When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.
When the wind starts to blow and you’re wishing for snow, that’s aBombay.
When it gets to that time and you’re starting to mew
Put on some meat and grill yourself a treat – it’s Barbeque!
Every February, my friends and I take advantage of the weather and a friends’ amazing terrace and have a themed party. There have been many over the years – a beach party with no beach, a barbeque, a carnival (complete with bouncy castle) and a Rock Band party.
|Beach party with no beach|
|The sea represented by its 'waves'|
|Our beach shack|
We decided to resurrect the barbeque theme this year and ate ourselves into a food coma that lasted the weekend through.
It’s pretty simple – all you need is a brother who has trained as a chef, a direct line to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker and presto! You have a barbeque!
|Darth Vader uses the force to get things star-ted|
You would think that barbeques are pretty easy to manage – light some coal and grill some meat till it chars – but that’s where you’re wrong. You need to temper the coal so that it gives out uniform heat. If the outside chars quickly chances are the inside will still be raw and cold.
|Once the flame dies down, this is good to add another layer of coal to|
I’m not an expert on getting coal started – we use everything from lighter fluid, to kerosene to highly flammable objects we hope will cause a spark – but my suggestion is this. Once you get the first lot of coal glowing hot, add another layer to it and keep fanning. Only once that is red too is the heat at optimum cooking temperature. Some people use self-lighting coal, but I find that it is way too expensive to use for a proper large barbeque.
Everything is relatively simple to do, and if you’re planning a BBQ, you can easily order and marinate everything a day or so before and put it into the fridge. The longer a marinade stays on the deeper it absorbs. At least, that’s what I believe. Don’t leave raw chicken in your fridge for three and four days, chances are it will send you running straight to the loo.
We’re big potato lovers as you can tell from the 2 types of potatoes we made for only 6 people. Actually, the initial guest list had 18 but it whittled down to 6 people and enough food for about 10.
I’m pretty sure everyone knows how to make mashed potatoes. If not, here’s how to do it in 7 easy steps.
EASY PEASY MASHED POTATOES
|The little grill is for ONLY potatoes|
1. Peel potatoes
2. Boil potatoes in salted water – depending on how many potatoes this can take anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes. Don’t choose giant potatoes, they take ages to cook
3. Using a fork or potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, MASH the potatoes *Get it? Get it?*
4. As you mash, add a generous amount of softened butter to smoothen it out.
5. If you feel like the potato is too thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
6. Sprinkle salt & pepper to taste, and if you so wish, cheese and mustard too.7. Ta da!
DARIUS’S AMAZING TERIYAKI GLAZE CHICKEN
While I was salivating about the beef, the hero of the evening was my brother’s absolutely amazing, sticky, can’t-stop-eating, teriyaki glaze chicken that he cooked to absolute perfection. We overestimated quantities and ended up with enough chicken to feed 5 people the next evening (which we did). In the absence of a grill, we cooked the pieces in a pan and the result was a wonderful thick glaze that shone.
You will need:
1 – 1 ½ chickens, with the pieces separated
1 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/6 (yes it’s an actual measurement) cup finely sliced fresh red chillies
1/6 cup finely sliced garlic
2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/6 cup sesame oil
Combine everything and add 1 tablespoon corn flour once it’s thickened.
Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate until needed.
Make sure the chicken is dripping marinade when you put it on the grill. Using a basting brush, or wadded paper towels as we did, add a small amount of the marinade onto the chicken every time you turn it. Ensure that you don’t burn the chicken on one side by leaving it on the grill too long. Continuously turning the chicken and dabbing marinade on it will help the chicken stay soft and juicy inside.
SUPER SIMPLE STEAK
The simplest garnish is usually the most delicious. Generously flavor your beef fillets with salt, pepper and cloves of garlic. I like to add rosemary to my beef it infuses it with the most wonderful smells and tastes. Refrigerate until needed.
Beef cooks quickly, but on a grill there’s always the danger of it not cooking all the way through. While some people enjoy that and call it rare, its not always safe when eating off an open flame.
Make sure the beef has come down to room temperature before putting it on the grill so that the whole fillet can cook evenly.
The rest of the meal was pretty simple: put corn on the grill till its nice and charred, rub it with butter and some chilli powder and make sure you don’t burn your mouth!
Wrap potatoes in 2 layers of foil and toss them amongst the coal. Jacket potatoes like these take 30 to 40 minutes to cook, but when they do, they are sinfully delicious. All you need is a little salt and some butter to accompany them.
Now you can see why we took the whole weekend to recover! I hope you use some of my BBQ wisdom and let me know if you try the teriyaki marinade.
|You can tell that presentation skills were entirely absent|