Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Maaate! There's something on me barbie!

Springy weather

As far as Saturday goes, you could almost say winter has long deserted us and Elvis spring is in the house baby! The weather forecast for this week is very springy - Monday: mid 20's [°c], Tues: 20, Wed: 18, Thu: 22(!) then it's back to 15 on Friday and 18's on the weekend.

I was considering participating in this round of WTSIM (Waiter,,there's something in my ... meatless barbecue) at Jeanne's by sticking something in the oven (because it's just a bit silly to be bbqing in winter). But the weather on Saturday (22°c) convinced me that dragging out the barbie(cue) wasn't such a bad idea after all. I figured, it's highly unlikely that anyone can accuse me of insanity seeing that it's absolutely fabulous weather that day - if there was anyone at home to see me that is.

Alv was lanning at a friends the whole day, his mum was out and about with her mahjong crew so it was just me, myself and I the bbq.

Table for 2

This round of WTSIM as the title suggests is a meatless affair, but Jeanne loosened her definition of "meatless" to allow the inclusion of seafood. Woohoo... I love meat but if I have to become a vegetarian I would be a seafood-eating-vegetarian. Which sort of defies the point really... Since seafood got a tick from Jeanne, I decided to go with prawns and since no meal of mine is 'complete' without some veges, I added some asparagus to the menu bbq.

Table for 2

For the prawns, I made a quick marinade of sumac and chopped coriander/cilantro. Sumac is one spice that I've never really quite work out how to use. I remember buying a bottle of the spice because a friend of mine was raving on about how good it was and how I should try it. So I bought a small bottle of it and only used it once on some chicken for a bbq we had last year. It didn't really impress me that much then, and it just stayed in the corner of my cold dark pantry for the last 10 months, until now.

Out it came from the little nook in the pantry. Twas about time to give it ago again.

Sumac has a mild berryish-lemony-tangy sort of flavour. So I thought that it would suit a seafood type dish better than the chicken I marinated with last time. I paired it with some coriander in reference to a lemon and coriander marinade that goes really well with seafood. Marinated (about 30mins) some prawns (300g) with 1.5 tsp of sumac and 1/4 cup of chopped coriander, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Skewered it and cooked it on the barbie for about 10mins on each side.

Grilled Prawns with Sumac and coriander

The asparagus was grilled and divided into two portions. On one side (left) it was simply served with a few dots of Jaden's lime, cilantro and wasabi butter and the other half (right) was drizzled with a balsamic and olive oil dressing. It was meant to be topped with some de-seeded and finely chopped tomatoes (ala bruschetta) but at the last minute, the tomato that I thought we had in the fridge went missing. (mind you, I just found it today behind a whole bunch of other vegetables)

Grilled asparagus. Two ways

My verdict:
The asparagus was superb! or I should say Jaden's butter and the simple balsamic dressing was superb. The prawns however, were totally unimpressive.

This sumac herb still baffles me! I'm not sure I will ever use the remainder of my bottle of sumac because the prawns was just totally disappointing. Maybe I didn't put enough sumac in or I didn't put in enough coriander. There was barely any taste to the prawns except for the excessive amount of salt and pepper that I added in (I'm nuts about s&P). Sigh. Even the extra sprinkling of sumac before serving didn't do anything to justify the herb's place in my kitchen pantry. I'm afraid, this girl's never going to buy another bottle of sumac...

Sumac experiment no 2 was a failure. Oh well.. at least I had the daffodils to brighten up my day :)


For a super late entry to Waiter, there's something in my meatless bbq. Don't forget to head to Jeanne's for the round up! :)


Ginger said...

The daffodils looked lovely.. I always adore flowers (as do most girls, duh). And I admire your set-up table. Stunning! *Clap hands*

Pity the prawns weren't tasty! They do look gorgeous.. What a shame! Sigh. Oh well, never again though.

Patricia Scarpin said...

May I have a seat in this GORGEOUS table, please?? ;)

Everything looks delicious and I can't wait to try these asparagus!

K & S said...

lovely bbq you had there :) I'd never heard of sumac until I read your post.

Anh said...

I enjoy the warmer weather too. Great work @ the barbie. :D I shall organise one myself.

IronEaters said...

wow...the pics look amazing,esp the colors of them.the blue from the sky, yellow from the flowers... always like ur photos =) great work.

.+ shopaholic +. said...

I'd like a seat at your dining table too! The table set up looks gorgeous :)

Also, the prawns & asparagus looks good in the photos.. maybe the amount of sumac wasn't enough for the flavours to penetrate in?

ilingc said...

Ginger: Thank you. Last Friday was Daffodil Day that was why they had daffodils selling at almost every corner of the shopping centre that I went to. I don't normally buy flowers but thought i would be great to be able to enjoy the flowers and donate some $$ to the cancer council. :)

Patricia: Hi Patricia, you are most welcomed to the table :)

Kat: Thanks Kat. Sumac is used mostly in middle eastern food. I had never heard of it too until my friend told me about it :)

Anh: Thanks Anh. I can't wait to have more bbqs when the weather gets warmer!

Ironeaters: Thank you. It was a very nice day that day. I even went walking around the neighborhood and took some photos.

shopaholic: You are also welcome to join us for a bbq :)

I overdosed the chicken with sumac the first time and it was quite tangy so I thought I'd be a bit more careful this time. Maybe I should give it another shot with a bit more sumac the next time I use it again. Won't be for a while though. ;)

Jeanne said...

Sumac is something I have only heard about and never tried - would be as much in the dark as you are ;-) And although you say the prawns were disappointing, take comfort in the fact that they look *fantastic*. In fact, all the photos are gorgeous and I love how you are happy to BBQ for one :) Thanks for a great WTSIM entry and see you again next month!

Truffle said...

What gorgeous photos. Bravo for braving the melbourne winter to BBQ.

Anna said...

Wow, such great photo's, the colours fairly leapt out of my screen.

The asparagus really does sound fantastic, can't wait to try that butter on some myself.

jilly said...

I love sumac, but have been baffled by it as well. The first way I ever had it (supposed to be the way it is served in Turkey), is mixed in or sprinkled on (don't be shy) grilled hamburger or lamb patties, then eaten with raw, mild onion slices and chopped parsley. I also put it in grilled Kafta now (with other spices). I tried a recipe from "Lebanese Mountain Cookery" for Middle Eastern baked/roasted chicken, on a bed of stale Pita and lots of thin sliced onions, topped with more bread and it was excellent. Also use Sumac for traditional Zattar topping on Pita (Zattah). Yum...good eating

ilingc said...

Jeanne: Thanks. Sumac sounded like a great spice and I guess I was full of expectations for it when I bought it. Oh well... Hey, BBQ for 1 wasn't too bad. I ended up dipping the prawns in chilli sauce. LOL ;)

Truffle: Thanks truffle. Melbourne winter wasn't so bad that day so I wasn't that brave :D

Anna: Thanks Anna. Definitely try the butter. It was delicious and I've just made a second batch today! :)

Jilly: Hi and what great ideas you've given me! I definitely will try it in my burgers and lamb patties next time. Thanks! :)

Tartelette said...

That table setting is just absolutely gorgeous! What a great time with friends!

ilingc said...

tartlette: Hi there. To be honest it was a bit misleading since I only had a bbq for 1. Couldn't get anyone to join me for lunch that day, so I thought I wouldn't look too much like a loner if the neighbours looked across the fence or anything. :D