Club House La Grille Reveals 2015 Top Grilling Trends

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As an “EggHead“, or Big Green Egg user, I clearly love to grill. I have my favourites that I cook quite often, but every now and then it is fun to try something new.

Recently I was invited to an event that inspired me to do just that.

The event was put on by McCormick & Company, or the people who make Club House La Grille spices, sauces and marinades. Yes, heaven on earth for someone who likes to hang out with the BBQ. The premise was to add to your #grillewisdom

La Grille was launching their summer season by featuring five up and coming grilling trends. Before I share some of the food I got to try, here are the five trends.

1. Reverse Sear: Banish dry chicken from the grates. Start with low heat for evenly cooked, juicy

meat, then turn up the flames for a quick, crispy char.

2. Backyard Brunch: Bacon, eggs and Caesars are even better outside. Gather round the grill for

bolder brunch favourites with smoky flavour.

3. Smokin’ Veggie Starters: Upgrade basic veggies and dip with bright colours and irresistible

flavours to get the party started.

4. Grilling Salts: Shake up classic salt & pepper by adding ingredients like smoked spices, citrus

peel and even bacon to bring big texture and craveable flavour before and after grilling.

5. Boss Burgers: It’s all about the build.  Add flavours like brown sugar bourbon or shawarma to

meat, then build with unique toppers and condiments like grilled avocado, mango slaw or lime

mayo to create the ultimate burger.

My favourite

Of the five I sampled, you may be surprised to learn that the backyard brunch was my favourite. It was like french toast on steroids. Egg, bread, cheese and your La Grille spice of choice. All prepared on a hot wooden plank with that tasty smoke infusion that adds so much to the experience. Each of the recipes can be downloaded at the bottom of this post.

The other four grilling trends were good, don’t get me wrong. But the egg and toast blew me away. I will be making that very soon at home.

Meeting Diva Q

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One of the other highlights of the day was meeting Danielle Dimovski, or as she is known, Diva Q. I had seen her on several BBQ shows and knew that she was a gal who LOVED BBQ. I had a chance to chat with her and learned a few cool details.

  • She owns over 60 grills in all shapes and sizes.
  • Loves the Big Green Egg.
  • Charcoal is her ideal method but pellet is better for demos.
  • She has three kids who all love food.
  • Likes to keep recipes simple.
  • Tends to go off recipe and add her own ideas.
  • Addicted to social media.
  • Could not be clearer about not attacking your meat with high heat.
  • I did not know she was Canadian.
  • Her simple advice, always used great product.

Danielle did a short demo on how to reverse sear some chicken breast and then showed us all how to make the egg and toast on a plank. Simple recipes but thanks to adding smoke and of course some La Grille flavours, each does was upgraded.

Like I said, the afternoon at Steam Whistle in downtown Toronto was a dream for someone who loves to grill. I even shared how I got my Big Green Egg with Danielle and McCormick’s head chef Michael Cloutier. They certainly loved it.

Stayed tuned all summer as I try out the many samples I received at the event. The Montreal Steak Spice, that is celebrating 25 years, is an early fave for the season. I put it in everything.

Recipes from event

Cedar Plank Grilled Egg in Toast

Montreal Dijon Marinated Chicken

Old Bay Grilled Corn Pico de Gallo

Smoky Garlic Grilling Salt

Vietnamese Banh Mi Burger with Sriracha Mayo

Getting my grill on @steamwhistle with #grillewisdom #bbq

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Being Open

I went to the event, learned and came home with a bag full of product. At no time was I forced to write anything. This post is my own opinion and I just wanted to be clear on that. Thanks to Weber Shandwick for the invite. 

Recipe: Cow Vs. Pig Burgers On Big Green Egg

Since it is National BBQ Month, I have been starting to fire up the Big Green Egg more often. May is not even a week old yet and I have cooked up two tasty dishes.

The one that had guests leaving happy on the weekend was a quick burger smoke out that combined two meats and one LaGrille spice. I combined ground beef and ground pork and thanks to our 5-year old son who pointed out the burger was both cow and pig, I called them Cow vs. Pig Burgers on Big Green Egg.

They are simple to do, take roughly 30 minutes from start to end, and will make you a very popular backyard chef.

