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simple BBQ’d devilled mackerel

This simple mackerel dish is a firm favourite with my family. It’s inspired by family camping trips to the Cornish Coast, where we spend weeks during the summer. We were served something similar to this dish in a seaside restaurant in the beautiful town of St Ives. In fact my eldest daughter didn’t talk through the entire meal, instead she sat happily devouring her lunch.

Firstly this uncomplicated meal takes minutes to prepare and not much longer to cook. However aside from it simplicity, it’s also worth pointing out that we only paid £2.44 for these 2 whole fish. Fresh mackerel is a wonderful oily fish, so as well as being tasty it’s good for you. Meanwhile devilled merely means we added some chilli heat to the marinade. Thereafter we paired this barbecued fish with a really simple tomato salad.

I bought my bucket barbeque in a small shop in Aberfeldy years ago. It’s lightweight and has a handle making it ideal for carrying to the beach. After all, who doesn’t love a barbecue on the beach? However, due to it’s compact size its also handy when you just want to cook a small amount of food.

Of course with this dish I continue with my crusade to help Michelle eat more fish. When we met years ago she simply didn’t eat fish and she certainly didn’t cook it at home. Her family love fish therefore I decided that this year was the year to change this. So what was the conclusion, did Michelle enjoy the dish? I believe so, as she finished her plate leaving only the tail and the bones!

Finally a huge thank you to the lovely Ellie from The Veg Company who provided us with the chillies and tomatoes that we used in this dish.

simple BBQ’d devilled mackerel

Ingredients

  • 2 whole mackerel (gutted)
  • 200g tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 red onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 handfuls watercress
  • 1 small handful fresh parsley (chopped)

marinade

  • 2 chillies
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

salad dressing

  • 2 tbsp smoked olive oil (extra-virgin is fine if you have no smoked)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Directions

Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and blitz together with a stick blender if you have one, if not a pestle and mortar will work also.
Make 3 large cuts into both sides of each fish and place in a dish. Pour over the marinate making sure it gets into the cuts, and set aside for an hour to marinate.
Get your barbecue started and allow time to get the coals white hot and for the flame to have died down.
Meanwhile place the sliced onion in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes to soften their sharpness, then drain away the water. Then place the tomatoes, red onion, watercress and parsley into a salad bowl and set aside.
Place all the ingredients for the salad dressing into a jam jar and give it a good shake to combine, then set aside.
Place the fish over the barbecue coals and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. The skin will bubble and become very crispy. Once cooked remove the fish immediately.
Dress the salad and serve it immediately, alongside the barbecued fish.

This recipe is linked up to Recipe of the Week.

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lemon & paprika chicken kebabs

There is little that I enjoy doing more than eating outdoors with my family. Whether it’s a picnic, lunch on my patio or a barbeque on the beach, I’m rarely happier. As much as I love to eat outdoors, I also love to cook outdoors. Furthermore I’m not someone who needs the sunshine in order to get the barbeque going, that said it does help!

I created this very simple barbeque dish for my youngest daughter who previously would not eat any barbequed food. She used to be a very fussy eater, thankfully this is no longer the case. However, she would always eat chicken and has never been afraid of spice. Therefore I kept things simple, using a few of her favourite flavours (and mine too).

These chicken kebabs are very quick to prepare which is why I like to make them when cooking outdoors on our family camping trips. I place the marinade and chicken into a ziplock bag ready for cooking wherever we decide to set up the barbeque, whether on the campsite or the nearest beach.

When cooking away from home I find the less fuss the better. For me it’s not about being particularly elabourate, more about just enjoying the fresh air and the company of the people you’re with. It’s even better if your chosen spot is within walking distance, as was the case in the photo below. That way you can pack a bottle of wine, enjoying a glass while you’re cooking!

