@nmikmik I think of a BBQ as an event that has to be exiting and to be remembered. One of my last BBQ experiments was a big success. I called it a "tapa" BBQ where I served different elements all in one time, Spanish tapa style. Never would have thought that a BBQ with a theme would turn out so well. Most of it can be prepared the day before. I marinated everything cut in the right chunks but without the skewers. Putting everything on skewers is quite a bit of work but can be done last minute with the help of a few people.
I consider oil to be the best "transmitter" of smell and flavor, so that's a basic ingredient in all my separate marinades for the chicken, veal, shrimp and salmon. I never use other liquid in my marinades and certainly never salt which extracts moist. All elements are put in plastic bags with a specific marinade. Leave them in your fridge overnight, put on skewers the next morning.
- The "chicken bag" are chunks of chicken breast, sunflower oil, tandoori masala (spice mix), fresh garlic slices and fresh tarragon. Look further for the pine-apple addition.
- The "salmon bag" has salmon cut in bars, sunflower oil, lemon verbena, lemon zest, black pepper and a tiny pinch of Madras curry.
- The "veal bag" has veal, sunflower oil, garlic slices, fresh parsley and fresh thyme.
- The shrimp bag has shrimps, sunflower oil, lemon zest, Sichuan pepper, black pepper and a tiny pinch of cayenne.
I put a large chunk of fresh pine apple on the chicken skewers; cut a pine apple in large chunks (remove the core). Make a sugar syrup by boiling 2 parts water, 1,5-2 parts sugar and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Boil the pine apple chunks for a minute, remove from the heat and let the pine-apple cool in the syrup and now add a few branches of fresh mint too. Delicious grilled on that skewer, everyone loved that chicken/pine-apple combo!
Make a tabouleh, or couscous salad the day before. Measure the couscous volume. Start by boiling the same volume of water with a bit of salt. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the couscous in. Do not stir!! Cover tightly and let set at least 20-30 minutes. Make a micro brunoise of different colors bell peppers (peel them first!!), shallot, garlic. Use fresh herbs from your garden like parsley, tarragon, lovage, mint etc. Avoid cilantro, too many people don't like it. Put the couscous in a large oven tray, loosen all the grains by rubbing gently in your hands. Add herbs and brunoise, plenty olive oil and mix, using your hands. Taste, add s&p to taste and most importantly, lemon juice of vinegar or sumac (sumac will color the couscous, I don't use it). Wrap the entire tray tightly in cling film and put in a cool place until you need to serve the next day. Sprinkle with pomegranate kernels just before serving. If you like the tabouleh warm, put the whole tray unwrapped(!) in your oven at 40°C/85°F for half an hour or so.
Make a sauce and serve separately so everyone can take what they want. I made a "vinaigrette salée" with couple of tbsp of mayo, a good extra dash of vinegar, 2 tbsp. of cold water, s&p and whisk until it all comes together. Add some ultra finely chopped or crushed garlic.
You can make a thousand variations on this theme. BTW, soak the bamboo skewers in cold water overnight or they will catch fire on the BBQ!!
Careful how long you grill everything! And do not forget to add salt this time!!