· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Jan. 2013: Cabbage

January 2013
Welcome to 2013. First the good news: that Mayan prophecy thing turned out to be a load of horse manure. While it's a shame that the grocery store wouldn't allow me to return all those cases of powdered milk, I am happy that civilization will continue to plod along. The bad news: we went considerably 'over budget' during the holidays (see above comment regarding purchase of non-perishable case goods), and so, instead of a newsletter full of tasty and expensive proteins such as rib-eye steaks or Swan, we are presenting, as our theme for January,...'cabbage'. Yep, cabbage. That head-shaped, sulphurous vegetable so beloved by the babushka crowd. But, trust us here, we're not just going to boil up some cabbage and call it dinner: we're going to stuff some old time redemption into the cabbage.  
  In Denmark (aka the motherland), folks cook a stewed red cabbage known as "Rødkål". Often served at holidays such as Christmas. As a kid I assumed that the adults were trying to get us to eat it as a joke. "Here...", they'd say, "...eat this slimy red stuff that smells like flatulence." Now, as an adult, I've spent a lot of time trying to get kids to eat it as a joke -- the circle of life I suppose. I'm convinced (as are others) that nobody actually eats the stuff and the same bowl of steamed, red cabbage is used as a prop every holiday. However, I did find a tasty looking recipe that makes red cabbage look like an interesting addition to a grilled Danish burger - see here.
Cabbage, immensely popular in Eastern Europe (think 'Cabbage Rolls and Coffee') and uh, naturally, Korea (think kimchi with everything), is a bit player in the barbecue world. Most often appearing as coleslaw. Often seen: sometimes eaten. You will see it on the side of a plate of slow-smoked barbecue, sloppily stuffed, with cheap, watery mayonnaise, into a sad, plastic ramekin, patiently waiting for attention it knows it will seldom get. More decorative than gustative (it's a real word look it up). However, if used as a crunchy (not runny) topping for a tangy barbecue sandwich, it can be a terrific addition. They said it couldn't be done. That it wasn't 'right'. That it wasn't 'safe'. But here we are -- we've done it: a barbecue newsletter about cabbage. Read on.  

Barbecue Tipster  
  Next time you've got your head stuck in the fridge thinking "I really should eat a vegetable but the carrots are all gone and I have NO idea what to do next", how about simple grilled cabbage? With a liberal dose of charring and some oil, salt and pepper, you can make a cabbage taste pretty scrumptious. Quarter the cabbage, brush with oil, salt and pepper and grill on medium until the leaves start to char and wilt. A little lemon once you're finished is nice.

Gotta Have It
Check this out. Perfectly angled metal rings for holding cabbage and any other spherical foods you're grilling (pumpkins, some watermelons, apples, freakishly large walnuts). No more Macgyvering shaky bases out of tinfoil (see below). Another example of our exhaustive supply of unique grilling supplies.  

Meet the Experts
  This is Eddy. He's the 'fireplace coordinator' for our Calgary stores. We sell a LOT of fireplaces and it takes someone like Eddy to make it all run smoothly. He makes sure our gasfitters are scheduled for the right day, that the city has all the permit information they need, and that anybody around the office that needs to be shot with a nerf gun gets a full blast. Eddy is a family man. Two young boys running around the house -- full of energy. These boys need nutrition every day of the year. Eddy, knowing his boys' nutritional requirements, has placed a 100% ban on all vegetables in his home. He says that they're full of germs ("Grown in dirt" he'll tell you) and that (get this) rabbits use vegetables for their washroom sometimes (!). And so, Eddy, as it turns out, is a poor choice as an "expert" for this, our cabbage issue. Oh well, we tried. Eddy is currently grilling on a Weber Summit barbecue (big wheel!). His favourite thing to grill is, wait for it..., 'steak'. Chicken Wings are a close second. Cabbage, is not on the list.

Recipe of the Month Barbecued Cabbage Recipe Courtesy of How to Grill by Steven Raichlen Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 slices bacon (or 8 slices if you love bacon like I do!), cut crosswise into ¼" slivers
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (we used Wicked Gourmet rib and chicken sauce and it was yummy!)
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups of wood chips soaked in cold water, then drained
Core the cabbage by angling your knife about 3" down toward the centre and cut in a circle that is about 3" in diameter. The piece removed should look like a cone.
Prop the cabbage upright on an aluminum foil ring or you can use the grill rings seen above. If you do an aluminum foil ring, make sure it is very sturdy or you will have a 'wardrobe malfunction' like I did where the cabbage tipped over and had to quickly be replaced with an onion soup bowl...
Melt 1 tbsp of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook until just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain the bacon and onion in a strainer over a bowl and reserve the drippings.
Stir the barbecue sauce into the butter/bacon mixture and dice the remaining butter.
Place the bacon and onion mixture in the cavity and top with the diced butter.
Using a basting brush, paint the outside of the cabbage with bacon drippings.
Season the cabbage with salt and pepper. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in a smoker box or in a foil pouch and preheat until you see smoke.
When ready to cook, place the cabbage on its ring away from the direct heat. If using a charcoal grill, toss all the wood chips on the coals. Cover the grill.
Grill the cabbage until very tender (when done, it will be easy to pierce with a skewer), 1 to 1 ½ hours. To serve, peel off any dried-out or charred outside leaves and discard. Cut the cabbage into wedges and serve. This recipe is just about guaranteed to please. The cabbage is an able vehicle for the bacon and butter.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup Question: Hi Doc, I've heard that, when you're cooking cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, you're not supposed to use aluminum utensils. Why is that? Regards, Rory Montgomery Answer: Hi Rory, Yes, apparently that is true: something in the aluminum reacts with the cabbage and, not only discolours it, but can alter the taste too. Yuck. So, don't use aluminum on your cabbage. In fact, if you'll pardon a bit of soapboxing here: don't use aluminum utensils or pans at all. Stainless steel: sure. Cast Iron: absolutely. Aluminum: why bother? Sincerely, Doctor McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue  
Loyal reader Frank sent us barbecue pictures from his trip to the Yunguilla valley in Ecuador. Looks pretty -- and tasty.
  Rob, from Stoney Creek, sent us pictures of our (and now his) all-time favourite barbecues accessory -- the Turkey Cannon.
Here are a few of the legendary lunches we've had around our stores this past month:
  Faron boldly attempted jerked chicken for the first time. His efforts were widely applauded.
  Radha grilled not just lunch, but breakfast too, in a Trinidadian style. See our Pullitzer (not to be confused with the "Pulitzer" with one "L" prize which, is an actual -- not made up -- award) winning Facebook page for more details.
  Paul P in Burlington grilled up a mess of wings.
Send us a picture of you and a barbecue (maybe your barbecue, maybe the barbecue of an Ecuadorean grill-jockey you happen to have met while travelling) 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 grill ring: Gary Trimble (Calgary South) Chelsie Rouck (Calgary North) David Riddles (Burlington) Ryan Demers (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue  
  Next month, because it's the lovin'est month: we're going to talk about heart. See you in a month.

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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