Bliss - grilled and basted

Barbecue care

To coincide with the launch of its new range of summer barbecues, Goldair has compiled top tips on barbecue maintenance to help Kiwis keep everything in tip-top condition.

* For a long-lasting exterior, make sure you wash your barbecue regularly with hot, soapy water, then rinse clean.

* If your barbecue is stainless steel, apply a stainless-steel barbecue protector to all steel surfaces (it's a myth that stainless steel never rusts!). For powder-coated barbecues, apply a non-stainless steel barbecue cleaner.

* For plates and grills, start up the barbecue and leave it on with the hood down for 10-15 minutes. When it's warm, remove excess fat or oils with paper towels or a cotton cloth.

* Periodically, remove the plates/grills and wash with hot, soapy water and sugar soap or degreaser. Rinse, then leave to air dry before replacing.

* Lastly, check burners after periods of non-use. Portholes on all burners can get blocked by fat, juices, marinades, spider webs and nests - especially after winter. These blockages can reduce gas flow and may result in fires during cooking, so be sure to clear all blocks with a damp cloth.

* Most of all, always be safety conscious and check for holes and potential gas leaks around hoses and bottles prior to use.

It is important to look after your barbecue well to prolong its lifespan.

Barbecues can be so versatile, but if you're stuck for inspiration about what to cook, Goldair has that covered, too.

Food safety

Preparation: Lessen sticky food build-up by spritzing the hotplate before grilling with spray oil or wiping it down with vegetable oil. It is best to marinate low-fat foods such as chicken, fish and vegetables before cooking to prevent them from sticking to the hotplate or grill.

For health reasons: Never return cooked meat or poultry to the plate it was sitting on when raw. Uncooked juices, which could be contaminated, will be absorbed by the cooked meat.

Marinade cooking: Bring the food to room temperature before barbecuing to ensure it absorbs the marinade and cooks evenly without burning. Wipe excess marinade from the meat. Start cooking then baste, if necessary, until food is cooked. Never pour marinade on. Always use a brush or you will cause flare-ups.

When using aluminium foil: Always put the food on the shiny side, with the dull side facing the heat source.

Never use a fork to turn meat: This punctures the flesh and you lose valuable juices. This can also cause flare-ups.

Stoked: Cooking with Fire by Al Brown, photographs by Kieran Scott.

Publisher: Random House, $70

Chargrilled fig, prosciutto & blue cheese bruschetta

Makes 12-24 bruschetta (depending on size)

This sort of combination is a no-brainer. I like to use a creamy blue cheese that isn't too strong so all the flavour components have a fair crack at the whip.


1 loaf rustic bread (baguette, ciabatta or similar)

Olive oil for brushing

12 fresh figs (ripe but firm)

100g creamy blue cheese

12 slices prosciutto

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Walnut oil (optional)


Cut your loaf into 1cm-thick slices. Brush both sides with a little olive oil. Preferably toast on a chargrill or bake in a 180C oven until crisp on the outside but still slightly soft in the centre. Reserve. Do not stack on each other if still warm, as they will become soggy.

Cut the figs in half and brush a little oil over the cut flesh. Sear the cut side on the chargrill or flat-top for a minute or so until the natural sugars caramelise and start to char.

Remove with a thin spatula then cool.

To assemble, smear some of the blue cheese on each bruschetta, rip a little prosciutto and place on top of the cheese then top with half a fig.

Season with a pinch of sea salt and a grind of black pepper then drizzle  a little walnut oil over if using. Serve.

Chargrilled rib-eye with kumara, cumin & red cabbage hash & smoked tomato chutney

Serves 6

A Kiwi favourite, the rib-eye steak ticks a lot of boxes for steak eaters. It's usually juicy from good marbling and a decent ball of fat in the centre. Hence, it makes a great steak even for those heathens who enjoy their steak well done, as there is still some moisture after cooking.

