Woo-hoo, I’m up to date! Barbecue 23 was just last night. Another impromptu one, since the weather turned out nice after all, and there’s a target to reach, folks! I should add that we were spurred on by the smells of our neighbours’ barbecue action.
Cloudy but warm, which is always nice, but a little worrying. Good job I have rain contingency plans, eh?
We had already planned Milano Chicken (which is chicken with a basil pesto marinade, in this case), and it turns out that it tastes even better when cooked on the barbecue. Other than that, burgers! I saw some rather tasty looking venison burgers in our supermarket of choice, and we had some frozen beef burgers (Gemma isn’t a fan of game).
Don’t worry, health-crazed folk. We didn’t eat everything you see in the picture – cold barbecued food for lunch the next day = awesome.
Anyway, onward and upward with less than a month to go!
Barbecues 22 and 23 were very spur-of-the-moment (when you’re going for 30 barbecues by October, it’s hard to plan these things, given the British weather). After a rainy week, we cracked out the Weber on two consecutive evenings.
See the image on the right, which I’m rather pleased with. A bit of HDR gives the tree a rather ethereal look. Anyway, it was warm and sunny. Perfect!
Before the whole impromptu hey-let’s-have-a-barbecue thing, we were just having grilled salmon with a bit of salad. But you wouldn’t think much of that, would you? We grabbed a couple of lamb, spinach and sundried tomato burgers from the supermarket (they were awesome. I think I’ll nick that one), and I went for an Asian-style spicy salmon coating. For me, a light sprinkle of olive oil, followed by half a teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, cumin, ground coriander, and garlic granules; a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Gem isn’t a big fan of spice, so I omitted the cayenne and cumin for her.
What really added the flavour was some loosely chopped coriander leaves on the top of each salmon steak. I cooked them in my usual fashion on oiled foil, and they were <insert superlative here> really quite nice.
My my, it’s been a while. This is the first of three barbecue updates that I’ll be posting today. We’ve got about one month, one week to get to barbecue 30 – 23 was done yesterday. That’s right, barbecue fans: 7 barbecues, 5 weeks. Will we succeed? Stay tuned!
A typical sunny affair. See the picture on the left: I’m afraid I didn’t rotate it. I’m sure you’ll cope. Early evening.
Now for the fun bit!
We bought a couple of chicken legs, which were marinaded in Levi Roots’ Reggae-Reggae sauce, with a few chilli flakes, lime juice, paprika, garlic granules and a touch of soy sauce added (don’t worry, we didn’t eat them all at once).
With that, a couple of thin sausages (more on those later), and my delicious American Stuffed Cheeseburgers (I’ve already been asked if they’re stuffed with Americans. No). Look at them. Don’t you want to try one? Then get that recipe and get on it!
Anyway, this barbecue provided the perfect opportunity to test out the awesome Sausage Holders I received from @redhatman last month. They did me proud:
Ah, I love the smell of the first new recipe in ages, don’t you? Onward, then. I was inspired for this recipe by one of the “diners” on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, on Food Network. (We spend far too much time watching that channel). I wondered – you can put normal cheese in the middle of burgers (as I havedone), how about burger cheese? You know, American cheese, the flat, square stuff you have with most barbecues.
Well, it turns out, yes, you can do it, and yes, they’re delicious. In fact, some diner in America has done it already, so I came up with a recipe to do the same.
One 250g pack minced beef. Not too lean – you need the fat to keep the burgers moist
1tbsp virgin olive oil
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
Two cloves garlic, crushed
Two spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
Two slices of burger cheese (you might know them as singles, American cheese slices, processed cheese, whatever!)
1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp black pepper, freshly ground
This one is fun! Combine the mince, olive oil, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs and seasoning. Divide into two, and shape into flat, thin ovals, as shown on the right. Fold each cheese slice into quarters, and place about 1/3 of the way up on each oval.
Next, fold the burger around the cheese, as shown on the right. Make sure you create a good seal around the edges, or the cheese will seep out (to be honest, it’ll do that anyway, but do your best).
Finally, get cooking! They take the normal amount of time on the grill, and when the cheese starts to seep out, you know you’re pretty close. Serve on a bun (or, as we did, a pitta) with salad and the usual ketchup, mustard and pickles. Yum.
This recipe couldn’t be much simpler. We’ve tried it a couple of times in the oven, and it’s really good, so thought we’d give it a shot on the barbecue. Surprise surprise, it’s better. This possibly qualifies for the least ingredients of any recipe I’ll ever write.
Two chicken breasts, preferably free-range. Other joints will be fine, too
2-3 tablespoons good quality basil-based pesto (make your own if possible)
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
Remove any skin from the chicken pieces. Using a sharp knife, cut slits about one third deep into the chicken – this means it will cook more quickly, and be more flavourful. Place the chicken pieces in a small bowl.
Get the chicken thoroughly covered in the pesto, top and bottom. Now, leave the bowl of chicken in the fridge for at least four hours: this makes a huge difference to the end result.
When you’re ready to cook, sprinkle the top of each chicken piece with parmesan. Place on the barbecue, with the non-parmesan-covered side cooking first. Turn after 5-6 minutes and cook for a further 5-6 minutes. The chicken should look like the picture on the right when done.