Burgers and asparagus. No biggie. #biggreenegg #bbq

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Ingredients

  • Depending on quantity needed, have half parts ground beef and ground pork. I don’t remember the weights, but they were both in the $6 range.
  • one egg.
  • Few drops of Worcester sauce.
  • A healthy shake (or five) of Montreal Steak Spice.
  • Buns.
  • Cheese.
  • Favourite condiments.
  • Beer while you cook.

Recipe

  1. Prepare your patties. Mix all the meat, eggs, Worcester Sauce and spice into a bowl. Take off your wedding ring and enjoy that free feeling for a few minutes. Get it all mixed up good.
  2. Place each patty on some wax paper. Form a decent sized meatball in your hands and flatten it out.
  3. Put in fridge and head out to start the grill. If you don’t have a Big Green Egg, well sucks to be you. I jest. Whatever form of fire you have, get the heat up to around 400 F.
  4. Place the burgers on the grill, enjoy that sizzle, close the lid and continue drinking beer.
  5. After four to five minutes, check them out and give them a flip. I have learned over the years that you only flip once. not 30 times like our dads used to. And flip, close lid and check on your kids.
  6. While the burgers are finishing up, prepare the buns and toppings. Nobody likes doing that part, but it’s part of the job. Cut some cheese to melt on the meat for those who like that kind of thing.
  7. Open lid, take photos and put the burgers on a plate to rest for a few minutes. Don’t they look great?
  8. Wrangle up your family and guests and serve.
  9. Nothing to it.

How do you make your burgers? Got a recipe to share? Head over to our Facebook Page.

Want to get inspired by others? I recommend checking out Big Green Craig.

#LaGrilleWisdom

May + #BigGreenEgg = Tasty National BBQ Month

As a follower of this blog, you know I love to BBQ, smoke, grill, bake and cook anything I can on my Big Green Egg.

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Well guess what? May is here and it is National Barbecue Month, at least in the United States. So if it’s good enough for our neighbours to the south, it’s good enough for me.

Have plans to get your grill on this month? Well you should. Get outside, dust off that BBQ, or if you can afford it, go buy a new one. It will get the kids out of the house and you to your happy place. Standing over the fires of imagination and flavour.

To get you all “fired” up,  here’s a list of 5 things to keep in mind for the ultimate BBQ experience. Please keep in mind, a Big Green Egg is not required for fun, but it certainly helps.

1. Choose Your Meats

I cook a lot of burgers and dogs on the grill. Mostly because of the kids, but let’s be honest, you love them too. National BBQ month is the perfect time to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. How about a brisket, a beer can chicken, meatloaf or one of my favourites, a ham on the Big Green Egg. There are so many options. Beef, pork, chicken and seafood. Have you tried using a wood plank? If you need inspiration, head over to your local butcher and they will be sure to entertain and send you on your way with some great meat.

2. Pick Your Veggies

I know you don’t make friends with salad, but veggies are key to any good BBQ. Who doesn’t love a plate of colourful vegetable kabobs bursting with flavor? That is what summer is all about. Some of the best vegetables for grilling include tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, potatoes, asparagus and of course, wait for it……corn on the cob. I love corn on the grill. I prefer to keep the corn wrapped in their husks and smoke them until they are juicy and ready to eat. Want to ramp up your asparagus? Wrap them in bacon before throwing them on the grill.

3. Select Your Side Items

Every great movie has great side characters. It’s the same with a BBQ meal. You need those killer sides. I am talking creamy coleslaw, smoky baked beans and gooey mac and cheese. One side that I have had a lot of success with in the past would be stuffed peppers. Fill a pepper with bacon, cream cheese and whatever else you want and enjoy. I have not even mentioned all the options you have when it comes to potatoes. The options are endless . Explore new condiments and dipping sauces. Even just adding some smoke flavour to some jazzed up mayo is to die for.

4. Make A Plan

Now this seems nerdy to some, but planning out your BBQ meals is key. You want to have the right meat for the right day. I hate freezing meat when I know it is meant for the grill. Map out a grilling plan on your calendar and mark which will be just for family and which are for guests. When throwing a party it will likely mean hitting the butcher the morning of. You can never plan enough. Make sure you always have extra propane, charcoal or whatever you use to cook. If you are smoking a brisket for 12 hours, make sure you know when the food is supposed to hit the table and work backwards.

5. Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment

Sorry to be that guy but since I have a Big Green Egg, I have all I need. Having the right equipment not only makes grilling more fun, you will be able to taste the difference. Want to do indirect cooking, make sure you have what you need.  Meats stay juicy and tender, even when cooked medium or well done. Add skewers, griddles, and rotisseries and broaden your grilling options. I would also recommend having a digital thermometer, a great pair of BBQ mitts and lots of matches.

There are you ready for National BBQ Month? I sure am. My only problem is I don’t know what to cook first.

Want to share a BBQ recipe? Head over to our Facebook page.

The Real March Madness Tournament

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I love basketball. I really love March and basketball.

This past weekend was the annual sloth fest of watching as much hoops as possible. The NCAA Tournament is what the world calls it, but it goes by a much cooler nickname, which is March Madness.

64 teams (I don’t care about those other four because I am old school) crammed into three weeks of insane drama. Back in the day I would probably watch 80% of the coverage and that is without PVR or live streaming. But since becoming a parent, the new norm is reading about games, seeing highlight packs and tuning in for the last five minutes of a game. The other 35 minutes are not as important as Thomas the Train.

The tourney brings out the best and worst of coaches, players and teams. The mistakes and bone-headed plays make it real. It’s not a pro game where execution happens 95% of the time. I love the flaws.

It is all unpredictable (see my brackets for proof), it is heart-warming, it sparks arguments and it rallies people together. This sounds a lot like a family. This past weekend, on top of buzzer beaters, Furious 7 commercials and way too much of Charles Barkley, our family was separated into our own version of the Final Four, with each trying to survive the day.

I am not sure if it was the change of seasons, the warm,cold, warm, cold weather thing we got going on, or maybe the Madness just taking over. But in our house, it was like an old-school slug fest like they used to have in the Big East Tournament.

Everyone was tired, everyone was on edge and everyone wanted things to go their way at the buzzer.

Katie and I  of course are a team without question and it seemed like we were on opposite sides of the bracket. We wanted to get to the Final Two, where things would be calm and go back to normal. But we were pitted against two opponents who were ready for a tussle.

Man what I would have given for TV timeouts or the change to diagram plays that would be followed through on. It seemed like no matter what we were doing, we were just getting on each other’s nerves.

Charlie started sleeping in his crib without the rail. This of course  opened his world fully. He now gets up, opens the door and leaves the room.

Harry got some new hama beads, but he can only seem to enjoy on his own when Katie is not around.

I can’t drink beer and not snore all night.

Katie due to a lot of this is just plain tired and can’t fully function as she would like.

Saturday and Sunday felt like we were playing a never-ending game against the Kentucky Wildcats.

It was not until about 9:30 pm last night where we acknowledged that we made it. We survived the onslaught of boys.

Katie and I advanced to the Final Two.

There was no net cutting or branded hats. There was quiet. Well until I snored again after the lights went out.

I love basketball. I really love March and basketball.

I really, really, really love March and basketball and my family.

Other Notes From The Opening Weekend

  • When I see the ad for NCAA.com, I can’t help but laugh at the fact that the webmasters earn more than the players.
  • Wow Furious 7 ads.
  • The guy falling off his stool was the best thing I have seen so far.
  • My brackets are in the shitter thanks to Iowa State.
  • How many more ways can they say Louisville?
  • Michigan State beating Virginia was the easiest pick I made.
  • Still wondering what a Bearcat is?
  • Pangos is the new Steve Nash, hair and all.
  • Love Jack Armstrong’s chair height. Looks like he is blasting off.
  • Pulled pork and #PlayterMadness was a fun time. Lone Star is a legend.
  • Harry learned how to keep score and gave me constant reports.
  • Tom Izzo. Coaching God.
  • I was pulling for Harvard.
  • I am thankful there is not a Wendy’s within walking distance of our house.
  • LET’S GO LOUISVILLE.

6 hours in. Added a glaze. Almost there. #marchmadness #playtermadness #pulledpork

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Oh, are you wondering who would win the title game between Katie and I? It is a good question. Like I said, we are a team, so it really doesn’t matter. As long as we can stay ahead of the boys, all will be good.

I can’t wait for another One Shining Moment.