What would be a sunny summer day without a barbecue? Try new bold flavours with this recipe that combines juicy beef with zingy fresh lemon. You can substitute beef for lamb or even salmon.
Beef brochettes for four
500g ground beef
breadcrumbs from 1 slice of bread
1 small onion
2 tbsp capers
1/2 cup white wine
juice & zest from 1 lemon
handful chopped black olives
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper
Finely dice the onion. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion on medium heat until it softens. Add the capers, lemon juice & zest and the white wine. Cook for a further 10 minutes, until almost all liquid has evaporated. Let cool.
Mix the the ground beef with breadcrumbs, the egg and the onion mixture. Add the olives and chopped herbs. Season well with salt & pepper.
Form balls the size of a walnut and arrange on a plate. Put them in the fridge for at least one hour - this will harden the composition and prevent your brochettes from falling apart during cooking. The longer you leave the flavours to blend, the tastier your brochettes will become.
While the meat is in the fridge, fill a pot with water and soak some wooden skewers. This way they won't burn on the barbecue.
Slip 3 balls on each skewer and barbecue until nicely brown on all sides. If you're unlucky and it rains, you can also grill the brochettes in a bit of olive oil, in a pan.
Parmesan polenta for four
300g corn semolina
3-5 cups hot water
1 tbsp olive oil or knob of butter
100g gratted parmesan
1 tsp salt
A good polenta takes time to make, but the good news is that you can prepare it way ahead and keep in the fridge until serving time.
What you'll need is a pot filled with salted boiling water. Drizzle the corn semolina really slowly over the boiling water and stir well. And when I say drizzle, I really mean it. The trick is to pour the semolina constantly and in a fine rain, otherwise you'll get lumps.
Lower the heat (almost to a minimum, or it will splatter) and keep stiring. You're going to be there for at least half an hour, but it's very important not to stop stiring. The polenta can stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. Add more hot water when necessary.
The polenta is cooked when it peels off the sides of the pot. The consistency should be creamy but some people like it firmer - it's up to you.
Now you can take the polenta off the heat and stir in the olive oil/butter and gratted parmesan. You can also add a sprinkle of dried mediterranean herbs.
If you plan to serve the polenta later, pour it while it's hot in an oiled baking tray. Leave it to cool. Later you can cut it in squares and heat those for a couple of minutes on the barbecue. It is also very good cold.
This recipe makes 0.4kilos/person of pure goodness.