Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Summer Barbecue with Waitrose and John Lewis

barbecue recipe, Summer barbecue, John Lewis barbecue

The past 2 weeks was so hot we hardly wanted to eat anything apart from cold dishes like Vietnamese Style Chicken Glass Noodles. The only appealing food that's to do with cooking in front of a hot stove would be a barbecue! Right on time, John Lewis is holding a British barbecue competition for us to participate, where we are suppose to make a typical British main or dessert on the barbie and describe how we did it. To make it a bit easier for us, they have provided participants vouchers to shop for ingredients for the barbecue, which we spent at our local Waitrose, a fairly big branch that even have a good selection of John Lewis' products, including their barbecue range

barbecue recipe, Summer barbecue, John Lewis barbecue
Fruit Skewers

barbecue recipe, Summer barbecue, John Lewis barbecue
Ainsley Harriott's Raita

The recipe I had in mind was for a Caramelised Peach with Honey Eton Mess and Barbecue Chicken Parts with an Indonesian Twist, however, since I wasn't the one controlling the barbie, I have kind of lost control for the second part of my challenge! Competition aside, I still had fun thinking of barbecue recipes instead of the usual salad and marinated meat, and we still enjoyed our food.

We found out recently that there are many British who doesn't cook a lot of meat for barbecues, which is very different from what our perception of barbecue is. I'm not sure about the rest of the World, but in South East Asia including Mongolia and Korea, and Brazil, barbecue is all about the meat. And we are talking about a big variety of meat as well, chicken wings, chicken parts (they are juicier, which makes them more suitable for a barbecue than chicken breast, which dries up easily), pork, beef, lamb, fish, etc, is all on the menu, depending on how many people we have. Even if it's just us, we would always cook more for the next two days, to make all the effort of setting up a barbie worthwhile.

Anyway. At the end, apart from the Eton Mess that we didn't manage to make, we had:

Salad with Thousand Island Sauce
- Mix any kind of salad (ideally salad with crunchy vegetables and even apples) with ketchup and mayonaise. Adjust the amount of ketchup and mayonnaise to your liking

Vegetable Skewers
- Marinate mushrooms, courgettes and tomatoes in olive oil, ground or fresh chopped basil, salt and pepper and skewer similar sized ones together for even cooking

Ainsley Harriott's Raita
- His website is down at the moment, so I'll just do a quick mention about the recipe
- Grind half a cucumber into a bowl and drain it's juice completely (for a drink perhaps), add in diced tomatoes and a smashed clove of garlic, then add 2 tablespoon of Greek yogurt and season to taste, then keep it chilled until ready to serve


Dutch Beef Burgers
- Simply add 1 tablespoon of All Spice (not Mixed Spice), an egg, a good amount of salt, a touch of pepper and 1 tablespoon of dried bread crumbs (I use a slice of crackerbread as my mum taught me) to 500g of minced beef (lean for frying at home, but fatty ones is better on the barbie), mix well and form into burger patties

Chinese Roast Pork - Char Siu
Approx 800g Pork Shoulder Steaks (4-6 slices)
2 big dollops of Lee Kam Kee Char Siu Sauce
30g Sugar
5g Salt
5g Chicken Stock Powder
10ml Rose Wine/ Lychee Liqueur/ Rose Water mixed with Rice Wine
Honey glaze

- Marinate the pork shoulders for 45 mins to 1 hour (meat will start to harden after an hour), barbecue and glaze with honey on each side. Cook for another 2 minutes on each side (if the fire lets you)

Satay Chicken (Spicy)
- Marinate chicken parts with Jimmy Satay Sauce (can be bought from all good Chinese grocery stores), glaze with honey towards the end of cooking
- This doesn't require a long marination time

Indonesian Style Chicken
- This has received compliments from our local neighbours. It does not taste like curry at all, although the ingredients might say otherwise. The marination is a dry rub, so fat and skin from the meat plays an important part here

5-8 Chicken thighs and/ or legs, cut a = mark with a knife on the skin so the marination can reach the meat as well
2-3 Bay Leaves, crushed
2 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Turmeric (this will cause yellowing on plastic and wood, and temporary on the fingers)
1tsp Ground Coriander (Ground is preferred in this recipe as it gives a specific fragrance that fresh ones doesn't give)
Season with salt and white pepper
Ground Parsley for the look
Optional Honey Glaze

- Ideally marinate overnight

Chinese Shao Shing Wine Soya Sauce Chicken
Approx 5 Chicken Parts
1-1.5tsp of Shao Shing Wine
2Tbsp Light Soya Sauce
1Tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
2tsp Sesame Oil
2tsp Sugar
Season with Salt and white pepper
Ground Parsley for the look, or finely chopped Spring Onions for the additional taste
Honey Glaze recommended

- Ideally marinate overnight

Corn on the Cobs

Fruit Skewers
- Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve, or for a really hot day, freeze them

barbecue recipe, Summer barbecue, John Lewis barbecue

barbecue recipe, Summer barbecue, John Lewis barbecue

barbecue recipe, Summer barbecue, John Lewis barbecue

Apologies for the lack of images, I would have loved to include some pre-cooking images but because I literally add the seasoning to the meat in bags and knead them for marination, they are hardly great for pictures! By the time hubby started cooking, I was really tired from a whole day of preparation (we had guests) and I just wanted to sit and chill.

I do strongly recommend the Indonesian Style Chicken for you to try, it's my own recipe adapted from my mum's for an Indonesian Chicken Glutinous Rice Dumpling (Lempur), and it's not something you'll find in any restaurant in the UK. Our neighbours loved it and have even asked for the recipe, so hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as they did!

Disclosure: We were subsidised by John Lewis for the barbecue and this is my entry to their British Barbecue Competition; all opinions are honest and our own