Category: Barbecue


Watermelon Salad with Labneh

July 12th, 2013 — 11:48am

Don’t mention the heat don’t mention the heat don’t mention the heat arghhhhh it’s just been so freakin HOT. All the time I’m walking around in a fug of lethargy and sweat thinking, ‘be grateful it’s sunny be grateful it’s sunny be grateful be grateful be grateful’. It’s been really hot though. I haven’t had the oven on. At least not every day. What I did manage was to strain some yoghurt and chop a watermelon; a watermelon that had been in the fridge and so made a glorious respite in the form of my lunch. The cool, sweet melon on top of creamy labneh, tickled through with a little red onion and mint. A lazy trickle of olive oil. I managed to toast the pittas, by slotting them into the toaster and backing the hell away for 2 minutes.

I’d eat this again and again. It’s a lovely thing to have around at BBQs too; a good little starter or side with grilled meats. It’s actually really damn good wrapped up in a kebab.

Watermelon Salad with Labneh (serves 4 as a side dish, or two as a starter)

500g full fat natural yoghurt
Salt
1 chunk watermelon, about 1.2-1.5kg (that’s not actually very big – heavy, innit)
1/2 red onion, very finely chopped
Handful mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Squeeze of lime juice
Toasted pitta, to serve

Make labneh as per this recipe.

Skin, seed and finely chop the watermelon flesh. Mix it with the finely chopped onion, mint and a squeeze of lime juice. Spread the labneh on a serving plate and season with salt and pepper. Pile the watermelon salad on top and add a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with toasted pitta.

17 comments » | Barbecue, Salads, Salsa, Side Dishes, Snacks

Suya: Nigerian BBQ

May 29th, 2013 — 9:38am

Suya started to occupy my thoughts a few years ago when I noticed a takeaway place in Peckham: Obalende Suya Express on the high street. To say the place looks ramshackle is putting it mildly – the sign is caked in pigeon shit and interior design consists of a few stick-legged metal chairs with  scraps of fabric hanging off them. Obviously I went in, and I caught them on a good day; the suya was tender, smoky and like nothing I’d tasted before. Sadly the quality isn’t consistent. Boo. Thoughts turned to making my own.

A colleague of mine regularly travels to Nigeria and once, very kindly, she brought me back a package of suya spice. It came wrapped in someone’s bank statement. I tried it out at a friend’s BBQ but the results were a bit weird; the meat released a musty fug that smelled like Peckham down wind on a bad day. Rotting yams with a hint of fish and the dusty corners of an African back alley. That was several years ago, but recently I decided to have another crack at it.

Basically suya is either sliced beef, chicken or fish, rubbed in a mixture of (crucially) ground peanuts and a mixture of flavourings including paprika, onion powder and ginger, amongst others. This is called tankora. The meat is threaded onto skewers and cooked and as far as I can tell, the smoke flavour is essential. It is served with a pile of tankora at the side plus some sliced onions and tomatoes.

Cracking the BBQ out again this weekend seemed like a balls out banger opportunity to salve some psychological wounds and get back down with the suya. Obviously there’s no point doing things by halves so we decided upon a suya three way cook off: a home made version, vs. the scary Nigerian must-in-a-jar vs. a packet of ready made mix picked up on Rye Lane.

Suya spice from Nigeria…mild but musty 

The Peckham blend…spicy 

Home made version mixed with the peanuts

Making your own tankora is basically a case of grinding up the nuts but stopping before they become peanut butter, then mixing with the other flavours and smearing onto the meat. We did this right before cooking which worked very well; the meat is sliced so thinly that to marinate it seems less necessary.

Really tasty sirloin from Flock and Herd in Peckham 

Skewered

Three way taste off

As we were grinding up the nuts to make the home made marinade it occurred to me what had gone wrong with my first attempt – the spice mixes are sold to be mixed with peanuts, not used neat. No wonder it was a little *cough* intense. It turns out that the home made version was the most vibrant, as you would expect. Handy really, considering not everyone can get bank statement wrapped packages from Nigeria, or nip down to the local African shop.

It’s hot, this recipe, humming with chilli and ginger. The ground nuts add buttery textural intensity, which made the gloriously tender sirloin seem even more so. In short, it was bloody tasty. A new BBQ favourite.

