Christmas recipes perfect for the BBQ
Let the oven stay cold this year and take the party outside, for a truly Aussie celebration of barbecued fare and backyard festivities.
Pineapple and maple glazed ham
• 1½ cups sweetened pineapple juice
• ½ cup maple syrup
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
• 8kg leg ham
• Cloves, to decorate
1. A day ahead of serving, make the glaze. Put juice, syrup, sugar and vinegar in a medium pan over a medium heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Boil for 20 minutes or until thickened slightly; cool (it will thicken further when cooled). Store in a container in the fridge.
2. With the lid down, preheat barbecue to 150°C. Make a cut around shank of ham, about 8cm in from the end. Cut around rind at the widest end. Insert your fingers under rind and rub across ham between rind and fat, peeling back rind, exposing the white fat layer, until you reach the shank. Remove rind and discard.
3. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score fat in 2cm-wide diagonal slices across top of ham. Decorate by pushing in cloves. Pour a 2cm layer of water in the bottom of a large roasting pan that will fit in your barbecue. Place ham on a rack in roasting pan. Brush a quarter of glaze over the top. Cover the shank end with foil.
4. Roast for 45 minutes, with lid down, brushing with the glaze and turning the pan twice during cooking. Importantly, keep refilling the water in pan for the entire cooking time or the glaze will burn on the bottom of the pan.
5. Increase heat to 170°C. Brush ham with more glaze. Continue to cook ham, with lid down, turning the pan for an even colour and refilling water in bottom of pan, for a further 45-50 minutes or until golden. Remove the ham from the pan to a platter and rest for up to 30 minutes before carving. Serve with any leftover warmed glaze spooned over.
Rocket, fennel, olive and parmesan salad
• 1 large (350g) fennel bulb, trimmed, halved
• 120g baby rocket
• 1/2 cup dill sprigs
• 120g marinated green olive halves (see note)
• 60g flaked parmesan or pecorino romano
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the fennel into strips, and place in a large bowl of iced water with the rocket. Stand for 20 minutes.
2. Drain the fennel and rocket using a salad spinner. Transfer to a large serving bowl or platter. Add the dill, olives and parmesan. Cover and refrigerate if not serving straightaway.
3. Just before serving, drizzle the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and gently toss. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.
Note: Marinated green olive halves (also called split olives) are available from delicatessens and major supermarkets. You can substitute with any pitted marinated olives.
Salt and pepper barbecued prawns
• 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns (see note)
• 2 tsp sea salt flakes
• 1½ tsp dried chilli flakes
• Cracked black pepper, to taste
• 32 (1.5kg) large green king prawns, peeled, leaving tails intact, and deveined
• 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• ¾ cup fried shallots
• 1 lime
• Spring onion strips and sriracha mayo to serve
1. Place the Szechuan peppercorns, salt and chilli flakes in a mortar and grind with a pestle until finely crushed. Season with pepper. Place the prawns, oil and garlic in a large bowl and stir until coated. Sprinkle with the Szechuan peppercorn mix and stir until evenly combined.
2. Insert a soaked 25cm wooden skewer (see Pro Tip) into each prawn, starting at the tail through to the top. Make up to this point and refrigerate overnight if desired.
3. Preheat an oiled barbecue plate to medium. Crush the fried shallots with your hand to form crumbs on a plate. Roll the prawn skewers in the fried shallot crumbs to coat lightly. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
4. Transfer to a serving platter. Zest the lime over the prawns. Cut the lime into wedges, squeeze some juice over the prawns, then sprinkle the prawns with the spring onion. Serve with the remaining lime wedges and sriracha mayo.
Note: Szechuan peppercorns and fried shallots are available at Asian grocery stores. Sriracha mayo is a spicy chilli mayonnaise available from supermarkets..
Barbecued salmon with tahini and chimichurri
• 1.5kg side of salmon, skin on, pin-boned
• ¾ cup Greek yoghurt
• ¼ cup hulled tahini
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tsp honey
• Ground sea salt, to taste
• 1 cup coriander leaves, plus extra sprigs to garnish
• ½ cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tbsp oregano leaves
• 1 tsp grated lemon zest
• 1 birds eye chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• 1 small garlic clove, crushed
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
• Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. To make the tahini sauce, whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth. The sauce can be made the day before serving.
2. To make the chimichurri, chop the coriander, parsley and oregano with a knife and place in a bowl. Stir in the lemon zest, chilli, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the surface of the sauce with plastic wrap to avoid discolouring. It is best made on the day of serving.
3. Heat an oiled barbecue plate to medium–high. Cook the salmon skin-side down with the lid down for 10 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Use a fish spatula or long wide spatula to turn the salmon over. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until almost cooked through to the centre.
4. Carefully loosen the salmon flesh from the grill with spatula without tearing it. Transfer to a serving platter, skin-side down, and rest for 5 minutes. Drizzle with the tahini sauce, spoon over some of the chimichurri and garnish the platter with extra coriander sprigs. Serve with the remaining sauces in bowls for guests to add more themselves.
Grilled potato salad with honey mustard mayo
• 1.25kg chat potatoes
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Ground sea salt flakes, to taste
• ½ cup sliced chives
• 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
• 80g baby spinach leaves, rinsed
• Olive oil, to serve
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
• 1 tbsp honey
• ¼ cup whole egg mayonnaise
• ⅓ cup sour cream
1. Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender and before the skins split. Drain. Run under cold water to cool down. Cut in half and place in a large bowl with the oil and season with salt. Toss until coated.
2. Preheat the barbecue to medium-high. Add the potatoes. Cook with the lid down, turning occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until lightly charred. Return to the bowl; cool.
3. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Season well.
4. Reserve a heaped tablespoon of the chives for garnish. Combine the potatoes, remaining chives, onion, spinach and dressing. Toss until combined. Arrange in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with the reserved chives and drizzle with oil to serve.
Share pavlova with berry sauce
• Oil, for greasing
• 6 egg whites, at room temperature
• 1½ cups caster sugar
• 1 tbsp cornflour
• 1½ tsp white vinegar
• 600ml thickened cream
• 125g punnet raspberries
• Frozen or fresh blackberries or blueberries, to serve
• Greek basil sprigs or small mint leaves (optional), to serve
• Icing sugar, to dust
• 250g frozen mixed berries (not including strawberries)
• ⅓ cup caster sugar
• 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1. Grease a 40cm x 32cm rectangular oven tray and line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 120°C.
2. Beat the egg whites in the large bowl of an electric mixer until frothy. With the motor running, gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy. This should take about 15 minutes.
3. Beat in the cornflour and vinegar until just combined. Dollop 8 large spoonfuls in a rectangle on the prepared tray. Swirl with a spoon to join them together.
4. Cook for 1 hour or until dry and crisp on top. Turn oven off and allow to cool in oven with the door closed. This can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep in a container or covered with plastic wrap on a tray, in a dry place away from moisture.
5. To make the berry sauce, place the berries, sugar and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the berries soften and a thick syrup has formed. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add a little water to thin if needed.
6. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the cream on the meringue. Drizzle with the berry sauce and decorate with fresh raspberries, frozen blackberries or blueberries. Decorate with basil or mint if desired. Dust with icing sugar and serve.