Food Talk
Past Issues:

Fresh Start to your BBQ Season!

DSC_0284The warmer weather, more daylight, holiday weekends – it’s the time many of us think of the BBQ meals on a back deck or patio. What better way to kick back on weekends, or entertain friends and family! So get out the BBQ, give it a spring clean, and get ready with a perennial BBQ favourite – the burger!

5 Things to do Before Firing up your Grill:

Before you fire up the grill this Spring, the first and foremost thing to do is give your grill a spring cleaning and check-up.

  1. Exterior Clean – The bbq does not always have to look scrappy and rusty, a good exterior cleaning can make it look almost as good as new. Don’t forget to clean the cover.
  2. Safety Check-up – Inspect all hoses, tubes and connectors for wear and tear and replace if necessary. Then fire it up and perform a leak test to ensure everything is working properly.
  3. Check the ignition and other parts – Clean the ignition and replace the batteries so it’s ready to fire it up when you’re ready to bbq. Tighten up any loose screws and bolts and lubricate hinges and wheels.
  4. Interior Clean – All you will need is good heat and soapy water, it burns off the remains from last season and remove the grease like a dishwasher does. Don’t forget to fire it up after the cleaning to burn any remaining cleaning products.
  5. Treat yourself – Open the bbq season with a simple grill, it can be some fresh  vegetables or homemade burger.  Not only you are rewarding yourself for your hard work, celebrate the beginning of  the bbq season, you are also making sure everything works properly.

Celebrate with the Burger of your Dreams!

  • Shape your burgers with an indentation in the centre. This helps them cook more evenly.
  • Don’t fiddle with the burgers while they cook. Ideally, you should just turn them over once. The more you press them, the more juice escapes.
  • Cook with the lid closed so the burgers cook right through.
  • Avoid adding bbq sauce while cooking, the sugar will burn.
  • Toast the buns, if you prefer.

 The Simple Homemade Burger

  • 1 lb lean ground meat of choice
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Worchester sauce
  • Shape into 4 to 6 patties, depending on the size you want.
  • Cook on medium to high heat, adjusting if they start to burn.

Mushroom Veggie burger

  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tblsp minced garlic


  • Soak Portobello mushroom caps in marinade for at least 15 minutes.
  • Brush bbq grill with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting.
  • Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Brush with marinade frequently.
  • Top with provolone cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

 Bun Alternatives
There are many alternatives to the standard burger bun. Next time, why not try one of these “fancier” buns: brioche, ciabatta, challah, pretzel roll, cheese, or even a cut up baguette. There is even a no bun alternative – just use a lettuce wrap.

Topping Ideas

  • Hawaiian: grilled pineapple slices, caramelized onions and hot peppers
  • Southern Comfort: sliced Vidalia onions, fried ahead of time, bacon and crumbled blue cheese
  • Rich & Famous: fried mushrooms with Swiss cheese
  • Exotic: chutney and goat cheese, avocado, tomato, cilantro and lime juice with or without Monterrey Jack cheese