Suya 

600g sirloin steak, cut into slices about a cm thick (get the butcher to do this as it can be a bit tricky)
50g peanuts (salted is fine, just don’t add any extra salt to the mixture)
1 teaspoon chilli (grind up whatever you have, or use chilli powder)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder OR you can be a fly beeatch like me and use 1 teaspoon ground up crispy fried onions from a bag

Grind up the peanuts in a spice grinder or blender. Stop before they become peanut butter. Add all the other spices and smother with the paste. Grill over the direct heat on a BBQ, leaving the inside slightly pink. Serve with a pile of the spice mixture if you like, and some sliced tomatoes and onions.

18 comments » | African food, Barbecue, Meat

Yoghurt Love and Labneh

May 21st, 2013 — 2:02pm

In his excellent book, ‘The Yoghurt Cookbook‘, Arto der Haroutunian talks about the health promoting properties of the white stuff, and its supposedly life lengthening power. By my reckoning I should live until at least 180, providing the yoghurt can counteract a history of fags, booze and fast livin’.

Cultures which consume a lot of yoghurt, such as the Georgians, are huge believers in its supposed powers, and have used it as a cure for…well, pretty much everything actually, for centuries. I can’t vouch for the validity of those claims, but I can vouch for the taste, and its hangover curing properties. This buffalo yoghurt made in a traditional clay pot brought me back from the brink; I’m talking nausea, shakes, the creeping doom…not a whisker of it after I’d gobbled this lot down at the side of a rocky road in Georgia.

Yoghurt in Georgia 

The yoghurt I tried in Ethiopia recently was a little more…challenging. I asked the lady we were visiting how she made it, and she replied ‘well I just put the milk in this bucket (straight from the cow in the back yard) and leave it on the shelf for three days.’ That’s one approach, although it is of course really just curdled milk and not ‘proper’ yoghurt. The taste was very sour and it had a loose wobbly texture. The Ethiopians often mix it with chilli powder and drink the whole glass like a shot, and I can see why. I spent the next three hours concerned about potential gastrointestinal payback.

Yoghurt in Ethiopia

Mixed with chilli powder

Labneh, then, is basically yoghurt that’s been strained of its whey. Of course I adore it because, well it’s like yoghurt to the power of ten. Once strained, the resulting substance is more akin to cream cheese, but with the obvious tartness of yoghurt; that sour freshness that yoghurt-lovers crave.

I’ve found that the best brand by far for making yoghurt is Total. It’s even better than the mega expensive stuff I bought from the farmers’ market, which relinquished hardly any liquid. It is thick and creamy before straining  which is a good thing if you’re eating it straight up, but with labneh you want some residual sourness.

To make labneh, mix the yoghurt with a large pinch of salt, then wrap in muslin, or as I have done, a clean/brand new dishcloth. Hang in the fridge (to be honest I used to just hang it in a cool place but now I have a very hot kitchen so the fridge it is) and allow the whey to strain away for about 5 to 6 hours. The longer the strain, the thicker the labneh, obviously.

After this time it is ready, and can be used or preserved in a number of ways.

Try rolling in herbs and preserving in olive oil…it’s then lovely just spread on bread. It’s also delicious rolled in dukkah, or za’atar. Straight up it’s best topped with punchy flavours like anchovy and chilli, or dolloped onto salads as you would use a goat’s curd for example.

My favourite way to use it right now however is to stuff it into Turkish peppers before slinging them on the BBQ. They are lovely when wrapped up inside a flat bread with a kebab, oozing their creamy centres against the sizzling meat. If you’re up for it, you fly bastards, stuff some green chillies instead.

Labneh Stuffed Peppers

1 x 500g tub Total yoghurt
Large pinch of salt
About 5 mild green Turkish pepper for stuffing (you could also use the long red Romero peppers if you can’t find the Turkish ones)
Oil
Muslin or a dishcloth for straining

In a bowl mix the yoghurt with the salt. Line a bowl with the muslin or cloth and scrape the yoghurt into it. Tie the top with string or whatever you have and suspend it from something. I used to use a cupboard handle but now I have a very sun filled, hot kitchen and so I hung it in the fridge. Set a bowl underneath to catch the whey. Leave for 5 or so hours. It will be usable but soft after 3. If you want to make balls with it and preserve them in oil then the longer the better as the labneh will need to be fairly firm for rolling.

