Tag Archives: Barbecue

Another Lunch At Cat’s

7 Sep

Last Saturday, before James and I headed out for dinner with our friends, we popped by Cat’s place for a barbecue lunch. Cat wanted to show the our cousins her new place, though we were missing Klene and Ray (who are in Sydney) and Haruka (who is holidaying in Japan).

The weather was nice and sunny (though a little windy) and everyone loved the backyard, especially the chickens. Henry said he was glad Haruka wasn’t there because she would have been super jealous.

As always, the food was great. From memory there were a mixture of marinated chicken ribs (tandoori, honey soy, and barbecue), lamb skewers, grilled vegetables, grilled corn (Cat had thoughtfully provided some un-buttered corn for me!), a herb pull-apart bread, two kinds of potato salad, and green salad.

This was my plate – look at all the pretty colours.

Scott was a bit worried at barbecuing because apparently his previous attempts have ended in meat sticking to the grill, but he did a great job with the meat. Apparently they got their (nearly unused) barbecue and a full gas bottle for $60.

Cat was also kind enough to let James sample her Laphroaig scotch whisky (I’m vaguely remembering quarter cask?) and James is keen to add it to his scotch wars lineup.


Portuguese Chicken Burger

24 Aug

Man, we are getting a lot of use out of our little Weber Baby Q. Even in the winter we’ve been grilling a couple of times a week (even in the rain!) and now the weather has warmed up we’ll probably step it up.

Starting with these lovely Portuguese chicken burgers from Taste! They are easy and don’t require long marination (i.e. planning), and have enough spice to be noticeable but not challenging. I was worried it would be too spicy, because James kept getting overpowered by the chilli fumes while barbecuing. But it was fine – I think it could have done with a bit more of a kick actually.

The burger looks kind of undercooked in the photo but I think the pinkish tinge actually came from being marinated in the chilli (or possibly the lighting). But anyway, it wasn’t undercooked – it was perfectly moist and delicious!

The recipe makes a single burger and can easily be scaled up. I had one and James had two.


  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried hot chilli flakes
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 chicken thigh fillet (about 130g)


  1. Place the lemon juice, oil, chilli flakes and garlic in a medium bowl. Season with salt and whisk to combine. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to marinate.
  2. Preheat a barbecue grill on medium high. Drain the chicken from the marinade. Cook on grill for 5 minutes each side or until chicken is just cooked through.

The recipe suggested serving it on a roll with garlic mayo, lettuce and tomato. If you want to be healthy you could just have it with a salad.

Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
Just the chicken: 199 calories, 46% fat, 54% protein, 1% carbs  

David Thompson’s Grilled Pork Skewers

4 Feb

A couple of years ago, Scott bought me David Thompson’s Thai Street Food for Christmas. I’ve been eyeing the grilled pork skewers for awhile, and decided to make them the other day when I had some leftover coriander roots.

It’s supposed to make enough for 4-5 people. Maybe it’s enough for 4-5 Thai people, but James and I polished it off between the two of us.

I normally find pork to be bland, but the marinade for this is awesome. It’s simple (and easy to throw together) but quite smoky and if I bought this in Thailand I would not be disappointed. I didn’t use a charcoal grill like the book recommended, but I thought the Weber did fine.

I served it on a bed of bok choy and grilled eggplant.


  • 300g pork loin or neck
  • 1 tsp cleaned and chopped coriander roots
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 TBSP shaved palm sugar
  • dash of dark soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil


  1. Slice the pork into thinnish pieces about 2cm square.
  2. Using a pestle and mortar pound the coriander root, salt, garlic and pepper into a fine paste. Combine with the sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and oil. Marinate the pork in this mixture for about 3 hours.
  3. David Thompson’s recipe has you grilling it over charcoal, but I just grilled for a couple of minutes each side over gas.


Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 serve: 389 calories, 47% fat, 36% protein, 17% carbs

Donna Hay’s Salsa Verde Lamb Skewers

1 Feb

Since we have a lovely barbecue (/pats Weber lovingly) it seemed a travesty to not grill something up for Australia Day. I wanted to try a new recipe though, so I hunted around until I found this Donna Hay recipe.

It was supposed to serve 4, but we only barbecued half of the meat, reserving the rest for another day.

Fresh off the barbecue. You can see the steam!

This recipe was tasty, but 1 cup of oil is pretty excessive (1929 calories!) so I don’t think it will make it to my regular rotation, though I am willing to experiment further with lamb backstrap. The smaller pieces were definitely more tender, so next time I barbecue lamb backstrap I’ll cut everything up smaller.

I served it with mushrooms on a bed of rocket salad. I find that as long as I stick to a lean(ish) protein plus a whole bunch of vegetables for meals, my everyday diet is pretty good without a lot of effort. I need to drop another 2kg before the Vics, so I should probably start optimising what I eat.

