I have only had one barbecue this summer the weather has been so bad, but I live in hope and look forward to many before the summer ends. When I am having a barbecue I try and do something a little different.
I stay away from the Grilettes and burgers coated in unknown spices and sticky cooking sauces. Generally what I do is decide on a meat or fish and stick with it and serve up a selection of salads or vegetables that suits. I find it easier to decide on one meat or fish instead of a whole load of bits of meat that all end up tasting the same. So here are some very easy recipes for a nice selection of fish, fresh sardines, fillet of salmon, fresh tuna and of course a few prawns. Putting fish on the barbecue is a great way of using up fish which you might have in your freezer. By putting a marinade on it you bring it back to life and loose that freezer taste, which can take over from the fish.
Sticky Hoisin Tuna
Tuna is such a meaty fish, it works brilliantly on the barbecue – just add a little tasty sauce. Be carefully not to over cook it as well-done tuna becomes try.
6tbsp hoisin sauce
2tbsp soy sauce
2tsp sesame oil
4 sustainably-caught tuna steaks
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and coat the tuna well. Marinate for at least an hour, or up to over night. When ready to serve, remove the tuna from the marinade and shake off the excess. Cook on the barbecue for 3 minutes on each side, which will give you medium-rare. Serve with green vegetables, with soy and toasted sesame seeds scattered over.
Char-grilled Sardines with Lemon and Sea Salt
There’s no point dressing up sardines, as they simple don’t need it. They need to be spankingly fresh – bright-eyed and not smelling of fish
Oil, to coat
Wedges of lemon
Wash and gut the sardines. If you’re not squeamish, it’s easy to do with your fingers as it is with a knife, as the flesh is so soft. Dry the fish, the toss them in olive oil. Put them onto an oiled fish grill, scatter with salt, then grill for 1 or 2 minutes on each side. Serve with wedges of lemon.
Thai Coconut Salmon
As salmon is quite a rich taste, this Thai-style method helps to cut through the richness – and it’s so simple.
2x200ml cartons coconut cream
2tbsp red Thai curry paste
4 salmon fillets
Lime wedges, to serve
Mix the coconut cream and the curry paste together and use to coat the salmon fillets. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight. When ready to cook, remove the salmon from the marinade and shake off the excess. Heat the barbecue and then cook on a hot plate or in a fish grill for about 10 minutes, turning once, or in a frying pan for the same length of time. Transfer the marinade to a saucepan and heat through until bubbling. Serve the marinade spooned over the salmon, with lime wedges on the side.
Piri-piri King Prawns
Prawns are a great choice for alfresco eating, and these are prefect eaten with a cold beer and some chunky bread.
1 large red pepper
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1tbsp olive oil
2 red chillies, deseeded
1 large garlic clove
1lb 12oz/800g raw king prawns
Lime wedges, to serve
Heat the oven to 220°C, 200 C fan, 425 F, gas 7. Place the red pepper whole on a baking tray and cook for about 30 minutes, until the skin is blackened and the pepper is collapsing. Put the pepper in a bowl and cover tightly with clingflim, then leave for about 15minutes until the pepper is cooled enough to handle. Peel the skin away and remove the seeds, then place with all the other marinade ingredients and pulse until smooth.toss the prawns in the marinade to coat, cover and chill for 15minutes. When ready to cook, heat a frying pan or barbecue hot plate until very hot and cook the prawns with the marinade and a good sprinkling of sea salt for a couple of minutes, until they are pink all the way through. Serve immediately with lime wedges and chunky bread to mop up the sauce.