· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Apr. 2010: Korean BBQ

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April 2010
WelcomeThis month we're talking about Korean barbecue. This despite the fact that, until now, everything I knew about Korea, I learned from M*A*S*H and movies with marionettes. After some research I have learned the following about Korean bbq:
  #1. In North America, most people associate Korean barbecue with restaurants where you go and cook, as a group, on a barbecue placed in the table in front of you. Why you'd want to do this instead of cook on your own barbecue is beyond me.
  #2. The two most famous types of Korean barbecue are Galbi and Bulgogi. Galbi is a marinated rib. Bulgogi is marinated, thinly sliced beef. (Stay with us, we've got a Bulgogi recipe below.)
  #3. When eating barbecued food (ok, when eating any food), Koreans eat kimchi. Pickled cabbage (and sometimes, if you're really lucky, pickled turnips!). They eat LOADS of the stuff. There's a great article about the relationship between Koreans, their bulgogi and their kimchi here. A guy I know has a kimchi fridge in his basement. I mean sure, a beer fridge; ok, fine. But a pickled cabbage fridge?
  #4. Koreans drink a ton of booze that I've never heard of. See their official government synopsis here.
  #5. Korean barbecue is traditionally served in frying pans by people dressed as cows.
  In other news: it's barbecue season! That's right, it's now often above zero degrees so you better get outside and get grilling. To that end, our stores are now officially on 'summer hours'. That means we're open every day between now and Labour Day (well, that's not true in Ontario where The Man forces us to close on statutory holidays).
  And our newest retail catalogue is back from the printers and available in-store. Forty-eight pages of mouthwatering product and recipes. We'll be delivering to the Calgary, Burlington and Oakville markets any day now - so keep your eyes peeled.
  And, in other exciting news, our seventh annual "Worst Barbecue in Canada" contest is up and running. So, if your family is embarrassed of you and your current barbecue, now's the time to turn shame into a brand new barbecue. See our website for all the details.
  Add us to the list of crass merchants eagerly sniffing for attention on the information superhighway. That's right, we're on facebook! As you probably know, we're an insecure bunch so please sign up as an 'enthusiast' or 'devotee' or whatever. Right this minute our page looks like a Russian supermarket in 1985 but, in a few short days, that thing will sing and dance. Keep your eye on it for some eye-popping weekly sales on barbecue accessories we'll be having in our stores. We'll also be featuring a bunch of completely useless information and goofy pictures that you can ignore at your leisure.

Barbecue Tipster Two tips this week; one barbecue related and one NOT barbecue related. First the barbecue related tip:
If you need a natural gas line - call us. That's right; we can come out to your house, and make sure that you have a never ending supply of nature's wonder fuel, zipping out to your deck so that your barbecue can run 24/7. Or, we can extend gas lines in your house for your fireplace, oven, or your natural gas powered popcorn popper. Surprised? Don't be. Our installers go away to school for what seems like a crazy amount of time so that they're qualified to do this work.
    And here's the non-bbq tip:
Go find and read what is easily the world's best graphic novel ever written about North Korea: Guy Delisle's 'Pyongyang'. A fascinating travel documentary from one of Canada's best. His book on Burma is fascinating too but I'm not sure we're ever going to have a Burmese version of this newsletter (grilled Python anyone?) so you'll have to remember to pick that one up when you find the Korean book.

Gotta Have It
This is the Sizzle Q. With the Sizzle Q, you can easily grill small pieces of food that would ordinarily fall through your typical barbecue grills (like the meat in the Korean Bulgogi recipe below). Also perfect for fajitas, pancakes, French toast and a big, old stir-fry. They're made out of rugged stainless steel and feature high side walls that allow you to keep your food on the griddle and out of the flame.

