Take it outdoors

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and make use of your barbecue this summer

  • Wed Aug 9th, 2017 4:30am
  • Life

Cathi Litzenberger

Morning Star Columnist

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m getting a tad frustrated with the smoke in the area. It brings sadness to my heart for all of the families and animals affected by these horrific fires in our province. I am hoping for rain.

With this long heat spell it’s nice to be able to cook outside and leave your house relatively cool. This long weekend I did a pulled pork slow cooker recipe on my barbecue. It was delicious and less work than I expected. Just adjust the temperature to remain between 200 and 275 degrees F before you add your food. Fresh corn on the cob is a real treat right now and is available at Davison Orchards and local nurseries. Let’s get into trying different salads now too — I’ve included one today you may like; it’s a versatile, healthy, and very nutritious recipe that can be served hot as a side dish or cold as a terrific alternative to pasta salad.

Pulled Pork on the Barbecue

5-1/2 lbs. pork shoulder roast de-boned

2 onions, sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Handful fresh oregano

Handful fresh thyme

Handful fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

1 Tbsp. ground ginger

1-1/2 cups chicken stock

Barbecue sauce for serving

Pre-heat barbecue to 300 F.

Place onions, garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme and parsley in bottom of heavy roaster.

Rub ginger and salt and pepper into roast. Place on top of onions etc., add stock and cover with lid. Turn off inside burners and place roast there. Keep heat between 250 and 300 F (275 is perfect). Let cook for 6 to 8 hours or until it is very soft and pulls apart easily.

To serve: remove roast from roaster, place in large bowl and, using two forks, shred and remove any fats or connective uglies. Remove fat from the top of liquids in roaster and add 1/4 cup of drippings at a time until the meat is well-moistened.

Serve on toasted buns with barbecue sauce (optional as some people get heartburn from it) and a crisp coleslaw. Simple but delicious.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups water

2 diced tomatoes

1 cup diced bell peppers

1 cup diced cucumber

1 cup chopped Kalamata olives

1/4 cup chopped green onion

For the Lemon Oregano Dressing

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. honey

Juice and finely minced zest of one lemon

2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Bring the water, salt and quinoa to a boil over low heat. Cover and simmer slowly for 15 to 20 minutes until the grains are cooked but still a little firm to the bite. Remove from heat and add the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, olives and green onion. Toss everything together with the Lemon Oregano Dressing.

Lemon Oregano Dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, honey, lemon zest, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad while warm and toss very well. Can be served as a hot side dish or as a cold lunch or side salad.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.