Tag Archives: bbq

Mexican-inspired taco burger on wood cutting board

These Mexican-Inspired Taco Burgers Are Bringing the Heat

Inspired by the short rib tacos from Toronto’s Playa Cabana, our Dining In Mexican-inspired taco burger boasts fiery flavours using ancho chili, guajillo peppers and jalapeno peppers for an intense and irresistible bite. It starts with a spiced beef patty topped with jalapeno guacamole, guajillo sauce and a handful of tortilla chips, between two burger buns and is the ultimate summer dish bringing all the heat. Say hello to your absolute new favourite BBQ burger!

Mexican-inspired taco burger on wood cutting board

Taco Burger With Guajillo Ketchup and Jalapeno Guacamole

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

6 guajillo peppers
3 cloves garlic
2 avocados, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 ½ tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 ancho chili, toasted and ground (or chili powder)
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp pepper
8 slices queso fresco
4 burger buns
Tortilla chips
4 slices tomato
4 slices onion

Mexican-inspired taco burger ingredients

Directions:

1. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Add guajillo peppers and toast for 5 minutes. Remove peppers and set aside. Place garlic in the pan, with skin still intact and toast on both sides until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Cut the stems off the guajillo peppers and discard seeds. Use scissors to cut the peppers into small pieces in a medium bowl. Pour boiling water over top until the peppers are covered and set aside to rehydrate for 15 minutes.

Related: Vegan Mexican Recipes to Spice up Your Weeknights

3. Meanwhile, make the jalapeno guacamole by mashing together the avocado, lime juice, diced jalapeno, cilantro and ¼ tsp salt. Set aside until serving.

Ingredient for guacamole on countertop

4. Once the guajillo peppers are rehydrated, remove the skins from the garlic and place in the container of a blender. Add chopped onion, water, brown sugar, tomato paste, cider vinegar and ¼ tsp salt. Strain the guajillo peppers and add them to the blender. Pulse on high until smooth, then pass the guajillo ketchup through a sieve. Discard the seeds and skin, and reserve the ketchup for serving.

5. Preheat BBQ on high heat. Form the ground beef into 4 patties and season with ancho chili, remaining salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook for 5 minutes per side or until medium-well. Add queso fresco once the burgers are flipped. Toast the buns for the final minute of cooking. Remove the buns and burgers and allow to rest for 3 minutes.

6. To assemble, spread a spoonful of jalapeno guacamole on the bottom bun. Top with a handful of tortilla chips and place burger on top. Spoon guajillo ketchup on the burger, then top with one slice of tomato and onion. Smother in additional guajillo ketchup and finish with the top bun.

Mexican-inspired taco burger being assembled

Like Philip and Mystique’s Mexican-inspired Burgers? Try their leftover fried chicken nachos or their gluten-free eggplant Parm dip.

Watch the how-to video here:


Arabic Coffee Beef Ribs With Pomegranate BBQ Sauce Are Finger Lickin’ Good

My friend Shai introduced me to this incredible idea: rubbing beef with equal parts coffee and coriander, with a pinch of sugar. I’ve been using this rub for years, but the tweak of using Arabic coffee brings in a subtle hint of cardamom as well. Look for ground Arabic coffee in a specialty Middle Eastern grocery store or substitute by adding a pinch of cardamom to your favourite coffee. This recipe features a rib cooking technique that you can use for beef, pork and even lamb ribs. Plus, the pomegranate BBQ sauce is another go-to that you can rely on all grilling season.

Arabic coffee BBQ ribs on countertop

Arabic Coffee and Coriander Beef Ribs With Pomegranate BBQ Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 Tbsp ground Arabic coffee
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp chili flakes
2 lb beef back ribs
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ white onion, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp chili flakes
1 cup ketchup
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil, for grilling

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Mix the coriander, coffee, sugar and chili flakes in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning all over the ribs and massage into the meat. Wrap the beef ribs tightly in foil, then wrap again in another piece of foil. This tight wrapping helps to trap the heat and steam, allowing the ribs to cook slowly and become fall-apart tender. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for 3 hours.

Related: Top Grilling Recipes and BBQ Ideas

2. To make the barbecue sauce, heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Sweat the garlic, onion and ginger in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the paprika, cinnamon and chili flakes and cook for an additional minute, then add the ketchup, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar, salt and 1 cup water. Bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer over very low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until darkened and thickened. This sauce can be made several days in advance.

3. Remove the ribs from the oven and unwrap. They should be fork-tender and almost falling off the bone. Coat the ribs in the sauce.

Related: This 20-Minute Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Salmon is the Perfect Weeknight Meal

4. Heat some olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the ribs with a generous pinch of salt and place on the grill pan. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side to caramelize the sauce, but be mindful not to burn the sugars. Remove, carve individual ribs for serving and enjoy!

Cover of the cookbook 'Eat, Habibi, Eat!'Excerpted from Eat, Habibi, Eat! Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking by Shahir Massoud Copyright © 2021 Shahir Massoud. Photography by Kyla Zanardi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Eat, Habibi, Eat! Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking, Amazon, $35.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

This 10-Ingredient Japanese Grilled Chicken is the Easy BBQ Recipe You Need

Yakitori is a Japanese recipe that simply translates to “grilled chicken” and it’s so popular in Japan, restaurants specialize in this seriously delicious protein on a stick. Traditionally, chicken thighs are best, they’re forgiving and still juicy if you accidentally overcook the skewers. Serve as an appetizer or as a main course with steamed rice or a fresh salad. I recommend serving with grilled shishito peppers!

Japanese yakitori grilled on serving platter

Yakitori

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

½ cup Japanese soy sauce or soy sauce
½ cup mirin (a syrupy, sweet Japanese cooking wine low in alcohol content used for seasoning and glazing. Look for it in the cultural food aisle in your local supermarket or Asian grocery store)
¼ cup sake or Chinese rice wine
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
8 pieces green scallion + 8 scallions cut into 1-inch pieces, divided
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Equipment:

12-16 bamboo skewers or 8-10 metal skewers

Japanese yakitori ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Submerge bamboo skewers in a casserole dish half-filled of water for 20 minutes or up to overnight.

2. Make the glaze: combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar, water and 8 green onion pieces in a small saucepan and stir. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered until thickened and reduced to by half, about 15 minutes. Discard the green onion and let cool, glaze should be syrupy. (You can store the glaze in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 months).

Related: Our Most Popular Skewer Recipes for Summer Grilling

3. In a bowl, stir together the chicken, oil, salt and pepper. Working with 1 chicken piece at a time, fold in half and thread onto a skewer tightly together, repeat with 1 more chicken piece alternating with a scallion. Repeat with 2 chicken pieces and 1 scallion making sure they’re tightly packed. Repeat.

Japanese yakitori being skewered before hitting the grill

4. Preheat a grill to medium-high then clean and oil the grate. Place skewers over the heat and cook, covered. Turn after browned on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Brush the chicken and scallion with some of the glaze and cook for 30 seconds, turn and repeat with more glaze for another 30 seconds. Brush with more glaze and place on a serving platter. Serve with skewered and grilled shishito peppers, it takes about 1 minute per side for the most deliciously blistered accompaniment.

