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Margaret Browne's BBQ Page
A few hints to make sure it runs smoothly.
1. First things first: BBQ must be thoroughly cleaned before doing any kind of cooking on it so heat it up and burn off any residual food and then give it a firm brushing and finally wash it with a solution of Bicarbonate of soda that is safe if it is not all properly rinsed off.
2. All outdoor tables' needs to be properly washed down before placing any food on them because one never knows what fluffy little animals that may have had a picnic on the table before you.
3. If your table is tired and shabby looking just put a cheap and cheery oilcloth on it and place little clips on the side of it to prevent it being blown away
4. Also have a look around the BBQ area and give it a Spring clean pull up any unsightly weeds rake the gravel, wash the patio, and budget allowing place planters of flowers around the place.
5. If you have a serious party going on it is a good idea to mow the grass that day because the smell of freshly mown grass is the most sensous smell in the whole world.
6. Next ice plays an important role in any BBQ so it is vital that it comes from a reliable source I am so paranoid about ice that I rarely ever have it in drinks having got food poisoning from it once upon a time.
How to keep your beer cool:
Anyway you can use a chilly bin for the beer or if you don't have one just fill up buckets with ice or a babies bath (take the baby out first) with ice and put the cans of beer on top will keep all cool.
Don't complicate drink just serve Red and White wine and Beer.
7.It is best to keep all salads and food in fridge until almost ready to serve it.
8. Now this is very important: All cooked food in 1 area - All uncooked food in another area.
9. It is vital to have hand washing facilities on hand because it is a NO NO to touch cooked food after touching raw food.
11. You need 2 tongs on hand one for putting on raw food and the other for serving the cooked food.
12. Food must be thoroughly cooked through and through e.g burgers sausage chicken etc.
The exception to this are steaks and lamb chops because the bacteria in this meat is on the outside so it gets burned off immediately.
13. It is best if there are salads etc left over to chuck them out because they would have been hanging around for a while in the great outdoors.
14. Have a fine big bin with a strong plastic bag hidden away somewhere to chuck all the rubbish into.
15. Since it is outside I prefer to use fancy cheap plastic glasses so no risk of broken glass of course paper serviettes and no BBQ is complete without Tomato Ketchup.
16. Think flies and midgets and mosquitoes at dusk so use a fly repellent.
A very good natural fly repellent is pure vanilla essence it has to be the pure stuff just dilute it in a little water and rub it onto the bare skin.
Light citronella candles and place them around the table they are very effective at keeping said pests at bay as well as creating a lovely soft atmosphere.
You can also place lit tea lights in jam jars around the patio and garden and create a pattern with them cheap and easy.
17. Cool music the best of the 80s is always safe but I am sure Derek has great ideas about good music.
18. There is a big debate going on about BBQs themselves do you choose Gas or Charcoal ? the only advise I can give on that is charcoal is hotter but if you are purchasing a charcoal BBQ make sure it has vents in it.
Gas is very efficient and quick but it is essential to get one with a thermometer on it.
THE MENU: Mini Savoury Muffins
Butterflied Lavender Lamb
Spare ribs with Maple Syrup
Corn on the cob with chilli and lime
Banana Coriander salad
Gooseberry and Elderflower Fool
Cocktail Muffins (an alternative to your burger bun)
These little fellows are so easy to make and taste yummy and are perfect for serving burgers in instead of burger buns.
16 ozs self raising flour
3 ozs grated cheese
pinch of salt
½ pint of Milk
Preheat oven to 200 C
Oil the muffin tins or use paper liners
Mix all the dry ingredients together in 1 go until barely mixed
Add enough milk to make a pour able soft consistency
Fill into the muffin tins
Bake in hot oven 200 gas mark 6 for about 15 minutes
Tip out and cool on a wire rack
Butterflied Lavender leg of Lamb
1 leg of lamb butterflied (get friendly butcher to do it for you)
salt and pepper
tablespoon of fresh lavender
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon good quality honey
Mix all together
Rub over Lamb inside and out
Place on hot BBQ
Cook for 45 minutes approx. Turning once
Serve on a wooden slab with new potatoes and freshly chopped mint.
Spare ribs with Maple syrup
This is easy just marinade ribs in Maple Syrup and cook on BBQ
Corn on the cob with chili and lime
Allow 1/2 corn for each person.
pinch of chilli powder
knob of butter
Squeeze of lime
Oil a sheet of tin foil
rub the butter into the corn
Sprinkle lightly with chili powder
Place on tin foil
Cook on BBQ for about 20 minutes
Banana Coriander Salad
This is a brilliant to serve with BBQ dishes and great to serve with HOT dishes
1 carton natural yogurt
4 bananas cut into chunky pieces
2 cloves garlic
3 ozs chopped coconut
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander
Mix all the ingredients together and that is it!
Gooseberry and Elderflower Fool
1 lb green gooseberries
6 ozs icing sugar
4 ozs elderflower cordial
Cover the gooseberries with a little water and stew until soft.
Then add the icing sugar until the mixture is sweet enough for your taste
Add Elderflower cordial
Whip the cream
When the gooseberry puree has completely cooled add the softly whipped cream.
Serve in a large glass bowl decorated with lemon balm or some pretty rose petals