· The Hot Line - Newsletter
February 2013 Spicy Heart Skewers

 
February 2013
Welcome
Ah, February. It's a time for love, it's a time for chocolate, it's a time for hearts. Real, actual, blood-pumping hearts. Now, before you have images of Montezuma flashing through your mind, or Bon Jovi and his leather pants singing, "Shot through the heart etc", just give this some thought.
 
Have you ever eaten a heart? You might come from a family that fights over the organs at a turkey dinner. You might have grown up on dishes like liver and onions or tripe, and all of these things might gross you out. Or, you might love them. Either way, the heart isn't that common of an organ to indulge in. But why not? The heart isn't like other organs, it's lean and meaty, but doesn't have that offal (or awful – either one works) flavour that so many other organs can have. It's cheap (you're looking at single digit prices for a whole, organic beef heart). It's versatile. It's perfect for those who want to switch it up on the grill and, SO romantic...
So much better than a chocolate heart, right? Right.

Barbecue Tipster
A well-oiled grill is a happy grill, and a happy grill will treat you and your food well. Isn't that sweet? Now you don't have to oil it all the time, but it's a good idea to give it a little coat after cleaning it, before cooking on it. If you're cooking something that's already got a coat of oil on it (or has a lot of fat), don't worry about it. But if you're not, just pour a little bit of oil on to a piece of paper towel, hold the towel with a pair of tongs, and rub it along the grill. This will help season the grill and keep it protected from overly sticky food and the dreaded – gasp! – rust. Just don't go crazy with the paper towel. You're not looking to start a bon fire, are you?
Before you go oiling up your grill, keep in mind that not all oils are ideal for high heat (which, ultimately, a grill pretty much always is). Naturally, it'll burn a little, but if you use an oil with a high smoking point, you can prevent some nasty changes in both the taste of the oil and the nutrition of it. After a certain temperature (that dreaded smoking point), the oil produces free fatty acids and glycerol – both of which are probably not ingredients listed in your grilling recipes. Refined avocado oil is your best bet, with a smoking point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit; but safflower oil (510 degrees Fahrenheit) and extra light olive oil (468 degrees Fahrenheit) are also good options. If you really want to use your regular oil, however, just be a little lighter with it to lower your chances of it changing the flavour and throwing away any nutrition.

Gotta Have It
We here at The Hot Line test kitchen generally use bamboo skewers to do our… uh, skewering. Other than the inconvenient scorching, they work just fine and; the price is definitely right. However, we have our covetous little eyes on these new skewers from the Stephen Raichlen stable of barbecue nerdosity. They've got nice, wide blades on them so, when you've got your food skewered, it won't slip and spin like it often will with round grills. They're also brawny enough to use for formed, ground meat kebabs like the Middle Eastern kofta or the Indian ‘seekh kebabs' (man, does that ever sound similar to our ‘shish kebabs' – I'll just bet the Indians stole that name from us). You know what else these new skewers would be perfect for? Hearts. (Just like the skewer that Becky Sue Ginsberg used on my heart before the prom. Yeah, just like that skewer...)

Recipe of the Month
Spicy Beef Heart Skewers Serves 4 as a meal, 8 as an appetizer Ingredients:
  • 1 beef heart (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 large jalapenos
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup oil of your choice
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Make the marinade: place jalapenos and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Add pepper, salt, sugar, oil, and vinegar, and process until smooth; set marinade aside.
Remove any excess valves, fat, and tendons from the heart, and discard.
Slice heart into thin pieces and place in a large Ziploc bag; add the marinade, seal, and place the bag in a large dish. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Soak about 16 wooden skewers in boiling water for 5 minutes; preheat grill and oil it lightly. Weave the strips of heart onto the skewers, discard marinade.
Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, searing the outside and cooking the inside to a medium doneness to maintain tenderness.
Serve skewers on top of salad – greens of your choice with a balsamic vinaigrette to complement the meat.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup
Question: Dear Dr. McGrillemup, My neighbour grills up a mean steak, but he always uses a fork to flip ‘em. I keep telling him he should use a spatula instead, but he insists the fork does the trick. Who's right? Regards, Jerry B. Pearced Answer: Hi Mr. Pearced, You've got it. Using a fork will only pierce the steak and let out all of the juices that keep it moist and tasty. If your neighbour can't take the hint, why not give him a "neighbourly" gift – a pair of tongs or a spatula, and a six-pack of beer – at your next barbecue. Then, when he's not looking, hide the fork (dispose of the evidence), and replace it with your ever so friendly gift. Problem solved. Sincerely, Dr. McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue
Leonardo sent in these old school methods of Chilean barbecuing from a trip to visit his family in Pelluhue, Chile.He says cooking beef with a newspaper on top can help retain moisture and protect from ash. So...how about that?
 
At the office...Seranda and her husband Harold (that's him in the white duds) grilled up an incredible Greek style lunchtime feast. Kebabs, hummus, spanakopita, the works. It left us all dreaming of Lesbos...
 
Bryan grilled up a sweet and sour, Korean style short ribs. See a back issue of this newsletter for the recipe.
 
Cody claims to have "...never cooked myself a meal." Whoa. So, when it was his turn to cook lunch, he wisely enlisted Perry's help. The ribs were fantastic and Cody did his part by buying Perry a coffee and watching others clean up.

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 set of four Steven Raichlen stainless steel skewers and accessories.Burlington: Margo Houston North Calgary: Kathy Riben Oakville: Jilian Barnett South Calgary: Cliff Zimmer

Next Month's Issue
Join us next month as we head to Ireland. March and the Irish brings us to St. Patrick's Day. We will highlight one of the best parts: Guinness.

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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