I know it's a little late in the summer to be talking barbecues, but us Bishops are late to the barbecue game this season having only just replaced our old and knackered barbecue with a brand new shiny one!
Naturally, the weather through the summer holidays has been more than a little disappointing (this is the UK after all), so instead we're now pinning our hopes on an Indian summer - please let there be some warmer weather heading our way for September...!
I love to cook, but even the keenest of chefs needs a break every now and then, so I'm all for easy dinners where Liam does the actual cooking (he loves to man the BBQ, I hate it - too hot!) and all I have to do is make some salad, potato salad and maybe a coleslaw if I'm so inclined.
Shiny new BBQ!
We Christened the new gas barbecue on Saturday with a family celebration for Bert's 4th Birthday (how is my baby boy 4??). It was so lovely to get all the immediate family together and enjoy eating al fresco - there's nothing quite like the smell of sausages and burgers sizzling on the grill, is there?
One thing that does worry me slightly when it comes to cooking on the barbie is ensuring good hygiene and food safety. I'm a very confident chef in the kitchen, but when relinquishing control to Liam and watching him cook with such a volatile heat source (when compared to my nice reliable oven) I start to get a little nervous.
Luckily, the people at Fishpools have created this handy BBQ cheat sheet, which enables you to attack your next barbecue with ultimate confidence - with advice about defrosting your meat, safe cooking times, right through to safe internal food temperatures.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Fishpools recently ran a survey that discovered that only 14% of people (1000 participants) could correctly identify that vegetables are the second most common cause of food poisoning each year.
- 40% of respondents also didn’t know that your BBQ grill is twice as dirty as a toilet seat!
Liam did a sterling job with our barbecue on Saturday - he knows his stuff when it comes to handling raw meats, using separate tongs and ensuring things are cooked through. For extra peace of mind though we always use a digital food thermometer to check the internal temperatures of the meats before serving them. If you don't have one in your kitchen kit I'd really recommend getting one, they're not very expensive and so useful.
On Saturday's BBQ we went for classic Aberdeen Angus beef burgers in brioche buns plus both traditional pork and sweet chilli pork sausages (also in brioche buns - hello Aldi - best buns ever!) plus cooked onions and all the sauces. I whipped up a mean potato salad, huge fresh salad, and opened a big tub of Aldi's 'Specially Selected' coleslaw, which is our favourite shop-bought coleslaw by far. It was glorious and everyone really enjoyed it - no one got ill (yay!), and Bert got to enjoy his favourite foods (burgers and sausages) with lots of loved ones around him, win!
Now, I can't really call this a recipe as such, much more an assembly job - but if you want to know how to make a mean potato salad then read on...
MRS B'S EASY POTATO SALAD (serves 10)
1kg Charlotte potatoes, boiled for 30 mins
500g real mayonaise
huge bunch of fresh dill, fresh mint and fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
1. Boil potatoes for 20-30 minutes until soft.
2. Drain potatoes and leave them to cool slightly while you chop your herbs.
3. Chop potatoes into halves or quarters (depending on size), then combine with mayonnaise and chopped herbs.
4. Mix until fully combined (don't worry if some of the potatoes smash up).
5. Season very well with cracked black pepper and sea salt.
Super simple, super tasty.
Pimp up your potatoes for the ultimate BBQ side dish.
Here's hoping for a few more barbecues this summer - and maybe even some cheeky autumn barbies too!
Happy Grilling Folks!
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