Spice Up Your BBQ.
Spices have played an important part in our culinary development. Here is a guide on how to use them with your BBQ and where to get them.
The key to using spices effectively, is “little is more”. Some spices are quite powerful and others fairly mild, so prior research into their properties is essential. It would take many pages to describe the properties of each spice product, so please take a look at the realfood web site (1) at the end of this blog. Spices are widely available in most shops these days, but if you can’t find a particluar spice, just search spices and your area on google and you will be supplied with several locations.
“Seasoning” is a frequently used term in cooking programmes. Salt and pepper to you and I. And we should treat most spices like salt and pepper. You add them and then taste. It doesn’t take long before you understand how much of which spice to use. It’s all a matter of taste! There are no hard and fast rules. That’s why curry restaurants grade their meals in terms of heat.
But, spices are not used just for adding heat. They are often quite bland in taste, so are used to add colour. Also, spice mixes are very popular. Garam Masala is a vibrant mix of spices that is added to a lot of Indian cooking. In fact, to get a real “handle” on how to use spices, get hold of a copy of “Rick Stein’s India”. Or you could click on the You Tube link (3) at the end of this blog to get a real taste for spices as Rick created a series on Channel 4 about his trip to India. Not all spiced food is Indian however. For your BBQ, why not start by trying our Moroccan Lamb (Mechoui) recipe, which is typical of spices used to enhance the flavour of the dish, whilst allowing the taste of the lamb to cut through.
When writing about flavours, we must never forget the part that herbs play in our cooking. Herbs and spices/spices and herbs always seem to go together. We can take some herb uses for granted. Lamb and rosemary or mint. Beef and horseradish etc.. But there is such a rich variety of herbs available, it is worth looking up how they can be used to enhance your BBQ. Please try Souvla (Greek Lamb Chops), which is slow cooked roast lamb cutlets, with salt, pepper, lemon juice and oregano. Simple but delicious. But, that’s what BBQ’s are all about. Nothing too complicated, but surprisingly full of flavour. And you cannot beat fresh herbs. Try growing your own as it is really quite simple. Click the link (2) to see a simple guide to growing your own herbs.