What about a barbecue side dish to liven up your meal?

As things go, I wanted to continue with doing something different, this time a creamy potato salad with bacon side dish for your barbeque. Something I’m sure you, your friends and family will really enjoy the next time they come around.

A really tasty potato and bacon side dish for your barbie

For this dish, I gather a few pounds of small red new potatoes, a few slices of bacon, quarter cup sour cream, wine vinegar, thinly sliced stalks celery, fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh tarragon, mayonnaise, salt and black pepper. I let the potatoes boil in a little water and add a teaspoonful salt. At this junction, reduce the heat, allow potatoes to simmer till they are tender in about 18 minutes. Once ready, drain and run under cold water to cool and cut the potatoes into small pieces. Set the potatoes aside and cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, paper towel bacon when ready and allow it to break into smaller pieces. Get a large bowl, mix and whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper. Throw in the potatoes add celery and toss to mix it all up. When well mixed, fold the potato mixture in bacon, tarragon and parsley. The best thing about this dish is that it is so simple, yet it has a big impact on the bbq experience. I do enjoy the potato side dish recipes at allrecipes.com.au if you’re feeling adventurous and want something to make your bbq one never to forget.

I hope this recipe works out great in bringing the best flavors from your meat. Surprise your friends and tell them you will whip up something for them in say, 30 minutes, they will be licking their folks, asking for more!

Got a few more ideas of your own on livening up bbq? I’ld love to hear them.


“Australian BBQ for Dummies”

Some mates of my hubby arrived from both England and the US.  I’m not sure if these were mates from his college years or not, but regardless I could quickly see they thought a barbie was something my daughter would play with! Ha!

So in case anyone  out there are a bit amused by the outsiders coming in, maybe they can read this prior to arrival.  I call it “Australian BBQ for Dummies.” (Hubby loved the name)

Where you guys here “shrimp on the barbie” in movies, it’s really us Aussies just doing what we love to do best, using what we have available.  It’s our way of grilling, but it’s most certainly a barbie! (or barbecue)

shrimp on the barbie,  bbq in australia

It’s also a social affair and as engrained in our culture as anything I suppose.   It’s not implied to bring alcohol to our barbies, as they are often in public places with children. So unless you are certain it’s an adult only barbie, and you’ll know, juices, water, or anything refreshing is ideal to bring with you or expect to being served.

Yes, our barbies are something to see and experience, and if visiting…please do your research so you don’t show up with a barbie doll for someone’s daughter.

A few idea’s for something different.

It's BBq time or very nearly lets get ready...

I thought I would share some new or fairly new ideas for the barbecue this summer, just to start getting in the mood sort off. Feel free to send in your suggestions or links.

Grilled vegetable salad – As the coals start to heat up toss the veggies onto the grill. For this use small onion, red peppers, in fact any colour pepper, including some chilies if you want a hot spicy salad. Alongside aubergine, tomatoes, garlic. As the outer skins blacken remove from grill and remove skin. I use plastic gloves and have the veggies on newspaper so I can throw the charcoal skin away. Roughly chop the veggies up, place in a bowl. All you need to do with garlic is squeeze the soft part out of the skins directly into bowl. Add olive oil salt and pepper and a good amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Delicious. This can be done just as well at a campfire as at home. Another favourite BBQ vegetables recipe of mine can be found on Food.com added by ‘cooking pompom’

Vegatables that are great for cooking/roasting on the BBQ

Colourful veggies for the BBQ

Sausage surprise burgers: Instead of making sausages shape the meat into a burger shape, make a pocket in the middle and put in some chili relish ( or any relish I like pomegranate lime relish) or your favourite cheese, I like feta when I am doing this but choices endless. It has to be something that only needs warming or melting not cooking. BBQ as normal and enjoy, great fun when folk don’t know about the surprise in the middle. You can do this with any burger but I prefer sausage meat as it cooks quicker.

This is something different: http://ilovemaple.ca/recipes/maple-and-lime-flavoured-cucumber-and-peach-relish

Maple and Lime-Flavoured Cucumber and Peach Relish

Hope this is starting to get you into BBQ mode, more to come next week.

A great barbecue sauce

Barbecue sauce

A good barbecue requires a good sauce. Everyone who makes a great barbecue invariable makes a yummy sauce. It is an essential ingredient and is the main part of the smoked chicken whole, or chicken ribs. Most of the sauces that exist today are a result of some astute experimenting by the cook. Here is one I experimented with and it came out with flying colors.

The Ingredients – 100 grams yellow mustard, 50 grams butter, cumin seeds 5 grams, garlic paste, ginger paste, yogurt 50 grams,salt 10 grams,sugar 5 grams.

