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Grilled Polenta, Pesto and Mozarella
Grilled Polenta, Pesto and Mozarella
Serves: : 8 - 10 as a starter

Preparation Time: 10 minutes + cooling + 6 minutes barbecuing

Add a touch of the Mediterranean to your 'alfresco' meal showing off your knowledge of 'fashionable' ingredients by offering something for a delicious starter or 'nibble'! Polenta is a vibrant yellow corn meal native to Northern Italy. Cooked, cooled and set , it is brilliant for the barbecue - cut into wedges, topped with robust ingredients and grilled until golden and crisp. Try spooning on a pungent thick tomato sauce, and top with anchovies, olives or grilled vegetables, or start experimenting with this simple recipe.


500 g (1lb 2oz) polenta
100g (3½ oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 small jar Red or Green Pesto (i.e. Sacla’s)
2 x 125g packets Buffalo Mozzarella, drained and sliced
12 Cherry tomatoes or pitted olives, sliced
Coarse ground Black pepper
Basil leaves, to garnish

1. Cook the polenta according to the pack instructions or as follows: bring 1 litre lightly salted water to the boil in a large saucepan. Have a long handled wooden spoon ready in one hand and the packet of polenta in the other! Pour the polenta, in a steady stream into the water, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat and continue to stir for 5 – 10 minutes until the polenta becomes thick, smooth and leaves the side of the pan. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

2. Spread the polenta out onto a large tray or board to form a slab 2 cm (¾ inch) thick. Leave to cool then cut into wedges, approximately 8cm x 4cm (3 x 1½ inch).

3. Cook the polenta wedges on an oiled grill or hotplate for 3 minutes on one side, or until charred and golden. Turn the wedges over, spread each with a little pesto, then top with a slice of the Mozzarella and slices of tomato or olives. Cook for a further 3 – 4 minutes, until the underside is crispy and the cheese is just starting to melt.

4. Garnish with fresh basil and serve ‘pronto’!

Flash tip:

Once you have experimented with Polenta, add more ingredients to the cooked ‘porridge’ along with the Parmesan. Finely chopped Rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes or chillies add a great flavour. Vary the choice of cheese too! Try slices of Dolcelatte or Tallegio – both are of a creamy flavour and in keeping with this Italian speciality.

Sweet and Spicy Lamb Kebabs with Mint and Red Onion Relish

Sweet and Spicy Lamb Kebabs with Mint and Red Onion Relish
Makes: 4 Kebabs

Preparation Time: 15 minutes and marinating

For the marinade:

600g (1lb 5oz) lamb fillet or lean leg steaks, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme , chopped
1 whole red chilli or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped chilli in sunflower oil (i.e. Bart’s)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons apricot jam
6 dried apricots (ready-to-eat variety)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 warmed pitta breads, to serve

For the Mint & Red Onion Relish:

1 red onion, finely sliced
½ cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways, deseeded and finely sliced
3 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor or liquidizer and process until smooth. Rub well over the lamb chunks. Cover and leave to marinade in a cool place for 5 –6 hours or preferably overnight. Prepare the Mint and Onion Relish; mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, cover and chill until required. Thread the lamb between 4 skewers and cook on a hot barbecue for 4 minutes on each side. Brush with a little olive oil, if required. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.

2. Wrap the pitta breads in foil and place around the edge of the barbecue for 2 – 3 minutes just to warm through. (If you prefer them crispy, do not wrap in foil, but watch they do not burn!) Serve the lamb kebabs with the warmed split pitta bread and the relish, allowing the hungry guests to stuff the pitta pocket with the tangy relish and cubes of lamb. Serve with additional crisp lettuce leaves and tomato slices.

Backyard Barbecue Spareribs

Backyard Barbecue Spareribs

Servings: 4
Minutes of prep time: 10
Minutes of cook time: 90
Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories: 773
Grams of fat: 53
mg. Cholesterol: 77
mg. Sodium: 614

4 pounds pork spareribs
1 cup catsup
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups cherry cola soft drink
1/4 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 medium onion, finely chopped

Cut ribs into serving-size pieces and place on grill over grey-white coals. Slowly cook 1 to 1 1/4 hours, turning often. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and simmer 10-15 minutes. Brush ribs generously with sauce and continue to cook, about 30 minutes, basting and turning often.

