NEW YEAR’S, NEW TOOLS AND NEW IDEAS
I’ve been busy with this second edition of our BBQXL blog coming up with creative ways to use our grilling wok (pictured above and below). If you’re not sure of the advantages of a grilling wok, I hope to clear that up for you as you read on.
A grilling wok is a rather unique barbecue accessory shaped like a frying pan but is laced with holes and is meant for use on an outdoor grill. The holes allow for the barbecue flavours to seep into the wok to transform a regular stir fry into something quite special. I’m a firm believer that anything that can go on the barbecue should GO DIRECTLY ON THE GRILL! It’s mainly psychological, I see grill lines on anything and my mouth starts to water immediately. If you’re anything like me, you may see a grilling wok and think “Hmmmmmm, what would I do with that other than small pieces of veg?”. The whole point of a grilling wok is to be able to impart barbecue flavour to anything that would otherwise be too small to stay on the grill. Therefore, I started thinking about it…and thinking…and thinking……
I thought about doing prawns but then recalled one of my favourite recipes and they’re on skewers, so I nixed that idea even though it’s really great for small prawns you can’t skewer (but as I mentioned, I’m biased by grill lines!). Then I thought about doing a beef or chicken stir fry but dissuaded myself after having contemplated it because really, the whole point of a stir fry, is the flash frying, not to mention the scrumptious sauce to season rice or noodles. Using a grilling wok in the way one thinks of using a regular wok would be impractical. The holes present a challenge if the grilling wok were used in the traditional way yet in turn offer an opportunity to impart BBQ flavouring to an otherwise regular stir fry.
I was looking to create delicious food that you wouldn’t normally think about grilling and that wouldn’t lose any appeal if it didn’t have grill lines on it. Then, it dawned on me. Any shell fish that you can’t pierce with a skewer would be divine. I’ve done whole crab and claws on charcoal and gas barbecues but the problem was that they didn’t taste any different than boiling them. I’ve also done mussels and clams as well but the problem with them is that in order to have sufficient for a feast you need a lot of them, a real headache when they’re loose on the grill. The alternative of cooking in tin foil on the barbie leaves something to be desired for me; the discernible and delicious BBQ’d zing that only grilling really delivers! I’ve come up with ideas to capture the essence of grilling using the grilling wok and the recipes explain the process in full detail. You can have a look now by clicking on the following pictures but I suggest you read on for my New Year’s Eve ideas.
As we approach New Year’s Eve, many of us are getting ready for a party, whether going to one or hosting one. I have always found that there’s that hour before the clock strikes twelve when there’s a bit of a lull, a dip in energy so to speak. Yet, once everyone cheers “Happy New Year!”, sings Auld Lang Syne and kisses or hand shakes are exchanged, the party comes to a thrilling roll.
In my experience a New Year’s Eve party starts later than a dinner party and chances are you will have eaten before you go. Once you’re there, you mingle and hopefully nibble on snacks and sip a drink that the host has been gracious enough to put out. It’s a long stretch though between dinner and midnight!
I normally host a New Year’s Eve blow-out and I’ve decided that this year, instead of putting out all the hors d’oeuvres at the beginning of the party (which are normally devoured well before midnight), that I’ll put out simpler nibbles throughout the evening. Then, at about half an hour before midnight, I’ll strike with my crab mélange and mussels on the half-shell accompanied by my cava and brandy cocktail, all of which I will have prepared earlier in the day on the grill. The expensive bubbly will be reserved for the big moment, of course! I hope you enjoy.
The BBQXL grilling wok I’ve used here and a huge range of BBQ accessories are all available on the BBQXL website, as are my recipes for the Grilled Cava and Brandy Cocktail, Grilled Crab with Vegetable and Avocado Mélange and Grilled Mussels on the Half Shell with Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce.
Posted on December 21st, 2013 by Matthew C. exclusively for BBQXL