Extending barbecue repertoire

Whatever the weather I still bust out the barbecue.

Firstly for the flavour, texture and ease of meals. It doesn't take much to make your meals stand out when barbecuing, good cuts of meats and vegetables accompanied by a punchy sauce or salsa will do the trick nicely.

I have done some simple recipes to help your summer dinners shine!


Photos: Simon Lambert
Photos: Simon Lambert
Whole BBQ courgettes with almond, feta and smoked paprika pesto

Whole chargrilled courgettes are fantastic as they are juicy and flavoursome. Serve them whole as you would a sausage and add generous amounts of this delicious pesto and you will have a fantastic new addition to your barbecuing repertoire.

Serves 4

4 whole courgettes (1 per person or more if desired)
sea salt
1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, peeled
150g whole almonds, lightly toasted
100g feta cheese
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
salt to taste

Heat the barbecue up to hot.

While the barbecue is heating up make the pesto.

Either in a mortar and pestle or blender. Add the garlic and almonds and pound to coarse paste. Add the smoked paprika, lemon juice and oil.

Blend lightly to combine. Crumble in the feta cheese and combine lightly as you still want a few chunks of the cheese. Taste and add salt if needed.

To cook the courgettes. Place the whole courgettes on the hot bbq and allow to cook evenly all over for about 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the courgettes. You still want them to be tender but not mushy.

Serve them with a sprinkle of sea salt and squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of almond pesto.

Grilled pork chop with smashed avocado, ancho chilli and onions

Pork chops are great on the barbecue as they get a wonderful smoky flavour which takes away some of the fattiness. You need to move them around a bit on the barbecue as the fat can cause a few flare ups. Simple and delicious.

Serves 2

2 good quality pork chops (200g each)
1 avocado
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ tsp ancho chilli powder or your favourite
1 lime
olive oil
handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Heat the barbecue to hot.

While the barbecue is heating up get your pork chops up to room temperature, season with salt and cracked pepper. Set aside.

To make the avocado salad. Remove the avocado from the skin and mash lightly in a bowl with the lime juice. Add the crushed garlic and chilli powder, season with salt and stir in enough oil to loosen up the avocado. Add the coriander.

To cook the pork chops, put them directly on to the hot grills and allow to sear on both sides so you get good char marks. If you find the bbq too hot, move your chops away from the hottest part and lower the heat so you cook them through.

They take about 5 minutes on each side.

While they are cooking add the onion rings to the barbie and allow them to char lightly on each side (1 minute each side) and remove and add to avocado salad.

Serve the pork chops with the deliciously simple avocado salad.

Spatchcock of chicken with sriracha and maple

By cutting your chicken like this you will get a very juicy and evenly cooked chicken on the barbecue. In the supermarkets and butcher shops you can easily find the chickens prepared like this.

Serves 4

1.5kg spatchcocked chicken
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup sriracha chilli sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp black peppercorns, crushed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oil

1 large cucumber
2 cobs fresh corn, or 1 cup corn kernels
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
handful fresh parsley, mint and basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt and cracked pepper

Marinate the prepared chicken if possible the night before by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl and massage all over the chicken. Chill until required.

To cook the chicken heat the barbecue up to hot and place the chicken skin side down. You need to watch the chicken as the skin will colour very quickly because of the marinade.

After 5 minutes carefully turn it over and continue cooking for 10 minutes, basting it regularly with leftover marinade.

While the chicken is cooking, cook the peeled corn cobs so you get lightly charred corn kernels. This should take 5 minutes. Remove and cool.

Check the chicken and turn once again and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.

To prepare the salsa, peel the cucumber into long strips using a potato peeler. Peel until you reach the seeds and turn around and continue until the cucumber is done.

Place the cucumber in a bowl, add the ginger, garlic, lemon juice, oil and all the herbs. Cut the corn kernels off the corn by running a sharp knife down the side of the cob. Add this to the salsa, season with salt and a little cracked pepper. Toss to combine.

Once the chicken is cooked and rested for 5 minutes or so, cut it into pieces and serve with this deliciously refreshing salsa.

Lamb koftas with garlic yoghurt

Koftas are very common throughout the world and many recipes can be found. Basically, they are minced meat, packed with spices and cooked over coals. You can play around with the spices to suit your taste.

Serves 4

500g minced lamb
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 onion, grated and liquid removed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
handful parsley, chopped
1 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tsp chopped dill fronds
½ tsp sumac (optional)
1 lemon to serve

Pound all the spices together with the garlic and ginger until well combined.

Add the mince, onion, parsley and season with salt. Knead really well together in a bowl with your hands for about 3 minutes so you get a firm, well-combined mince mixture.

You can put these on to skewers or you can mould them and cook them as they are.

Evenly divide the mince mixture into 8 balls. Roll well and then shape them into a egg shape. Set aside until all the mixture is done.

Make the garlicky yoghurt sauce by adding all the ingredients together in a bowl and whip together with whisk for a few minutes. Set aside in the fridge until required.

Heat grill to high heat. Place koftas on grill and cook for about 6 minutes. Turn and cook another 6 minutes.

Remove from the grill, serve with lemon wedges, flatbreads and garlicky sauce.

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