If you have not yet encountered my Barbecue obsession…then hello and welcome to it.
I was gifted a fantastic barbecue by my sister and although we have not yet invited anyone else to partake Skater and I have enjoyed a lot of barbecues so far.
It’s been a long hot January for me. It started slowly with some sleep ins and a lot of catching up on cooking, reading and not rushing anywhere. The second week of January suddenly loomed and things sped up …a lot. I went back to work after what seemed like months off. In reality it was a little over a week, but it just goes to show you that I am starved of holiday time. Somewhere in that week off I managed to write or rework and photograph 5 BBQ recipes and 6 no bake dessert recipes. I know, but the fun and games did come to a screeching end when I returned to my day job. Still, I felt I got a few things done in the short space of time including cleaning out some cupboards and washing the car.
Given the extent of my activities during the break I got a rather nasty surprise last week. It proved to me that no matter how much I think I have achieved, I may be just fooling myself. I need far more hours in a day to organise my life.
Has this ever happened to you?
I was rushing from one appointment to the next with the car as my office. The sun was blazing and each time I got in and out of the car it was like a pizza oven and I was getting whiplash trying to keep up with the temperature changes. Outside the car hot, inside the car furnace and then on with the air conditioning. Somewhere between morning tea and 2.45 pm I realized I was starving. When I stopped at the shops to pick up the mail I saw there was no line at Sydney’s most popular Banh Mi Store, Hong Ha bakery in Mascot. ( if you are not sure what a Banh Mi is check Lorraines Post). This is a rare occurrence, so I got me a Banh Mi and asked to have it cut in 1/2 so I could eat it on the way to my next appointment . This involved eating it in my car, and I always hate doing that, but you know I figured there was no choice.
New life rises from the rubble
After re-adjusting the interior temperature from Pizza oven to air conditioned bliss, I took a couple of bites of my Banh Mi roll- (chicken with chilli), and was just about to slide it back into the paper bag when I noticed a tiny ant…and then another. They seemed to come out from under the hand brake, have a discussion and then together, they lifted up a crumb from the crispy Banh Mi roll, before hefting it back in the direction of the handbrake. Right there under my nose. Wildlife living in my car. Adjusted to the temperature and surviving on crumbs. It’s embarrassing and yet it’s also encouraging. When I park my car in the driveway tonight I hope those little fellas get to work cleaning up after me. ‘Cause heaven knows I don’t have enough time to do it my self.
I am far too busy after work barbecuing The first thing Skater wanted when we got our Barbecue was Chicken Kebabs or skewers. I worked out a nice recipe that is smokey and sticky and we have eaten them at least 4 times in the last few weeks. I’ve been working on cooking potato in a parcel too, just like you would cook it in the oven.
What?. No Barbecue?. You can still make Chicken Kebabs
If you don’t have a BBQ ( like I didn’t until recently), don’t worry you can cook these in a grill pan, in the oven or on even on the sandwich press.
- 500 gm Chicken breast fillets (or thighs also work)
- 40 ml Soy (light or Japanese soy) (2 Tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 50 ml Tomato Sauce or ketchup (4 tablespoons)
- 10 gm sugar (2 teaspoons)
- 40 ml olive oil (2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 500 gm potatoes sliced
- 60 ml cream (1/4 cup)
- 60 ml water (1/4 cup)
- 50 gm cheese grated ( cheddar )
- 5 gm salt and pepper
- Makes 5-6 skewers. Preheat the BBQ. Mine has a lid. the temperature rises to about 200 C (400 F) or more
- Soak 6 skewers in water
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl big enough to also fit the chicken when ready
- Cut the chicken breast into strips as even as possible. You will only get about 4 or even 5 strips from each breast. maybe more depending on the shape and size.
- Put the chicken into the marinade and stir around. If you have a few minutes or longer leave the chicken to marinate, if not then begin to thread it on to the skewers. Start by threading the tip of the strip then folding into a S shape and threading till the skewer is 3/4 full. Continue with the other skewers.
- Coat the meat in any extra left over marinade or leave the skewers in the marinade overnight if you like. NEVER REUSE MARINADE AND DISCARD ANY THAT IS LEFT OVER.
- Cook the skewers on the hottest part of the BBQ. I use the grill bars. Put the chicken onto the grill and don't touch it for 5-8 minutes. After this time use a flat spatula to slide under the skewer and turn it over. Put the lid down and let it cook for approximately 6- 8 minutes. Test one with a small knife in the thickest part.
- Mix the extra sauce and cumin in a bowl and paint the skewers with this on there last turn. Give them a little bit of a turn to cook the sauce. This should make a nice sticky coating.
- Remove from the grill and put onto a plate. If you cook on the flat plate turn it down to medium when you turn over the skewers.
To cook the potatoes:
- Start the Potatoes first if cooking, they take up to 40 minutes.
- Lay out a big piece of foil and cover with a folded over piece of foil and then another piece on top of that going the opposite way to make a little container. Put the sliced potatoes onto this and spread out a little.
- Add the cream and the water and a sprinkle of grated cheese, salt and pepper. Fold over to hold in the liquid and put onto the grill before you prepare the chicken.
- Check carefully after 30 minutes because they are cooked with steam inside that parcel. They can take up to 40 minutes depending on how many potatoes and the heat of the grill. Mine was on full.
When a recipe asks for light soy it doesn't mean it is low fat!
There are a number of kinds of soy sauce in fact the list is immensely long as each country has their preferred style of soy sauce, so to simplify I am using a Chinese light soy. It is usually the most common in western supermarkets. Dark Chinese soy sauce is thicker, darker, less salty and a whole lot richer than light and often has added sugar, like molasses. Light soy sauce is more common in Chinese cooking, it is thinner and used in many dipping sauces and as a seasoning. A Japanese light soy can also be substituted here- Kikoman brand being the most common.
You can clean and lightly grease the grill bars of the BBQ by rubbing them with paper that has been lightly oiled.
Have you had any embarrassing bug stories?