· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Mar. 2011: Barbecuing with Mustard

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March 2011
  I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. The Bible, Matthew 17:20
It's not often that we launch the Hot Line with a bible verse. In fact, you can sum up the number of biblical references in this newsletter very succinctly with the word "zero". However, we're talking about mustard this month and, I was led to believe that The Bible and Mustard had a real 'connection'. In fact, I was told that they got along like hot dogs and ... uh, ketchup I guess. Apparently, the word "mustard" is mentioned over 200 times in the King James version of the bible. What does this mean to us from a barbecue perspective? Well, as it turns out, it appears to mean very little. Maybe nothing. Just an interesting fact. And, in other interesting mustard news:  
  Many of us think of barbecue sauce as a tomato based concoction. In South Carolina barbecue sauce is primarily mustard based. Made of mustard, vinegar, sugar and spices. It's supposed to be sweet, tangy and delicious. (If you've tried it 'in the field' drop us a line and let us know what you think.)
  Canada produces 90% of the world's mustard seed. Saskatchewan itself produces the majority of that 90%! Between cornering the market on potash, mustard and gritty; two-way hockey players, I say - watch out for Saskatchewan.
  The bright yellow colour of typical, ball-park mustard is from turmeric.
  Long ago, the world's smartest people, The Danes, reportedly had an interesting "cure" for a woman's frigidity - a potion of mustard seeds, ginger and spearmint. Try it out and let us know what you think - we're always interested in feedback here at The Hot Line.
  The Beatles song "Mean Mr. Mustard" was written in India by John Lennon in the spring of 1968 when I'm sure he was as straight as an arrow. It was written in time to make the White Album but wasn't recorded in the studio until the Abbey Road sessions (shocking fact about the Abbey Road album here).

Barbecue Tipster  
Time for a fireplace tip. It's minus twenty outside, the fireplace is burning wood like Charlie Sheen burns bridges and we ask ourselves: what should we do with all those fireplace ashes in the bottom of the fireplace? Here's just a few tips:  
De-skunk your dog: apparently rubbing ashes into your dog's coat will help neutralize skunk odor.
Soap: making hardwood (not softwood) ash into lye, then reduced animal fat and salt gives you...soap. Oh sure, you can buy a bar of soap for about $0.25, but isn't it nice to know that you don't have to?
You've Got the Silver: make a paste out of ash and water and scrub your silver clean.

Gotta Have It 
  Brassica mustard - of course. Put down the French's. Buy handmade, high-quality products from a local producer. (Mind you, if you're reading this newsletter you probably already do that. In that case, tell a friend.)

Meet the ExpertsThis is Desmond and Karen. They are the owners of Calgary's Brassica Mustard. Desmond is a fancy, shmancy chef, a culinary instructor at SAIT and knows a thing or two about mustard so we've asked him a few questions: The Hot Line: What is the difference between whole grain mustard and 'prepared' mustard? Desmond: In most cases prepared mustard is made with mustard flour/powder. Grinding the mustard helps release those potent oils that really contain most of the punch in the powdered mustards. Add some spice and colour with turmeric and voila, ballpark mustard. The Hot Line: What is a good, simple tip for using mustard with grilled foods? Desmond: Marinate! Vinegar is a common ingredient in the condiment and this is great for tenderizing and drawing out flavours in our foods. Watch the sweetness in some of the mustards. Sugars equal carmelization/burning. Maybe adding a sweet mustard glaze to finish those BBQ specialties. The Hot Line: I'm not sure I understand mustard powder and what it's good for. Any help? Desmond: From hair conditioner to chest decongestant, relieving sore throats and muscle-relaxing baths there is a variety of useful applications. In the professional kitchen mustard is used as a flavouring agent as well as an emulsifier with dressings. And of course that 'boost' for the circulation. The Hot Line: Why do people keep leaving this Colonel Mustard character in a dark room with candlesticks? Desmond: Otherwise he would be in the pantry with the maid. Of course! The Hot Line: What are your thoughts on prepared, ballpark mustard? Desmond: All foods have their place, whether in our hearts and memories or that special familiar twist in foods that we love. Beware though, some folks are very allergic to mustards and have very severe reactions. The Hot Line: There are three types of mustard seed? Brown, yellow and black? Which type(s) do you use at Brassica and why? Desmond: We use yellow and brown. The combination of nuttiness and pungency is a mix that took some time to find. The balance appeals to mustard fans. The Hot Line: How about mustard greens? Do you have a lot of those surplus after you've done your thing? Do you eat them lots? Desmond: We get the seed after harvest and don't see the greens. Many times though our family has enjoyed mustard greens as they are easy to grow and very high in vitamins and they help in the lowering of cholesterol. The Hot Line: We understand that some cultures consider mustard to be an aphrodisiac, you have four children - any comment? Desmond: I'm not sure it's that kind of a stimulant, but a stimulant it is. The heat in the oils defiantly increases circulation and warms you from the inside so there is merit in the arousal approach.

Recipe of the MonthGrain Mustard & Pepper-Crusted Steaks Ingredients:
  1/2 cup dry red wine
  1/2 cup olive oil
  2 shallots, minced
  1 small clove garlic, minced
  1/4 cup wholegrain mustard
  2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  1 1/2 Tbsp to 2 1/2 Tbsp coarsely, cracked peppercorns
  1 tsp thyme, Dried
  1 tsp salt
  hot sauce to taste
  6 steaks, such as strip or rib-eye
Assemble your ingredients.
Combine wine, oil, shallots, garlic, 2 teaspoons of the mustard, the Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the peppercorns, thyme and salt in a blender or food processor; mix well.
Transfer to a glass baking dish and add steaks, turning several times so they are well coated. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight, turning several times.
Combine remaining mustard and hot pepper sauce in a small dish.Remove steaks from marinade; pat dry. Spread a thin layer of mustard mixture over one side of each steak and add some of the remaining pepper.
Place on BBQ, mustard-side down. Brush remaining mustard over and sprinkle with pepper.
Grill, turning once, until cooked as desired.
Yummy, mustardy goodness.

Ask Dr. McGrillemupQuestion: Dear Doctor M, I've been wondering this for years: What does a miniature labradoodle that has jumped onto a kitchen cupboard and eaten a pound of Italian biscotti look like? Regards, B. Ambuzled. Answer: Dearest B, Sincerely, Doctor M.

The World of BarbecueHere's a few submissions from our loyal, hearty readers:
Cindy was grilling her salmon in minus thirty.
Grace's husband didn't let the snow stop him from a tasty grilled meal.
Wayne got Sirius about rotisseried chicken in the backyard.
Brent (ace guitar player as well as a mean hand with grilling equipment) and his daughter Jordan fired up the Weber Smoky mountain cooker and cooked BOTH a pork shoulder and a beef brisket. They're our kind of people.
Brent's handy work.
Send us a picture of you using your barbecue and we'll send you a gift certificate for $25 that you can use in any of the stores in our massive, world dominating retail chain. That's like...free money.

Non Grilling Joke of the Month 
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away." The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?" "Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," replied the vet. "How can you be so sure," she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something." The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room. The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!" The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."

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 Mustard Sampler and Prize Pack: Linda Hebardt (Calgary South) James Jegen (Calgary North) Natalia McKellar (Burlington) Loraine Ewart (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue 
  Next month is Easter. We're going to talk about grilling rabbit. Thing is, we don't actually know much about that (surprised?). If you DO know something about grilling rabbit (especially if you've got pictures to prove it), let us know in the next few weeks. See you next month...

Contact UsWe 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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