I know, steak twice in under a week? This time I blame our Vancouver friends, who spied the BBQ and wanted a taste of Alberta beef. All we did was rub them with canola oil, salt and pepper and grill them medium-rare. I took some pork ribs out of the freezer too (best to pawn them off on company, rather than down a rack between the two of us), which, as always, I preroasted on a rimmed cookie sheet, covered with foil, at 300F for a couple hours before throwing on the grill. (You can do this a day or two ahead and keep them in the fridge; the long slow cooking time breaks down tough connective tissues, which is what makes the meat fall-off-the-bone tender.) I crushed a few cloves of garlic and grated some ginger into the last third of the jar of hoisin sauce, and then stirred in a couple spoonfuls of honey. This got brushed onto the ribs before they went on the grill, but promptly caught fire on account of the high sugar content. (This is typical of most barbecue sauces, which usually have sugar as the first ingredient.)
We tried to offset the quantity of meat with an even greater number of salads; the usual brown and wild rice one, a tossed green salad with croutons made of bread that I brushed with garlicky olive oil and grilled, then tore into pieces, and another Ichiban salad since I had leftover dressing. And quinoa with mango and curried yogurt – something I made for a segment on CBC radio this morning, which I was decidedly less thrilled with than the 63 people who voted 97% in favour of it on epicurious.com.
And here’s something cool: if you moisten a paper towel, sprinkle it with quinoa and top it with another damp towel, it will sprout. (If you live in Calgary, you may have to re-moisten the paper towel once in awhile.) Germination activates natural enzymes and boosts vitamin content, and the wee sprouts are perfect to add to salads.