Tip: Don’t have a BBQ? Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and top with a greased cooling rack and broil for 6-7 minutes. Brush with glaze and broil until nicely charred and caramelized.

Like Soo’s yakitori recipe? Try her pan-fried pork chops with roasted cabbage wedges or pork banh mi burgers with grilled pineapple.

Jordan Andino's double stacked smash burger with cheese and all the fixings

Double-Stacked Patties + Secret Sauce Make for Jordan Andino’s Perfect Burger

Although burgers are a great way to experiment with different toppings, nothing can beat a classic, flat patty diner burger. This simple smash burger recipe from Junior Chef Showdown judge and mentor Jordan Andino tastes gourmet using everyday ingredients you likely already have in stock.

See more: Our Most Popular Burger Recipes

The Perfect Cheeseburger

Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 small white onion, divided
2 Tbsp oil, divided
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp relish
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 lb (675 g) medium ground beef
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 slices processed cheese
4 burger buns
1 tomato, sliced
8 leaves Boston bibb lettuce
Additional condiments, as desired

Related: Meaty Burgers That Don’t Contain Any Beef

Jordan Andino's double stacked smash burger with cheese and all the fixings

Directions

1. Slice half the onion into thin rounds and set aside. Slice remaining onion into ½-inch thick strips.

2. Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and onion strips. Cook until charred, about 5 minutes.

3. Chop onion and add to a small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, ketchup, parsley, relish, lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, mix ground beef with mustard. Divide into eight, 3 oz portions and place one patty on a plate with a square of waxed paper brushed lightly with a bit of the remaining oil. Flatten the patty to ¼-inch thickness with another plate. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining beef portions.

5. Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle to high heat. Working in batches, place patties onto pan and cook until dark golden, about 90 seconds per side. After flipping, place cheese onto each patty until melted.

6. Spoon about half of the prepared sauce onto the four bottom buns. Top evenly with lettuce, tomatoes, onion rounds, two burger patties and any additional condiments. Spread bun tops evenly with remaining sauce and place over burgers.

Watch Junior Chef Showdown Sundays at 9ep and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Tangy Sauce and Sofrito Are a Tasty Team With These Puerto Rican Skewers

Do certain aromas transport you back to another time and place in the most delicious way? For Yimara “Yia” Medina, the scent of grilled pinchos — marinated chunks of pork or chicken on a stick, traditionally served with a slice of warm bread — is like a passport to happy childhood days in Puerto Rico.

“It’s one of the island’s most popular street foods — and some of my favourite childhood memories are of sitting and talking or dancing around by my cousin’s roadside pinchos stand,” Yia says. “There are lots of versions of pinchos, but what I think makes this recipe especially good is the use of sofrito, the magical Puerto Rican blend of herbs and aromatics that’s the base of some of our tastiest dishes. Sofrito is easy to make yourself or you can buy it premade.”

Related: The Very Best Ways to Devour Street Food Around The World

Pinchos

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

½ cup sofrito
⅓ cup olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp sazon
1 ½ Tbsp adobo seasoning
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp granulated garlic
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 ½ lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch cubes
¼ cup BBQ sauce
1 loaf bread, sliced 1 ½-inch thick

Equipment:

12- to 14-inch skewers

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

Directions:

1. Combine the sofrito, oil, sazon, adobo, onion powder, granulated garlic and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the pork and toss to coat. Marinate the meat at least overnight or 12 hours for best results.

2. When ready to cook, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Drain off and discard the marinade. Preheat a grill to 450ºF or medium-high heat. Thread the meat onto 12- or 14-inch skewers, leaving a 3-inch space at the bottom of each skewer.

3. Place the skewers on the grill and grill for 3 minutes. Carefully flip the skewers and grill the other side for 3 minutes. Flip the skewers again and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side, then brush the pinchos with BBQ sauce. Flip once more and cook until the pinchos are browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the pork registers 145ºF, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the grill, brush again with BBQ sauce and rest 5 minutes before serving. Toast the slices of bread on the grill; skewer one slice onto the top of each pincho.

Are you a newbie to the grill? This guide to the perfect grilling times and temperatures is a great place to start!

Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Fresh Pesto Will Be Your New Go-To Pie

Our all-time favourite Girl Meets Farm recipes often include Molly Yeh’s healthier comfort food classics – think bagel salads and chicken shawarma – and this mouth-watering zucchini-forward pizza is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a hearty lunch or family-friendly dinner main, this pie is a slice of pizza heaven.

Make use of all that luscious basil and mint growing in your indoor herb garden by combining it with toasted pine nuts, garlic, crushed red pepper, zucchini and cheese for a meal you’ll want to eat on repeat. Find more tips and recipes with our ultimate herb guide.

Related: Molly Yeh’s One-Pot Wonder Taco Hot Dish

Molly Yeh’s Zucchini Pizza With Basil Mint Pesto

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Pizza Dough:
500 grams (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Pizza Toppings:
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, plus more for serving
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, plus more for serving
1 lemon, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 cup olive oil
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, torn
1 small or 1/2 large (6 ounces) zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Related: Molly Yeh’s Flaky Dill Bread: The Perfect Use for Leftover Herbs

Molly Yeh's Zucchini Pizza with Fresh Basil Mint Pesto

Directions

1. For the pizza dough: Mix together the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl, then stir in 350 grams (1 1/2 cups) water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and put it down for an 18- to 24-hour nap at room temperature until it’s doubled in sized and bubbling.

2. For the pizza toppings: Preheat the grill with a pizza stone over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a baking sheet.)

3. Combine the pine nuts, garlic, basil, mint, crushed red pepper, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few turns of black pepper and the Parmesan in a food processor and pulse to a coarse crumb. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

4. Divide the pizza dough in half. On a floured pizza peel or baking sheet, flatten out one half of the dough into a 10- to 11-inch round. Spread with a thin layer of the pesto and top with half of the mozzarella. Bring it out to the grill. Grill the zucchini and remaining lemon half on the grates until charred, a few minutes. Add half the zucchini to the pizza and slide it onto the pizza stone. Close the grill and cook until the bottom is browned and cheese is melty, 6 to 9 minutes. Drizzle with more pesto, squeeze with juice from the charred lemon and add more Parmesan, crushed red pepper and basil and serve.

5. Repeat with the other half of the pizza dough and ingredients.

Related: The Best Homemade Pizza Recipes (Including Dough From Scratch)

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Watch the how-to video here:


 

Charred Okra, Tomato and Steak Salad: The Perfect Late-Summer Recipe

Okra is an amazing vegetable, but when you boil or sauté it, the little green veggie gets slimy. Our workaround? We love tossing okra on the grill and giving it a good char! Here we’ve paired it with tomatoes and hanger steak, as well as a zippy hit of lime, for the perfect late-summer salad recipe. Bonus: the whole dish comes together in under 30 minutes. Plus, did we mention there’s steak?!

