“I’m very happy to have entire day revolve around BBQ.” A great statement from my friend AJ, who joined me with Keith and Donovan last Saturday for a day of foodie adventure in the Cotswolds. Our mission: to stock up on supplies for an all-American(ish) BBQ while also taken in some of the Cotswolds foodie scene. The outing took us to Talking Wines, where we literally did talk wines with the very friendly folk who helped us navigate our way through the complex flavours of two particularly excellent Australian wines. The exercise also made it easy to decide what to bring home with us.
After wine tasting, we refuelled on healthy vegan salad snacks at The Organic Farm Shop cafe prior to perusing their shop. The guys walked away with a most interesting basket of food: grass-fed, farm-raised, zero-food-miles meeeat to put on the BBQ; raw cacao nibs; and a bottle of Organic Stroud Budding (my favourite beer at the moment). My basket was much greener.
I was feeling anxious to get the BBQ underway but am glad we bothered to make a stop at New Wave Fish Shop for a big slab of salmon. After one final stop to Waitrose for the extraneous supplies (and cheese), we were finally on our way home where the BBQ commenced.
The BBQ itself was a seriously remarkable success. Same wavelengths were achieved. Planets were aligned. Meat was grilled. Bread was baked. It was a mutual ebb and flow of cooking, music playing, drinking, eating and playing.
Our vague menu plan: BBQ sauce, sweet potato fries, meat, fish, grilled veg, cornbread, mayo, grilled pineapple, cheese board. (Hurray for people who’d rather have cheese over sweet desserts!)
So I thought I’d report on our laundry list of successes for the evening, in no particular order…
If for some reason you’re all out of corn meal, but you happen to have masa harina, then YES you can make cornbread with masa harina, and it’s actually pretty awesome.
This Smoky Barbecue Sauce recipe from Simply Recipes was stellar (after we added a bit of soy sauce and garlic).
The secret to crispy salmon skin is to leave it on the BBQ and BE PATIENT – don’t touch it until it’s almost cooked, then take it off the heat and finish it in the oven.
BBQ’d mushrooms are the bomb. Especially with the aforementioned Smoky Barbecue Sauce.
Homemade mayonnaise is the best.
Sriracha sauce is good on everything, particularly sweet potatoes when combined with homemade mayonnaise.
Crispy sweet potato fries are hard to achieve. (Any suggestions?)
Star Trek: The Voyage Home, is a great film to unwind to after a long night of cooking and feasting.
Leftovers make a great breakfast spread. Just add eggs!
Or just add toast, more mayo and Sriracha – that’s how Donovan rolls. Behold his sweet potato fry tartine:
Thank you, Team Mayo! Looking forward to our next BBQ adventure – tandoori style!