The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 07.05.05


Flaming Fajitas

Summer has officially begun and it has been a good one already. Heat and humidity, a solstice, and two long weekends in a row have provided a lot of good excuses to eat outdoors.

There is a run on propane and fruit stands are appearing roadside. Grilling meats fly off the shelf and barbecue manufacturers are rejoicing at our recent lucky spell of weather.

Lets face it -- after a week or two it becomes a challenge to provide variety after we have had traditional barbecued hotdogs, hamburgers, steaks, and chicken. Speaking of tradition -- outdoor cooking somehow remains primarily a man's domain and the gents just keep on grilling.

A reader sent me this definition (being circulated across e-mail worldwide) of a barbecue and I suspect the ladies will have a giggle about its truthfulness. Men are so sad and badů

It's the only type of cooking a real man will do -- When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events is put into motion:

1) The woman buys the food.
2) The woman makes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill -- beer in hand.
4) The man places the meat on the grill.
5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.
7) The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.
8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
10) Everyone praises the man and thanks him for his cooking efforts.

In order to provide a little sympathy for the fairer sex, I suggest that all men do their collective best to clean up, get their own beer, make the salads and set the table for at least a week.

You get more bees with honey, eh?

Flaming Fajitas
(Serves four)

By grilling the steak, vegetables, and flatbreads, this entire meal is cooked in the great outdoors.


1 lime
1/2 cup finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers plus 2 tbsp reserved juice
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb Beef marinating Steak (Flank, Inside Round or Sirloin Tip), 3/4" thick

1 each onion and sweet red pepper, cut into strips
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 pitas

Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 11 min
Marinating time: 8 -12 hours


Combine finely grated peel and juice from lime, jalapenos and their reserved juice, Worcestershire sauce and half the garlic in large sealable freezer bag. Pierce beef all over with fork and add to bag; refrigerate 8-12 h.

Discard marinade; grill steak using medium-high heat, 3-4 min/side for rare. Let stand for 5 min; slice thinly across the grain. Meanwhile, toss vegetables with oil, remaining garlic and seasonings; grill in grilling basket using medium-high heat for 5 min, stirring occasionally.

Tuck steak and vegetables into warm pitas and top with some salsa.