independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Give your grill a twist

Enjoy bursts of sun with these great al fresco recipes by Rozanne Stevens

Andre's Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb with Figs and Mint

Ban the boring bangers and burgers and do something special with your barbecue this summer. This week, South African-born chef and food writer Rozanne shares more of her favourite recipes from her new cookbook 'Relish BBQ: Making Al Fresco Food Fun With The Ish Factor'.

This is the second cookbook in her 'Ish' series, and it includes Rozanne's version of 10 different cuisines – a nod and a wink to each country, rather than traditional dishes.

So welcome to South Africanish, Thaish, Mexicanish, Indianish, Americanish – a fun way of using fresh local produce, meat and seafood, and adding an exotic twist to create unique, contemporary dishes at your next barbecue.

Andre's Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb with Figs and Mint

My brother Andre is a fantastic cook and he particularly loves cooking Greek food. Traditionally, Greek lamb is prepared with garlic, rosemary and mint to enhance the flavour.

I've added sticky, tart pomegranate molasses, figs, feta cheese and pistachio nuts for a very chi chi barbecue recipe. Serves four as a main dish.

YOU WILL NEED

12 thick lamb chops

For the marinade 2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tbsps olive oil

4 tbsps pomegranate molasses

Juice of ½ lemon

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the sticky figs 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 fresh figs, halved

200g creamy feta cheese

75g pistachios, toasted

2 tbsps fresh mint, finely chopped

Method

Score the fat all around the lamb chops with a sharp knife. This will prevent them from curling up when you grill them and also ensures a crispier finish.

To make the marinade, mix the garlic, olive oil, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice in a small bowl. Keep one tablespoon aside for basting. Coat the lamb chops in the marinade. Rub the rosemary sprigs between your hands to release the oils, then tuck the sprigs around the lamb. Leave to marinate for two to four hours in the fridge.

Lift the lamb chops out of the marinade and scrape off any excess, or it will burn. Season the chops well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Grill the lamb chops on a hot barbecue for four to five minutes on each side for medium-rare. Turn the chops with your tongs on to the fatty side for crispy fat.

Brush the reserved marinade over for a sticky glaze and allow the lamb chops to rest, loosely wrapped in foil, for five minutes. Place three cutlets on each plate or a large platter or wooden board.

For the sticky figs, bring together the pomegranate molasses, olive oil, lemon juice and some salt and pepper.

Arrange the halved figs on the plates and crumble over the feta cheese. Drizzle over a little of the pomegranate syrup, then scatter the toasted pistachios and finely chopped mint over the top. Serve immediately.

Grilled Summer Veg Panzanella Salad

This is my take on a traditional Italian salad that uses up stale bread and mixes it with wonderful Italian staples, such as tomatoes, basil, olives and capers. I've added my twist by grilling all the veggies, which enhances the flavour and transforms it into a warm salad. Serves eight as a side dish.

YOU WILL NEED

Olive oil

4 vine-ripened tomatoes, halved

4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 red peppers, deseeded and quartered

2 yellow peppers, deseeded and quartered

2 courgettes, sliced into long strips about 1cm thick

2 red onions, peeled and sliced into thick rings

1 aubergine, sliced into 1.5cm slices

1 loaf of ciabatta, torn into chunky pieces

1 whole garlic bulb

125ml (½ cup) black olives

50ml (¼ cup) capers

Large bunch of basil leaves For the dressing 4 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsps balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Drizzle a little olive oil on the cut side of the tomatoes. Scatter over the fresh or dried thyme and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the pepper quarters, courgette strips and onion rings with a little olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of the aubergine slices with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the bread, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, onions, aubergine and the whole garlic bulb on a medium-hot grill. Toast the bread until golden and crunchy, then remove it from the grill.

Gently cook the tomatoes until they start to wrinkle underneath. Remove them from the grill and chop into quarters, capturing all the juice in a bowl.

Turn the vegetables when they have prominent grill marks underneath. Remove the garlic bulb once it feels soft when squeezed.

In a large bowl, mix the toasted bread with the grilled tomatoes and their juices, the grilled vegetables, olives and capers.

To make the dressing, mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze two of the soft garlic cloves into the dressing and mix well. Separate the rest of the cloves and add them to the salad. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Scatter over the basil leaves just before serving.

Tasting notes: Capers are the unripened flower buds of a prickly bush native to the Mediterranean. The larger caper berries, often left on the stalk, are the fruit. Once harvested, they're pickled in a briney liquid.

Capers lend a wonderful tart and salty flavour to dressings, sauces and salads, making them a great pantry pal which I always have on hand.

Indian BBQ Chicken with Peach and Raspberry Salad

Serves eight.

you will need

2 tbsps sunflower oil

8 chicken thighs or pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the basting sauce 4 tbsps apple-cider vinegar

4 tbsps dark brown sugar

4 tbsps Dijon mustard

4 tbsps honey

1 tsp medium or hot curry powder

1 tsp ground allspice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the dressing 5 tbsps grapeseed oil

2 tbsps raspberry vinegar

1 tsp shop-bought mint jelly

Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the salad 4 fresh peaches, sliced into wedges

½ cucumber, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

200g raspberries

50g flaked almonds, toasted

2 tbsps fresh coconut shavings

Method

First, mix all of the basting sauce ingredients together.

Lightly oil the chicken with the sunflower oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill on all sides on a hot barbecue until well sealed and crispy.

Baste the chicken liberally with the sauce, then move to a medium-hot part of the barbecue and continue to grill for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently mix all the salad ingredients together and drizzle with the dressing. Divide between the plates and serve each one with a piece of chicken.

Tasting notes: Allspice, often confused with mixed spice, is a secret weapon. A pinch of this spice will transform meatballs, burgers, stews and barbecue sauces. It has an interesting savoury, aromatic flavour that gives food an extra dimension without being distinguishable in the overall flavour. Dried spices keep well for six months if well sealed, then they start losing their pungency.

See rozannestevens.com;

@RozanneStevens

Irish Independent

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