BBQs are not just meals that you prepare outdoors; they are indeed social events, and ones that you need to be properly prepared for. Long gone are the days where a barbeque was just about lumps of meat being singed, these days BBQs are sophisticated events. For this reason, you need to know not only what the best techniques are for cooking food on a barbeque so that they are succulent and tasty; you need to be prepared to cater for all types of diets. Kids especially are renowned for being fussy eaters and vegetarians can also be tricky to please at a barbeque event.
The traditional barbeque problems gives you images of fat and juicy steaks as well as quarter or half pound burgers, but you need to think of your cholesterol level here too and offer some healthy alternatives and side dishes as an accompaniment to your BBQ. Especially when there are kids invited to your meal, or simply if you are cooking some food for your family on the barbeque as it is nice weather, you need to take their diets into consideration too. Kids shouldn't eat large amounts of red meat, so you need to think of what else to cook.
Favorite foods for barbeques are ribs, chicken pieces, steaks, burgers, sausages and stick kebabs, with of course some jacket potatoes cooked in wrapped foil. A word of warning here needs to go out to how you cook the food too; especially the chicken is a dangerous topic. When people hold barbeques the spirits are high and food often gets left out in the sun. The best way to avoid upset stomachs or worse still is by pre cooking the large and thick meats such as the chicken pieces, and then just placing them on the BBQ to finish them off. This way you will be able to get the great taste of the barbeque but you will be sure that the meat is properly cooked all the way through to the bone.
So, on to vegetarian, fussy eaters, those on a diet, and kids; kids will be happy with chipolata sausages and burger with lashings of ketchup. But if you don't want to risk giving meat to the kids that is out in the sun, then you can make up some great tasting spicy bean burgers or tofu sausages. These can be cooked next to the meats with no extra bother and it will keep vegetarians happy at your gathering. For those on a diet, you can try using stick kebabs that have large chunks of veg in them, or even make purely vegetable sticks with traffic lights peppers; these tastes delicious when they are barbequed too.
Lastly, think about what else you can serve to eat. Just because you are holding a BBQ, it doesn't mean that absolutely everything you cook on the BBQ. Try serving some lovely side salads, chips and dip, and of course a variety of sauces to accompany the meats. Bread is always a great filler at these meals and you don't just have to serve plain bread. You can really show off to your guests by serving some "pan con tomate" This is a Spanish staple food and consists of toasted farmhouse bread with lashings of fresh ripe tomato pulp, olive oil and fresh garlic rubbed gently across the bread; absolutely divine and a guaranteed hit with all your diners.
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