Cut the tops off the peppers and de-seed them without cutting the sides. Stuff with labneh. Rub with oil, salt and pepper and either grill on a BBQ or underneath a hot grill until charred in places and soft. Serve either in kebabs, or on toast, in pittas…

38 comments » | Barbecue, Cheese, Uncategorized, Vegetables

Georgian BBQ Pork and Plum Sauce

June 8th, 2012 — 12:27pm

You may remember the frankly THRILLING post I wrote about the food markets in Georgia. There was also a post about the wine, for which I am sorry. If you’re particularly on the ball, you may have picked up on the fact that the post on Georgian food a whole 2 months ago was appended with the words ‘Part 1′. Ahem. Tum ti tum…

Of course you’ve all been e-mailing saying, ‘Helen, where is part two? We’re hanging on your every word oh wise one.’ Or not. One of the two. Anyway. So. Right. Georgian food, Part 2, plus, plus some recipes. Gawd, I’m good to you. You’ve no idea what Georgian food is like? Of course you don’t. No-one does until they visit or come into contact with someone who has lived there or is like, properly Georgian and really, how often does that happen?

So when I was in Georgia I went to a lot of meals called supras which are basically big feasts. There are lots of toasts during these feasts because the Georgians are well into toasting; I’m talking raising a glass and saying nice words here rather than burning pieces of bread. So they toast their ancestors and their friends but most of all they toast you because they consider guests to be ‘gifts from God’. It’s all rather overwhelming. Then they do this polyphonic singing thing which is rather moving too and before you know it you’ve made 10 new best friends and then 15 minutes later you decide they are actually your new family and you’re welling up and no it isn’t anything at all to do with the wine (little bit).

So I’ve been thinking a lot about Georgian food since my visit. I’ve cooked a Georgian meal with Kirstin Rodgers and I’ve visited a Georgian restaurant. The latter was very disappointing; they tried to make the food sort of ‘posh Georgian’, which totally misses the point. It’s like trying to do Caribbean fine dining or something (I had a heated discussion with someone about that once – different story). Anyway, there are a few recipes I’ve been meaning to lock down at home, like the BBQ pork and plum sauce I’m going to bang on about shortly. First though I’m going to tell you about some other things I ate and enjoyed and want to cook.

Kachapuri, or to give it its proper name ‘salty cheese bread’ (possibly the other way around). My salt tolerance soared in Georgia, which is truly saying something. I bought 3 slabs of this bread back with me and feasted on it, cold, for a couple of days until I started to feel sick and thought I might get food poisoning. Then I went to intensive care and was put on a drip due to dehydration (possible lie).

These ball thingies are called phkali and are made from ground walnuts (walnuts grow in Georgia so feature heavily), puréed veg such as spinach or beetroot, garlic and loads of herbs like coriander and dill. These would not be out of place at an Iranian meal; Georgian food has a lot in common with Iranian food actually, in that they use loads of fresh herbs, ground nuts, pomegranates, aubergine, yoghurt…

Behold! The buffalo milk yoghurt that brought me back from the brink of a hangover; I mean, I was actually at the crossroads, staring down the road of no return and then a shining white light started calling from a distance, ‘Helen? Heelleeeeeeen?’ The voice of soothing, stomach settling buffalo milk yoghurt. The Georgian mineral water has the same healing properties, FYI, drinkers, but it does taste pretty funky. Go with the yoghurt.

These meat dumplings are called khinkali; you hold them by the top nipply bit and eat them very carefully because they are filled with hot stock. I found this out the hard way, surprise surprise. Greedy. Impatient. Predictable. Then there’s some minced meat to enjoy, which is flavoured strongly with black pepper. I really enjoyed the fact that pepper was the main flavouring actually.

And so we arrive at the BBQ pork, which is grilled on mahoosive skewers as per the top photo and garnished with chopped shallots. The marinade I made is basically a load of this awesome chilli powder mix I bought in the market in Tbilisi (I think substitute with really good quality chilli flakes, mild chilli powder and salt) mixed with ground coriander, onion, garlic and a load of oil and vinegar. I actually didn’t mean to use as much vinegar as I did but I had a little jib out when pouring and sloshed a load in by mistake. This turned out to be quite the happy accident as it really tenderised the meat to silly levels and tasted rather awesome. Here’s my batch…

I served it with the plum sauce (tkemali); there are red and green versions, with the former being sweeter. Mine turned out kind of orange. Hey ho. Obviously I had to use whatever plums I could find which was okay because recipes online all advised ‘just use unripe plums’. In June in the UK? No problemo. I grabbed the nearest supermarket punnet.

The finished sauce tastes quite tart and sort of musty in a good way, down to the ground coriander and heavy use of dill. It goes really well with grilled meat, particularly pork, which loves a bit of tangy fruit action. I was pretty chuffed with how well this turned out to be honest. It tasted almost identical to the stuff we had in Georgia.

