By British standards, we’ve had an amazing summer. Our BBQ has seen a lot of action, and long lazy afternoons with friends as the kids dodge water guns on the lawn have been, if I’m honest, the main delight of the summer holidays. But for the first time ever I’ve become bored by BBQ food. I soon started to tire of even the Taste The Difference burgers (you know, with the added cheese, caramelised onions, or redcurrant jelly). Nice as they are, I craved more interesting BBQ recipes.
Add to this that fact that I’m trying to be a bit healthier as I wander further into middle age, by eating more vegetables. I was seriously in need of inspiration for our outdoor dining! During our annual camping break with Steph and her family, I was so impressed by some of their cooking that I did a bit of experimenting and came up with some ideas of my own. To these I added some gorgeous recipes I found online, and created a pinterest board of ideas for the rest of the summer. Check out my Guys and Girls Behind the Grill board for some mouthwatering alternatives to the sausage!
Here are some of my favourite ideas from the board:
More interesting BBQ Recipes for meat:
- Tuscan Steak: why we’d never considered cooking steak on our bbq is a mystery to me - the perfect method for a crispy charred rib-eye, with a just pink and tender middle, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it! But when we brought steak to our campfire we were even more inspired by the simple addition of some olive oil and herbs to the cut. Now Dave cooks for Steph and the kids most evenings, and when I’ve been lucky enough to partake of his food, the flavours are always magnificent, so I paid attention. This recipe for steak with rosemary looks delicious, but I’m going to add some garlic to the oil and marinade tonight’s steak before we slap it on the hottest part of the BBQ.
- Griddled chicken drumsticks: meat isn’t cheap so this blogger’s pin on how to make BBQ entertaining more affordable really hits the nail on the head, and just look at that chicken – doesn’t it make you want to reach out and grab one?
- Pork rib with Cider Blueberry BBQ sauce: This just looks incredible, and I love the idea of the sauce – not your usual shop-bought fayre at all, but still simple to make: In fact I’d recommend a visit to Elle’s New England Kitchen for more ideas – they’re some of the best I’ve found.
More interesting BBQ recipes for fish:
- BBQ Red Mullet with a hot salsa: Now you’d expect Jamie Oliver to have some impressive BBQ recipes, and having attended the Big Feastival last week I decided to hunt around his website for some inspiration there. And he didn’t disappoint. The combination of black olives, chilli, tomato and rosemary is a big flavour that appeals to me so I’ve decided not to be scared of fish on the griddle and spice up my outdoor dining with something fresh, flavourful and healthy.
- BBQ Lobster with garlic and parsley butter (from Saveur.com). I know, right? How incredible does this look? On one of my earlier dates with my husband, we ate at a restaurant named Manzi’s in London (sadly no longer there); we both ate lobster thermidor, and we both drank a bottle of Chablis. I’ve never been happier. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to put this on your BBQ?
More interesting BBQ recipes for Vegetarians:
I always think vegetarians get a raw deal at BBQ parties. A quorn burger or a veggie sausage just seems so pathetic by comparison with the glorious meat and fish recipes here. So I was determined to find some incredible vegetarian BBQ recipes to cater for my friends and tempt myself into the vegetable option. Steph had impressed me by cooking baked sweet potato with feta cheese in the campfire, so I knew it was possible. And I was right, just look at what I found to pin to my board:
- Jamie Oliver’s Cinder Baked Artichokes with lemon, bay and prosciutto (just leave the prosciutto out). More baking in the coals of the campfire – we are definitely going to give this a go next time we camp:
- Killer Mexican BBQ Corn on the Cob: Another one from Jamie. I gained mass approval from all concerned for my corn cobs soaked in olive oil and sea salt on our camping holiday – you just marinade them in a plastic bag for a while and then put them straight on the grill. Now I know this won’t go well down with the children (although the Bug does like a bit of chilli) but I fancy branching out with the humble sweetcorn so this made it to my board.
- Hasselback Aubergines: I used to be a member of Weightwatchers, and I stumbled across this recipe intending to use it on the BBQ. I’ve never done it, but BBQ aubergines drizzled in olive oil and garlic is one of my favourite things to eat, so I’m dying to give these a go. Now this recipe is designed for oven baking, but as hubs has recently acquired a Weber BBQ, I’m thinking that the foil in the coals method will work just as well, and we can crisp it up on the grill once it’s baked. Wish me luck!
More interesting BBQ recipes for Dessert:
Finally, pudding! I was inundated with dessert ideas when I put out a call for BBQ inspiration, and you’d find no end of summer entertaining sweet delights on the board, but I wanted to see what I could actually cook on the BBQ. Our campfire cooking had led me to experiment with plums in brown sugar, wrapped up in foil and placed on the hot stones around the fire. Ten minutes of shaking an unopened pot of whipping cream gave me the perfect thickness to serve with them, and everyone asked for seconds. So this year I tried pineapple – a scattering of caster sugar, foil baking method again, and we had caramelised pineapple slices. So delicious! Dave took on the challenge, and came up with Baked Bananas with chocolate and marshmallow, a version of which I’ve added to my board.
Griddled fruit has always enticed me, with it’s jammy stickiness, so for Actually Daddy’s inaugural BBQ session today I’m doctoring this recipe from the Kitchn, to add his favourite passion fruit and some chunks of mango meringue I found in Waitrose. I now cannot wait for them all to get home so we can start!
Meatopia – “a call to arms for all you judicious lovers of meat” - is yet another foodie festival combining a love of luscious food with great music. I was lucky enough to make it to the Big Feastival this year, but I was too late for tickets to Meatopia, which is running today. Probably just as well given my attempts to clean the system after a summer of meat, but you can be sure I’m buying tickets for next year’s unashamedly meaty event! Check them out butchering a pig! Just watching their twitter stream today has me wavering over the the veg
* Disclosure – I was not paid or given anything to write this post. #Guysandgirlsbehindthegrill is a Pinterest initiative I agreed to take part in because I really have enjoyed my open-air food this summer. And I’m really jealous of all the folks at Meatopia today.
For more BBQ inspiration check out these links: