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Archive for the ‘Barbecue’ Category

Pork Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

A really tasty dish for the barbecue. Marinate the pork for up to 24 hours in advance if you can, or if not put the marinade on and leave out of the fridge for an hour before cooking. The peanut sauce can be made up in advance too. Good served with rice and salad. We served Sabrina Ghayour’s ‘shaken’ sweet quick pickled onions and smacked cucumber salad from her book – Bazaar.

Wine Suggestion: We think this goes really well with red wines with easier tannins and tonight we had the elegant Ex Arena by Domaine de Cebene from Faugeres in southern France. 100% Grenache, perfumed, juicy red fruits and refined finish. The fruit complimented the spices and it wasn’t too rich or heavy either.

Pork satay with spicy peanut sauce – serves 4

  • 450g pork fillet, cut into 2cm cubes

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

FOR THE SPICY PEANUT SAUCE:

  • 3 generous tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ red chilli, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 generous tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the meat and toss to coat. Set aside for at least an hour or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

Place the peanut sauce ingredients in a food processor with 50ml of water and whiz until smooth.

Thread the pork unto metal skewers (you can use wooden skewers but you need to soak them first).

Heat the barbecue, then cook the skewers for a few minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, gently heat the peanut sauce in a small saucepan. Serve immediately with the peanut sauce spooned over.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, HarperCollins, 2013.)

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Spicy Barbecued Chicken Wings

These have to be some of the best chicken wings we’ve tasted. They’re cooked twice so the meat is fabulously tender and there’s no need to worry about them not cooking through on the barbecue. We’ll be making more of these, especially as our daughter has now tasted them and keeps demanding we go to the butchers!

Wine Suggestion: This went really well with a dry German Riesling from the Nahe, the Weingut Korrell Paradies Riesling. A young producer doing some delicious things. Also great with lighter, spicy reds like a gently handled Grenache or Syrah.

Spicy barbecued chicken wings – serves 4

  • 16 chicken wings
  • mint leaves, coriander leaves and lemon wedges, to serve

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3cm piece of ginger, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 115g honey
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 80ml groundnut oil
  • juice of 1 lemon

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the chicken wings and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the chicken wings cool in the water for 1 hour, then drain and pat dry.

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, then toss in the chicken wings and leave to marinate for 1 hour. You can leave them for longer but you need to put them into the fridge, make sure you remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook them.

Preheat the barbecue.

Remove the chicken from marinade and put into another bowl. Pour the marinade into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced to a sauce.

Cook the chicken wings on the barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side or until charred, then brush with the reduced marinade.

Pile onto a platter and serve with the coriander and mint scatter over and some lemon wedges on the side.

(Original recipe from Neil Perry’s Good Cooking, Murdoch Books, 2016.)

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Harissa Potato, Halloumi & Asparagus with Coriander and Lemon Oil

Genevieve Taylor has written a delicious book of vegetarian recipes for the barbecue, and the season has arrived to spend more time outdoors! This is the first recipe we’ve tried and it was really good. Serve with a green salad on the side or as a veggie side with barbecued meat.

Wine Suggestion: A light red wine is what you need here; think a Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir or something similar. Tonight our choice was an Aussie Pinot, from Pike & Joyce in the Adelaide Hills. Delightful fruit, an earthiness and hints of smoke that compliment the cooking process.

Harissa potato, halloumi and asparagus with coriander and lemon oil – makes 6 skewers

  • 500g salad potatoes e.g. Charlotte, sliced in half lengthways
  • 250g asparagus, snap off the woody end, then cut each spear in 3
  • 2 x 250g packs of halloumi, cut into finger-thick wedges
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa paste

FOR THE CORIANDER AND LEMON OIL:

  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil
  • a small bunch of coriander, leaves finely chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ – 1 tsp caster sugar

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the potato halves and cook until just tender – about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus pieces for the last 30 seconds, just to blanch.

Drain the potatoes and asparagus and return to the pan. Add the halloumi and harissa and stir gently until everything is evenly coated.

Thread onto metal kebab sticks (wooden ones will do but you need to soak them for 20 minutes before using and don’t overload them as these are heavy).

