As we near the middle of summer we should be making the most of these balmy days and nights with a classic Kiwi barbecue. It is hard to look past a cookbook from Alison Holst (New Zealand’s doyenne of cookery and answer to Delia Smith) which offers tasty recipes and practical tips on barbecuing New Zealand barbecue cookbook or try Julie Biuso’s never-ending summer : stunning barbecue dishes to tempt you all year round.
Now is the season and Fresh! offer recipes and advice on using seasonal and local ingredients with a New Zealand focus. Taking us on a tiki-tour of a culinary and hunting nature through New Zealand, is Al Brown and Steve Logan in Hunger for the wild. Telling great tales of hunting, fishing and of the characters they meet along their journey the length and breadth of the country, whilst throwing in some delicious recipes along the way.
For a taste of cuisine with Māori flavours including contemporary to traditional dishes take a look at Kai time, Kai ora and Cooking with Charles Royal.
Tony Kesseler – Manager of Food & Hospitality, Travel & Tourism at CPIT shares some tips with us to achieve the perfect Kiwi barbie.
1. Think thin
The thinner your meat, the less distance the heat has to travel to cook the middle, so the easier it is to get the inside right without burning the outside. Cut your steaks about 1cm (1/2 in) thick. Tenderise if necessary.
2. Don’t poke & prod
I have a saying “are you making love to that or cooking it?”
It takes time for your caramelised barbecue crust to develop and this won’t happen if you’re continually flipping your steaks or burgers. Only turn once and definitely don’t squash everything down as this forces the juices to run out leaving you with sad dry meat. Sausages are also best left alone, piercing the skins dries them out.
3. Cooking chicken
Chicken is best pre-cooked then finished on a barbecue. Keep your pre-cooked meat at a safe temperature (chilled if transporting) and finish off on the barbecue making sure the chicken is cooked through.
4. Remember your food hygiene
Always put your cooked food on a clean plate or chopping board and never add marinade that was used for raw meat to cooked meat. It’s simple common sense. Never mix raw meat with cooked meat.
5. Clean your barbecue
Always clean your barbecue – if not immediately after use then the very next day. Scrub with hot soapy water and dry off with a damp cloth.
To enjoy with your barbecue try a Florida Salad, “not exactly the healthiest … but absolutely delicious on a hot summer’s day” says Tony.
4 x oranges, 1 x lemon, whipped cream 80mls, grapes cut in half, 4 x lettuce quarters
1. peel orange zest with peeler and cut into fine julienne.
2. blanch zest, julienne and refresh
3. peel orange and remove white skin
4. cut oranges into segments between the white pith and remove all pips
5. arrange lettuce and place 4 or 5 orange segments in each portion
6. sprinkle with a little julienne zest
7. add a good portion of grapes
8. combine with acidulated cream, or serve acidulated cream separately
Whipped cream mixed with a few drops of lemon juice – cream becomes slightly sour