Monday, 1 June 2009

Cheats BBQ

We've just spent another sizzling day in the garden, what fab weather! As a late lunch / early dinner we dreamed of having a BBQ, but as our BBQ doesn't exist at the moment I pulled out our smokin' griddle pan. The griddle pan we have gets so smokey it sets off the smoke alarm every time but it gives a fantastic charred flavour to anything cooked on it (and great griddle lines too!). Marty came in saying he was gutted someone was having a barbie, but then he realised it was us! Here's my 'cheats' BBQ (which obviously is perfect to cook on a real BBQ too)...


I absolutely love the charred flavour from the chicken and aubergine combined with the cumin, the zinginess of the dressing, the kick of the chilli, and then the freshness of the lime.

Serves 2

1 aubergine
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 chicken breasts
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 ripe tomatoes
1/2 small cucumber
2 spring onions
bread & lime wedges, to serve
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 red chilli
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the griddle pan (or BBQ) on a really high heat. Cut the aubergine lengthways into 1/2cm wide slices. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil on a large plate or tray and crush the garlic cloves over. Season with salt and pepper and then toss the aubergine slices in the oil to roughly coat, making sure the garlic is evenly spread also. Griddle the aubergine slices for 3-4 minutes each side until well charred and softened. You may have to work in batches if using the griddle pan like me.

While the aubergines are griddling, place a chicken breast on a chopping board and cover with a piece of cling film. Baton it out with a meat hammer, rolling pin of empty wine bottle until about 1cm thick. Repeat with the second chicken breast and place them on the plate or tray the aubergines were on (to pick up any left over bits of garlic) and drizzle another tablespoon of oil over. Scatter the cumin seeds over, season with salt and pepper and give a good toss to evenly coat in everything. Leave for a few minutes until the aubergines are cooked.

Next, make the dressing. Pour the oil and vinegar into a medium bowl and add the mustard. Deseed and finely chop the chilli and add with salt and pepper. Whisk everything together well. Chop the cooked aubergine into bite sized pieces and toss into the dressing. As they are still warm they will absorb all of the yummy flavours.

Put the chicken on to cook, griddling for 2-3 minutes each side until charred and cooked through. While they are cooking, chop the tomatoes and cucumber and slice the spring onions. Toss them into the warm aubergines. A handful of chopped mint or coriander would be lovely in here too - unfortunately we had ran out.

Finally, place a piece of chicken on each serving plate and griddle some bread to serve (I had some round Polar bread but ciabatta, baguette or pitta's would be perfect). Pile the warm aubergine salad on top of the chicken. Serve with the griddled bread and lime wedges.

1 comment:

fiona said...

Have you tried babaganush on the bbq or griddle pan (best if on a gas stove as you can smoke skin on flame) - basically make ilke hummous but replace chick peas with charred, roast aubergine- call if you want more detail. We always do it after we have eaten BBQ as a dip for following day!