With the days being hot enough to almost cook an egg on the patio, most of us are choosing to cook and eat outside in the evening cool rather than face the heat of the kitchen.
With tongs in our hands the steak and sausages are well under control but what else are we going to barbecue?
We have some great ideas on what to eat and also how to keep yourself healthy this summer.
Firstly though, did you know half of all food poisoning occurs in the home? Make sure your food preparation and food hygiene is top notch so you don’t make your guests or yourself ill this summer. To do this just follow the three simple C’s – clean, cook, chill.
Clean – Wash hands, chopping boards, utensils and surfaces before and after handling raw meat.
Cook – Cook meat and poultry thoroughly, until juices run clear.
Chill – Cover, separate cooked and raw meat, and chill in the fridge. Don’t leave food out for more than two hours. If in doubt – chuck it out.
Following the three C’s will keep you and your family safe and reduce the chances of food poisoning this summer.
Check out foodsafety.govt.nz/ccc for more details
This Fragrant Spiced Chicken is our favourite chicken dishes of summer. While I often cook it in the oven, it is also a good one for the barbecue. Cook it on the hotplate at a medium heat until thoroughly cooked. The flavours are amazing.
I like to serve it with warm Roti bread which is heated on the barbecue as well and then an Asian style coleslaw. Try wrapping the chicken and slaw up in the roti…
Another favourite barbecue chicken dish is Korean Barbecue Chicken.
Our teens love this as it is has so much flavour but is not too spicy.
Chicken thigh fillets are a great barbecue option, they have enough fat to stay moist and they don’t take too long to cook.
Eggplant is an ideal barbecue vegetable, we like to cut it lengthways, brush with oil, cook until tender and then top with a yoghurt, mint, dill and garlic sauce and then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley or coriander.
How pretty does this look?
You can also start the popular vegetable dish ratatouille on the barbecue by cooking off the eggplant, capsicum, courgettes and then transferring to a pan. The barbecue flavour really makes a difference to the end dish.
Prawns on the barbie is an Australian favourite and one that is gaining popularity here. Tossed with oil, garlic, salt and a touch of chilli there is little better.
Serve with lime wedges and green leaves.
Butterflied Lamb Legs barbecue easily and while lamb is of course delicious as is, we also like it with these Mediterranean flavours of herbs, garlic, lemon and anchovies. The anchovies melt into the meat and provide a glorious rich flavour.
Lamb cutlets are a great barbecue choice as well, these we love with garlic, salt and pepper and then sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, mint and served with a garlic, yoghurt sauce.
Actually we think pomegranate seeds go well with so many barbecue meats due to their pretty colour and burst of fresh flavour.
Juicy cobs of sweetcorn are ideal for barbecue cooking. The flavour seems to intensify being cooked this way and they cook quickly. Some choose to cook the corn within the husk whereas we like the barbecue effect and the caramelised kernels.
Simply brush the corn with a little oil before cooking and for a Mexican zing try sprinkling the corn with a mixture of smoked paprika and sea salt and then serve with lime wedges.
And while this has nothing to do with the actual barbecue, this juicy fresh Watermelon Salad is truly delicious to accompany barbecued prawns, lamb or chicken.
And as the perfect barbecue dessert, how about trying our Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich. This dessert is made hours ahead of time and is able to be eaten by hand if you like.