· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Nov. 2011: Cheese

November 2011
It's November. And what does that mean around here in barbecue-land? Well for us, it means that we get to see how serious you people were when you told us "What, me? Oh, I grill all year round, yes sir, twelve months of the year. Rain or shine, hot or cold. That's how I roll with my protein: all grilled - all the time." You see, we hear that a LOT in the stores during the spring and summer when the sap, shall we say, is a bit high. And then, winter comes creeping into autumn like a determined tax collector and behold: many of the big-talk barbecue heroes are inside cowering next to their toaster ovens and crock pots. So, where do you stand on cold-weather grilling? Are you with us or against us? If you're on the fence about grilling in colder weather how about this: how about we give you a newsletter so supercharged with grilling tips and ideas that you'll feel yourself irrevocably compelled to get out and grill your next dinner? Sounds powerful yes? It is. It is, because it's powered by cheese. Cheese is nothing if not versatile. You can use so many different types of cheeses on a huge variety of grilled dishes. From a simple pat of blue cheese on a hamburger (my favourite) to a smoked quiche with bacon and fontina. Outside of the store that my kids know as 'dad's happy place' , the cheese store has to be the most educational shopping trip you can make. What other store gives you a geography lesson with every purchase? Every time you try a new cheese, you get a peek into the history and culture of a different part of the world. Wandering around a cheese store exposes you to dozens of languages, hundreds of regions - and a few smells too. It's for that reason that I'm encouraging the cheese industry to change their slogan to: "There's a travelogue in every bite". How about that cheese industry? A new slogan - and it's FREE. Beat that Madison Avenue.  
Only peril can bring the French together. One can't impose unity out of the blue on a country that has 265 different kinds of cheese. Charles de Gaulle  
  And in a non-cheese vein: you've just GOT to enter our second annual 'Canada's Worst Firepit' contest. Remember, the cost to enter is the price of a digital picture and, given the current number of entries (count the entries on our facebook page and then do the math), your chances of winning a stunning backyard firepit from the frenzied firebugs at Urban Fire, are VERY, VERY good.

Barbecue Tipster Of course, we all know that we can use a huge variety of cheeses to put into something or onto something that we've grilled, but how often do you grill cheese all by itself? You should. It's easy and it's delicious. You need a hard, salty cheese that will retain its shape when it's subjected to the high heat of the grill. Maybe the most famous example of this is halloumi from Cyprus.  
Assemble your ingredients. We've been using a fresh cow's milk cheese from a new Calgary company named "Fresk-O" that grills beautifully and tastes fantastic. Check them out here.
Slice cheese and toss with lemon juice, olive oil and some oregano.
Grill over a medium-hot fire (too hot and your cheese will melt) for about five minutes. Serve to your eternally grateful friends and family. This is a great addition to a sandwich or salad but is also fully capable of being the main protein you serve with dinner. Try it.
If you're looking for a complete selection of cheese in Calgary (or Woodstock, Ontario!), you can't do any better than the Springbank Cheese Company. They've got it all: from dainty little Spanish cheeses to soft, runny cheeses that smell like a Frenchman's sock drawer. Linda runs their impressive Crowfoot location and we asked her a few questions about grilling with cheese: The Hot Line: Are people eating more cheese these days?  
  Springbank Cheese: I think they're eating a larger variety of cheeses these days, and opting for higher quality cheeses. It's always been a comfort food and, with people travelling more, some previously unusual cheeses are getting more exposure. Locally, we're seeing a lot more, high-quality Canadian cheeses that are world-class.
The Hot Line: We know about halloumi 'the grillable cheese' - are there other cheeses that stand up to grilling?  
  Springbank Cheese: A lot of the sheep's milk cheeses can be grilled. Traditionally the sheep's milk cheeses have been drier and saltier to help with preservation. This style of cheese won't lose its shape on the grill as easily. The sheep's cheeses from Greece are particularly popular for grilling - cheeses like kashkaval, kesalograviera and kefalotyri (editor: fondly known as the "Opa" cheeses). Indian Paneer is also terrific on the grill.
The Hot Line: What about 'smoked' cheeses? What are the most popular ones?  
  Springbank Cheese: Yes, smoked cheeses are very popular - they're sort of "bacony". One of our best sellers is a British smoked applewood cheddar. Some cheeses have smoked flavours introduced artificially. A cheese that has been genuinely smoked (another traditional method of preservation) will have a brown rind on it.
The Hot Line: A lot of our readers will 'plank' cheese on a wood plank in the grill - what are some of the best cheeses for planking and why?  
  Springbank Cheese: You can do this with just about any cheese. People shouldn't limit themselves to just soft cheeses. Personally, I love Sylvan Star's Grizzly gouda planked on a barbecue.
The Hot Line: Every single one of our customers grills burgers - what's your current favourite cheese on a burger?  
  Springbank Cheese: I can't pick just one! I'll give you two: either cave-aged gruyere or the hyper-tasty Tiger blue from naramata.

