It’s that time of year again, the sun is shining and all we want to do is sit outside and enjoy the hot weather! So we’ve been trying to host dinner al fresco whenever possible. Here are a few tips and quick marinades to make this possible…. even on weeknights!
1. Simple marinades
These simple marinades are super versatile and easy to make. You can swap or mix herbs as you please depending on what you have at home. Want a little heat? Add some chilli flakes or charred chiles. All of these can be prepared in advance, but they are so quick to make that you won’t need to.
2. Prep your veggies and meat
Wash, precut, marinate your veggies so that they are ready once the grill is hot.
The first thing I do is wash and prep all the veggies as well as herbs and ingredients I’ll use in the marinades. This way they are all ready when I need them. If I am doing more than one recipe that calls for garlic then I chop it all at once, this ends up saving lots of time as opposed to focusing on one marinade at a time and then having to re-do steps I could have combined.
For asparagus – wash them, cut the ends and peel the bottom half. Then place them in a platter and drench with dressing so that they are ready for the grill.
Steak- take the meat out of the fridge so that it is close to room temp by the time the grill is hot. For delicious steaks you really don’t need much. I simply rub a little oil and generously sprinkle salt (both kosher and Maldon salt) and pepper on both sides.
3. Fire up the grill!
You want to sit down with the family and enjoy the food you are cooking, right? So here’s the game plan:
- Section your grill. Have a high and low heat section. Visually divide your grill in two and place most of the coals on one side (high heat). This way you can control how quickly and thoroughly you cook your food.
- While the grill is getting hot set up all your food so that you know exactly in what order they’ll hit the fire. Start with poultry then veggies that take the longest to cook and always leave the steak, burgers and shellfish for last. No one wants to eat cold steak or rubbery seafood.
While the veggies/chicken are cooking someone can setup the table. Keep it simple and just put all the dishes and cutlery outside for self serve. Once the vegetables are done place them in the serving platter and add more dressing, this way they’ll be ready to eat once the steak/burger is done!
Marinades & Dressings
Delicious on shrimp, cuttlefish, squid
For onglet (hanger steak) or pork
Salt and pepper
Simple veggie dressing
We love this on asparagus, zucchini and eggplants
Perfect for quails or chicken
Yogurt & garlic
This cooling and creamy dip is great next to koftas and also doubles as a chicken marinade
Salt and pepper