I have a great idea for that Stormont crew, for whatever time they sort their stuff out and get back to work. Three words: Floating bank holiday.
Think about it: The weather tends towards the poor most of the time around these parts and so invariably, a bank holiday Monday is usually just another day of rain, the only difference being that you’re not at work.
However, with my floating bank holiday idea, once we know on a Friday – for example – that the coming Monday is going to be rain-free and filled with sunshine, then that can be our day off.
How good would it have been to have had Monday past as our floating bank holiday? Mercury rising and only the merest gossamer-light breeze, I nearly reached for me sunglasses every time I looked out the window.
However, because the Michael Bank Holiday (I may as well name it after its creator) hasn’t been implemented (yet), I was forced to enjoy most of Monday’s rays from the wrong side of the window.
“This is supposed to be a food column, Devlin. Give over about fuppen bank holidays that don’t exist and make with the recipes.”
OK, OK, calmness…
Sunday and Monday being blisteringly hot, I did what any rational person would do and lit the barbecue two nights running. It was burgers and chicken skewers on Sunday night and marinated pork and sausages the next night.
However, the marinated chicken was so good on the Sunday, we had it on the Monday as well – although it was a difference marinade each
The great thing about marinating your food, whether it’s chicken or pork or beef or even halloumi, is that (apart from improving flavour, seasoning and making the meat more tender) it’s practically foolproof. Bung everything into a bowl. Mix it up. Let it chill. Simples.
Sunday’s marinade was a cheat’s job, which is to say, I used a packet of taco seasoning, Herdez’s Yucatan Zingy Citrus and Garlic. Into the bowl alongside the seasoning and the chicken pieces went some olive oil, a few tablespoons of pineapple juice and the juice of one lime.
Everything was duly mixed and left to do its thang for a couple of hours (four, I think). After that, the chicken pieces were skewered onto skewers with chunks of pineapple for added zinginess.
The barbecuing of the skewers, I won’t bore you with except to say it took as long as a 330ml bottle of suds – which given the heat of Sunday, wasn’t long at all.
All things considered, this cheaty marinade was delicious and I vowed to purchase more Yucatan Zingy Citrus and Garlic when next the occasion arises.
Monday night’s effort was more of a home-made affair, but no less tasty for all that. It’s one of my go-to marinades: Simple and tasty and better still, I usually have all of the ingredients in the house and ready to rock.
The quantities here are enough to marinade about a kilo of chicken. So, if you’re using less chicken, use less marinade and keep some in the fridge for the next night.
100ml of olive oil
the juice of two limes or one lemon (both work great)
3 tbsps of soy (I use Kikkoman – ‘cause it’s the best)
2 tbsps of balsamic
1 tbsp of worchestershire
80g of sugar
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
And chicken, obviously.
Bung everything into a bowl. Stir. Allow to chill – ideally for four to five hours.
After that, skewer up the skewers and barbecue til your heart’s content.
The 330ml bottle of suds is optional but recommended.
Now, how better would that have tasted if we’d have had a Michael’s Bank Holiday?
Three more words: Make it happen.
‘The barbecuing of the skewers, I won’t bore you with except to say it took as long as a 330ml bottle of suds – which given the heat
of Sunday, wasn’t long at all’
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