Break Out The Barbecue For This Cedar-Planked Brie
What's New In Barbecues And What You Should Be Grilling This Season
Summer is swiftly approaching; are you ready for barbecue season? Unless you’ve checked out the latest technology and news in the world of barbecues — which maybe you have if you’re a seasoned pro — then you probably aren’t quite ready. That’s ok, we’re here to help, and so are the professionals in your local stores.
For instance, if you thought it was still okay to bust out a jar of store-bought three bean salad with your barbecue entrée, you might want to tuck that back in the cupboard for another occasion. As the backyard kitchen has become firmly entrenched in the patio space, the world of tailgating has left the parking lot. “Homegating” is the new thing and you better be prepared to step up your game with some competitive spirit and barbecue gourmet meals. Think organic farm-to-table meats and produce, and fresh baked breads.
Does it sound like too much pressure? Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be fun. Barbecuing is all about getting creative and wild with your grilling pals. But, if you’re a little concerned, help yourself out with some hot new gadgets because gadgets are all the rage lately. Try out a shish kabob rotisserie or go a new direction with wood (bye-bye cedar): wine barrel planks, oak or mesquite slabs and flavoured wood chips can reveal a new world of flavour. Consider investing in an infrared or wood-burning grill or check out the ever-popular ceramic smokers. Don’t forget about smoker tubes and charcoal trays. Now, stuff all that high-end wizardry into a colorful barbecue with a glass-ceramic lid and you are set to go.
If you need a little inspiration to get your homegating party started, we highly recommend some grilled brie with cranberry chutney, yum yum.
Cedar-Planked Brie with Cranberry Chutney
Serves 4 to 8
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 to 1/3 cup House of Q Sugar & Spice
BBQ Sauce; try something thick, sweet and spicey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cedar plank, unsoaked
1 wheel of Brie or Camembert cheese, 4 to 6 inches in diameter
Crackers or slices of fresh bread
1. Place the cranberries, barbecue sauce and maple syrup in a sauté pan over medium heat on your stovetop, grill side-burner or even on the grill, and cook, stirring often. Once the cranberries begin to soften, press them with the back of a spoon. Once most of the berries have burst, 10 to 20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Spoon the thickened chutney into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Prepare your grill for direct grilling, medium-high heat. When the grill is hot, rinse the cedar plank under cold running water and place it on the grate. Close the lid and allow the plank to heat for 4 or 5 minutes or until it starts to crackle.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the cheese on the plank, and then close the lid and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, possibly longer.
4. Open the lid and scoop a generous portion of cranberry chutney onto the warming cheese, close the lid and cook until the cheese is puffing out but not burst. Transfer the cheese on the plank to a metal or glass plate, and serve immediately with crackers (or fresh bread).
Behind the Scenes
I was challenged one day by a friend to make my own cranberry sauce. I started with frozen cranberries and a sauté pan. I thought our Sugar and Spice BBQ sauce would add a nice spice element and a sweetness to contrast the tartness of the cranberries. It did! But it needed even more sweetness, so I added some maple syrup. Further variations of the recipe used brown sugar instead of the maple syrup but the result was the same—a tasty, chutney-like cranberry sauce that made me proud to say, I made this! Put the sauce on fish, turkey, crackers or add it to your toppings for a wicked tasty burger.