Summer Rain

A Few Recipes ideas converting your BBQ indoors or just singing in the rain!

Well it seems I tempted fate with yesterday’s post – alfresco dining- the predicted heatwave turned into lightning storms and a lot of rain.


So what to do if you’ve already bought half a butchers shop for a pre planned BBQ – worry not

  • Firstly get a brolly up over your BBQ
  • Put blankets down in your living room and create and Indoor /outdoor feel with your delicious cooked food- just feed everyone indoors.

Or don’t want to cook in the rain ( it’s fun though always worth a try ) how about turning your food into into something different

Recipe idea #1
Sausage Meatball Lettuce Subs

Quick and simple recipe that also (if your sausages aren’t full of rusk) can be GF option too.


  1. 6-8 Sausages (remove skin and squeeze out the sausage meat )
  2. Garlic cloves x 2 crushed
  3. Finely chopped shallots x 1
  4. Chopped Peppers use 1 per 4 people
  5. Ludo Sauce 
  6. Grated Cheese I love a salty Manchego but any choice you like
  7. Either baby gem lettuce leaves  or iceberg ( rinse and clean , remove from stalk and put into iced salted water whilst you prepare and cook your meatballs)
  8. Seasoning salt and pepper freshly ground
  9. Splash of Tabasco or if you prefer 1/2 -1 tsp cayenne pepper

To Make

  • Simply mix all ingredients together in a bowl, I use my hands, when thoroughly evenly mixed together , shape into meatball rounds ( you can put a little flour on your hands to stop any sticking as you roll).
  • In a pan warm your Ludo Sauce on a low simmer, (you can also use a pr-made tomato passata add butter, herbs , garlic and chilli to your taste)
  • In a frying pan splash a little vegetable/grapeseed oil and brown the meatballs, its good to place about 6 at a time so they brown and don’t overcrowd the pan , once each batch is cooked pop into the Tomato Sauce
  • Cook out for 10 minutes
  • Take the Chilled Lettuce out of the water and dry with kitchen paper
  • Place meatballs and sauce into each lettuce cup and sprinkle on your grated cheese

Recipe idea #2
Nam Jim Beef Noodles Salad

Utilising my Nam Jim recipe, a wining recipe that won best dish- Nam Jim Chicken Best Dish Winner on  The Taste UK this quick and delicious salad using the BBQ steak that you may have been using


For the green chilli nam jim

  • 3 large green chillies
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2-3 cm ginger, peeled ( the size of your thumb – relative of course )
  • 50g palm or caster sugar (palm sugar is best  as its not refined, not over processed, but again this is about cooking and not spending all your money, stored correctly you will use less palm sugar)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 limes, juice and zest

For the green Thai paste

  • 2 tsp palm sugar ( and again or same in caster sugar)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed
  • 2 -3 cm ginger ( thumb sized)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 green chillies
  • Large handful coriander, leaves and stalks
  • 6 kaffir leaves (if you don’t have these it wont ruin your dish, although they are readily available in all supermarkets now )
  • 2 shallots ( a small white onion will also be ok)
  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil
  • 1-2 limes, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 100ml coconut milk ( a tin is normally 200ml you will use the rest in the salsa)

For the noodles

  • 250g glass noodles
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 green tomatoes ( the green is the bitter taste that you need and again these are readily available or if you lucky enough to grow your own)
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 50g chilli nam jim, as above

Meat or Fish option

  • Steak/ Beef cooked medium rare sliced thinly
  • Fish – whatever you were using for your BBQ (salmon, white fish, mackerel all work) I like to brine my fish before cooking to keep its shape whilst cooking  (to brine for every 100ml of water add 3tsp of salt add your fish for minimum of 20 minutes)

How to Make:

  • Cook you fish/ meat and allow to rest
  • Make the green chilli nam jim by chopping all the ingredients finely. Place in a bowl and add the lime juice and fish sauce. Mix well and set aside to let the flavours marinate.
  • Now make the green Thai paste. Place all the ingredients (minus the fish sauce, lime juice and coconut milk) into a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little water if it does not blend easily.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, then add the paste. Cook for 2 minutes until it becomes fragrant, then pour in the coconut milk and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until thick. Season with lime juice and fish sauce to taste
  • Place the glass noodles in a bowl and cover in boiling water. Leave to stand for 10 minutes or until soft. If the water goes cold before they are soft, pour over some more boiling water. Once soft, place in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Deseed then finely chop the green tomatoes and squeeze over a little lime juice. Drain the cooled noodles from the iced water, then place in a bowl with the chopped tomatoes. Add around ¼ of the chilli nam jim, mix well, then taste. If it needs a little more nam jim then add, mix and set to one side.
  • When you are ready to serve, place the noodles on the bottom of 4 plates and top with sliced meat or fish .
  • Serve with a side plate of the fresh salsa see recipe Nam Jim (original recipe)


Recipe idea#3 

Vegetable Fritters and Aioli

As we are talking BBQ ingredients your vegetables can also be given an injection of indoor picnic and this again is quick , easy and simple to prepare and once you start making your own Aioli you wont be buying it.


