Making a good burger is a real craft. I have to say this as I wrote the recipe, but this burger was AWESOME - everything that a great burger should be and with very little fuss. There are three things that you have to get right for your burger to taste sublime.
I like to think of chicken as a blank canvas, it's brilliant at taking on flavours, especially if you allow time for a marinade to work it's magic. Za'atar is a wonderful blend of Middle Eastern herbs and spices that will transform a humble chicken into a thing of beauty.
I love the way amazing food can conjure up vivid memories. I first tasted satay years ago at my mate Woody's 18th birthday party - his wonderful Malaysian mum had made chicken satay skewers. I can remember thinking that it was possibly the most delicious thing I had EVER eaten.
Spinal Tap famously had guitar amps that went to eleven, we think this Argentinian 'sausage in a bun' recipe turns the flavour dial up to twelve! Cooking with our soft chorizo sausages is almost cheating, they pack so much flavour. Add in the chimichurri sauce and you have an awesome combination going on.
I guess broccoli isn't the first ingredient that springs to mind when considering 'things to go on my toast' but a friend of mine raved about this recipe, it's from the brilliant Thomasina Miers - a chef, writer and TV presenter who won MasterChef in 2005.
This Cuban Mojo marinade is one of my favourite Somerset Foodie sauces. It raises the BBQ bar from dried out old meat to something spectacular. It's spiced with chipotle, garlic and orange which makes for mouthwatering chicken...
It's sometimes hard to get excited about cucumber, particular when they are 'straight from the fridge cold' and sliced into slightly uninspiring rounds. Cucumbers are 96% water, they have a lovely clean, crunchy texture but need a little helping hand to bring out their best.
I just love the fresh vibrant flavours of a noodle salad, a riot of textures and flavours - brought together with a zingy, aromatic dressing. Year-round versatility, you can incorporate whatever fresh veg or salad happens to be in season at the time, or lurking in your fridge and needs using up.
There is a fantastic chef called Samin Nosrat who talks about the basic elements of cooking - check out her book "Salt Fat Acid Heat" - it's won loads of awards. At the heart of good cooking lies good decision making and the primary decision regarding heat is whether to cook slowly over gently heat or quickly over intense heat. Cooking food over charcoal or wood on a BBQ can be a combination of both, the skill lies in deciding the perfect moment to start cooking. It is a brilliant way to introduce an extra layer of flavour...
It's so exciting to think that one fifth of the way through the 21st century and here in the UK, we are still making new food discoveries. I was first introduced to chimichurri sauce by a friend of mine a few years ago. Beaming with excitement, he proclaimed, 'you're gonna love this', as he slathered the thick, herby sauce over a freshly cooked steak. Of course, like most new food discoveries, there is nothing new about chimichurri sauce. It's been an Argentinian staple for generations.