· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Sept. 2010: Tentacle Grilling

September 2010
  The theme of this week's Hot Line is "tentacles". Yes, tentacles. Those ropy, limb-esque things that stick out of the side of an octopus. Not sure how we got ourselves into this one. I suspect it has something to do with one of those 1.5 litre bottles of retsina and some particularly good calamari. "I can do that. In fact, I can do that on the barbecue!" That's probably how the train of thought left my boozy little station. Anyway, now that we're here we might as well make the best of it... Embarrassingly, it seems that I misunderstood what a tentacle was. I assumed that all the limbs involved in a "cephalopod" (the species of mollusks that include octopi and squids) were tentacles. Nope. Get this: octopus have eight arms (no tentacles), squids have eight arms and two tentacles! So...while this issue of The Hot Line is supposed to be about tentacles what it's really about is cooking octopus and squid on the barbecue. I know that you're probably not surprised by this lack of professionalism. To make it up to you, here are some interesting facts about tentacles and the critters that use them:
  Some plants have tentacles. Those jeezly painful strings that hang off the business end of a jellyfish are tentacles. Why, there's even a mammal with tentacles - the star nosed mole. Learn how to knit one here.
For an extremely cool, if disturbingly thorough, site dedicated to all things squidy ("squidesque"?), click here. All 800 species (approximate) of cephalopods are carnivores. No cephalopods live in fresh water. Some cephalopods taste good when you grill them.

Fall & Winter Hours
  As of September 1, in a desperate bid to get some of our wayward staff some much needed "churchin'-up", we will be closed on Sundays until spring. During the fall and winter all four stores will be open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm.

Barbecue Tipster Tip #1   If you cook a squid head/body/thing whole, like a cutlet (or "squidlet"), the heat will make the meat curl, rendering it nearly impossible to cook evenly. This happened to me once with a Tilapia (aka "the hippo poo fish") and I could have used the thing as a boomerang after I grilled it. Horrible waste. If you want to keep the squid from curling up on you, score it deeply with a knife diagonally in both directions. This is why squid in so many restaurants have that distinctive cross-hatch pattern on it when it shows up at your table. Tip #2 If you want to insure that your squid or octopus is tender, soak it in buttermilk overnight. Buttermilk will reduce strong tastes and help tenderize. It can also be used for game meats and, I've been told, works wonders in taking the "fishy" taste out of frog legs. Another way to tenderize cephalopods is to wack them against some rocks. No, I'm serious. Tip #3 If you're looking for cephalopods to eat, you'll find a large selection at T&T supermarket. They've got a great selection: heads only, tentacles only, octopus, squid, cuttlefish, whole, cleaned, cut, parts, dried, whatever you want. They also have "Beer Mate" at T&T. Not sure what it is but I'll post a review on our facebook page in a few days. Tip #4 Gas Fireplace Clearance Sale until the end of September We're getting ready for the coming fireplace season and our stores have quite a number of floor-model fireplaces that we'd like to get rid of. Mostly these are gas fireplaces that we have had on display, burning in our stores for the last year or so. We'd like to replace them with shiny, new units so we're prepared to offer good-guy pricing on the current displays. Hustle into our stores to check out the units available. We'll make it worth your while: - 25% off all display models until the end of September! This is a serious discount on high quality products so don't delay - these models are first come-first served.

Gotta Have It
A reminder: we've got hoses. You need a short hose for your RV? We've got it. How about a natural gas hose for your barbecue? Got that too. A propane hose for your firepit or patio heater? Check. Plus, we've got all the brass fittings you could ever want to get your gas appliances properly hooked up. If you're trying to get this gas thing hooked to that gas thing - come and see us.

Meet the Experts
Meet Shayne. Shayne works at our South Calgary store. He says that Barbecues Galore is "...the best place I have had the pleasure of working for...great people and lots of fun." He's married to Myra "The most beautiful woman in the world". And has a freshly minted baby girl named Samantha. He is currently cooking on a Broil King barbecue and a Bradley smoker which, especially in the summer, sees most of the grilling action at Shayne's house. Shayne is terrific with customers and has a real gift for merchandising product in the store. His favourite thing to cook in the backyard is Korean BBQ beef short ribs. He's not much of a sea food lover (born and raised in Saskatchewan - Go Riders!!). So, he's never cooked, eaten or even touched a squid or octopus. He has no intention of ever changing that situation.

