The summer sun has well and truly set in and in Australia that means one thing … barbecues! Aussies love a good BBQ and balmy summer evenings are perfect for sharing drinks and great food with friends. But a BBQ doesn't have to mean beer, steak and sausages – it can be so much more.
If you're looking to create something special from a simple summer BBQ, try some of these great recipe ideas. You'll be crowned with a Best BBQ Chef apron in no time.
Combine honey, ginger, garlic, peanut butter, teriyaki and coriander and what do you get? A truly scrumptious appetiser, that's what. Marinate some chicken, thread onto skewers, baste while cooking and serve with the chilled leftover sauce and sliced cucumbers.
On a serving platter, alternate an arrangement of mozzarella cheese and tomato slices. Top with roasted red peppers and a few black olives. Drizzle with a mix of parsley, basil, oregano, capers, garlic and olive oil.
Blend together a mix of cream cheese and a sharp cheddar. Cut jalapenos in half, fill with cheese and then put halves back together. Wrap with bacon before cooking and serve with toothpicks.
Remove the stems from some field mushrooms, stuff with garlic and then drizzle with olive oil. Cook for two minutes each side and for nice juicy mushrooms, prick the mushrooms several times.
Stack cubed watermelon and feta on a toothpick, sandwiching a leaf of mint in between. Drizzle with a reduced balsamic vinegar.
Make up a salsa of tomato, red onion, red capsicum, coriander, garlic and olive oil. Season steak, cook as you desire and serve sliced with salsa and barbecued corn cobs.
Combine lemon juice, sumac, oregano and a splash of olive oil and marinate chicken overnight. To make the salad, whisk lemon juice and olive oil together and drizzle over grape tomatoes, Lebanese cucumbers cut in ribbons, flat leaf parsley, mint leaves, fresh oregano and spring onion. Serve with barbecued chicken, barbecued lemon wedges and pitta bread.
Thread onto skewers some bell peppers, red onion, zucchini and mushrooms. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a 'green goddess' dressing of garlic, tarragon, chives, lemon, apple cider vinegar, egg-free mayo, avocado and extra virgin olive oil.
Combine halved baby octopus with garlic, paprika, oregano, lemon juice and a splash of olive oil. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes. On the barbecue, cook octopus together with sliced chorizo and red onion. Serve with rocket, drizzle with dressing and top with capers.
In a heavy based saucepan, cook chicken thighs together with ayam goreng spice mix, lemongrass, bay leaves and chicken stock for 20 minutes uncovered. Turn chicken over, add coconut cream and season with pepper. Cook for another 20 minutes. Chargrill chicken until slightly blackened and serve on a bed of banana leaves. Sprinkle with chillies and serve with rice.
In a large glass serving bowl, layer chocolate cake, sherry or raspberry liqueur, and set jelly (made with cherry-flavoured crystals and roseacute wine). Top with custard and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, top with whipped cream , decorate with raspberries and dust with sifted cocoa.
Nothing finishes a barbecue better than fresh fruit and when served with ice cold mojito, it's that much more refreshing. Combine fresh chopped watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and mint in a serving dish. Create a lime glaze with lime juice, sugar syrup and a splash of white rum.
Think a buttery, shortbread-style crust and an abundance of sweet blueberry filling, finished with a crumble and served with a dollop of lightly whipped cream.
On the hob, slowly melt caster sugar until it is a dark amber. Add orange juice and remove from heat after two minutes. Sprinkle pineapple, mango and peaches with a little sugar, char grill for 5 minutes and then serve with a coconut cream and orange syrup.
Combine Hoegaarden beer with ginger beer then stir in lemon slices, mint springs and plenty of ice.
In a food processor, blend cucumber and rosemary to make a puree. Strain into a jug, add water, gin, lemon juice and agave syrup and serve with lots of ice, some cucumber slices and a few rosemary sprigs.
Combine pomegranate juice, raspberry-flavoured rum, cassis and fresh lime juice, then refrigerate for at least four hours. Blend with ice to create a slushy, then pour into martini glasses.
For a twist on traditional lemonade, try combining watermelon, lemon and honey.