490 Speers Road Oakville, Ontario 905-844-3224

     
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