Sizzle into summer with these hot BBQ ideas
With warmer weather approaching and the sun starting to linger further into the balmy evenings it’s time to dust off the grill and sizzle your way into the summer months. While what makes a great BBQ evening is the company and the conversation, the food of course plays a huge role in making your gathering unforgettable. So put away the charred bargain bangers and bumper packs of pre-marinated meat from the supermarket. It’s time to get creative with your BBQ offerings.
Sides with a twist
The go to offerings for BBQ sides tend to be a standard garden salad, a potato salad and perhaps some corn on the cob for good measure. Now they are staples for a reason and by all means give the people what they want, but try mixing it up a little for something unique people will remember. How about a warm salad, and to keep with the meaty theme of the day make sure it is stacked with protein. Biltong salads are an interesting twist and can incorporate many different ingredients with your favourite flavour biltong. Try spicy biltong and nuts pan fried and added to some fresh leaves, or go earthier with some BBQ biltong roasted with some cherry tomatoes and butternut squash. Your guests will be talking about it for the rest of the summer!
Don’t palm off the veggies with a plate of lettuce and a sad looking bean burger, just because BBQs are, let’s face it, mostly about the meat doesn’t mean your foliage-inclined friends should go without a treat. Try a kebab of fresh veg and some halloumi, or some stuffed peppers flame grilled to perfection. There are so many great vegetarian friendly options for your BBQ, so next time, step away from the frozen veggie burger isle and get creative and colourful with some fresh ingredients.
Going to the local butcher and buying everything in sight might seem like a great idea, but in reality you’ll probably end up eating leftover BBQ meat for the next week and have no money left for anything to go with your meat-fest. Meat is typically quite expensive, so mix it up a little and go for some different cuts you might not otherwise have bought and make your own sauces and spice mixes, it’s usually cheaper than buying them ready-made.
Piece de resistance
Not every BBQ calls for a full hog-roast and most don’t have the set up to allow for a giant fire-pit and whole spit-roast pig. However, some kind of centre piece or “main event” is sure to make your BBQ a hit. Perhaps work on the theme of a hog-roast with a big tray of pulled pork in plenty of sauce ready to load up into bread rolls with a choice of salad topping. Alternatively many butchers sell full racks of ribs, so stock up on a few and hope your grill has room to accommodate that much meat!
The old adage that the oldies are the goodies does apply to BBQ parties but as well as sticking with the traditional dishes, add in some of the above to make yours a culinary delight over and above a blackened burger in a bun. Most ideas take a minimal amount of prep and will have people coming back for seconds, thirds and even more. Remember, if they fill up on the food there’s less chance they’ll have room to raid your beer stash!