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The Canadian Barbecue Cookbook    by Brad Smoliak order for
Canadian Barbecue Cookbook
by Brad Smoliak
Order:  USA  Can
Lone Pine, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Once the last snows of winter have melted away, Canadians love to head outside and fire up their barbecues. For the hardcore fanatics, the change of seasons makes little difference; their barbecues are ready to go at a moment's notice.

In his introduction, Alberta based chef Brad Smoliak admits, 'one of my favourite pastimes is barbecuing and grilling'. What's the difference? you ask. Grilling, Smoliak goes on to explain is typically what most of us do with smaller, more tender cuts such as our steaks, chops, burgers, etc.. Grilling uses a much higher heat. The heat can come from natural gas, propane or charcoal. Barbecuing, on the other hand, 'is basically low and slow - 300 F (150 degrees C) or lower - with the lid closed and with smoke as flavouring. Large, tougher cuts of meat are usually used for barbecuing'.

When grilling or barbecuing, Smoliak goes on to point out, it's always a good idea to search out the best ingredients, whether it's the meat, vegetables, fruit, cheeses, etc., that you've chosen to include in your menu. Equipment and tools are also important, as is properly spicing your food, heating and cleaning your grill. He explains how to use cedar planking and iron skillets, as well as the difference between marinades, brines and rubs, and rounds out his introduction with a few practical pointers on food safety.

Once the basics are out of the way, Smoliak gets down to business with a host of unique recipes that'll leave you and your guests begging for seconds or thirds. You'll find everything from appetizers, to main course meals, to decadent desserts that can be prepared right on your grill. Here's a sampling of some of the recipes you'll find in The Canadian Barbecue Cookbook: Grilled Calamari with Chick Peas, Cast Iron Potatoes, Mushroom Ragout, Cedar Planked Arctic Char with Maple Compound Butter, Beer Brined Pork Chops, Grilled Chicken with Grapefruit Drizzle, Bison Ribeye with Mango Chutney Peppercorn Sauce, Coffee Marinated Duck Breast, Strawberry Salsa and Grilled Dessert Quesadillas.

Beautiful colour photographs of each dish make The Canadian Barbecue Cookbook even more of a treat to read and reference once you decide it's time to fire up your barbecue and sample some truly unique cuisine.

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