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Canada Day Barbecue! (June 29, 2016)

Grilled Flatbread with Three Toppings
Grape Leaf–Wrapped Brie with Grape Salsa
Char-Grilled Oysters with Creole Remoulade
Filet Mignon Steaks with Garlicky Shrimp
Grilled Lobster Rolls
Skillet Blueberry Cobbler

Hooray! All summer weekends are wonderful, and when you've got Canada Day on a Friday, and the Fourth of July on a Monday, it's even better! We're all celebrating with fireworks, family, friends and a bang up barbecue!

Musing over a summer beverage in the garden we wondered just when and where did modern barbecuing start? We figured our hunter-gatherer ancestors dragged home a mastodon haunch and chucked it on the fire as it tasted better and helped preserve what was left, and thousands of years later we're still enthusiastically doing kind of the same, but with no hunting large hairy beasts and more reliable fire!

The answer….according to Weber Grills, began after WW II when suburbs grew and many families could enjoy entertaining, especially grilling outdoors. This was done on open, and somewhat primitive braziers, which went out if it rained or blew ashes on your meal when the wind whipped up! Really, not much better than that primitive caveman's fire.

Clearly help was needed! In 1952, the better barbecue was born in Weber Brothers Metal Works outside Chicago, where employee George Stephen welded together buoys for the Coast Guard. He saw that the buoy's rounded shape was a perfect cooking bowl, so added a lid with a handle, three legs to the bottom and voila! The modern barbecue! It was a laugh at first with his neighbors who called the device a “spaceship” but caught on quickly, and by the end of the decade Weber-Stephen Products Company was changing the world one barbecue at a time.

It was time we began our barbecue season here at home, our little Q BBQ was cleaned up and reassembled….and we realized we needed a refresher course in just how to make perfect dishes on the grill.

Accompanied by your Cocktail Columnist, Sheila Swerling Puritt, we set off for Weber's Grill Academy in Vaughan, just north of Toronto, for a class with Grill Expert and celebrity Chef Michael P. Clive, who teaches a variety of classes ranging from Back to Basics, Backyard Classics, Traditions, Intermediate/Advanced to Smoking!

Barbecue Culinary Arsenal

  • Electronic timer
  • Thermometer
  • Long tongs and spatula
  • Good wire brush and a scraper
  • Insulated grill gloves
  • Apron
  • If using charcoal: Chimney starter and wax cubes or electric starter (never use lighter fluid!!)
  • Chef Clive's Important Tip:
    Always have two tanks, as inevitably one will run out at the wrong moment!

    Wow! We opted for the basic, and Chef Clive, who is an excellent instructor with a great sense of humour, gave us tips starting with safety techniques, how to clean your grill, and what everyone needs in a good, basic barbecue kit. (See Culinary Arsenal below)

    Time for lessons! The Grill Academy is a barbecue classroom with the latest grills, generous work spaces, excellent equipment and of course Chef Clive. While we got private lessons, the Academy is open to the public; they also specialize in group and corporate team building events. In their 3 hour classes they offer a range of full menus such as the Surf and Turf including seared scallops with prosciutto, beef tenderloin with Béarnaise sauce, charred asparagus with basil-lime dipping sauce and a pear upside down cake!

    Bored with sausages and burgers you're doing? No wonder, especially when you can learn to grill gourmet!

    Chef Clive started us off with a quick and very simple grilled flatbread topped with tomatoes, basil, prosciutto and cheese. He suggested, and we agreed that it was a lot faster to skip making the bread; simply purchase ready-to-go fresh pizza dough at your supermarket! Herewith a recipe using Chef Clive's techniques plus three scrumptious toppings! We've also given you a few more recipes that you never thought you could do on a grill! Oysters? Tofu? Yep, and much more!

