Follow Me Foodie to Ideas for an Epic Summer BBQ
There’s no denying that I love dining out and trying restaurants. However sometimes the best food comes from your own kitchen or even backyard. It’s something I rarely get to do, but look forward to and embrace when it happens. By the way, the photo above may be a paradise, but the photos below are a foodie’s paradise.
On this occasion, it wasn’t my kitchen, but it was actually the kitchen and backyard of my friends Tanis and Dave. Sometimes there’s just nothing like a BBQ in the suburbs, especially when your backyard is your personal farmer’s market which includes an organic green house, live stock and vegetable garden. In this case, the grocery store route was left to the “beginners” and/or “downtown-ers”.
To recap my Saturday, my friends Tanis and Dave with co-hosts Jay and Coreena, graciously organized an epic summer BBQ that’s certainly worth bragging, no I mean blogging about. I’m going to brag on their behalf because Dave and Jay are not trained chefs, but just truly passionate foodies and cooks. There’s nothing better than having friends that share the same appreciation for good food and are willing to go lengths when it comes to recreating or creating recipes at home.
This post is a bit of a tease, like Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate can be, or just any of their food shows in general. Nonetheless I hope you get inspired to re-create some of these items at your next BBQ. This menu is probably intended for intermediate or expert cooks, but don’t be scared to try it or make your own versions of what you see… or you can always swap some of your non-foodie friends for some foodie friends who can help you out.
So what happens when foodies get together for a BBQ? Well the food can get pretty fancy and there’s definitely never a shortage. So without a hot dog or hamburger in sight (although there’s nothing wrong with those), this BBQ was actually going to feature lots and lots of sandwiches. Huh? Sandwiches?
Yes! But, I’m not just talking about any old sandwich, these are sandwiches that are worth a little spotlight. Actually everything on the table deserved a little lights, camera and action, so that’s what I decided to give it! My eyes lit up as soon as I saw the menu, out came my camera, and Follow Me Foodie was in action.
Sure it helps to have the right equipment…
But if you don’t have an Il Forno oven in the convenience of your own backyard…
… then this will also do. There were a lot of things that didn’t require a BBQ, but instead a deep fryer too.
The energy and culinary creativity that flows in a room of foodies is probably one of the best feelings for me. It’s almost like being on a “food high” and you can somehow eat more than you normally could, and then there’s a moment when you start to feel a bit “food drunk”. The food drunk stage happens when you hit your full eating capacity and you start to lose your inhibitions and everything seems dream like. Anyways if you’ve ever hit any of these stages you know exactly what I’m talking about. I certainly hit both stages multiple times throughout the night. I’m hoping to transfer these feelings to you, and by the end of this post, you might just feel it too… now where else are you going to find an interactive food blog like this!? 😉
On the table:
This was the cocktail of the night, and this recipe is per glass.
- 4 raspberries & 1/8th lime muddled
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (Boil 1 cup sugar & 1 cup water until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool)
- 1 oz Rum
- Top with mint water (8 handfuls of mint steeped in boiling water approximately 16 cups and reduce until water is infused
- Add ice, shake, and enjoy!
Oysters on the shell with a Mignonette Trio: A tart Raspberry Vinaigrette, a sweeter Vietnamese Nuoc Cham Vinaigrette, and a savoury and tangy Ponzu Vinaigrette.
To start, was a freshly shucked oyster bar featuring my favourite oysters – the Kusshi Oyster. 280 of them. I don’t even think we got through half.
Avante Farm’s Piri Piri Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Chives. These were possibly the best deviled eggs of my life. The eggs are organic and from their own backyard and the bacon is house made. The Piri Piri sauce is a Portuguese hot sauce similar to the Peri Peri sauce you may have tried at Nando’s.
“Spotted Pig” Inspired Chicken Liver Toast. Spotted Pig is one of New York’s must try restaurants. They’re famous for their Chicken Liver Toasts and this was a recreation of that. It had some smashed capers, mayo and a bit of truffle oil topped with organic micro herbs. This was truly amazing. I started topping my deviled eggs with this pate too. An incredibly rich and indulgent treat.
Fried Chick Peas with Truffle Salt – Campagnolo Restaurant does a great version of these called Crispy Ceci, and I’ve also had something similar at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco – see Spicy Fried Chick Peas. I started topping a couple of these on my Chicken Liver Toasts too.
