Hot hot hot hot hot hot hot! Mark this day, Sunday 23rd May 2010, that the UK officially had it's summer...just this day mind you... not doubt tomorrow we'll be back under a rain cloud.
Well, it had to happen... first barbie of the year and I thought we'd start with something simple to kick it off. It's funny how we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to 'do' a bbq, marinate the meats, make the salads, invite friends round... all lovely, but quite stressful with the lighting of the coals, burning the flesh but not cooking the chicken.
I think, especially here in the UK, that the moment the sun even peeps out we feel we should all be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and this means barbecue... and for some reason that means a lot of fuss.
It should all be so much simpler... it's just a grill outdoors after all. Those coals are actually quite easy to light, if you know what you're doing and you're going to cook that chicken anyway, so why not do it al fresco?
Since we've had our log burning stove i've become a dab hand at setting things alight... and those things staying alight and staying hot. I've now applied this to lighting the barbecue and taking the attitude that it should be hassle free and as simple as turning on the grill.
We've got a tiny little barbecue anyway, it's one of those cast iron open bowls and it always cooks everything up a treat, as long as you treat it and the food well. I roll up some newspaper and lay it in the bottom of the bowl, then pile the charcoal on top into a pyramid. This keeps a heat underneath it and really gets it going... you also have to be brave and let the coals turn white with an inner glow before you start cooking... remember: there's no rush... it's an grill not a microwave!
So, inspired by delicious. my new favourite food magazine and with The Viking burning his skin in the sun at the British Superbikes down the road at the stunning Cadwell Park racetrack, I planned dinner... I marinated some chicken in a thrown-together marinade of olive oil, sesame oil, spring onions, coriander, ketchup, honey and balsamic vinegar. I did the same for The Big V with some Quorn chicken style pieces (these are a great alternative for those veggies who really do miss their barbecued meats... you've just got to do something with them and I say treat them the same as the chicken!) I also grilled some courgettes, which I love on the barbie...cut into chunks, then brush with oil and lots of salt and pepper. I roasted some sweet potatoes for half an hour in the oven and we ate it with a simple green salad.
That was it...not thousands of sausages or a million meats, just something for me and something for The V.
eat and of course, enjoy!