I love barbecue! More precisely I love cooking on the barbecue. There is something magical with cooking over burning coals. Maybe it is the smoky flavour it lends to the food? I just love it. Yesterday was a father’s day and my wife asked me what do I want to do. Should be go out, should we order a take away, should she cook something for me? I knew that the weather is going to be great so I said that the best meal for a father’s day would be a bbq and ideally I’d like to cook it. This should illustrate my relationship with cooking on coals.
Anyone that knows me would know that I am a big meat lover and I find it difficult to imagine a barbecue without some form of meat of fish. However this year I made myself a challenge to cook more vegetarian food on the bbq. Not that I am going to give up meat completely but I like the idea of being able to prepare the whole meal over coals. I already published a recipe for barbecue flatbreads. They are great accompaniment to many meats or fish dishes. Today I would like to present ideas for cooking veg sides on the bbq.
Yesterday I decided that instead of serving pork shoulder steaks with the standard chips I am going to roast sweet potatoes on coals. I can tell you that the natural sweetness of the sweet potato worked perfectly with pork. On top of that I decided to prepare vegetable skewers that acted as a accompaniment for barbecued pork chipolatas. Those little sausages paired ideally with mushrooms, peppers and aubergines. I added a thick sliced an barbecued halloumi to the mix and believe me it was a feast!
Equipment required: charcoal barbecue
Barbecue sweet potatoes
- Allow one sweet potato per serving as a main course (or half if you feeding little ones)
- Cut large rectangles of baking foil allowing one rectangle per potato.
- Rub the potatoes generously (skins on) with salted butter and wrap each one with the baking foil tightly.
- Place wrapped potatoes directly between the preheated coals. Leave to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.
- When cooked lift the potatoes gently from the coals and place on a wooden board or plate. Remember that they will be very hot as they cooked directly on coals so be careful. Leave them for few minutes to cool down a bit and gently unwrap the foil. If the skin is slightly soft to touch potatoes will be cooked inside. Cook the skin lengthways and then sideways across the middle. Scoop the potato flesh out and place on serving plate. Season to taste.
Serves 2 adults and 2 children
- 1 aubergine
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 large red onion
- 100g of button mushrooms
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Teaspoon on paprika
- Teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 6 bamboo skewers
- Place skewers in cold water to pre soak
- Wash the aubergine. Discard the top and bottom end on the vegetable (1.5cm each side). Cut the remaining flesh in large chunks (about 2cm each)
- Wash and cut the pepper in large (2cm) chunks.
- Peel the onion, cut in quarters and gently peel onion layers one by one.
- Wash and drain the mushrooms.
- Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Sprinkle with spices and season to taste. Drizzle with olive oil generously. Mix everything with your hands so that all of the vegetables are well coated with mixture of oil and spices. Cover with cling film and leave in a cool place until you are ready to cook.
- When you are about to cook put the vegetables on skewer starting with aubergine, followed with onion, mushroom and pepper and so on. Drizzle or spray with the oil again.
- Cook on the barbecue for about 10 – 15 minutes turning occasionally until mushrooms are browned and vegetables are charred around the edges.
- Serve immediately.