Cook the kebabs on the barbecue over a medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, turning once.

Make the coriander and lemon oil by whisking all the ingredients together with some seasoning.

When the kebabs are cooked transfer to a plate and drizzle over the oil.

(Original recipe from Charred by Genevieve Taylor, Hardie Grant: Quadrille, 2019.)

 

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Paprika & Oregano marinated fish with Cherry Tomato Salsa

We made it too late to the fish shop to get mussels. I tried to sign through the window to get something for the barbecue instead and Oralith (age 6) opened the door and yelled – try and get a lobster! Entertained the fishmonger anyway and we had tuna steaks in the end. Little did he know that she wanted to bring the lobster home to keep as a pet.

Wine Suggestion: We never get over how the Rustenberg Chardonnay so completely over delivers for its price and perfectly works with food, but as we’d not had some for ages opened this on a whim and we weren’t disappointed. Another successful match for this wine.

Paprika- and oregano-marinated fish with cherry tomato salsa – serves 4

  • 4 tuna steaks
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

FOR THE SALSA:

  • 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (we only had a green one which worked fine too)
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, paprika and some seasoning together in a bowl. Put the tuna steaks into a ceramic dish and pour over the marinade. Cover the dish and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

To make the salsa, mix the tomatoes, scallions, oregano, chilli and vinegar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the tuna over a hot barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side.

Serve the tuna with some salsa spooned over and some lemon wedges to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from Holiday by Bill Granger, Murdoch Books, 2007.)

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Chilli and Garlic Kebab - Kabab Khashkhash

We’ve had The Aleppo Cookbook for ages and for some reason haven’t cooked too much out of it. It’s really dense with recipes and not so many photos – not that photos are essential, but they’re definitely helpful when flicking for inspiration. Anyhow, we took this book out a few weeks ago, determined to cook something, and chose these little kebabs for the barbecue. They were stunning! We served with spicy roast potatoes and salad but they would also be great as a starter with some sort of yoghurty dip.

Wine Suggestion: we love how these go so well with a good Tempranillo, a grape that flatters lamb and with a deft touch in the winery gives wonderful, complementary spices that work superbly with the warm spices of the Levant. For a bit of sophisticated elegance we had a glass of the Cantos de Valpiedra Rioja which is silky, smooth and refined.

Chilli and garlic kebab – Kabab Khashkhash – makes 10 skewers

  • 450g lamb mince
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 hot red chillies, seeds removed and chopped
  • 15g finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp Aleppo pepper or paprika (do try and find Aleppo pepper)
  • 1 tbsp Aleppo spice mix or seven-spice powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt, or to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well – hands are good for this. Transfer to a clean surface and knead for 30 seconds as you would bread dough.

Moisten your hands with water, then divide the meat into 10 prune-sized portions and form into balls.

Insert a wide, flat metal skewer through the middle of each meatball; then form the meat around the skewer to a length of about 14cm (similar to the picture above). Suspend the finished kebab over a deep baking dish resting the skewers on the sides.

Preheat a barbecue (preferably charcoal)and grill the kebabs until cooked how you like them.

(Original recipe from The Aleppo Cookbook by Marlene Matar, Head of Zeus, 2017.)

Chilli and Garlic Kebab

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Devilled BBQ Chicken

Spatchcocking chicken is a great way to cook chicken on the barbecue. This works best over indirect heat – using a charcoal barbecue you need to push the hot coals to the sides rather than directly underneath the chicken. It’s all too easy to undercook chicken on a barbecue so we recommend using a meat thermometer if you have one – the chicken should get to at least 57-60C in the centre of the breasts.  Serve with salad and chips or jacket potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: We’d suggest a juicy, lighter bodied red for this dish and a youthful Beaujolais cru came to hand, the Rochette Morgon Cote du Py which had both depth and joyfully youthful freshness; a good balance to the peppery warmth and BBQ charring.

Devilled Grilled Chicken – serves 4

  • 1 x 1.5kg free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 175ml olive oil
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Ask your butcher to spatchcock the chicken for you or alternatively put it onto a chopping board, bread-side down, and cut along either side of the backbone with kitchen scissors. Open the chicken, turn it over and press down hard on the breastbone so it lies flat.

