Ok, so the last bank holiday of 2013 has officially come to an end. But that’s not to say summer’s over. With the weather forecasters predicting a few more warm spells over the coming weeks, there’s still time for one last proper British barbecue. Forget the burgers and sausages, though, and take inspiration from some of our favourite spots around the world…
Jerk chicken from Jamaica
Jamaica’s as famous for its jerk chicken as it is its reggae beats. The dish is made by smothering fleshy white meat in jerk seasoning, leaving it to marinate, and then cooking it on the grill. It’s up to you which part of the bird you go for, but wings, drumsticks and legs all work really well. Jerk seasoning tends to be made with everything from thyme to cinnamon to coriander, but you can grab ready-mixed pastes from all the big supermarkets. Stick some Bob Marley on in the background to make it feel like the real deal.
Halloumi cheese from Cyprus
Halloumi is amazing on the barbecue. Thanks to its high melting point, it can be fried or grilled without ending up a soggy mess. Cut it in to thick slices, brush it with a slick of olive oil, and stick it on the barbecue until the outside turns lightly golden. What you end up with is a gently-crisped outer shell, and a gorgeous soft, salty middle. Try it in salads, or push it onto skewers with peppers and cherry tomatoes.
Espetada from Portugal
Espetada is a signature dish in Portugal. To do it yourself, put a beef fillet in a bowl and cover the meat with a dusting of paprika, olive oil, garlic (about 3 cloves, crushed), and plenty of salt and pepper. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours before firing up the barbecue. Once the grill is nice and hot, thread the meat chunks – the bigger the better – and some bay leaves onto your skewers. When they’re cooked, put them on a plate and drizzle with some warm butter before serving.
Plantains from Barbados
Plantains are a staple in Barbados. They look a lot like bananas, and are classed as a fruit, but tend to be used as a vegetable alongside meat or rice. For the best results, look for plantains that are green in colour. Slice them down the middle, and then lay them on a sheet of foil in a puddle of butter. Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper, before bringing the foil sides up around the edges. You’ll need to cook the plantains on the barbecue for around 10 minutes – they’re ready when they’re nice and tender to touch. To serve, cut them into thin slices and lay out a garlic dip ready for dunking.
Gyro wraps from Greece
Gyro is kind of like a kebab, and it’s the on-the-go snack of choice in Greece. To make it, you pack barbecued meat (sliced, vertically) into a lightly-grilled pitta bread, along with onions, tomatoes, chips and tzatziki. You can cook any type of meat – pork, chicken, beef or lamb – but if you really want to show off, give veal a go. Just don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of ouzo…
Which one of these dishes would you like to tuck into?