"Summertime, and the living is easy." It’s the start of August, and the weather is typical for Mayo, but you have to take advantage of the slightest good day and having a barbecue is a great way to meet up with a few friends. Why not invite a few neighbours and friends around this weekend, take the barbecue out from the shed and have a bit of a party?
Here’s a very easy recipe to get the party started.
Barbecued baked sweet potatoes with scallions and yoghurt
You can use ordinary baking potatoes for this recipe, but sweet potatoes make a lovely change.
8 medium sweet potatoes
4 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp natural yogurt
1 scallion, chopped
Rub each potato with a little oil and salt, then wrap in a double layer of foil. As soon as the barbecue coals are glowing red, put the potatoes directly on them. Cook for 15 minutes, turn with tongs, then cook for 15 minutes more. Remove one, unwrap and check it is cooked through.
Peel back the top of the foil from each potato, split open and top with a spoonful of yoghurt and a few bits of scallion. Kids and adults will love these barbequed spuds with a difference, and they are just so easy to cook.
When it comes to the barbecue, burgers are an essential dish and home-made burgers are even more delicious, so here's my recipe for home-made burgers.
2.5kg minced beef
2 tsps mustard
2 tsps ketchup
1 onion finely diced
1 garlic clove minced
2 tsps mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
OK, this is simple to prepare, basically you mix all the ingredients together and divide the mixture into about 16 even size balls. Press down on each ball to make a burger, and then put them in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
Get your barbecue to a nice medium heat and cook the burgers over the coals for about five minutes on each side, ensuring that they are cooked through; alternatively you can first cook them in an oven for seven to eight minutes and finish them on the barbecue. Serve with slices of cheese, lettuce, ketchup and whatever you like to put on your burger. You do the cooking and let your guests make their own burgers.
Glazed Cajun salmon
This is another favourite of mine for all the fish lovers out there and also a really simple and delicious recipe.
8 salmon fillets
This is a fast and tasty fishy treat. Try to leave a bit of space on the barbecue only for the fish as you don’t want your burgers tasting fishy.
Mix the butter, Cajun spice and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the salmon fillets and make sure that they are fully covered with the glaze and put them straight onto the Barbeque. Cook for about three minutes, flip them over with a fish slice, and another three minutes should have them perfectly cooked, depending on the thickness. Serve with a nice bit of salad or savoury rice and a cold beer.
This is another classic dish for the barbecue and once again is very simple to make.
8 boneless chicken breasts
4 tsps Cajun spice
2 tsps soy Sauce
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
16 button mushrooms
Another simple dish, dice each chicken breast into 10 pieces each. Mix the chicken pieces with the Cajun spice and the soy sauce and leave them to marinade for at least an hour. Dice the onions and peppers and soak 16 wooden skewers in water, which prevents them from burning on a barbecue.
Then simply thread the chicken and vegetables alternately on the skewers. Cook over a gentle barbecue heat, or in the oven as well if you like, and serve with warm flour tortillas and mixed salads.
A barbecued sausage is hard to beat, and easy burger and skewer recipes are a nice way to do your own thing with very little effort. Keep it simple, make sure that all the food is fully cooked and enjoy. We don’t get many sunny days here in Mayo, so we should take advantage when we can.
If you would like a real recipe that’s tried and tested by a real chef, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] and I will do my best to accommodate you. Talk to you all next week.