Being the ultimate BBQ host


Being the ultimate BBQ host

It might still only be 12 degrees, but as soon as the sun pops out, the whole of Britain shouts summer and heaves the rusty barbeque out from the garden shed. We all go barbeque mad, and after countless hot dogs and burgers with that funny looking pretend cheese, we’re done. We’re bored of the barbeque. This is sad – barbeques are such a great way to get friends and families together, conversing over a bowl of nibbles and a cold glass of pimms. So, we’ve come up with a range of ideas for you to bring this summer back to life. Keep your tongs out dads, because it’s time to revive that grill of yours.

Firstly, it’s not all about the meat. There’s so much more to do before you even think about heading down to the local butchers. You need to think about your venue; yes, your garden is the perfect venue for your barbeque, but is it fit for guests? There’s nothing worse than turning up to a party in a garden that’s not seen a lawn mower for months and covered in leaves from Autumn.

1) Do a spot of gardening. There’s no need to get the hedge trimmer out and create a load more work for yourself, but mow the lawn, pull out a few weeds and sweep the patio.

2) Choose your spot. You want your guests to be able to converse with the designated chef whist sat around the table enjoying their drinks, without engulfing them in a cloud of barbeque smoke.

3) Decorate. Put a table cloth on the garden table and invest in some seat covers. Don’t go mad, a little goes a long way. A simple white table cloth or some wild flowers in a few jam jars will bring your garden table to life. Add some fairy lights or hanging candles to your parasol to add to the atmosphere.

We love the neutral colours at this garden party. Big mismatched cushions look great on rustic benches.

4) Crockery and cutlery. Think about how many guests you have and whether you can cater for all of them. It’s always slightly embarrassing if your mother in law has to soldier through with a teaspoon whilst everyone’s tucking into their dessert with a dessert spoon. Matching cutlery is always a must, and if you don’t have enough silverware for your guests you can buy some great plastic cutlery with a silver effect which works as a perfect alternative. Glassware is another addition to your list of to dos, ensure that your glassware is consistent. John Lewis have a beautiful range of outdoor glassware, as do Matalan. Although gardens are a great place to have a barbeque, think about your options. If you live along the coast, beach barbeques are loads of fun. Just check your local beach guidelines.

Once your venue is set up for your shindig, your next port of call is the barbeque. A lot of people say that you don’t need to clean a barbeque grill… Even if this is true, some of your guests might not fancy eating food that has touched a grill that’s not seen washing up liquid since last year. Give it a scrub, it doesn’t have to be sparkling silver but it’s a good idea to get ride of any burnt on lumps. Make sure you’ve got enough coals, a box of firelighters and something to light your barbeque with. Have more coals than you need, if your BBQ takes longer than anticipated and your coals start to cool, it’s great to have more on hand to keep things going.

You’re nearly ready – it’s time to prepare your food. This can be done the night before (cured fish must be done 24 hours prior) or during the morning if there is enough room in your fridge. At The Pot Kiln Anywhere we have an array of barbeque dishes on our menu. Steer clear of mediocre meats and spice up your barbeque with something different. By this time of year your guests are sick of boring beef burgers and simple sausage baps. They want something colourful and exotic.

Our selection is just this, it offers some different options to keep your guests on their toes. Trying something new with every mouthful. We have selected just a few of our options that we think would be great for a fun and colourful garden barbeque.

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Rather than starting your event off with a bowl of crisps, tantalise your guests tastebuds with some refreshing canapés. One of our summer favourites is our Cured Salmon Tartar with Cucumber. For this recipe you will need:

1 Side of Salmon
1 Cucumber
350g Salt
350g Sugar
Bunch of Dill
2 Lemons
(Please alter for quantity of guests)

Mix together the salt, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and dill. Then, coat both sides of the salmon in the mixture, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. After leaving the salmon over night, wash all of the mixture from the salmon and cut into small cubes. Take the cucumber and slice into disks (thickness shown above). Hollow the centre with a teaspoon or melon scoop, but avoid hollowing all the way through. The salmon needs to sit in the centre without falling through. You can then decorate your canapés with a sprig of dill or bright and colourful micro herbs.

