A cuckoo in the nest and cake for breakfast
Something new has arrived in our garden. It’s got lots of knobs, cast iron grills and is powered by gas. In a bout of anthropomorphism, I’m thinking that our old barbecue is looking a little green. With envy that is, rather than just paint. It suspects a cuckoo in the nest, pushing it out of the limelight as the beautiful weather approaches and our outdoor life begins in earnest.
For our dear old kettle and any barbecuing purist, let me assure you that we will carry on cooking on charcoal for the most part. KP has got the indirect heat method of grilling down to a fine art these days and nothing beats a tender, smokey piece of sirloin or a whole leg of lamb to carve and share with friends. I’m thinking of the new interloper as the means of having an extended cooking area that I can use spontaneously.
Instead of standing under the striplight of my (rented) kitchen, while my teens hold their breath at the smell of fish, I can be under the night sky with no complaints to disturb my reverie.
Barbecued breakfast is the meal I’m most looking forward to. Not just rashers and sausages (but again those aromas will be so much nicer in the garden than inside the house), but French toast, grilled peaches, fruit brochettes with yoghurt, even pancakes – not everything has to go straight on the grill.
So combining an al fresco start to the day with my favourite way of using up dinner party leftovers has got to be a good thing. Cake for breakfast. Gingerbread was in abundance after preparing one slab for supper for twelve the night before and another for a huge tea party (more about this in a few days). Generous slices of the cake were grilled first, followed by fairly thick slices of fresh pear dipped in orange juice. I used a cast iron pan on the heat (you can also cook directly on the bars, just make sure all traces of meaty stuff is cleaned off first). Once grill lines were evident, the pears and gingerbread were drizzled with a bit of syrup from a jar of stem ginger (although maple syrup would be good too). Greek yoghurt and honey is another good addition.
Here’s a link to the gingerbread recipe which I follow verbatim from Tamasin Day Lewis and it’s so good I don’t see how it could be improved upon (the raw cake mixture is quite irresistible too).
As someone from a barbecuing nation, I’m not sure if Jeanne of Cooksister ever starts her day with brekkie on the Braai, but I wanted to join her and other South Africans (including fellow Dubai-dweller My Mezzaluna) in marking National Braai Day. I cooked fresh fruit brochettes for her annual barbecue event Braai, the Beloved Country last year (here’s the round-up), so I’ve continued the fruity theme. Cheers Jeanne – Happy Braai-day.
For Dubai dwellers, you have two choices for gas for your barbecue. You can buy a cylinder from Ace Hardware and take it to one of the LPG suppliers for filling (Ace has a list) or use the butane that is supplied for indoor cooking from the home delivery suppliers. You will have to buy a regulator and bottle from them. For more info about Weber here’s the link for the UAE.
Expect many more barbecue-centred articles from me over the coming months (apologies to readers in parts of the world where you are just heading into Winter). What’s the strangest or most unconventional thing you cook on the barbecue?