When summer’s in full swing we all want to spend as much time as possible outdoors – mealtimes included! If the allure of the garden is just too much, why not free yourself from the kitchen? Don’t just stick to sausages and salad though – with the right barbecue anyone can rustle up a vast repertoire of creative dishes.
Barbecues have come a long way in recent years and, with the option of charcoal or gas, allow you to cook just about anything you would indoors. Often featuring clever touches like built-in thermometers and precision heat settings, they offer more control than ever, removing any guesswork and ensuring your barbecued fare is cooked to perfection.
We’d all rather be outside with friends and family while we cook and you can keep things interesting with garden haute cuisine that goes way beyond plain baked spuds and hotdogs. Food never tastes better than when barbecued – we’d always choose a chargrilled, flame-licked steak over a grilled one – but you can cook so much more… How about a fresh, crusty loaf or a home-made pizza with a crisp, light base, a healthy, flavourful stir-fry or even chocolate-laden crêpes for afters? All possible with the right barbecue accessories!
To fire the imagination, we’ve suggested a few recipes to add to your repertoire and make garden gatherings much more memorable. Happy cooking!
Rocket, Pear & Stilton Pizza
What you need
- 650g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp easy-blend dried yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 25ml olive oil, plus extra to grease
- 375ml warm water
- 100g rocket, plus extra to garnish
- 2 Conference pears, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
- 200g Stilton, crumbled or thinly sliced
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
What you do
1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Add the oil to the warm water then gradually add to the flour, mixing well to form a soft dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and allow to rise for about 1½ hours until doubled in size.
3. Divide the dough in half and roll each portion out to a 30cm round. Heat the pizza stone on the barbecue then place one pizza base on top. Add half the rocket, pear and Stilton, drizzle over half the oil and sprinkle with a little black pepper then barbecue for 12-15 minutes until the base is crisp, the rocket has wilted and the cheese melted. Garnish with a little rocket and serve, then repeat with the second pizza.
Tip: The dough can be frozen after the first rising then defrosted, rolled out and used as above.
What you need
- 50g butter
- 1 red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 langoustines, whole, or split in half lengthways if preferred
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
What you do
- Place the butter, chilli, lime zest and juice, coriander and garlic in a small ovenproof dish or heatproof jug, season and place on the barbecue until the butter has melted.
- Place the langoustines in a plastic bag, add the oil and shake well to coat. Remove from the bag and barbecue, turning once after 2 minutes – they should only take 3-4 minutes to turn pink and cook fully. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with the chilli and lime butter and serve.