Charred Okra, Tomato and Hanger Steak Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

1 hanger steak, 300g
1 tsp canola oil, divided
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
250g okra
1 pint cherry tomatoes

Directions:

1. Preheat BBQ to medium-high (about 400°F). Pat steak dry, brush with ½ tsp of oil then season with salt and pepper.

2. Oil grill. Grill steaks until medium-rare, about 4 minutes per side (or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of steak register 120°F). Transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice in a medium bowl and set aside.

Related: Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple Will Be Your Go-To Summer Recipe

4. Then slice okra in half lengthwise and toss with remaining ½ tsp of oil in a large bowl. Immediately transfer to the grill cut-side down (if you take too much time getting it on the grill, the okra will become slimy). Grill until tender and charred, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and transfer to bowl with fish sauce-mixture.

5. Add tomatoes to grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until soft and blistered, about 5 minutes. If you are concerned the tomatoes will fall through the grates, you can preheat a cast iron on the barbecue and cook tomatoes in pan. Remove and transfer to bowl with okra.

6. Cut steak, against the grain, into ½-inch thick slices. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates. Arrange the okra and tomatoes around the steak. Spoon dressing on top.

Like this recipe? Try these crunchy salad ideas for when you’re running low on greens.

These Oven-Baked Zucchini and Corn Fritters Are the Perfect Dinner Side Dish

Got too much summer zucchini and corn? Don’t quite know what to do with it? This recipe combines two of summer’s greatest hits and uses the oven to bake crispy vegetable fritters without all the hassle of deep frying. Lots of corn fritter recipes use only corn, but by adding grated zucchini, you’ll add a different texture (and a pop of colour!). The fritter is perfect on its own, served with a little sour cream and some pesto for the ultimate light summer meal. However, they’re also a great side dish, served with roast chicken or as an accompaniment to a summer BBQ. These will be on repeat in the summer and can just as easily be made in winter using frozen corn.

Oven-Baked Zucchini and Corn Fritters

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 16 fritters

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini, washed and grated (approx. 2 cups grated)
1 ½ cups corn kernels (from 3 small cobs or thawed and drained if frozen)
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded cheese (use something sharp, like Cheddar)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp flaky sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Sour cream and pesto to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Place a few layers of paper towel on your countertop.

2. Squeeze the water out of the grated zucchini with a cheesecloth or tea towel. Place the squeezed zucchini on the paper towel in a single layer. Place a few more paper towels on top and gently pat dry.

3. Once dry, place the zucchini in a large bowl with the corn kernels, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and optional red pepper flakes and mix well to combine, using a wooden spoon or your hands.

Related: 50+ Zucchini Recipes You’ll Absolutely Love

4. Using a 3-Tbsp cookie scoop and packing the mixture in tightly, scoop out mounds of the mixture and place them about 1 inch apart on the baking trays. If you don’t have a cookie scoop this size, use a ¼ measuring cup filled ¾ full of the mixture. If you notice lots of liquid in your mixture, make sure to drain it before you place on the tray.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, then use an offset spatula to carefully flip the fritters flattening them slightly as you do. Be careful, they are a bit fragile still!

6. Bake a further 10 to 15 minutes, until the fritters are crispy and golden on both sides. Serve with sour cream and pesto. Enjoy!

Like Mardi’s fritters? We also love her cheesy, comforting butternut squash tartiflette and mixed berry galettes for a sweet treat.

BBQ These 30-Minute Low-Carb Mint Lamb Burgers for Dinner Tonight

“This heavenly, satisfying burger is one of the many reasons I look forward to eating dinner at your house.” A true quote from my dear mother, who is also happy being my guinea pig whenever I’m testing meat recipes. These juicy, hot off the grill, zesty mint lamb burgers will have your mouth watering before they even hit your plate. Added bonus: they’re low-carb and can be made in 30 minutes!

Related: Satisfying Weeknight Recipes Where Veggies Replace Carbs

Zesty Mint Lettuce Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Burger
1 lb (454 g) ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (6 g) chopped mint leaves
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt and ground black pepper

For Serving
1 head butter lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 cups (400 g) store-bought zucchini chips (optional)

Related: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

1. To make the burgers, fire up the grill or grill pan to medium heat. I used a grill pan for this recipe. While the grill pan is heating up, mix the ground lamb with garlic, mint, shallot, lime juice, salt and pepper. Form 4 equal-sized lamb patties.

2. Now comes the fun step: grill the lamb burgers for approximately 4 minutes per side, making sure to only turn them once. You can also enjoy listening to the lovely sizzle in the pan while these burgers are cooking.

3. When the burgers are ready, it’s building time. Layer the lamb burgers on the lettuce leaves with red peppers and onions. Serve with zucchini chips, if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These pork banh mi burgers and grilled stuffed zucchini boats are sure to impress.

Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.

30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners, Amazon, $23.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Make The Most of Your BBQ With Dylan Benoit’s Best Recipes and Tips

Whether you’re a grill guru or a complete BBQ novice, there’s always ways to up your grilling game — and Fire Masters host Dylan Benoit can help you fan your culinary sparks into a flame. Read on for the best ways to get a perfect BBQ chicken, the tastiest grilled corn or a sumptuous sauce for your next cookout with these handy tips.

Seasoning and Searing

Seasoning meat is an essential part of successful grilling, and Dylan recommends a heavy dose of salt to ensure that flavours are well rounded. You can stick with plain salt and pepper, or spice up your life with a rub, either dry (containing only dried or powdered ingredients) or wet (adding a liquid component). These mixtures are based on spices, herbs and salt, as well as other ingredients, and are rubbed on the outside of the meat and allowed to sit for a period of time — anywhere from half an hour to overnight.

Dylan’s Pro Tip: the longer your meat sits in the rub, the better it tastes.

Related: Marinating 101: How to Flavour Your Meat, Seafood and Vegetables

Searing involves cooking it over a high heat to give your meat or vegetables that golden, delicious crust— a great way to add texture and added flavour. When meat is cooked first at a lower temperature to the desired doneness, and then put into a smoking hot grill or pan to get a crust on the outside, this technique is known as reverse searing.

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Use reverse searing to cook thick pieces of meat. This technique is Dylan’s favourite way to achieve a perfect medium-rare.


Adding Bold Flavour 

Rubs can be purchased or made to your own individual tastes — the only limit is your creativity. Here’s a look at three of Dylan’s best wet rubs to get you started.  

Mediterranean Rub For Pork Chops

When it comes to the tenderest pork chops, turn to the dairy case to make sure your meat stays moist on the grill. Plain supermarket yogurt (use the full fat, Greek variety) can impart great flavour and texture, due to the lactic acid that helps break down the meat protein, while tenderizing at the same time.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Mediterranean Rub

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Mixing the yogurt with aromatics such as dried herbs, lemon zest and honey will add great flavour, especially if you let the pork chops marinate overnight.

Butter Rub For BBQ Chicken

Based on a kitchen staple, a butter rub for the perfect BBQ chicken can be blended together in no time. Starting with softened butter, add whatever aromatics strike your fancy — Dylan likes a combination of sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest and dry mustard. Rub it all on the surface of the chicken and don’t forget to get under the skin — the butter that gets trapped there will help really season the meat.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Butter Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Chill the chicken prior to cooking to firm up the rub before grilling, and keep it on indirect heat to prevent flareups from the butter dripping onto the flames.