Coarsely crush the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Add the chilli flakes and crush a little more.

For the marinade, mix the olive oil with the lemon juice, garlic and ½ tsp of salt. Put the chicken into a shallow dish or tray and pour over half the marinade. Turn the chicken over a couple of times to coat it and finish with the skin-side up. Sprinkle with three-quarters fo the pepper and chilli mixture, then cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Light your barbecue about 40 minutes before you want to start cooking and rearrange the coals for indirect cooking (see introduction).

Mix the remaining pepper and chilli mixture into the reserved marinade and use this to baste the chicken as it cooks.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and season on both sides with sea salt. Discard the marinade left in the dish.

Put the chicken carcass-side down onto the barbecue and cook for 15-20 minutes, basting with a little of the leftover marinade occasionally. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 15-20 minutes and continue to baste. Keep working like this until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy (ideally use a meat thermometer and test the breast until it reaches 57-60C). It will. probably take 15 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes, but this is really dependant on the BBQ on the day

Heat through the remaining basting mixture and pour off the excess oil.

Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with the basting mixture and lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes, BBC Books, 2007.)

 

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Monkfish kebabs

We love the vitality this Yemeni spice mix (hawayej) gives to these monkfish kebabs from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi. We cooked these on a barbecue but you could also use a ridged griddle pan. Delicious served with rice, salad and a cucumber & mint yoghurt.

Wine Suggestion: Umani Ronchi’s Ca’Sal di Serra Verdicchio was our choice tonight as it has a lovely lemony character combined with a nutty, herbal twist; a good match.

Grilled fish skewers with hawayej & parsley – serves 4 to 6

  • 1kg monkfish, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 50g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • lemon wedges, to serve

HAWAYEJ SPICE MIX:

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric

First make the spice mix by putting the peppercorns, coriander, cumin and cloves in a pestle and mortar (or spice grinder) and pound until finely ground. Stir in the ground cardamom and turmeric, then transfer to a large bowl.

Next add the fish, parsley, garlic, chilli flakes, lemon juice and 1 tsp of salt to the bowl and mix well with your hands, massaging the spices into the fish. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge for 6-12 hours (or 1 hour at a minimum).

Thread the fish chunks onto skewers, leaving gaps between the pieces,  then heat a barbecue until hot. Gently brush the kebabs with a little olive oil and cook in batches for about 2 minutes each side, or until just cooked through.

Serve immediately with the lemon wedges.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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Squid stuffed with oregano

There is a huge marjoram bush growing in our garden and it’s a herb we definitely don’t use enough of. Use tender baby squid for this and have it all prepped in advance. This is a super simple starter to throw onto the barbecue as people arrive.

Our fishmonger carries good frozen squid for when there is none available fresh and it works just as well.

Wine Suggestion: a crisp, dry and minerally white with a citrussy lemon character, like Assyrtiko from Greece, would have been our first choice, but as we didn’t have one in the fridge we pulled out a bottle of Zero de Bouvet-Ladubay, a sparkling Saumur made from Chenin Blanc and, like its name suggests, completely dry with zero residual sugar. It worked just as well.

Baby squid with marjoram – serves 4

  • 600g baby squid
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp marjoram leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 dried chillies, crumbled (or use chilli flakes)
  • extra virgin olive oil

To prepare the squid you need to pull away the head and tentacles and any pulpy stuff inside the sac. Cut out the hard beak. Wash the tentacles and sac. The recipe suggests leaving the skin and fins on but we usually remove them. Pat dry with paper towels.

Squeeze the juice from 1 of the lemons and cut the other one into quarters.

Season the squid generously inside and out and put 1 tsp of the marjoram into each sac.

Mix the crumbled chilli with 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil and the rest of the marjoram.

Cook the squid bodies and tentacles on a hot barbecue and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Turn almost straight away – when the white flesh has charred lightly – and char on the other side. Serve with the sauce and lemon.

(Original recipe from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray & Ruth Roges, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

 

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Spicy Yoghurt Chicken

Drumsticks are a regular weeknight dinner in our house and we’re always looking for ideas for what to do with them. You can cook these on the barbecue or in the oven – we find oven first and finished on the barbecue works well.

