· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Sign Up For The Hot Line
June 2010 | Jamaican Grilling
Jamaica makes me sad. One of the prettiest countries in the world which has, without question, the best soundtrack available, beautiful beaches and one of the tastiest barbecue pedigrees on earth. And yet they can't seem to get their Caribbean poop in a group.
Right now, there's bullets flying in Kingston because the locals don't want to surrender some guy named "Dudus" (a very 'Lebowski-esque' name - I wonder if Dudus likes to bowl?) who, to some, is a hero, and to others, is a scumbag. Assuming that none of us want to get into the middle of a gunfight just to try some tasty grilled food, instead of going to Jamaica, you're going to have to bring a little bit of Jamaica to your backyard. At least for awhile. That's where we come in.
A reminder that every week, all four of our stores feature a 'deal of the week'. This deal takes our already low prices and slashes them on a single item. If you want to see which item is featured on any given week, check out our facebook page.
Only two months left in our 7th annual 'Canada's Worst Bbq' contest. Based on our current volume of entries, this contest is, statistically, as close to "easy" as any contest you'll ever enter so get busy and email those entries in.
This Saturday, we are having our annual birthday sale. Last year, on our 30th birthday, we offered 30% off all barbecue accessories. This year, because it's our 31st birthday, we're offering 31% off of all barbecue accessories. I know, you're thinking: 'Man, if I can just hold out until their 100th birthday, I am going to make out like a bandit'. You're right, you will. Let's just hope we're all around to see that happen.
On Saturday, as usual, we will also be raising money for the Firefighters' Burn Treatment unit. So come by, save some money on your grilling accessories and then turn around and give that saved money to the burn unit. We'll feed you lunch for your troubles. We've got sausages from the mighty, mighty Bon-Ton Meat Market and toothsome buns from the legendary 'Calgary Italian Bakery'. Hope to see you (and lots of sunshine) on Saturday.
Gotta Have It
We sell a lot of patio heaters. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that many of us Canadians are outside trying to enjoy our backyards during parts of the year that are also good for ice-fishing. Whatever the case, they're very popular.
Many of the problems we see over the life of a patio heater are caused by exposure to the elements. Blowing dust, pollen and sand are big culprits. The largest problem is spiders nesting in the valves (they're attracted to the smell of gas for some reason - maybe that's why my Uncle Larry always seems to have spiders in his house, anyways ).
One easy thing you can do to keep debris out of your patio heater and get it to last much longer is to cover it. We now have a vinyl patio heater cover that is well-constructed and fits most propane and natural gas patio heaters (including our own 'Brander' line of heaters). Definitely worth checking out if you want to get some extra mileage out of your heaters.
Meet The Experts
Stacy D has worked for us for a trillion years. She started helping customers at our South Calgary store and has crawled her way up our steeply pitched corporate ladder over the past few years to a job in the accounting department. We're lucky to have her on our team for many reasons including her keen fashion sense (which most of the rest of us had surgically removed shortly after birth.)
Until recently, despite living most of her life in Canada, Stacy was 100% Jamaican. Now, because of her undying love for the game of hockey, she has applied for, and received, her Canadian citizenship. She hardly ever brings out her Jamaican accent anymore and says "eh" a lot now. However, if you pour a few drinks into her or, god forbid, get her angry (which, of course, we NEVER do), you hear a little bit of Jamaica in the voice.Our goal at the next company party is to get her REALLY drunk and REALLY angry and see if we can get her to sound like Peter Tosh arguing a traffic ticket.
Stacy prefers to let her mom do the cooking these days but, when she moves out, she's going to barbecue every meal - all year long. Right now her family is grilling on a Sterling barbecue. Her favourite grilled dish is seasoned fish cooked in tinfoil, served with callaloo (taro leaves cooked low and slow mixed with a variety of foods).
Recipe of the Month
Jerked Chicken with Jerk Rub
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, including green parts
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground Jamaican allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 to 6 Scotch bonnet or habanero chillies, minced fine
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Step 1: Assemble your ingredients. In our case, we didn't have Jamaican allspice so we used 'regular' allspice which, by all accounts, is nowhere near as good. Also, we had to use serrano chillies as we couldn't find any habaneros on short notice.
I know, I know, 'not authentic'. Believe me, if I lived in a place where it didn't snow in May regularly, I would have better access to some of these things.
Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients. Sort of 'curry-esque'
Step 3: Finely chop your peppers. Be careful not to touch your eyes (or any other sensitive body parts) during or after cutting hot peppers.
Step 4: Grind up all ingredients and make a paste.
Step 5: Mix the paste with your chicken and give it an even coating. Let it marinate for 3-4 hours in the fridge.
Step 6: Grill over medium heat.
Step 7: Serve with rice and beans, some grilled plantain and a Red Stripe or six. Enjoy.
Ask Dr. McGrillemup
Dear Doctor M, What is the difference between a banana and a plantain?Signed, Mr. Musa Crop
The plantain, while related to the banana, is a much starchier, less-sweet variant. More like a potato that just happens to be shaped like a banana. Or, if you prefer, a banana that happens to taste like rice.
A raw plantain is too fibrous and starchy to enjoy much. Cook it though and it can be quite tasty. The longer it ripens the sweeter it becomes as the starch becomes sugar. They're best to cook when they're almost black. They're quite nice to grill because, even when they're very ripe, they hold their shape well.
How do you tell a banana from a plantain? That's easy - they're labeled. Must happen right on the tree. Amazing.
The World of Barbecue
On Stacy's latest trip to Jamaica she was kind enough to take some pictures of barbecues at some jerk shacks for us.
"Well sir, the nice things about these rims is that you can commute safely to and from work and then grill yourself a nice rib-eye on them when you get home."
Rice and beans on the left. Mystery food on the right.
Roasted breadfruit cooked right in the coals. (Note: breadfruit was brought to the West Indies from Tahiti by William Bligh who was kicked of The Bounty by Mel Gibson.
This fella is cooking up some callaloo for breakfast.
Jerked chicken. This picture makes my mouth water.
You don't have to travel all the way to Jamaica to take pictures of barbecues - you can do that in your own home if you want. Wherever the pictures are from, they're worth $25 in our store.
Send us a picture and/or story of you grilling and we'll send you a $25 gift certificate usable throughout our massive chain of four stores. In other barbecue news, check out what is possibly history's most expensive barbecue cover here. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but a little exposure on the world-wide-web seems to make things tastier still.
Oh, and Riley made a barbecue out of Lego. Nice work Riley. If anyone else has made a barbecue out of Lego or toothpicks or well, anything really, send us a picture and we'll send you a gift certificate (for barbecue stuff - not Lego).
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 Jamaican style barbecue prize pack:
Sheldon Thumstrom (Calgary South)
Gordon Ricketts (Calgary North)
Anita Mori (Oakville)