Related: The 10 Best Ways to Use Your Grill in 2020

Jerk Paste Rub For Spicy Chicken Or Pork

For those grill masters who can stand a little heat, Dylan’s best jerk paste recipe (inspired by the time he spends in the Cayman Islands) makes an excellent rub for either chicken or pork. This paste is redolent with ginger, plenty of garlic, a hit of allspice and scotch bonnet or habanero pepper for heat and plenty of brown sugar for sweetness and balance. Fresh cilantro and parsley add herbal freshness to counter the spice. Blend all ingredients into a paste, rub it liberally into the meat and let it sit, preferably overnight.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Jerk Spice Rub

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Cook your jerk chicken or pork low and slow indirectly over mesquite charcoal for the best smoky flavour.

Give it a Rest

When you’ve finished cooking, it may be tempting to dive right into that juicy steak, pork chop or chicken — but waiting for a few minutes will get you even better results. A critical part of cooking meat, resting involves setting the meat aside after pulling it off the grill to allow the juices to redistribute rather than pooling onto the plate when you make that first cut. Remember, that meat will keep cooking after it comes off the heat (a process called carry over), so if you want your steak to be medium-rare, Dylan recommends taking it off the heat just after rare and let the carry over do the rest.

Dylan’s Pro Tip: Let your meat rest for up to half the amount of time that it cooked, and tent it with tinfoil to retain heat.

Related: Here’s why Dylan recommends Resting Meat.

BBQ Sides

Once you’re done planning the main event, don’t forget the sides. Dylan’s got you covered with a sweet and seasonal corn on the cob and a perky chimichurri sauce to keep things fresh.

Grilled Corn On The Cob

Grilling corn in its husks prevents the outside of the corn from burning, but also steams the inside, cooking it perfectly. Soak corn, husks and all, in warm water for half an hour (this technique will soften the husks and also keep the corn moist while grilling). Peel the softened husks back and be sure to remove all the silks from the top to avoid getting them in your teeth. Make a compound butter (check out Dylan’s pro tip below) and rub the butter liberally all over the kernels of the corn. Rewrap the corn with the husks and char it over medium-high heat on the grill until charred — the corn takes on the smokiness of the charred husks, enhancing the flavour.

Get the recipe:  Dylan’s Grilled Corn On The Cob

Dylan’s Pro Tip: A compound butter can be as simple as a garlic and herb combination, or much more complex — Dylan likes using a combination of chili, lime and maple.

Chimichurri

Whip up a batch of Dylan’s favourite condiment, made with a base of fresh herbs and garlic — bright with acidity and a bit of heat, chimichurri goes well with grilled meats and fish.

Although the traditional mixture is made mostly with parsley and a bit of cilantro, Dylan flips those ratios for a cilantro-forward and super simple sauce that just requires a few pulses of a blender.

Get the recipe: Dylan’s Bright Chimichurri Sauce

Dylan’s Pro Tips: Don’t get too carried away when blending — leaving it a little chunky adds more textural variation than a smooth paste. And be sure to budget time to allow the sauce to sit for 30 minutes to release the flavours. 

Watch Fire Masters Thursdays at 11ep and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

One Humble Can of Black Beans, Six Different Meals to Remember

With summer in full swing, grab a can of black beans from your pantry and make these six super simple recipes for your next barbecue night. Black beans are loaded with nutrients and are oh-so versatile. From grilled black bean burgers to a seasonal black bean salad, I am sharing a variety of recipes you can create with a humble can of beans. Just be sure to rinse and drain the can of beans before using to remove any excess liquid or sodium. OK — here we go!

Related: One Humble Can of Chickpeas, Six Different Meals to Remember

Spicy Black Bean Nachos
Nachos are the ultimate snack food: you can keep them as simple as you’d like or load them up with ingredients and flavour. Next time you whip up a skillet of nachos, try sprinkling them with smoked cheddar cheese, diced corn, black beans, taco seasoned ground meat (optional) and sliced jalapeños. Don’t forget to serve them with a side of salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream for dipping.

Black Beans and Rice
Rice is a staple side dish for just about any meal, but instead of serving plain white rice, why don’t we jazz it up a little bit? Mix steamed rice with black beans, olive oil, grated garlic, chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This will pair wonderfully with grilled chicken, pork or beef.

Fried Egg With Black Beans and Toast
This quick toast is one of my go-to recipes for breakfast or an afternoon snack. A fried egg served with pureed black beans, diced tomatoes and cilantro. Serve over a taco shell or slice of toast.

Related: The Tastiest Things You Can Put on Toast (That Isn’t Avocado)

Black Bean and Corn Salad
Nothing says barbecue season like a colourful bean salad. It can be made a day ahead of time and travels really well for a picnic in the park. This one features black beans as the base with diced tomatoes, diced corn, minced red onion, grated garlic, olive oil and freshly squeezed lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Black Bean Burger
In my house, burgers are on high rotation during the summer months. If you are looking to reduce your meat intake, turn a can of black beans into homemade veggie burgers! You can mash just about any flavour into these burgers. Start by sautéing minced garlic, onion and peppers until softened. Add them to a food processor with a can of black beans, cup of panko bread crumbs, two eggs, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. For extra flavour, add paprika, cumin and a pinch of cayenne. Pulse until mixture comes together and shape into patties. Chill for 30 minutes to firm before pan frying or grilling.

Related: These Vegan Burger Recipes are Perfect for Grilling Season

Black Bean Dip
Turn a can of black beans into a flavourful summer dip to serve with tortilla chips. To make, simply blend a can of black beans with minced garlic, olive oil, jalapeño (seeds removed), cumin, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. Add a splash of water until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with tomato, mango or corn salsa if desired.

Want to cook with more pantry staples? These canned salmon recipes and tortilla recipes might do the trick!

banh mi burgers

Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple Will Be Your Go-To Summer Recipe

The ingredients and flavours in a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is an umami and sensory dream: a light and crispy mini baguette loaded with richly marinated meat, tangy and crunchy pickled veggies, fragrant and fresh cilantro, creamy mayo and pate. We’ve added our own twist of caramelized pineapple and a squishy bun to complement the patty, while honouring the original ingredients. Canada: this juicy burger is your summertime BBQ must-try.

Grilled Pork Banh Mi Burgers With Grilled Pineapple

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Pickles
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
¼ daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup warm water
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup distilled white vinegar or rice vinegar
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced and divided

Burger
3 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 cup of cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/3 cup chopped shallots or onion
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp fish sauce
1 ½ Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, pounded and minced
1 pound medium or lean ground pork

Other
4 thick pineapple ring slices
4 hamburger buns, halved horizontally
2 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
Cilantro
Mayonnaise (optional)

banh mi burgers ingredients

Directions:

1. In large bowl, toss together the carrots, daikon and salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain in colander and squeeze excess liquid.

Tip: To cut carrots and daikon into long, even matchsticks, a Japanese mandoline (benriner) is an affordable secret tool favoured by home cooks and professional chefs.

