Summertime Grilling

I called this blog “Summertime Grilling”, but actuallybarbecue-foods-460x250I love to grill/bbq all year long. First of all, let me explain the difference between ‘grilling’ and ‘barbequing’. In both cases, you use your barbeque to ‘charbroil’ whatever it is you want. When you take a product, season it and place it on your barbeque, you are ‘grilling’ it. If you are the adventurous kind that likes to use briquettes, or charcoal, or mesquite wood chips, you are ‘charbroiling’ it. Now, if you like barbeque sauce, whatever the variety, you are now barbequing. Classically, barbequing is grilling with a spicy or zesty sauce. I’m sure you’ve noticed how chefs and restaurants throw around those terms and ‘grill’ this, ‘charbroil’ that, etc… I’m even guilty of using the terms not in the correct phrasing, that is called ” creative license” 🙂 Most of the time it is BBQ Tbonewhatever sounds best… Grilled Zuccini, Barbequed Pears…etc.

So, what do I like to grill/charbroil/barbeque…? Well, just about anything. Somethings just don’t come to mind until Danielle says “charbroil it, why not??”. So I do. Our last item, on our last camping trip was our third Tapas of the night… Grilled Spaghetti Squash. Most of us know spaghetti squash as steamed with butter, nutmeg, salt & pepper and flaked to resemble spaghetti. Ours was kind of like that, but firstly I cut the squash in half lengthwise, scraped out the seeds, placed the squash skin down on the barbeque and filled the hollow with butter, garlic, pumpkin seeds, salt, pepper, dried cranberries and a little white wine. I turned the barbeque to medium, closed the lid and waited. After about a half hour, I checked on it with a fork to see if it would flake apart, and when it did I scraped in out with the Kebabsfork onto separate plates and voila! Groans and moans from our fellow campers.

Other things that I’ve done over the years are, grilled pears, apples, yams, nugget potatoes, watermelon (yes, it’s true – one of Danielles’ ideas – and it was great!), our classic romaine hearts (always a crowd pleaser) and the list goes on & on.. In all cases, I toss the product in virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever other seasoning I want to try, sometimes our Cajun spice, curry powder or foccacia spice. If I have fresh herbs (which I always try to have), I’ll toss the cooked item in them with a little extra olive oil, otherwise if you do it before cooking, they burn and fall off. Most meats I will barbeque with our chili maple bbq sauce which we make here. Once I flip the meat or seafood (and you only want to flip the meat once, otherwise it dries out) I spread the sauce on top so that it can heat up and somewhat ‘glaze’.

Barbeque sauces can be made with any thing imaginable. Making ones out of mango with cilantro and jalapenos is great on white fish and scallops. Fresh basil pestos also are great. Process the herb with garlic, olive oil and different nuts (pinenuts are expensive, so try pistachios, cashew, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or walnuts). Then there’s other herbs: cilantro, oregano, roasted garlic…on P1000139and on.

So, get outside, start that bbq (make sure you clean it, maintain it and have a good wire brush), heat it up and burn it off when you’re fnished. That’s the biggest thing that most barbequers neglect, propane is relatively cheap, so burn off the bbq after so that it stays clean. I find that cast iron grills work better than steal. Enjoy and explore….

On a sidenote, this photo is of Danielle cooking some Cowichan Chicken on a “Logger Stove” made out of a hemlock log over on the west coast….

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