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Barbecue ideas and salad season approaching

Sun, 4 April, 2021

What To Cook: dinner ideas and recipes, quick and easy cakes, meat and vegetarian dishes

We’re all planning UK holidays here aka staycation. All the best value cottages are sold out, they might be taking bookings for entry onto A30 in Exeter – I would. And apparently everyone wants to hire a private chef for the duration of their holiday.

Ha! There might be money to be made for me there, if it wasn’t for the fact that I, too, would love a holiday from cooking. I don’t blame those people in the slightest – too much of a good thing (which cooking undoubtedly is) can become TOO MUCH.

Still, I hope they won’t forsake barbecues even though those blokes off Masterchef have berated British male BBQ efforts recently. I sort of agree: done badly, barbies are abysmal events you’d better turn up for with a full stomach. But if done well, planned, prepared and cooked before too many beers you can’t beat a good BBQ get-together (outdoors, by the book). So here are my barbecue ideas that might come in handy as soon as the weather allows again.

We can still make things that whet the appetites for the summer holidays even if cooked inside. Halloumi and vegetable skewers for instance, or Mexican carne asada to make tacos with – both not much effort and a lot of satisfaction. I think I don’t have to speak too much of the appeal of spicy chicken wings or chicken burgers either. And as a side, a crunchy cabbage salad will more than do, or marinated fennel with ranch dressing.

Also, the salad season is approaching: potato and smoked mackerel, or perhaps quickly cooked spelt with courgette ribbons. Plenty to choose from in the salad pages.

The cake of the week is Venetian carrot cake but how about making a tub of mango ice cream to go with it? Or instead? I’ll definitely be dusting off my ice cream maker and putting it in the freezer to be on standby very soon. Take care and keep cooking!