Related: Vietnamese Dishes to Make at Home, From Pho to Banh Mi

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water and sugar until dissolved, then stir in the vinegar. Add reserved carrot mixture and half of the jalapeño; let pickle for 30 to 60 minutes and refrigerate.

Tip: You can store your pickled carrots and daikon in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

banh mi burgers veggies

3. Meanwhile, you can make the burger patties. In a food processor, combine the bacon, cilantro leaves and tender stems, shallots, sugar, fish sauce, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and lemongrass. Pulse to combine. In a large bowl, add the pork and bacon mixture until combined.

Tip: To use lemongrass, trim the base and top. Remove the outer woody and dry layers and crush 4 inches from the bottom using the base of a chef’s knife to release the oils. Cut into 1-inch pieces and use in marinades and pastes.

banh mi burgers ingredients in food processor

4. Divide patty mixture into 4 equal portions and form each into 4 ½-inch rounds; place on squares of parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

5. Preheat grill to medium-high; brush and oil grill. Press centre of each patty with thumb to make a shallow indent to help keep their shape during cooking. BBQ the patties with lid closed until browned and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Grill pineapple until slightly charred and caramelized, 1 to 2 minute per side.

6. To assemble, top bun with patty, pineapple, pickled vegetables, cucumbers and cilantro. Serve with mayo if desired.

three banh mi burgers ready to serve

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These stuffed zucchini boats and grilled salmon recipes will surely do the trick.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes is the Vegan Summer Recipe You Need

Grilling isn’t just for carnivores. And this grilled stuffed zucchini boats with roasted cherry tomatoes recipe proves it. It’s not only healthy, it’s a visually gorgeous dish that has a hearty, yet summery vibe. The recipe incorporates vibrant red cherry tomatoes, dark green zucchini and mineral-packed lentils and rice. We promise — this is certainly the summertime vegan recipe you need right now.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Shallots
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper

Mixture
¼ cup green lentils
½ cup brown rice
1 ½ cups water
4 Tbsp parsley, divided and roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Zucchini
4 zucchinis
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper
¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Thinly slice the shallots. Place a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add oil and once it’s hot, toss in the shallots, salt and pepper. Let them cook for 7-8 minutes until they get browned and crispy, then transfer them to a towel or paper towel.

3. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until blistered and bubbling.

Related: Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

4. While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, place the lentils, rice, water and a pinch of salt in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Once cooked, toss the lentils and rice with 2 Tbsp of parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ½ of the crispy shallots.

6. Turn your grill to medium heat or if you’re using a grill pan over the stove, wait until the zucchinis are prepped then turn to medium heat.

7. Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds using a spoon to create a hollowed out well down the middle.

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

8. Rub the zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill hollowed side down for 5-7 minutes, then flip and grill for another 5-7 minutes.

9. Stuff the zucchini with the lentils and rice mixture, topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots, chopped parsley and walnuts.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

How to Always Make the Perfect Veggie Burger (Plus One Easy Recipe!)

Regardless if you’re vegetarian or not, veggie burgers are the perfect main to accompany any side dish (especially french fries!). They can usually be made with pantry staples you already have on hand and are filled with whole ingredients. But, there is an art — or rather a science — to making a good veggie burger. You’ve likely eaten or made a veggie burger before that was too mushy or fell apart immediately after taking a bite. Or maybe it was too dry or completely bland and flavourless (read: cardboard patty). Veggie burgers require more thought than typical beef burgers, because you need to consider texture and flavour that much more. So we’re offering up tips to crafting the perfect patty, as well as one of our favourite recipes: The Southwest Burger! We also adore the Crunchy Sunshine Burger and Cashew Mushroom Slider.

Veggie Burger Rules

1. You Need a “Binder” and a “Dry” Component
● If you want a veggie burger that holds together, use binding agents like cooked grains (rice, quinoa, millet), eggs, flax eggs, bread crumbs, oats, flour or nut/seed flours like almond flour.
● The amount of grains or flour will depend on the recipe, but it’s usually anywhere from ¼ to 1 cup.

2. Any Bean Will Do
● Truly any bean you use will be great, whether it’s chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, lentils or a melange of beans.

Related: Dinners That Start With Frozen Veggies (But Don’t Taste Like It)

3. Choose the “Right” Veggies
● Water and excess moisture will drown your burger in mushy sorrows, so choose veggies that have a low water content, like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, broccoli or cauliflower.
● If you choose veggies like zucchini, grate them first, then squeeze out the excess water. This is a must!
● Or if using mushrooms, cook them first to release the moisture.
● It’s always good to start a veggie burger with onion and garlic as the flavour-base.

4. Make it Flavourful
● It’s really easy to wind up with a bland veggie burger. Beans don’t have a high fat content, like ground beef, which is where most of the flavour comes from in a traditional burger.
● It’s important to rely on flavour-bombs like:
– Spices (cumin, coriander, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric).
– Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, thyme, rosemary, basil).
– Nut or seed butters (tahini, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter).
– Condiments (balsamic vinegar, tamari, hot sauce, mustard). Tip: use these sparingly if liquid so you don’t add more moisture.
– Others (sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, nutritional yeast, roasted red pepper).

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

5. Resting and Cooking
●  Once shaped into patties, let the burgers rest in the fridge, if only for a few minutes, this will help them stick together.
● Most veggie burgers are not grill-able, because their texture is fragile. They may fall through the grates, so we recommend baking or pan-frying. If you desperately want to grill, bake them first then finish them on the BBQ once they’re a bit more solid.

6. Toppings
● Of course, toppings only add more flavour, crunch and excitement.
● Obvious ones are pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mustard and ketchup.
● Not as obvious ones are avocado, guacamole, BBQ sauce, cashew mayo, salsa, sprouts, sauerkraut and caramelized onions.

Related: 20 High-Protein Vegan Meals That Are Beyond Tasty

The Southwest Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp ground flax
2 Tbsp water
½ yellow or red onion, roughly sliced (about ½ cup)
1 garlic clove
1 small sweet potato (about 1 cup chopped)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp granulated garlic
1 x 19 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked beans)
½ cup cooked brown rice
3 Tbsp oat flour
Olive oil for brushing the burgers

Directions:

1. Combine the ground flax with water to make a vegan “egg.” Let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients so it congeals.

2. Using the S-blade of a food processor, run the onion through. Then move it to one side or take it out and squeeze it to release excess liquid. If there is liquid pooled in the food processor, gently pour it out without losing any onion.

3. Turn the processor back on and run the garlic and sweet potato through. Pulse it a few times until the sweet potato resembles little rice kernels.

4. Next, add the spices, beans, rice, oat flour and flax egg. Pulse until everything is combined. If you like a more “textured” burger, then you can leave some of the beans unprocessed and whole.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out 4 equal parts of the burger mixture and shape them into 4 patties.

6. Place the uncooked burgers in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

7. Brush the tops of the burgers with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, then flip, brush the other side with oil and bake for another 15 minutes.