Besides I am firmly of the opinion that there’s little better on holiday than a barbeque on the beach. Finally, it’s only natural that any barbeque is followed by toasting marshmallows. The cracking sunset was an added bonus.

lemon & paprika chicken kebabs

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon (finely grated rind and juice)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts (cubed in bite-sized chunks)
  • 2 red peppers (cut into bite-sized chunks)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • salt

Directions

Place the juice and finely grated zest of a lemon into a bowl, along with the smoked paprika, garlic, olive oil and black pepper. Stir well to combine and add the cubed chicken. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to marinade.
Ideally marinade the chicken overnight but if short of time a couple of hours will do.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge and season with salt (do not add salt to the marinade as this will only draw all the moisture from the chicken). Thread the chicken onto a skewer, alternating with the red pepper.
Place the skewers on a hot barbeque turning regularly to ensure the chicken does no burn. Use any excess marinade to baste the chicken from time to time. This not only adds more flavour but also keeps the chicken moist.
Serve once the chicken is cooked through.
Alternatively, if cooking indoors, place the kebabs onto a baking tray and place under a medium grill. Turn the kebabs regularly to ensure cooked through.

Shared with CookBlogShare where you will also find recipes by fellow food bloggers.

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tandoori prawns & flat breads – our summer cookout

 

Our girls have all been enjoying summer cookouts in the woods with their Guide Units in the run up to the summer holidays. This has inspired Michelle and I to have a cookout of our own, as keen campers we both love being outdoors and cooking plays a large part in that. However, rather than cook the basics today, we decided to do something a bit different and opted instead for tandoori prawns with flatbreads and a yoghurt dip. Prawns are great to cook with, easy to prepare and marinade and super quick to cook. Lunch for two in no time!

We cook outdoors often, our barbecues getting put to good use throughout the year. On this occasion we had plenty of time to cook and decided we wanted to use Michelle’s new wood fired pizza oven, cooking both the prawns and the flatbreads on the pizza stone. Michelle picked up the pizza oven for £99 at Aldi earlier in the summer, it’s been a great buy so far with pizza’s being made regularly. Today we wanted to try cooking some seafood and flatbreads and amidst lots of smoke and sore eyes, we had a great morning.

 

It’s almost July and school holidays are upon us, therefore we will be taking a break over the summer holiday period while I pack up my tent and head off the the Cornish coast camping with my family and Michelle gets started on her house renovations. This will be our last recipe post for a couple of weeks, however we will post from Instagram over the summer. Happy holidays to all our readers and we look forward to seeing you all in August.

tandoori prawns with pickled onion & yoghurt dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 540g jumbo prawns (if using frozen drain after defrosting)

pickle

  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • salt & pepper

marinade

  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • 2.5 cm ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 level tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander
  • 1 level tsp chilli powder

dressing

  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • salt & pepper

Directions

Slice the onion thinly and place in a bowl with all the remaining pickle ingredients. Stir well to combine, cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Meanwhile place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, stir well to combine then add the prawns and coat thoroughly. Set aside for no more than 30 minutes as the lemon juice in the marinade will start to cook the prawns.
Place the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
Place the marinaded prawns onto a skewer and cook for 1 minute on each side using your preferred method of cooking. Cook under a hot grill, turning once or do as we did and cook outdoors in an oven or on a hot barbeque grill.
When the prawns are cooked, serve immediately with the pickled onions and yoghurt dressing alongside some salad leaves and flatbreads.

 

naan bread

Ingredients

  • 300g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 20g fresh yeast (or use one sachet dried yeast)
  • 5 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 4 tbsp melted ghee or butter
  • 150 ml water (more or less depending on your flour)
  • 2-3 tsp nigella seeds

Directions

Combine all ingredients into a stand mixer bowl with dough hook attachment. Combine and mix for about 6-8 minutes until you have a lovely smooth dough. (You can also do by hand but be aware it is a slightly wetter dough and avoid the temptation to add more flour.)
Once the dough is ready, oil the bowl, replace the dough into the bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rise until doubled approximately 1 hour.
Once risen, divide the dough into 6 portions, roll each and top with nigella seeds. Place each piece in the wood fired oven one at a time for about 1 minute per side. You should see lovely air bubbles form after that time.

If you are using a hot grill pan, ensure the pan is at hot as possible, place the rolled dough onto the grilled pan and cover with a lid to help encourage the air bubbles. Turn once underside is starting to char, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve with any curry, or use as a flatbread and top with your favourite ingredients. We love this recipe with our Tandoori prawns.

Linking this recipe up to Cook Blog Share, make sure you check it out for some other great recipes from fellow food bloggers.