Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Barbecued layered potatoes with garlic and capers.

And now the sun is a red ball falling down behind the thirty foot lilly pilly* and the last of the chili peanut sauce has been swiped with a spring onion and there's steam coming from the grill on the barbecue.

This is something I've taken to doing because it's easy and easy is what I like to do at this stage of my life. Wait, we've had three children in five years. Yeah. Maybe that's why other things are easing up. I never stress about having people over any more and what to cook and what the house looks like and if the lawn's mown and the hedge trimmed and the right music going. The hell with it all. I find a gin and tonic cleans up the house magically and two even better. Tracy, on the other hand, being a woman, cleans the house from top to bottom if there's any chance of a human being outside the immediate family entering the house.

The steam was coming from the cast iron frypan on the grill and it smelled great. It's the easiest way to cook potatoes outside. I've tried frying chips (too fiddly), and baking potatoes in the coals (too messy), and making hot potato salad (OK but boring), and several other ways but this will be the potato dish I'll cook outside most this summer.

Barbecued layered potatoes with garlic and capers.

I took down my old cast iron frypan from its hook over the stove and lined it with a smear of oil. Then I sliced three large potatoes and a large onion thinly; chopped two garlic cloves and a few sprigs of parsley. Layering the potatoes and the onion in the pan interspersed with the garlic and parsley, I poured a cup of chicken stock over the vegetables. It came about halfway up the pan to provide enough fluid to steam them. Adjust accordingly. Pan on the coals on the grill, fireproof lid on top. Progress depends on the heat of your grill; mine is hot and the potatoes were done in ten minutes. I ripped a new end of oregano from the herb garden close at hand and threw that in along with a handful of capers; and poured in a half a glass of milk and swirled it around for a creamy finish a few minutes before I took the pan off the grill. Be careful handling the pan: mine is one-piece cast iron. You don't want to lose your palms. I used a teatowel.

Then I placed the pan on a bread board in the middle of the table issuing warnings about the heat, and lifted the lid. There was a stampede.

You can vary it. I've tried layers of avocado, strips of red capsicum (but not at $10 a kilogram) and zucchini slices. All good and all easy. Where's my gin and tonic? Tracy?


*Sygygium Hinterland Gold - Also known as the Gold Lilly Pilly, Syzygium Hinterland Gold is an Australian native that forms a dense screen without an invasive root system. A compact and fast growing shrub reaching 2 metres high x 1.5 metres wide with glossy green foliage and gold coloured new growth.

Two metres? I'm almost two metres and it's at least three times my height.


breadchick said...

Oh boy!! This sounds very good and perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the US

kitchen hand said...

Easiest thing to do when you're busy, Breadchick.

Lindie said...

Could this be done on top of the stove or in the oven? It sounds perfect but is getting too cold here to do outside!

kitchen hand said...

Yes, Lindie; it's really a stovetop dish transposed to the barbecue.