8. Let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes so they can harden. Top with your favourite toppings.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

Recreate the Winning Dish From Junior Chef Showdown

While the sumptuous Wagyu beef needs no introduction, it does require mouth-watering sidekicks to accompany it for a properly balanced – and extra-flavourful – meal. Luckily for us, this season’s Junior Chef Showdown winner, Audrey, has got us covered.

Don’t be deterred by the amount of ingredients and steps required – you don’t have to be an insanely talented kid chef to make this meal at home. This is a deceptively simple dish packed with complex flavours and textures that are sure to satisfy. Bon appétit!

Watch: Junior Chef Showdown Judges Sound Off on How to Get Your Kids to Cook

Junior Chef Audrey’s Wagyu Steak with Grilled Veggie Salad, Garlic Scape Pesto and Potato Crisps

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour soaking time for potatoes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Fingerling Potato Chips
2 fingerling or small Yukon gold potatoes, sliced very thin
Salt
Oil for frying

Garlic Scape Pesto
6 garlic scapes
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup packed arugula
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1 to 2 Tbsp water

Steak
1 Wagyu strip steak, about ¾-inch thick**
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, peeled and slice in half
2 sprigs thyme

Grilled Veggie and Peach Medley
8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded
2 king oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise about ¼-inch thick
1 peach, stoned and cut into 8 wedges
1 bunch of multicoloured radishes, trimmed and cut in half
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

To serve
2 cups loosely packed arugula

Related: Jordan Andino’s Quick and Comforting Chinese Broccoli & Shrimp Stir-Fry

Directions:

**Remove steak from your fridge 30 minutes to one hour before cooking. This will allow the meat to cook more evenly, yielding a tastier result.

Fingerling Potato Chips
1. Soak potato slices in cold water for 1 hour (optional: if you don’t have time for this step, simply rinse the potatoes once or twice before drying them). Drain, rinse and pat dry thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel.

2. Fit a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Heat an inch of oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer until a thermometer reads 325°F.

3. Add potatoes in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon onto prepared sheet. Sprinkle with salt immediately.

Related: Lynn Crawford’s Bacon and Egg Ramen Soup is the Comfort Food You Didn’t Know You Needed

Garlic Scape Pesto
1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Toss scapes with 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl. Add to pan and cook until charred and tender, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Roughly chop the scapes and place into the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except for the water and pulse until blended. Add water to loosen, if desired. Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice, if desired.

Steak
1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Pat steak dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add oil to pan and heat until shimmering. Add steak with the fat cap facing towards you and cook until crusted and browned, about 3 minutes per side. Add butter, garlic and thyme in the last minute of cooking; tilt pan gently towards yourself and quickly spoon butter repeatedly over steak to baste. Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 8 to 10 minutes. Slice right before serving.

Related: Anna Olson’s Herbed Avocado Dip Will Take Your Sandwiches and Veggies to the Next Level

Grilled Veggie Medley
1. Heat a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat.

2. Toss veggies and peach with oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

3. Add to grill pan and cook until charred and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. To serve, spread some pesto onto two plates (reserve any remaining pesto to toss with your favourite pasta and cherry tomatoes for a delicious meal). Top with a handful of arugula, followed by the grilled veggies and peach. Top with the steak and potatoes. Enjoy!

Watch Junior Chef Showdown and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Meet Your New Favourite Summer Side: Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

Carrots may seem like an odd veggie to toss on the BBQ, especially compared to their common counterparts like zucchini, onion and eggplant – but, let us assure you that you will be changed after biting into a grilled carrot. Sweet, vaguely crunchy and smoky is the name of the game; you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been grilling these slender, flavourful veggies for years. Pairing them with salty halloumi, fresh mint and a quick hit of drizzled honey and za’atar will transport you straight to the Mediterranean.  

Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb medium sized carrots, halved
½ package halloumi, cut into ½ inch slices
3 Tbsp avocado oil
1 heaping tsp za’atar spice
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
½ cup fresh mint leaves

Directions:

1. Slice carrots in half, and cut the halloumi into ½ thick pieces. Place them in a bowl with avocado oil, za’atar, sea salt and pepper.
2. Turn on the BBQ to medium-high and place the carrots on the grill (don’t put the halloumi on the grill just yet). Turn the carrots every few minutes so they develop the char lines and start to soften on the inside. They should take between 15-20 minutes to cook through. At the 10 minute mark, or when the carrots look like they only need 10 more minutes to cook, place the halloumi on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes per side.

3. Take everything off the grill and place it on a serving dish, drizzle with additional extra-virgin olive oil and honey, then top with fresh mint leaves.

Keep your BBQ veg game going strong with these 3 grilled veggie “steak” recipes (read: broccoli, sweet potato and cabbage). Each one is paired with a memorable, flavour-rich marinade, too.

The 3 Best Grilled Veggie “Steaks” You’ll Ever Make (With Epic Marinades)

We’re in the heat of grilling season, with steaks and all their fine marinades sizzling on BBQs everywhere. But if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative (that’s not a veggie burger), hearty, meatier vegetables can take on the form of steak and be the star of the plate, too! Cabbage wedges with a maple balsamic drizzle, broccoli coated in dukkah and the tastiest garlic sweet potatoes are about to shake up your preconceived notions about grilling, one taste explosion at a time.

Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Maple Mustard Balsamic Drizzle

Mostly reserved for slaws and salads, cabbage is often a forgotten BBQ gem. Slicing it up into vegan “steaks” and placing it on the grill helps turn this bitter veggie into something sweet and smoky. The combo of maple, mustard and balsamic is a versatile sauce that transitions from wintry roasts to this summery drizzle, elevating the sweetness of the cabbage and adding a hit of acidity. Top with fresh basil leaves so every bite encompasses something crunchy and sweet; even better if the basil is picked from your own herb supply.

Ingredients:

Cabbage Steaks
1 small head of purple cabbage
1 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
5-10 fresh basil leaves

Drizzle
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard or Dijon
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Cut the cabbage into wedges by slicing it in half lengthwise, and then slice those pieces in half, so you’re left with 4 wedges. Keep the core intact.
2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl or tray and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Fire up your grill to medium-high, place the wedges on and flip every 5-7 minutes so each side comes into contact with the grill and becomes slightly charred and softened.
4. Cook for a total of 15-20 minutes, and if the cabbage begins charring too much, move it off the flame and into an area of indirect heat.
5. While the cabbage is grilling, whisk together your drizzle in a small bowl.
6. Take the cabbage off the grill when tender, crispy and browned, allowing it to cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle the maple-mustard balsamic on top.
7. Tear up a few fresh basil leaves, and scatter over the dish for vibrancy and freshness.

Grilled Broccoli Steaks with Dukkah

In the last few years, people have obsessively grilled cauliflower “steaks”, but broccoli is overlooked as an equally grill-worthy veg. Like all veggies that are BBQ’d, broccoli softens, sweetens and becomes deliciously smoky. This Middle Eastern inspired dish places the broccoli on a delicious puddle of tahini sauce, before being topped with one of our favourite Egyptian spices: dukkah. The aromatic blend is a collection of toasted and crushed nuts, seeds and spices that provide texture, bite and important seasoning.

