I had the good fortune of going to British Columbia (Canada’s West Coast Province) for work this past week. While it was for work, I made the most of it and I must say I had good fun. I met some great people, made some time to tour Vancouver and appreciate the beauty around me, and I made sure to eat well.
On one evening I ate at the Cactus Club Cafe in Abbotsford, BC, which has a menu created by Canada’s first Iron Chef America winner, Rob Feenie. For my main course I devoured the butternut squash ravioli with prawns. This was hands-down the best ravioli I’ve ever eaten. Even the description was mouth-watering: butternut squash and mascarpone ravioli, truffle butter, sautéed jumbo prawns, pine nuts, crispy sage… I mean…seriously…freakin delicious.
On another evening I was thrilled to get a group of colleagues together to take a drive to Langley, BC to go to one of the JRG Group’s restaurants, S+L Kitchen & Bar. The corporate chef there is David Jorge who was the second season winner of Master Chef Canada. Nelson and I (and even the kids) love watching Master Chef Canada and the 2nd season was particularly fun for us because we were rooting for David Jorge all along. David, we discovered, has roots in the island of Pico, Azores–from a town not far from where Nelson lived. We felt a connection with David Jorge and couldn’t help but root for him to win. He was so down-to-earth and nice on the show – we felt pride in this Canadian-Portuguese guy from BC. Yay! He won! So how cool for me to get to meet him. Nelson had connected with David Jorge through FaceBook and let him know that I was going to try to get out there. When I arrived David took the time to come by our table to say hello and welcome me and the folks from work that made the trek out to S+L. David was super nice and the restaurant is interesting, upscale casual, and comfortable. I had a superbly grilled steak and delicious orange glazed carrots, but we did a lot of sharing with each other at the table so I got to try a variety of foods, including the Master Chicken which is the championship plate of fried chicken that brought Chef David Jorge his Master Chef Canada title. He certainly earned his win – it was scrumptious.
Meanwhile back home, Nelson and the kids were eating well too. Nelson loves cooking for us at home, so he didn’t stop while I was away. He made these delicious strip loin kabobs one evening. He marinated the strip loin overnight to tenderize and flavour the meat and then grilled them on the BBQ for dinner. The beef was tender and juicy and oooooh so good. Although I didn’t get this on the night he made it, luckily he saved me a couple of skewers so I could enjoy them when I returned from BC. Even re-heated, I have to say these were truly delicious kabobs. What a great way for me to cap-off my week. Thanks for saving me some Nelson. It was nice to have this meal when I returned home.
I am looking forward to going to BC again–next time with Nelson and the kids though. There are still so many places to see and great restaurants to try. And with an ocean at their door, there’s certainly fresh fish and seafood to be had. We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful country. We need to explore it more.
Wherever you are, look around and appreciate the beauty that exists, and always try to find good eats that fill your tummy and your soul. As always, eat well, friends!
- 4 Lbs thick beef strip loin steaks (about 6), cut in ¼ inch cubes
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1½ tsp salt
- Optional: Your favourite veggies to add to the skewer. We used red onion, cremini mushrooms and green and orange sweet peppers (other suggested options are zucchini, cherry tomatoes, other mushrooms, etc)
- Add the steak cubes to a large ziplock bag.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, wine, worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper and salt.
- Pour the marinade over the beef cubes and seal the bag.
- Massage the marinade into the beef to make sure all pieces are well coated.
- Place the bag in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours before cooking.
- Oil the grill to avoid the meat sticking to the grill.
- Preheat the BBQ to 400-450 ºF
- Start building your skewers. Poke a steak cube through the sharp end of the skewer and pull it through, almost to the base of the skewer.
- Alternate between steak and vegetables until the skewers are full.
- Open the BBQ lid, quickly place the skewers on the hot grill and close the BBQ lid.
- After about 4 minutes, open the lid and turn the skewers over.
- Wait another 3 minutes and turn them over again.
- Avoid turning the steak over too often, as this will dry the meat.
- Use a meat thermometer to cook the meat to your preferred doneness. I aimed for medium doneness (around 155 ºF internal temperature).
- Once the kabobs are ready, place them on a serving dish and cover loosely with foil, to let the juices redistribute back into the meat. let them rest for about 5 minutes and serve. enjoy!