Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Summer BBQ Sizzlers

Hello Food Lovers,

As I write this piece I am looking outside my Parisian window thinking someone must have forgotten to turn the summer button on. The blasting sound of thunder and torrential rains are a brutal reminder that planning an outdoor meal in the middle of summer  is hardly ever possible in northern Europe. Having said that, last weekend was quite exceptional so needless to say, we got our BBQ gear on and grilled away until sunset. For the meat, we had a selection of exquisite pork sausages, chicken hearts on skewers and last but not least (and my all time favourite), a huge piece of Picanha, a Brazilian delicacy. Picanha is the rump-cap of the beef and is also considered one of the best cuts of beef in South America. It is so tender and juicy, you'll never want to have it any other way.
To complement the meal, we also made a few vegetarian dishes on the side: grilled halloumi and peppers on skewers, a chunky potato mash and a pasta salad.

For the meat lovers....


Grilled Halloumi Skewers

Pasta Salad with fresh mint, olives and feta.

Chunky Potato Mash
Chunky Potato Mash (serves 6-8)

1kg new potato
1 bunch fresh parsley
100g pine nuts

For the sauce:
5 tbsp tahini
5 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tsp  pomegranate molasses
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 lemons (squeezed)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Put the potatoes to boil in a large pot of water. While the potatoes are cooking, grill the pine nuts in a pan on medium heat with a small nob of butter. Chop the parsley finely and set aside. In a bowl, place the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice, crushed garlic, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper and mix together. Keep stirring and slowly add water until you get a smooth consistency. The potatoes will absorb a lot of the sauce so make sure you add enough water to keep the mash moist. Once the potatoes are cooked, place into a serving bowl and gently mash. Add the sauce and mix together, then add the chopped parsley and pine nuts on top.
Optional: if eating outside on a hot day, refrigerate for an hour before serving.