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September 15, 2016
Is that the hint of a breeze in the air? With the temperatures finally cooling, any self-respecting home cook with a roof terrace, garden or balcony is sure to be found brandishing firelighters and hot coals. Yes, autumn's the perfect time to get chilling with some grilling and we’ve put together the ultimate cheat sheet to help you source the ingredients you’ll need for a truly memorable barbie. So apron up and grab your tongs… things are about to heat up!
First things first – meat! Regardless of whether you’re a traditionalist who can’t get enough of those smoky charcoal flavours or a devoted gas griller, you’re going to need some great quality meat to sear to perfection.
One of our personal favourites for high-quality cuts in Hong Kong is Gonzalo, who offer a wide selection of organic and kosher beef, chicken, lamb, cold cuts and much more. We think their grass-fed, dry-aged rib eye is simply begging to be marinated with Eckart’s spicy steak sauce and a dash of Weber's organic horseradish mustard; that moreish balance of sweet and savoury flavours – with just enough of a kick to keep things interesting – comes from the blend of all natural ingredients, pairing perfectly with the earthiness of the beef. Another great pairing for your steak? This aromatic Paolo Scavino Barbera d’Alba red wine will go down a treat with your meal… cheers!
If you’re looking for a lighter alternative to red meat, a barbecued fish brings to mind lazy days spent at the beach and is a great option for the warmer weather. In our view, few things beat the flavour you get from grilling your fish whole – and this sustainably-caught New Zealand wild snapper from MM Fresh Food is the perfect size to serve two to three people.
Pair your snapper with a crisp salad and an even crisper glass of white wine (we recommend this Tenuta Ansitz Waldgries organic Myra Sauvignon Blanc), and then serve with just a dash of Eckart’s spicy mango sauce. The sweet fruitiness of this sauce perfectly compliments the delicate fish without overpowering it, delivering a truly tropical summertime flavour.
Of course, it’s not all about the protein. Fill your plate with fresh salad leaves (check out our recipe for a great summer salad here), shred cabbage and carrots with apple and a teaspoon of organic chili mustard to make a deliciously crunchy homemade slaw with a kick, and leave space on the grill for roasted vine tomatoes and BBQ sweet potatoes, served simply with cracked black pepper, lashings of salted butter and a dab or two of Eckart’s tomato ketchup. Strictly an adults-only affair, this ketchup is made with maple syrup and a shot of bourbon whiskey for a depth of flavour that mass-produced ketchups can only dream of achieving!
The Fresh Grower stocks all of the veg you’ll need for your barbecue, importing fresh, seasonal New Zealand produce weekly from a family-run farm near Auckland. Grown in nutrient-dense volcanic soil, the flavours are (as you might expect) far superior to the often-tasteless imported produce that we often find in Hong Kong supermarkets.
Pair your veggies with whatever you fancy drinking, be it wine, beer (The Bottle Shop has a great selection, including some local HK brews) or – if you’re feeling particularly virtuous – an organic fresh fruit smoothie from TVB. Speaking of… we have a recipe for some delicious smoothie ice pops too!
So now you’re all set for the ultimate summer evening up on the roof, there’s only one thing left to consider… who’s in charge of the playlist?
Kate Farr is a co-founding writer and editor at Editors' Ink HK, a blogger at Accidental Tai-Tai and a mum to two little boys. With a husband who's an enthusiastic amateur cook and two young sons with big appetites to feed, mealtimes play a central role in Kate's home life. Motto: "Diet? What diet?' Follow her on Instagram.
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