These spicy stuffed chillies are easy to prepare in advance, as you can chill or freeze them before cooking. Increase the quantities to suit; you can never have too many!
These richly flavoured meatballs make a tempting informal appetiser. If you're handing them out with drinks, serve them with cocktail sticks. If you're serving them at the table, serve chunks of bread for mopping up the luscious sauce.
Pinchitos morunos are eaten everywhere in Spain as tapas, though nowadays they are made of pork, rather than lamb like Europe’s first kebabs, which were brought by the Arabs from Africa.
This recipe encapsulates the simplicity of rustic Spanish cooking. The mingling flavours of the marinade combine beautifully with the sweet succulent prawns, while charred edges from the barbecue or griddle give the slightest of crunches and a heady smoked aroma. You can substitute jumbo prawns, but the king prawns or royal red prawns look much more authentic.
Sticky barbecued chicken wings are a perennial favourite and a great snack to offer before the main event. You can't make too many – they will disappear as fast as you can make them!
A classic burger, stripped back to its basics and unadulterated by extra flavourings.
Sausages are great for quick meals and these are cooked with a barbeque sauce for added piquancy. Serve with oven chips or mashed potatoes or in a roll.
In Japanese, teri means sunshine and yaki means roast or grilled, so what could be more suitable for barbecuing?
The key to tender lamb 'souvlaki' is the marinade, so don’t skimp on the timing (even though it takes three days!). The longer the kebabs marinate, the better this 'souvlaki arnisio' will taste!
Here’s an easy recipe for spatchcocked – split and grilled – chicken.
Beef back ribs are incredibly succulent and flavoursome. To serve, just cut down between the ribs.
These mouth-watering chunks of pork are deliciously sticky, and make wonderful outdoor finger food.
Aïoli, a rich and flavoursome garlic mayonnaise from Provence, is the perfect partner for steak.
Served with an angel’s mustard slather, this is melt-in-the-mouth tender and tasty.
Either skirt or flank steak makes incredible fajitas. The trick is to marinate the steak first, cook it only until medium-rare then slice thinly on the diagonal. Serve your fajitas with store-bought or homemade flour tortillas, guacamole and pico de gallo.
A simple but vibrant French-style recipe that brings out the wonderful taste of good lamb chops.
These peppered chops are an American favourite. Serve topped with the sweet butter.
Slathered with mustard and served with crunchy pickles, this sandwich is a delightful combination of tastes and textures.
Plump little quails are always succulent. Serve them with wedges of lemon to add a sharp note to the predominantly sweet marinade.
Pair the turkey with this salsa made from piñon nuts – from pine trees in northern Mexico.
These grilled chicken skewers are delicious street food that you might find at a mercado or market, but they’re just as delicious from your own barbecue.
Steaming a chicken over a half-filled beer can infuses it with a delicious flavour.
This quick-cure method enhances the natural sweetness of these succulent salmon fillets.
A vibrant Mexican-inspired salsa is a perfect accompaniment to meaty swordfish steaks.
Tuna steaks can become tough if not cooked carefully. Tenderise them in acidic fruit juices first, then cook them briefly to retain their melting texture.
Here is more proof that citrus and fish are the perfect marriage of flavours.
These juicy prawns are particularly delicious with glasses of dark beer to complement the smoky flavours of the marinade.
You should remove the corals from your scallops before preparing this dish, but don’t discard them: sautéed with butter and garlic, they make a delicious snack.
Plain baked potatoes are standard, clichéd barbecue fare – this recipe takes the dish to another level.
Parboiling before barbecuing cuts down the actual cooking time, making this a quick and simple vegetable dish.
The bright colours of the vegetables piled high on this platter look really spectacular.
Blue cheese isn't often used in desserts – but its rich creaminess is essential here.
This sticky sauce is so much better than any you can buy, it's so tasty your chicken wings and baby back ribs will be begging for more.
Fresh mint adds a wonderful depth of flavour to fruit, especially when the flavour is enhanced with sugar and citrus. Next time you make a fruit salad, add some finely chopped fresh mint for a little extra zing.
This sweet butter is the perfect partner for soft, ripe pineapple slices.
The king of all ketchups is the Tomato; this is a handy recipe for using up a glut of tomatoes. This tomato ketchup is perfect dunked into homemade fries with a sprinkle of salt & vinegar.
No one cooks beef as well as the Argentinians, and this method is particularly successful.
These spicy little kebabs are delicious at lunchtime grilled, as directed or cooked over a barbecue. These go well with a mango salsa and maybe a Cajun rice salad made from a little cooked rice and lots of mixed peppers, chopped jalapeño, celery, red onion and fresh parsley. Alternatively serve with skewers of barbecued vegetables.
It cannot be denied that kebabs of tender chunks of marinated and lightly charred lamb are always a pleasing prospect. Yet when served on top of emerald green broad beans with a zingy lemony dressing, this dish takes on elegance far beyond the common kebab.
