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5 Recipes Perfect for Your Next Summer Barbecue

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Beer Can Chicken

Everything may look perfect in a cookbook, but as you know, real life is not always like that. Take for example the dinner party that was also this photo shoot. I took the beer can chicken, lathered it with barbecue sauce, and put it over direct heat. BIG MISTAKE. Less than 10 minutes later we began to smell something …To my horror, the chicken was completely charred. And guests were arriving in half an hour – talk about a real life pinch! We did serve the blackened chicken in the end – it actually tasted great (once you scraped the burnt parts away). I say make the best of a disaster. At least it tells a good story.

Serves 6


  • 3 lb (1.5 kg) whole roasting chicken, preferably free-range
  • 12 oz (355 mL) can medium to heavy beer
  • 3 – inch (8 cm) sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 – inch (8 cm) sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Whole Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) your favorite dry rub or Barbecue Sauce



Wash and dry the chicken, and remove the neck or giblets if they are inside the cavity. Preheat the barbecue to medium-high heat.

Open the beer, discard the pop tab, and pour out one-third of the beer. Insert the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns into the can. If using a Chicken Sitter, empty the contents of the beer and spices into the bottom of the chicken sitter.

Rub the chicken with the olive oil and then pat the barbecue rub or sauce all over. Hold the chicken upright and sit it onto the beer can, pulling the legs forward so it looks like it is sitting. Place the whole thing onto a little pan.

Barbecue on indirect heat with the lid down for about 1 ½ hours until the internal temperature of the chicken is 180 F (82 C) and the skin is dark brown and crispy.

Take care when removing the chicken because the beer can is hot and so is the beer. Then have a good belly laugh with your friends seeing the chicken sitting spread-eagled atop the beer can looking like the king of the barbecue!


In a Pinch

If you use barbecue sauce, check on the chicken more often as a sauced chicken has a tendency to burn. Remember, the first ingredient of barbecue sauce is usually sugar; the first ingredient of rubs is salt.


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Chocolate Coconut Cups

If you can melt chocolate, you can make this mini dessert. A silicone mold will help you look like a hero, but even that isn’t necessary (see In a Pinch). Who can promise you praise and accolades that only pastry chefs receive, with one simple little recipe? I can!

Serves 12


  • ½ lb (250 g) good-quality dark chocolate (a minimum of 60% cocoa), chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • One 10 oz (300 g) jar lemon curd
  • Fresh blueberries or raspberries (for garnish)



Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler; once the chocolate is smooth add the coconut. Stir to combine so that the chocolate coats the coconut evenly.

Divide the chocolate mixture among the 12 cups of a mini silicone muffin mold. Using a small teaspoon, push the chocolate mixture into the cavity of the muffin cup. Press onto the sides to form a cup. Set aside until set or chill for 10 minutes to set quicker. To remove, simply peel back the silicone.

To serve, place the cups on a tray, fill with lemon curd, and top with fresh berries.


In a pinch

If you do not have a silicone mini muffin mold, take a metal mini muffin or tartlette pan and line it with plastic wrap. Proceed as directed, pushing the chocolate mixture into the pan to form cups. Chill and remove. Peel the plastic wrap off and proceed.


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Mediterranean New Potato Salad

This is unlike any potato salad you have ever had, in so far as the potatoes are pan fried first to give them a golden brown outer crust. The dressing is then poured over the warm potatoes. This method allows the warm potato to act as a sponge absorbing the dressing. The lemon olive oil is the burst of flavor that gives this dressing its Mediterranean flair. If “O” lemon olive oil is unavailable, substitute with regular extra virgin olive oil and 1 tsp (5 mL) of lemon zest.

Serves 8


  • 1/3 cup (80 mL ) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lb (900 g) small new potatoes, red or white, cut into 1 ½ inch (3.8-cm) pieces
  • 1 14oz (398 mL) jar artichokes, PIACERI DALL ORTO, drained and quartered

  • 1 14oz (398 mL) can hearts of palm, sliced into ½ inch (1.2-cm) pieces
  • 1 cup (240 mL) Kalamata or green olives



  • 6 oz (170 mL) feta cheese



Heat the oil and garlic in a large pan, add the potatoes and cook until lightly browned and tender. Add the artichokes to the pan and toss. Stir in the hearts of palm and olives, tossing to combine. Turn out onto a serving platter.

Mix together the “O” lemon olive oil, vinegar, dill, sea salt and pepper. Pour over the potato mixture and serve at room temperature. Garnish with a crumble of feta.

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Rosemary Grapefruit Moscow Mules

Yield: 1 cocktail 



  • 2 oz your favourite vodka
  • 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice (about half a grapefruit)
  • 3 oz your favourite ginger beer (either alcoholic or non)
  • 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice
  • Fresh sprig of rosemary



  1. Fill glass with ice
  2. Add vodka, grapefruit juice, ginger beer, and fresh lime
  3. Stir with rosemary sprig to infuse a slight flavor
  4. Serve with a wedge of lime and enjoy!

Warm Wild Salmon Salad

When fresh B.C. salmon run, so should you – to your local fish market to get your share. Nothing can compare to the incredible taste of wild salmon grilled to perfection. I like to cook a bit more than I need for dinner so as to have some on hand for lunch the next day.

Serves 6




  • 2 ½ lb (1.25 kg) whole fillet of wild B.C. salmon
  • 1 cup (250 mL) your favorite barbeque sauce
  • 1 lb (500 g) asparagus
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 TBSP (30 mL) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (500 mL) your choice of mixed mushrooms
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • 3 cups (750 mL) assorted salad greens, washed
  • 3 large yellow (or red) tomatoes, cut into quarters (or equivalent amount of cherry tomatoes, halved)
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

  Options for Garnish



Preheat barbeque to medium-high heat.

Slather the flesh side of the salmon with the barbeque sauce. Place the salmon skin side down on the barbeque. Brush the asparagus with a little olive oil and add to the barbeque. Do not turn the salmon; cook it through on one side only, being careful not to overcook it (make sure it stays moist). Check on the asparagus, as it will be done faster.

While the salmon and asparagus cook, heat the butter in a frying pan; add the sliced mushrooms, and sauté on high heat to brown. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Place the salad greens and tomatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss.

To serve, heap the greens onto oversized serving plates or bowls. Add a portion of mushrooms, a few spears of asparagus, and a piece of the salmon in the center. Garnish with the olives and a good sprinkling of feta (if using).


In a Pinch

To prevent mushrooms from releasing moisture, sauté them on high heat and just a bit of butter or oil. Do not add any liquid and watch how quickly they brown.


Break free from your favorite prewashed mixed greens and your favorite bottled barbeque sauce. I like to support our own local chef Ann Kirsebom, who has created a line of great marinades and sauces. Tequi-Lime barbeque sauce is my favorite.


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