The garden is full of stunning, vibrant grass, the children are playing round an old oak tree. Beautifully painted furniture sits preening itself in the sun under the chestnut trees. All is ready for a beautiful summers day.
This year in our family we are going to prepare many variations of barbeques for all the different family members and friends, young, old, cousins, grans, aunts and uncles.
First however, as my daughter says let’s get organised!
I think we will buy a barbeque, says mum to dad, which type says dad; 2, 4, 6 or 7 rings, charcoal, wood or gas, she replies, round, square or oblong. Shall we buy a small portable one or a large smoker! I know, why don’t we employ a builder to build a brick one in the garden, have a deep fat fryer at the bottom and a warming oven at the side! I will look at the shops said a quiet dad.
Alternatively, you could buy or hire a barbeque then we won’t have to find room to store it in the shed during the winter months.
Oh, just in case, please buy a sun umbrella whilst you are at the shops, it is bound to rain on one of our barbeque days.
The next item we must look to buying is all the plates, cups, saucers, bowls etc. can I suggest we have plastic not china, it will last longer with our family, also I think we should buy it together, then we can have it delivered!
Now think for a minute, what else do we need to buy to ensure successful barbeques. Ah, I know, we need to have a full compliment of sauces, they are so tasty with the different meats and fishes. Let’s see if we can buy them and then present in one of your hand made wooden racks.
Now we can start planning our different barbeques, but always remember fresh bread and salad must be prepared plus stored appropriately.
Let’s look at all the different breads. It can be white or brown, crisp or soft. It may have nuts, fruit or peel in it. You may prefer brown or white baguettes. Some of your guests may prefer rolls to bread. There are so many choices for you with all the mouth watering loaves and rolls currently on the market both from abroad and home. You can serve butter or olive oil as a complement to the bread.
Shall we start to plan our salads now. The choice is fantastic and most of the ingredients are available all year round.
Here’s some ideas to try something different and maybe you can even help prepare some of the different bowls. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, watercress, beetroot, coleslaw, peppers, cherries, raspberry’s, mango’s, apples, asparagus, cucumber, Caesar salad, broccoli, carrots, couscous, spinach, sunflower seeds, watermelon, and of course our faithful potato either as boiled, new, chips or crisps. To any of our salads we can add herbs and spices to give extra flavour.
Now we are going to look at different protein foods for the main part of the barbeque. The selection will surely attract most people. We will start with the vegan foods as the selection and choice grows daily. Naturally we cannot put all vegetarian foods into this blog today, but we will try to suggest some that you might find attractive. Halloumi and beetroot burgers, stuffed peppers, stuffed mushrooms all give good alternatives to meat and are quick to make. Try avocado’s grilled or stuffed, courgettes could be grilled, chopped and marinated with any sauce, herb or spice or your choosing. Sweetcorn is excellent for grilling, smothering in hot butter and eating. Make sure you have a serviette nearby as the butter moves around!
Goats cheese and courgette tart sets the theme for one barbeque meal. Pulled carrots make an attractive vegan dish, cheesy potato skins give such a refreshing taste whilst the different slaws make for many different and attractive dishes such as coleslaw or veggie slaw.
All meats should be bought separately or in a pack that generally supplies the whole family (4 people) and you keep it frozen whilst in store. Let us look at some of the meats.
My favourite is aged fillet steak. Cooked in the hands of an accomplished chef nothing can taste finer. The steak sits in the middle of a beautiful salad just waiting to be eaten.
The fuel you use for your barbeque can dramatically affect the flavour you are trying to create, it will probably be best to use lumpwood charcoal and then add different hardwood chunks depending on the flavour you are trying to create.
The selection for meats at a barbeque are extensive, we will just briefly look at some of them. Pork/beef sausages or chipolatas, chicken wings, breasts or drumsticks, pork or lamb chops, kebabs, all taste delicious when served with an exotic sauce, a salad and fresh crisp bread. With all meats take the meat out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, season the meat, and pat it dry before placing it on the barbeque. Once the meat is on the barbeque turn it regularly to form some caramelisation. Investing in a probe to help you with meat temperatures and learning how to use direct and indirect heat from the barbeque will come with practice.
Fish can be barbequed, but care must be taken to prevent it sticking to the grill. Thick fish such as salmon and tuna, are excellent for grilling, smaller fish such as trout, mackerel, and large sardines also grill very well. The flavour in prawns, shrimps and lobster remain high when cooked on the grill.
The fish is now prepared so all we need to do now is to buy a selection of white, red and rose wines to serve to all our family and friends.
Pour the wine and let’s get this party started!
All pictures are food prepared by Jace Catering. If you’d like a quote for a BBQ or event large or small please click here.