Umm where did December come from? Its presence here means that not only is Christmas around the corner, but summer has arrived. You all know what that means… It’s BBQ season! As the weather heats up, it’s time to check the gas bottle, dust off the cobwebs and fire that bad boy up. The common perception of the Aussie BBQ usually involves a man in a pair of thongs, a singlet with his beer belly on show, a beer in one hand and a set of tongs in the other. The salads are the domain of the woman and really so is all the work, the man just stands there pouring beer on the onions and moving the food around the BBQ until it resembles something like a nicely charred piece of meat. However, there is so much more to hosting the perfect BBQ and I’m about to reveal the secret code of the BBQ master. But before I do that, I should inform you that recently I broke the golden rule and I’m no longer worthy of the BBQ master title… don’t hate me.
Step 1: Planning is the key to your success. Sit down and think about it, you will be glad you did. Planning ensures taking your BBQ to the next level and making it a more memorable event for all involved. Think of a theme and go with it, set some mood lighting, whether it’s those awesome little paper lanterns or those bamboo fire sticks (yes that’s the technical name right?). Most important of all, plan the menu. Think of something that will set your BBQ apart from the stereotypical Aussie BBQ… be inspired by the flavours of Asia, Greece, Spain and pretty much everywhere else. Ladies if you plan on taking control, let your man down gently and provide him with plenty of beer… he will cheer up in no time. Spice things up by serving different types of buns like Ciabatta or baguettes, go with a different style of cheese, serve condiments like garlic mayo, think of the veterinarians out there too, and get fancy with your tap water, throw in a slice of lemon or lime and put it in a fancy jug… People will think you are serving them water from the Fijian mountains.
Step 2: Preparation. This will save you running around like a headless chook on the day and actually give you some time to enjoy catching up with whom ever it is you’ve invited. Prep the salads just before the guests arrive but leave them naked (don’t put the dressing on until just before you serve) this will stop the salad withering away. Make sure you have all of you BBQ tools within reach and ensure the BBQ is clean and ready to go. For the love of Mexican food PLEASE make sure your meat is at room temperature before cooking it, it makes a world of a difference.
Step 3: Season the food! When I say season, the tiniest sprinkle of salt on one side of the steak does not count. Be generous and be creative. Try seasoning your steak with a good pinch of rosemary salt, release your inner Jamie Oliver… Worried about eating too much ‘bad’ salt? Do yourself a favour and go out and buy some sea salt flakes, I use the Murray River Pink Salt and it’s awesome.
The golden rule: No matter what, never run out of beer when you have the BBQ out… This is the rule I recently broke and had to get through a whole BBQ with only two beers…. Needless to say I did not share any with the onions (there’s really no need for that… you’re just wasting beer). I hang my head in shame for breaking this rule.
Now for the part where I shock probably about 89.7% of you when I say in my twenty something years I have never made a potato salad… I know right! I’m still not sure how I managed to get away with it for so long, but I’m putting it down to the fact there is usually always that one person who brings the potato salad, so I’d never have to worry. Until now that is. So after posting the question of what to put into a potato salad to my Facebook followers (thank you!), this is what I came up with.