Sunday, 30 May 2010

Barbecue Forever!

Sunny weather means only one thing, (apart from instant sunburn for the pasty among us and inappropriate levels of nakedness amongst the fat and drunk male population) and that thing is barbecue! The ancient method of burning meat over open flames has remained popular throughout the ages for a reason: burnt meat is damned tasty.

I kicked off my 'summer of jerk 2010' with a few dozen pieces of jerk chicken. Here is the recipe (it belongs to Gizzie Erskine):

2 tablespoons of English mustard
2 tablespoons of vinegar
Juice of 2 limes (add zest too if you like)
4 tablespoons of honey
3 scotch bonnet chillies (4 if you're feeling crazy, seeds and all)
6 chopped spring onions (or regular onions)
5 cloves garlic
Handful of thyme
handful of oregano
Sea salt.

Mix everything together and rub it into 12 slashed chicken thighs. BBQ the hell out of them.

I followed this with a rack of ribs, they are covered in tasty tasty smoky marinade, which you make like this:

Squidge of ketchup
Splash of Worcester sauce
Splash of Tabasco
Splash of vinegar
Dab of English mustard
Squirt of honey
Tablespoon of brown sugar
Teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cloves of garlic crushed
Splodge of soy sauce
Splash of oil

As you can see it's not an exact science, just taste it until it's nice, then smother it all over a rack of ribs. BBQ the hell out of them.

We also had some prawny skewers, which are just prawns marinated in lime, garlic, chilli and oil. Do not BBQ the hell out of these, or they will be horrible.

I cobbled together a store-cupboard cous cous involving, in varying quantities:

Lemon juice
Olive Oil
Roasted red peppers
Tinned black olives
Dried cranberries
Cherry tomatoes

Which was very nice indeed. I find cous cous and similar grainy things very versatile and difficult to cock up. Chuck in whatever you have knocking about in the cupboard and it'll probably be pretty tasty. Unless what you have in your cupboard is tinned peaches, sardines and peanut butter.

The food is all well and good, but the mighty gods of the barbecue demand booze, and gallons of it. I'd stolen some pretty dodgy Cypriot white wine from the fridge at work, which was frankly unfit to consume au naturel. Aware of the rule that fairies die when you waste alcohol, I decided to improvise to avoid wastage.

I chucked a couple of bottles into a pitcher with some sliced up lemons and oranges, and topped with ginger beer. This proved both highly intoxicating and quite delicious. Inspired by my new policy of 'whack it in a pitcher with a load of ice and drink it fast' - we created several further rounds of cocktails involving rum, prosecco, vodka, gin and basil. I cannot tell you the quantities or combinations, because frankly we were too drunk to remember. Use your initiative, and very little in the way of mixers and you can't go wrong.

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