May 12th, 2012
We considered wok cooking over a gas powered water feature,
but the flame wasn’t hot enough and it would have taken too much time to get it working properly.
Next came the gas shower head – again we got nice big flames but not much heat…
The ice chair did hold some possibilities too..
but finally, a barbecue seemed the sensible option.
I mixed up an interesting cauliflower salad on the science bench above, using sliced cauliflower florets, chopped onion, red and yellow peppers, coriander leaves, a little mint, olives, olive oil, garlic, a sprinkle of crushed chilli and the juice of a lime. Heidi made a lovely tomato salad with basil and olive oil and Xavier brought some tabbouleh. In the melee of getting the barbecue hot and preparing lots of fish, I forgot to photograph the salad and a super fuerte allioli (recipe here).
The first course was prawns – they cooked in a few minutes on the barbecue and were served brushed with garlic infused olive oil and the allioli.
Mackerel followed the prawns, with a little fennel and garlic olive oil for flavour.
To the left of the mackerel were a couple of parcels of asparagus with the garlic oil, wrapped in aluminium foil. This is an excellent way of cooking asparagus – it took between 5 – 10 minutes and beats boiling or steaming on a hob for tenderness and flavour. I also cooked some sliced fennel this way, which took about 20 minutes before it became tender – by that time it had started to caramelise and tasted amazing.
Crispy salmon skin came next, cooked directly on the barbecue grill.
Cosmo found some butter to add flavour to a kilo of mussels, again steamed in foil and then last of all…
I can’t say that I had time for much socialising until the end, but it did seem like the guests were having a good time!