Monday, 7 September 2015

An Impromptu Barbecue .....

We are having a bit of an 'indian summer' for the start of September and it's most welcome! - the days are starting off with a slight chill and misty, but as soon as the sun has burnt off the mist, it becomes gloriously hot and the evenings are just perfect for sitting out for evening meals - although a jumper is required after the sun dips down!

I was unprepared for these lovely summer evenings - we wanted to enjoy them, eat outside and cook on the barbecue - my original plan of cooking pasta carbonara for supper was not easily transferable to outside cooking  - so a quick root around the fridge and freezer produced a few chicken breasts, a small loin of pork, along with a bowl of apricots and a couple of red onions - all the makings of a few kebabs.

I threaded up 3 different types - here are my simple recipes & they served 2

Before preparing the kebabs if your using wooden sticks put them to soak in water, so they don't burn away before the meat is cooked.

Curried chicken and Apricot (makes 4 kebabs)

2 large chicken breast
4 apricots - halved and stoned
4 tablespoons natural yogurt
2 teaspoons medium curry powder
salt and pepper

Cut your chicken into large bite size chunks (cut each breast into 6 pieces) and place in a bowl. Add your yogurt and curry powder. Mix it all together and season. Cover and place in the fridge to marinade for at least and hour.

When your ready, take two sticks per kebab and thread three pieces of chicken alternating with the apricot. Using two sticks stops the chicken curling at the sides so it all cooks evenly and also keeps the apricots in once piece - they have a tendency of falling off a single stick when cooked - and you loose them to the fire!

Moroccan Chicken with Red Onion (makes 4 Kebabs)

1 large chicken breasts
2 medium size red onions - peeled and cut in half.
2 tablespoons natural yogurt
2 tablespoons harissa paste

Cut you chicken into 8 pieces and place in a bowl add your yogurt followed by the harissa and mix together with a  pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

To assemble your kebabs, again using two sticks thread on a piece of chicken followed by the onion and one more piece of chicken.

Sweet and Spicy Pork (makes 12 mini kebabs)

1 loin of pork
2 tablespoons hot sweet Thai chilli sauce
juice and zest of a lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon runny honey

Combine the all the ingredients, minus the pork, in a bowl and mix together to form a thick paste. Cut the pork into 12 even(ish) discs and add to the marinade. Cover and pop in the fridge for at least and hour.

Once your ready to cook thread 2 discs of pork onto each stick.

(On a side note - I love these bamboo sticks for small kebabs, they don't burn so readily, they don't split and you can buy big bags of them on amazon for just a few pounds.)

Light your barbecue and when your coals have a light covering of grey ash your ready to cook. The kebabs should take about 15 minutes to cook. Turn them regularly to allow them to cook evenly and don't be afraid to move them to the edge of the barbecue to slow down the cooking - burnt on the outside and raw in the middle is not good!

We also cooked some barbecued aubergine, and made a bowl full of tzatziki and a big green salad.

So actually, what started as an 'off the cuff', impromptu meal ended up as bit of a feast - all washed down with a rather good red wine.......which sometimes is the best way to eat......

Enjoy your Monday
Love Lizx

Oh and we also had a bowl of olives