The perfect time for simple summer BBQ

A FEW weeks ago, my wife and I decided that, due to the sunny weather, it was time we had a barbecue.

There was one minor problem... we didn’t actually own a BBQ.

So off we went to the local hardware shop (the one with the orange and white lettering) to buy ourselves a BBQ.

I then spent the next three hours building it.

And woe betide me if I was not going to use the next two days cooking everything I could find on that big, black metal contraption I had just lost around 4lbs in sweat putting together.

I raided the fridge and freezer to find anything and everything I could that could be cooked on a BBQ without setting fire to it.

I began with a simple starter of large mushrooms with a smoked paprika and honey glaze. This then led to chicken breast in two different marinades. One of which was a mix of Thai and Chinese flavours, or Thainese for short.

One was a soy sauce, mirin and garlic sauce, while the other was lemon, honey and rosemary marinade made with fresh cut rosemary from our garden.

And, because no meal is complete without dessert, I found a way of making more out of a BBQ’ed banana than just slathering it with chocolate sauce and serving it with ice cream.

I have also recently found a new love for gin — specifically Manchester Three Rivers Gin. So here I have also put down a few different variations of what you can serve it with. Because with gin, it’s more about the accompaniments than the actual drink.

All in all, it is well worth the expense of buying a new BBQ. But good luck putting it together.

The instructions, while in English, are about as simple as a doing a Rubik’s cube while blindfolded...

Sweet BBQ Mushrooms


  • 20 large, flat mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp melted margarine
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp walnut or rapeseed oil
  • 1 sandwich bag


It is difficult to gage the temperature of a BBQ, so wait until the smoke has gone and the coals to go white until any cooking takes place.

Mix the salt, paprika, garlic powder, melted margarine, honey and oil in the sandwich bag. Leave at room temperature to infuse for around an hour, but keep shaking every 20 minutes to make sure the ingredients don’t separate.

When the BBQ is at the right temperature, take each mushroom and place it on the BBQ. Brush the side not on the heat with the marinade.

When the bottom is cooked, turn and brush that side with the marinade. There is no point in coating the mushroom before you BBQ it because it will either burn or the marinade will just drip off into the BBQ.

Keep turning and brushing every five or so minutes until cooked through.

If you have time, you can take any left over marinade and heat it up in a pan. It acts as a really nice dipping sauce.

It’s also good to serve these with either garlic mayonnaise or Marie Rose sauce.

A simple, but tasty starter.

Thainese Chicken/Rosemary Chicken


Thainese chicken:

  • 10 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp walnut or rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp (ish) honey
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar
  • Sea salt, to taste

Rosemary chicken:

  • 10 large chicken breasts
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves taken off the stalks
  • Juice and zest of two lemons
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Sea salt, to taste


Mix all of marinade ingredients for each respective recipe together and let sit for 30 minutes. Add the chicken breasts (skin on or off, it’s your choice). Mix and leave to soak for around an hour.

Place on the BBQ and grill until cooked through. Keep applying each marinade to both sides to ensure the chicken doesn’t dry out or burn. Closing the BBQ lid for a few minutes can provide a nice smokiness to the chicken, as can flavoured woodchips.

These marinades might seem simple, but they taste fantastic. Sometimes, the simplest of recipes are the best...

Peanut Butter BBQ’ed Bananas


  • 4 large bananas
  • Peanut butter
  • 70% Dark chocolate
  • 1 shot of rum per banana
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar


Split the bananas lengthways, but keep them in the skin.

Fill the cavity with as much peanut butter and dark chocolate as you wish. The dark chocolate actually stops this recipe from being overly sweet.

Brush each banana with a shot of rum and sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top. One tablespoon should be enough for all four.

Wrap the bananas in foil, but not too tight as you will need to open every five or so minutes to brush with more rum. This will keep it moist and make sure it does not dry out.

Place on the BBQ until the chocolate and peanut butter have melted into an almost sauce-like mixture.

Take the bananas off the BBQ.

Serve with either cream (parev if you’ve eaten the Thainese chicken beforehand) or cookie dough ice cream — trust me, it works really well.

Rosemary and Orange Gin


  • One shot of Manchester Three Rivers Gin
  • Small can of Indian Tonic Water
  • A sprig of fresh Rosemary
  • Orange peel
  • 1 Dried Apricot


There’s not much too this recipe... Mix all the ingredients together, using the sprig of Rosemary to stir. Swap the orange peel for lemon, and the apricot for blueberries or strawberries.

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