Here comes the sun…

Sunshine!

What does this call for? Sunburn? No, not that. Barbeque!

I love my food, as you probably know by now, but the sun just makes things so much more exciting. Eating al fresco even when the sun’s gone over the rooftops is a lovely summer experience here in England. You have to make the most of it when you can.

I make quiches and salsas, my Mam’s famous potato salad with a tiwst, we get the coals going and then we throw on what ever meat we can scrounge up. That’s our flaw, it’s only meat OH deams fit for the BBQ. We need to start on the veg. There always has to be the staple of BBQ ribs, a burger or two, some flavoured sausages and I would very much like to try fish on the coals.

So I’ve found a few recipes here that we’ll try in the coming weeks…

Ribs,

Easy peasy bit of greenery here… Asparagus (heaven)

I make a mean cold salsa and it’s the easiest, tastiest side for chicken or fish. Here’s the recipe. I’ll just let you know, I make a BIG batch.

Garlicky Salsa.

1 packet vine ripe tomatoes (8-10 chicken-egg sized tomatoes on average),

1-2 small red onions,

1 nice big clove of garlic (or 2 if you really want to knock your socks off, remember the flavour will mellow the longer the salsa marinades)

2-3 table spoons of good quality olive oil (or, as it goes on last, enough to make your mix wet and a little sloppy)

1 level teaspoon sea salt,

1 level teaspoon rosemary,

First, very finely dice the red onion. Do the same to the tomatoes. The smaller the pieces are the further the mix goes and if the salsa is chopped smaller it’ll fit better in burgers!

So, with the veg diced add the garlic. I like to slice this into seriously thin slices rather than chopping up into teeny tiny gritty little pieces. I dunno, I genuinely believe it tastes better. I NEVER press/crush garlic. I think to crush garlic this way is extremely disrespectful.

The Sea Salt and Rosemary need to be ground together in a pestle and mortar to combine the flavours and let the salt pick up the residual oils from the rosemary. Sprinkle this onto tomato, onion and garlic mix.

Lastly, pour over your olive oil and mix.

Leave over night or make the day before for best results. The flavours combine into a much more harmonious taste when left to marinate in the fridge.

So, now we need some veg skewers. Simples again. Get any of your favourite what I like to call ‘soft’ veg- Aubergines, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, small onions/shallots, mushrooms, even par-boiled salad potatoes and shove them on a pre-soaked wooden or metal skewer. Brush lightly with oil throughout the BBQ’ing and hey presto, another accompaniment!

I also like to do my Mam’s version of potato salad. You know by now I don’t really do ‘proper’ measurements and we ALWAYS make BIG portions! Here’s her recipe…

Mam’s Potato Salad

1 small bag salad or new potatoes,

3 medium chicken eggs/8 quail eggs or 2 duck eggs (depending on what you have available)

1 medium german or other soft sausage (anything fairly mild or even smoked but it must be soft not dried like salami or churizo)

1 small red onion,

3-4 generous tablespoons of Mayo,

2-3 teaspoons of mustard (either normal English or milder wholegrain)

So, boil the potatoes until they are just going soft. There is a huge cooking time difference between cooked and overcooked and there are many points in between.

In our house ‘Bite’ is an only-just cooked potato (stab with a sharp knife and try to feel how easy the knife goes in, this helps you to know at what point your veg is at) and ‘Soft’ is the point a couple of minutes before the potato falls to bits in the boiling water. For this recipe, we want them Soft.

You can also boil the eggs in the potato pan and pull them out at th soft-boiled stage. Run under cold water or immerse in a bowl of ice cubes to stop the cooking process.

Chop up potatoes and eggs and throw in a bowl together. Slice or cube the soft sausage and throw that in too. I mix everything in the serving bowl so I don’t have a million pots to wash at the end of the night.

Finely dice your red onion and hoy that in the bowl too and then pop your mayo and mustard measurements on top and mix the heck out of it. Don’t worry if your potatoes smoosh a little, they’ll soak up all the flavours better that way.

Eat while the potatoes are still warm (our preferred method) or chill in the fridge.

So, enjoy my recipes and enjoy trying out some I haven’t even tried yet. Most importantly, have fun in the sun and stay safe 🙂

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