Whilst circulating your canapés, why not have out a selection of Antipasti, Mezze or Tapas. It’s a great way for your guests to get to know each other. Sharing is caring!

Now for the star of the show, the barbeque itself. It’s good to have a selection of meats, but it’s vital to ensure that they will go well together on the same plate. For this post, we’ve chosen one chicken dish, one lamb dish and a fish dish. For your chicken dish, why not opt for Lemon and Herb Spatchcocked chicken. There’s loads of step by step guides online, featuring how to spatchcock it yourself, but of course you can ask your butcher. Marinate your chicken for as long as possible in the juice of two lemons, 3 crushed cloves of garlic, a glass of chardonnay and a bunch of your favourite fresh summer herbs. Spatchcock chicken can be a difficult one to cook depending on your barbeque, if you can vary your heat with ease you can cook this entirely on the barbeque, charring the edges on a high heat before cooking through moderately. If your barbeque is likely to singe the edges straight away, char your chicken on the barbeque for that delicious smokey edge, before cooking through in the oven. To serve the chicken, cut into leg, breast and wing pieces, place into a large dish and garnish with slices of lemon and big rustic sprigs of herb.

If your a lamb fan, you can spice things up with a Moroccan Dry Rub. Choose your favourite selection of Moroccan spices and grind them with a pestle and mortar. Now for the messy bit, rub your chosen joint of lamb with your hands, massaging the flavours into the meat. Serve your lamb juicy and rare, with a rustic kilner jar full of minted yogurt.

Bring fish on the scene with a family friendly favourite. Not everyone loves fish, so opt for a mild fishy flavour. Prawns are great for this. Our chilli and lime king prawns are a barbeque favourite. Push onto a skewer with chunks of lime to really enhance the flavour. Always go for raw king prawns, for a more succulent, fresh flavour.

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Summer salads are a must have addition to your barbeque. When your guests are filling up on meat, the last thing they want is a selection of stodgy carbohydrate based salads. These light and summer options have the ability to please all tastebuds.

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Our pea, mint and feta salad is always a hit our clients and is a stress free, quick to make option with a small variety of ingredients. Cold peas, cubed feta cheese, thinly sliced cucumber, chopped mint, raw red onion and thinly sliced chilli. Top with a garnish of watercress for some added pepperiness to the dish.

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Another popular choice is a bowl of grilled mixed vegetables. Rather than following our recipe you can fill your salad with your favourites. The salad above features roasted courgette, grilled tomatoes and asparagus, but you can also throw in some chunks of roasted onion or grilled peppers. Finish with a sprinkle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

For an alternative to a carb based salad, why not try our delicious carrot and cumin salad. This colourful dish is Pot Kiln Anywhere - 019so easy to put together. Chop your carrots into rustic pieces and fry in a pan with some cumin seeds, salt and pepper. For a caramelised taste add a small amount of brown sugar to get those delicious, chewy edges.

All together, these salads look so fantastic with an array of colours and textures. Serve all of them in simple white bowls to really get the colours popping.

Pot Kiln Anywhere - 027 Finish off you fantastic feast with a light and tangy desert. Lemon Custard Tart is a great choice, with hundreds of recipes and variations available on the internet. Our recipe is a well kept secret, so we couldn’t possibly tell you, it’s too good to share! Serve with fresh summer berries and sprigs of mint on a big rustic bread board with a knife your guests to slice off their own piece. You could also serve individual lemon possets in kilner jars or ramekins.

If you fancy something really different head over to one of our lovely suppliers Vicars Game. They have a range of interesting flavours that will really get your mouths watering. Venison and apple, duck and orange and chicken and apricot sausages. Lamb and mint, wild boar and apple and chilli chicken burgers and a range of exotic meats such as alligator and ostrich.

We hope we’ve given you some great ideas to spice up your barbeques this year. It would be a shame to see all of this beautiful weather go to waste. At the Pot Kiln Anywhere we cater for all sorts of events with 700 guests all the way down to intimate summer barbeques. If you require our services for a stress free garden party where you can enjoy your time with your guests and a gin and tonic, give us a call on 01635200200 or email us at info@thepotkilnanywhere.co.uk.

(All photography of our food – Shannon Robinson at SLR photography)

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