I know that I have had talked already about barbecues this week. Here are some little tips on barbecuing and I am sure that you will find them handy for the weekend!!
Barbecuing is wildly impractical, carries the risk of both botulism and third-degree burns, and — looked at objectively — is the most antisocial culinary art, since it chokes everyone else’s cloudless summer sky with smoke and the smell of charred pork and it leaves behind a heap of ashes. But to complain about this potent symbol of the much-anticipated, sometimes non-existent British summer is to mark oneself down as a killjoy.
There are, however, some basic rules of both taste and etiquette that it’s wise for all barbecue blokes (and babes) to follow.
1. If you’re cooking on a barbecue big enough (old bathtub, upturned Volkswagen Beetle) to emit the same amount of smoke as a house fire, warn your neighbours first.
2. Similarly, check if they have washing hanging out, or asthmatic children playing in the garden, before you pour lighter fluid over your charcoal to “help it get going”.
3. Preparation is wise: marinate meat or even pre-cook chicken in the kitchen to prevent a major food poisoning outbreak.
4. Kit is all part of the fun but some things are beyond the pale: novelty aprons, chef’s toques, and tools that come in one of those cases like the sniper’s rifle from Day of the Jackal.
5. Public space? Leave no trace.
6. “A little bit burnt” is better than“a little bit raw”.
BEST BBQ BITES
1. Native prawns
Coming into season and available from good fishmongers — but check first. Let your coals cool to embers so there is little chance of flaming. Place some greaseproof paper on the grill to stop the prawns falling between the bars. Season the shellfish lightly then grill until the colour changes — less than two minutes. Eat whole, skin, heads and all.
Flip it like it's hot: thin steaks are best for the BBQ
2. Thinly cut supermarket-style steaks
Ignore everyone who says you should always bring steaks up to room temperature before cooking. These need to be fridge-cold — the thinner the steak the colder it should be. You want a hot grill, with the bars as close to the coals as possible. Season the steak and move it around every three seconds, flipping it until it’s brown, not black. Rest it for about a minute. Consume pronto.
Take off the grill and place the aubergine among the coals, piercing once to defuse an aubergine bomb. Once soft, leave to rest for half an hour in a covered container. Halve the beast and scoop out the soft flesh, avoiding any burnt skin. Season the pulp, mix with roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and mint and spread on grilled sourdough bread with yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.