It’s the time of the year to get together with your fave peeps & bond over a barbeque meal!
Whether it’s bumbling gossip over hot toddies with family members you love or catching up with school buddies you never see anymore, a hot grill with delish food can go a long way towards making the coming chilly days a lot warmer. And if you love food, we love you, so whether you’re a veggie-freak or a meat maniac, we’ve put together the checklist of all things to prep for before a literal night out on the town. Go by these cues and have your friends, family, and foes wondering “How does (s)he do it?”
Calling All Veggies
Power up the evening with simple veggies which you can dress up any way you want. The most versatile & healthiest of the lot include portobello mushrooms, onions & zucchinis. Add some colour to your evening with red & yellow bell peppers plus cherry tomatoes. Sweet potatoes are magical after a few minutes on the fire & of course the original potato of BBQ night: the jacket potato wrapped in foil. The humble yet quirky asparagus adds zing & you’ll be surprised at the makeover it gets after a lil’ grilling. Another unexpected grill veggie is the mighty kale. This superfood can turn into a party dish once it’s blanched & popped on the grill. And the green team scores!
Stevie’s Tip: Lightly brush your veggies with olive oil before they head to the grill so you don’t have any drips.
Sweet On Meat
We’re in for one meaty BBQ season & the possibilities are making us dizzy. From pork belly & lobster to mackerel & quail, it’s time to fire up the grill & put on our marinade best as we line up the simplest, most delish ways to go about it. From burgers & sausages to good ol’ chops, we have all the options to help you get creative. We also hit the motherload of meat grilling know-hows when we hit up Chef Meherwan Bawa, BBQ king & founder of gourmet meat delivery shop Artisan Meats for his recommendations.
Poultry: Get your party in the groove with some chicken burgers. With whole wheat buns, lettuce, tomatoes & bacon, a worthy BLT will be ready in jiffy. If you want to go more American, grab a couple of sausages & Dijon mustard & have soul-satisfying hot dogs ready to be devoured. If you’re using boneless chicken breasts, pound the thick ends for a few minutes to make them thinner, this not only reduces cooking time but also cooks the meat more evenly. Once your chicken is ready, never place it on the same platter as the raw chicken- cross contamination alert! Always clean the raw chicken platter once you’ve transferred the pieces onto the grill to avoid this.
Quails & duck breasts might be new to our cooking repertoire, but they’re hardly tough to cook. Quails go best with a bacon or pancetta filling with fresh sage, and duck breasts work best with a plum or orange-y sauce. If you can make a bone broth reduction of any leftover duck bones, kudos to you!
Red Meat: If you’re a puritan when it comes to your meat you can source some pork belly, pre-cook it a bit & pop it on a grill for the big finish. If chops are more your thing, choose between lamb & pork. Chef Bawa recommends a red wine with Dijon mustard & rosemary marinade for the lamb chops. The pork chops go best with a red wine mix of apple juice & rosemary. Remember you’ll need to marinate the pork chops for at least six hours and the lamb for twelve.
Seafood: Pescetarians, we haven’t forgotten about you! Lobsters & prawns are superb on the grill with a light dressing. A sturdy fish like mackerel or a full pomfret will hold best on the grill in Bawa’s opinion. The recommended marinade is garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt & white wine. As he says, and we agree, with seafood, the simpler the better.
Artisan Meats stocks most of the meat mentioned here & they deliver within Delhi, Noida & Gurgaon. You can order by calling 96500 64343 or 96500 82424. Lion Fresh stocks seafood along with regular food & delivers with Delhi, Noida & Gurgaon. You can call them at 1800 2701285.
Stevie’s Tip: We know you have quite a collection of sauces, now don’t be shy, even we’re nerdy that way. Bring out the ranch, good ol’ JD barbecue sauce, jalapeno, habanero & tabascos you have stocked in your fridge. These will surprise you by rivalling your bar lineup so bottle up & chow down.
Fruity Nutty Quickies
Fruity fun awaits you when it’s the dessert hour of the evening. Here are some innovative ways for you to whip up the last meal of the evening with a little sweet & a whole lot fruit. Gather up your fruit baskets & freshen up that grill. The toasty meals in store will convert you into a BBQ dessert master in no time.
Apples can be thickly sliced, brushed with butter & grilled for a few minutes on either side. Drizzle them with honey & cinnamon and you’re ready with a cracker of a dish in minutes. You can use the same basic sauce to dress pineapple slices & deseeded pear halves, basting them before or after. We have a special place in our tummies for banana foil packets where you can pop in cherries & add on nutella or peanut butter to the grilled fruit when done. We also recommend a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream for a happy happy ending.
Stevie’s Tip: Don’t just save the fruits for last, start ‘em up at the beginning of the night as they make delightful accompaniments to meat and vegetables.
So round up your grilling equipment – foils, skewers & basting brushes. Prep your fruits & veggies, tenderise the meats, baste the fish & get your marinades going. With food love flowing here & an entire BBQ season to go, we’re already taking notes. It is, after all, one of the best things about the city. Food tastes better, the music is groovier, the rum hits more & cooking gets an outdoorsy edge. We can’t wait to have the first BBQ of the season. And you?
BBQ fans, celebrate the World Barbeque Festival at the Delhi Cook-Out from 9-11 December 2016 at DLF Place, Saket.
Featured Image Courtesy: prima.co.uk