Thursday, May 6, 2010

Zen and the Art of Barbecuing Everything!

Grilling Bliss


Barbecue season is my time. Nothing cries summer like the burning smell of eyebrows after a good fight with the electric ignition button.

After a leisurely stroll through the Farmer's Market, Ms WP and I found ourselves with some amazing picks, from beautiful sweet carrots (the yellow ones) to fresh chicken, smooth quark and rhubarb!

Fresh Chicken
Root Veggies (beets and sweet carrots are nice)
Pak Choi (bigger leaf than bok choi, a little sweeter)
Quark (or chevre, if you prefer)
A Lemon
Sea Salt, Spices

So, just smack your chicken with some sea salt, cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder and perhaps a little chopped rosemary, if you'd like. Throw it right on the hot barbecue, with a couple of washed sweet carrots, (or peeled if they're not no-spray or organic) and a few peeled, salted beets.

Veggies on the barbecue are simple and fab; it's all about the oil. Just put a splash or two of olive oil in a small dish with sea salt, perhaps lemon juice and whatever spices you desire, and brush the veggies with the mix as they cook. Because I wanted some serious colour on my carrots, I also put sugar in my oil mix to both taunt the fire, and to crust the carrots in a thin layer of burnt caramel.
If you follow suit, take care not to brush them in oil until just a minute before they're done, to give them a nice crisp char, but not blacken them completely.

As for the Pak Choi, spread a leaf with a little quark, salt, pepper and thinly-sliced onions, and roll like maki. Roll another leaf of pak choi around it, and you're ready for grilling! They burn easily, so keep them away from flames, on the coolest bart of the barbie.
Pak Choi Rolls

As for the Rhubarb Chutney, just light the side-burner (if you're fortunate enough to have one), and sear some chopped rhubarb in a hot pan with olive oil. Add salt and white pepper, and when the rhubarb starts to char a bit, add a good spoon of sugar and reduce the heat. Just before the rhubarb turns to mush, it's done! Put it on the plate in anticipation of chicken!

Just before the chicken is done, squeeze a little lemon juice over.

The rhubarb chutney provides a fresh, sharp sweetness that compliments both the salty and sour tones of the chicken, and the earthiness of the root veggies. Your pak choi rolls should be toasted crisp on the outside and soft and sweet inside.



  1. I am definitely with you on grilling!! I am not an accomplished griller, but I do enjoy it...I started grilling my romaine for ceasar salads...have you tried that yet?

  2. Wow! The chicken looks mighty good! Rolled pak choi? Must try.

  3. Rhubarb chutney!!! wow. must try that. wonderful ideas

  4. Denis - Quartered, grilled romaine wedges make amazing ceasar salads! I'll also grill a lemon wedge, and when the romaine is charred, hit it with a squeeze of hot lemon juice ... yum!

    Jen - The pak choi took about two minutes to prep. So simple!

  5. Ethel - Seriously, when rhubarb is in season, use it up! As-is, the chutney pairs perfectly with virtually any lighter meat, and if you'd like to incorporate it into your red-meat meals, just thin the chutney with a cab sauv, then simmer until re-thickened! So good!

  6. Spring is wonderful for barbecue. Who could resist the smell in the air and the look of the food? I like warpping vegetables with tin foil. It makes it taste juicy.

  7. Zen in BBQ is an interesting concept. Applying it may be zen too. But whatever it is, spring BBQ is always fun.

  8. Thanks for stopping by and providing advise! I'll try it out. Wasn't sure if I should prune head lettuce.