  • Your choice of vegetables you may have – courgettes, peppers, mushrooms, sweetcorn, sweet potato, broccoli, celeriac, carrot,fennel, onion  grate or chop finely
  • 2 potatoes grated
  • herbs – tarragon, basil, thyme, rosemary use what you have
  • crushed garlic cloves x 3
  • breadcrumbs ( a great tip is to freeze any stale bread and then pop into your food processor and you will always have breadcrumbs)
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • salt and pepper

Aioli Mayonnaise

  • 1 egg yolk
  • lemon juice 1 x tsp and the rind ( not normally used but i like the garlic and lemon together)
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • Mustard – i like to mix 1/2tsp french’s and 1/2tsp dijon mustard
  • 120ml olive oil ( its also good to mix 2 types of oils grapeseed and olive oil)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How to Make

  • Put all grated vegetables together or put each type separately into different bowls- personally I like the different vegetable flavours mixed together but it is a personal taste thing
  • Add the grated potato
  • Put beaten egg in and mix thoroughly so that al vegetables are covered
  • Season well
  • In a frying pan add some butter and grapeseed/vegetable oil allow to foam and then either using an ice-cream scoop or spoon “dollop” into the hot pan ( max of 4 at a time to allow it to brown
  • Now let it cook -don’t be tempted to mess, flip to early after about 4-6 minutes then flip over and cook until browned on the other side
  • Put onto a plate and cover to stay warm
  • Make the Aioli in a food processor ( you can hand whisk too if required egg, lemon juice and rind , garlic, and mustard and mix
  • Slowly pour in the oil blend making sure that each time you allow the mixture to be completely blended, keep adding the oil until you have mixed it all in- season  to taste ( any spare you can put into a airtight jar and store in the fridge)
  • Serve your fitters with chopped herbs and a nice big serving of Aioli


Recipe idea #4

Crispy Chicken ( or replace with any fish you may have ) with creamed chilli corn

So you have a glut of bread buns for your burgers that you aren’t using
Perfect for making into “migas” or a flavoured crispy breadcrumb crust for meats or even any fish you may have

This is a family favourite and can be pre-made. Migas Portuguese/spanish style is translated as “crumbs”, although it is completely different in mexican cooking.


  • 4-6 chicken breasts  (if using fish flat fish like plaice, filleted pieces work)
  • 4 -6 slices of bread, or 4 burger buns, subs etc whatever you were going to use on your BBQ
  • Parmesan grated finely
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 200g Frozen Sweetcorn
  • 1 red chilli chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml double cream

How to make

  • Put some cling film down on your worktop and place each chicken breast on, then cover with another layer of cling-film
  • Using a rolling pin beat the chicken breasts flat ( about 1cm thick) this makes it quick to cook and also loosens the protein in the meat. (If using fish you don’t need to do this stage as long as using fillets or flat fish)
  • Put the flattened chicken chilled in the fridge whilst you make the breadcrumbs
  • To make the breadcrumbs, dry the bread out in the oven at 180 for about 10 minutes , this is not to brown it but to dry out to make breadcrumbs. Once dried put in food processor and blend until fine , then put back on a baking sheet and put into the oven to crispen again about 120 as you don’t want it coloured just crispy – this makes a better crisp on your meat
  • Prepare 3 bowls 1- seasoned flour (salt and pepper), 2-eggs (2) beaten 3-dried breadcrumbs with the grated parmesan in (if using fish I recommend replacing the parmesan with tarragon finely chopped or ground almonds)
  • Place chicken or fish into the seasoned flour, then into the beaten egg then into the breadcrumbs
  • Place in a frying pan with foaming butter and turn after 3-4 minutes and cook each side- put aside to rest
  • In a pan of salted boiling salted water put 200g of frozen sweetcorn into cook, once sift and cooked drain and put back in the pan with the cream and butter and chilli
  • Using a stock blender ( or back into your food processor ) blend until creamed ( its nice a little chunky too)
  • Serve with the Crispy Chicken ( or fish) and a fresh green salad

Recipe idea #5

S’mores and Rainbow Ice-cream cookies

This isn’t full on dessert cooking, as we are using shop bought goods ( you can make fully if you have time) but  its preparing a quick and fun dessert that kids and adults alike will love and as they are simple the kids can help in preparation


  • 1 bag of marshmallows
  • Packet of chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 100g of milk chocolate and 100g dark chocolate
  • 100ml double cream
  • 3 tsp of light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • Good quality vanilla ice-cream
  • hundreds and thousands

How to make

Chocolate Sauce

  • melt the chocolate in a bowl ( microwave is fine)
  • stir in the corn syrup and vanilla keep beating
  • gradually pour in the double cream mixing all the time
  • the chocolate mixture will be glossy and pourable when mixed together
  • put aside

For the S’mores

  • Place the marshmallows on a baking tray lined with either a silicone sheet or greaseproof bake in the oven until puffed and brown ( you can do this over a gas hob as well)
  •  put a melted marshmallow between 2 cookies
  • dip 1/2 the cookie  into the chocolate mixture

For the Rainbow Ice-Cream cookies

  • Put a scoop of ice-cream onto a cookie, place another cookie on top
  • Dip half into the chocolate mixture
  • Then dip into the hundreds and thousands
  • Serve immediately

Hopefully you will have a great indoor picnic, or summer rain BBQ


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