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Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF’s Seb & Ali


Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF’s Seb & Ali

We have not seen these two together in forever. I mean like for an absolute frikkin’ age. So, today is time to rectify that and we hold a little pre-Xmas gathering within our allowable visitor allowance (grrrr) at our gaff with Seb, Ali and family K. Some yummy treats are being cooked by The Beard today… Yet again, some super-good ingredients from our mates at New Zealand Fresh and Orca that really get my cooking juices flowing with new ideas of what to cook – just click the partner page and their logo to get to their websites for yummy selections of fare.

So very annoyed that we didn’t get a single snap of our BFFs sitting downstairs at the pool munching on this. But we all have good memories haha. Feedback from Ali was that they needed a 2-hour lay down at home on the sofa to reduce the food coma…

Let’s see what they got to eat, shall we?

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF’s Seb & Ali

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF’s Seb & Ali

Not a bad little spread right? Now to some photos of the outcomes of the cooking…

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF's Seb & Ali
Slow slow slow Olive Oil Poached New Zealand Salmon on Crusty Slice. Beautiful subtle flavours in a seriously tender and moist salmon piece on a mega-crunchy flavoured beard slice. Hell yeah. ChillaxBBQ living up to pushing out the boundaries of BBQ.

Put some salmon fillets, skin side up, in a heavy pan and cover with olive oil. Add in 8 cloves of crushed garlic (skins on is fine), 4 stalks of crushed lemongrass (no need to trim), a packet of fresh thyme (stalks and all) and a good sprinkle of sea salt & cracked black pepper. Put that on the lowest heat you have on the hob and leave it for an hour or so. The heat should be so low that you can put your finger in the oil and not burn it. What will happen is the fatty membranes between the fish flakes will ‘melt’ and ooze out white globules. That is when you know you’re cooked. It will be extremely soft and juicy because of the oil and will have absorbed all the flavours of the herbs. I took some thinly sliced baguette, dipped that in the oil in the pan and then roasted it off until crispy in the oven. Break individual portions off the skin and pop on top of the crusty slice and serve up.

A stunner!!!

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF's Seb & Ali
Skirt ‘w’ Black Truffle Pate Sushi. I mean come on… How good is that? Skirt or Hanger is that unloved by restaurant cuts of meats, but in my reckoning, it is absolutely one of the most flavourful and tender if you cook it right.

I knocked up some sushi rice, with Japanese sushi vinegar too. Rolled that up in a sushi roll maker and cut to individual portions and laid them on a player like above. Onto each little sushi rice portion, I added a little dollop of the most amazing bed-fellow – black truffle pate. This stuff is insane. Get it from your specialist supermarkets, it takes a dish to another level. The skirt steak was simply seasoned well with sea salt & cracked black pepper, and then fried off in a fricking hot dry skillet pan (NO OIL is needed due to the fat in Skirt). Literally 1-2 minutes per side and a little rest. Slice across the grain to make sure you have super-tender cuts. I sliced really thin and then double over and planked on top of the rice and black truffle pate as you’ll see from the picture. Sprinkle a little more salt & cracked black pepper on the meat and serve on a platter.

Amazing dish. So proud of this one. I’d be happy to get this any day of the week.

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF's Seb & Ali
Australian Scampi ‘w’ Truffle Butter & Honey

Cut the Scampi lengthways in half. Get a cleaver stick the point between the eyes on the top and bring it down. Then finish off the remaining bit to its ‘nose’. You can clean the heads out if you like, but Wifey likes the head fat so that remains for us. Lay these on a baking tray with the meat facing up. Drizzle with olive oil and give a good season with sea salt & cracked black pepper. I then drizzled with lime juice and honey and popped a knob of truffle butter on each scampi. In the oven at 180 degrees until plumped up and the translucence of the tail meat has gone – should be about 10-15 minutes. Serve up on a platter and add some quarters of fresh lime for individual squirting.

tomato mozzarella basil and balsamic salad
Heirloom Tomato Salad ‘w’ Mozzarella, Basil & Balsamic

So easy and so bloody nice – it’s fresh and zingy and full of textures too. I used some of the leftover bread from the salmon to cut into squares and make croutons. Cut up a punnet of Heirloom tomatoes and pop them in your serving bowl. In next with some fresh basil chopped up. Add in some fresh chopped Mozzarella and a few slices of radish – watch the colours ‘pop’. Drizzle with olive oil, and give a good pinch of sea salt & cracked black pepper – then add the ‘magic’ with your very best Balsamic. I go ‘hard’ on this stuff $-wise. The oldest, most-aged is what you want. The flavour will be intense. Sweet and sour all in one little thick drizzle. No need for Balsamic reduction – just go ‘naked’ if you get a good one. Drizzle that all over. It is a belter of a salad. My favourite.