Wine Suggestion: Our choice of the Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel was a good match with the spice, chilli and chicken, as well as fresh to suit the warm weather we’re having. Long may it last.

Spicy yoghurt chicken – serves 4

  • 8 skinless chicken drumsticks (the skins are easy to pull off)
  • 142ml pot natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

Make a few slashes in the drumsticks with a sharp knife.

Mix the yoghurt and spices together in a large bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Add the drumsticks and massage with the yoghurt mixture, then cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Lift the drumsticks out of the yoghurt and shake off the excess.

Cook on a hot barbecue for 20-25 minutes or roast in the oven for 30 minutes (200C/180C Fan)

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Chargrilled Pepper & Lime Chicken with Lime Aïoli

We’re just back from holidays in France and there seems to be a little heatwave going on. You can’t get more straight forward than this for tasty barbecued chicken and a cheat’s aïoli. Less time spent inside and more time to sit in the sun. We actually cooked this back in May when the sun was also shining – serve with some seasonal veg or salad.

Wine Suggestion: one of the wines we picked up on our trip was Chateau du Hureau’s Foudre blanc, 100% Chenin Blanc made and matured in large 20hl oak casks. A good choice.

Chargrilled pepper chicken with lime aïoli – serves 2

  • 4-6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ½ a clove of garlic, crushed

Trim any big bits of fat off the chicken thighs. Lay them out on a piece of cling film and put another piece of cling film on top. Gently bash the chicken with a rolling pin to flatten.

Put the chicken into a dish and add half of the lime juice, 1 tbsp of olive oil, some salt and lots of black pepper. Leave to marinate for about 15 minutes.

To make the aïoli, put the mayonnaise into a dish and add the rest of the lime juice, the garlic and some seasoning. Stir together until combined.

Shake off excess marinade and cook the chicken on a hot griddle or barbecue for about 4 minutes on each side.

Serve with the aïoli. Some chips would also be good.

(Original recipe from BBC Olive Magazine, June 2011.)

 

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Easy lamb kebabs

These definitely taste best off a barbecue but if you’re not up for that in February then you could cook them on a griddle pan instead. Marinade the lamb up to a day in advance if you can.

Wine Suggestion: A juicy Californian Zinfandel or Italian Primitivo; cheers!

Easiest ever lamb kebabs – serves 4

  • 600g lamb neck fillet, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 red onions, cut into small wedges

Heat the barbecue or griddle pan.

Put the lamb into a large bowl and toss with the oil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside for as long as you can (overnight ideally).

Thread alternate pieces of lamb and onions onto metal skewers (you can use wooden skewers either but you need to soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes so they don’t catch fire).

Cook the skewers for about 8 minutes, turning regularly.

 

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BBQ roasted cherry tomatoesA revelation of a dish that we’ve been cooking all summer. Much tastier than expected and goes with pretty much anything you cook on the barbecue.

Roasted tomatoes & red onions – serves 6

  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 500g mixed small tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 3 thyme sprigs

Put the onion in the middle of a large square of double thickness foil. Fold the sides of the foil up to form a baking tray (or you can use a foil tray like we did).

Scatter the tomatoes over the onions and drizzle with about 3 tbsp of olive oil. Add the bashed garlic cloves and thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Put the foil onto a rack on the barbecue and cook for about 15 minutes or until the onions and tomatoes are tender.

If the weather gods don’t shine you can put all the ingredients onto a roasting tray and bake in the oven at 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 for 20 minutes.

(Original idea from BBC Olive Magazine, June 2005.)

 

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Lamb shoulder kebabs

These lamb kebabs from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan are fabulous cooked over hot coals. Ask your butcher for lamb neck, it’s cheap and really tasty. Good served with saffron rice, herby salad and yoghurt with cucumber and mint. They were also good stuffed into some warm flatbreads with a radish and broad bean salad (see pic below).

Wine Suggestion: We chose the Poggio ai Ginepri which is a Cabernet, Syrah & Merlot blend from Bolgheri in Tuscany. The classic Bordeaux blend with the infusion of Syrah creates a balance of power and juiciness that works with the BBQ smokiness and the moist lamb with a good earthy spice that compliments the herbs and spices in the marinade.

