I confess I went a bit over budget with my full shop this week. I’m determined to get the barbeque out no matter what the weather turns out to be. If it’s lashing rain I’ll be the one standing under a giant umbrella persisting in the charcoal smoke. The cost of the extra meat has bumped up my budget slightly but there is more than enough food for the entire family, plus guests, to enjoy outdoors in the sunshine (or indoors at the kitchen table).
Still, considering I am feeding a family of five, and it’s going to be a fun-filled barbeque, it’s totally worth every penny!
On the shopping list this week there are oodles of ways to eat your food in-your-hand in the garden which are brilliant for kids. I’ve picked up some sausages and hot dog buns, quarter pounders, and soft baps, and some ice cream cones for dessert. When the weather is great the kids will dine al fresco outside which will minimise the amount of clean-up I have to do. On standby, of course, are my baby wipes and hand sanitiser just in case.
Tomatoes are in season right now and a pack of 6 Irish tomatoes are in the supermarket for just 99c! I’ve a recipe for an easy tomato tart on the blog which will make the most of this brilliant Irish ingredient.
If you do intend to cook on the BBQ this Summer SafeFood have some fantastic advice on their website that’s well worth checking out here: http://www.safefood.eu/Food-Safety/Seasonal-Features/Top-food-safety-tips-for-BBQs.aspx
Personally, I prefer to cook chicken and sausages in advance in the oven, then finish on the barbeque, where possible, to prevent undercooked meat. For sausages, I pop them in a roasting tray in the oven for 20 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius, but once cooked I bring them out to the grill for that perfect barbeque finish. This eliminates the chance of charred and blackened sausages for tea. For the chicken pieces, I use a similar temperature but cover the roasting tray, and cook for 30 minutes.
Vegetarian or not, there are certain vegetables which cook extremely well on the barbeque. Peppers, courgettes, aubergine, mushrooms, and onions are all staples on kebabs in my house. Whole sweetcorn on the cob is priced at €1.69 and is beautiful cooked directly on the grill, then finished with some fresh butter and herbs.
Finally there is nothing quite as decadent as a baked banana from the coals of the barbeque topped with a scoop of ice cream. Slice a banana length ways with the skin on and stuff the cut with pieces of chocolate and marshmallow. Wrap the entire banana tightly with tinfoil and sit directly onto the coals of the barbeque for 10-20 minutes after you’ve finished cooking your meat. Gently remove the tinfoil package from the coals using tongs and open out before taking a generous scoop of our yoghurt ice cream on top.
Enjoy your summer!