Posts Tagged ‘Canadian BBQ’

Kettering Ohio Competition and the photography of Curt McAdams Livefireonline.com

This past weekend we traveled to Kettering Ohio for the first time. It was a really challenging competition as our son ended up getting sick on the way and we spent a lot of time during the competition cleaning up his vomit.  It was coming out of all ends of him and it was a hard battle to try to stay dually focused for the weekend. We did our best. We came in 7th overall with the only call of the weekend being Chicken (7th) out of 51 teams. It was a really nice location under some trees and we were well taken care of. we never experienced any issues with power, ice or having our questions answered. The organizers did a really good job!!!Also the breakfast was terrific from the Vets. They are an incredibly special bunch at this competition. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to go.

One of the highlights of the weekend had to be meeting with Curt McAdams from www.Livefireonline.com He is an incredibly accomplished photographer, bbq’er and all around a generally wonderfully thoughtful person. His blog is impressive and it has been given an accolade from Saveur as one of the sites they love.

Previously we had met Curt a few years ago at a Dr. BBQ class in Dettroit. It wasn’t until we were chatting that we realized we had both attended the same class. Curt also made the first BBQ fatty I ever tried. It was a moment I will never forget.

Curt took some pictures and captured some moments at the competition here are a few of them to share.

All images copyright 2010 Livefire Photography.


He took others as well but these are just a few. Thank you Curt for capturing some of our competition moments and thank you for the Killer brownies from Dorothy Lane Market. Wow. They were awesome.

MMMMM Short Ribs & Sugar snap pea salad

I love a great short rib. I love beef ribs period.

I was craving some short ribs and had some company for dinner so it was a great night to make them.

Hovey’s Gourmet meats is where I got these beauties that had some terrific marbling and a good amount of beefy goodness.

I generously seasoned them with Traegers Prime Rib Rub and some additional sprigs of rosemary. Onto the grill for 3 hours at 250F.

While the ribs were getting happy I made a side salad. Sugar snap peas shelled, blanched and shocked.

Then I made the dressing. Thinly sliced red onions, segments of orange all marinated in a mixture of Kozliks Amazing Maple mustard, Sunrise Vinegar by Mr. Vinegar, salt, pepper, summer savory, and chives.

Tossed together and rested for a couple of hours in the fridge it was a nice fresh pairing contrasting  the decadence of the ribs:

Due to the heat wave we are experiencing we are eating dinner outside much later (thats my excuse and apology for the poor pictures). The ribs after 3 hours at 250F had some great color. I added 2 cups of low sodium vegetable stock to each pan and covered them to let them braise and tenderize for another hour.  I removed the pan juices and reduced them by half. I added some port and some grilled mushrooms. Served on the side.   They were lovely and delicious.

We paired the meal with a wonderful riesling!

Season 2 BBQ Pitmasters Judges

Today’s announcement from TLC BBQ Pitmasters here are the judges for Season #2 premiering August 12 at 10pmEST/9c

They are:

Myron Mixon from Jack’s Old South and BBQ Pitmaster  from Season #1

Warren Sapp

Superbowl Champ & BBQ Enthusiast

Art Smith

Celebrity Chef  James Beard award winning author of  Back to the Table and Kitchen Life

Season 2 BBQ Pitmasters video From Smoke In Da Eye

New Video at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party-  Clint from Smoke in Da Eye Competition team. John Markus answers questions about the next season of BBQ Pitmasters . Make sure to check out the Smoke in Da Eye Blog as well.

Marinated Veal Skirt Steak Victoria Day Weekend

Skirt Steak is great when marinated. I love the texture. You have two options when cooking skirt steak- Hot and fast or low and slow with a braise.

Here is what I like to do with my skirt steak. Make sure you or your butcher removes the tough outer membrane before grilling.

Marinade:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup reduced salt soy sauce
3 spring onions
4 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 lbs veal skirt steak

Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl or ziploc bag and add skirt steak. Marinate a minimum of 4 hours or even overnight.

Remove from marinade – heat grill to medium high heat using an all natural lump charcoal (I recommend Basques).