Burrata Cheese with Portuguese Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. One of my favourite soft cheeses. For excellent high quality Burrata, I’d recommend places that offer them as daily specials to ensure freshness. I would try Nook, Tavola, The BiBo and Nicli Antica Pizzeria which have it in stock on occasion. Call ahead to make sure. I actually had a fantastic Burrata Duo Antipasto Platter at Nook featuring a Californian Burrata and an Italian Burrata – see that here.
Buffalo Mozzarella with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Artisan Breads
Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Spicy Candied Walnuts, Strawberries, Blueberries and a Poppyseed Vinaigrette – The highlight were the spicy candied walnuts which were deep fried in duck fat (confit) and sprinkled with chipotle seasoning. I feel bad for anyone who thought this was vegetarian, or healthy… but it’s likely they raved about the walnuts being the best part too.
Spicy Blue Cheese Fried Chicken Sandwich – I know, a fried chicken sandwich is exciting, but next to Po’ Boy Sandwiches and an expected Pork Belly Sandwich it kind of got overshadowed. But surprisingly it was my second favourite sandwich of the night. The chicken was crusted with potato flour which gave it a good crunch and the home made rich and creamy blue cheese sauce really did it.
Yes, foodies still know portion control. 1/3 of a sandwich to make room to try all 6 gourmet sandwiches!
The deep fried oysters for the Po’ Boy Sandwiches. I was eating these alone as an appetizer.
It was huge chunks of extra crunchy deep fried oysters battered with potato flour again.
Oyster Po’ Boy Sandwich with Home Made Tartar Sauce
This wasn’t on the original menu, but it was a very welcomed surprise. An Italian classic.
Veal Parmigiana with Home Made Marinara Sauce and Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese
It was a much needed break from all the deep fried goodness, so it was onto the home made bacon.
BLT with Dave & Jay’s Own House Smoked Bacon. Now that’s what I call a BLT.
Fresh Crab & Shrimp Salad Sandwiches – In order to stop the meat sweats it was time for some seafood.
This pork’s belly deserves to be included in my Pork Belly, Bacon & Fatty Meat Series post.
16 Hour Sous Vide, Braised and Deep Fried for…
16 Hour Sous Vide, Braised and Deep Fried Pork Belly Steamed Bun (Mantou) Sandwich – inspired by Momofuku’s famous pork belly buns in New York. The Taiwanese originally invented it and have been doing it long before it got popular. You can try the traditional Taiwanese version at Delicious Cuisine – see Taiwanese Steamed Bun Sandwich (Koah Pau)
This was personally my favourite sandwich of the night. I was treating it like a beef dip and dipping it in pork belly and hoisin au jus between every bite. I was really curious how it would work in a deep fried crispy Mantou bun…
And of course it’s good as is with a little kimchi served on the side.
Lamb “Popsicles” Greek Style with Home made Tzatziki and Deep Fried Rosemary Leaves
Smoked Duck with “The Dream” Seasoning. This was almost the last food group. If you know this blog you know what’s coming up…
Chuck’s Home Made Chocolate Chip Cookies – Very likely the best chocolate chip cookies ever.
Tanis’s Home made Maple Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Chuck’s Home Made Chocolate Chip Cookies – I didn’t get a picture but we ended up adding strips of bacon to these sandwiches. Crumbling the bacon in the ice cream works as well.
If you want to recreate the recipe use a standard vanilla ice cream recipe (take out the vanilla bean and vanilla extract), add maple syrup and Bourbon according to taste. You may also fry the bacon in the maple syrup and lessen the amount in the ice cream. Allow the bacon to cool, crumble and mix in the ice cream. Another idea I have is to make maple bacon chocolate chip cookies and then just use whatever ice cream you want in the middle.
The desserts also included strawberry cheese cake, pumpkin olive oil cake and a coconut, banana, white chocolate and curry ice cream, which I didn’t get pictures of. Too busy eating. Greasy phone, greasy camera and a BBQ that’s going in the blog as one of the best ever.
Oh wait! You didn’t think it was going to end there did you? You forgot the midnight snacks!… But we didn’t!
A beautiful foie gras pate from France. It was in a care package our Parisian friend received from grandpa.
Also in the care package was an excellent Pfaffenheim Pinot Gris wine pairing for the foie gras pate.
Chocolate sauce? No, not quite. Try Pork Belly Au Jus and Foie Gras drippings…
… to go on top of the Foie Gras Poutine.
Foie Gras Poutine – with cheese curds, home made, hand cut, double fried Kennebec potato fries, seared foie gras, home made smoked bacon, and pork belly au jus and foie gras gravy. This is way worse than any dessert I’ve ever had. So good, but so bad. And of course I couldn’t end on a savoury note, so I had one more bite of a Maple Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwich and called it quits.