    Helen, Clive and Sheila, with a barbecued flatbread

    For more information and fun, check out:

    On today's menu:

    Download this article in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF 334 kB)



    Grilled Flatbread with Three Toppings

    Grilled Flatbread with Three Toppings

    Oh, this is so easy and so delicious! You can go with our simple tomato and basil topping or go gourmet and make up the three toppings below. Whatever, the grilled, warm fresh bread is a perfect base!

      Flat Bread
    • 1½ cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)
    • 1 package rapid-rise active dry yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
      White Bean Puree with Roasted Garlic
    • 1 small head garlic
    • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini or navy beans, rinsed
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
    • 2–3 small fresh sage leaves
      Tomato Tapenade
    • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained
    • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained
    • 1 small garlic clove or several roasted garlic cloves
    • 3–4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
    • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
    • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
      Blue Cheese–Walnut Spread
    • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese, such as Maytag or Danish
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
    • 1/4 cup minced shallot
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (optional)


    For the Flat Bread
    In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir briefly and let stand for 5 minutes or until the top surface has a thin, frothy layer (this indicates that the yeast is active). Add the flour, oil, and salt. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 1 minute or until the dough begins to come together. Increase the speed to medium. Continue to mix until the dough is slightly sticky, smooth, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over to coat all sides and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.

    Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°F to 450°F).

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and cut it into 12 equal portions, 2 to 3 ounces each. Using your fingers and the palms of your hands (oil them, too), stretch the dough to a length of about 8 inches. The first stretch will probably shrink back, but continue to pull and stretch using gentle pressure until you achieve the proper length. As needed, add more oil to the surface to keep the dough moist and pliable. Stack the pieces of dough between sheets of parchment paper.

    Brush the cooking grates clean. Carefully lay the pieces of dough, a few at a time, over direct medium heat. Within 1 to 2 minutes the undersides of the dough should crisp, darken, and harden, and the tops will puff slightly. Turn them over and continue to cook until both sides are dark brown, about 6 minutes total, turning every minute. If desired, keep warm over indirect heat. Serve warm or at room temperature with the topping(s) of your choice.

    For the White Bean Puree with Roasted Garlic
    Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

    Remove the loose, papery outer skin from a head of garlic and cut off the top to expose the cloves. Place the garlic on a large square of aluminum foil and drizzle 1 teaspoon of the oil over the top of the cloves. Fold up the sides to make a sealed packet, leaving a little room for the expansion of steam. Grill over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until the cloves are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    In the bowl of a food processor, squeeze out the garlic cloves, being careful not to add any of the papery skin, and then add and puree the beans, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the parsley and sage and process to give the puree a consistency that resembles the texture of hummus. If necessary, add additional oil to create a smoother consistency.

    For the Tomato Tapenade
    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the olives, tomatoes, and garlic several times to coarsely chop them. Add in 3 tablespoons of the oil and the rest of the ingredients. Continue to puree until the mixture is well combined. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil if the tapenade seems too chunky.

    For the Blue Cheese-Walnut Spread
    Using a fork or an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, mix the blue cheese and butter to form a semi-smooth spread. It's okay if there are some chunks of blue cheese. Fold in the remaining ingredients, including parsley to taste.

    Tony's wine recommendation:
    Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling



    Grape Leaf–Wrapped Brie with Grape Salsa

    Grape Leaf–Wrapped Brie with Grape Salsa

    Well, we never thought that we could do such a gorgeous appetizer on the grill! We did, then dazzled everyone with the finished presentation! It's worth the extra steps, and will keep the crowd happy while you go on to the next dish!

