Summer's Here, It's BBQ Season - Here's What to Cook
Summer entertaining with family and friends around an outdoor BBQ guarantees the delicious smell of food (mixed with sunscreen and mozzie repellent), the clinking of glasses and the sound of laughter. Many Australian homes have a BBQ in the backyard as they are definitely a part of our culture thanks to our beautiful weather and our desire for an easy, relaxed atmosphere when gathering with family and friends. It’s quite a communal activity, with guests often ready to offer their barbecuing advice – welcome or not – and several foods can be cooked at the same time to be able to cater for everyone.
Many homes now feature a full alfresco outdoor kitchen – that’s how much we love our BBQs! They are durable as well as functional and offer everything you need to prepare and cook an entire meal for a crowd outdoors.
Whether you’re cooking on a gas BBQ or electric BBQ you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to the dishes you can prepare. Aside from the traditional sausages and steaks, you can barbecue seafood, vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese and bread. You can cook by grilling, frying, baking or roasting. Food can be marinated, basted or bare.
Snag in bread? Yes, yes of course… but are you looking for some other scrumptious options to barbecue this summer? Start with some of these ideas to get your mouth watering.
Burgers – use the BBQ to cook your patties, fry eggs, bacon and onion, and toast your buns. Assemble by adding cheese and a squirt of sauce – delicious!
Chicken Skewers – thread chicken pieces onto skewers and coat in a spicy rub or marinade before placing on the grill.
Pork – while your pork is sizzling, cook some thinly sliced apples on your oiled hotplate to serve with it.
Chicken Wings or Drumsticks – marinate your chicken in the flavours of your choice before cooking. Try chilli and lime, plum sauce or honey and sesame.
Prawns – for something different, alternate prawns with a seasonal fruit on skewers – try plums or nectarines in summer which will caramelise and give a delicious sweetness. Marinade before barbecuing.
Fish – grill your fish with the BBQ lid down, turning only once. If you’re using a very soft fish, make a foil parcel for your fish, drizzle over some lemon juice and herbs and bake it gently – it will steam inside the foil.
Mussels – scrub your mussels and pull of the ‘beard’ – cook over direct heat, covered, for about 5 minutes until the shells open.
Sweet Potato – cut into wedges or slices and grill until tender. Not only great as a side dish but can be added to a green salad of spinach and avocado with a tangy dressing.
Corn Cobs – remove the husks and place on the grill, turning regularly until cooked well. To add some flavour, prior to cooking rub the cobs with a mix of butter and herbs.
Capsicum, Zucchini, Asparagus and Eggplant – chargrilling vegies enhances their flavour and they can be used as a side dish, in a burger, on top of bread or in a salad.
Potatoes – thinly slice potatoes and grill with some oil until soft. The charred flavour adds a new dimension to the trusty spud. Alternatively, wrap whole potatoes in foil and bake in a covered BBQ and enjoy with your favourite baked potato toppings.
Mushrooms – grill whole large mushrooms – simply sprinkle with dried herbs or fill with a gooey mix of ingredients such as cheese, onion, chili, sour cream or herbs and bake until cooked through.
Bread & Cheese
Flat bread – brush with butter and garlic or oil and herbs and grill until golden. Yummy as an accompaniment, or sliced up and used with dips.
Pizza – roll and cook your dough for a couple of minutes, then add your sauce and toppings, close your BBQ lid and cook until the cheese is melted.
Cheese – a dense, semi-hard cheese such as halloumi can be put straight onto the BBQ hotplate or grill, and will sear beautifully while keeping its shape. A good side dish or used in a salad, experiment with different types.
Bananas – trim the ends and cut bananas lengthwise, leaving the peel on. Cover and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Cool slightly, remove the peel and serve with a combo of maple syrup, melted chocolate or ice cream.
Puddings – you can use your BBQ to bake puddings like this chocolate lava pudding. Regulate your temperature and pop a muffin tray into your BBQ with the lid down.
Stone Fruit – cut in half and charred cut side down, peaches, plums and nectarines are divine served with cream or yoghurt.
There are so many more brilliant BBQ food ideas which are only limited by your imagination. More recipes can be found here. Quick and easy BBQ recipes will ensure you enjoy your outdoor dining.
Now you have some new dishes in mind, it’s time to shop for ingredients. Australia is fortunate to have an abundant choice of fabulous quality fresh food. Visit your local market to buy the very freshest produce and meats. If you begin with high quality ingredients, the flavour and textures of your cooked food will be outstanding.