The Process – The yellow mustard should be put in water 3 hours before making preparation. Then it should be made into paste in a mixer. Take a non-stick frying pan and put butter in it. Heat till the butter melts. Heat the melted butter for a couple of minutes. Then add cumin seeds, and put the garlic paste with ginger paste. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mustard paste and cook on sim flame for 5 minutes.The sauce will have a deep yellow color. Add yogurt to make the color light yellow. Keep on cooking for 5 more minutes after adding salt and sugar to the sauce.

Cool down the sauce which will be light-yellow in color. You can store it in the refrigerator and take it with you for the next barbecue picnic. I tell you your smoked chicken will rock with this amazing sauce.

The Variations – If you want a more tangy sauce, you can double the mustard quantity. If you want a more buttery taste double the butter and yogurt quantity.


Fish Barbecue

Fish Barbecue

Fish Barbecue

Fish cooks best over open fire. Experienced cooks will tell you that fish tastes best when cooked over campfire.

But cooking fish is different from cooking other things. A lot of care needs to be taken.

Preparing for barbecue:

  • Grill gate cleaning – With its delicate skin cleaning of the grill becomes a necessity.If not done properly the fish can fall apart very quickly.Start by cleaning the sticky stuff with wire brush and end with wiping it clean with tissue paper.
  • Lubricate the grill – The grill should be lubricated properly to avoid sticking. Use a tissue towel to lubricate the grill carefully. It will save your fish.
  • Grill heating – Before starting to cook heat the grill to high temperature. Fish will stick to warm grill. So it is necessary to make the grill reach higher temperatures.

Barbecuing the fish 

  • Choose the right fish – The fish which is fresh will cook best on the barbecue.
  • Removing scales – The scales of the fish should be removed uniformly for it to cook evenly.
  • Making slashes on skin – This is required to open up the fish for proper cooking. The slashes are to be used to insert spices for a better flavour.
  • Prepare the fish with oil and spice – Fish cooks best when prepared beforehand by applying oil and spices. The fish meat absorbs spices very easily.
  • Cook both sides – Cooking fish requires exposing it to heat on both sides up to five minutes. Over exposing can ruin the taste.

Barbecued fish is succulent and tastes great. Just a bit careful and the fish barbecue will beat all others.


Cooking the best kebabs

Now that I’ve bought a brand new BBQ station, thanks to Ferratum.com.au and it’s very kind policy, I’ve been trying out a number of exotic recipes. Grilled kebabs are probably one of the finest dishes ever to be created. Kebabs are essentially meat on a stick. You can use any kind of meat you want and the flavouring and seasoning possibilities are endless. They are quite easy to cook compared to many other kinds of barbecued meats as well.

Chicken kebab

However, kebabs have to be cooked right in order for them to be tasty- othewise they become really chewy and dry. You can prevent this from happening by following a few tips. First of all, when I said you can use almost any meat, I meant that there are a number of animal options. However, not all parts of the animals are suitable for making kebabs. Tender meats such as pork shoulder, chicken thigh, sirloin tip, etc. make excellent kebab options.

Secondly, while cutting the meat into cubes, make sure that the cubes are not too small. This way, the meat will get cooked all the way through, but won’t become dry. Adding some marinade to your kebab will also lend it a lot of flavour (depending on the kind of marinade, you might have to marinate it overnight, so be prepared)!

To take your kebab game to the next level, roast some peppers, onions, or mushrooms and add them to the skewer along with the meat!

A Vegetarian Challenge

A whole fish cooked on the BBQ leaves it moist and tasting delicious

BBQ Snapper

I got challenged this week to make a vegetarian barbie for the weekend. All vegetarian! Now I have done the odd kebab with whatever veggies I had and some pretty neat marinades but they have been side dishes really. So a challenge what can you do? I decided on an Asian theme and decided on cooking a whole fish. Sent hubby to market and he came back with a lovely snapper. I went online and researched some ideas and made a combination of this recipe, to which I added ginger and this one from which I used the sauce. It was delicious, certainly something we will be making again. I actually found that the way he wrapped the fish in the video, with far more care than I normally do, worked very well.

Three bean salad, make using any beans but add the sauce while warm.

Three Bean Salad

Along with the fish I made a three bean salad. I used canned kidney, butter and soya beans. I added chopped scallions and the dressing was peanut oil, crushed garlic, grated ginger, soya sauce and lime juice. You could play around with the bean mix, one of my guests suggested I use green beans and she suggested to use freshly cooked rather than canned and to warm the other beans from tins and to add the dressings whilst warm. I actually tried this a few days later as I was intrigued to see if there would be a difference. There was, the uptake of the dressing is much better, will do it this way from now on.
I also, feeling clever, decided to make a desert on the barbie, other than our normal fruit kebabs. I sliced a banana lengthwise and filled it with a mixture of white and dark chocolate, I also added a few of the small marshmallows. Wrapped in foil and on it went. I did this on the dying ember and left them on for about 10mins. Served them with some ice cream and they went down a treat.

bananas filled with chocolate and wrapped in foil cooked on a barble

Delicious with ice cream…