Tuesday 21 May 2019

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Bia Sasta

Forget winter - BBQ season is coming!

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019 4:41pm

Summer is coming – here’s to a wonderful one to come.

I love the al fresco lifestyle (yes, I know, Ireland might not be the first choice) and currently, Mr T and I are transforming our back garden into an oasis.

The garden shed is nicely painted and I am adding little eye catching features to make it look like a beach hut (no, I am not living near the beach).

The BBQ got a nice scrub and my brain is searching already for ideas on how to create the first ‘barbie’ of the year.

There will be the burger (it seems there can’t be a BBQ without a burger) – homemade of course. Last year, Aldi had mini burger buns, which are perfect for any attending children (avoids a lot of unfinished burgers going in the bin) and I made small burgers, added a bit of cheese and lettuce, stuck a cocktail umbrella in it and had happy kids all around.

Lamb is very underrated when it comes to the ol’ BBQ – marinated with rosemary, garlic and herbs, it makes perfect skewers.

As much as I love fish, I have never barbecued it – so this year I will make use of the fish holder we got a few years ago and try to grill a lovely trout stuffed with herbs and lemon (mouthwatering). Prawns are also perfect for grilling, as they don’t need long.

And for the vegetarians, I love haloumi cheese. Cut into slices (or cubes if you like to skewer the cheese), I marinate the cheese in lime juice and zest, red chili and mint – the result is just beautiful.

For the more serious vegetarian, a bean burger is always a good alternative (packed with loads of veggies, you might even be able to fool the kids).

For sides, I simply love potato salad (go to biasasta.ie and click on the German Files for my favourite recipe) but the old favourite coleslaw is always a winner (and so easy to make yourself).

Or what about a platter of grilled vegetables?

Asparagus, courgettes, corn on the cob, baby potatoes and aubergines are perfect, especially when drizzled with either a herb butter or a nice garlicky yogurt.

Talking about BBQs, there is a strong debate on every year on what type of BBQ you should be using: gas or charcoal.

Now, there is something to be said for each (and we actually have both versions at home) - gas means you don’t have to discard the ashes at the end of the event, you can control the heat easier and you won’t have as much smoke (unless you let the fat of the meat drip down).

Charcoal on the other hand gives you that smoky flavour that gas just can’t give you.

I grew up with a dad who loved gathering his family and friends around for a good barbecue. My mum and I worked away in the kitchen, marinating the meat, preparing the vegetables, making the salads and so on. My dad then turned up when everything was done, lit the charcoal and placed the meat, turning it masterfully and everyone congratulated him on the ‘hard’ work he did to feed his guests.

He never saw the irony of that to be honest - he was proud that the meat was juicy and the burgers didn’t fall apart when turning. In case you would like to upgrade your grilling skills, I will be hosting a summer entertainment workshop with Siobhan at the Wooden Spoons Cookery School soon.

All we need now is a great summer (as I am writing this article, it is lashing outside!).

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