BBQ Chuck Steak

BBQ Chuck Steak

1 well-trimmed beef chuck 7-bone steak, 3/4" to 1" thick (approx 2 lb)
- Marinade & Sauce:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup ketchup

1. Combine ingredients for marinade and sauce; mix well. Place beef steak and 1 cup of marinade mixture in food-safe plastic bag, turning steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occaionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade mixture for sauce. 2. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 15 to 18 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once. 3. Meanwhile in small saucepan, bring reserved sauce to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. 4. Trim fat; remove bones. Carve beef into serving-size pieces; serve with sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Beach Barbeque Bundles

Beach Barbeque Bundles

Servings: 4
Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories: 330
Grams of fat: 7
mg. Cholesterol: 50
mg. Sodium: 96

1 lb Rockfish (Pacific red snapper)
4 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and sliced
2 onions, thickly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 tsp olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- fresh hear sprigs- parsley, dill, tarragon or vasil
- salt and pepper -optional
- aluminum foil, in 8 12" squares

Use 2 squares of goil per bundle. Brush foil with oil. Make one layer each of potato, onion, then fish, in that order. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top to tast. Combine olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, and pour over top. Finally, add herb sprigs and fold foil over to create a tight bundle. Use additional foil if desired. You can cook 1 of 3 ways: Bake: at 325 F for 20-30 minutes or until fish is done (fish just turns opaque throughout). Barbeque: over very low, gray coals. Turn frequently until fish is done. Beach Barbeque Pit: Wrap bundles in additional foil and bury in pit for up to an hour, or until fish is done.

Barbecue With Linda


The Oatcake is a Potteries delicacy, eaten with tomatoes, cheese, sausage and bacon. Throughout the potteries there are oatcake shops that only open Wednesday to Sunday morning. I have an oatcake meal on Friday.


8 oz fine oatmeal

8 oz whole-wheat or plain flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 oz fresh yeast

1 1/2 pints warm milk and water, mixed half and half

1 tsp. sugar


1. Add salt to flour and oatmeal.

2. Dissolve yeast with a little warm liquid and add sugar. Allow to become frothy.

3. Mix dry ingredients with yeast and rest of warm liquid to make a batter.

4. Cover with clean cloth and leave in warm place for 1 hour.

5. Bake on well-greased griddle. Put enough batter onto griddle to produce an oatcake about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. The surface will be covered in holes as it cooks. Turn oatcake after 2-3 minutes when upperside appears dry and underside is golden brown, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Eat as soon as possible.

Sweet Potato with a Chilli and Garlic Glaze.
Makes: 4

Preparation Time: 30-40 minutes pre-cooking + 5-8 minutes barbecuing

Here's an exotic root vegetable, sweet and with a vibrant golden-orange flesh - a staple diet in South America, but now widely available for us to enjoy too. Barbecue these glazed chunky slices until sizzling. They are great with barbecued spicy chicken or steak and also make a tasty ‘nibble’, served with dollops of cooling soured cream or guacamole dip.


1kg (2lb 4oz) sweet potatoes (approx. 2 large potatoes)
2 plump garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons fresh chopped chilli in sunflower oil (e.g. Bart’s or Schwarz)
Zest of ½ lime
5 tablespoons light olive oil

1. Bake the sweet potatoes in a preheated oven 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6 for 30-40 minutes or until just tender. Check them after 20 minutes, as you will find they cook much more quickly than our traditional baked potatoes). Remove and leave to cool slightly before peeling away the skin. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade; simply mix together the garlic, chilli, lime zest and oil. Season with a little salt.
2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into slices, approximately 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. Arrange in a shallow dish and pour on the marinade. Cover and leave until required. When you are ready to cook the potato slices, use tongs to drain off any marinade, then place the slices onto the grill and cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, or until the potatoes become lightly browned and crisp. Brush frequently with the remaining marinade

Flash tip:

Do take care when handling fresh chillies. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling them, ensuring you do not touch your eyes or mouth in the meantime. A little olive oil rubbed into your hands helps to give a protective barrier to the skin and washes the chilli oils away more easily!

Butterscotch Fondue
Makes: 8 Kebabs

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

For the sauce:

125g (4oz) unsalted butter
125g (4oz) castor sugar
175g (6oz) soft dark brown sugar
250g (9oz) golden syrup
600ml (1 pint) double cream

For the kebab:

8 ripe, firm apricots or plums, half & stoned
1 pineapple
8 kumquats or physallis fruit (optional)
2 large firm bananas
2 small dessert pears
2 figs, halved
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1-2 tablespoons of runny honey
8 wooden skewers soaked in water for 1hr to prevent charring

1. Make the sauce ahead of time: gently heat the butter, sugars and golden syrup together until the butter has melted. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring well and leave it to bubble steadily for 3 – 4 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream. Return to a gentle heat to simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Sieve into a small flameproof casserole dish or fondue dish and leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate until required. (This can be made up to a week in advance).