Directly grill each steak for 1-2 minutes. Then flip and grill for another 2 minutes. Remove from grill and rest tented in foil for 15 minutes.

Slice across the grain and serve with juices from the foil.

Daytona PITMasters BBQ Series

Heres the new ad for the Daytona PITMasters Series.
We will be in Michigan for sure its so easy to get to and really not far at all. Going through the border is so much easier than most people realize. Looking forward to seeing our neighbours to the South!

Mothers Day Feast Bison Tri Tip Grilled Corn & Artichokes

Mothers day.. 2010

image via Metblogs

My husband got up this morning and made me some lovely pancakes for breakfast. The children brought me beautiful handmade cards and lovingly made presents from school. I had a nice leisurely morning playing with the kids and writing recipes. I think Mothers Day is such an overrated day. I think everyday should be Mothers & Fathers day. However I will use this day each year to get the house cleaned. I admit it I am shallow like that. Any opportunity to get the house cleaned works for me.

So while the hubby and the kids were cleaning I was playing on the grills. Now in my world a day of playing with the kids and playing with the grills rocks.

My menu for todays meal has been planned since this past Monday. I received an AWESOME present from the food editor of the Toronto Star Jennifer Bain. She also is known as the Saucy lady. I had not seen here for years though we corresponded back and forth. It was fun to grill up some items for her to be featured in a couple of articles in the Toronto Star’s food section. Jennifer brought me a present she knew I would appreciate.

Her husband is a bison rancher in Alberta. I was thrilled to see her digging out packages of meat from her bag. A gorgeous tri-tip and some other cuts to be used at a later date. I knew in an instant what I would be making for Mother’s day. I love tri-tip. Love it. I do not have it often enough. To get a bison tri-tip was really special. I can’t wait to get together again. She is a walking encyclopedia of food knowledge and funny as hell.

For those of you not familiar with Tri-tip Whitetrash BBQ had the following article and image on Santa Maria Tri Tip:

My tri-tip started its journey today in a marinade of dried rosemary, minced garlic, canola oil, and red onions.

While the tri-tip was getting happy I moved on to the side dishes. Artichokes are another one of those items that I do not eat often enough. They are labour intensive but so worth it. I started out with quite a lot of artichokes.

Then I got to trimming them with some scissors to take out the tough sharp outer leaves. I used a large knife to cut off the ends just above the choke.

They are so pretty.

I needed to trim a little faster these were browning up quickly.

Cutting them in half and using a melon baller is the easiest way i have found to clean them out quickly.

I also like eating the stem. I used a paring knife to trim out the harder outer layer.

One of the most important steps is placing the trimmed artichokes in some acidulated water. Thats a fancy schmancy way of saying some water that has some lemon juice in it. So glad I am finally putting those college degrees to use. Basically if you skip this step you will end up with very gray blotchy looking artichokes. It won’t affect the taste but they will look like crap on a plate.

After soaking them in the acidulated water for half an hour I drained them off and placed them in one of my large stock pots filled with fresh water. I boiled them in salted water for approx 1/2 hour till they were just started to tenderize. Now you can skip this step but you better be prepared to stand beside your charcoal grill for a good hour or so while they get tender. Since they are not a rib I am ok with boiling.

While they were getting their happy bath I moved on to the last side dish – corn. I love corn. If given a choice between corn or potatoes corn for me wins out every time. I remember once when I was a kid I got my a$$ seriously reprimanded for eating corn raw right in the field of the farmer that lived near us. Not only did I get the displeasure of my parents bestowed upon me for stealing our neighbours corn I had to go work for the farmer and make up for it. Sheesh I mean really to an 11 year old kid was the farmer really going to miss a couple of ears??? I still think brat (baby brother) ratted me out for that one.

Ok so getting back to the corn. I keep it simple flavorful and fresh. I peel back the husks and I remove the silks and I go right to the grill with it. I don’t season it at all until it comes off. I really find if you use a good charcoal like Basques a lot of the flavor is imparted by the charcoal itself.