Gotta Have It  
If you have a barbecue (you DO have a barbecue right?!) and you also have one of those paninini press machines, you should immediately return it to Consumers' Distributing and get your money back. You don't need a special machine just to grill paninininininininis (I believe that's the plural for Panini), you just need this handy, cast-iron grill press. Simply turn your barbecue on ultra-high to heat up both your grill and the grill press, then turn the barbecue down and place your oiled panini on the grill with the grill press on top. In a few minutes - happy Panini!

Meet the Experts  
David Street is our store manager in beautiful Oakville Ontario. He maintains a sky-high level of customer service in that store for us. He has been on our team for about a year now and describes the past year as "Even better than I could have hoped for, this job is so fun I feel like I should be paying the company to spend time here." (At least we think that's what he said, the phone line was kind of fuzzy when we spoke.) If you're in the Oakville store stop in and say hi to David (and ask him about his time spent dressing as Tigger the Tiger - he loves talking about that time of his life). We've asked David a few barbecue/cheese questions: What kind of barbecue are you currently using at home? What do you like/dislike about it?  
  I hate to say this but "my gift" of a Fiesta Tahoe from some friends, is still hanging on. My plan is when the next propane tank runs out I'll be upgrading to a Weber CEP310. I should just open the tank and let out the gas to expedite the process.
What is your favourite barbecued item that involves cheese?  
  I would have to say that Brie on a cedar plank is one of my favorite appetizers. Load it up with dried cranberries and candied pecans and you're good to go.
Favourite grilled item that does NOT involve cheese?  
  Beef tenderloin and my discovery of "The Perfect Steak" marinade became my new favourite this past summer. Add in some twice baked potatoes and some grilled asparagus. Yum!
Favourite cheese?  
  Tough one. Asiago and goat cheese are great with salads. Kefalotyri to make Greek Saganaki is another great one. Good old cheddar.
What do you think about that "queso" sauce that you can get with your nachos at sporting events? Is that cheese? If not, then what is it? Is it possible that it could effectively 'laquer' your internal organs so that they will last longer?  
  As one of my teammates say, it acts as a slow working embalming fluid to temporarily preserve you.

Recipe of the Month Potato Skins - they've got cheese in them. Ingredients:
  Some big russet potatoes
  Cheddar cheese (we used Springbank's nine year old cheddar, older than most house-pets and sharp enough to raise the dead)
  Melted butter (3 Tbsp or so)
  Sour Cream
Assemble your ingredients.
Roast your potatoes in the grill using indirect heat (that's important) until they are soft enough to eat but firm enough to withstand a bit more grilling.
While the potatoes are baking, prepare some bacon bits.
Remove the potatoes and let cool. Then, slice them open, scoop out the flesh and lightly butter the inside/outside of the shells in order to raise the cholesterol count to a laughable level.
Put the shells back on the grill, facing down, until they just start to get crispy (about five minutes).
Flip the shells and add the cheese. It will start to melt quickly so move fast.
Now add the bacon, the chives and a dollop of sour cream.
All finished. A delicious snack that has more fat than a Polish wedding buffet (gluten free though)!

Ask Dr. McGrillemup Question: Hi Doc, Now that it's getting cold, I want to use my gas fireplace. However, when I go to turn it on using my remote, it won't light. I can see the pilot light burning but nothing else happens. What do I do? Thanks, Victor Fries Answer: Dearest Victor, A lot of people ask us this question after a long summer. Often the batteries that your fireplace uses to kick-start the ignition have drained themselves since last winner. So, try replacing the batteries in both your hand-held remote AND the battery powered receiver in your fireplace. Often, people forget that the hidden receiver requires a working set of batteries as well. If THAT doesn't work then let us know and we'll send out a service person to look at it. Regards, Doctor McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue
  I know we're a few days past Halloween but a few of our readers sent us some spooky grilling pictures we need to share: Jan has got some sort of zombie-bride thing going on here.
  And Warren rocks the Were-fox outfit with a forkful of ribs.
Kris and Derren live in jolly old England. A country which, until recently, was a little backward when it came to grilling. Surprised? Don't be. Let's face it, the British did a great job of building a worldwide empire, kick-starting the modern industrial economy and sharing the hilarious comic styling's of Benny Hill. But food? Let's just say they had their attention focused elsewhere for a few centuries. But now...now, things are looking up and changing for the better. Consider these before/after pictures of Derren: 'before' he got a swanky new Broil King barbecue he was lonely, unhappy and had teeth like a mule in a candy factory. But 'after' his new barbecue, he's the absolute picture of the healthy, modern man. Score one for grilling! 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.

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 cheese grilling prize pack: Larry Boyd (Calgary South) Natalie Bergeron (Calgary North) Scott Dennis (Burlington) Steve Glowsky (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue  
Potatoes (and no, we promise we won't just re-rerun the potato skins recipe from this issue - you're paying WAY too much for this newsletter for us to pull that kind of nonsense).

Contact Us  
We're in the service business and we genuinely want to hear your experiences so we can continue to improve. If you've got a problem or concern please contact us at query@barbecuesgalore.ca. If you've had a positive experience and want to tell others about it please tell others using this Google page (this stuff is important to us Canadian retailers in the digital age as we battle the big, bad, box stores). Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca  

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