5 Fab BBQ Recipes For The Summer
I wonder how many of you are similar to me? Get grand ideas of having fabulous soirees? Envision how fabulous they are going to be? And then they make my bank balance not so fabulous?
We all love a good barbeque, or so British TV ads would have us believe. It is rare to watch an American rom-com without some sort of BBQ or garden party in it. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder: mmm, what’s that they’re eating? I wonder if I could make that…
And then the invitations go out in the blink of an eye and you’re stuck wondering what else to serve, with a tight budget and short time span. Sound familiar?
Ranging from easiest to most difficult, here are 5 fabulous BBQ recipes to help you this summer:
No barbeque menu would be complete without a cocktail. We all love cocktails and with Brits being one of biggest population of drinkers, who can blame us? It’s nice to serve a cocktail, but sometimes they can be really expensive yummy little things to make. For something simple yet effective with just four ingredients, try this.
You will need:
- 6 ice cubes
- 2 measures of white rum
- 1 measure of lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of sugar syrup
Simply chuck everything into a blender, whizz and serve! Any glass will do. Easy peasy. This method can be easily varied to make other flavours… simply add fresh fruit before blitzing, but don’t replace the lime! Try strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, peach, pineapple etc. – the list is endless!
This could even be made in advance and left in the freezer – the alcohol in the rum will stop everything from freezing completely, so provided it isn’t left in the freezer for days the mixture should be lovely and frosty and ready to serve- just don’t forget the straws!
Sophie Dahl’s Carnation Jelly
As a very intelligible three year old once asked me at a party “If it’s a party, where’s the cake?” I have taken this very literally ever since and have served at least one pudding at every party/BBQ/shindig I have thrown. Here is one of my favourites. It’s easy, must be made well in advance and again is inexpensive to make so you have budget left to spend on more important things, like cocktails.
(Makes 4 large or 10 small bowls. Obviously, you could buy some disposable martini glasses and make the portions go further and save on the washing up)
You will need:
- 1 packet of jelly – any flavour will do, but I have only ever made strawberry
- Hot water
- 1 can of evaporated milk
- Whipped cream
- Something to decorate (I like to use Flake 80’s style!)
Make up the jelly as per instructions. When the mixture is cool, whisk in the evaporated milk until thick. Portion up and chill until set (usually about 1 – 2 hours). Once it’s set, you can decorate. If you are feeling adventurous, these look very pretty in a tower to decorate your barbeque buffet table!
Garlic Mushrooms With Red Onion Salad
I always like to have at least one veggie option on a menu that isn’t haloumi (veggies must get sick of the stuff!). Not that mushrooms are overly adventurous, but they are something a little different when cooked like this.
(Serves four as part of a main or two as a light meal)
You will need:
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon of lazy garlic
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- Pinch of parsley
- ½ red onion
- ¼ yellow pepper
Peel the top skin off the mushrooms (I should make it clear that I am in no way a mushroom peeler – takes up far too much time – but in this scenario, it just makes it taste better!)
Bind the garlic, mushrooms and parsley together and slather generously over the insides of the mushrooms.
Pop onto a baking tray to cook upside down (buttered side up). Bake in the oven at gas mark 5 for around 25 – 30 minutes. Alternatively, wrap the mushrooms individually in tin foil, stick on the bbq and forget about them for a good 40 minutes.
Cook until the mushrooms are flaccid and oozing garlic buttery goodness.
For the red onion salad – grate together some red onion and yellow pepper. If you don’t like the heat of the onion so much, add a little white wine vinegar.
Serve the mushrooms with just a smidge of the red onion salad. The warm buttery mushrooms against the crisp and peppery salad, mmmm bliss!
Warm Potato Salad
This recipe originates from a Nigella Lawson cook book, but I have now made it so many times that I have developed my own variation of it. This always goes down so well and is brilliant because it can be thrown together in just 10 minutes before your guests arrive!
(Makes a generous bowl full. Can be served warm or cold)
You will need:
- 2 tins of new potatoes (you can use fresh, but I always feel tinned give a better consistency)
- 4 spring onions, chopped (add more if you prefer)
- A entire packed of streaky bacon (smoked is better, but unsmoked is fine too)
- 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon of vinegar (white wine is better, but any will do!)
- A few crushed peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
Grill the bacon until it is so crispy that it snaps. Leave it to cool on some kitchen paper to blot the excess grease, then cover with another piece of kitchen paper and bash with something heavy to break it up.
Boil the potatoes. Mix the mustard, vinegar, peppercorns and thyme together in a pestle and mortar (or just in a bowl with a spoon if you don’t have one).
Drain the potatoes and put back into the pan. Add the chopped spring onions, the bacon and the mustard mixture. Put the lid back on the pan. Very, very carefully (I will not be held responsible for burns) – holding onto the pan handle and pan lid – toss the mixture about (this gives a more even distribution than mixing).
Easy as that. This is one of those recipes where flavour isn’t distorted if left to go cold. It’s even still yummy the following day. (Remember to refrigerate leftovers!)
Sticky Chicken Kebabs
One Christmas I thought it would be a fantastic idea to buy my husband a cook book – the Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook no less – it sat on the shelf with the other cookbooks feeling unloved for quite some time before I took pity on it.
It was here that I found this sticky chicken recipe. Absolutely divine, and makes a change from the skewer kebabs of plain meats and peppers (sometimes mushrooms if you were lucky) from my childhood.
This recipe can be thrown together with some of the things usually found unused (and a decade past its sell by date) lurking the back of every household cupboard.
(Serves 4 large or 6 small)
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 2 tablespoons of ketchup
- 1 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon of mustard (Dijon is better but also works with supermarket value brand)
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar (Cider vinegar but again supermarket brand works)
- A few dashes of tabasco sauce
- Salt and pepper to season
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- Bamboo skewers (found in any supermarket)
Pop everything into a bowl, except for the chicken and bamboo skewers, and stir! Then add the chicken and cover. Forget about the whole thing for at least one hour – it can even be left all day or overnight.
Pop the marinated chicken onto the skewers with your choice of veggies (or fruit – pineapple works well). Cook on the BBQ for about 5-7 minutes (depending on how finely your chicken is chopped), turning as you go. Don’t forget to check the chicken is cooked throughout before serving!
And there we have it, a veritable feast for a summer barbeque that doesn’t take all day to prepare or cost an arm and a leg.