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Colourful Winter Barbecue Meals

More and more people are enjoying barbecued food all year around, despite the summer months having clearly left us until 2013. Winter soups and stews are fine, traditional, tasty and of course healthy however some might consider them boring. This winter why not fire up the barbecue, get your tongs out and enjoy some hot cooked, colourful and uplifting recipes to beat those winter food blues?

Part of the reason we love traditional winter fare is that they fill us and are warm and comforting. There is no reason that barbecue food can’t be just the same. Whether your barbecue of choice is a top of the range gas barbecue or more traditionally favoured charcoal barbecue, these recipes will not fail to warm you, and restore for faith in exciting winter meals.

 

Lemon and Bacon Barbecued Pork

This winter warmer is fantastic served with a hot jacket potato (or sweet potato) and piles of roasted vegetables or corn on the cob.

Ingredients required:

  • 4 Loin Pork Steaks
  • 100g bacon (chopped), or bacon lardons
  • Lemon juice (fresh juice from approximately three good sized lemons)
  • Lemon zest, very finely grated
  • Fresh sage (4 tablespoons)
  • 45g butter (salted or unsalted to individual tastes)
  • Olive oil for brushing

 

Method:

Using a mixer, combine the bacon, lemon zest, sage, and half of the lemon juice until these ingredients form a paste.

Carefully slice through each pork loin, opening them up butterfly style and flatten slightly. Make deep incisions in the pork, being careful not to cut through.

Take the previously prepared bacon, lemon and sage paste and rub over the open loin pieces and into the cuts.

Brush the pork loins with oil (leaving them open) and grill on a medium grill paste side down first for approximately seven minutes. Turn and repeat the process on the “meat” side.

Once cooked, immediately drizzle with left over lemon juice, add slices of the butter and close the pork loins.

Transfer to a plate and serve.

Best eaten immediately.

 

Curried Chicken Kebabs

This is such a versatile dish. Once ready you may serve as they are, on kebab skewers or you can slice down the barbecued meats onto a steaming pile of vegetables and rice.

Ingredients required:

  • 4 skinned and boned chicken breasts, cut into thick cubes.
  • 150g pot of plain / natural yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of curry paste (Tikka or tandoori both work equally well)
  • A selection of cherry tomatoes, chunks of courgette and yellow pepper.

 

Method

Mix together your curry paste of choice and the natural yogurt together in a medium sized bowl.
Fold in the chicken pieces and leave for a minimum of an hour to let the meat infuse with flavour.

Shaking off any left-over curry marinade, carefully add the chicken pieces and vegetables to the skewers.

Grill your kebabs on the barbecue for approximately 15-20 minutes, ensuring that you turn frequently to ensure foods are cooked through and on all sides.

Remove from grill and serve as required.

 

Portobello mushroom burger

This low-fat recipe is so easy to make, we couldn’t resist adding it in. Although this is a vegetarian option, it’s so packed full of flavour and the big field mushroom has a wonderful meaty texture, it’s bound to appeal to everyone – and it’s an excellent winter meal too.

To make mushroom burgers for four, you’ll need:

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bag of rocket
  • 4 tablespoons of mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

This meal needs hardly any preparation at all and is ready in less than fifteen minutes, so there’ll be no standing around in the cold while you wait. Simply mix the mustard and balsamic vinegar together and brush the mushrooms with this sauce.

When the barbecue is ready, add the mushrooms to the grill and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Then cut four large slices from the tomatoes and grill for about a minute.

Add the leftover mustard and vinegar mix to the buns, top with the tomato and mushroom, and then add a slice of red onion and handful of rocket.

For added warmth, you can lightly toast or heat the ciabatta buns in the oven for a few minutes before dishing up.

 

Chicken kebabs

If you’re watching what you eat and want a calorie-light meal, the home-made kebab is a great choice.

A classic is barbecued chicken kebabs with lots of hearty vegetables and fresh sauce. You can always substitute the chicken in this recipe for another meat, fish, extra vegetables or cheese if you prefer.

For four people, you’ll need:

  • 8 skewers
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 peppers (1 red and 1 green)
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 limes
  • 200ml low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcester sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Tabasco
  • Small handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 corn-on-the-cobs cut in half

To make your own kebabs, simply chop the chicken breasts into cubes or bite-sized chunks. Next, chop the peppers, courgettes and red onions into similar-sized pieces. Grab your barbecue skewers and thread the chicken, pepper, courgette and red onion through a few times.

Once you’ve made the kebabs, whisk up a light sauce for marinading your kebabs before cooking. Squeeze the juice of two limes into a dish, add the yogurt, Worcester sauce and Tabasco, and season with salt, pepper and some fresh coriander. Mix the ingredients together and place the kebabs in the dish, ensuring the chicken and vegetables are well covered in the sauce.

Leave the kebabs to marinade for 30 minutes or, even better, overnight. When you’re ready, light your barbecue until it’s nicely warmed up, and cook the kebabs for ten minutes. Turn the skewers over on the BBQ to ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked, and brush the kebabs with the marinade during this time too.

While the kebabs are cooking, add the four corn-on-the-cobs to the barbecue to cook alongside.

Serve with a fresh salad and corn on the cob, and enjoy a warming winter barbecue dish that doesn’t ruin the diet!