The smoked tomato chutney is a real winner and can be served with all manner of grilled meat and vegetables. The hash is like an exotic bubble and squeak.

Step 1: Smoked tomato chutney


2 tbsp sea salt

4 tbsp brown sugar

500g firm, ripe tomatoes, halved horizontally

1/4 cup cooking oil

2 cups finely diced onion

2 tbsp finely diced ginger

1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan and ground

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2 star anise

1/2 cinnamon stick

400g can whole peeled tomatoes, blitzed in a blender

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (or regular is fine)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step 2: Kumara, cumin and Red cabbage hash


1kg golden kumara, peeled and diced in 1cm cubes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

3/4 cup finely diced onion

3/4 cup finely diced celery

3/4 cup finely diced green capsicum

1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan and ground

2 handfuls thinly sliced red cabbage

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step 3: To cook and serve 6 rib-eye steaks


Oil for frying

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step 1: Smoked tomato chutney


In a bowl, combine the salt and brown sugar, then sprinkle evenly over the tomato halves.

Place the tomatoes on a smoker rack. Light the smoker with a small amount of chips in the bottom. Once the smoke is under way, place rack in the smoker, cover and smoke for 15 minutes or so. Carefully take the tomatoes from the rack and gently remove the skins. Put the flesh, seeds and juice in a bowl. Reserve. Place a medium-sized saucepan on medium-low heat.

Add the cooking oil, onion and ginger. Fry gently for 10 minutes, then add the spices. Fry for another five minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, then add the remaining ingredients, except the salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced, thick and rich (about one hour).

Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise, then taste, season and refrigerate until required.

Step 2: Kumara, cumin and red cabbage hash


Place the kumara in a medium-sized saucepan, cover with cold salted water and bring to the boil. Check after five minutes. Once soft, but not completely falling apart, remove from the heat, strain and cool on a tray.

In a large saute pan or saucepan, place the olive oil, ginger, onion, celery and capsicum. Sweat on a medium-low heat  for 30 minutes. Stir in the cumin then add the red cabbage. Turn up the heat and stir for five minutes or so until the cabbage has wilted but still has plenty of crunch.

Remove from the heat, place in a bowl with the kumara and mix with clean hands. Taste and season with sea salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until required.

Step 3: To cook and serve

Heat the chargrill or flat-top to good and hot. Brush the steaks with oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Place on the grill and cook to your liking, with plenty of charring. Remove the steaks when cooked and let them rest for at least five minutes.

Heat your flat-top to medium heat. Lightly brush with oil. Spread the hash out to about 2cm thick. Don't touch for at least five minutes, as you want to create a great crunchy crust. Turn and repeat on the other side. Once hot through it's ready to serve. To plate up: steak, hash, smoked tomato relish.  

Moist polenta cake with lemon syrup

Makes 1 loaf

This is the only cake recipe in this book. It's not particularly grand looking; in fact, it's pretty humble. The lemon hit is fantastic and it's a great cake to take away, as it stays incredibly moist for at least a week - not that it ever lasts that long in our family.

Step 1: Lemon syrup ingredients

1/2 cup sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

Step 2: Moist polenta cake ingredients

300g butter, softened

300g sugar

4 eggs

150g fine instant polenta

300g ground almonds

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons

Step 1: Lemon syrup


Pour the sugar and lemon juice into a small, non-reactive saucepan. Place on low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool.

Step 2: Moist polenta cake


Set the oven to 150C.

Butter a 21cm-diameter springform cake tin.

In a cake mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until combined. Fold in the polenta, ground almonds and baking powder, lemon zest and juice.

Pour the batter into the buttered cake tin and place in the oven.

Bake for one hour then check at regular intervals until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.

To finish the cake, with a skewer or fork, prick the top of the cake to make numerous small holes. Pour a little of the lemon syrup at a time on to the cake and paint over with a pastry brush.

Store in a cake tin.

- Hamilton News

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