Summer's here! I've allowed myself to stray a bit from what I was planning to cook/post in favour for a tasty barbecue. I hate to say it, but back home, BBQ's have always been quite dull. People are not very inventive and your usual fare will be chewy pork cutlets on the bone (if you're lucky) and heaps of sausages. There's so many different varieties of the latter that you sure won't get bored, but eating it almost every weekend in summer for almost 18 years has certainly encouraged me to look for something different.
I am also always on the look-out for recipes for my vegetarian friends, so Gennaro's recipe comes in handy. The mozzarella is baked with bay leaves, salt, chilli and thyme and bubbles away on the barbecue in half a (scooped out) lemon. A sort of summer-time fondue in its own flavoursome container!
The recipe for lamb burgers are for my friend Becky - she's asked me for a tasty alternative to beef and casually mentioned she needed to shift some minced lamb - so here's a very mediterranean fare, with garlic, capers and rosemary. Sprinkle with some lemon juice, add some potatoes baked in foil and you've got yourself a real treat.
I do hope for all of us that there will be more occasions for barbecue, unlike my first year in England where summer consisted of 7 days in June and it was rain and misery thereafter!
3 big lemons
3 packs mozzarella
12 bay leaves
½ red chilli (deseeded and sliced)
handful lemon thyme leaves
sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Cut the lemons in half and cut off a tiny bit off their ends, just enough to stablise them for going on the barbecue. With a small knife, cut around the fruit (between flesh and pith - leaving a tiny layer of fruit in there will enhance the flavour), and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. You're likely to end up with a small hole on the bottom, lay 2 bay leaves crosswise there to prevent the melting mozzarella from escaping. Cut the mozzarella in half and stuff into the lemons, making sure that it has some room to breathe still. Season with salt and pepper and top with some thyme leaves and chilli. Put on the grill until the mozzarella is just melting.
Tasty lamb burgers
750 lamb mince
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
handful rosemary leaves (chopped)
2 tbsp capers (chopped)
2 tsp tabasco
50 g breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk
freshly gound black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing thoroughly. I recommend that you do not use salt for the seasoning, as this will drain all the juices from the meat - rather season once they're grilled! Divide into 6 - 12 portions and shape into patties. Refrigerate until 20 minutes before they're going on the barbecue to return to room temperature.