Tag Archives: barbeque

Erin’s BBQ Chicken Sandwiches


I love being introduced to new recipes and I love being cooked amazing food! Erin is a good friend of Jack and Catriona’s who they met in Edinburgh last year. Last summer Erin came to stay with us in Ivinghoe to carry out some research in London for her history masters whilst being plied with tea, cake and marmitey toast in our food-centric household. We spent a fun although fairly damp few days bike riding, running and walking to and lunching at pubs. One evening Erin very kindly introduced us to this wonderful sunshiney US Southern style BBQ dish . Here’s a few words from Erin about this gorgeous recipe:

Living abroad in Scotland has a multitude of perks. However, from time to time, I get a hankerin’ for some BBQ. While visiting my friends in Ivinghoe I decided to say ‘thank you’ by cooking something ‘American’ (or as close to something of that name) for the family. I chose the Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches from “The Pioneer Woman”. I truly enjoy the classic and rich flavours from this site’s recipes. I also appreciate food you can put in the oven, walk to the pub for a pint, and walk back to, ready to eat. The other perk of this specific recipe is that it doesn’t require a slow-cooker and several hours, unlike some other BBQ chicken recipes. We served these alongside some fresh rocket salad and smashed new potatoes with olive oil and sea salt.


2 packs of Chicken thighs and legs
Salt And Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 bottle (large) Good Quality Barbecue Sauce (In this particular instance, Jack Daniels BBQ sauce)
1 whole Onion, Sliced
8 whole Cloves Garlic (more To Taste)


1/2 head Cabbage, Sliced Thin
1/2 head Purple Cabbage, Sliced Thin
1/2 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 bunch Cilantro (Coriander), Roughly Chopped

We have all also picked up some new vocabulary from this. Jack and Erin discovered, after a few rather confusing minutes of shopping that what we call ‘coriander’ in the UK is referred to as ‘cilantro’ in the US (after the Spanish for coriander).


Combine shredded cabbage and sliced jalapenos in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix milk, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Pour over cabbage. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate two hours.

Before serving, toss in cilantro leaves.


Heat canola oil in a heavy pot over medium high heat. Season chicken, then sear on all sides until skin is golden brown and some fat is rendered. Remove chicken from pot and pour off excess grease.

Add sliced onions and whole garlic cloves to pot and stir around to cook for 2 minutes. Pour in barbecue sauce, add chicken to the sauce, and place lid on the pot.

Place in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is falling off the bone.

Remove the whole garlic cloves from the pot and set it aside. Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool enough to handle. Using hands or two forks, remove the meat from the bones. Finely shred the chicken using your hands or two forks.

Carefully skim off the excess fat that has risen on top of the sauce. Return shredded chicken to the pot and stir into the sauce. Reheat so that it’s warm.

Spread butter onto rolls and toast on the griddle.

To serve, place a good amount of chicken on the bottom half of the roll. Top with one or two garlic cloves, then a good helping of slaw. Top with the other half of the bun and dig in!


Fresher’s Veggie Bean Burgers

When I was in my first year at uni, I made the discovery that by cooking from scratch I could make food that was both tasty and very cheap and that veggie food was even cheaper still. Although I now much more frequently treat myself to somewhat less veggie ingredients, this is a recipe that has stayed with me – particularly because the ingredients are usually just sitting in my cupboard, waiting to brighten up an empty fridge situation or is often a special treat for when I’ve been to give blood!


1 onion (reds really nice but white’s fine too)
2 tbsps cumin seeds
a good hefty whack of cayenne pepper (I like mine really spicy so use between 2tsp – 3 tsps of the stuff but when cooking for others usually tone it down to somewhere between half and a whole tsp)
1 or two cloves of garlic to taste
1 tin of red kidney beans (can pick and choose whatever tinned beans really but these are cheap and carry the spices nicely)
Paprika – roughly a tsp
a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs
Beaten egg (usually less than half a beaten egg does it)
Sunflower oil for frying

Chop the onion and fry gently on a medium heat until the onions are soften and nicely browned. Chop or mince the garlic and add these for the last minute or two of the onion’s cooking time, along with the cumin seeds.

Whilst the onion is cooking, drain the tin of beans and place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher to achieve a coarsely mashed texture. When the onion, garlic and cumin are cooked, put these in the bowl  add the paprika and only HALF of the beaten egg. Add some salt and pepper to seasons to taste, then mix in the breadcrumbs a very little bit at a time. This it the point where it really pays to get your hands involved so you can feel the texture of the mix. The mix should be fairly moist but should mould nicely into balls. Adjust this by adding either more egg or more breadcrumbs. It’s taken me a few mistakes to get the feel for this so practice makes perfect but what I’ve found is that if you’re not sure, err on the side of a slightly wetter mix.

Dust a plate with flour and shape the mix into fairly thick patties (I usually make 4 large ones from this quantity but you can get 6 slightly smaller ones from this mix), gently coating both sides of each patty with a little of the flour and setting them aside. They are ready to cook at this point and can sit in the fridge until anything else is ready. They take about 8-12 minutes  total time to cook. They’re best cooked in sunflower oil if you want them to crisp up a little bit.

I usually serve these in a soft bun with a few home made oven chips, some home made coleslaw and handful of salad. They keep in the fridge cling-filmed for a day or too and freeze very well, taking just a few hours to defrost.


