The current Great British Summer has been much more than a 10-minute wonder this year and our trusty barbecue has taken a bit of a battering. We’ve done more than just sling a couple of burgers and sausages onto the open grill …we’ve roasted vegetables for salad accompaniments, slow-cooked a whole stuffed leg of lamb, foil baked fish in herby marinades and used the low dying heat to sizzle some fruit desserts. But, like a creaking old wheelbarrow, the wheels are coming off and the hinges are beginning to groan when we urge it into action. The clean-up has also become more and more of a chore so it’s time to look for a new model.
I remember choosing this old-timer some 10 years ago and being impressed with the range on offer … so many options and accessories but nothing like the wide range around today. So how do you choose the best one for you?
I guess the first choice is between charcoal and wood, gas or firepit variations. Here at bariatric cookery we I like to barbecue using a gas barbecue. Why? Well it’s fast, reliable and dare I say fool proof! You can hardly go wrong, just fuel up if necessary, press a button and you’re good to go. So there’s no coaxing of coals by flapping with last week’s newspaper or stinking the place out with barbecue lighter fuel or firelighters. It may seemingly take away some of the romance of barbecuing and that primal urge by the male fraternity to make fire but, if you’re a hard-core devotee of barbecuing, firing up the grill for a crowd virtually every weekend (and we are), then this kind of convenience scores points all round!
I couldn’t face the queues at the garden centre to make my choice so I went on-line to check out the deals. There are some amazing half-priced ones around at this tail-end of summer. We bagged a bargain and now sport a top of the range model which we put to the test for our Bank Holiday weekend cook out.
It made light work of the chicken kebabs I grilled (that were marinated beautifully and tenderly in a rosemary laced marinade), the special selection of spicy sausages I bought from the Farmer’s Market, some home-made mini burgers I seasoned and shaped to fit mini pitta pockets (see above), and the cheap-as-chips corn-on-the-cob I scored in the bargain section of the supermarket. All benefited from the special bariatric-friendly barbecue sauce I made to serve alongside. It’s a staple I make every time we barbecue because it’s so versatile and keeps wonderfully warm on the bbq side burner.
It’s an easily put together sauce, mixes and matches well with meat, fish, poultry, vegetarian alternatives and vegetables themselves. It also freezes beautifully…I freeze a quantity in ice cubes trays and defrost 1-2 as required for each portion I serve (a Godsend when trying to perk up a mid-week chop, chicken fillet, grilled steak or sausage).
We’ll be having it again tonight but this time with some barbecued pork fillet and a crisp mixed salad.
I’m sure many of my friends and family across the pond will be firing up the barbecue for their Labor Day celebrations….this sauce is brilliant with burgers, hot dogs, corn, steak, chicken or just as a dip for some crispy vegetable sticks to get the whole feast started. Hope you enjoy!
BARIATRIC BARBECUE SAUCE
low-fat cooking spray
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
150g/5 oz double-concentrated tomato puree/tomato paste
330 ml/12 oz can diet coke or diet pepsi
4 tbsp/1/3 cup low-salt and low-sugar tomato ketchup/catsup (I used Heinz)
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Generously spritz a non-stick pan with low-fat cooking spray. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
2. Add the remaining ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until cooked and thickened.
3. The sauce can be prepared on the barbecue or prepared ahead and then reheated and kept warm on the side burner of the barbecue for serving with barbecue fare.
WLS PORTION: 1/2-1
V suitable for Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION: 24
So whether you’re firing up the barbecue for the first or final time this week (perhaps before children return to school and you return to work?) or a fully-fledged grill-meister and looking for a new saucy side kick…try out this bbq sauce and let me know how it goes and what you serve it with. All comments most welcome.