Perfect Summer Meal Burgers with Corn on the Cob and Grilled Vegetables — Grilled Veggie Recipe!

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For the entire blog and recipe, please visit my Farm to Table blog at www.MyKawartha.com.

Sometimes fate steps in to help elevate a good dinner to a truly great one.  Such was the case yesterday when Krista and I were driving back from Bobcaygeon.

“What the…?” I said, my voice trailing off in distracted curiosity.  “That sign said ‘Pulled Pork!’”

Now, if that weren’t enough to pique my interest (and, really, pulled pork is plenty), the sign also announced the presence of a “cooking studio” – the Heritage Creations Cooking Studio to be precise. 

It was a small-scale operation, by the looks of it, with a healthy dose of rustic charm.  Very homespun.

“Turn the car around, babe!” I cried.  “This has got to be good.”           

Krista, noting the urgency in my voice, dutifully pulled a u-turn. 

Sure, we already had the makings for a good dinner for the night, but, really, can you resist the lure of countyside cuisine?  I know I can’t.

Pulling into the driveway, we saw a store-cum-garage/shed with a sign that noted “Open 10am until closing.”  Precisely the attitude needed for good pulled pork.

Alas, it was not to be.

The young woman behind the counter welcomed us, looked to her empty shelves, and then said, “I’m afraid we don’t have much left to offer today.”

An August long weekend provides a lot of drive-by traffic for small businesses, and Heritage Creations had sold out of their days worth of whole chickens, smoked meats, and pulled pork.  While there were some good-looking sausages and burgers in the freezer, we already had our share of sausages and burgers at home.  In fact, I had some good grass-fed beef waiting in the fridge for me to grill for supper.

We were about to turn away in disappointment when I spied a lone slab of pork belly in one of the display fridges.

“What the…?”  I took a step forward.  I crouched before the window.

“Double-smoked bacon,” said the shop-keep.  “And it’s really, really good.”

I didn’t even need to ask Krista.  She was shaking her head at me and reaching for her wallet.

“Thanks, sweetie” I said to her.

And that, my friends, is what elevated last night’s dinner from the good to the truly great: Double smoked bacon.

I had already planned for mini-burgers, corn, and grilled veggies.  And the bacon pulled the meal together perfectly.  The smokiness of it brought the burgers to a gourmet level and made for a perfect match for the grilled vegetables and salty corn on the cob.

It is darned good bacon.

I wish I could tell you more about Heritage Creations and their smoked/barbequed goods, but the owner wasn’t around.  And while the salesperson working was friendly and as helpful as possible, she didn’t have much in the way of details about the preparation of the products.

And, after a bit of searching, I can say that there is absolutely nothing on the internet about these fine folk.

I will go back, though. 

For your benefit, of course.  And maybe for mine.  Particularly if they have their pulled pork on.  Or their chickens.

Now, recipe time.

Except it isn’t.

You see, I think it is time for you regular readers to do some experimenting. 

Now that August has hit, we have neared peak season for incredible tasting local fruits and vegetables.  The great thing about this produce is that it is so flavourful – so good on its own – that you hardly need to do anything to it to make it taste sublime.

Because this produce is so difficult to mess up, I’m not going to give to many instructions.  I’m going to give you the outline of a recipe for grilled vegetables and let you fill in the details. 

You see, all you are going to do is toss some fresh summer vegetables in some oil and herbs and grill them until they are done to your liking.

Simple.

Now, what veggies?

Whatever you have on hand.  But, for best results, make sure they are fresh and local.

In our case, we pull together whatever looks ready in the garden, fire up the BBQ, and within minutes dig in to the taste of summer.

The one and only thing that I will stress is this: resist the urge to do too much to this dish.  Let the vegetables shine.

Anyhow, here is the recipe.  I’d love to hear from you with details of what you used.  I’m always interested in new flavour combinations.

 A quick note: you will need a grilling pan for your vegetables.  This is usually a round or square stainless steel pan with holes in it – kind of similar to a colander.  This pan allows flames to get at your food and allows excess oils to drip off.

Another quick note: I’ve already given you BBQ burger tips.  Please visit here for a refresher: http://www.mykawartha.com/blog/post/1030851–bbq-the-perfect-burger .  I trust that I don’t need to give you a recipe for corn on the cob (bring water to a boil, add corn, cook until you just smell the corn, remove from water immediately).  By cooking up these grilled veggies, you will have an incredible (if not perfect) mid-summer feast: Mini-Beef Burgers with Aged Cheddar and Double-smoked Bacon, Corn on the Cob, and Grilled Summer Vegetables. It is both extremely quick and very easy to make – excellent for mid-week, but also impressive enough for company.

About the ingredients for this dinner:

Beef — from my private supplier, but you can get great grass-fed beef from the Gaelic Garlic at the Farmers’ Market.Cheese — Aged cheddar from Empire Cheese (Campbellford, but available across the Peterborough area).
Bacon — Heritage Creations (Bobcaygeon).
Vegetables — from our garden, but there is a mind-blowing variety available at local farms and markets.  Please see www.kawarthachoice.com for a huge list.
Mushrooms — from the Mushroom Man (Peterborough) at the Wednesday and Saturday Markets.

For the entire blog and recipe, please visit my Farm to Table blog at www.MyKawartha.com.

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