Salsa Verde Lamb Skewers

  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup (250ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 4 x 220g lamb backstraps (boneless loin), cut into 3cm pieces
  • Lebanese bread and lemon wedges, to serve
  1. Place the mint, parsley, rosemary, anchovy, garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until roughly chopped.
  2. Place in a large bowl with the lamb and toss to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate for 23 hours.
  3. Preheat a char-grill pan or barbecue over medium heat.
  4. Thread the lamb onto skewers and char-grill or barbecue for 68 minutes, turning occasionally, for medium or until cooked to your liking. Serve lamb skewers with bread and lemon wedges.


Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
(rougher than normal since the calorie counter didn’t have lamb backstrap so I substituted another loin cut … and obviously a lot of the oil gets discarded so IMO the calories and fat content have been waaaaay overstated)
1 serve: 890 calories, 71% fat, 28% protein, 1% carbs

Better Eating Starts Today!

4 Jan

I think I’ve gained about 2kg over the Christmas season. The combination of Christmas feasts, friends visiting from overseas, weddings, and a general perception that December is a cheat month means that my diet has been pretty bad. And since the gym and Ground Zero have been closed over the Christmas break, I haven’t really done any exercise to counter the excess calories.

I still have a lot of dining out to come – yum cha later this week, a housewarming, and a few more weddings – but I think I’ve slacked off enough when it comes to my day to day diet.

This is an example of the lunches we were having in December. Not terrible, but definitely heading towards cheat meal territory.

Every time I eat the first mouthful of The Barefoot Contessa’s curried couscous, I am reminded of how tasty it is, and inhale the rest.

The meals tentatively planned for this week are:

  • Tuesday – salmon with choy sum
  • Wednesday – Indonesian ginger chicken with green beans and/or broccoli, depending on what looks good at the market
  • Thursday – leftover Indonesian chicken
  • Friday – prawns and salad
  • Saturday – rib eye, capsicum and salad

I just came back from my first BJJ class of the year. I’m off to a rather inauspicious start because I pulled something in my back/neck like .. 20 minutes in. Boo! I’m icing it right now but I might have to skip a few of my planned workouts. Fingers crossed for gym tonight, but it’s not looking good. =(

Rib-Eye Steak on the Weber

18 Nov

I’m not used to thinking of steak as a healthy meal, but maybe that’s because I normally associate it with fries. But steak is on a weekly (or at least fortnightly) rotation at our table because it’s such a healthy, filling meal with a great macro breakdown.

I used to use Alton Brown’s method of cooking steak (sear on both sides in a cast iron pan, then finish in the oven) but it’s definitely less hassle grilling it on the Weber.

I think the stovetop to oven method wins out a little in taste, but that’s probably because James and I are still getting the timing right for the barbecue. And the advantage to cooking on the Weber is that we can do asparagus at the same time. We had a spare red capsicum and grilled that as well for some extra colour, and served it all with a small side salad.

It’s hard to tell from that photo, but this was actually a pretty substantial 400g rib-eye. It’s just that the overflowing vegetables make it look small. Once upon a time I would have decided that the asparagus was enough of a vegetable accompaniment, but nowadays I try to make sure that vegetables are at least 50% of the plate.

I think I’ll have to start getting a bit more scientific about cooking times – next time I get steak I’ll measure the thickness – I’d say this one was roughly 2-2.5 inches thick. We cooked it for 2.5 minutes each side and it turned out on the rare side of medium rare. For the same size steak I would try for 30 seconds longer next time since it was a touch rarer than we prefer.


Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
400g rib-eye steak: 824 calories, 41% fat, 59% protein, 0% carbs

Roast Chicken on the Weber: The Disastrous Sequel

17 Nov

The experiment with roasting a chicken on the Weber was so successful the first time that we decided to do it again a week later. We were so confident that we didn’t look over the instructions again, and went with memories. Which was a bad idea because:

  1. We initially forgot to put the trivet on
  2. We forgot to put a layer of foil over the grate to diffuse the heat

Which resulted in this.

In that skinless patch you can see grill marks where I plonked the chicken down directly on the grate, only to realise that we’d forgotten the trivet. James rushed inside to grab it while I cradled the chicken in my arms, making soothing sounds.

Which was all for nothing, since it ended up a blackened carbony mess. Actually, aside from the layer of crispy burnination, the rest of the chicken was alright. It was less tender than the first chicken, even though it was cooked for less time (1 hour versus 1.5 hours). We started out intending to cook it for the whole time, but when we checked on it at the 1 hour mark it was significantly darker than it was the first time round, and I think that was the point I realised that we’d forgotten the foil.

In all fairness to James, he did sense that something was awry. At the start he noticed that smoke was billowing out from the barbecue, but we thought maybe the heat was too high. Actually that was something else we forgot – the first time we had the heat a few notches from the highest setting and this time we remembered about 10 minutes later when James commented on the extra smoke. In hindsight, the only step we remembered correctly was that it involved a chicken.