Dr Asaf’s Juicy Lamb Kebabs – serves 4

  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp sumac, plus extra to garnish
  • a generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 800g lamb neck fillet, cut into 2.5 cubes
  • 4 tomatoes, halved

Mix the yoghurt, onion, garlic, oregano, oil, sumac, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the lamb pieces until well coated then cover with cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Don’t skip this as it will make the meat nice and tender.

Preheat the barbecue. Thread the lamb onto metal or wooden skewers (wooden ones need to be soaked for about 20 minutes before using). Cook the lamb kebabs and the tomato halves on the barbecue for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.

Rest the meat for a few minutes and sprinkle with some more sumac before serving.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

Lamb kebabs with radish salad

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Griddled courgettes with parmesan & basil

We have used some fancy yellow courgettes for this dish but the usual green variety will be just as good. An excellent side dish for barbecues… of which we are having many at the moment. If you don’t want to light the barbecue you can also griddle the courgettes with good results.

Griddled courgettes with Parmesan & basil – serves 4 as a side dish

  • 5 medium courgettes
  • 2 tbsp salt flakes
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated
  • a handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
  • a few mint leaves, roughly torn

Preheat the barbecue (or griddle pan). Cut the ends of the courgettes and cut a long thin slice off two opposite sides and discard. Cut each courgette into 4 long strips. Mix the courgettes with the salt and place in a colander to drain with some plates on top. Let them drip over the sink or a bowl or an hour or so.

Shake off any excess salt from the slices, then rub each side with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Cook the courgettes on the barbecue/griddle for about 5 minutes per side or until softened and well charred. Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze over a little more lemon juice.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes or until golden.

Scatter the pine nuts, parmesan, basil & mint over the courgettes. Trickle over the rest of the olive oil and serve warm.

(Original recipe from by Valentine Warner in BBC Olive Magazine, July 2009.)

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BBQ poached chicken

We love this! No fear of either raw or dry barbecued chicken. The chicken is tender and moist and you get lots of delicious barbecue flavour. We’re going to be cooking this all summer!

Wine Suggestion: We started with a glass of Alsace: the Bott-Geyl Pinot d’Alsace “Points Cardinale” which highlighted the ginger and chilli in a very good way.

We then followed with a juicy, medium bodied red, the Ridge Geyserville, a Zinfandel blend. Don’t be afraid of having a red with either Chicken or spice, just make sure the wine isn’t too tannic or heavy, and that there is enough juiciness to provide a foil for any chilli or ginger. In this case the Geyserville added a layer of flavour that gave the chicken extra dimension and celebrated the barbecue char.

Poached and Barbecued Chicken – serves 6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 red chillies, halved
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 large chicken

Heat a large saucepan (big enough to hold the chicken) over a moderate heat, add the oil and sauté the onion, celery, leeks, carrots and garlic together for a few minutes, then add the ginger, red wine, cinnamon, star anise, honey and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Season the chicken and set it on top of the layer of vegetables in the pot, add about 1 litre of water, then cover the pan and simmer gently for an hour and a half.

Preheat the barbecue. Strain 200ml of the cooking liquid into a small pan and reduce over a high heat until it becomes thick & syrupy, remove the chicken from the pot and set onto a tray, brush the reduced liquid over the chicken. Cook the chicken on a moderate barbecue, turning, until charred all over.

If you like you can discard the vegetables boil up the remaining liquid to serve as a sauce.

Serve the chicken with barbecued veg or other nice summer salads.

(Original recipe from Cooking at the Ballymore Inn by Georgina O’Sullivan.)

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Tandoori pork burgers

This was such a tasty weeknight dinner inspired by a half-used jar of tandoori curry paste and a packet of supermarket naan breads. Ditch the naans for gluten-free burgers.

Wine Suggestion: A juicy Spanish, or Spanish varietal, should work here. There are some great and good value Garnacha’s, like one made by Bodegas Monfil, which are perfect when on a budget. If you want to push the boat out choose a ripe and juicy Ribera del Duero made from Tempranillo. Our favourite of the moment is the Carmelo Rodero and try their 9 Mesas for the juicy youthful fruit. Older and more concentrated Crianza’s and Reserva’s would overwhelm the dish.