    Ron, please don't keep it for yourself…

    • 6 large grape leaves in brine
    • 1 wheel triple-cream Brie cheese, about 8 ounces
    • 1 baguette, about 8 ounces, cut diagonally into ½-inch slices
    • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1 cup coarsely chopped seedless red and/or purple grapes
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves


    1. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, combine the vinegar and sugar. Add the grapes and cook to soften them, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a small bowl and cover to keep warm. Add the mint just before serving.
    2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°F to 450°F).
    3. Unroll and rinse the grape leaves. Spread out the leaves on a work surface and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off and discard the tough stems. Overlap 4 grape leaves, vein side up, into an 11- or 12-inch circle. Put another leaf in the center, and then put the cheese on top. Cover the cheese with another grape leaf. Wrap the leaves around the cheese, overlapping them to prevent the cheese from ultimately leaking out. Knot together two 3-foot pieces of butcher's twine in the middle. Lay on a work surface in the shape of an X. Set the cheese bundle on top. Bring the twine to the top and tie snugly. Wrap the twine around the cheese 1 or 2 more times like spokes on a wheel, knotting snugly in the center each time. Tuck in any loose leaf edges. Trim the ends of the twine.
    4. Lightly brush the cheese bundle and bread slices all over with oil. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the cheese over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until each side is soft when gently pressed, 3 to 4 minutes, turning once. Carefully remove the cheese and let rest for about 2 minutes. After you remove the cheese, grill the bread slices over direct medium heat until they are lightly toasted on one side only, about 1 minute.
    5. Arrange the cheese and grilled bread on a serving plate or tray. Cut the twine and discard it. Pull the grape leaves open to reveal the cheese inside. Be sure to do this just before serving as the cheese begins to ooze out as soon as you remove the grape leaves. Top the cheese with some of the grape salsa or serve it alongside in a bowl. Use spoons to scoop up cheese and salsa, and place on slices of grilled bread.

    Tony's wine recommendation:
    Unoaked Chardonnay or Soave



    Char-Grilled Oysters with Creole Remoulade

    Char-Grilled Oysters with Creole Remoulade

    We love oysters almost any way; they're tough to handle at home but worth the effort. Chef Michael gives you the techniques for opening, then grilling, and we promise, you'll never look back. Get an extra dozen as they will disappear fast!

    • 2 dozen large, fresh oysters, each about 3 inches long


    • 2½ tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 2 scallions (white and light green parts only), finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard or stone-ground mustard
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon minced celery (from the pale green inner heart)
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley leaves
    • 2 teaspoons drained, minced nonpareil capers
    • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
    • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • Hot pepper sauce
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. In a small bowl, whisk the remoulade ingredients, including hot pepper sauce and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 8 hours.
    2. Shuck the oysters: Grip each oyster, flat side up, in a folded kitchen towel. Find the small opening between the shells near the hinge and pry it open with an oyster knife. Try not to spill the delicious juices, known as the "oyster liquor," in the bottom shell. Cut the oyster meat loose from the top shell and then loosen the oyster from the bottom shell by running the oyster knife carefully under the body. Discard the top, flatter shell, keeping the oyster and juices in the bottom, deeper shell.
    3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
    4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the oysters, shell side down, over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until the edges of the oysters just begin to curl and the juices start to bubble, 2 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, carefully remove the oysters from the grill. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the remoulade on top of each oyster. Serve immediately.

    Tony's wine recommendation:
    Your driest sparkling wine or Muscadet



    Filet Mignon Steaks with Garlicky Shrimp

    Filet Mignon Steaks with Garlicky Shrimp

    Hey, it's Canada's Birthday, so celebrate in style with the best steak you'll ever have, and when topped with garlicky shrimp elevates the dish to heavenly. Even the novice grillers (Helen and Ron) turned out perfect steaks with this easy to follow Weber recipe!

    • 4 filet mignon steaks, each about 8 ounces and 1½ inches thick, trimmed of excess fat
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
    • 12 extra-large shrimp (16/20 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on
    • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves


    1. Lightly brush the steaks with oil and season evenly with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the pepper. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.
    2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°F to 450°F).
    3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the butter and garlic until the butter melts and comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
    4. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter; reserve the remaining butter. Season the shrimp with the lemon zest, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the red pepper flakes.
    5. Grill the steaks over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 11 to 13 minutes for medium rare, turning once (if flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect heat). Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
    6. Grill the shrimp over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until firm to the touch, lightly charred, and just turning opaque in the center, about 5 minutes, turning once.
    7. Reheat the butter. Serve the steaks warm topped with shrimp, butter, and parsley.