Sunshine food – Quesadillas

Quesadillas are something which I like to eat when I fancy a bit of sunshine –  I love them because they’re bursting with fresh and healthy ingredients and taste phenomenal for it. They’re also excellent barbecue fare for vegetarians. This is a recipe that I picked up from the excellent Otto Lenghi book ‘Plenty’ a few years ago and have written to my memory, making it time and time again.

(makes 8 quesadillas – sometimes less depending on how generously you fill them!)

1 pack of corn tortillas (the brand ‘Discovery’ do these in the UK – I always find they have them in Waitrose and make special trips to stock up on these!) – however, normal flour based ones will do the job too though if there is a corn tortilla deficit

2 ripe avocados
5 large ripe tomatoes (or lots of little ones, though these make the salsa a bit sweeter)
Half a red onion
3 spring onions (or thereabouts)
Juice of 1 lime
Crushed clove of garlic
1 fresh red chilli (finely diced)
pinch of salt
1 bunch of fresh coriander
2 tbsps cider/white wine vinegar

1 tin of black beans (or equivalent in soaked weight)
1 bunch of fresh coriander (I often use  just one between the salsa and bean paste and add a little more ground coriander as my student budget prefers this)
1 tsp ground coriander
half a tsp ground cumin
quarter tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
Juice of a lime

Soured cream (enough for a blob in each tortilla)
Grated cheddar (enough for a sprinkling on each tortilla)
Chopped jalapeno peppers  – also for sprinkling in the tortillas (the kind that come in vinegar in jars)

Chop the ends off the red onion, peel and then cut in half down the centre. Very finely slice this half to get neat little semi-circle slithers of onion. Place these in a large bowl (everything else will also go in here eventually) and mix with the vinegar. Then dice and slice all of the other salsa ingredients, finely chopping the leaves and stalks of the coriander and put these all in the bowl too. This is probably the most time consuming bit of the dish but well worth it!

For the bean paste, put all of the bean paste ingredients in a food processor and blend to form a lovely tasty paste.

Put a griddle pan (or failing that, a frying pan) on a good high heat whilst assembling the first 2 (unless you get several pans on the go, these cook 2 at a time). To assemble, put the tortilla on a plate, take a spoonful of the bean paste and spread it on the tortilla, leaving a good cm or two round the edge. Dollop some soured cream (or creme fraiche) in the middle of this in a little circle and then put a spoonful or two of salsa on. It’s best to go easy with the salsa otherwise it all ends up on the griddle pan which is rather upsetting. I find it’s generally better to serve it up with an extra spoonful of the stuff than overfill it and risk loosing it between the cavernous ridges of the griddle pan.

Once the salsa is on, sprinkle on some cheese and jalapenos then fold the tortilla gently in half  and put it on the hot griddle. Turn the griddle down to a medium heat so you don’t set the whole thing on fire and wait until the edges start turning the tiniest bit browned then flip the tortilla carefully and repeat (a few minutes on each side). If using a griddle this should result in lovely dark griddle lines across the tortillas.

I find that two of these alone is a good substantial lunch and one/two of these with a rice salad or some home made oven chips  is a substantial dinner.


Dreams of Summer Food

Whilst winter food is so wonderfully comforting and can be fresh and salady (what with the winter salads I keep eating), there’s still nothing like good food eaten outdoors in wonderful weather, something which I find hard to replicate in the winter months. This summer we had an amazing holiday for food – staying on the lovely island off the West coast of France called the Ile de Re, we basically just ate beautiful food for a week in beautiful surroundings, some of which I think is very much deserving of a post, so what follows is a review of these beautiful food experiences – hopefully it will inspire you as it has done me!

A particular food highlight of the holiday for me was a rather decadent lunchtime trip to fish restaurant Le Skipper in Saint Martin (right on the harbour front). For starters I had a rather tasty creamy scallop dish, which was followed by a beautifully citrus-y octopus tagine (pictured below)…

Octopus tagine at Le Skipper

 While the savoury courses were very good, it was after these that I was really sold when the most exciting plateful was set before me – a ‘cafe gourmand’ (below), which hit the spot unbelievably (I have real trouble choosing desserts and a bit of everything couldn’t be more ideal!). With the fresh chocolate macaroon, creme anglais, mini trifle (which was boozy), bite sized piece of chocolate torte, the absolutely stunning caramel cake thing (I’m struggling to remember the name of it) and a hot espresso with a wonderful crema this was a dessert to remember!


As there were a few couples holidaying together, one evening we decided to split the cooking between us and each create an element of one meal – naturally we ended up with the most colossal feast! Here (below) we have griddle chorizo, falafel burger, flat-bread, grilled aubergine, humus, tabbouleh, green salad and tzatziki (all home made). Needless to say, after this ridiculous feast no one could move for the rest of the evening and some serious swimming in the sea was required the following day!


A standard meal by the coast, but one that cannot be missed, especially by the coast in the France is  moules, cooked in white wine and garlic…


… These were stunning, with crusty French bread and the moule-infused white wine source you can’t go wrong! There were also prawns cooked in a very large amount of garlic and a little chilli but alas, no picture exists (they’re probably far too messy to have gone near my camera whilst eating them).

An interesting discovery for me was the fish ‘Ling’ which we came across in the bustling fish market of Le Bois Plage en Re. This we cooked on the barbeque, wrapped in a foil parcel full of lemon, dill and garlic.



And which turned out wonderfully alongside some fantastic meguez sausages…


So I’ve spent the evening drinking G & T and surveying my summer food snaps… It’s certainly inspired me to make plans for the summer and in the mean time to make some gorgeous summery food as a winter pick-me-up!!

Watch out for a follow up post on learning to prepare oysters!