BBQ Tips, tricks and recipes - part 2

BBQ Tips, tricks and recipes - part 2

Following on from last week I am going to share with you some more amazing and easy barbecue recipes that you need in your repertoire. The previous post was all about the grill whereas today’s focus will be more on the sauce, salad and sides that you should consider serving up.

Instead of Potato Salad try Wrinkly Potatoes with Canary Island Mojos – Papas Arrugadas

Everybody loves a good potato salad but that doesn’t mean you should serve one too. Why not get adventurous and try some Wrinkly Potatoes with Canary Island mojos instead? If you’ve been to the Canaries or certain parts of Spain you will be familiar with this dish, if not, trust me you’ll enjoy.

The potatoes are traditionally slow cooked in sea water until the water has evaporated leaving just a salt crust on the skin of the tats. You need to recreate that water environment to get as close as possible to the original version.

Ingredients to serve about 8 – 10 people

1kg of baby new potatoes
3 Tablespoons of coarse sea salt

Put the potatoes in a pan with the salt and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to low. Allow the water to evaporate completely, keep a close eye when it gets low so that the potatoes do not stick and burn. They should be cooked with a lovely salt crust. Serve with one of the following sauces.

Green Mojo – Mojo de Aguacate
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of chopped coriander
125ml olive oil (vegetable oil is an ok alternative)

In a frying pan on a low heat dry fry the cumin until aromatic, about a minute. Grind it down in a pestle and mortar before adding the garlic and salt. Crush it all together. Add the vinegar to the mixture and give it a good stir to pick up all of the garlic and cumin. Decant into the small bowl of a food processor. Add the avocado and fresh chopped herbs and blitz until smooth. Add the oil slowly drizzling a little at a time.

Red Mojo – Mojo Picon
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 good tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 large red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons red chilli flakes (add more later if you want)
1 tablespoon of mild paprika
100ml light olive oil

Repeat the steps you went through with the green sauce above but adding the red pepper, chilli and paprika in place of the avocado and herbs.

Spinach & Pine Nut Pasta Salad

This is ridiculously easy but a real winner in my opinion. Be sure to use your nest olive oil.

500g Fusilli
250 -300g spinach
3 tablespoons pine nuts
4 or 5 good glugs of olive oil

Cook the pasta according to the instructions, drain and allow to cool. The spinach should be steamed for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a chopping board.  I use a rolling pin to squeeze out excess water and then shred with a knife. Combine the spinach, pasta and nuts in a bowl and coat with olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and you’re done. This keeps well in the fridge for a few days if you like it enough to have outside of BBQ season.

Beetroot Confit
I love beetroot but never seem to have it as often as I’d like. This confit is an old recipe that will serve you well as it will keep in the fridge for months. This will make about 3 average jam jars worth.

500g beetroot, cooked, peeled and grated
250g chopped red onion
175g brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons salt
190ml red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon flour slaked in 1 tablespoon water

Place all the ingredients except the flour into a saucepan and simmer gently for about half an hour. Take off the heat and pull the solid mass aside, there should still be liquid in the pan. Stir the flour and water paste into that liquid and simmer gently for about 3 minutes to cook the flour. Use sterilised jars and this will keep for months in the fridge so you’ll always have a beet fix to hand.


This is a wonderful chilli paste that can be used as a marinade or dipping sauce. You can go as hot as you like with this but to do so diminishes the taste of the wonderful additional spices. A simple harissa would traditionally consist of tomato paste, dried chilli flakes and salt, not much else. The addition of a few extra ingredients however bring this to a whole new level. The recipe below makes about 15 tablespoons.

120g large red chillies
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
3 roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil to cover

Cut the stalks off of the chillies and decide how hot you want the harissa to be? Leave the seeds in for heat, if not slice in half and scrape them out.  Chop them up roughly and put in a blender with the garlic and blitz to a rough paste.

In a frying pan gently toast the cumin seeds, coriander, fennel and caraway until they become aromatic, about a minute. Use a spice grinder or pestle and mortar to blitz the seeds into a coarse powder. Add them to the chillies in the blender along with the red peppers, tomato puree and vinegar. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth, use a little water or additional red wine vinegar to help it if necessary.

Decant into a sterilised pot and smooth the surface over. Layer the top with olive oil which prevents mould growing and this will keep in the fridge then for a couple of weeks.


Toum – Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Toum is delicious, I simply love garlic. This works really well served with steak or the Moroccan lamb I mentioned in the first post. You can keep this for up to a week in the fridge but be warned it may split after a couple of days.

Makes about 340ml – enough for 20 people

20 cloves of garlic, peeled chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
280ml light olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons or to taste

Put the garlic and about 4 teaspoons of lemon juice in a blender and pulse into a smooth paste. Slowly add the oil a teaspoon at a time pulsing briefly before adding another. Once you have added all of the oil adjust the lemon juice to taste.

I will post more dips and salsas to tempt you over the coming months.

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