Okay, this may be radical, but Thai curry can be great for a barbecue. Instead of being poached in a spicy bath, the ingredients are seared on the barbie and then smothered in the sauce. Advantages? The beauty of grill-marks on colourful vegetables, and the smoky satisfaction of barbecued anything.
8–12 baby eggplants (aubergines), or 1 large one
2 red or yellow capsicums (peppers)
50 g (1¾ oz) flat or cup mushrooms
2 zucchini (courgettes)
100 g (3½ oz) baby sweetcorn
100 g (3½ oz) snow peas (mangetout)
6 spring onions (scallions)
150 g (5½ oz) asparagus
a few prawns per person
handful of coriander (cilantro) stems and leaves
handful of basil leaves
squeeze of lime juice
25 g (1 oz) salted cashews
steamed rice, lime wedges and chilli, to serve
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2½ tablespoons olive oil
GREEN CURRY SAUCE
1 tablespoon green curry paste
vegetable oil, for frying
1 x 400 ml (14 fl oz) tin coconut milk
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemongrass stem, cut into lengths and bruised
2 teaspoons fish sauce
juice of ½ lime
Cut the eggplants, capsicums, mushrooms and zucchini into suitable sizes and shapes for barbecuing. Put them all in a large glass or ceramic bowl or dish, along with the sweetcorn, snow peas, spring onions and asparagus.
To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or jug. Pour most of the marinade over the veg and mix well. Sprinkle with some sea salt, then set aside until you are ready to cook. Wrap the snow peas in foil to make a parcel. Put the prawns in a glass or ceramic bowl, pour over the rest of the marinade and refrigerate until needed.
For the sauce, fry the curry paste in a little vegetable oil in a saucepan over gentle heat until aromatic, then pour in the coconut milk; rinse out the tin with a splash of water and add this as well. Add the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass and bring to the boil. Set aside to cool.
When it is barbecue time, have all your ingredients flameside, ready to go. Gently reheat the green curry sauce, adding the fish sauce and lime juice.
Place the vegetables that need the longest cooking time on the grill first (eggplants, capsicums and mushrooms), then have the others join them as they go along, ending with the asparagus, which will only need a couple of minutes. Lay the prawns on the grill. Have a large bowl nearby to receive the vegetables and prawns as they are cooked, sprinkling them with snipped coriander stems, some torn basil and lime juice as you go. Place the foil package of snow peas on the grill for just long enough to heat through, making these the final addition to your bowl of veg and prawns.
Gently toss everything together, then pour over the green curry sauce. Cover with coriander leaves and more basil, then sprinkle over the cashews. Serve with rice, lime wedges, and sliced red chilli if you like it hot.
Decant the curry sauce into a large jar and refrigerate until needed. Gather your vegetables in a basket and your seafood in an airtight container – inside an Esky (cool box), if you have any distance to travel – then away you go.
Recipe and images taken from Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe, published by Murdoch Books. Buy the book here.
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