Fine dining al fresco

Outdoor food is one of my favorite things. How many times have you heard people say, doesn’t food taste so good out in the open. It was something that I did not pay much attention to while I was growing up. But the memory of the flavour has never left me.

Outdoor food is one of my favorite things. How many times have you heard people say, doesn’t food taste so good out in the open. It was something that I did not pay much attention to while I was growing up. But the memory of the flavour has never left me.

I am not talking about fancy barbequed food, no, I am talking about tomato sandwiches eaten on the bog, ripe tomatoes’ stuffed into batch bread along with scallions and fresh lettuce from the garden, it doesn’t matter if the are soggy that’s part of the beauty. Best of all had to be the sugar sandwiches, yes sugar on bread and butter, beats any biscuit. What an amazing taste and I am sure it was the open air that had the effect on the taste. Outdoor food in any shape or form is just wonderful. So here are some recipes to be enjoyed outdoors.

Real Burgers

12oz Minced beef/turkey

4oz Sausage meat

3tbsp Dried breadcrumbs

Salt/pepper

Oil to fry

Burger buns

Mix the meats of choice together in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper. Roll the mix into 6 or 8 balls and then flatten. Oil the burgers with some oil, also oil the bars of the barbecue. Grill the burgers for 2/3 minutes, on each side then if you can turn down the heat and continue to cook till they are well done. Serve in toasted buns with all the extras. (Dried breadcrumbs can be bought in the supermarkets, the are handy to have in your store cupboard)

Salmon Burgers

1lb Fresh salmon, skin removed and chopped up very fine. (Ask the fish monger to do this)

4tbsp Chopped fresh dill

1tbsp Grated fresh ginger

2tsp French mustard

2tbs Mayonnaise

4tbsp Dried breadcrumbs

Salt/pepper

1 Egg white

Stir the ginger, mustard, dill and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Add in the salmon, breadcrumbs and the egg white, mix it all up well. Season with salt and pepper. Mould into 4/6 even patties and chill till ready to fry them. Lightly oil the burgers and fry for 3 minutes on each side, I often use these as fish cakes and fry on the pan, but the do work well on the barbecue.

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli.

2tbsp Olive oil

2 Crushed cloves of garlic

1 jar Roasted red peppers

8oz Jar of mayonnaise

Salt/pepper

Juice half a lemon

1 Small chopped onion

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add inn the peppers and fry for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a food processor and blitz till you have a nice pink paste allow to cool. Add enough mayonnaise to make a thick beautiful sauce, and then stir in the crushed garlic.

This is a nice dip or sauce to use with your food.

Warm Honey Cake With Summer Berries.

1lb Fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

2 Limes, zest and juice

2tbsp Icing sugar

12oz Self raising flour

3oz Butter

4oz Castor sugar

4oz Honey

250ml Coconut milk

1 Egg

2 Chopped fresh peaches

2oz Brown sugar

Mix the strawberries with the icing sugar and lime juice and zest, place in the fridge. Lightly oil two 22 x 15 x 3 cm foil trays.

Place the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub them together. Stir in the sugar, honey, coconut milk and egg and mix well. Divide the mix between the two tin foil trays sprinkle the chopped peaches on top along with the brown sugar.

Bake the cake on the top of a cooled down barbecue for about 30 minutes till well risen. Trust me its one of those things that works, but if you wish place it in the oven at 170c for 30 minutes till cooked .But do try it on the coals. I usually put it on when I am finished frying everything. Serve it up with the strawberries and some ice cream.