Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bali BBQ & Gourmet Burgers

On Saturday, during our last trip to Bali, we made big plans to head out to dreamland beach, catch some waves, and chill in the sun. But once I hit the pool at the villa the likelihood of me moving anywhere dwindled away very quickly. Instead I tactfully persuaded the crew that the afternoon would be much better spent having a BBQ at home and resting up for a big night ahead. Our resident chef Inny was all for it, which is good because he is a damn good cook and that made my job easier.

We had a group effort going on here and now that I look back on it; all the guys put the BBQ together while the girls kicked back beers in the bale. B worked pretty damn hard by delivering some hand made bread crumbs.

Yes, made from fresh toast! There is a level of persistence and fixation that only a true stoner with munchies can exude. This boy should be cutting coke I tell you!

First on the menu Inny put together some gourmet burgers. We sent the house boy out to pick up some good quality ground beef from the Bali Deli. Inny added a variety of ingredients into the meat, including finely chopped onions, bell peppers, BBQ sauce, bread crumbs, chives, spices, and egg whites. Then he neatly massaged them into firm patties. You have to be careful not to make your patties too thin or they will break on the grill. If you make them too thick the inside will not cook. There is a perfect balance you have to attain. I have a cool video clip of the process that I will upload to the gallery on Indo Dreamin’ as soon as the speeds here in Indo permit.

My buddy Manna from Ghana also brought some tsetsenga (chi-ching-ah) powder which is a powder spice essential in Ghanaian BBQ. We used this to coat and marinate chicken cubes and minced meat that we neatly placed on skewers. I do not really know exactly what is in tsetsenga powder but it is damn good. The flavor is not over powering but it is rather mellow yet hot and it compliments the meat in a way I unable even describe. This flavorful spice is unique to Ghana and most of us on the trip are originally from Ghana so this was a very welcome treat. Apart from coating the meat in the powder before it hits the grill, we also use a brush and some oil to continue coating it while the meat slow cooks. I miss the original stuff though. It just tastes different in Ghana.

As you could probably guess, there were no vegetarians amongst us, and thank god for that. I respect their cause and all but when there is a BBQ lined up those self righteous punks (sorry Ro) just tend to get in the way. When I am vacationing I do not just want to take leave of my work related responsibilities, I also want to take leave of my social and mental liability. No rules, no commitments, and no boundaries leave all the room you need for surprises. I want a vacation from myself and everything I stand for. This way I can take in the experiences before me in an unadulterated fashion. But there were some more sensible ones amongst us who thought it a good idea to line up some green garnishing. Whatever…

We probably could have used a bigger BBQ pit. This shallow excuse for one did not really allow us to slow cook the meat as we had wished but nonetheless we enjoyed the results. These are the simple things that make staying in a villa so much better than a hotel. I should have had more pictures of the finished product but once the buggers were ready my camera hit the shelf. It’s all about priorities mate.

Inny used to work in a bar so he also makes some pretty awesome cocktails. I do not recall exactly what he put in this but it packed quite a punch with no nasty burn. Fresh fruits were lying all around the villa so we could come up with numerous concoctions.

Just another day in paradise.

No comments: