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Recipe: Japanese Inspired BBQ

First BBQ of Spring

Countess Von Noodlestein came over to mine for a BBQ – the first one of Spring/Summer. It was a nice night, the food was yummy and the company goo.

I thought I might share my Japanese cuisine inspired twists on the BBQ staples: steak, simple salad and coleslaw; in celebration of Spring and eventually summer – and the super warm nights that lend themselves to BBQing on the patio.

Purple Coleslaw with ginger, lemongrass and garlic

I should confess that until I made this, I didn’t like coleslaw (or pasta salad, or rice salad, or 3 bean salad). I think that’s a hangover of growing up in the 80s and the fact that those salads are pretty stodgy and bland. But one year, for Australia Day, I challenged myself to reinvent the BBQ staple and came up with a really really good recipe…if I do say so myself.

So good, in fact, that I should probably patent it rather than share it – yes, I like it that much.

On the plus side, it only needs 2 fresh ingredients (the cabbage and the onion), so the rest you will hopefully already have in your fridge/pantry!

Ingredients

Serves 2-3

  • 1/4 of a head of purple cabbage
  • 1/2 a small brown onion
  • 2 big tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp lemongrass

Dice the cabbage and the onion and mix together. Add the mayonnaise as well as the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Stir well.

So simple and so great with a charred steak straight off the barbie!

Simple salad with a sesame and sushi vinegar dressing

  • 1 tbsp sushi vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • a couple of drops of sesame oil (it’s pretty strong, so you don’t need much)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Spinach leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved

Put the spinach and the tomatoes into the serving bowl.

Whisk together the other ingredients and pour over the salad when you are about to serve. Enjoy!

Soy Marinated Rump Steak

My dad used to cook steak in soy sauce in the 80s – I don’t know if it was a Dad thing or an 80’s thing. Either way, when I think of childhood dinners, steak and soy is one thing I remember.

The steak I bought for the night was massive – there was enough for 2 servings each for the Countess and myself as well as enough to cut up finely, heat through and have for lunch in a knot roll the next day!

  • 1 piece of rump steak (it looks nicer if you cook it whole, let it rest and then cut servings of it for your guests)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 /2 tbsp olive oil

Whisk the soy and the oil together and use a pastry brush to coat the steak with it. Leave it to marinate for a couple of hours (or overnight if you have time) before you BBQ it.

Plated up

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Recipe: Thai Influenced Burger

Burgeriffic

Before you read further down this post, I should warn you that these burger patties and the resulting hamburgers are quite addictive. There is some magic in the combination of beef, garlic, ginger, coriander, spring onion, fish sauce and sweet chili patties along with salted cucumber ribbons and more coriander, all of which are enclosed in a fresh sesame seed bun that renders the final product more addictive than cocaine.

I should know, I have made two batches since Saturday and it is only Tuesday. Plus I plan to make more in the very near future…

This recipe was inspired by Mr and Mrs Rule-Britannia (who now have a little baby Rule-Britannia, btw!). They brought some thai burger patties along to a picnic and inspired me to consider what would I consider the perfect combination of flavours in a Thai influenced burger patty.

Ingredients
Makes 3 patties

  • 250gm beef mince
  • 1 heaped tsp minced garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp minced ginger
  • 3 spring onions finely sliced
  • Handful of coriander finely sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  • Breadcrumbs (you do this by the feel of the wetness of the patty, so I can’t give an exact measure)
  • 1 lebanese cucumber
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Fresh bread buns, buttered (avoid hamburger buns, go for a proper roll)
  • Coriander sprigs
  • Peanut oil (1tbsp)

Put the beef mince, garlic, ginger, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, egg, coriander and spring onions into a bowl and combine. It’s easiest if you use your hands. You should end up with a slightly wet mix, so start shaking in breadcrumbs gradually and mixing through until you end up with firm but pliable mix which you can form into patties.

Cut the lebanese cucumber into ribbons using a vegetable peeler and sprinkle the salt over it (this is to draw alot of the moisture out). I salted my cucumber while it was still on the board:

Salted cucumber

Once you have formed your patties, heat up your peanut oil in a fry pan and then put in the patties. It takes 3-5 minutes for each side to cook, so leave them a minute or two and then move them around with your spatula to make sure they aren’t sticking.

While your patties are cooking, put a layer of cucumber ribbons on your bun along with some coriander sprigs *(and maybe some pepper if you are so inclined).

Then when the patties are browned on both sides, lay them on the bun:

Assembling the masterpiece

Close bun, cut in half if you want to and the eat. Enjoy – these are so good, there should be a law against them.

NB – I did want to put lemon grass in these, but mine jar was passed its use by date and I still can’t bear to cut the beautiful bounteous one I have growing in a pot (it’s so pretty and lush), so I did without. But I shall make them again, oh yes I will, my preeeeeeecious (sorry, just finished a Lord of the Rings Extended Version marathon).

I reckon these would be absolutely bangin on a BBQ.

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