Family BBQ

I’m finally back in Melbourne and will probably be back writing on here more often now that I don’t have my mum’s food to keep me satiated and effectively out of the kitchen because why would anyone cook their own food when they could eat their mother’s home cooked deliciousness?

That said, I still managed to spend some time in the kitchen, mostly using appliances that I don’t have in Melbourne (although I’ll sorely wish for the ice cream machine come summer!).

One of my favourite things about being home is family barbecues. We don’t have it very often and usually when we do, it’s an exercise of over-indulgence because we always have way too much food. This time around, we were determined to fix this “flaw” but we perhaps underestimated the food although it was just-enough, perhaps we should have had just a wee bit more so everyone felt like they had very full tummies. I guess I just prefer to know everyone had enough instead of watching portions to make sure everyone had just enough. Not fun.

Spread

The “spread”

Unfortunately, I only reached for the camera after we had all dug in but it was kinda worth documenting anyway. It rained on us so we ended up indoors but what we did was cook all our food outdoors, then convened in the living room to eat. The food disappeared before I could properly photograph them.

Red wine marinated squid

Red wine marinated squid

This is probably one of my favourite dishes for the BBQ. It’s actually an adaptation of this recipe but I use squid instead of an octopus and I load up on more chilli than recommended and it’s actually not sweet chilli. But it’s really good and even better when we luck out and our squids have eggs in them. Squid eggs are freaking amazing. I pretty much love the roe of all seafood. Fish, crabs, squid… all good.

Cholesterol? What cholesterol?

Prawn and Fish Skewers

Prawn and Fish Skewers

This is another favourite of mine, and the family’s. Here’s the recipe. I use Panko breadcrumbs instead of normal breadcrumbs and I make my own mayonnaise cos I get mad about how bottled mayonnaise tastes like and it’s really not that hard. I promise.

But the flavours of this dish is just so good. The citrus is the perfect kick to this fishy skewer and the dill and lemon juice in the mayonnaise? SO good. We end up using it as a dipping sauce for everything because that’s how good it is. Also, the idea of using disposable chopsticks as a skewer was too brilliant. I haven’t gone back to the stupid skinny skewers that people usually favour because you know what? Nothing stays on that too-thin skewer and chopsticks are so easy to grip and perfect to flip over, etc.

Mayonnaise

Night’s glory: handmade mayonnaise

This was my bragging-rights achievement of the night: the mayonnaise. I’d tried making my own once and it split and I gave up and decided it was too crazy an idea and there’s surely a reason why people sell them! But finding really yummy mayonnaise is tough and often expensive. It’s ridiculous how inexpensive mayonnaise is to make and how easy it actually is. Yes, a whole lot of elbow grease and you may feel like your arm has lost all feeling in it for a while, but a worthy endeavour.

The mayonnaise I made was actually a whole lot thicker – mayo-like consistency but the recipe calls for lemon juice so that’s why this photo is a more watery version. Okay, small confession: I got my mayo to almost thickened stage and it didn’t split and my arm was about to fall off so I dumped it into the MagiMix and let it do is job as I drizzled even more oil in. And voila! But whipping it by hand was good (until my arm felt dead) because I could see how the emulsion comes together from nothing but an egg, vinegar, mustard and oil. Pretty cool! Of course you can just use an immersion blender but I don’t have one. Definitely next on my kitchen appliance wishlist!

Pork ribs

Ribs, of course

And we can’t have a BBQ without some staples like ribs. It was adapted from this recipe (can you tell I love the Taste website for BBQ recipes?) but I added a whole lot of herbs to my marinade because that’s how I roll and we had a few bunches that would otherwise go unutilized.

Grilled Pumpkin Baby Spinach Salad

Grilled Pumpkin Baby Spinach Salad

I also made a salad of baby spinach leaves, roasted pumpkin, fetta cheese, roasted-caramelised shallots in a mustard vinaigrette. We attempted to BBQ the pumpkin but we all got annoyed by how slow it was going so into a 200˚C oven it went with the shallots. I love caramelised shallots with anything so this salad was a winner for me.

The benefactor

The biggest benefactor

And of course, the one that probably received the best of everything was our little Grizmeister who was excitedly shadowing our every movement at the grill and begged us with her pathetic brown eyes until my dad gave in and fed her some ribs.

It was really good being home :)

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