Friday, February 22, 2008
Sometimes I wonder if there is anything my dad Alan can’t do. He can fix cars and computers, he can do woodwork and metalwork, he knows just about everything there is to know about nuts and bolts, he has a keen eye for antique furniture, he’s currently doing just about all the work on our new house extension – from planning to plumbing. Oh, and did I mention that he can also cook? He’s even owned a restaurant!
I’ve learnt a lot from my dad. I remember afternoons spent in the garage while he worked on one project or other. I’d keep busy by hammering nails into a piece of wood and then prying them out. Dad has been there to rescue several dinners I have cooked that didn’t quite turn out as planned. He’s taught me the value of preparation and time management when cooking.
One memory that sticks in my mind now is cooking a barbeque with him last year. Each equipped with a pair of tongs and a beer, we chatted while we cooked, and he taught me how to cook a good steak. I love the good old Australian tradition of barbequing. It is perfect for summer because cooking outside keeps the heat out of the house. With the last days of summer stretched out before us, I thought I would share my dad’s way of making amazing barbequed potatoes. He’s been preparing them this way since before I can remember, though I’m sure they would also be nice in thick slices instead of quartered wedges.
What follows is not a recipe as much as a procedure with suggestions. These are the ingredients we use, but I have never measured quantities, it’s all to taste. I would recommend allowing one and a half large potatoes for each person, roughly 6 pieces. The microwave step is important to pre-cook the potatoes before browning them up on the barbeque, but don’t overcook them because they’ll fall apart during cooking. Any leftovers are also great cold.
Dad's BBQ Potatoes
• 6 large potatoes, skin on and washed, cut into quarters.
• Salt and pepper
• Cinnamon, Paprika or Cumin
• Fresh chives or parsley, chopped
• Olive oil
1. Place potatoes in a freezer bag or covered container. Microwave on high for about 6-8 minutes, until just tender.
2. Put potatoes into a large bowl with salt, pepper, cinnamon, fresh herbs and olive oil. Swish the bowl around so potatoes are evenly coated.
3. Heat the barbeque plate. When hot, add a little olive oil and spread to evenly coat the plate. Add the potatoes. Cook, turning over occasionally. Remember that barbeques have hotspots, so you might find they cook quicker in certain areas.
4. When they are well browned, move them over to the slatted grill part of the barbeque to finish them off. You can put them in a low oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of your barbeque.