The long weekend: 10 grilling recipes and local food sources

The long weekend: 10 grilling recipes and local food sources

It looks like it will be a good weekend for grilling, if weather sources are accurate.

Regardless, here are some grilling recipes for you to consider: from proteins like beef and chicken to veggies and fruit. Pair it all with some good beer or wine (or both), and you have quite a treat.

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1. Champagne-Lavender Marinated Grilled Rib-Eye

Lavender, Champagne vinegar, hearty beef? What an interesting way to love a rib-eye, from this Fine Cooking recipe.

Check out Bauer Butcher, Brady’s Meats, The Healthy Butcher or Victoria Street Market — the latter of which has a lovely dry-aging room — for the big, thick steaks you need.

Dry-aging room at Victoria Street Market, Kitchener (Photo: WREats).

Dry-aging room at Victoria Street Market, Kitchener (Photo: WREats).

2. Indonesian Beef Satay

Again, from Fine Cooking, this recipe will delight with coconut milk, coconut oil and lemongrass. You can’t really go wrong with that, can you? A little more complex, but the smorgasbord of ingredients builds amazing flavours.

Chef Jon Rennie of Waterloo’s Bhima’s Warung says look for lemongrass with green, aromatic stalks. “If the outer ‘leaves’ are brown and dry it won’t have nearly as much flavour. Chopping the lemongrass into small rings and grinding in a mortar and pestle will yield the most flavour and make it the most palatable if leaving it in your sauce or on satays. Try using the top third of the lemongrass stalks as as skewers: it imparts flavour from the inside out while grilling and works well with anything that’s meat on a stick.

“As for coconut milk, Mae Ploy is a great brand or, alternately, Aroy-D (Aroy meaning delicious and D meaning very!),” Rennie says.

3. Grilled Chicken Wings with Vinegar and Chilies

Boo-yah! Chicken wings at a good pub are a favourite — they can be pretty darn good barbecued too. Here is a recipe from the trusty Bon Appetit folks, with a lot of good general instructions. One important step: give yourself some lead time because these wings marinade over night.

Wings from Nith River Chop House (Photo: NRCH).

Wings from Nith River Chop House (Photo: NRCH).

4. Skirt Steak

Television cook, or whatever he is, Alton Brown offers up this char-grilled recipe for skirt steak, a secondary cut of meat from what’s called the “plate” (and one not to be confused with flank steak) that comes from the animal’s underside but nearer the front.

The ingredients here are fairly simple in-your-larder stock, but the marinade is the key. Here’s what The Healthy Butcher will tell you about about skirt steak cookery: “If using dry heat for flank or skirt steaks, marinate, use proper cross-grain cutting and avoid overcooking for tender results. The beef flavour from these cuts is outstanding. Good for fajitas.”

5. Grilled Moroccan Leg of Lamb

The British are great devourers of lamb, so here’s a recipe for barbecued leg of lamb from a U.K. culinary magazine, along with some instructions for boning the leg. Part of the Moroccan flavours comes from harissa, a hot chili pepper paste.

Visit Charles Quality Meats of St. Agatha at either the Kitchener or St. Jacobs Market; they are a long-established farming and butcher family in Waterloo Region and many believe they have the best lamb around. For harissa (and lamb), try Ammar Halal Meats & Middle Eastern Groceries on Lancaster Street, Kitchener.

Lamb roasting (Photo: WREats).

Lamb roasting (Photo: WREats).

6. Grilled Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breast

Yes, there might be a need to really pull back on the dark meat and the chicken skin for those who wish it. Having the bone out is a quick and simple barbecue process.

Now, if you are using free-range and pastured chicken, there are some tips to have readily at hand. For that, here’s Vibrant Farms‘ “The Farmer’s Daughter,” Melissa Baer, with some key information: “To keep chicken most flavourful and moist, keep it on the bone. A great way to do this is to butterfly your chicken. If you have a BBQ rotisserie, that is another good way to do a pasture-raised whole bird: it keeps it juicy. Buying whole birds directly from your farmer is more cost effective than buying pieces. It gives you several meals and then you have the bones to slowly boil for a delicious BBQ-flavoured soup stock.”

7. Grilled Snapper or Bass

Fish need not put you in a ‘Queing quandary. There are many, many ways to cook fish on the backyard barbecue, from directly on the grill to cedar planks to foil-wrapping. This chap has a really good fish grilling book you might want to refer to. Otherwise, here is a recipe from good ol’ Martha Stewart: very simple and with only five or six ingredients from your pantry.

Locally, we have some good sources for seafood and seafood information. Check out T & J Seafoods and Caudle’s Catch Seafood (in several locations in Waterloo Region), who have several Oceanwise options.

8. Vegetables on the Grill

The great thing about grilled summer vegetables is that they can be served warm from the coals or done ahead and served at room temperature, or even lightly chilled. Canadian Living shares these tasty recipes, one of which featuring the rich, “meaty” acidity of balsamic vinegar.

Check out Dana Shortt Gourmet on Erb Street near Uptown Waterloo for a wonderfully wide selection of vinegars and oils — and the proper information about those products that staff can share with you. Better yet, they have an oil and vinegar tasting bar for you to explore.

Corn will be here soon (Photo: WREats).

Corn will be here soon (Photo: WREats).

9. Grilled Pork and Onion Tacos

Keep it moist, get it nicely charred and enjoy the slight smokiness of this grilled pork via Food & Wine. Just about everyone loves tacos too.

With this recipe, you can keep things gluten-free by visiting Waterloo’s Healthy Foods & More for some fresh corn tortillas made right here in Waterloo Region. Taco Farm Co. of Uptown Waterloo has a beautiful machine, cunningly nick-named “Taco Man Randy Savage,” that makes all of their tortillas fresh — and they’re for sale at Health Foods & More and Vincenzo’s.

Tacos, tacos, tacos (Photo: WREats).

Tacos, tacos, tacos (Photo: WREats).

10. Fruit on the Grill

Indeed, these fruits were made for grilling! This is a good series of recipes for grilling fruit — it is left it for last because a bit of gently barbecue-charred fruit is a perfect accompaniment to grilled veg and any of the recipes above.

Make sure you check out the Kitchener Market for a wide array of local fruits (and vegetables) that will continue to ripen and come into season in Waterloo Region. To make sure you are buying from a truly local farm, look for the “My Pick: Local Verified Farmer” designation.

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