Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Weekend Barbecue

Originally posted July 2010 this is well worth another look, especially the new recipe for sticky chicken.
The weather forecast looks great for this weekend, so start planning delicious barbecue food from this great selection of barbecue recipe ideas.
Sticky chicken wings and drumsticks

6 chicken drumsticks
6 chicken wings
For the marinade:
2 tbsp clear honey
1¼" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1½ tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp orange marmalade
½ tsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp sesame oil
Score the chicken drumsticks three to four times each with a sharp knife and place in a non-metallic bowl with the chicken wings. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you can, turning occasionally.
Then place the chicken on the barbecue over medium-hot coals and cook for about 20 minutes, brushing with any marinade left in the dish as it cooks.  If you think the outside of the chicken is cooking too quickly move it to a cooler spot on the barbecue.
If you're unsure about when the chicken is ready, pierce a drumstick with a skewer: if the juices are still pink, carry on cooking. Serve as soon as they're cool enough to eat.
Foil Baked Salmon with Tarragon and Lemon Oil

4 salmon fillets
Small bunch of fresh tarragon
150 ml olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

My top 10 barbecue tips
1. Stock up on Calor patio gas or barbecue coals.

2. Position your barbecue away from the children's play area and in a place where the chef has shelter from the sun. Make sure the chef has plenty of fluids.

3. Try a few vegetarian dishes like, cheese fondue made with Brie wrapped in foil and baked on the barbecue, served with crusty bread or crudites. Or Halloumi cheese and cherry tomato kebabs served with a wedge of lime.

4. Make a one bowl salad with leaves, herbs, plum cherry Tomatoes and thinly sliced Fennel, Radish and cucumber. Place batches of salad in food bags and keep in the fridge. Use to replenish the salad bowl. Provide a selection of oils and dressings.

5. Pre cook large jacket potatoes, halve lengthwise and criss cross the flesh with a knife. Brush with oil and cook on the barbecue until golden brown.

6. New potatoes can be par boiled, drained and tossed in oil before putting them on skewers with peeled shallots. Barbecue until crisp turning them frequently.

7. Have plenty of fresh bread. Baguettes and ciabatta can be thinly sliced, drizzled with olive oil and seared both sides. Alternatively cut halfway into the top of the baguettes, place some garlic butter in the slices and wrap in foil. (This can be done well in advance) Bake on top of the barbecue for around 6 minutes.

8. Don't forget the side dishes. dips, salsa, coleslaw etc, can be made earlier in the day and stored in containers in the fridge.

9. Barbecued corn on the cob is very popular. Soak the cobs in cold water for a couple of hours and leave the husk on throughout cooking, 25-30 minutes. Turning them every 5 minutes.

10. Fish is delicious cooked on the barbecue, especially oily fish like Mackerel, Sardines, Trout and other small whole fish. Oily fish does not need basting and if you have a fish grill there is less chance of it breaking up when you turn it. Medium sized fish will only take 4 minutes each side on a moderately hot shelf and the skin will be lovely and crisp. The more delicate fish and seafood is best cooked in a foil parcel with herbs, white wine or lemon juice. Or with sliced Chilli pepper,Coriander, Soy sauce, lime juice and just a small drizzle of honey.

Try this delicious Rhubarb sauce with grilled fish


Juice of 1 orange
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 piece of root ginger, approx 1 inch, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp clear honey
8 sticks of pink rhubarb, chopped


In a heavy based pan, warm the orange juice, orange zest, honey and ginger.
Add the rhubarb and simmer for 6-8 minutes
Puree in a food processor or blender
Place in the fridge until chilled

This sauce is particularly good with Mackerel
Place the tarragon in a food processor or blender, warm the olive oil to just above room temperature and add it to the tarragon, liquidise until smooth, strain the mixture into a jug , add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Place each salmon fillet in a foil parcel with 2-3 tbsp of the tarragon and lemon oil, top with a couple of sprigs of fresh tarragon, leave them in the fridge until ready to barbecue.

Tandoori Lamb Chops

8 lamb chops
3 tbsp tandoori paste
6 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped coriander

Mix together the tandoori paste, yoghurt and chopped coriander, add the lamb chops and stir to coat, leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

Minty Courgette Strips

Blend 1 small handful fresh mint with 100ml warm olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Cut 4 courgettes lengthways and brush them with the mint oil, barbecue for about 2 minutes each side and serve as an accompaniment to lamb or fish or  with crusty bread and plain yoghurt with a couple of chopped mint leaves and a drizzle of mint oil added.

