17 July 2015
Comments: 0
17 July 2015, Comments: 0

Hooray, it’s BBQ Season!

Are you interested is some ideas for a summer BBQ with friends or family? Well, for the last few weekends we’ve been enjoying some outdoor entertaining. I thought I would pass on a few recommended recipes and ideas for beverages.figs

The music and the al fresco mood:

To set the mood, I love putting out the “outdoor room” as I like to call it. We have lots of bright coloured cushions and table cloths to make the deck and patio look perfect for al fresco dining. This past weekend we even brought out one of the tower fans and simulated a cool breeze. We use a Bose SoundDock with an iTouch, but you might have a Bluetooth speaker. Either is great to let guests select some tracks from your music selection. Otherwise a mixed playlist is great.

Beverages and appies to start:

drinksA big basin of drinks on ice and some appetizers are a nice way to start off the afternoon – a small selection of beers, ciders, sparkling and flavoured waters are good choices. Roses and bubbly are also really pleasant on hot days.  I used Enkidu 2013 Shamhat Rose from the Russian River Valley.  

For a super appetizer, try BBQed figs – if you can find fresh ones. We usually get fresh figs at the Italian Centre. I enjoy BBQing the figs while guests sit around the table. Cut fresh figs in half, stuff with a little Cambozola or blue cheese and wrap in a slice of jamon serrano or prosciutto. You can do this ahead of time and refrigerate. Then just bring them to room temperature and grill for a few minutes on each side. Plate them on something summery looking and then drizzle with a balsamic reduction. I like to serve with Cava or Champagne. Perfect summer afternoon yumminess with friends.

For more appies, any of the appies from my two-part “Gluten-Free Appie Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy” blogs would be great.

After the appies are done, here are two BBQ menus you might like to pick from. The first is pork tenderloin – planked on black cherry. The second is baby back ribs – seared, braised and grilled. Both have recipes, wine pairings and suggestions for sides. I have included a few pictures, some you may have already seen on my Facebook. Hope you enjoy the recipes – this time each is a link to another website.


We drizzled the pork medallions with the cherry reduction and served a little more on the side with individual gravy boats.  The sides included baby roast potatoes, quinoa tabbouleh, caprese skewers and a green salad.


2009 Red Rex from Deerfield. I really enjoyed this bold blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. Or, any big bold wine like a Shiraz or Syrah would work well with this dish.

This menu was focused around using the black cherry planks we got at BBQ Country. I thought pork tenderloin would work well and went looking for a recipe for a cherry reduction to go with with this. I found one at Hellawella.com I added some halved fresh cherries to the reduction.Pork


For baby roast potatoes, I par boil them, toss in olive oil and seasonings then roast on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. I use the top rack of the BBQ. Thyme and rosemary from the garden are nice for seasonings.

For a really healthy, gluten-free side, here is the recipe for the quinoa tabbouleh – I used quite a bit less parsley and added in a little mint and basil.


I think caprese skewers are fun and usually make them outside at the table while things are BBQing. Your guests might like to help skewer cherry tomatoes, small fresh mozzarella balls and basil leaves, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.


For the second menu we used baby back ribs – seared, braised and then grilled – all on the BBQ. We served this with a rhubarb BBQ sauce I made from the rhubarb in our garden.


Serendipia Limited Edition 2009 from Spain. This 100% Garnacha has a lovely woody nose with a ripe fruity taste.

morels-4I also made crab and bacon stuffed morels with garlic butter – these were really delicious. We rounded out the meal with four salads – a mashed potato salad with egg and bacon, caprese skewers, a big green salad and a bean salad contributed by our guests.

I got the recipe for the ribs from TheChubbyCook.com and followed it as outlined – except I did grill them for a few minutes longer than recommended just because I like that charred look and taste.



ribs 2The rhubarb BBQ sauce recipe came from TasteOfHome.com and I also followed this recipe pretty closely – except I used agave syrup instead of corn syrup.


The stuffed morels came from The FoodNetwork.com – the modification this time is that I added bacon. (Come on – bacon and seafood – of course! Well for me it is bacon and just about anything!)





We don’t usually plan desserts, enjoying more savoury things. But, for the first menu we ended up spontaneously trying BBQed watermelon. After grilling for a few minutes on each side, we sprinkled with some feta and mint, then drizzled a little agave syrup on them. It was very juicy. For the second menu, I just put out a selection of dark chocolate squares. My favourite are the 85 or 90% coca bars from Lindt – one has sesame seeds added. I also really like the Rosemary Baby bars from Denman Island.

Hi – My name is David Middleton. I work at Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton, Alberta and I’m passionate about sharing good food, wine and music. My Friday afternoon ritual is the highlight of my week! Here’s how it goes: • pick out a cool recipe • pair with a nice bottle of wine • mix some new music – I make a lot of playlists in iTunes! • set out my mise en place and start cookin’ Hope you enjoy!

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