Sirloin is one of the best joints for barbecues because of its full flavour and lack of fat. Try preparing it with this basic rub for a sensational yet simple grilled feast.
Chuck steak needs slow and careful cooking, but the overnight marinating involved here will help to tenderise it beautifully.
Cabrito is a delicacy with many ardent admirers, but you must use a young suckling kid; or, if you prefer, use a meltingly tender leg of spring lamb.
Beef fillet is an excellent cut for barbecues because it remains meltingly tender when grilled.
T-bone steaks have both fillet and sirloin together, making them especially tasty and tender.
Grilled chicken makes a perfect supper and is loved by almost everyone. The directions here work for an outside barbeque as well as under a grill; either way, with a bit of basting with an aromatic oil or butter, it’ll be delicious. This dish can be prepared partly in advance; the chicken and marinade can be kept in a resealable plastic bag in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Tender Cornish game hens are small enough that everyone can enjoy their own bird.
Nothing is nicer than a succulent piece of flavoursome grilled chicken. The instructions here work for a grill or an outside barbecue, depending on the weather! You can put the chicken together with the marinade in a resealable plastic bag for up to 24 hours in the fridge or make up a batch and freeze them in the bags.
Australian slang for a barbecue, the ‘barbie’ lends a caramelised, slightly smoky flavour to prawns sizzled on it. Shellfish continue to cook for a minute or two after you barbecue them, so pull them off right before you think they’re done. To make sure the prawns get evenly cooked, thread them on the skewers without crowding.
Known as rajas or rags, these strips make a delicious accompaniment to beef dishes of all kinds, as well as a filling for sandwiches, burritos, tacos, enchiladas or quesadillas.
Coleslaw has been a popular side dish since the days of ancient Rome. This version is especially appealing because the red cabbage lifts the otherwise muted colours.
Relaxing days by the pool followed by romantic nights under the stars — there’s no better way to relive the pleasures of that lazy Spanish break than with a glass of this refreshing summer drink. If mixing jugs of Sangria for a party, avoid making them more than 2 hours before serving. Keep the jugs tightly covered with plastic wrap, or the red wine will start to oxidise and the drink will lose its freshness.
Street vendors in Mexican towns often serve a refreshing drink called agua fresca, based on fruit juices and purées as well as the tart hibiscus or Jamaica flower, tropical tamarind and even fresh cucumber. In a rainbow of colours, these drinks are sometimes served from barrel-shaped glass jars called vitroleros.
The first record of a mint julep being enjoyed dates from 1803, when John Davis, an Englishman working as a tutor in Virginia at one of the great Southern plantation houses, wrote of “a dram of spirituous liquor that has mint in it, taken by Virginians of a morning”. The drink later crossed the Atlantic – not with John Davis, but with the sea captain and novelist Frederick Marryatt who was said to have loved both the mint julep and the American ladies who drank it. Today the mint julep is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. More than 80,000 are downed at the annual two-day event.
Along with cigars, the Mojito is one of Cuba’s most famous exports. Its name (pronounced mo-hee-toe) comes from the African word “mojo”, meaning to cast a little spell. Ernest Hemingway was known to down the odd Mojito in Havana’s La Bodeguita del Medio bar, and James Bond followed his lead in Die Another Day.
These kebabs can be enjoyed on their own with a side of yoghurt dip. You can also chop them into small pieces and wrap them into a warm tortilla with lettuce and tomatoes for a quick, filling lunch. Or use vegetables such as onions, peppers, aubergines, cherry tomatoes and sweet potato for a super healthy alternative.
Made from the blue agave plant that is native to the desert region of western Mexico, tequila evolved from a fermented beverage drunk by the Aztecs. When the Spanish conquistadors ran out of brandy after they landed in 1521, they created tequila, the first distilled beverage in the New World. In Mexico, a margarita is made with native Key limes, the smaller, thinner-skinned version of the more common Persian lime. Use the best-quality tequila for the best flavour.
Barbacoa – foods over an indirect fire outdoors – are popular in Mexico. Cabrito (goat) is the choice in the north, lamb in central Mexico and pork in the Yucatán, but everyone loves chicken. Mesquite chips provide a regional “kiss of smoke” flavour.
Marinate rump steaks to tenderise them, then cook them quickly and serve rare or medium-rare.
If you are looking for a different way to prepare chicken, look no further. The peanut sauce is spicy without being too hot and the chicken can be cooked on the barbecue instead of under the grill, if desired.
Achiote paste is a traditional Mexican ingredient with a salty, spicy flavour. You should be able to find it in specialist food shops – or make your own (see below).
Veracruz is known for its sugarcane, citrus and tropical fruits, avocados, coffee and vanilla. Foods cooked in the Veracruz style usually include fresh citrus, and this lamb is a delicious example. Achiote is a packaged seasoning and food dye made from annatto seeds; it is available in the Hispanic section of the supermarket.