Monday, 6 January 2014

Middle Eastern Inspired BBQ

This is a simple marinade for meats that are to be barbecued or grilled. A favourite ingredient is smoked paprika. I buy bolero brand, both the hot smoked and sweet paprika which I purchase from my local fruit and vegetable supplier - V&R Fruit and Vegetables in Pakington St Geelong West. It is most likely available in any shop that sells a good selection of spices and is imported by Raw Materials. Check with the company for stockists. I use garlic powder rather than fresh garlic as it dissolves in the oil and coats the meat better. The marinade can easily be doubled or tripled if you have a large amount of meat. I use steaks, chicken thigh fillets, lamb backstraps and lamb chops.

2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder or more if you like a stronger garlic flavour
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 -2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine all ingredients in a non reactive bowl such as glass or stainless steel. Add meat and coat each piece. Cover and refrigerate. The meat can be cooked immediately, however, I like to marinate for at least 3 hours and can be left overnight provided it is refrigerated.

I try to keep food for a barbecue interesting by varying the style of the cuisine or food that I serve with it. This time I tried for a Middle Eastern flavour by using ingredients typically used in this cuisine.

For this meal I made couscous by following the directions on the packet and adding almond flakes, pistachios, cranberries and currants. Use your judgement as to the amounts. I also add a teaspoon of chicken stock powder with the boiling water and butter. A couple of minutes in the microwave, fluff with a fork and you have a lovely colourful side dish .

 I also made a warm carrot salad with diced preserved lemon, chopped coriander or mint and dressed with plain yoghurt thinned down with some orange juice. Mayonnaise would also work as a substitute for the yoghurt. Make sure that you remove the pulp and rinse the lemon rind before dicing .

A plate of char grilled zucchini slices which were splashed with some lemon olive oil, dusted with crumbled fetta cheese and dusted with ground cumin were an excellent accompaniment.

 Meredith Goats Cheese/Fetta is the brand that I use. It is soft and creamy and delicious but any fetta will work. I always have a jar in the fridge. This product is stocked widely in delis or contact the company for a stockist.

The finished meal plated and ready for me to tuck in. I also had a spoon of the capsicum and harissa jelly on the meat. Refer to my previous blog for the recipe.

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