Archive for the ‘barbecue’ Category

I haven’t forgotten my intentions of working up my cookbooks over the vacation! Just before I left, I bought lovely baby eggplants in order to prepare them after a recipe I found in my Thai cookbook. Today I made them!

Upper layer: Grilled Thai eggplant slices with dipsauce and mint on a bed of mixed rice.
Lower layer: More dipsauce (“that evil stuff”, as I call it), tamago, red bell pepper and a muffin cup with kiwi and melon cubes (I’m at the end of the melon soon! I promise!).

The eggplant is another food for the veggie grill: sliced, salted and dripped off, brushed with marinade, fanned up and grilled in the oven or on the barbecue grill. I think that the barbecue would give a lovely smoky taste to it! But then I’m a fan of Baba Ghanoush.
The dipping sauce is a variation on my favourite Asian dip: Roast chili and garlic slices in sesame oil, soy and sugar and lime juice instead of the rice vinegar I usually add. It complements the taste of the eggplant very well together with somce chopped mint leaves!

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I admit it – I don’t like Tofu very much.
Neither (or possibly even less) do I like any vegetarian “meat” replacement product I have tasted to date – soyburgers? No, thanks. It’s… okay. I can eat it. But it has no specific taste, no texture, and seriously – I don’t miss meat. I don’t need anything to replace it because I didn’t like it that much to begin with. My diet is not incomplete if I can’t have the feeling of biting into a hotdog or a steak once in a while.

So what is a girl to do when barbecue time comes up and everyone else is being served burgers?

Why, make her own burger replacements, of course!

In the picture: Glazed champignon hats on mini-baguettes with tsatsiki and cherry tomatoes.
I bought a bunch of champignons, selecting those with very large hats. Don’t wash them – rub them off with a brush or a damp towel, but don’t wet them! I cut each hat in half horizontally and removed the stem (it will fall out if you cut it exactly in the middle anyway.
Then I marinated all the mushroom cutlets I got by spraying them with olive oil (I love my oil spray for reducing the amount of fat I use!) and rolling them in french herbs, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. While they marinated, I heated the grill and made my tsatsiki.

There won’t be a recipe for the tsatsiki. I find that instead of being adventurous, doing it the way your family has always done it is usually the right way. I do love the thick greek yoghurt you get here, though – it makes a really lovely tsatsiki!

After putting the marinated mushrooms on the grill, I let them brown a little on both sides. During that, I poured a splash of balsamico vinegar in the bowl they had marinated in and mixed it with the spices and garlic that had remained in there and some more salt. When the mushrooms were heated on both sides, I brushed them with balsamico marinade and grilled them until they were nice and glazed – it tastes delicious! Very sweet and tasty.

Since the budget variant already tasted so nice, I wonder how portobello or oyster mushrooms will taste with the same method? I shall try next time.

Eggplants and zucchini cutlets marinated the same way also taste delicious. And I already posted my recipe for couscous burgers…

I found a recipe for a red bean burger patty as well, but I’m skeptic… might be nice, but then the McDo bean burger always struck me as a bit boring… maybe I’ll try another day.

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An addendum to the recent “veggie bbq” series:

There are a lot of vegetables that are excellent for barbecuing. For example, the spit on the right is made of champignon mushrooms, red bell peppers, asparagus, spring onions, mini corn, yellow zucchini, and baguettes with mozarella stuck between them (thus showing that mozarella does indeed work with a grill!).

The heat from the barbecue grill is especially great for cooking vegetables. Try it! It brings out the taste and juiciness really well. Vegetables that profit especially are:
-mushrooms of all kinds
-bell peppers

How to prepare your spit:
Cut the veggies to chunks of similar sizes. Put on spits, making sure that the bread and mozarella are fixed closely together by some hard vegetable (zucchini or peppers work well).
Salt, add herbs and chili of choice. I use a spray bottle with scented olive oil to add a very, very thin coat of oil as well, which is much more useful than a brush.

You can also marinate your veggies first. Fresh herbs, pepper, garlic and chili is always a good idea.
For something a little more oriental, why not try a veggie yakitori spit? A sauce of peanut butter, soy, chopped onions, ginger, garlic and coriander and some hot broth makes the perfect marinade and doubles as dipsauce. Yes, marinating with peanut butter sounds odd, but I got this from a reliable source – and mushrooms smeared with it are especially great!


(The veggies on this picture were made in a Foreman grill, but I promise all of those recipes are tried and tested on a barbecue grill as well!)

Next in line: Burger substitutes!
Marinated eggplant, marinated oyster mushrooms (note: look up the proper name for those), falafel and halloumi pitas, couscous burger if you dare.

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Do you think there is no such thing as a Vegetarian barbecue party? Think again.

I always used to be a little wary when invited to barbecues. I’m not entirely vegetarian, but unless you live in Australia, fish and seafood is not found typically on the grill either. So what should us poor vegetarians do?

Luckily, I’m not alone. This bento contains two vegetarian barbecue recipes: one from my stepsister and one from a cooking magazine. Disgruntled vegetarians to the rescue! Down with grilled corn and salad – only barbecue parties!

In the big box to the left, grilled couscous patties:
2dl couscous (the one I used was a bit too coarse – you should use really fine one so the patties stick together well!
150g feta, crumbled finely
Sundried tomatoes, chopped finely (amount to taste)
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 egg
Breadcrumbs (to improve stickiness, also creamcheese/creme fraiche might help)
Salt, pepper, herbs (I used fresh rosemary), olive oil for the grill

Cook the couscous according to the instructions. (for most that means to add boiling water/stock, salt and oil/butter and let it steam). Cool it.
Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl. With wet hands, form patties and brush them with olive oil.
Barbecue. (They may crumble, so best use an aluminium pan if you're unsure)

To the right and on the plate in front are grilled vegetable-and-feta spits. The idea about those is to let the cheese melt into the bread, as cheese alone on the grill wouldn't work! This also works really really well with sliced mozarella.
I used wholeweat toast here, but sliced baguette would be even better.

In the small compartments are frozen strawberries, a container with chives and yoghurt as dip for the patties (bottom) and tsatsiki and tomato salad (top).

And the glass on top is strawberries soaked overnight in champagne :D Mmm! Summer, here I come!
(You hear that, summer? Start getting warm, damn you! *shakes fist at 9 degree cold weather*)

So, what are your favourite vegetarian barbecue recipes?

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