Meet the Experts Meet Josh. He works at our store in Burlington. He started with us five years ago during his summer breaks from school. Back then, he was responsible for shoveling coal into our heaters, feeding the delivery horses and wrapping customer's purchases in butcher paper and twine. Now look at the little fella - all growed up. Why, these days he's ordering product and keeping track of inventory using highly advanced tools like calculators, computers and even lasers.Josh currently cooks on a Weber Genesis barbecue. His last barbecue? another Weber Genesis. I suppose that means he's happy with the brand. His number one barbecue tip is to use a good-quality meat thermometer whenever you're grilling so you know that the food is properly cooked. His favourite grilled meal is...not kimchi...steak. Steak marinated in Worcestershire sauce, steak spice and steak sauce.Josh has never been to Korea. He is, however, thinking of buying a Korean car. He's hoping for a Hyundai Pony if anyone has one for sale. He wants to lower it and add ground effects, spinners, the works.

Recipe of the MonthKorean Bulgogi BeefI say "bulgogi", you say "pul-kogi". Truthfully, I'm not really sure how you're supposed to say it but, no matter how you say it, it's tasty. Apparently 'Bulgogi' translates as 'fire-meat' in Korean (which incidentally was my nickname in College - strange world). The Hot Line test kitchen loved the flavour in this dish but it's definitely not 'subtle'. You know you've had something to eat after you've had this - lots of salt, garlic and soy combine for mega-umami.Ingredients
  • 1 pound beef thinly sliced (we used rib-eye for the straight guy)
  • 6 cloves (!) garlic - this is not a 'date night' dish
  • 1/2 diced pear (a pear? What the...?)
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • black pepper to taste (optional)
Lay out your ingredients.
The pear!
Combine all ingredients. Add the sliced beef and marinate overnight in the fridge.
Grill quickly at high heat.
The beef cooks very fast when it's sliced thin so don't wander away. In fact, it's best if you bring a partner to help you.
Serve over noodles or rice...
...or over greens for a delicious, asian-style salad.
P.S - The official Korean government version of a traditional bulgogi recipe is here.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup Question:Dearest Doctor McGrillemup,My dear friend Hans Blix celebrates his anniversary with his fine, strong wife later this month. He is, I am told, a barbecue aficionado, what can I present him with as a gift? (If you know Hans, you know that he goes absolutely 'nuclear' if he doesn't get something good for his birthday). Sincerely, Kim Jong-Il Member, Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK Answer: Dear Great Leader, It is obvious to me that you are keen to make your friend happy. Not knowing Mr. Blix I am going to assume that he already owns a barbecue. So perhaps you should consider giving him a grilling accessory. Then again, maybe he already owns a lot of accessories? How about a gift certificate? Many of our customers give gift certificates as presents. They are available in any denomination and have no expiry date. A perfect gift for Blix. Regards, Dr. M

The World of Barbecue
Susan and Eddie sometimes store their plastic barbecue brush in their barbecue between uses. Sometimes they forget to lift the lid when they light their barbecue. We're sending Susan and Eddie a $25 gift certificate for sending us their grilling picture. I'm thinking that they'll use the gift certificate to buy a new brush or two. Remember, if you send us a grilling picture - we'll send you a $25 gift certificate that you can use in any of our four stores. It's like, 'free'. These are some of the lunches we enjoyed around BBQHQ this past month:
Hillary grilled (ok, "baked") lasagna on the barbecue.
Tom grilled ribs. We love ribs. (And yes, that IS a garbage truck in the background. Hey, life goes on - even when you're grilling.)
Cindy (with a little help from her chef husband) served up homemade burgers, smoked potato salad, smoked vegetable pasta salad and one of her specialty deserts rhubarb and apple crisp.

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 griddle and tool package:Jason Rai (Calgary South) Trish & Gerry Simpson (Calgary North) Jack Lane (Burlington) Andres Costa (Oakville)

Next Month's Issue
Next month we're going to Argentina. Well, we're not actually going to Argentina, it's way too busy around the shop in May to actually go anywhere but, figuratively, we're going to Argentina. We'll spend a few minutes talking about the land of red meat and red wine - sounds like paradise. See you in a month.

Contact UsWe want to hear from you!If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: query@barbecuesgalore.caRemember, 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 3100 Harvester Road Burlington, Ontario 905-639-5952 Oakville 490 Speers Road Oakville, Ontario 905-844-3224

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