So there’s the story of how I threw some stuff in a pot and it came out really well by accident. Ta-da!

Georgian BBQ Pork 

1kg pork fillet, cubed
1 onion, grated (if you can bear doing this..otherwise very finely chop)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons Georgian chilli spice mix (sub with chilli flakes, mild chilli powder and some extra salt)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 tablespoons oil (any, really, apart from extra virgin)
4 tablespoons vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
Salt (loads)
Black pepper

Shallots, to serve

Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Mix the marinade with the pork. Leave to marinate for a couple of hours (not sure what would happen overnight to be honest, the vinegar does tenderise the meat a lot in just a couple of hours). Skewer the meat and BBQ it. Garnish with chopped shallots.

Georgian Plum Sauce (I used this recipe from the New York Times but messed about with it and subbed things in because I was in someone else’s house and they didn’t have the right stuff)

500g random unripe plums (supermarket ideal for this)
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (not sure this makes any difference but put it in anyway)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (think I used chilli powder or paprika or something)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (I used a bit more)
2 tablespoons each finely chopped coriander and dill (I upped the dill)
Salt and pepper
Sugar (it will need some sugar to balance it but the sauce should still be quite sour)

Plunge plums into boiling water then drain, get as much skin off as you can and attempt to remove the stones. I had to randomly hack the flesh off as best I could because trying to get stones out of unripe plums is pretty impossible.

Chuck everything apart from the fresh herbs in a pot with a mug full of water and cook it until the plums are all mushy. You’re supposed to blend it but I couldn’t find a blender in my mate’s house so I just kind of mashed them up with a fork and actually it was rather nice with a few chunks. Adjust sugar, lemon juice, seasoning balance, add the fresh herbs and voila! Georgian plum sauce. Let it cool down to room temperature before serving.

50 comments » | Barbecue, Meat, Sauces, Travel

Smoked Chicken Wings with Honey & Chipotle

March 19th, 2012 — 1:20pm

Last weekend I decided on a whim that it was, without a doubt, the official start of BBQ season. It was a beautiful day and we flung open the doors on to the balcony, letting sun stream into the flat, fired up the grill and had a bunch of mates over to devour what I rather modestly titled a ‘Mexican Feast’. We ripped through a mountain of tacos, piled with slow-cooked pork with blood orange and chipotle plus about seven different salsas, guac and sour cream (got carried away) followed by chocolate mousse sprinkled with honeycomb. To start, it was a big pile of these wings, which we set upon like a bunch of feral animals.

When cooking wings on the BBQ, there’s always the question of how to get the skin nice and crisp (i.e you’re not deep-frying them). I spent a lot of time last year cooking chicken wings, a LOT of time, and I found that even 40 minutes over indirect heat can sometimes leave them a little flabby of skin. Recently however, I discovered a new method via Serious Eats. A new method! Joy! The meat is treated in a mixture of salt and baking powder, then suspended on a wire rack over a dish in the fridge. This needs to happen for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. I also added dried oregano (on the Mexican vibe) and some Old Bay Seasoning.

The wings don’t really look that different in the morning, but when they’re cooked over indirect heat on the BBQ for about 45 minutes, they go all sort of dry and weird looking. I was a little worried at that point.

They’re then doused in the sauce and flashed over direct heat to caramelise and char. It turned out I needn’t have worried, as the result was the crispest skin I’ve ever achieved on a BBQ and some juicy meat within; the wings are so fatty that they can be cooked for ages without ever drying out inside. The sauce is a mixture of smoky spiced chipotles in adobo (that’s smoked jalapeño chillies in a sweet sauce) which I was kindly sent by the Cool Chilli Co. but have also made at home with much success. They’re incredible and will add smoky intensity to many dishes. I used quite a lot in this recipe which gave the wings a good kick of heat. Balanced with plenty of honey they were super sticky too, cut with the tropical astringency of lime juice.

They’re so good I just made another batch yesterday and I’m making a third next week for a mate’s birthday. The buzzing heat of the chipotles builds with every wing, yet is numbed by the sweet honey, making for an addictive cycle which makes you go back for another and another and another. Have plenty of kitchen roll handy.

Smoked Chicken Wings with Honey & Chipotle

Makes enough for 15-20 wings (depends on their size really)

For the rub

1 heaped teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

For the sauce

3 heaped tablespoons canned chipotles in adobo (the ones I had were from Cool Chilli Co. and were chopped up in the sauce, in contrast to the ones I’ve made at home/bought before)
1 tablespoon chipotle ketchup (optional)
50g melted butter
Juice 2 limes
5 tablespoons honey

You will also need a handful of hickory wood chips, for smoking.

