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Cooking out

25 Nov 2009

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Despite what the weather lately may indicate, summertime is almost upon us, and that means short shorts, summer festivals and of course, weekend Bar-B-Ques. I don''t just mean throwing some food on the grill after work, though granted, that''s also a favourite summer past time. In this case, I''m referring to the cook out. The all day affair where friends, family and good food fill an atmosphere with fun love and laughter.

Albeit a spur of the moment affair, or one that has been meticulously planned out for weeks, the success a great bar b que hinges on a number of things including music, company, and of course, food and drinks. Whether the bbq is one that you are holding, or attending, you definitely want to contribute to the good time to be had that day and what better way to do that than with a deletable dish that everyone will devour?


Though there are some staples to the BBQ, for example, potato salad, you don''t just want to put another dish on the table. You wanna stand out, impress the people there, and in the process, enjoy your contribution.
In order to find a crowd pleaser, it''s important to know the crowd to which you are catering. For example, is it a vegetarian affair? Do the majority of people eat pork/drink alcohol? You can find a number of dishes that can cater to both your tastes and those of the people who will be attending, and listed below are a few ideas to get you started on your way to a summer filled with good company and good food. 

Cucumber, Apple, and Red Onion Salad with Mint Yogurt

Serves 6

  • 1 Cucumber, cut into a large dice
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, cut into a large dice
  • 1 red Onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp of freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ cup of mint, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup of Yogurt (plain, low fat)
  • Salt and black or cayenne pepper

 

  1. Cut the apples and cucumber and place them into a large bowl.

  2. Run the thinly sliced onions under water for 10 minutes

  3. Slightly toast the cumin

  4. Add the mint and cumin into the yogurt

  5. Dry off the onions and add to the bowl with the apples and cucumber then add in the yogurt.

  6. Season with the salt and pepper, then chill in the fridge for an hour before serving

 

Sweet and Spicy Beef with Rum and Orange Glaze

Serves 4-6

  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp of paprika
  • 3 cloves grated garlic, grated
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 limes juiced and zested
  • 2 tbsp of tamarind (soak tamarind in hot water and pass through a strainer. Refrigerate or freeze any extra)
  • 1 hot pepper (scotch bonnet pepper, birds eye chili or jalepino depending on how spicy you like it) finely chopped
  • ¼ cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 pounds of skirt steak
  • 1 Cup of Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp of Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup of Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup of Rum
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Cut the steaks into 4-6 ounce pieces and place aside

2. Combine the onion powder, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, zest, paprika and tamarind, hot pepper and the oil into a paste and then rub this mixture over the steaks and allow to stand for 30 minutes

3. Preheat the grill to 350-400 F

4. Place the Orange juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar into a pot and reduce overmedium high heat until it is a syrupy consistency. Add in the rum and cook until the harsh alcohol flavour dissipates

5. Season the steaks with salt and pepper, then place the steaks on the grill and cook, turning the steaks until they are the desired doneness. Flip the steaks often, or if you want more pronounced grillmarks, then only flip the steaks once. Brush the glaze on the steaks as they are done cooking(if you glaze is too early in the cooking, the steaks will burn)

6. Let the steaks rest off the heat for five or six minutes then serve with your favourite side dishes.

 

Sun after the Storm

The dark and stormy is the national drink of Bermuda, and the drink consists of Goslings Black Seal Rum, Ginger Beer and a hint of lime juice. This variation on that classic introduces pineapple juice into the mix for a slightly sweeter drink perfect for a hot summer day

  • 2 cups of Pineapple Juice
  • 2 cups of Ginger Beer
  • ½ Cup of Lime Juice
  • 2 Cups of Dark Rum

Combine everything into a large bowl, and refrigerate. Serve over ice cubes garnished with thin slices of pineapple or lime wedges.

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