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The Hot Line September 2013 Chickpeas

Barbecues Galore Newsletter
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September 2013
WelcomeWhat in hell was I thinking? Chickpeas!? Last month, as we were finalizing our multi award winning newsletter on campfire grilling, I suspect that someone slipped a roofie into my virgin pina colada. In my delirium I made the commitment to dedicate this month’s newsletter to the humble chickpea; AKA the ‘garbanzo’. Talk about making things hard for yourself. Certainly, if you’ve read an issue or two of this newsletter, you know we tend towards topics that are more, well, “meaty” let’s say. Actually, I blame Radha here in our office, she makes this Trinidadian chickpea dish called “Doubles” that is just unbelievably tasty. Even though it is not grilled, I could eat truckloads of it. Wait – now that I think of it – I’ll bet that's where the roofie was hidden. Oh well, let’s talk about chickpeas a little bit this month – if any of you don’t like it, you can have a full refund on the price of the newsletter. My first encounter with the chickpea was probably like yours: seeing them as they swam in their brine behind the sneeze shield of The Keg’s salad bar. They were a bit slimy maybe but, they added a nutty, buttery taste to the iceberg lettuce, bacon bits and miniature corn before the surf-n-turf showed up at the table. After that introduction to the chickpea, I would see it again from time to time as it made itself known in the occasional soup or salad in my life. If I lived in almost any other part of the world, I’d be a lot more familiar with the chickpea. Currently, India is the reigning garbanzo-eating champion of the world. They also harvest more than anyone else (although there are many bushels of chickpeas grown in Canada too). I’d say the hardworking garbanzo is underappreciated and should likely be in the ‘super-food’ category. Lots of zinc, protein and fibre. In fact, between 65-75% of the fibre found in garbanzo beans is insoluble fiber (AKA “nature’s broom fibre”). This hearty type of fibre remains undigested all the way down to uh, the end. Apparently, this is good for you. I don’t think a cheeseburger works like that. As you may know, we finalized our tenth annual ‘Canada’s Worst Barbecue Contest’ last month. Mark was the winner. He picked up his prize (a super swanky Broil King Imperial XL) at the Calgary North store. He chose to wear his traditional grilling uniform much to the dismay (?) of the staff.  
Mark before his big win.
Mark after his big win. I’m sure his neighbours will be delighted to know he’ll be out in the backyard grilling more often now.
 
Hopefully you knew that we sold fireplaces. Did you know that our north Calgary store now has more burning gas fireplaces than anyone else in Canada? True stuff. We’ve just finished a big renovation and, on September 13th (3-6pm), we’re going to have a grand re-opening (basically just an excuse to eat fancy little appetizers on napkins and drink fun, fizzy drinks at work). There will be bouncy castles (no, there won’t) and celebrities (not a chance). If you’d like to attend (you might), just shoot an email to lesliea@barbecuesgalore.ca and we’ll make sure you’re ‘on the list’.

Barbecue Tipster  
The Tip: you can barbecue anywhere. Really, you can. Much like, music is the ‘universal language’, grilling is the universal cooking method (suck it sous vide). For evidence I refer you to Liz (our dauntless City Palate representative) and her husband. Faced with a choice of a canoe ride or a grilled dinner, they chose…both.

Gotta Have It I’m a convert. I used to mock people that had instant-read thermometers. I figured: just jab that piece of meat with your finger – you’ll know whether it’s done or not. And yes, generally, you can figure it out but believe me, if you’re a frequent griller, you need one of these Maverick instant-read thermometers. In about 1.5 seconds (that’s instant in the thermometer world), you’ll know exactly what the internal temperature of your food is. Then, just look down at the handy-dandy food chart on the handle of your thermometer and decide if you’re finished grilling or not. What I learned is that I was over-cooking a lot of things because I wanted to err on the side of caution. Now, this thermometer quickly gives me the confidence that the food is properly cooked without building in extra margin for error (and subsequent charring). Back-lit for winter grilling too – when quickly making a decision on ‘doneness’ is even more important.