Start this the day before you want to eat. Mix all the ingredients for the rub together. Pat the wings dry then cover them with the rub, making sure to massage it in to each wing. Spread the wings out on a rack (I used a cake cooling rack) and suspend this over a baking dish or other large flat dish, so that the dish can catch any drips and the air can circulate around the wings. Refrigerate the wings but don’t cling film them, as they need exposure to air.

The next day, make the sauce. Melt the butter then add it to a blender with all the other ingredients and whizz until well combined.

Fire up your BBQ and set up the coals for indirect cooking (by which I mean wait for them to turn white then move them across to one side of the BBQ). Place the wings skin side down on the side of the grill that is NOT over the coals, throw your soaked chips into the coals, then put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes. After this time, turn the wings and cook for another 20 minutes or so (with the lid on).

After this time, douse each wing in sauce then return to the grill, this time OVER the coals; this is to get some char on each wing and caramelise that sauce. This takes about 15-20 minutes.

Once the wings are good and caramelised, you may want to douse them in any remaining sauce.

31 comments » | Barbecue, Hot Sauce, Meat

My Favourite Recipes (& Guilty Pleasures) of 2011

December 31st, 2011 — 12:00pm

Food Stories has been predominantly recipe (not restaurant) focused this year. Creating is what makes me feel happiest inside, it turns out. So here are my favourite recipes of 2011, followed by the most memorable guilty pleasures; it would be terribly neglectful to exclude the latter, I think, as it’s surely clear by now that I’m quite partial to a filthy (probably pork-based, definitely artery-shuddering) snackette, or four.

1. Egg Yolk Ravioli (top photo)

It took three attempts, but I eventually nailed this recipe and was rewarded with some of the most decadent pasta I’ve ever eaten; a quivering yolk coddled by a ring of spinach and ricotta, ready to ooze headlong into a sauce that is made almost entirely from melted butter. Crushed pink peppercorns and purple basil made it one of my prettiest plates of 2011, too.

2. Piri Piri Chicken

2011 was the year I got even more into BBQ. Come drizzle, hail or sunshine, I was out there guarding that Weber, tongs in hand, bucket of meat on standby. We worked our way through jerk; brisket; brats cooked in beer; pulled pork and an obscene amount of wings (more on those later) but one of my favourite recipes was this piri piri chicken, inspired by a local takeaway. The combination of charred chicken (for piri piri must be charred), feisty chilli and tangy vinegar sauce made this one of my hits of the summer.

3. Boston Baked Beans

These rich and smoky Boston baked beans are thick with molasses and packed with nubs of smoked pork belly. They’re about as different to regular baked beans as you can imagine and they rocked my world.

4. Baghdad Eggs

I first came across Baghdad eggs in Jake Tilson’s brilliant cook book, ‘A Tale of 12 Kitchens’. This combination of  onions, sharp yoghurt and spiced butter on eggs is now my favourite weekend brunch.

5. Daim Bar Ice Cream

I visited Sweden this year and re-discovered Daim Bars. They went straight into ice cream. I watched my boyfriend devour the remains of this, straight from the tub with a spoon, after which he lay back, clutching his stomach, moaning “I feel siiiiiiick”. In a good way, you understand.

6. Ham Cooked in Coca Cola with a Rum and Molasses Glaze

The only way to make this sticky-sweet ham any better would be to pull great big hunks off it, stick it in a sandwich with some deep fried pickles and…oh, wait a minute.

7. Hickory Smoked Hot Wings 

After my first batch of home made hot wings, I wanted to do a variation and decided to smoke them using hickory wood chips, before dousing them as usual in Frank’s Hot Sauce and melted butter. Come to mama.

8. Smoky Aubergine and Lamb Pide

Pide are like a pointy Middle Eastern version of pizza. I based the recipe on my ‘Peckham Pizza’ (based on lahmacun). The topping is an intense paste made from spiced, minced lamb and the flesh from a charred aubergine. Garnished with chopped pickles and herbs, they’re lovely eaten as is, or wrapped around some salad.

 9. Pork Pibil Tacos

This pibil was made with pork knuckles and smothered in achiote paste – a wonderful ingredient which simply has no substitute. The tacos were spicy, drizzled as they were with a sauce made from orange juice, onion and scotch bonnet chillies.

