There are a lot of reasons to get outside and have family gatherings during the summer — graduation, engagements, weddings, anniversaries and so on. And sometimes the best backyard parties happen for no reason at all, just because the whole family decided to stop by for a visit all at the same time. I love these close family gatherings best, when I get to sit and watch my grandchildren run around the backyard playing the simple old games like hide ‘n seek, jump rope and tag.
But whatever your reason to celebrate this summer, nothing beats a backyard BBQ with some of Grampie’s specialities like his famous corn-on-the-cob.
Ears of corn in the husks (allow 2 for every adult and one for each child, leftovers can be reheated for a tasty snack later in the microwave.) Trim the silk or it may catch fire on the grill.
Place the corn in a container big enough to cover all the cobs with cold water. Soak at least one hour. Shake to remove any excess water.
Place the corn in the centre of the grill. If you have a large number of husks, it is okay to layer one on top of the other as long as you rotate and turn evenly. Grill 25 to 30 minutes with the cover closed (if you’re using an open grill, just make sure to turn frequently for even cooking). Turn three times using tongs. Don’t try to use your fingers. The corn is hot and you will get a nasty burn. Use gloves to remove husks before serving.
What would a family BBQ be without some juicy burgers to go with all that corn?
1 pound ground beef (Or ground pork, turkey, chicken, etc. whatever you normally prefer to use to make burgers)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Montreal Steak Seasoning
6 large onion rolls or Kaiser buns
Mix ground beef, minced onion and pressed garlic together in a bowl. Using your hands, form into patties. Sprinkle liberally with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Grill to your liking, but remember meat needs to be cooked well in order to be safe. Place hamburger patties on an onion roll or Kaiser Bun and top with your favourite toppings. Grampie likes lots of red onion, roasted red peppers and avocado slices. But mushroom, lettuce, tomato, pickle, cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, ketchup, and so on are always great garnishes on burgers. Be creative and try new toppings.
The BBQ certainly isn’t all about the burgers; there’s also pork, chicken and fish to consider . . .
1 pound pork chops, trimmed (about four)
1/4 cup Soya sauce
1 cup of your favourite beer at room temperature
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
Combine marinade ingredients blending well. Place the chops in a self-sealing plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and refrigerate from four to 24 hours. Remove from marinade and place chops on the BBQ. Grill for 10 minutes, turning once.
4 pounds pork spareribs
1 cup ketchup
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups Cherry Coke
1/4 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Cut ribs into serving-size pieces and place on the grill over grey-white coals or low steady heat. Slowly cook 60 to 80 minutes, turning often. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and simmer 10 to15 minutes. Brush ribs generously with sauce and continue to cook, about 30 minutes, basting and turning often.
1 whole fryer chicken
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Seasoned salt to taste
Clean and prepare chicken for the rotisserie. Combine oil, honey, paprika and lime juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Salt to taste. Mix until honey is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Baste the chicken with the sauce and place on the rotisserie on a preheated grill. Cook for about 35 to 40 minutes at a temperature around 400F basting occasionally with the sauce. When done remove the chicken from the grill and wrap it tightly in tinfoil. Let sit for about 15 minutes, then carve and serve.
King of the Grilled Salmon
1 6-pound salmon (whole)
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions
2 cups sliced mushrooms
Remove salmon head, tail and back fin. Then butterfly the salmon from stomach side (do not separate fillets along back), and bone it, leaving skin intact. Trim any white membrane from belly area of the fish. Rinse the salmon and pat dry. On heavy foil lay salmon skin side down on its side. Stuff with sliced onion and mushroom. Brush with butter. Place stuffed salmon on the grill. Close lid. After 30 minutes, check to see if done by flaking with a fork. Keep warm on grill until serving time. We serve ours drizzled with white vinegar.
Next month I’ll share some salads and desserts perfect for the backyard family BBQ. If you have any recipes that you’d like to share or any recipes you’re looking for that you’d like me to look up, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to put Grammie in the subject line or address it to Dear Grammie.
Until next time remember I made it especially for you.