3. Prepare the fruit for the kebabs: cut away the rind on the pineapple. Halve and remove the core if woody then cut the pineapple into wedges. Arrange on a large platter with the apricots or plums and the whole kumquats or peeled physallis and figs. Cover and leave until required. Just before you are ready to barbecue the kebabs, peel the bananas and pears. Core and quarter the pears and cut the bananas into chunks.

4. Take the fruit platter to the table and keep your guests occupied by asking them to thread the fruit alternately onto the kebabs! Meanwhile heat the sauce through on the barbecue. (Select a warm, rather than hot setting to do this).

5. Sprinkle the fruit kebabs with caster sugar and drizzle with a little honey and cook them for 5 minutes over a hot area on the barbecue, frequently turning them and sprinkling with any remaining sugar. As soon as the fruit becomes slightly caramelised and just tender, transfer to individual plates. Place the warm butterscotch sauce in the centre of the table and dip in!

Linda's Tip

Try different combinations of fruits and sauces. Strawberries, oranges and pears go well with a chocolate sauce and the more tropical fruits like mango, pineapple and banana taste great with a coconut milk custard.

Thai Style Chicken with Mango and Pineapple Relish
Serves: : 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes and 2 hours marinating

Thai ingredients are now widely available, so you can enjoy these great flavours of the East in your own back garden. Here is a real winner - easy to prepare and quick to cook. Leave these feisty ingredients to mingle by marinating several hours ahead of grilling.

For the marinade:

4 x 150g (5 ½ oz) boneless chicken breasts, skinned
2 stems lemon grass, trimmed of outer coarse layer and finely chopped
2 small red chillies, finely chopped (include the seeds for extra kick!)
Zest and juice of 1 lime
4 lime leaves (optional), shredded
5 cm (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tablespoon Nam Pla (fish sauce)
100 ml (3½ fl oz) light olive oil or groundnut oil

For the relish:

1 small ripe mango, peeled
225g (8 oz) fresh pineapple chunks
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
Juice of 1 lime
1 small red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander or mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place each chicken breast, one at a time between 2 large sheets of cling film and beat out gently with a rolling pin until they are approximately 5mm (¼ inch) thick. (Alternatively, ‘butterfly’ the chicken: using a sharp knife, slice through the side of each breast, taking care not to cut all the way through and open out like a book). Arrange in one layer in a shallow dish.

2. Mix the marinade ingredients together. Brush over the chicken, getting into every nook and cranny! Cover and leave in a cool place for at least 2 hours.

3. Prepare the relish: slice the mango flesh away from its stone then finely dice the fruit. Cut the pineapple flesh into small dice. Transfer to a bowl with any juices, and stir in the remaining ingredients. Season lightly, cover and chill for 1 hour.

4. Drain the chicken breasts and place onto the hot barbecue. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden, brushing frequently with the remaining marinade. (The chopped ingredients turn deliciously crunchy).

5. Serve with a generous spoonful of the tropical fruit relish. A simple rice or noodle salad is a great accompaniment.

Linda's Tip

Try this recipe using boneless fillets of salmon or firm white fish instead of chicken. Follow the method above to stage 4, but wrap the 175g (6oz) fillets in individual foil parcels. Be sure to spread plenty of the marinade over the fish, and drizzle on the juices. Place onto the BBQ and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, assuming the fillets are approximately 2.5cm (1 inch) at their thickest part. Allow your guests to unwrap their parcel and savour the fragrant aroma.

Barbecue Glazed Pork Chops

Servings: 48
Minutes of cook time: 20
Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories: 187
Grams of fat: 6
mg. Cholesterol: 66
mg. Sodium: 242

48 4-ounce boneless pork center-cut chops
3 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon rind
1 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced onion

Grill chops on hot griddle until brown, approximately 2 minutes per side. Place on pans in single layer. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice and rind. Stir in vegetables; pour over chops, spreading evenly. Bake in conventional oven at 400 degrees F. 10-12 minutes; or in convection oven at 350 degrees F. for 9-11 minutes, until chops are tender and juicy. Portion: 1 4-ounce pork chop.



Barbecued Baby Back Pork Ribs

Servings: 4
Minutes of prep time: 10
Minutes of cook time: 160
Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories: 752
Grams of fat: 54
mg. Cholesterol: 214
mg. Sodium: 213

4 pounds pork back ribs
- Your favorite barbecue sauce

Place ribs in shallow pan. Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees F. for 2 hours. Finish on grill by turning and basting ribs with barbecue sauce for 12 minutes.