Recipe of the Month Grilled Squid and Vegetable Salad Truly, there is nothing we won't do for you dear readers. Oh sure, I know that you spend a fortune on this newsletter every month and have high expectations but still, this month's recipe has pushed us to our emotional limit. It wasn't so much the evisceration of the squid - it was the shrill "eeeewww" and "yuck!" and "oh god!" that came out of the mouths of people wandering through The Hot Line test kitchen. I'll tell you one thing - you want to gross out a ten year old - then this is the recipe for you: Ingredients
  • Some Squid - we used "Loligo" squid, no idea what that means - it was the weekly special so we bought it
  • Two bulbs fennel
  • Sweet cherry tomatoes
  • Red peppers
  • Three cloves garlic - minced
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Pepper - 1 tsp
  • Lemon Juice - ½ cup
  • Olive oil - ½ cup
  • Fresh Oregano - 1 Tbsp
  • Parmesan cheese - grated
  • Some leaves for the rest of the food to rest on.
Lay out your ingredients
See?! Eight arms and two tentacles.
Cut off the arms/tentacles just below the eyes.
Remove the oozing guts/brain/eyes/organ sack. This was not my favourite part of the procedure.
Pull out the spine-thing which feels exactly like thin, clear plastic.
Remove the skin which peels off like an onion (a slimy, slippery, heeby-jeeby onion).
Peel off the pointy fins at the top of the body.
The hard, parrot-like beak resides just above the arms. It just pops out...
Using your fingernail, slide all the little uh, pointy teeth-like bits off of the arms. Don't worry if you miss a few - they add crunchiness to the finished product. If someone gets a few with their meal and asks what they are, tell them that they're mini croutons. Do NOT say: "Oh those? Those are the little teeth that are on the arms, or maybe they're little suction cups. Anyway - I must have missed a few."
Slice the body of the squid into rings.
Rinse everything with cold, fresh water.
For the marinade/dressing mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic together. Whisk. Keep half the mixture together for a dressing, the other half is for marinade.
Put the squid in the marinade and let it sit for several hours.
Put the onions, peppers and fennel on your grill. Put the peppers on early so they char completely. The onions take a fair amount of cooking to release their sugars so don't be shy with those either. The fennel either needs a lot of low/slow roasting to soften up or 5-6 minutes in the microwave before they hit the grill - your choice.
When the fennel softens up and is finished grilling, spread a little parmesan cheese on top before you take it off the barbecue.
Put the heavily charred peppers into a plastic bag and let them sweat for a half hour or so on the counter. This helps loosen the skins up.
Peel off the skins, de-vein and de-stem. Then cut the roasted peppers into strips. A little balsamic on top is a nice touch too.
Make sure your grill is nicely hot and put the squid on. Don't leave. Stick around. Squid gets rubbery if you cook it too long. About 2 minutes per side is all you need. (Apologies for the gratuitous brand placement shot.)
Assemble a bed of green leafy bits. Add tomatoes, grilled peppers and fennel. Top with grilled squid and plenty of reserved dressing. This recipe was a bit more work than I'd like but, the squid turned out great. Next time, I'll buy pre-cleaned squid and save a bucket of time.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup Question: Dear Dr McGrillemup, I want to move my natural gas barbecue to the other side of my patio. Trouble is, the hose that came with the barbecue is too short to reach where I want the barbecue to sit. Can I extend the hose? Warmly, Mr. X. Tenshon Answer: Dear X, While you can add a longer hose to your existing barbecue, I don't recommend you trying to extend the existing hose as a handful of connections are required to do so and, when you have multiple connections involved in a gas line, the possibility of a leak is increased. So, you're better to get a new, longer hose. Keep in mind that a natural gas barbecue will likely not work properly with a hose that is any longer than twenty feet in length. After twenty feet, the rubber hoses experience enough loss in pressure that the barbecue may not get enough fuel pressure. If, in your case, the desired location for your barbecue is over twenty feet away, you should have one of our licensed gasfitters come over to your house and extend your hard gas line to where you need it. That way, you can have multiple gas lines on your deck: like tentacles. Sincerely, Doctor McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue
As you probably saw on the nightly news, we have found a winner for our Seventh annual "Worst Barbecue in Canada" Contest. Jack and son from Milton Ontario are now the proud owners of a Napoleon P450 grill. A major upgrade from their old grill. Don't they look happier? In fact, according to a recent study, owning a new barbecue is proven to make all humans 20% happier in their daily lives. Anyway, congratulations fellas! For those of you that didn't win, there's always next year...  
Remember how, a few issues back, I promised that I would quit yabbering about the turkey cannon? Well, I've been true to my word. However, I would like to point out that Ron (pictured here) sent us an email to brag up his turkey cannon. He says: 'Since I've started using the turkey cannon, my life is complete'. I'm paraphrasing but it was something like that...  
  Shopping for a barbecue in Russia? Here's a site for you to check out. 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 tentacle inspired prize pack: Len Harding (Calgary South) Nasirdin Rajan (Calgary North) Brent Osatchuk (Burlington) Godfrey Aedy (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue Next month we're packing up our vuvuzelas and heading to South Africa. See you then.

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

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