Craig Wilson from Eat On The Green in Aberdeenshire, who is also known as The Kilted Chef, has the perfect picks when it comes to alfresco dining.
When the sun is shining there’s no better way to enjoy it than firing up the barbecue and dining “alfresco”.
Kebabs are really easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time and left in the fridge until you’re ready.
They are super versatile, just choose your favourite meats and vegetables and layer them up. When marinading the meat, give it plenty time for all those lovely flavours to infuse – the end result will be worth it.
For a sweet, delicious treat, my ‘Eton No-Mess’ in a jar is a great for throwing in the picnic basket and by the time you’ve sat down to eat, all the sweet fruit juices have mixed together with the soft, crunchy meringues and cool cream.
The perfect dessert for a day at the park or at the beach.
Pink peppercorn, pineapple and Aberdeenshire pork kebab
Makes 4 kebabs
- 4 pork chops (or halloumi cheese for vegetarians)
- 1 pineapple
- 2 tsp pink peppercorns
- 3 tbsp Succulento barbecue sauce (or any other barbecue sauce)
- 1 aubergine
- 1 courgette
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 4 wooden skewers
- Take the pork chops and dice into large cubes then place in a bowl.
- Cut the fresh pineapple into big wedges (keep the skin on) then dice into large cubes and add to the bowl, with the pork. Add the pink peppercorns and around two tablespoons of the Succulento barbecue sauce. Stir the mixture around and put it into the fridge to marinade for at least an hour.
- Wash the aubergine, courgette and peppers and cut into roughly the same size of chunks as the pork and the pineapple.
- Take the skewers and layer them up with the vegetables, the marinated pork and the pineapple. Brush around a tablespoon of the barbecue sauce over the kebabs. These can be made up in advance and stored in the fridge ahead of your barbecue.
- For vegetarian diners, you can replace the pork with halloumi cheese, again cut it into large chunks, marinade in the barbecue sauce and layer up with the vegetables, brush over more of the sauce and leave to marinade before cooking.
- Any leftover vegetables can also be great for kebabs, cut a red onion into chunks and along with cooked potatoes and layer onto the skewer, sprinkle with sea salt and then brush over with the barbecue sauce.
- To cook the kebabs: Make sure that you have your barbecue nice and hot before you place any food on it. Keep any food that you have prepared in the fridge and take it out once the barbecue is at temperature and you’re ready to get cooking.
- Place the pork skewers onto the barbecue, make sure you keep turning them frequently, so they cook evenly and don’t burn.
- Cook them for approx eight to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of your barbecue, the pork should not be pink inside. If you are using a food thermometer you want to cook the meat to a temperature of 71C.
- For the vegetable skewers, keep turning them until they are slightly charred.
Eton No-Mess in a jar
- A large kilner jar or four individual jars or cups
For the meringues:
- 4 egg whites
- 224g caster sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp cornflour
For the filling:
- 400g strawberries
- 150g raspberries
- 300ml double cream
- To make the meringues: Preheat the oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
- Separate the eggs, then take the egg whites only and place into a clean bowl. Whisk with a hand whisk on high speed until they reach soft peaks.
- Add the caster sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking the egg whites after each addition, until all of the sugar is mixed through.
- The mixture should now be light and glossy. Add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon of cornflour and give a final gentle mix through.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then take a large spoonful of the mixture and using your finger, slide the mixture onto the tray.
- This will give a rustic shape to each meringue, or you can spread the mixture out, using the back of a tablespoon, to cover the baking tray.
- Don’t worry about getting the meringue into a specific shape, as once it is cooked it will be broken up to assemble into the jar.
- Place the baking tray into the preheated oven for 35 minutes. This will give a nice chewy texture to the meringue. This can be made in advance of your barbecue or picnic.
- For the jar filling: Chop the strawberries into quarters. Take approximately half the strawberries and half the raspberries and place in a pan on a low heat, or sit a pan on your barbecue and allow the berries to soften. Once softened, place to one side and allow to cool.
- Whisk the cream to a semi-whipped consistency, you don’t want it to be too stiff.
- Take a large kilner jar or four individual jars or cups, use the remaining berries and put in the bottom of the jar or cups (keep a few back to decorate the top). Add in your whipped cream and the meringues, slightly breaking them into pieces.
- Drizzle into the jar the cooled softened berries. Continue to layer as required with any remaining ingredients. Top the jar with the remaining strawberries and add a sprig of mint to finish it off.
- You can close over your jar and have this ready in advance in the fridge, keeping all those sweet fruity flavours locked inside.