This week, I think we have eaten bbq food outside in the garden for 5 days out of 7! Its something that we seemingly never get bored of and have had lots of different combinations of barbecued food so that keeps it interesting too. Its a delight being able to cook and eat outside and, as we usually eat off our laps due to not having a dining table as such, we have the added bonus of being able to sit around the table as a family. Tis most civilised - until a fight breaks out over the last sausage that is.
Our favourite from the bbq this week have to be simple grilled corn on the cob - so sweet and absolutely delicious; also the home made pork skewers with peppers and chunks of onion have been high on the list too.
To accompany the meat and/or vegetables, we've been sharing huge bowls of mixed salad and for those needing a carb fix, either rice, baby potatoes or couscous.
I find the pre-prepared couscous very salty and tasting of chemicals, and so try to make my own when I can. It makes a fairly cheap, very simple but filling dish.
Here's my 'how to' ...
Dried plain couscous - widely available in supermarkets or health food shops.
A stock cube or one of those little liquid stock pots - vegetable or chicken is best.
A handful of frozen peas and sweetcorn
Cucumber, onion and a couple of tomatoes
Handful of sultanas
Handful of pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds
Fresh parsley, coriander and mint
2 Teaspoons garam masala or curry powder (or ras el hanout)
Seasoning to taste.
Dissolve the stock cube in some boiling water and stir, add to this the spice of your choice and give it a good mix together.
Place dry couscous in a bowl and then cover with the stock liquid making sure that you have around 1/2 inch of water above your grains. Cover with a plate and set to one side.
Place the frozen peas, sweetcorn and sultanas into a bowl/jug/whatever and cover with boiling water Leave to one side.
Finely chop the onion, de-seed and chop the tomato, and chop the cucumber into tiny cubes.
Check your couscous. If the liquid has absorbed squeeze a couple of the grains between your fingernails to make sure they've softened. Add a little more hot water if required and cover again. If the grain is to your liking then fluff it up with a fork (not a spoon as this will pack the grains together).
Drain the peas/sweetcorn/sultanas and mix them through the couscous along with the onion, tomatoes, cucumber and seeds.
Finely chop your parsley, coriander and mint, and then stir this through the grains. Taste and add seasoning if required. Sprinkle with a few more seeds and top with a frond of parsley if you're entertaining.
A few pomegranate seeds are a nice addition to this colourful dish if you like them. I tend to make a big bowl full and then we can take any leftovers to work for lunch the next day.
The hot weather is certainly very quickly ripening the crops in the field this year.
Come with me and I'll show you ............
|Path under construction - mind your step!|
|Through the back gate|
|And on to the rather golden looking field!|
|Leia will be partaking of some of these when they're fully ripened|