Everybody knows I’m not outdoorsy. I hate the heat, the wind, the flies, the sand, the grass and the cold. I don’t mind soaking up the sunshine until it gets to about 23 degrees, but only for a short amount of time. I love a barbecue but since I moved away from home almost 10 years ago, having barbecued meal is rare. I had a few over the Christmas break – my parents bought some beautiful lamb ribs and butterflied chickens which were delicious, and made me want more barbecued meals in my life!
A few Christmases ago, my parents gave me an indoor barbecue. I haven’t used it too much – it lives atop the fridge and it seems a bit of a hassle getting it down to use and then cleaning it. In reality , it’s no hassle to get down or clean! An indoor barbecue is the best thing for an indoor creature like me! It’s electric, so no fumes, flames or tricky gas bottles to turn on, and sits neatly on the stove, so I can put the exhaust fan on to avoid smoking the house out. I vow to use it each week this summer!
Despite my aversion to the outdoors, I had lunch in the park today – from the Taco Truck! I sat and read SBS Feast Magazine, which has a summer entertaining special in this issue. I’ve cooked a few things from Feast recently – a pandan fruit salad, cornbread at Christmas and a lemon yoghurt cake, and I adore the food journalism and photography within. It’s beautiful, and gives me lots of inspiration .
There is a whole section devoted to barbecue and grilled food in Feast – recipes from around the world. So once I’d finished my tacos, I went to the green grocer and seafood shop to grab some ingredients that I didn’t already have at home.
Tonight I cooked Italian chargrilled octopus marinated in balsamic, olive oil, garlic and rosemary, plus sweet potato, zucchini, corn and onions (seasoned with the same marinade) plus the most amazing Brazillian caramelised cinnamon chilli pineapple. That pineapple – amazing!
Clockwise from top: everything cooking on the barbecue, octopus and zucchini, caramelised pineapple.