With the daffodils blooming and the smell of warm ground as the sun peers out from its cloudy blanket we begin to feel relieved, we’ve survived another long and stifling winter. A great British tradition is to rush outside at the first whiff of Spring, and so with glad hearts and a bounce in our step we start to dream of barbecues and camping and the outdoor life we might have if…we lived somewhere else. Here are a few recipes to keep the dream alive. Slap them on a barbie and cuddle round the flames for warmth. If you’re not so adventurous, they will do well under the grill in a cosy and infinitely more comfortable kitchen, we won’t judge.
Tahini Chicken Wings
These are simple to make and great eaten with your fingers and a squeeze of lemon. If you are camping a useful trick is to put your marinating meat in a large plastic food or freezer bag, reducing the bowls you need to carry.
Serves six as a starter
12 chicken wings
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
juice of one lemon
Separate the wings into two pieces by cutting through the joint with a heavy knife. This makes them easier to cook on the barbecue as they can be pushed down flat.
Make the tahini sauce by mixing together all the ingredients, (adding the water last) except the chicken and seasoning well. Pour over the wings and leave in the fridge to marinate over night, or two hours if you’re pressed for time.
Barbecue till cooked through and starting to char. If you are cooking under the oven grill place the chicken on a wire grill, allowing the juices to run off and the wings to crisp up. They should only take about 10-15 minutes, but always check with chicken that it is not pink.
Robust Chicken Satay
You can chop this into small pieces and put on skewers but it is much easier and somehow more satisfying just to grill the fillets whole and serve one each. Another tip for making camping marinades easy are the squeezy tubes of ready-prepared herbs that you can get from the chilled counter in supermarkets. Gourmet Garden is a popular brand, though many supermarkets have their own.
6 chicken thigh fillets
4 large tbsp crunchy peanut butter
4 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp squeezy ginger or 5cm ginger, grated
1 tbsp squeezy garlic or 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp mild curry powder
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
Mix all the ingredients, except the chicken.
Cover the chicken with the marinade and leave overnight in the fridge if possible. If you’re a last-minute chef then they will still taste great after half an hour.
Throw onto the barbecue and cook until firm. If you’re grilling, put under a high heat and cook for about 20 minutes, turning and basting regularly. Check that the chicken is cooked through and not pink in the middle before serving. The benefit of using thighs is that they maintain a succulence, even when faced with the fiercest of flames.
Spanish Lamb Chops
12 lamb chops
1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp runny honey
pinch flaked chilli
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
For the marinade, mix all the ingredients except the olive oil and chops. Rub the marinade over the chops and leave, preferably overnight, at least for two hours.
When you’re ready to cook them, add the olive oil and grill on a high heat until they are starting to blacken at the edges, about seven minutes on each side.
2 bags of new potatoes
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
Chop the new potatoes in half so that they will cook faster. Divide them into two equal piles and place each heap onto a sheet of tin foil. The foil should be large enough to wrap the potatoes completely, ensuring the package is sealed. Onto each heap of potatoes place a sprig of rosemary and share the garlic between each package. Pour over a tbsp of oil on each package and season well with salt and pepper. Wrap the packages and ensure they are well sealed by folding the edges and scrunching them together. They can take 40 minutes to cook, so they should always be the first thing you put on the barbie, and remember to turn them regularly. Wrap in a second layer of foil and you can place them safety in the embers of your campfire to cook.