Tandoori pork burgers with tomato & coriander raita – serves 4

  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 1 red onion, grated
  • 2 tbsp tandoori curry paste (we like Patak’s)
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • naan breads, to serve
  • Little Gem or Cos lettuce, to serve

Put the mince, onion, curry paste and half the coriander in a bowl, season with mix well, then form into 4 burgers.

Barbecue the burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the coriander with the yoghurt, tomatoes & scallions.

Serve the burgers in some warm naan breads (we toasted ours on the barbecue) with the crispy lettuce and raita.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, August 2009.)

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Big pieces of fish are particularly well suited to the large cooking space you’ve got on the barbecue. We’ve invested in a fish basket for the barbecue but when we cooked this we didn’t have one and it was tricky to turn. If you don’t have a fish basket you might find it easier to cut the side of salmon in half.

We also really like this without the cucumber yoghurt and served with some champ (mashed potatoes with scallions and loads of butter for any of you non-Irish readers).

Wine suggestion: White and fresh, but also with a full body and a good texture. Out of fashion somewhat we tried a Chablis  … a 1er Cru Montmains from Domaine Bois d’Yver that we had lying around. It was a couple of years old but the extra age added extra layers of depth to a wine that was still fresh and dynamic. If you’d prefer a red then lightly chill a young Pinot Noir for 20-30 minutes and you’ll also have a treat.

Barbecued Side of Salmon with Cucumber Yoghurt – serves 4-6

  • 1.5kg side of salmon, scaled and pinboned (order this from your fishmonger)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • large bunch of basil/fennel tops, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled lengthwise at intervals to make stripes
  • 300ml natural yoghurt
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • small bunch of mint/oregano, leaves picked and chopped

Brush the bars of the barbecue clean or your fish will stick (the fish basket will help with this), then light it and get it nice and hot.

Put the salmon skin-side down on a board and slash the flesh side with a sharp knife, about 1cm deep. Scatter the lemon zest and most of the fennel tops/basil over the salmon, then push into the cuts that you made with your fingers. Rub the fish lightly all over with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Put the salmon on the barbecue, skin-side down. Check it after about 4 minutes by which time the skin should have got nice and crispy. Turn the fish carefully and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes. You can carefully take the skin off the salmon at this stage and place it back on the heat to get really crispy.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Chop the seedless cucumber and mix with the yoghurt. Add some lemon juice, half the chopped chilli, and half the mint/oregano. Drizzle over some good olive oil and season well.

Break the salmon into portions with a fork and serve with the cucumber yoghurt, sprinkled with the remaining chilli and herbs. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with a piece of the crispy skin if you like.

(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2007.)

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Broad bean & mozzarella salad

A real taste of summer and a smashing way to start a dinner party. Serve on a big wooden board with a glass of something bubbly.

Wine Suggestion: Go white, go Italian, go fresh and textured. We’d recommend a good Pecorino from Abruzzo or Marches or maybe a Gavi or Soave.

Smashed broad bean and mozzarella salad – serves 4

  • 300g podded broad beans (you need about 1kg in their pods to get this amount) or 300g frozen broad beans
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 100g pecorino, grated
  • handful of mint leaves
  • handful of basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • sourdough/country style bread, 8 slices toasted (we toasted ours on the barbecue), rubbed with garlic & drizzled with olive oil
  • 2 balls buffalo mozzarella

Blanch the podded broad beans in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and pop the green bean out of the papery skin.

Smash the double-podded broad beans with a good pinch of sea salt in a big pestle & mortar. Add the lemon juice, pecorino and herbs (keep a few leaves to garnish) and 4tbsp olive oil and mix together. Season well and pile onto the toast.

Tear the mozzarella into chunks and set on top of the broad bean mash, Finish with another drizzle of oil, some black pepper and a few herbs.

(Original recipe by Ben O’Donoghue for BBC Olive Magazine, August 2005.)

