Known for his appearance on My Kitchen Rules in 2013, Luke’s passion for health and wellness is reflected in this gorgeous cookbook of highly accessible recipes.
Barbecuing is a great Australian pastime. Cooking with fire is elemental, an easy, quick and fun method of cooking especially useful in the climate we enjoy on the Gold Coast. In recent years, we’ve come to expect far more from our barbecues than snags and steaks, which is where the inspirational Barbecue This! comes in handy.
Printed on good matte paper with a sturdy soft cover, each one of the highly achievable 80 recipes is placed opposite its photograph. Pictured on the BBQ or plate, there’s no over-styling here. The dishes look real! As Luke says in the introduction, “…from day one my mission has been clear: celebrate real food in a way that respects your health and retains the integrity of every ingredient you use.”
Following an introductory section about BBQ basics, the Contents divides recipes into seven sections: Veg, Seafood, Chook, Pork, Lamb, Beef, Salads and Sides. There is a full index at the back as well as another list of dressings, butters, marinades, salsas, salads, sauces and dips and spice rubs near the front of the book. Symbols are used throughout the book to denote cooking method or part of the BBQ to use: Flat plate, Grill or Lid on, including an explanation of why this is so.
So, how could you use this cookbook and why?
Besides cooking whole recipes from start to finish, you could mix and match sauces and proteins according to your dietary preferences. Don’t eat pork? Then make the Phuket Pork recipe with beef, chicken or tempeh instead.
Most recipes contain several parts: the protein or veg, then the sauce or accompaniment. For example, Epic eggplant is accompanied by Green ganoush and Pistachio dukkah. It’s a great dish, however the sauce and dukkah could also go well with grilled chicken. The avocado-based Green satay sauce accompanying the Spicy Thai chicken recipe could also be a topper for vegetable patties, and so on.
In our house, we eat simply but well. Cooking is a two-person activity, The Main Squeeze outside dealing with fire (mainly fish and white meat cooked on the BBQ and smoker), while I’m inside making salad, veg. and accompaniments. Together, we could cook up a feast using this cookbook ready to eat with our culinary diverse family.
What Luke has written is a BBQ cookbook for the modern era. While gluten-free, vegan and low-carb are not specifically mentioned, recipes include many easy swaps for health and diet: tamari rather than soy, coconut cream instead of cream, almond meal rather than flour as well as low sugar hints.
I’m starting with what’s in season, a Cheat’s peach salad with Smashed raspberry dressing together with Crispy skin salmon with buttery pea smash, with lots of other recipes bookmarked for future meals.
So what are you barbequing for dinner tonight?
Barbecue This! By Luke Hines ISBN 9781760981532 Pan Macmillan Paperback