In my last post I shared my passion for being outdoors and enjoying our meals in some scenic spot. Picnics and sandwiches a great combination and from your comments I see I share the passion with several of you.
Another one of my all time favorites is barbecuing. To me barbecues are synonymous with Summer. As soon as the first warm sunrays strike our side of the hemisphere I start dreaming up huge barbecue parties and themes. I just love sitting out on our terrace with a few friends, laughing and chatting, the aromas of smoky grilled meats and vegetables in the air and the taste of a chilled Riesling on my tongue. The gentle summer breeze brings the scent of perfumed flowers and the sounds of other people giggling and laughing as they too enjoy their barbecue parties.
Unlike picnics, where I simply make a few sandwiches and cut up some vegetables and fruit, I spend more time on barbecues. Not saying that my picnics are not planned with care – the spotlight is mostly on the location rather than the food at the picnics.
Barbecues are different – the mere mention of a barbecue has us drooling and imagining all sorts of grilled delicacies, refreshing salads and piquant sauces. The food always has to be plentiful because, I do not know about you, but I always tend to overeat at barbecues. Everything always tastes better.
Then there are always discussions what technique is the best to grill: charcoal, wood, gas or lava stones. Our German friends swear on charcoal, the Americans love the comfort of gas, my in-laws love their lava stones, I – well I don’t care as long as my food tastes great. Tom is a charcoal griller – but just like our multi-cultural family, we have, what in Germany is known as an American charcoal grill. Here in Thuringia this is the typical type of grill that is used.
Our neighbors are forever shaking their heads when we roll out our “American” grill! But they will never turn down a juicy rib or a wonderfully smoked trout from our grill ;-)
That’s where we once again stand out amongst our German friends and neighbors. Over the years Tom has taken to the variety I knew while growing up in the USA and the Middle East and he enjoys being creative when grilling. While our German friends will typically grill the famous Bratwurst, and in Thuringia the world famous Thuringen Bratwurst, we will be doing lamb, ribs and steaks, fish/seafood and vegetables. After all the teasing we get from our neighbors, I still smile when I see an occasional fish or a rib on a few of our neighbors’ grills. In return we get nods of approval from them when they see the holy bratwurst on our grills!
Over the last few years, I do have to say, I have noticed a huge change in the German grill culture. The butcher’s and grocery stores offer a larger variety of products to grill, which makes for more creative ideas and parties.
Just as important as the major grill item on your barbecue are the sides. I love playing around with flavors for salads, sauces and salsas. Here I took an old salad favorite and gave it a slight twist. Coleslaw – instead of mayonnaise I used a mix of sour cream and yogurt, making it lighter and slightly tangier in flavor. For the eyes, I used a mix of red and white cabbage and a slight sweet sharpness comes from a few cracked red peppercorns.
The apricot salsa is exquisite. Using the season’s ripest and sweetest apricots, I add a small green chili for a flavor explosion. The salsa pairs extremely well with grilled poultry and fish dishes but will also add a pinch of pizzazz to veal, lamb and pork.
Creamy Red Peppercorn Coleslaw
Printable version of recipe here.
150g thick sour cream
300g natural yogurt
½ head white cabbage, cut into thin strips
½ head red cabbage, cut into thin strips
2 carrots, cut into juliennes
3-4 green onions, sliced
2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Handful of fresh mixed herbs, use coriander, flat leaved parsley, chives
10-12 red peppercorns, crushed using a mortar and pestle
Salt and pepper
In a small bowl whisk sour cream, yogurt vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until you have a thick and smooth mixture.
In a large salad bowl toss the vegetables and herbs together. Pour the salad dressing over the coleslaw and sprinkle with the red peppercorns. Toss well. Leave for about 30 minutes for the flavors to incorporate.
Printable version of recipe here.
500g fresh apricots, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped
2-4 green onions, sliced
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
Whatever you like grilling on your barbecue, a delicious salad and a few flavorful sauces or salsas complements the grilled goods, highlighting the flavors more intensively. Imagine a barbecue table without a colorful salad or sauces. Kind of boring for the eyes, huh? In the same way it would be boring for your tastebuds not to experience the crunchiness of a creamy coleslaw or a fruity salsa.
Hope you enjoy a few great barbecues before we say goodbye to summer. I’m taking over my coleslaw and salsa over to Sig’s who is grilling it and asked us to come along for a mingle. Are you joining us?
You might like these salad and sauces from WFLH:
|Aglio Olio - Garlic Dip|
From around the blogs:
- Sass & Veracity's gorgeous herby chimichurri
- Use Real Butter's mouthwatering Texas beef brisket barbecue
- Ms. Adventures in Italy's fantastic perfect barbecue in Italy
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
Vegetarian Kids by Meeta
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First