My secret: PC Insider products makes entertaining easy

I'll let you in on a tid bit about me: I'm a food blogger who doesn't love cooking. Don't get me wrong, it's not a task I despise and I'm a pretty good chef when it happens, but prepping takes SO LONG and the meal's finished in a flash! How can hours of chopping, marinating and grilling get reduced to a dish that's consumed in less than ten minutes?

Over the years, I've embraced taking short-cuts - purchasing pre-made ingredients that help save valuable time and sanity. The PC Insider's Collection is one I turn to on a regular basis - their burger patties (ranging from $9.99 - $12.99) are thick and juicy. After grilling, piled high with toppings and condiments, my creations rival others served in quick service restaurants. Tip: their corn relish and sriracha mayo ($2.99) work great for jazzing up burgers (although not necessarily together).

PC slow-smoked brisket beef burger with smoky grilled jalapenos, cheese, tomato and onions
During the holidays, their frozen meatballs and hors d'oeuvres (especially the phyllo pastry collection) are consumed with gusto before dinner and my biggest worry is to keep an ear out for the timer and not burn everything.

So, when President's Choice invited me to EFS's patio to showcase their new summer PC Insiders Collection, I was intrigued. What else have they cooked up for me?

Grilled or baked shrimp is something I regularly make: de-shell and de-vein shrimp, toss with olive oil, citrus, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper and marinade overnight. If you have the time, prepare extra and freeze with the marinade. That way, whenever you need a quick dinner or appetizer you can defrost and use in batches. At the event, PC served theirs with a side of mild pico de gallo ($5.69), which was rather refreshing and would be very delicious on toasted crostini. 

The harissa chicken ($3.99/lb) was so delicious I went back for seconds. The rub incorporated earthy cumin and caraway, garlic, coriander and a light chili heat. They served it with a saffron scented couscous and mango salsa (helping to calm the spice), but I rather enjoyed it with the kale salad that was dressed with a zippy chia lemon dressing and topped with chickpeas and tomatoes for added juiciness. 

It was surprising to learn that PC has their own line of Flavour Burst produce - although you could chalk it up to me not being observant, as I've since paid closer attention at Loblaws and realize there's indeed a variety of tomatoes (the "Yore"), blueberries and a Sugar Kiss melon as well. 

Their Kent mango ($2.50) was what attracted me: the pieces in the mango salsa were so sweet and silky. Consequently, the smooth texture is due to the fruit not having any of the stringy bits! And it went down way too easy as part of the Mango Hurricane cocktail (rum with Kent mango syrup, PC cane sugar soda cherry cola ($2.99), lime and orange juice).       

Although my favourite dish at the event was the harissa chicken, almost everyone I spoke to raved about the BBQ lamb flatbread with PC beet hummus (they've passed along the recipe and is included below). It was delicious and certainly an inventive summer dish! I particularly loved the vibrant beet hummus ($4.49) that is slightly sweet but still rather savoury from the tahini and garlic. It also works well with crackers as a snack.  

Now you know my little secret ... I'm a food blogger that doesn't love cooking. So, don't expect to see me developing recipes on Gastro World any time soon. Thankfully, brands like President's Choice is making it easier for me to still create without slaving away in the kitchen. My secret's safe with you, right?

BBQ Lamb on Beet Hummus Flatbread

  • 1/2 lb (250 g) PC® Lean Ground Australian Lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp (25 mL) grated onion
  • 1 Tsp (5 mL) toasted cumin seeds, crushed in mortar and pestle
  • 3/4 Tsp (4 mL) ground coriander
  • 3/4 Tsp (4 mL) paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) PC® New World EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) each chopped fresh parsley and mint
  • 1 pkg (220 g) PC® Appetizer Flatbreads
  • 1 pkg (280 g) PC® Beet Hummus Chickpea Dip and Spread
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) PC® Crumbled Goat’s Milk Chevre Soft Unripened Cheese
  • Lemon wedges 
  1. Preheat barbecue to medium heat; grease grill.
  2. Combine lamb, garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, pepper and oil. Using hands, gently mix until just combined. Form into three 4-inch (10 cm) patties; let stand 20 minutes.
  3. Grill patties 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway, or until cooked through. Transfer to plate; crumble into small pieces using two forks. Sprinkle with parsley and mint; set aside.
  4. Grill flatbreads 30 to 60 seconds per side or until golden with grill marks; transfer to cutting board.
  5. Divide hummus between flatbreads; spread evenly to cover. Top with lamb and cheese. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Cut each flatbread into five pieces; squeeze lemon over top. Serve immediately.
How To Find Them
 Location: Across Canada

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