Ingredients:

Broccoli Steaks
1 broccoli bunch
1 Tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp dukkah spice (store-bought or homemade)

Tahini Lemon Sauce
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp water
Pinch sea salt

Directions:
1. Slice the broccoli into large florets or steaks (so they don’t fall between the cracks of the grill), peel the stalk and slice them in half.
2. Place the broccoli in a bowl and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Turn the BBQ on medium-heat, place the broccoli florets and stalks on the grill. Every few minutes, flip the broccoli so each piece is cooked through and lightly charred (tongs work best). If broccoli is getting too browned, transfer the florets to an area of indirect heat.
4. While the broccoli is cooking, quickly prepare the tahini sauce. Once combined, pour it onto a plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon.
5. Place the grilled broccoli on the sauce, then sprinkle dukkah on top of the broccoli.

Grilled Sweet Potato Steaks with Cilantro Garlic Drizzle

How do you turn a root veggie into a summery dish? Grill it and smother it in fresh cilantro! This is a simple weekend BBQ recipe, since sweet potato wedges are always a crowd-pleaser. What makes it stand out from your typical roasted or deep fried wedge-variety is the smoky char marks that you simply can’t achieve from any other cooking method. BBQing veggies really does add so much flavour without doing much by way of seasoning. The cilantro-garlic drizzle that embellishes the dish is sort of like a gremolata, an Italian herb condiment, that just adds so much freshness from lemon, lemon zest and herbs. If cilantro is really not your jam, simply swap it for an herb you prefer like mint, basil or parsley.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Steaks
3 sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Drizzle
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
Pinch sea salt

Directions:

1. Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges – do this by cutting them in half lengthwise, and then slice the halves on a bias.
2. Mix the sweet potatoes with avocado oil, sea salt and pepper.
3. Place the sweet potatoes on a grill that’s on medium-high heat, allowing the wedges to cook about 5-7 minutes per side, then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes. You should begin see grill marks, and the wedges should be soft on the inside.
4. As they’re cooking, whisk together the cilantro-garlic drizzle.
5. Place the wedges on a large plate and dollop the drizzle over top.

Don’t let your grill game stop there. Here are 20 vegan bbq recipes that pack a flavour punch, and 3 vibrant vegetarian dinners that make lemon the star.

A Hawaiian Plate Lunch That Goes Beyond Standard BBQ Fare​

A Hawaiian plate lunch is regularly based around a rich protein, mayo-based salad, rice and pickled and/or fresh vegetables. It’s the surrounding countries that have influenced the classic plate lunch for something that is both familiar and truly unique to residents and visitors, echoing Hawaii’s diverse population.

The variations of the key components are as widespread as they are delicious. In this version, the meal is made with a mayo-based macaroni salad, shoyu chicken, pickled cabbage (or coleslaw) and sticky rice. But don’t be tied to what you see here. Try the plate lunch concept with pulled pork, teriyaki beef, fried spam, beef curry, or soft-set eggs. You can even add more than one protein on a plate if that’s what appeals to you. Mayo-based potato salad can replace macaroni salad, and short-grain brown rice or black rice can replace white rice. Kimchi can stand in for coleslaw or pickled vegetables, and so on. Make the Hawaiian lunch your own, and have guests customize their plate at your next BBQ – or luau! 

Hawaiian Plate Lunch with Shoyu Chicken and Macaroni Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Shoyu Chicken
1 cup water
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, sliced
1 red Thai chili, sliced
1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp cornstarch  

Macaroni Salad
8 oz elbow macaroni
Salt
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp pickle juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 dill or sweet pickles, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 Tbsp finely diced sweet onion
½ tsp granulated sugar
Ground black pepper, to taste

For Serving
Vinaigrette coleslaw, pickled cabbage or pickled vegetables (kimchi, pickled daikon, etc.)
Cooked sticky rice, warm
Fresh herbs or microgreens

Directions:

Shoyu Chicken
1. In a large high-sided skillet, combine water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, honey, garlic, ginger and chili. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add chicken in a single layer, submerging in the sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is tender. 

2. Transfer chicken only to a foil-lined baking sheet and position oven rack in the top third. Preheat broiler to medium-high. For the sauce, remove large chunks of ginger and garlic. Transfer a spoonful or two of sauce to a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch. Bring sauce to a boil, then, whisking constantly, add the cornstarch mixture and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute to thicken. Keep warm.

3. Broil the chicken for 5 to 8 minutes, keeping an eye on it if your broiler runs hot, until burnished on the outside. Transfer chicken back into the thickened sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.

Macaroni Salad
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt well. Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Allow to drain very well.

2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, add cooked and drained macaroni, and mix to combine. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Assembly
To build your plate, add a mound of sticky rice, scoop of macaroni salad, portion of coleslaw or pickled vegetables and chicken thighs. Garnish with herbs or microgreens, and dig in!

For more Hawaiian dish inspiration, check out these 10 tasty places to eat poke in Canada, or whip up Lynn Crawford’s Hawaiian fish tacos and Ree Drummond’s grilled pineapple burger – both summer staples, as far as we’re concerned!

Big Food Bucket List Burgers

The Best Burgers: John Catucci’s Picks for 2019

With a job that takes him to some of the best spots and hidden gem restaurants across North America in search of crave-worthy dishes, John Catucci knows what it takes for a burger to be great.

In the first season of Big Food Bucket List, he gets to explore fresh and unusual takes — from a sweet and savoury version using a classic Chinese snack to a place that glazes their bacon strips with yellow mustard — to more standard versions of the beloved hamburger.

The only thing Catucci’s favourite burgers have in common? They all feature a beef patty (or several) on some sort of bun. Beyond that, only the chef’s creativity is the limit — even if it’s a version that honours the burger in its most classic form.

At Hamilton’s Hambrgr, the burger patties are made from a mix of chuck and inside round beef cuts, giving them a lot of juice and flavour. That signature mix is formed into a ball before it gets smashed against the sizzling hot flat-top grill, causing a Maillard reaction — similar to caramelization — that creates a golden crust. Those patties are paired with slices of bacon slathered with standard yellow mustard before they’re grilled on the flat top — adding an extra level of tang to the meaty #Hamont creation.

Hamont Burger Hamburgr

Get the recipe for The #HAMONT Burger

Burgers cooked on a flat top, especially with processed cheese, have a flavour that just can’t be recreated, says Catucci. “There’s something about that thin, flat, smashed Maillard effect… and the processed cheese that works so perfectly. It’s everything you want in a burger,” says Catucci. But, for nostalgia’s sake, Catucci likes a good charbroiled version. “It reminds me of the burger place my parents would take me to as a kid. That’s the flavour of childhood.”

Related: Big Food Bucket List Restaurant Locator

Hodad’s in San Diego comes by their relatively classic take on a burger honestly. Now owned by the third generation of the same family, this spot has been dishing up burgers for decades. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t done some tinkering. Forget slices of bacon, Hodad’s creates a patty from the salty pork to slide between their smashed beef patties — however many you’d like. “It’s a delicious mess,” says Catucci. “Your shirt is going to be ruined, but you’re going to be happy.”

