Hosting a Barbecue off!
So the weather has been unpredicatable to say the least recently. That doesn’t put me off firing up the BBQ and it shouldn’t stop you either. Those of you who follow Mintcustard, and those who don’t will have seen that a number of my posts are based around my barbecue. I often try to use the barbecue to cook foods that you would usually expect to see coming out of the oven, pizza, baked sweet potatoes and even stuffed mushrooms.
How lovely then to be asked by Waitrose to host a Barbecue off. Heston Blumental has created a number of different products for the barbecue. Also on the Waitrose website there are a whole host of Heston recipes so you can create them on your barbecue at home.
As you know I love to create new dishes when I cook, but this time the guests to Mintcustard mansions were expected to come up with their own inspiration and originality. And they would be competing with each other to produce the best, or most unusual creation.
A wide variety of burgers and sausages were grilled and then people set to work.
First the breads. Should you combine burger and sausage under one bun? Would a cheese topped bap be better than a brioche bun for a burger. Can I forget the bun altogether and just wrap the lot up in a big iceberg lettuce leaf? The answer to all of the above is a huge resounding “Yes!” It really is a case of personal choice.
Sausages varied from plain and simple chipolatas, favoured by those who wanted to ramp up the flavours of the accompaniments to spicy choriso sausages that could just be tempered by bun and mayonnaise. The revelation of the night in sausage terms, and that is a sentence I’ve not written before, were the bacon wrapped honey and rosemary ones. Just delicious and personally a brioche bun sets them off a treat.
What to put inside your bun? We had a variety of cheeses, dressings, pickles, chutneys, salads and of course ketchup, mustard and mayo. Should the cheese be melted or just placed over the meat. Does anyone eat the pickle?Me, I do!
Please don’t think we just had a meat fest, not that those are bad but we need vegetables too. As a starter we had chargrilled corn on the cob. I soaked the corn in their husks for a couple of hours, then put the damp cobs still in their husks on the BBQ. They steam in their own juices and once the husks are blackened all they way around, about 15 minutes, the cobs are done. We did also have a large platter of antipasti. The Heston inspired roasted shallot and star anise dip is surprising but in a good way!
Burgers and dogs were accompanied by a big bowl of sweet potato fries. More vegetables.
So who won? Tom won the portable BBQ for inhaling a half pound burger, with Monterey jack cheese and a chorizo hot dog in a cheesy bun in seconds.
Graham won the BBQ tool for eating 3 of his five a day in his meal – and lots of meat too I may say.
We had a pudding too. Baked banana split with chocolate and ice cream. Nice.
I know the weather isn’t too lovely at the moment but hosting a BBQ off is brilliant fun, and much easier than running a typical BBQ as your guests do all the work. Just provide them with a variety of ingredients and watch them go. I was asked by Waitrose to host this BBQ off, they provided me with vouchers towards the cost of the ingredients and the prizes for the best creations. I was not asked to write a positive review of any of their products or services, or provide links.