10. Sausage Rolls with Apricots and Whisky-Caramelised Onions

And finally, a seasonal entry at number 10, my new favourite sausage roll recipe. Onions were slowly, slowly caramelised then bubbled furiously with whisky before going into these sausage rolls along with some dried apricots. The sweetness worked so well with the sausage meat and I’ve had great feedback from people who’ve made them this Christmas.

For the guilty pleasures, I’ve exercised some restraint (most uncharacteristic) and narrowed it down to five:

1. Baked Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Spinach

Sneaking in on 3rd Jan was this rather naughty dish I made for my boyfriend’s birthday dinner. Home-made gnocchi baked in a sauce of Gorgonzola and cream, with a little spinach thrown in to ease the guilt. The gnocchi goes crispy on top while remaining gooey and soft underneath. A cardiologist’s nightmare.

2. Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Candied Bacon

Candied bacon is definitely one of my top guilty pleasures of the year, so much so I wrote a whole post about making it and using it. I have fond memories though of this ‘salad’ garnish, chopped candied bacon sprinkled over a river of blue cheese dressing and crunchy iceberg.

3. Deep Fried Pickles

Everyone went mad for these in 2011. I stuffed mine into a sandwich with coca cola ham and hot sauce. Then I had a lie down.

4. Meatwagon Burgers

I’ve followed Yianni’s journey from his van in Peckham, through #Meateasy in New Cross and now to Meat Liquor via The Rye. The latter has to be the most convenient and dangerous burger vending situation ever in existence if the state of my waistline is anything to go by. The Rye pub is opposite my house you see and for a few glorious months I needed to do little more than hop over the road to get my fix. Now they’re gone and Meat Liquor is in central London. I could cry.

5. Eggy Bread and Candied Bacon Sandwich

In at number 5: the sandwich of shame. I had candied bacon to hand and I’d just made eggy bread. It had to be done, see? We felt the guilt after eating this but damn, it was good. Sick, but good. If you’re into sandwiches, I’ve written a post about my top 5 here.

Phew. No wonder I need to lose weight. The diet inevitably starts er, tomorrow but until then I’ve got a Ginger Pig rib eye with my name on it. Happy New Year everyone. Thank you for reading and here’s to a tasty 2012. Cheers!

 

36 comments » | Barbecue, Brunch, Burgers, Christmas, Desserts, Dressings, Eggs, Gnocchi, Guilty Pleasures, Ice Cream, Main Dishes, Meat, Peckham, Round-ups, Salads, Salsa, Sandwiches, Sauces, Condiments and Spreads, Vegetables

Hickory smoked corn with chilli and lime

August 23rd, 2011 — 8:58am

I was privy to an e-mail recently that said all I ever talk about is pork. Well, Mr. Anti-Swine, stick this in your judgement pipe and smoke it.* Corn! A vegetable! Serious!

Defensive? Moi?

The golden cobs were 5 for a pound in Peckham last week, which is obviously an offer only a stupid woman would refuse. I decided to smoke them using hickory chips, considering I’d had such success with the hot wings (that’s chicken, right? Pigs don’t have wings, silly!) The Gods of Confidence were there to teach me a lesson however and the first time I was way too enthusiastic with the chips. It is definitely possible to over-smoke things, which seems really obvious now that I’ve done it.

My default topping for corn is usually butter mixed with chipotle and lime but I didn’t want to confuse things with smoky chipotle and smoky corn so I just gave them a thorough butter-bath followed by a scattering of my best (unsmoked) paprika, the zest of a lime and a good squeeze of its juice.

I can see myself using these in some sort of relish, or maybe serving them frittered with bacon. Oh no wait…

*Okay FINE, so it has been a little pork heavy around here lately. Ahem.

Hickory smoked corn

Butter
Paprika, cayenne or fresh chilli (whatever takes your fancy)
Lime juice and zest
Salt and pepper

Hickory wood chips for smoking (1 handful. Do not be tempted to add any more for 4 cobs).

Light your BBQ for indirect cooking (with the coals to one side). The corn doesn’t necessarily need indirect cooking but you’re using wood chips and (apparently) should never cook food directly over the smoke. Soak a handful of chips in cold water while the BBQ is lighting.

When it is hot, put your corns on the side that is without coals, throw your chips into the coals then put the lid on your BBQ. Cook until the corn cobs are tender and juicy – about 20 minutes. Adorn with butter, lime, chilli, salt and pepper.

17 comments » | Barbecue, Vegetables

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