Until next year… Bon Appetite!
OMG, i remember reading all your tweets that day and wondered what kind of epic bbq you were at! this is a crazy bbq and literally a foodie’s dream! if only your friends owned a catering company so they could do this for weddings! they would be booked up all season for sure 🙂 i shouldn’t be reading this so early in the morning, my tummy is grumbling thanks to you mijune!!!!
@Linda – I know right?! Lol it was a crazy night filled with more food than I was prepared for! Actually who am I kidding? I was prepared 😉
Oh. My. God.
That is all.
It’s not fair Mijune! Why don’t you weigh 200 lbs? If I so much as looked at that Poutine I’d b]put on 50 lbs!
I’d like to report a crime..this is just way too much.
He does have a catering company!!! Wild Herb Catering & Event Planning
My friends just order in pizza…. 🙁
Oh god. way to give me a food orgasm. I happen to be trying to not eat this kind of stuff. I die. I die.
This is Jayson’s catering company:
Your latest tweets ending with the Pork Belly Au Jus and Foie Gras drippings was amazing even by your standards. Your a rock star.
I’m coming up to Seattle in Septemeber. Not sure we are going to have time for a day trip to Vancouver, but if so I’ll need recs. Maybe we can even break bread together.
Gawd, what are the peasants eatin’ ? And you have one of my fav white wines…Pfaffenheim pinot gris !
Lucky girl, wow ! A feast for carnivores, yea !!!
O ….. M ……. G …………….
@Gladys – I knowwwww!!
@Glo – Glo!!! If you come to Vancouver I’d host a food day/BBQ or whatever you want for you!! As long as you make one of your award winning desserts :)… I actually felt heavier after this meal though.
@Kevin – I know… we had tons leftover!
@Jay – oh yeah!! Thanks Jay!! I thought it was a private company and didn’t know you had a site and everything! yay! Honour to have the man behind the food comment on here!!
@Katy – 😀
@Sandi – get new friends!!! lol j/k… but c’mon… pizza is “high school”… at least have everyone make their own with premade crust!
@Isabel – oh dear… this is not the right blog if you’re on a diet.. although I did post on raw vegan food yesterday! 🙂
@Chantal – thanks Chantal! 🙂
@Fulmer – LOL thank you!!!! Umm if you’re in Vancouver you better contact me!!! We’ll do some serious damage somewhere! Let me know what you’re craving! DM me!
@Bow – lol sandwiches, deep fried stuff and fries is “peasant” food right? omg Bow that wine was incredible! Where can I get it here? Can I get it here?
Mijune that wine is always available at the LDB and they also make a great Riesling.A tremendous bargain under $20. Why drink a Pinot Grigio when this Pfaffenheim is available ? It’s a perfect match for Asian food(Thai, Chinese, Indian,etc.) , spicy food and seafood.
Dear god i’m having heart palpitations… I will have to use their caterer one day…
I wish I had friends like those. You sure they don’t run a restaurant in their spare time? Did they actually print out menus? Who took care of the dishes?
I’m surprised they didn’t fire up any pizza with an awesome outdoor wood fire oven like that.
@Jay – thanks for the info 🙂
@Mijune – thanks for the link! 🙂
Foie Gras Poutine!?!?! All of this amazing food. How does a fellow foodie get an invite? I hope they charged to get into this backyard as some of the combinations are unreal!
I will have to try a couple of these to celebrate the end of summer.
The Wanderfull Traveler
@bow – thanks for the tip!! What’s the difference between Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris? Isn’t it just language?
@May – lol and now you’ll know what to expect in the case that you do!! He’s not the cook/chef of the catering company though… but their ideas are fab!!
@BeefChowFun – nope! Just INTENSE foodies 🙂 they had a little hired help for dishes…
Pizza is for weekday dinners… you know “casual” stuff 😉
@Wanderfull Traveler – lol no no… as friends we never charge each other… we believe in karma.. give and get back 🙂
Mijune, same grape varietal but due to the terr0ir(the soil the grapes are planted in affects the taste of the wine) the Alsatian Pinot Gris is a powerful, heady wine in comparison to an Italian Pinot Grio . A classic example of terroir is the difference ‘tween the New Zealand Sauvignn Blanc vs a French one; one is vibrant,fruity, smelling of gooseberries and some say cat’s pee and the other showing a drier, more mineral backbone and more auster.
@Bow – Ohhh so it’s just the climate difference that grows the grapes that would affect it? Ahh that makes sense! I always thought it was a language thing. Thanks for being so knowledgeable in an area I’m still learning a lot about.