Hodad's Burger
Hodad’s Double Bacon Cheeseburger

When it comes to burger toppings, Catucci goes for the standards: lettuce, tomato, mustard and relish. But he appreciates a burger that goes off the beaten path for condiments. There is no rivalry between classic and inventive for the Bucket List host — all burgers are welcome.

That’s one of the reasons why Catucci likes what Patois in Toronto is doing. At this spot, known for bringing foods and flavours from different cultures together, the burger veers from any classic version. First, there’s no ordinary mayo spread on their signature Chinese Pineapple Bun Burger, it’s oyster mayo. And the smashed patty is topped with not just lettuce and tomato, but a handful of smoky potato sticks for salty crunch. What really sets this burger apart, though, is a sweet Chinese pineapple bun takes the place of a regular version, creating a salty-sweet concoction. “It almost tastes like steak,” says Catucci. “It’s unlike any other burger I’ve had.”

Patois Chinese Bun Burger

Get the recipe for Patois’ Chinese Pineapple Bun Burger

Meanwhile, at Saltie Girl in Boston, MA, traditional bacon is replaced with a slab of golden-crusted pork belly for their namesake burger, which also eschews American cheese for gruyere and gets a spicy kick from their ‘Angry Sauce’ spiked with sriracha. No smashing here, the fist-sized patty is cooked in cast iron to get a nice crust and the whole thing is capped off with deep-fried chunks of lobster.

Get the recipe for Saltie Girl Burger

It’s juicy patty and size leaves Catucci needing more than one napkin. “It’s a complete mess of a burger, but that’s part of what makes it a bucket list, he says.”

While the burgers on this round of Big Food Bucket List are generally beef based, Catucci says he’s enjoyed several veggie or vegan burgers in his travels and he hopes to see even more in the near future as restaurants expand their offerings. “It’s amazing what you can do (with veggie burgers),” he says, noting there is still an appetite for vegetable versions that echo of their meaty counterparts. (The Beyond Meat version, for example, is making serious inroads.) “I’m hoping if there’s another season, I’ll get to eat more of those, for sure.”

Watch Big Food Bucket List Fridays at 9 PM and 9:30 PM ET.

Nutritionists Reveal 10 Surprising Ways to Reduce Carcinogens When You Grill

Grilling on the BBQ is a summertime must. Who doesn’t love a juicy kebab or burger that’s fresh off the grill? While grilling adds incredible flavour and is an easy cooking method, studies have shown that it may increase the risk of cancer. Here’s how: when meat that’s rich in muscle (think: burgers and steaks) is grilled or pan-fried above 300°F or is hit by an open flame, it forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These chemicals may mutate DNA, leading to possible cancer risk. While getting that great char on your burger may add flavour, it also adds possible carcinogens into your meal, which definitely puts a damper on summertime grilling; but, fear not, because we have must-know tips for grilling safely this BBQ season!



Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Grilled Salmon Steak With Hoisin BBQ Sauce

1. Marinade, Marinade, Marinade

Several studies have found that marinating meat before grilling greatly decreases its carcinogenicity. For example, marinating chicken in a combination of cider vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt and even red wine significantly reduced the HCAs in grilled chicken. Marinating pork in beer resulted in the same significant reduction in HCAs. So, marinate your meat before grilling, but minimize the sugars and oils, which can actually increase HCAs and PAHs. If you’re marinade is laden with sugars and oils, reserve it for the end of the grilling period.

2. Rosemary is Your Friend

That aromatic, woodsy spice may be your new best friend when it comes to grilling. Studies have found that the compounds in rosemary, known as rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid, can block HCAs from forming during grilling. You can use rosemary dried or fresh in marinades, or simply rub the extract on the surface of your meat before grilling to reap the benefits. Other studies found that combining antioxidant-rich herbs (like oregano, thyme, basil, mint and parsley) together in marinades were also effective at reducing HCAs.

3. Pass the Pepper, Please

You may want to add more than a pinch of pepper when it comes to grilling your favourite meat this summer. A study found that mixing 1 gram of pepper with 100 grams of ground beef worked well at inhibiting HCAs, but it was unpalatable, so researchers encourage cooks to load up on pepper and other flavourful herbs to reduce HCAs and give it a pleasing taste. Meats only need to be seasoned a few hours before grilling (seasoning for too long can have the opposite effect, as the antioxidants can decompose).

4. Smother in Garlic and Onion

Studies have indicated that adding garlic and onion to meat before grilling showed a strong reduction in HCAs. It’s best when you combine garlic and onion together, as they can target different HCAs and reduce them. Another study found that adding freshly cut onion to a beef patty that’s fried at 445°F for 8 minutes per side greatly inhibited HCAs. The point is, no matter the form (fresh, powdered, granulated) just make sure you add this allium duo to your meats prior to grilling.

5. Clean Your Grill

Before using your BBQ, make sure all of the grates are clean, and if they’re not, get in there with a brush and scrub! When there’s leftover burnt bits on the grates, it’s likely to drip down when the heat turns up, igniting a big flame. When meats are in direct contact with fire, that’s when PAHs form on their surface. A really easy way to reduce PAHs is to thoroughly clean your grill before and after use.

Related: The Correct (And Simple) Way to Clean Your BBQ: A Step-by-Step Guide

6. Go Lean

HCAs and PAHs are most likely to form at incredibly high temperatures, and over longer cooking periods. Choosing leaner cuts, like flank steak, can help reduce the carcinogens because the cook time is quicker, so it’s not exposed to direct heat for that long. If you are using a fattier cut, don’t cook to the point where it’s completely charred or very, very well done. Instead, take it off the BBQ before it gets to that point. You can also slice your meat into smaller pieces so it cooks faster. Stay away from grilling processed meats like sausages and hot dogs that have nitrates, which are precursors to carcinogenic compounds.

7. Go for the Veg (or Fish)

When veggies and fruits are grilled over a flame, HCAs don’t form, mainly because produce doesn’t have the same muscle and protein content that meat does. For this reason, switch up some grilling habits and add lots of colourful veggies to your BBQ menu. You can also take a break from red meat, instead opting for fish and seafood, which cooks much quicker and doesn’t require being on the grill for too long, reducing overall HCA and PAH levels.

Get the recipe for Candied Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprout Skewers With Red Onion (Plus 4 More Tasty Plant-Based Skewers)

8. Flip It Real Good

Studies have found that continuously flipping your meat on the grill can minimize the formation of carcinogens. As you flip, the surface of the meat is moving around, so it won’t get as charred or burned, which helps to reduce both HCAs and PAHs.

9. Layer with Foil

Since many carcinogens are formed when fat drips down and flames flare up, you can always line your grill with foil and puncture little holes for the drippings to glide down. This helps to prevent your meat from being in direct contact with an open flame.



Get the recipe for Foil-Pack Grilled Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Wings

10. Master the Gas

Gas grills are the safest when it comes to summer grilling. You can easily control the temperature and place meat away from the direct flame. Your meat can still cook in the heat of the enclosed BBQ, but it doesn’t necessarily need to come into contact with flames. If there are fiery flare ups, you can keep a spray bottle of water close by to help minimize. You can also pre-cook meats in the oven to limit the time they have on the grill.

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