Barbecued Pork Ribs

Servings: 6
Minutes of prep time: 5
Minutes of cook time: 140
Nutritional analysis per serving:
Calories: 374
Grams of fat: 27
mg. Cholesterol: 107
mg. Sodium: 528

4 pounds pork ribs
4 tablespoons barbecue seasoning (purchased)
- Barbecue sauce (purchased)

Rub ribs on all surfaces with barbecue seasoning. Place ribs in shallow pan. Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees F. for 2 hours. Finish on grill or under broiler by turning and basting ribs with barbecue sauce for 12-15 minutes.


Pork chops with apple rings

Barbecued Orange Chicken

Servings: 4

2 1/2 lbs chicken parts
- BBQ Sauce:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 orange zest, removed with grater, orange slices reserved for salad
- Salad:
1 large, ripe tomato
1 orange, sectioned (without rind, see above)
2 scallions, chopped
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Prepare grill; heat coals. In medium bowl, mix together all barbecue ingredients until smooth. Place chicken on grill away from center heat, skin-side-down; cook 15 minutes. Turn chicken and grill for 10 additional minutes. Brush chicken pieces with sauce and turn occasionally; cooking for additional 10 minutes. Cut tomato into wedges and place in medium bowl. Use sharp paring knife to cut out white pith off orange. Remove orange sections and add them to tomato. Sprinkle with oil, vinegar and scallions; toss. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve chicken with salad on the side.

Beef 'N Onions in BBQ Sauce

Servings: 4

1 lb Beef top round steak, 3/4" thick
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 large-size oven bag (20" x 14")
1 medium onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
4 crusty rolls, split
- BBQ Sauce:
3/4 cup prepared chili sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 1-1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Cut Beef steak lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/4"-thick strips; set aside. 2. Shake flour in oven bag. Place sauce ingredients and onion in bag; squeeze to mix well and blend in flour. Place Beef in bag, turning to coat. Place bag in 13" x 9" baking pan, arranging ingredients in even layer. Close bag with nylon tie; cut six 1/2" slits in top. 3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until Beef is tender. Serve in rolls

BBQ Cheeseburgers

Servings: 4

1-1/2 lb ground Beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- Prepared barbecue sauce
4 slices process American cheese
4 crusty rolls, split
- Romaine lettuce
- Tomato slices

1. In large bowl, combine ground Beef and onion, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into four 3/4"-thick patties. 2. Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 13 to 15 minutes or until centers are no longer pink, turning occasionally. Approx. 1 minute before burgers are done, brush with barbecue sauce; top with cheese. 3. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce and tomato; top with cheeseburger. Close sandwiches.

Pork chops with apple rings
Makes: 4 Kebabs

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Offering great value & versatility, these tasty pork steaks will become a firm favourite with family and friends alike! Serve with jacket potatoes and a mixed salad or coleslaw.


125g (4oz) unsalted butter
4 x 175g (6 oz) pork steaks, i.e. shoulder steaks
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ -1 teaspoon ground allspice or cinnamon
2 firm dessert apples
50g (1¾ oz) caster sugar

1. Make the sauce ahead of time: gently heat the butter, sugars and golden syrup together until the butter has melted. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring well and leave it to bubble steadily for 3 – 4 minutes.

2. Place the steaks in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, mix together the honey, mustards, olive oil and spice. Brush this over both sides of the steaks. Cover the pork and leave in a cool place until required. Reserve any remaining honey mixture for basting the pork when it is on the barbecue.

3. When you are ready to cook the pork, prepare the apples. Top and tail each apple, discarding the end slices, then cut each apple into 4 equal slices. Use a melon baller or a sharp knife to scoop out the core. Toss the rings in the caster sugar to give a light coating.

4. Place the pork over a medium hot barbecue and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes on each side or until the steaks have turned a sticky nutty brown on the outside and are thoroughly cooked in the centre. (Occasionally baste the steaks during cooking with any remaining marinade.)

5. A few minutes before the pork is ready to serve, cook the apple slices on the barbecue for 2 minutes on each side until just tender and nicely caramelised and golden brown.

6. Serve each steak topped with 2 apple rings. Accompany with baked potatoes and salad or a fruity coleslaw.

Flash tip:

Try pineapple rings (canned or fresh) or fresh apricot halves as a delicious alternative to apples.

For succulence and flavour, choose pork steaks that have a fine marbling of fat running through the meat. (Too lean and they can become dry and tough if overcooked.) Shoulder steaks or spare rib steaks are ideal and offer good value.




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