There isn’t anything better than a bit of British summer sunshine and a lovely bbq. For us as a family its a time when we can all take part in a bit of fun outside and its always a really sociable experience, much more so than our usual dinners around the table. Recently we’ve been having more and more barbecues thanks to doing a bit more camping and using our fire pit. The trouble is that I’ve been stuck in a bit of a BBQ rut and its been tricky trying to find fun, easy and different recipes. We’ve been reduced to having sausages and shop bought burgers with the odd bit of chicken.
However, fortunately Tesco came to the rescue as they have launched Tesco Flame Academy – an easy to use recipe hub which allows you to select recipes whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced barbecuer (and there are recipes for veggies and dessert fans too!). We were asked to try out a few of the recipes and see what we thought, so I enlisted my cookery companion and budding chief- the 8 year old and we set about creating a magnificent feast.
First we set about watching these handy videos that Tesco have created. Heading up Tesco’s Flame Academy is Ben Tish, BBQ master and executive chef of The Salt Yard Group (The Ember Yard/The Opera Tavern).
Ben provided some top tips which are well worth a read before you start:
Flame Academy: Ben Tish’s top tips for wowing barbecue quests
- It’s important to know when the BBQ is ready to cook on. The flames should have subsided and the coals turned and even, ashen grey.
- Use hard stalks such as thyme, rosemary and oregano to throw onto the BBQ coals and smoke whatever your cooking. Great for a quick smoke hit!
- Slow cook whole chickens and larger cuts of meat with some vegetables help keep them juicy and tasty. Dissolve 10% salt to 90% hot water to make a solution and then cool.
- For larger cuts of meat, a lump of seasoned hard wood such as oak or birch set at the side of the shen coals will gently really a stream of perfumed smoke and in turn smoke and flavor whatever your cooking with.
- Smoking chips thrown onto the coals will give a smokey boost of flavor to smaller items such as steaks, chicken thighs and fish fillets.
- Use the coals as another cooking medium. Wrap vegetables in foil and nestle them between and under the ashen coals to slowly cook and flavor. Great for potatoes, aubergines, beets and carrots.
- A digital meat probe is great for checking if large cuts are cooked through correctly.
- Fish cooking clamps are brilliant for cooking- and turning large flat or round fish without the worry of then breaking or sticking
- A fire chimney is a fast, reliable way to start up your BBQ. It’s also great if you are using your BBQ for a period of time to cook larger cuts or several dishes. You can start the chimney next to the BBQ and then top up as and when needed, just giving yourself 10 minutes to do so.
We also had a look at food bloggers Crumbs Food who have some lovely recipes which we cant wait to try!
Back to our BBQ we decided to make Hamburgers with Red Onion this was an ideal easy recipe for the 8 year old to have a go at and everyone likes Hamburgers so it was a no brainer.
We also made the Halloumi Burgers with Red Pepper Houmous (except we used wrap bread as we didnt want too many buns). These were unbelievably delicious, incredibly easy to make and really were a treat I’d make again.
To top off all these treats we opted for some Caribbean fruit kebabs which were lovely. These were a bit more fiddly to make as you had to make a sauce and gently cook the fruit in it for a little while. But frankly, my 8 year old managed it whilst the adults had a glass of rum- well it was out for the sauce. If you’re looking for a lovely pudding which you can pop on the BBQ then these are definitely worth considering!
I’m so glad I discovered the Tesco Flame Academy recipes as its revolutionised our BBQ experience. We genuinely had some lovely food and a good night as a little family which we will remember for a while.