You don’t have to get up at 4am to put a huge ham in the oven. Have you ever considered ditching the standard fare and trying an outdoor Christmas BBQ for that special day?
Some traditional items can be adapted for the BBQ, and some additions, like seafood, really help speed up preparation and enable you to do more relaxing rather than slaving away in a hot kitchen. Even if it rains, all of these recipes can be moved into the kitchen, so it’s a stress-free win-win. And you don’t need a fancy full-featured BBQ either, anything with a hotplate and flame will do. Here are some suggestions:
Easy honey glazed ham
Buy your ham leg, any size, then cut into thick slices.
Marinade slices in honey, star anise, fennel seeds and orange marmalade overnight, then simply BBQ to golden perfection. Adjust marinade depending on how much ham you are using. It only takes a few minutes as the sugars in the honey and marmalade caramelise very quickly. Traditional Christmas honey ham, done in 10 minutes.
BBQ prawns in ginger and garlic
Buy as many prawns as you need, but here’s a rough guide for one kilo of uncooked green king prawns:
1 large knob of ginger and 6 or 7 cloves of garlic, all finely sliced (not grated!). Toss in prawns with a splash of canola or sunflower oil and allow to marinate for around one hour before barbequing. Yes, skins on! They will get crisp enough to eat or easy to peel depending on your guests’ tastes.
After cooking, sprinkle prawns with chopped fresh long red chillies (non spicy) and chopped fresh parsley to add the colours of Christmas.
Chinese style BBQ chicken
Instead of roasting a whole chicken, this method calls for large pieces of a chicken instead. You can either buy a whole chicken and break it down into 5 or 6 large pieces or you can get legs, thighs and breasts instead. To prepare your spice rub, combine Chinese five spice, dried chilli and some ground coriander seed and some oil. A table spoon of each for one chicken is roughly what you want, but feel free to adjust to suit your taste. Rub this spice mix into all parts of the chicken and set aside, ready for barbequing.
Christmas BBQ skewers
Skewers are great because you can do whatever you want, and make a few versions to please even the fussiest eaters. To make your skewers more Christmas-y, just make sure to use red and green vegetables like capsicum and tomato. A great idea is to add large cubes of haloumi to your sewers to give your diners a little salty cheesy treat amidst their meat and veggies.
Vegetables that can handle the heat
Not all vegetables stand up to the high temperature of the BBQ. These sturdy veggies will take the heat quite well and even taste better with a little char: asparagus, capsicum (cheeks), corn (parboil first to ensure even cooking), zucchini (halved lengthways), potatoes (cut in thick discs and parboiled).
Sides and salads
Keep it simple! A very standard Greek salad will go with almost anything you can cook on a BBQ. Key ingredients for this are: olives, cucumber, feta cheese, tomato and red onion.
A dish of cooked couscous mixed with roasted nuts and raisins is another great side which is easy and quick to make.
We hope you enjoy your day no matter what you decide to cook!