As soon as prairie dwellers see temperatures in the teens, we’re ready to don shorts and sandals and fire up the barbecue because we know winters are too long, and summers too short. Karen Webb, owner of Queen City Bake Box, shares her recipes for a spring/summer meal you can make entirely on the barbecue. Simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but special enough to serve to company, these recipes can all be prepared in advance, leaving you free to mingle with your guests. Shake off the remainder of your winter blahs and get cooking!
Tahini Thai Salad
This salad is fresh, light and delicious. It’s the perfect start to a summer meal.
Tahini 4 tbsp (sub peanut butter in a pinch)
Ginger, fresh 2 tsp, grated
Rice Vinegar 1 tbsp (sub apple cider vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar)
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
Lime juice, fresh 1 tbsp
Sriracha ½ tsp (sub any kind of hot sauce, adjust for flavor)
Brown sugar 1 tbsp
Canola oil 1 tbsp
Add all ingredients to a blender. Pulse until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and add more lime juice, hot sauce or brown sugar to taste.
Bell pepper, red 1, sliced thinly
Romaine lettuce 1 large head, chopped
Cilantro, fresh 3 tbsp, roughly chopped
Carrots 1 medium, grated
Dried cranberries ¼ cup
Almonds, slivered ¼ cup
Toss peppers, lettuce, cilantro, carrots, cranberries and almonds together. Drizzle with dressing.
Tangy Barbecue Chicken
The fish sauce in this barbecue sauce is the secret ingredient. It adds an amazing savory flavor that will have your guests begging for the recipe.
Brown sugar ½ cup
Ketchup ½ cup
Fish sauce ¼ cup
Sriracha or sambal oelek ¼ cup (sub with your favourite chili garlic sauce)
Ginger, fresh 2 tbsp, grated
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts 6
Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Pour into a zip top bag and add the chicken. Remove as much air as possible, seal it up and shake bag to make sure that all of the chicken is coated with the sauce. Marinate in the refrigerator at least four hours, or overnight if possible.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off as much of the marinade as possible. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before grilling.
Pour the remaining marinade into a pot over medium heat. Stirring frequently, heat the sauce until it is bubbling. Continue to cook the sauce until it reaches your desired consistency. The longer you cook it, the thicker the glaze will become.
While your sauce bubbles and reduces, grill your chicken. Grill them for 5-6 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
After cooking, rest chicken for 5-10 minutes under a tent of aluminum foil. Toss chicken with sauce and serve.
Roasted Baby Potatoes
The smoked paprika in this recipe is the key—the flavor it imparts can’t be beat.
Salt 2 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp
Smoked paprika ½ tsp
Oregano ½ tsp
Canola Oil 2 tbsp
Baby Potatoes 2 lb
Stir together salt, pepper, paprika and oregano.
Drizzle potatoes with oil and toss with spice mixture until everything is evenly coated.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Pour potatoes into a foil pan, cover with aluminum foil. Place on top rack of grill and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until fork tender.
Marinated Grilled Vegetables
This marinade is very versatile. Don’t feel constrained by the vegetables suggested here—use your favourites!
Canola Oil 2/3 cup
Vinegar, white ¼ cup
Water 1 tbsp
Dijon mustard 2 tsp
Chives 1 tsp
Sugar ½ tsp
Basil, dried ½ tsp
Garlic powder ¼ tsp
Pepper ¼ tsp
Whisk until well combined.
Bell pepper (any colour) 2
Zucchini, small 2
Mushrooms 2 cups (use small, whole mushrooms, or cut larger ones in half or quarters)
Red onion 1
Cherry tomatoes 1 cup
Cut vegetables into bite sized pieces. Pour marinade and vegetables into a zip top bag, remove as much air as possible and shake until everything is well coated. Marinate 2-4 hours.
To cook, either thread vegetables onto skewers and grill over medium-high heat, or scoop all of the vegetables into a foil pan (discard the remaining marinade) and cook uncovered on the barbecue, stirring occasionally.
Whipping cream 2 cups
Sweetened, condensed milk 1 can (300 ml)
Vanilla extract 2 tsp
Whip cream with a hand or stand mixer until it reaches stiff peaks. In another bowl, stir together the condensed milk and vanilla extract.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk and vanilla mixture, going slowly to make sure the mixture stays as light and airy as possible.
Pour into a large loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, making sure that the wrap is right on the surface of the mixture. Place pan in freezer and freeze for 4-5 hours.
Pineapple, fresh 1
Brown sugar ½ cup
Cinnamon 1 tbsp (adjust to your preferences)
Cut the pineapple into spears. (Cut off the crown and base. Stand the pineapple up on your cutting board and cut down the outsides to remove the exterior. Cut into quarters and remove the core. Cut each quarter in half.)
Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss with the pineapple.
Grill the pineapple on medium-high heat until grill marks appear—approximately 4 minutes per side.
Serve with a scoop of homemade ice cream