When very hot air hits fish, meat and vegetables, delicious smells are the result. That's why barbecuing is the world's most popular method of cooking.
How it works
Purists reach for their charcoal while others plug in their gas grill or electric heating elements: the one thing they all have in common is a love of barbecued food. Why? One reason is that the only limit is the imagination: meat, fish, shellfish, vegetables, tofu, fruit... The secret behind that special grill flavour is the way hot air causes the pores on the surface of the food to contract immediately, locking juices inside and creating a delicious crust – one which can be made to taste even more intensive by marinating or rubbing the ingredients before they hit the barbecue. One important point is that any food with a cooking time of 20 minutes or under can be grilled directly over the flame; for large pieces of meat, though, it’s best to use the indirect grilling method to get it cooked through. That means pushing the hot coals to the side of the barbecue and shutting the lid, causing the heat to circulate around the meat as it rises.
Prepare the BBQ by piling the charcoal, lighting it, and leaving it to burn through completely until it is covered by white ash; a chimney starter will speed up this process noticeably. Alternatively, use the time the charcoal takes to burn in order to prepare ingredients for the BBQ. Shellfish such as oysters only need a few minutes and are grilled straight over the flame.
Start by cleaning the oysters and then use an oyster knife to open the shells; put the bottom half of the shell on the grill with the meat facing upwards. As soon as the mollusc starts to contract, add the lime salt and a drop of Tabasco to the meat and grill for another two minutes. Remove them from the grid and serve with mint mojo (see recipe booklet) and fresh baguette. In case of rain, you can always cook the oysters on a hob-top griddle.
To open the oyster
place it with the arched side facing down on a folded cloth and bore the flaw between the two halves with the oyster knife (or a screwdriver). The mint mojo is ready to serve in no time.