Barbecue Recipes - Before You Begin
When entertaining outdoors you need some scrumptious barbecue recipes. On a lovely summers day what could be nicer than to eat outside? The barbecue comes into its own in the good weather, the smell of food sizzling on the barbecue is very appetizing, so make the most of your barbecue with the following recipes, scroll down to click on the page you want, but first some tips before you begin.
About Chicken and Poultry
Chicken is great for the barbecue as the skin helps to keep the flesh succulent and the skin turns lovely and crispy, however you can still enjoy delicious skinned chicken by marinading the chicken portions before hand. Make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly by testing with a skewer in the thickest part, the juices should run clear when the meat is cooked. In order to avoid charred skins and raw centers cook the chicken over coals which are not too hot. Have the rack about 10cm/4 ins. above the coals. If you need to reduce the temperature, raise the rack or spread out the coals, but if the coals are not hot enough, the chicken will take too long to cook and will dry out, so it is about trial and error but you will soon get the hang of it!
Poultry is so versatile that it can be cooked a mumber of ways on the barbecue, try it with herbs and garlic, tangy tomato glazes or spicy oriental flavours. It also goes well with sweet glazes and fruit.
Turkey can be a little dry so you need to baste frequently with a glaze or marinade. Duckling has a stronger flavour and more fat than chicken and turkey and is a good choice for the barbecue. Larger joints of poultry can be partially cooked in the oven or microwave and finished on the barbecue.
Meat is of course a favourite for the barbecue with even the simplest chop tasting wonderful when cooked over hot coals. By adding marinades or bastes to the barbecue recipes the meal is even more appetizing. You can experiment with barbecue recipes by using any marinades or baste you like with different cuts or types of meat.
When having an impromptu barbecue choose a recipe with a baste, but if time permits marinading meat not only adds flavour but helps to ensure that the meat is tender. Trim any excess fat from the meat so that it does not drip onto the coals, causing them to flare up. You may like to keep a water spray handy just in case.
Lamb and beef can be served pink in the centre, but make sure that pork is cooked thoroughly and test it with a skewer to see if the juices run clear.
About Fish and Seafood
Fish is another popular barbecue recipe idea and oily fish is especially suitable because the flesh doesn't dry out over the direct heat. White fish needs a bast or marinade if is cooked directly over the coals, but smaller fish can be cooked whole because the skin keeps in all the wonderful juices and acts as a natural protective coating. Barbecue fish steaks with a marinade or baste direct on the rack.
Fish needs to be firm fleshed for the barbecue or it may break up and drop on the coals when you try to turn it, but the use of a hinged rack will make the job a lot easier. You will need to choose a firm fish such as monkfish or swordfish for skewers, and wrap more delicate fish in kitchen foil so that it cooks in its own juices.
Seafood is great for an impromptu barbecue as it is quick to cook and doesn't need to be marinaded for long. Prawn (shrimp) skewers for example can be made and cooked in minutes.
About Vegetables and Salads
Vegetarians don't have to feel left out of a barbecue as many vegetable recipes work well on it. You can cook vegetables whole, sliced on skewers or in parcels for main dishes and tasty side dishes. Potatoes are of course very versatile and can be cooked many different ways on the barbecue, are filling and always welcome as an accompaniment to any dish. Salads are ideal to accompany a barbecue and many make great starters as well. They can be prepared well in advance leaving you time to concentrate on the main part of the meal
Desserts recipes can be cooked on the barbecue too and many can be prepared in advance and left over cooling coals to cook to perfection. A barbecue recipe using fruit is always a good choice after a filling main course. Serve it with ice cream, yoghurt or cream. For a sweet ending to a meal try threading some marshmallows on to skewers and hold them above the warm coals until just softened, delicious!
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