Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ainsley Harriott BBQ & Cous Cous Pack Review

A couple of weeks ago, we reviewed some Ainsley Harriott Spice Sensation cous cous and following on from this, I was given the opportunity to review a great BBQ pack and various flavours of cous cous, again from Ainsley Harriott foods.

We were thrilled to receive this pack with the recipes and ingredients to make some lovely recipes for BBQ eating and of course, lots of different cous cous' (cous cous's, cous couses, cous cousi - please correct me and let me know which you think is right!).  Actually, it would have been easier to write "packs of cous cous"!

Well, anyway, grammar aside, the pack was fantastic and the recipes went down a treat.  My family were visiting for the weekend and so to celebrate my recent exam results and the end of a busy week, we had a great BBQ all together.

One of the recipes was for marinated steak and pepper kebabs with Roasted Vegetable cous cous.  This is one of the simplest but tastiest BBQ recipes I have made. Simply marinate cubes of steak (preferably sirloin) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a couple of crushed garlic cloves - for at least 20 minutes (or overnight in the fridge).  I was a bit pushed for time - as always! - and so only marinated for about 40 minutes and the flavour was fantastic so don't worry if you haven't planned very far ahead and are having an impromtpu BBQ!
Thread onto soaked wooden BBQ skewers alternating with squares of peppers (any colour) and onion, if you want, and BBQ for about 10 minutes turning frequently.

Everyone was impressed with the kebabs and they complemented the Roasted Vegetable cous cous perfectly.  In fact, the recipe was taken home by some of the BBQ-ers for furture reference! 

The other recipe was for a kofta-style kebab spiced with garam masala, cumin and spring onion bound together with Greek yoghurt.    Previously, every time I have made these types of kebabs, they always fall off the skewer but these definitely held on tight and so for me, forget the egg to bind the meat together - Greek yoghurt all the way!  These were cooked on a supermarket disposable BBQ - nothing fancy! - and you can see how good the kebabs looked when cooked.

Cous cous is a great addition to any BBQ - it goes with any meat and/or vegetable main meal and with the array of flavours on offer, there's always something to please everyone.  From fruity lemony flavours to spicy aromatic flavours you will be spoilt for choice.  As reported in the last review, cous cous has great nutritional benefits and a low GI to keep your energy levels steady throughout the day.

I also have a secret confession, I had a slight infatuation with Ainsley a few years ago. I saw him present "Ready, Steady, Cook" at the BBC Good Food show in Birmingham and since then have though him to be fantastic!   So I was extra pleased to receive the hamper and goodies from him... but my children don't get the fascination with Ainsley - they just loved the great picnic basket and green ribbon that tied the utensils together!

Even Lucy the dog came and enjoyed the al fresco eating... but she didn't have any cous cous - just not her thing! 

Let's hope our summer stays sunny and enjoy eating tasty BBQ treats - next time why not try a new flavour of cous cous?  Or an easy BBQ party game - guess the flavour of the cous cous!