Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Recipe Rescue: July 2013

Patrick Mathieu   

Features Health and Wellness Nutrition

It is that long-awaited time of year when sunshine-filled days and warm breezes notify us all that it is time to step outside of the kitchen, and put our slow cookers and soup pots away.

It is that long-awaited time of year when sunshine-filled days and warm breezes notify us all that it is time to step outside of the kitchen, and put our slow cookers and soup pots away. Summer is here, and it’s time to take our cooking and entertaining outside. Even though real Canadians barbecue all year ’round, it does not necessarily mean that we enjoy it! I will gladly embrace the few months of natural barbecue weather, when the sun, not a flashlight, provides the light for my grill, when warmth comes from the summer breeze – not from cozying up next to the grill – and when I don’t have to wear mitts to enjoy my icy-cold beverage.

Summer is also that amazing time of year when fresh produce abounds. Our ingredient options have multiplied dramatically since the winter months and these are the types of food that we definitely want to be putting into our bodies. Fresh, local produce, which is delicious and rich in its health benefits, is part of what makes summer dining so enjoyable – and it encourages us all to eat al fresco.

For this reason, I’ve decided to give summer salads the main stage. Before you let out a big sigh and turn the page, these are no ordinary salads! By combining bright, vibrant seasonal produce with your barbecue staples, you can create some extraordinary results, both for your taste buds and for your body. Lighter fare is on the menu and these summer mains are designed to keep you refreshed, satisfied and light on your feet to enjoy all that our Canadian summers offer us.

Before you start, consider these tips:

  • Have everything prepped before you light up;
  • Have the right fire for the job and learn the difference between direct grilling and in-direct grilling;
  • Keep your grill clean;
  • Use a thermometer;
  • Let that tasty creation wait at least five minutes after coming off the grill before being devoured so the juices can re-distribute themselves and stay where they belong, in the meat, and not all over your plate.

Enjoy the summer season, brothers and sisters!


Grilled shrimp and halloumi salad with fennel, avocado and ruby red grapefruit


  • 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice; or more, as needed
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fennel frisée (green leafy sprigs on top of the fennel bulb)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ pound jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 shrimp per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1 six-ounce block of halloumi cheese, sliced to quarter-inch thickness and brushed with olive oil
  • 1 large head Boston lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup arugula lettuce
  • ½ small bulb fresh fennel, cored and sliced thinly
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium-size ripe hass avocado
  • Chopped mint for garnish


  1. Slice the ends off the grapefruit to expose its flesh. Set the grapefruit on one of its cut ends and slice off the skin in wide strips (try to remove all the bitter white pith). Working over a bowl, cut the segments free from their membranes, letting each segment fall into the bowl as you go. Squeeze the juice from the membrane and strain the juice into a small bowl. Remove any seeds from the segments and cut the segments in half crosswise.
  2. Mix the grapefruit juice with the oil, shallot, lime juice, salt, fennel frisée, and pepper in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well.
  3. Reserve half a cup of the vinaigrette for dressing the salad and pour the remaining vinaigrette over the shrimp. Toss and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  4. Prepare a grill over medium-high heat. Grill the shrimp until just cooked through, about one-and-a-half minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let the shrimp cool slightly. Do the same with the pieces of halloumi (yes, put the cheese on the grill!). Grill for a couple of minutes per side until well marked.
  5. Put the lettuce, arugula, sliced fennel and cilantro in a large bowl. Peel and cut the avocado into half-inch chunks. Give the reserved vinaigrette a vigorous shake and drizzle over the salad. Toss the salad gently to combine. The vinaigrette should just coat the leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide the salad on chilled dinner plates and top with the grilled shrimp and halloumi. Scatter the chopped mint over top just before serving. Enjoy!


Grilled sourdough and chorizo panzanella salad


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 ¾-inch-thick slices sourdough bread
  • ½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh chorizo sausage
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and minced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 1 medium field cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • ½ small red onion, chopped (½ cup)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro or mint


  1. Prepare your grill over medium-high heat. Clean and oil the grill.
  2. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt and fresh-ground pepper. Grill the bread until well marked, about one minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into three-quarter-inch cubes, and set aside.
  3. Next, place the chorizo on the grill, turning occasionally, until just cooked through and well charred on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board, let rest for five minutes, and then cut into three-quarter-inch slices.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil and vinegar with the anchovy and garlic. Add the bread, chorizo, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and herbs, and toss well. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!


Grilled peaches with cinnamon and honey yogurt


  • 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • Canola oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon mixed with sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ cup Greek honey yogurt
  • 4 tbsp liquid clover honey
  • ½ cup ginger snaps, crushed
  • Mint leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat grill to high. Brush peaches with oil, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a pinch of salt. Grill flesh side down until golden brown and just cooked through, about two to four minutes. Flip peaches and cook one minute longer.
  2. Remove from grill and top with yogurt, crushed ginger snaps and drizzle with honey. Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!


Mexican chopped salad with grilled corn and chili lime flank steak

Ingredients for the steak:

  • 3 bulbs of garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 8 large limes)
  • ¼ cup clear tequila
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, including leaves and stems, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds flank steak


  1. Combine the garlic, lime juice, tequila, soy sauce, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin and black pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Add the steak and let marinate in the refrigerator for two hours.
  2. Remove from the refrigerator and let marinate at room temperature another 30 to 45 minutes.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 3 ears fresh corn, in their husks
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 romaine hearts, chopped
  • ¾ cup black olives
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, sliced thin
  • 1 ½ cups red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish
  • 1 three-ounce piece of cojita cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


  1. Prepare your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grill the corn and peppers, turning occasionally, until the skins of the peppers are charred, the corn husks are black, and the corn kernels are light golden when the husk is pulled back, six to 10 minutes. Remove from the grill. Transfer the peppers to a plate and let cool for 10 minutes. Let the corn cool.
  3. Place the steak on the grill. Cook for four minutes, turn 180 degrees, and cook for three minutes longer. Flip the steak over and finish cooking for three to five minutes, depending on desired doneness. Remove from the grill to a cutting board and let rest, lightly covered, for five minutes. Slice in thin strips against the grain.
  4. Remove the corn husks and silk. Cut the kernels from the cob and set aside.
  5. In a blender or food processor, puree the grilled peppers, tomato, garlic, vinegar and olive oil to make a vinaigrette, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. On individual serving plates, divide the vinaigrette evenly among the plates reserving a couple of tablespoons to dress the salad. In a large bowl, toss together the corn, black beans and romaine hearts with the reserved dressing and distribute onto the plates. Garnish with the olives, cherry tomatoes and avocado. Lay slices of the flank steak over top and sprinkle with cojita cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!

Patrick Mathieu is a 13-year veteran of Waterloo Fire Rescue, where he is acting captain. He has won several cooking competitions and has helped raise thousands of dollars for charities by auctioning gourmet dinners at the fire hall. Contact him at

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