Ontario Gas BBQ Challenge with Charmian Christie (The Messy Baker)

21 Jul

Charmian Christie (The Messy Baker, 2014)

There’s no better way to celebrate the summer than to throw a couple of steaks on the grill and relax on the patio with friends! Five Toronto Food bloggers from the GTA have been selected to participate in a recipe challenge. They will be flexing their skills using Ontario Gas BBQ (OBG) tools and creating delicious original recipes from July 1 – 31, 2014. The victor of the #OGBChallenge will be chosen by popular vote.

We had the chance to speak to one of the contestants: food writer, recipe developer, and soon-to-be cookbook author, Charmian Christie (The Messy Baker: More than 75 Recipes from a Real Kitchen, 2014) who graciously shared with us her thoughts on BBQ.

Clementine (YYZGourmand): Why do you love to BBQ?

Charmian Christie (CC): The practical part of me loves that no matter how hot the BBQ gets, it doesn’t heat up my kitchen. We have a small stone house with no air conditioning, so once it heats up, it stays hot. I dread turning the oven on in the summer and the grill provides the perfect solution. The cook in me loves the flavours provided by the smoke and charring.

YYZ: What is your favourite item to BBQ?

CC: It’s hard to pick a favourite since the BBQ makes almost everything taste better — even broccoli. That said, rotisserie chicken is likely the winner . Although it’s not complicated, it draws raves every time I make it. No one ever tires of it. And that alone is worth a bonus point or ten. Check out Charmian’s recipe for Spicy Grilled Broccolini here and Herbed Rotisserie Chicken here.

(Source: The Messy Baker, 2014)

YYZ: You’re a baker by trade – what delicious baked goods have you created on a blistering hot BBQ? What would you like to bake on a BBQ?

CC: I’ve done pizzas and really loved the charred crust the hot grill creates. It’s perfect for flatbreads and anything baked quickly on high heat. Beyond that, I don’t really bake much on the grill since most of my recipes require a precise heat. However, it’s great for grilling fruit to top oven-baked goods like scones, or smoking sugar to use in desserts. My husband’s still talking about the smoked sugar ice cream.

Smoked Sugar Ice Cream (Source: The Messy Baker, 2014)

Smoked Sugar Ice Cream (Source: The Messy Baker, 2014)

YYZ: Your Italian turkey meatballs sound flavourful and light – what is your secret to keeping them moist off the grill?

CC: Don’t overcook them! Between the Thermopop meat thermometer and the grilling basket it’s easy to achieve moist, properly cooked meatballs. Also, turning them every few minutes helps. It’s hard to do damage if they’re flipped frequently.

Charmian’s delectable Italian Turkey Meatballs (Source: The Messy Baker, 2014)

YYZ: What’s your drink of choice on the patio when BBQ with friends?

CC: Depending on what we’re eating, it’s a bottle of chilled pinot grigio or icy cold dry apple cider — both from Ontario if possible.

A baker who knows her way around the grill! I’m smitten. We wish Charmian the best of luck against some formidable competitors. You, dear reader, can help Charmian (and win prizes yourself) all month long by visiting #OGBChallenge and voting like mad!.


*This post was brought to you by Branding & Buzzing and the Ontario Gas BBQ Challenge!


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