food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘barbecue

roast duck

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Roasting a duck is not really as daunting as it seems. This Chinese-style roast duck is best cooked on a charcoal barbecue.

Clean the duck, remove the wing tips and any lumps of fat from inside the cavity and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub salt over the entire duck (about 2 teaspoons) and tie the neck tightly with string. Roughly chop 2-3 spring onions, 1-2 cloves of garlic and an equal amount of fresh ginger.  In a small bowl combine ¼ of a cup of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dark soy, 2 teaspoons of five-spice powder and 1 tablespoon of honey  (if you need to liquefy the honey heat it briefly in a microwave). Stir well to combine the ingredients and brush the mixture all over the duck, brushing some into the cavity as well. Place the spring onion, garlic and ginger into the cavity and seal the duck by sewing or securing tightly with skewers. When you’re ready to cook place a disposable aluminium roasting pan under where the duck will cook to avoid flare-ups from the dripping duck fat. Regulate the temperature to approximately 160ºC (325°F). If you’re cooking with charcoal you can add 2 – 3 chunks of smoking wood. Allow the duck to roast for approximately 2½ hours until the skin is golden brown and crispy and the internal temperature of the breast has reached 74ºC (165°F). Serve chopped into pieces with hoisin sauce (diluted with a little water) and chilli oil.  



Written by michelle picker

April 17, 2019 at 12:28 am

Posted in poultry & game

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tomahawk steak

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Fifi turned up with this enormous steak for a barbecue dinner. We rose to the challenge and produced a melt-in-the mouth medium/rare steak with just enough char and smoke.

The steak was marinated in soya sauce, mirin and garlic for about an hour, or the time it took to get the fire going and the charcoal ready. We used the reverse sear method – we placed the steak on the grill as far away from the charcoal as possible and cooked it very slowly. The steak was turned only once and when it had some good colour but still felt quite rare, we placed it directly over the hot coals, cooking each side until it looked and felt perfect. And it was!

Written by michelle picker

March 27, 2019 at 12:05 am

Posted in meat

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ribeye with mushroom sauce

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For you meat-lovers out there.

We brined this steak with leftover dill pickle brine. This can be from store-bought pickles or home-made. The pickle brine not only salts the meat but imparts some delicious flavour. Marinate for at least a few hours. Brush the steak with oil and cook it on the barbecue, not directly on the heat, until it’s done to your liking – you can do this by feel or with a thermometer. Rest the steak before cutting across the grain to serve.

To make the mushroom sauce use tasty mushrooms such as Swiss Browns. Finely dice a brown shallot and fry in some butter and oil until translucent. Add sliced mushrooms (more than you think you need), a sprig or 2 of fresh thyme, a sprinkling of porcini powder (an invaluable pantry ingredient to boost mushroom flavour and add umami) and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook slowly until the mushrooms are quite reduced in size then add red wine and rich beef stock. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the the sauce is reduced by up to half. Adjust the seasoning, add some butter and add cream or sour cream to taste.


Written by michelle picker

July 18, 2018 at 12:16 am

miso grilled tofu and vegetables

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Here’s a lovely way to eat tofu and should appeal to both vegetarians and omnivores.

You will need a firm tofu for this meal. For the vegetables I used butternut pumpkin (squash), zucchini (courgettes) and whole Swiss brown mushrooms but the choice of vegetables is flexible as long as they keep their shape reasonably well. Combine white miso paste with some sesame oil, a little brown sugar and enough water to make a paste which is thin enough to spread and thick enough to stick. The amount of ingredients here are flexible as miso paste varies quite a lot and you must taste this mixture to make sure it’s not too salty or too sweet. Cut the tofu and vegetables to the size you wish to serve and coat them all with vegetable oil. If you don’t have a griddle or barbecue you can roast the vegetables in the oven. Cook them first until they are a little brown and softening then brush them with miso paste and continue to cook until coated and delicious. Watch them carefully at this stage as the miso and sugar can burn quite easily. Serve garnished with finely sliced spring onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Written by michelle picker

June 13, 2018 at 12:04 am

mexican beef skewers

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From Chef Gabriel Gambou of Arrecife Restaurant in Colima, Mexico, this recipe was published in The Taste of Mexico by Patricia Quintana. Tender barbecued beef skewers are served with a rich and dark sauce made with cascabel chillies (shown here with refried black beans).

For the beef, use strips of sirloin or hanger steak, preferably with some fat marbling for tenderness. Thread the beef onto skewers, alternating with onion and green peppers if you wish. In a mortar and pestle crush 1-2 cloves of garlic with some salt, add freshly ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste and combine with ¼ of a cup of vegetable oil. Brush the oil mix onto the meat skewers and leave them to rest in the fridge while you prepare the sauce. For the sauce, fry 6 dried cascabel chillies in some oil until fragrant. Drain and soak them in hot water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, roast a whole tomato by heating a dry griddle or heavy pan and cooking the whole tomato until the outside is charred. When the chillies are softened, drain them and keep the soaking liquid. Remove and discard the seeds and place the flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the roasted tomato, ½ a white onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 2 bay leaves and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add a little soaking liquid and blend until you have a good consistency. Cook this sauce in a little oil until the onions and garlic no longer taste raw. Season with salt and a little sugar to taste.

To cook the beef, brush with a little more oil and some clarified butter and cook on a barbecue, turning regularly, until the beef is to your liking. Serve with corn tortillas and other accompaniments such as re-fried beans, guacamole and fresh salsa.

Written by michelle picker

March 14, 2018 at 10:58 am

Posted in meat

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christmas 2017

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This year our Christmas lunch was a lovely eclectic mixture of food. Our guests brought the entree of antipasti.

For the main course we roasted butterflied chickens over charcoal with a garlic, sage and rosemary butter under the skin. We added oak chips from Chardonnay barrels to the fire for a smoky flavour. Our gravy was Chef John’s turkey gravy recipe made with chicken wings instead.

Side dishes included potatoes and heirloom carrots cooked in duck fat, a lovely fresh salad,

and a wonderful stuffing following this recipe.

My next post will be dedicated to our Christmas dessert.

Written by michelle picker

December 27, 2017 at 12:18 am

korean bbq

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I’m making sure I try everything Korean while I’m visiting Seoul. Gogigui (Korean barbecue) refers to the method of cooking meat. The meal is prepared at the diner’s table on gas or charcoal grills. The most representative form is bulgogi which is made from thinly sliced marinated beef. Galbi (beef short ribs) are also popular.

We decided to try bulgogi and pork shoulder as well as a platter of vegetables.

The bulgogi was cooked with onions and a few sweet potato noodles on the copper dish behind the charcoal barbecue. After cooking it was served in the liquid around the edge. Like all Korean meals there were numerous side dishes including steamed egg, kimchi, pickled mushrooms, pickled shiso (parilla) leaf, lettuce salad with black sesame dressing, lettuce and shiso leaves, fresh garlic, chilli paste, fresh tofu and a spicy shredded leek salad.

Written by michelle picker

June 8, 2017 at 5:49 am

Posted in travel

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