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Barbeque | Manolo's Food Blog
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Secrets of the BBQ

Hey, is that Drew Barrymore?

Hey, is that Drew Barrymore?


The secret is, God loves a good barbeque as much as the next guy. Proof? This hysterical video of an anti-gay protester outside the General Mills HQ discovering that his “Let’s send Cheerios up in flames” protest was just a teensy bit more successful than he’d anticipated.Or maybe Cheerios are so gay they open a portal STRAIGHT TO HELL?!?!?!?!?!?!

via DListed

So the next time you’re out of fire starter fluid or those bizarre waxy cubes (what is IN those anyway, dinosaur blubber?), throw a few Cheerios on the briquets and stand clear! Servicey! Thanks, Mister Homophobe Guy!

Beer Bottle Sabrage with Matt Stache

Yes, it’s perilously close to a commercial, but it’s still awfully fun.

This should liven up the ol’ tailgate party, and who’d dare to boo your team when everyone can damn well see you’re armed to the teeth?

BB Quest!

Oh jeez, there goes the party

Oh jeez, there goes the party

I’m back! Didja miss me?

During my recent and entirely (I assure you) involuntary hiatus from food and beverage products of a kind which are not delivered via intravenous drip, there was one thing and one thing alone which I craved, and I craved it both morning and night, at noon and at the witching hour, and indeed at every moment in between. Yes, it seems that a mandated cessation from oral gratification of the most basic kind has a predictable, and inescapable result.

BBQ craving.

The nurses tell me this isn’t a surprise to them. The dieticians told me nothing, because if they were in the business of paying attention to patients, they’d be providing better food, wouldn’t they? You sam hill bet they would. But no matter how many sucrose-based, saline-encrusted chemicals they pump into your arm, they can’t deliver taste or satisfaction. Curious, though, that I craved protein the entire time; I wasn’t exactly working out the whole time.

Which reminds me of my friend Christi, who used to live in North Carolina, home to Duke University, which boasts the most advanced obesity-research center in the world, ringed entirely by BBQ restaurants. She walked into one once, asked “What kind of meat is it?” and was told, “Barbeque.” That, apparently, settles that. Ah, the mysteries of American culture.

All of which is just so much preamble to the question: What can you tell me about good old American barbeque? I went out today to Vera’s, “Vancouver’s best burgers,” specifically to satisfy my craving for saucy, meaty goodness (the burlesque shows don’t open till 7 around my hood) and was, to say the least, disappointed. There was slime. There was meat. But there was no piquancy. There was no smokiness. There was no detectable level of carboniferious goodness. Ou sont les scorch marks d’antan?

I understand that in some esoteric enclaves such as San Antonio and North Carolina, BBQ is something of a religion with its own fractured family tree of orthodoxies. As I wouldn’t dream of stepping on anyone’s orthodoxies, I’m wondering if any of you are secret or not so secret acolytes, and if you wouldn’t mind enlightening us.

Besides, I’m too damn lazy to Google it.

Cooking with Gin

Bombay Sapphire in Vancouver

Well, I promised it’d be different, didn’t I? Today we’re going to cover barbequeing with gin, just as winter’s setting in. Hey, brush the snow off the grill and fire it up; everybody loves playing with fire!

Todays foodie blog is a drinkie blog brought to you by the two times (so far, don’t be strangers, boys!) that Bombay Sapphire gin has invited me to their special tasting events with their global Gin Ambassador, Merlin Griffiths, a man who truly knows that the way to a blogger’s heart is through her liver.

Sure, Bombay makes a tasty cocktail, every discerning barfly knows that, and in fact it made three or four of them at the Spice Up the Summer event, but even more, it makes a pretty nifty ingredient in some surprising and creative dishes, courtesy of Rob Rainford, Canuckistan’s Guru of the Grill, author of License to Grill, and The Sister’s secret crush.

Like: Marinated, Grilled Tri-Tip Steak:

The gin replaces the vinegar and speeds up the marination process considerably, to say nothing of adding a savory herbal/floral bouquet of its own. The juniper in the gin goes amazingly well with grilled beef, particularly if you avoid the temptation to add those gimmicky and overwhelming mesquite chips to the grill. The result is a lighter impression, with delicate wafts of botanicals spiraling around the taste of the pure beef. Different, but definitely worthwhile

In Part 2 of the video, Rob gives the slickest secret of barbeque success I’ve ever seen. But I won’t spoil it for you: click and see what a man who’s good with his hands can do for your next meatfest.

And my favorite from the event, Leg of Lamb:

And the very bizarre, yet quite tasty, Smoked Honeydew Melon Soup, along with how to make a smoke pouch.

Round about the time they were serving the fourth cocktail, things got a little cross-talky, but hey, that’s how you know the party is a hit, right? At that point, Rob introduced the Bombay Sapphire Salsa Fresca that he’d made, and which I can highly recommend. Actually, a really good floral gin is not a bad substitute any time you’d use a high-end white tequila or even dry white Cuban rum. In this video, Merlin also goes over the critical ingredients for any successful cocktail.

And yes, of COURSE I have the cocktail recipes … coming soon.

All videos and image below courtesy of AHA Media. Top image courtesy Emme Rogers.

Bombay Sapphire in Vancouver

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