Weekly Meal Plan #13: Barbecue Bites
‘Tis the season where practically everything tastes better cooked on the barbecue, so this week I thought I’d share with you five delicious dishes you can cook on the barbecue for dinner. Add a green salad, and perhaps throw some halved, seasoned and extra virgin olive oil brushed courgettes and peppers, or similarly prepared mushroom or cherry tomato skewers on the barbecue with them to make it a meal. I love making garlic bread out of stale slices from a sourdough loaf by simply brushing them with garlic infused extra virgin (I get mine from my complimentary Pomora subscription) then grilling it until you get charred lines from the grill.
This is our family’s go-to barbecue chicken recipe. Originally adapted from an old diet book, these chicken thighs get delicious, smoky and tender on the grill and you can probably already find all of the marinade ingredients in the cupboard already. We usually serve this with brown rice (nice with a little soy sauce sprinkled over) and a green salad, sometimes switching out the rice for a barbecued veggie mountain!
Along with chicken in almost every form, prawns are my favourite thing to cook on the barbecue because they both cook so quickly, and they are so easy to cook perfectly as you’re literally watching them change colour as you grill! This is probably the easiest marinade for them on the planet, just pesto out of a jar. It is well worth making the green salad to go with; either serve everything with grilled bread and veggies on the side so everyone can help themselves, or in bowls, with the grilled prawns pushed off their skewers over the salad.
Wednesday: Barbecue Turmeric Chicken Thighs
Adapted (read: made barbecue friendly) from Nigella Lawson’s Simply Nigella, this recipe is how to make fresh, bright Indian food on the barbecue. This is another one I serve over a bed of brown rice, with some Indian style veggies – I’m partial to the spicy peppers and carrots in my recipe for Honey Spiced Chicken with Indian-style Veggies. You’ll know that something is missing if you don’t squeeze fresh lime juice generously over the chicken the moment you remove it from the grill – it really is the best way to eat it!
Thursday: Giant Barbecue Cajun Shrimp
It is time to celebrate the fact it is almost the end of the week by getting your hands dirty. Build a meal around these shrimp that involves no cutlery, and just be sure to have some nice cold beers (it is nearly Friday), lots of kitchen paper, and some finger bowls full of warm water spiked with fresh lemon slices to hand. Serve raw veggies cut into bite sized pieces you can just pick up drizzled with my Skinny Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, and cook some corn on the cob along with the shrimp on the barbecue, perhaps making it into dirty corn by slathering the cooked corn in mayo, sprinkled with smoked paprika and grated parmesan,
Something a bit fancier to ring in the weekend, a barbecue dish we often make when we have people coming over (children love them): our Barbecue Chicken, Bacon & Honey Mustard Skewers. Get everyone involved after work putting them together in a production line of bacon wrapping and skewering while someone else is given the task of lighting the barbecue, and on the side use Friday night (before the dreaded Saturday morning food shop) and an opportunity to find any leftover veggies lurking at the bottom of the fridge to throw onto the grill alongside. Slightly wilted lettuce wedges or baby gem halves are beautiful, slightly charred then dressed as usual.
Instead of my usual ‘ideas for the weekend’ segment at the bottom of each of my Weekly Meal Plans, instead this week three suggestions for desserts that are delicious made on the barbecue in the dying heat once the main meal has been cooked: ‘Smores Barbecue Bananas, Roasted Nectarines with Amaretto & Vanilla Ice Cream, Barbecue Pineapple with Rum, Chilli and Coriander.