Pork and Pepper Kebabs with Apple and Sage Sauce

700g pork tenderloin, cut into cubes
Strips of red, yellow and green peppers
3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
50g butter
5 medium sized sage leaves
1 tsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp Calvados (optional)

Place the pork and peppers onto skewers and season with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the apples, Calvados if using, sugar and whole sage leaves.  Cook gently until the apples are tender then remove the sage leaves and blend until smooth, leave the sauce  to cool. It can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Barbecue the kebabs over hot coals, turning frequently until the juices run clear.  Serve with the chilled apple sauce and crispy potato skins.

Crispy Potato Skins  

Cook 4 large baking  potatoes in the microwave (make sure you prick them all over with a fork) until tender.

Cool slightly and halve lengthways Scoop out 2/3 of the potato flesh and set it aside, brush the skins with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Mix the reserved potato flesh with grated cheese and 1 tsp Dijon mustard, spoon the mix into the potato skins and crisp them under the grill or over a hot barbecue, Top with a spoonful of soured cream.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Salmon Fishcakes with buttered spinach and lemon caper sauce


600g salmon
300g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 lemon, juice only
2 shallots, finely chopped
Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 slice wholemeal bread, made into crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1tsp flour

For the lemon caper sauce

2 tbsp small capers, drained and washed
juice of 1 lemon
Small handful fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

200g spinach leaves, washed and stalks removed
Pinch of nutmeg
45g butter
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes until tender.

Poach the salmon in simmering water for 15 minutes, flake and set aside.

Heat some olive oil and cook the shallots until softened.

Mash the potatoes with a little butter and adjust the seasoning if necessary

Combine the potatoes with the flaked salmon, juice of 1 lemon, shallots and chopped parsley.

Form the mix into 4 fishcakes, coat in flour, dip in the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs.

Heat the olive oil and fry the fishcakes over a moderate heat for 4 minutes each side, until golden brown.

Wilt the spinach in the hot melted butter and add the nutmeg.

Melt the remaining butter and add the capers and dill, fry for a few minutes and add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the sauce on the fishcakes and spinach and serve hot.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Birsay Biscuits

This recipe, adapted from an old Orcadian cookbook, is a definite winner when it comes to home baked biscuits.  The original recipe calls for beremeal but as it doesn't seem to be readily available you can replace it with oatbranAlso great flavoured with cinnamon or ground ginger, just add 1+ 1/2 tsp of either spice with the flour.

Makes 30 large biscuits

12 oz self-raising flour
4 oz oatbran
8 oz caster sugar
8 oz butter, softened
1 egg
6 oz sultanas
A good pinch of salt


Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F

Cream together the butter and sugar.

Sieve in the flour then add the oatbran, sultanas, egg and salt.  Mix well.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead into a dough, roll out to 1/8" and cut into 3" rounds.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and bake the biscuits on the top shelf of the oven for 14-16 minutes until light golden brown.

Carefully transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack, use a fish lifter for this as they will still be soft, they become crisp as they cool.

A bit about beremeal (supplied by wikipedia)

Bere, pronounced "bear," is a six-row barley currently cultivated mainly on 5-15 hectares of land in Orkney, Scotland. It is also grown on Shetland, Caithness and on a very small scale by a few crofters on some of the Western Isles.   It is probably the British Isles' oldest cereal in continuous commercial cultivation. 

Whisky, beer and biscuits have been developed for Orkney Bere. The crop is also being grown on the island of Islay, for whisky production.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Rhubarb and Ginger sponge Pudding

The sight of lovely long, red, rhubarb stocks appearing in the garden, evokes childhood memories of eating tender stocks of rhubarb dipped in sugar. The sugar being absolutely necessary to cover the natural tart taste of the rhubarb.
This weeks seasonal recipe is Rhubarb and Ginger sponge pudding. Ginger has a great affinity with rhubarb and this pudding is the ultimate comfort food, especially when it is served with custard, but not real custard with egg yolks, vanilla and cream, (though it is lovely) but good old custard powder, which is the only custard, people of a certain age remember.
Juice of 1 orange
2 oz golden granulated sugar
1tbsp stem ginger syrup
1lb rhubarb, chopped
4oz self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
4oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp grated orange zest
4oz unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
Cook the rhubarb with 2oz of golden granulated sugar and the juice of 1 orange until tender.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, butter, sugar, ginger, orange zest, and eggs, blend together with a hand mixer until smooth and lighter in colour.

To bake
Place rhubarb in an ovenproof dish, drizzle on the syrup and cover with the sponge mixture. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190C gas 5, for 35 - 40 minutes.
Serve with custard and/or ice-cream.
Did you know?
Rhubarb is actually a vegetable and the leaves are poisonous.

Seafood Paella

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