When it came off I simply sprinkled chipotle powder, lime zest, salt and pepper on it with a tiny bit of butter. (please note this is the truth the Paula Deen in me didn’t come out today y’all!)At the last minute I always squeeze lime juice on as well.

As the corn was finishing it was time to get the artichokes on the grill to get a bit of char on them. It was quite windy in my backyard today.
**Ahem – note to husband a Q bana may be in my near future. Just saying its something to think about.

Please note this picture should also be proof that I do on occasion wear something other than black. Bright orange neon capris at home are perfectly acceptable grilling clothing.

While all this veggie madness was going on (see Peta I do eat veggies….) on went the tri-tip on the new Traeger 300. I am really loving this grill. Awesome color on everything and great taste too.

Today I employed the reverse sear method. It worked well again. Here is another reference to reverse sear as well.
I held it at 225F for approx 1/2 hour then I finished it at 450F. I took it to medium rare. That way everyone in our house is happy. rested it for 15 minuted lightly tented.

I sliced the tri-tip fairly thinly and served up the corn and the artichokes with a curry aioli (curry powder, good quality mayo, s&p, lemon juice, a wee bit of garlic powder, and a few pinches of turmeric).
Dinner as a family is always great and we try to eat together as much as we can. We are coming up to soccer season in our house this week. That means 3-4 times a week (for the next 12 weeks) we are either at a soccer game or at a soccer practice. I am going to cherish this dinner with family. Let me tell you it was goodness on a plate. #GOAP It was a wonderful meal for mothers day.

For all you Mom’s out there you rock. Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

Big Chris BBQ Smokehouse-another visit

I made a repeat visit back to Big Chris today. I had not planned on it but as I was over in that area of Barrie it was convenient. Good food is always worth it.

Today I tried their shaved roast beef. A while back I posted their beans well to put it bluntly -sucked royally. Since then however I have great news – they are really great now. Completely terrific. Texture flavor and all aspects are just super yummy now.

This time I stayed and ate with my 4 year old son.

This is how they serve their in house diners. It was a very generous portion of lovely smoked shaved roast beef (you can opt for their horseradish mayo) great french fries, side of crunchy coleslaw and the new and uber improved beans. It was plenty for both of us. Kudos to them for improving their products and reacting to customers. I have no doubt Ill be back and I would suggest anyone who appreciates good bbq goes.

Ted Reader – Attempt to break Attempt to Break Guinness World Record of Largest Burger

Tomorrow is a really big day in the world of Ted Reader.  He will be attempting to break the Guiness World Record for the largest burger at Yonge & Dundas Square Toronto  !

Join Ted while he makes his record breaking attempt and bid on the World’s Largest Hamburger. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Chef Ted Reader’s charity of choice, Camp Bucko; a charity/camp for children who are burn survivors.

Cooking begins around 4am, final plating between approx. Noon & 1:30pm.

Creating the World’s Largest Hamburger will kick off Chef Ted Reader’s press tour promoting his latest cookbook, Napoleon’s Everyday Gourmet Burgers. A 300-page cookbook featuring 110 recipes including vivid full-colour photos.

This is a coordinated effort between Ted Reader and his partners: Napoleon Gourmet Grills, Sysco (Honeymans Beef) and the World’s Largest BBQ Store – Ontario Gas BBQ.

New Cookbook for Summer 2010!
One of the mainstays of summer—the iconic hamburger—leaps off the grill with the bravado of Ted Reader’s truly unique interpretations of how burgers can be prepared and enjoyed. With more than 100 inspired burger creations, made using the finest grills in the world, you will learn how to make more than just your plain, old hamburger.

Ted Reader’s mouth watering recipes will take you on a journey to Burger Heaven – each recipe is accompanied by a full-colour photograph guaranteed to inspire anyone who loves to grill and those with a passion for food. Ted also gives tips and tricks – selecting the ideal binder, how to grind your meat as well as shaping your burgers – so anyone can transform a variety of ingredients into a fiesta of flavour.

Whether cooking over gas or charcoal, Napoleon’s Everyday Gourmet Burgers provides directions for making the perfect burger every time.

