We all feel a sense of pride the first time we light up a barbecue. Maybe it’s because we’ve finally attained the level of “real man,” and everything we did up to that point was small fry! But when you tucked into that first burger, was it just too burnt? And although you lit that fire, have your cooking skills not passed the taste test just yet? It’s a rite of passage that we all go through, and if you’re like me, you can easily get “burgered out” in the summer months. So I thought it’s worth putting up some barbecue ideas with a twist! Check these out…
Now, fish isn’t for everyone, I’ll say that right away, but as an alternative to meat, it’s a great little palate cleanser in between all the meat, and it shows punters that you’re taking the barbecue seriously. It’s not too strong a fish, and it’s a good one that’s as close to a meaty texture as you’re gonna get. If you’ve got time, marinate the salmon overnight in the fridge with the following mix:
- Soy sauce
- Fresh ginger
- Rice wine vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Diced red chillis and lemon juice (both optional)
Cover the salmon in the marinade or lightly glaze it if you’re making it on the day. Place two to five chunks of salmon on one skewer (soak the skewers in water beforehand, so they won’t burn on the grill). To add an extra angle of flavor, I’ve taken to smoking the salmon using a bullet smoker before going on the grill. For salmon, you’ve got that smoked salmon flavor without the slimy texture. Now, this is my favorite bullet smoker of the year, but there are plenty of great choices out there depending on your budget. Once the salmon is marinated enough, put the salmon onto the skewers alternating with vegetables like cherry tomatoes and peppers and cook on the grill for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve with some couscous or a side salad with some sauce for dipping.
Baked Sweet Potatoes
For the veggies or gluten-free people among you, this is a great option. Easy to make and tasty! Toss each potato in some oil, salt and your choice of herbs (I use smoked paprika), and poke some holes in them with a fork. Wrap them up in foil and grill for 30 minutes, turning a few times. Take them off the grill and open up the foil and split the potatoes open! Serve as a side to a burger or make them part of a chili con carne meal for the meat eaters. A great snack to make as part of a beach barbecue! Other easy foil meals include corn on the cob; just place a knob of butter on each cob before wrapping them in foil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, and take them off and enjoy. You can make a little dry rub for them too, using salt, pepper, chili flakes and some dried paprika. Summer doesn’t have to be plain burgers anymore!