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF's Seb & Ali
Citrus & Herb Monkfish – AKA Fish ‘n’ Chips

Another ChillaxBBQ favourite and Strawberry Blondes too. This is my take on Fish ‘n’ Chips. And it is a sharing-platter that you can use the chips to scoop up that beautiful fish. Today I used incredible Monkfish from our BFF’s at New Zealand Fresh. Wash the fillets off in some fresh water, drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Layout some silver foil (a fair-sized piece as this is to fold over the fish fillets and seal it in) slice 2 fresh lemons and place those slices down as a base. On with the fish fillets and drizzle with olive oil and give a good sprinkle of sea salt & cracked black pepper. I then chopped up a good bunch of fresh herbs (sage, thyme and dill) and placed them all over the top of the fish – drizzle that with fresh lime juice and then fold over the edges of the silver foil to make a seal. In the oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes – again until that fish is white and puffed not translucent. On your platter layout some crisps (we used sea salt), remove all the herbs from the top of the fish and lay the fillets on top of the crisps. Spoon some of the liquor from the silver foil over the fish and serve.

Fast becoming a family favourite – especially with that Monkfish. Holy shit, what a fish.

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF's Seb & Ali
Citrus Octopus Nibbles

I bought 2 packets of sushi-grade octopus. Basically, it is cooked and ready to eat so it is so very easy to ‘play‘ with if you have a short timeframe. Perfect for BBQs. I sliced up the octopus into bite-sized pieces and threw them in a zip-lock. In to that, I added; a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of sea salt & cracked black pepper, 2-3 Tbsps of fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, a good knob of garlic butter and 6 (skins on) smashed garlic cloves. Let that marinate for a few hours if possible. Throw it in a pan on the heat and warm it through until the butter melts – drain, serve, drizzle some of the juices… BOOM!!!

Looks pretty good plated, right?

Japanese A5 Hokkaido Rib
Japanese A5 Hokkaido Rib – ‘Naked’

I had a monster lump of this beautiful steak. Japanese A5 Hokkaido Wagyu Rib. In my humble opinion, this is the very best beef on the planet. I cut it into two steaks. One about 2″ thick and one about 3-4″ thick – both MONSTERS. I also trimmed off the excess fat and rendered that down to make some beef-dripping for another day. So we were left with the most incredible hunks of stunning, marbled, beef beauties. ‘Naked’ means I only use sea salt & Campot cracked black pepper. No oil, no nothing. A lot of salt & pepper though due to the thickness of these bad boys. Dry skillet pan. Get it to super hot. The 2″ thick steak I could do just in the pan. Like 2 minutes a side to char and cook to medium-rare and finish with a little salted butter in the pan. The 3-4″ thick steak I also seared in the pan then to the oven for 5-10, and then back to the pan to finish, again adding a little salted butter at the end. Craved up table-side and finished with one more final sprinkling of sea salt & Campot cracked black pepper.

Come on, best steak EVER!!! I know I say that a lot, but this really is – BEST STEAK EVER.

Buttery, beefy, fatty, so very tender, moist – just OMG – angels singing best ever steak!!!

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF's Seb & Ali
Japanese A5 Hokkaido Rib – ‘Naked’ – just have a look at that. I could have eaten this whole steak to myself. Unbelievable meat. Pink2Pink. Perfect medium-rare. Seasoned to perfection (even if I say so myself). Heavenly!!! Just, heavenly!!!

Xmas ChillaxBBQ for BFF’s Seb & Ali was a cracker. I really liked what was cooked today. A few new things on the spur of the moment and some ChillaxBBQ classic too. Favourites all-round hit the table. Colours, flavours and textures bursting everywhere. Bugger off Covid-19, this was a belter with an allowable external 2 BFF’s to join us for a lovely lunch at the condo. I heard from Ali that they had to have a 2-hour lay down to ease the food coma, but that they really enjoyed the food – HAPPY XMAS. Job done!!!

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