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So we’re back after a brief hiatus due to holidays and a broken laptop. In the absence of a pizza oven, we tried cooking pizza on our gas barbecue instead. The result was pretty good and produced a pizza-oven style crust that we never manage to achieve in the regular oven. Pizza dough is easy to make with a standing mixer and dough hook. You can chill the dough for a couple of days or freeze it.

Pizza Dough – for 4 pizzas

  • 500g ’00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried yeast (not fast-action)
  • 400ml warm water
  • oil, for greasing

Put the flour and salt in the mixer bowl and mix the yeast into the water. Wait 5 minutes to check that the yeast is working – little bits will start rising to the top.

Turn on the motor and pour in the liquid. Keep the speed on medium-high and it should come together in a ball. If the bottom is sticking tip in 1-2 tbsp of flour. Knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is shiny and springs back when you press your finger into it. Try to avoid adding too much extra flour the dough should be slightly sticky.

Use oiled hands to remove the dough from the bowl and hook. Oil another bowl and put the dough in it. Turn the dough around to lightly coat it in the oil. Cover tightly with cling film and and a tea towel, then place in a warm, draught-free spot until the dough has doubled in size. It will take between 2 and 4 hours to rise depending on how warm a day it is. (If you don’t need the dough for a day or two, put it in the fridge straight away, take out 3-4 hours before using and punch it down before bringing together on a floured surface.)

Divide the dough into 4 pieces, then shape into balls – dusting in flour as they will be sticky. Keep the dough balls covered with a tea towel or cling film while you prep the toppings. (You can also freeze them in sealed bags. Thaw in the fridge and bring to room temperature 3 hours before using.)

Use your fingers to gently stretch out the dough into pizza shapes. When they have stretched to about 16cm, put the disc over the tops of your hands and use them to stretch it to about 25cm. Ours was pretty wonky and ripped a bit but no matter.

Preheat the gas barbecue and turn down to medium-low so the bottom of the pizza doesn’t burn.

Put the pizza onto a floured baking sheet with no edge or a large wooden board. Slide the dough onto the grill, close the lid (if you have one) and cook for 3-4 minutes. The dough will puff up and is ready when the bottom-side has light brown stripes. Use tongs to pull the dough off and turn upside down.

Put the pizza toppings (see our suggestion below) on the cooked side and place the pizza back on the grill, uncooked side down, and shut the lid. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and remove when the cheese is melted and the toppings are hot.

(Pizza dough recipe from BBC Good Food)

Chorizo pizza with peppers & Manchego – enough for 2 pizzas

  • ½ quantity of pizza dough above, divided into 2 balls
  • 4 cooking chorizo sausages
  • 4-6 peeled plum tomatoes from a tin, drained
  • 100g Manchego, shaved
  • 100g mozzarella, cut into 2cm cubes
  • ½ Romero pepper, thinly sliced
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 handfuls spinach leaves

Prepare the dough as outlined above.

Thickly slice the chorizo and pan-fry until crispy. Remove and set aside. Cook one side of the pizzas.

Crush 2-3 of the tomatoes with your hands and drain in a sieve, then spread on the cooked side of the pizzas. Top with both cheeses, the pepper and chorizo. Season and add chilli flakes.

Grill, covered, until the cheese is melted. Finish with the spinach leaves and a few extra shavings of Manchego.

(Pizza topping recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Pork Souvlaki with oregano

Have you got your barbecue out yet? We’ve had a few sunny days in Dublin and the cold breeze is gradually starting to ease; the clocks have gone forward and we’re looking forward to much more time spent outside. We have to confess to using the barbecue all year round and have been caught out in the snow or rain grilling up a feast and this is one of our favourite ideas. Nothing beats some good chips with your souvlaki.

Wine Suggestion: to celebrate the Spring sunshine we broke out a Provence rosé from Chateau Vignelaure, a lovely and serious wine that delivers a great texture and structure as well as summer fruit flavours to inspire us.

Pork Souvlaki with Oregano – serves 4

  • 400g pork shoulder, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • ½ tsp salt

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the meat. Marinate for an hour or so, then thread onto skewers. Cook on a preheated barbecue for about 10-12 minutes.

(Original recipe from Venice to Istanbul by Rick Stein, BBC Books, 2015.)

 

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