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Fireworks Food and Fun

BBQ 01

We appear to have been on a countdown to the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend for months but it is now upon us.

If you are used to having family ‘barbecues’ it is great to have a mixture of foods to eat which reflect our ever-growing taste for food from around the World and today, we are giving some ideas to incorporate both.

As someone who likes to cook, but is also keen to ensure that I am also able to enjoy the time with my family and friends, it is better to be prepared and many things can be done in advance of the family arriving en-masse.

These are just a couple of my family favourites, inspired by my own tried and tested recipes and others inspired by numerous fantastic holidays to the Greek Islands.

Start with a good marinade for any meat, poultry or fish:

Marinade

½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
Black pepper
½ teaspoon English mustard
1 tbs honey or golden syrup
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 finely chopped red chillis
1 tbs smoked paprika

Combine all the ingredients and leave to stand for 2 hours. Then add steak, lamb or pork in the refrigerator overnight. If you are using fish or poultry, it is only necessary to marinade for a couple of hours. Cook on your barbecue. Please ensure that pork and poultry are cooked thoroughly through before serving.

Inside Out Burgers

I know that this sounds strange but it saves a lot of mess and my children loved them.

3lb ground lean beef
2 large grated onions
1 crushed garlic clove (optional)
1 finely chopped chilli (optional)
½ lb grated mature cheddar

Combine the beef, onion, garlic and chilli (season with salt and pepper).

Divide into 48 equal sized balls and then flatten down to slim patties. Pop cheese into the centre of 24 of them and then top with another beef pattie and press the edges together to ensure that they don’t split. Brush with marinade if required and cook on the barbecue. Serve either in rolls or with salad and new potatoes.

Greek Style Souvlaki

6 chicken breast cut into strips
Marinade: 1tsp sea salt, 2 tbs oil, lemon juice and 2 tbs finely chopped Greek oregano

Put all the ingredients in a dish, stir and leave to marinate for 2 hours.

Cook on the barbecue and serve with feta and home-made tzatziki (yoghurt sauce – see below) and strips of pitta bread dipped in olive oil.

Can be done with Pork or Lamb but I would recommend over-night in the marinade to ensure full flavour and tenderising the meat.

Koftas

2lb minced lamb
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
4 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tbs fresh mint (chopped finely)
1 finely chopped chilli (optional)
Salt and pepper to season

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Make into 20 balls and either form into burger shapes or form around skewers (a bit like an impaled sausage) and cook on the barbecue.

Serve with Greek salad, hot pitta strips and tzatziki.

Pork Gyros

3lb of boneless lean pork shoulder
2 tbs white wine vinegar or dry white wine
3 tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp finely ground Greek oregano

Combine the dry ingredients.

Slice the pork into thin strips. Put a thin layer of pork and sprinkle with the dry seasoning and a small amount of the white vinegar and continue to layer until all the pork is covered and cover and put into the fridge for up to 24 hours.

This can either be cooked on the barbecue or in the oven (on a high heat) and serve again with Greek salad, hot pitta strips and tzatziki.

Greek Salad

1 large iceberg lettuce (sliced)
6 tomatoes diced
1 large cucumber (peeled and diced)
1 red onion (finely sliced)
1 red pepper (de-seeded and diced)
3 fluid oz of extra virgin olive oil
Fresh oregano
4 oz black olives (halved)
10oz Feta cheese (diced)

Combine all ingredients, toss and chill.

Tzatziki

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 cup Greek yoghurt, strained
1 cup sour cream
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tsp. chopped fresh dill

Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Using a whisk, blend the yoghurt with the sour cream. Add the olive oil mixture to the yoghurt mixture and mix well. Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill. Chill for at least two hours before serving.

All you need now is to ensure you have the drinks and call over to see us about your fireworks and you are set up for a great Bank Holiday Barbecue experience.

BTW, below is a video I took at a Chinese outdoor restaurant from our China visit from February 2012....the food wasn't that bad...

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