Monday, June 27, 2011

BBQ w/ friends

It all started when one of my poly mates initiated a pretty innocuous WhatsApp chat session with his other 3 friends. He had shown a pic of a bus stop near our former school and asked, "Guess which bus stop this is?"

That phrase automatically became the title of our chat.

2 of my mates and I, we started chatting about the general elections and the good ol' days. Somehow the conversation eventually strayed to the topic of having a BBQ/cookout amongst ourselves. How we even get there... beats me!

Another mate was silent throughout. We assumed him to be asleep since he worked the night shift. True enough. He woke up, read the chat messages and barged in with, "Bloody hell.. How did a topic about 'which bus-stop this is' ended up to planning for a cook-out session?!!!"

Pardon his English, there. Well apparently, to cut the story short, one of my fren's dad had an apartment at Melville Park, a condominium estate at Simei.

Exactly 5 years ago, right after our 1st ever voting session, we had a cook-out at that very apartment. The 3 ladies in attendance had been his girlfriend, her cousin & myself and I'm proud to say that we weren't the ones cooking. In fact, I have the entry right HERE.

Now, that apartment has been sold and my mate was quick to book a BBQ pit there before we lose any access to it. For memories sake, we shall have a BBQ there one last time.

Sauces, cheese & dips

My friends and I, we always try to avoid being 'mainstream' and sought to try out something… a lil' different. Mr planner right there had confidently expressed his interest for the food that night to carry a 'Mediteranean' theme.

I was baffled. Mediterranean + BBQ = ?? I racked my brain to recall any episodes from "Boy Meets Grill" & Robert Rainford's "Licence to Grill" for any ideas along that theme…

Meh. later on, I stumbled upon pictures of quesadillas & enchiladas and an idea struck me… Mexican! I envisioned guacamole, sour cream & lotsa cheese. Salsa, paprika etc. NOW we're talking.

I remember seeing some fresh guacamole In the chillers of Cold Storage. That afternoon, I made a mad dash there while my son was taking his siesta.

Mesclun salad w/ alfalfa sprouts

I'm always so drawn to the chiller where these salads are. I remembered that my pals love their greens and Cold Storage was selling this pack at 1/2 price so I grabbed a couple of these. And alfalfa sprouts. I love, LOVE, love those.

I remember how I'm supposed to avoid that during my pregnancy and I was feeling miserable because of that.

Cheese dawgs

Charred hot dogs with even hotter cheese bursting inside your mouth when you bite… Nice.

More meats

Another mate of mine, he said that he wanna MAKE burgers la. So I envisioned him mixing minced meat with chopped onions, egg and bread crumbs.

But then I saw these pale and thin looking patties on the grill... "Are these even HOMEMADE?!" That's when I saw the empty boxes of Farmland chicken burgers... -___-

The reddish meats behind those burgers are Zac's beef bacon which reminds me a lot like beef pastrami. It's really nice! You can try this: Blanch some asparagus, then drizzle some olive oil, mix with garlic, salt, pepper and a bit of lemon juice. Then wrap these pastrami around those spears of asparagus and toss them onto the grill.

Yes, a bit like the Japanese Yakitori style.

Chips and dips

I was so looking forward to these! I gotta say that the guacamole is my ultimate muse. I just think of it and all the ideas come rolling. I miss having real nachos (not just your typical nachos & cheese at the cinemas). I got the plain corn tortilla chips and sought out the accompanying dips like guacamole (spicy & mild), medium-heat salsa, cheese sauce, and sour cream.

My other pal later came by with a large bag of Kettle potato chips (theirs are the best!).

The ultimate buurger (almost)

My (almost) dream burger creation. If only there's runny sunny-side -up egg. And preferably home-made beef patty. Heh.

Burger with melted smokey BBQ cheese, beef bacon, grilled portobello mushroom, sour cream (or even better, aioli), salsa, guacamole, mesclun salad and alfalfa sprouts.

Om, nom, nom, nom. Insert nacho chips for added crunch (and this was before the BK nacho burgers promo, ok?).

Baked potato

I initially wanted baked potatoes but eventually discard the idea because there ain't that many of us and it'll be too filling. But they bought these spuds anyway.

Cut them open, slather with butter and wrapped with foil. They initially put these on the grill, can you believe it? Immediately told them to put those amongst the coals or we gotta wait till the cows some home before they're cooked through.

When they're done, I heaped on dollops of sour cream, salsa and cheese sauce on it. Even better if I were to put some bits of beef bacon but I think those ran out by then.


Another mate's ingenious idea. Cut a banana, break some pieces of Cadbury chocolate and put a handful of marshmallows onto a sheet of foil. Cover and put on the grill.

My mate here was the impatient sort so he actually toss them directly into the coals. -___-

Naturally, he almost forgot about it…

By the time he remembered… You should see him scrambling. He gingerly held the edge (hot off the coals, remember?) and as he peeled open the foil, a delicious scent wafted out. The aroma of cooked bananas, sweet marshmallow and… burnt chocolate. Hahahah!

Thankfully only the bottom layer was burnt. I had a taste. Swashbuckling! Awesome schtuff! Superb lah! Eventually sat down and shared this with him. Heh.

Even my toddler joined in. He loved it so much that he kept licking his plastic fork, leaving marshmallow-chocolate streaks from his nose down to his chin. Hee..

2nd batch

We can't get enough of that sugar-bomb so we made another batch. This time, I asked that we put ON the grill instead. And roll the lid down for more even (and faster) cooking.

However, my son soon became sleepy and start to turn up the crank. As I packed, I asked to have a taste of this new batch before going off.

The chocolate weren't burnt (thankfully) and were evenly melted but the marshmallows could do with more time over the heat. The bananas weren't as mushy but I prefer it to be softer. I scooped up all the gooey parts and told them to leave it over the fire for a bit more time.



T'was a great night. I don't mind another one! I'll plan and cook, maybe??

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