Home' Northern Outlook : September 7th 2013 Contents 10 NORTHERN OUTLOOK, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
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Kiwis warm to outdoor dining
Outdoor cuisine: The concept of an outdoor kitchen becomes more tantalising as the weather
begins to warm up.
Recent warm nor'westerly spells and the
appearance of shoots on many of our roses
have tempted some of us to think spring
arrived early -- although by the time you read
this you may have experienced a cold
One enjoyable activity which is becoming
more popular is the ''outdoor kitchen'' --
something of a step up from the conventional
barbecue, and you might like to give some
thought to this when the warmer weather
arrives to stay.
Pretty much any food can be prepared
Grilled items, sauces, dips, vegetables -- they
all work well in an outdoor kitchen. The most
basic item is a barbecue grill, either gas or
A chimenea is another interesting addition.
Chimeneas, (pronounced chim-in-eeya,
Spanish for fireplace) are functional works of
art that provide the warmth of a fire, the
aroma of burning wood and the colourful
flickering of flames to add to the ambience.
They are great conversation pieces and make
an elegant addition to any outdoor deck,
courtyard or patio.
The Mexicans have been using chimeneas as
effective heaters and cooking appliances for
hundreds of years.
They have been introduced to the western
world relatively recently over the past 25 years
as we turn more to outdoor living.
A chimenea can be used for cooking simple
items, such as hot dogs or sausages.
It is ideal to have a shelter, such as a roof or
overhang so that the outdoor kitchen does not
get wet, and if you go about this in the right
way (storage cabinets) you can permanently
keep items such as rotisserie, toaster oven, and
other utensils in a safe and dry environment.
It is important to have cabinets that leave
enough ventilation around the cooking
equipment and to use a qualified electrician
for all electrical work.
A simple toaster oven can be used for a
variety of outdoor cooking occasions.
You can heat up refried beans in a casserole
dish, or you can heat up rice or other
You save by not heating up the inside of
your house in the warmer weather, and
cooking outside lets the cook enjoy the
A single burner can perform a variety of
cooking tasks -- stir fry, cook rice or steam
veges. The settings may be different than a
regular stove, but practice will help you
determine which are best.
If you are having an oriental barbecue, you
can grill the teriyaki chicken outside while stir
frying veges at the same time.
Plugging your rotisserie into an outdoor
kitchen gives other options to grilled meats.
smoothies for brunches or to make margaritas
Find a benchtop company and see if they
can provide off-cuts -- granite is a good idea --
for cutting and preparation surfaces.
Start thinking about the possibilities now --
an outdoor kitchen is great for entertaining or
just as a family dinner alternative -- and you
could be enjoying its benefits when spring
warmth finally does arrive.
Surf 'n' Turf
This is a relatively simple but delightful meal
ideally suited to an alfresco environment.
4 scotch fillet steaks
24 large prawns, peeled and de-veined
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp butter
4 mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp fresh chives, snipped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1G2 cup cream
Melt butter in small pan, add garlic and
prawns and cook gently until prawns are pink.
Add mushrooms, chives, parsley and cream.
Cook the steaks over medium heat to
required doneness. Set aside on a plate and
cover with foil. Allow to rest for five minutes.
Spoon the prawn sauce over each steak. Serve
with salad and bread.
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