Treat yourself and your friends to such unique interpretations on the classic hamburger, including:

Orgasmic Onion Burgers

Chilled Lobster and Avocado Burgers

California Smoked Turkey Burgers

Grilled Mushroom Risotto Burgers

The Jackinator Burger

Lamb Roti Burgers

Tandoori Burgers

Fajita Burgers

I received  a copy of this book a while ago and it delivers an incredible selection of burgers and wonderful food photography. The first printing has already sold out. Its that good.

I spoke with Teddy the other day about this burger attempt he was super excited and working like crazy as always. I typically talk with Teddy really early in the morning. We did this interview at 6am which for both of us busy with family work etc seems to be one of the best times to have a chat:

Here are some of the details he gave me about the burger:
The Bun weighs 150 pounds approx. and has been made by San Remo Bakery – It is an egg bread challah based burger bun with sesame seeds. It measures 40 inches diameter and it may end up being 15 inches thick.

The meat has been seasoned with Ted Readers Orgasmic Onion Burger Seasoning. They are utilizing a Burger Binder – with bread crumbs and it was designed to help retain the moisture. It was developed  in a meat plant to meet CFIA regulations and has been Government inspected.

It will start with 300 pounds and may shrink to 250-260 pounds. The patty is 40 in diameter and 8 inches thick.It has 18% internal fat.

As Teddy states:
When it leaves the plant it has to be done properly. No health issues!  We want people to be able to really eat the burger.  This burger will be available on our catering menu for special events. We made it so that it can be repeated again. We want to make it or a smaller version available to the public.

The charcoal used for this record breaking burger will be Basques Hardwood Charcoal. It was important to Ted to use a Canadian charcoal of great quality.

The grill has been manufactured in Barrie Ontario at Napoleon – it is 48 inches square and has 3 main parts. It was a multiple person project just to design the grill and the hydraulic operation that will run it. Additionally the grill can be flipped with a dial. The grill is a cage and clamps the burger in place so the burger is firm and it doesn’t move.

The condiments for the bun will be very traditional: Lettuce tomato pickle and onion. There will be cheese on the burger 2 types : provolone plus grated fontina cheese

In Teddy’s words: I want to make a classic yummy burger 1 bun 1 burger condiments that’s it.

Additionally one of the great parts of this attempt is that it has been tied in to a charity that is near and dear to Ted Camp Bucko.


Camp BUCKO is a fun, safe and caring camp program free to kids ages 7 to 17 with burn injuries. Our residential setting encourages campers to participate in a variety of social, recreational and therapeutic activities that promote self-esteem, the development of leadership skills and fosters personal growth. At Camp BUCKO, kids have a place where they can be themselves without feeling different or alone.


I wish Ted and his attempt at breaking this Guinness World Record all the best. There were over 100 people involved in making this burger attempt and I have no doubt -Its going to be terrific!

Grilled Asparagus Salad

Asparagus is in season now and its a great time to make lots of items with it.
This past weekend I made one of my favorite salads. Super simple and easy to make during the week or for a party.

Start with 4 pounds of asparagus washed thoroughly. For tips on how to clean & prepare & choose Asparagus please check out this website: The Ontario Asparagus Board.

Once the asparagus have been prepared its time to make the marinade:

  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Finely minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Finely chopped chives
  • salt & pepper to taste

Whisk this all in a bowl. Place these all in a Ziploc bag and marinate a couple of hours.

Then prepare your grill for direct grilling.  I left one side without coals and one side was hot. This enabled me to do the asparagus in batches and as they were ready I pulled them to the cooler side.

Reserve any of the marinade from the Ziploc bag for use at the end. When they are all done drizzle the remaining marinade on the asparagus. This recipe serves 16- You can always adjust this recipe to larger or smaller quantities just remember 1 pound of asparagus = 4 servings

This dish can be served cold or warm. Also if you have any leftovers they are a great addition to pasta salads potato salads etc. For more Asparagus recipes make sure to check out Ontario Asparagus Growers Marketing Board.

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