    Tony's wine recommendation:
    Tavel Rosé or chilled Beaujolais



    Grilled Lobster Rolls

    Grilled Lobster Rolls

    Is there anything better in the summer than a lobster roll on warm grilled fresh bread? Forget driving to the seaside, do yours at home, and better... on the grill. PS... make it perfect, use Hellman's mayo!

    • 3 large garlic cloves, lightly crushed
    • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter
    • 4 Maritime/Maine lobster tails, each about 6 ounces
    • Kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup 1/4-inch-diced plum tomato
    • 2 tablespoons minced scallion (white and light green parts only)
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • Hot pepper sauce
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chervil leaves
    • 4 hot dog buns, sliced vertically from the top
    • 1⅓ cups shredded hearts of romaine


    1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the garlic and butter until the butter melts. Set aside about 2 tablespoons for brushing on the buns.
    2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°F to 450°F).
    3. Carefully cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise. Season the meat with a little salt and brush some of the garlic butter over the surface of each one. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the tails, meat side down, over direct medium heat, with the lid open, until the meat is opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the tails over, brush with more garlic butter, and continue to grill until the meat is slightly firm, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    4. In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, tomato, scallion, and lemon juice. Season with salt and hot sauce. Remove the lobster meat from the shells and cut into ½-inch pieces. Add the lobster meat to the mayonnaise mixture. For best flavor, chill at least 1 hour. Mix in the chervil just before serving.
    5. Using a serrated knife, trim some of the crust from the sides of the buns. Brush the remaining garlic butter on the cut sides (outside only) of the buns and toast over direct medium heat until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute, turning once.
    6. Place 1/3 cup romaine on the bottom of each roll and then top with the lobster mixture.

    Tony's wine recommendation:
    Ontario or BC oaked Chardonnay



    Skillet Blueberry Cobbler

    Skillet Blueberry Cobbler

    Blueberries say Canada, and you've just got some fresh ones from the farm stand. Turn them into this delectable dessert which bakes while you finish up the main. Oh, go ahead and top with vanilla ice cream while you wait for the fireworks!

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 4 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries, divided
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


    1. In a nonstick, ovenproof 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 2 cups of the blueberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar, stirring frequently until the mixture has the consistency of jam, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the remaining 2 cups of blueberries, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and nutmeg to the cooked berries and stir to combine. Make sure all of the whole berries are evenly coated.
    2. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Combine the melted butter, milk, and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients. Continue to mix until well combined, scraping down the sides once. There may still be some lumps. Drop the batter over the fruit in large spoonfuls starting in the middle and working out to the sides, leaving a 1-inch border of exposed fruit around the outside edge. It will seem like there is a shortage of batter, but it will expand while baking.
    3. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350°F to 450°F).
    4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Cook the cobbler over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, for 20 minutes. For even cooking, carefully rotate the pan 90 degrees, being careful because the fruit mixture will be bubbling up. Continue to bake, with the lid closed, until a skewer inserted into the center of the crust comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Place the skillet on a wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve while still warm or at room temperature.

    Tony's wine recommendation:
    Icewine; Southbrook Vineyards Framboise



    We wish to thank Weber-Stephen for information, recipes and photographs.

    Weber Grill Academy
    Get lessons from the professionals! Grill Academies are located in Toronto, the US, UK and Ireland and the Netherlands.

    For more delicious recipes and anything else you want to know about barbecuing and the Weber Grill Academy go to:
    Recipes from Weber's Big Book of Grilling. Copyright © 2001 Weber-Stephen Products Co.


    Download this article in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF 334 kB)

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    Happily enjoyed by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

    Helen Hatton and Ron Morris at Le Caveau des Gourmets in Gigondas




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