Recipe of the MonthBeen meaning to try this for a year or two. Sounds great. Grilled Chickpea Wedgies Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs whisked hard (you know, curling hard)
  • ½ cup grilled corn
  • ¼ cup finely diced sweet pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 Tbsp diced green onion
  • one can chickpeas
  • Two small lemons – you need the rind AND the juice
This recipe feeds, as it turns out, nobody.  
Step 1: Assemble your ingredients.
Step 2: Start your barbecue. Husk your corn.
Step 3: Put your corn on the barbecue to cook.
Step 4: Rinse and drain your chickpeas (water looks cool in that picture eh?).
Step 5: Zest and juice your lemon.
Step 6: Add the lemony products to the chickpeas and mush them up in a food processor.
Step 7: Remove your corn from the barbecue and remove the kernels from the cob using your Barbecues Galore steak knife.
Step 8: Bring your chicken stock to a boil.
Step 9: Slowly add your polenta and stir constantly for three minutes until the mixture starts to thicken up.
Step 10: Add everything else including the chickpea mush and the chopped vegetal matter.
Step 11: Pour the goop (which is quite thick at this point) into a baking pan and let it ‘set’ for about half an hour. You’re about 1.5 hours into the process by now. Try to relax and have a beer or two while the goop ‘settles’. Take half an hour or so – you’ve earned it.
Step 12: Gently slice the goop into pie-shaped pieces, and brush with olive oil.
Step 13: Carefully set the wedges on the grill to brown up.
Step 14: Gingerly remove the wedges from the grill and…
Step 15: …get incredibly frustrated because you just spent over two hours producing CORN MUSH. Now, to be fair, it was super tasty corn mush but still… We tried to save the recipe. We let the goop ‘settle’ on the counter for another half an hour. It still didn’t harden up. We put some wedges on the grill for about 45 minutes – they still had the consistency of a Slurpee. As a final, desperate act, we put the rest of the pan on the grill to bake so it would ‘settle’. An hour later – still no luck. So, we left the pan of goop on the barbecue and went to bed.
Step 16: By the morning it had mostly hardened up. The outside could stop a bullet. The inside was still too moist… What did we learn here? Well, we learned that steaks are easier to grill than chickpeas. We also learned that a deep pan of corn mush has an almost alien ability to retain moisture.
Step 17: AND, we learned (again) that the Broil King Keg has a crazy ability to retain heat. With very little charcoal remaining at night, we opened the vents to medium, closed the lid and went to bed. At 07:00 the next morning, the Keg was holding at about 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Impressive.

Ask Dr. McGrillemupQuestion: Hi Doc, Let’s just say, hypothetically, that you’re writing a grilling newsletter and you’ve moronically committed to an impossible theme of “chickpeas” and your recipe turns out to be a disaster: what do you do? Outonia Limb Answer: Hi Ms. Limb, Fear not, the good doctor has a dead-easy, chickpea salad that, while not technically ‘grilled’, makes a tasty companion piece to any summer meal. Enjoy with my compliments:  
Gather your ingredients. Yes, feel free to mock the 3kg tub of feta but, what can I say, we go through a lot of feta. Those of you that know the good Doctor know that our allegiances are not sold cheaply. Accordingly, you should know that (sadly) nobody has backed a truckload of feta up to our door and bought our dairy-allegiance. I can say honestly that this Krinos Macedonian-style is just plain better than the other fetas we’ve tried in The Hot Line test kitchen. Did we go too far when we put feta in our coffee in the morning? Yes we did. Everything else has been gastronomically acceptable in my opinion.
Chop up about two cups of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley. (We’ve made it with regular parsley as well – not as tasty and a little more ‘tickly’ on the roof of your mouth but still worth doing.)
Mix the juice of two small lemons with about the same volume of olive oil and a teaspoon of dried oregano.
I believe we’ve mentioned the feta? Use lots.
Mix the aforementioned ingredients with a can of chickpeas. Remember the chickpeas? That’s what got us here in the first place.
Toss everything together and serve. This salad takes about ten minutes to make and is both super tasty and healthy. A much, much more realistic use of the garbanzo than the recipe above.

The World of Barbecue 
Here’s Penny rockin’ the Rockwood and a Weber Q220.
Check out the UFO shaped grill on the side of Tootsie in this reader submission.
Ron in Calgary has adapted a rotisserie for his Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. (For another, ‘impressive-in-a-Macgyver-way’ barbecue invention from Ron – go to our Facebook page which, despite the many awards and accolades, is still free to everyone.)
Send us a picture of you using your barbecue and we’ll send you a gift card 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 grilling prize pack: Doug Reder (Calgary South) Brittney Spencer (Calgary North) Vera MacLellan (Burlington) Rob Kowal (Oakville)

Next Month's Issue 
Next month, we’re going to be talking about fireplaces and what you need to know before it gets cold. We’ll cook something too.

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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