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Chorizo & Cod Kebabs, a BBQ Masterclass & #FreeFromBBQs

A few weeks ago, the lovely people at John Lewis invited me to my first barbecue of the year. What a night!  As I arrived at The Loft, I was handed a glass of bubbly: always a great way to start an evening if you want my opinion! The table was already laid with colourful plates, pretty bowls and vibrant cutlery in an impressive barn-like dining room: I had just walked into a blogger’s dream room!

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

Less than a minute after my arrival, I spotted my friend Julie, Claire and a few other familiar faces, so I knew straight away it would be a great night. Lovely Laura from ‘What’s Hot?’ took this photo of Julie and I.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

Although I was wearing jeans that are on their last legs and my £7 jumper from Tesco (bargain!), I felt really comfortable and almost trendy with my Liberty-print shoes from Cienta, a cute mustard bag gifted by Hotter and the gorgeous cashmere mix pashmina Tolly McRae sent me recently.

The evening kicked off with a BBQ masterclass held by food writer and chef Ed Smith of Rocket and Squash, who basically advised us to char everything. Let’s be honest here: I was skeptical.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

However, after peeling the layers of charred onions, butternut squash, beetroot and other vegetables, what was left inside was full of flavours and quite simply delicious: I was sold!

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

Ed shared some of his recipes with us. I absolutely loved his beetroot and onion salad with goat’s cheese. Another recipe I will definitely be making soon is Ed’s romesco sauce, made with charred red peppers almonds and Sherry vinegar. That was quite something!  You can find the recipe on page 106 of Ed’s cookbook, On the Side: A sourcebook of inspiring side dishes. As soon as I tried my first spoonful of the rich, nutty sauce, I could see myself using it in a lot of different ways: as a no-tomato pasta sauce, on a pizza as a substitute for tomato sauce, as a dip, as a rich sauce accompany meat skewers, diluted in almond milk to make a rich, creamy soup…

After the demonstration, we were put into teams and Ed challenged us to come up with our own recipes and test drive some of John Lewis’ best BBQs. We went for something simple and safe: chorizo and cod kebabs served with a side salad.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.
5 from 3 votes
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Chorizo & Cod Kebabs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Chorizo sausage , sliced
  • 2 skinless cod or haddock fillets , cubed
  • 1 pepper , diced
  • 1 red onion , sliced
  • 1 courgette , diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Drizzle all ingredients in olive oil and toss them slightly so they are evenly coated.
  2. Push all ingredients onto skewers, alternating them to form a pattern.
  3. Place on to the hot barbecue for 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the skewers over for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

When the kebabs were ready to go on the BBQ, I abandoned my team as I had spotted our food photographer for the evening and his assistant who were setting up.  Charlie Richards regularly photographs food for the Waitrose magazine, so it was a brilliant opportunity to spy on a master at work.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

It all started with a white tablecloth, a few foam boards, a single light, a camera, a tripod and a computer.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

Charlie’s first job was with Waitrose 14 years ago. It was fascinating to observe someone who knows what they’re doing as they are doing it, from a blank canvas to a set of beautifully staged photographs. As dishes were brought to him, Charlie would create a story around the plate before him. He would accessorise it, pair it with wine, a napkin, embellish it with flowers or create some contrast with vibrant cutlery.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

It was a real honour to be able to watch the though-processes of someone who takes photos of food day after day.

Here are 3 tips Charlie gave us that night:

  • If you have the right light, you don’t need an expensive camera
  • Use a tripod
  • Set your lens to manual focus (now I’ll have to keep practising before I can pull off that one!)

Once all dishes had been photographed, we all sat down for dinner, and there was a lot of scrumptious food there!

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

My absolute favourite that night was Manjiri and Nayna’s team’s creation: this sweet, nutty barbecued pineapple.

What do you normally have for a BBQ? Sausages? Burgers? These Chorizo & Cod Kebabs are colourful, full of flavours, laden with veg and allergy-friendly.

I went home full and relaxed after such a good night.

Disclosure: I was compensated to attend the event, but all opinions and photos are my own. I also added a link to Ed’s cookbook on Amazon. As I am an affiliate, if you click on the link and end up making purchases, I might get a few pennies.

20 Comments

  1. 09/06/2017 / 4:30 am

    Brilliant post Mel, the evening looked awesome and what food for thought…in lots of ways.

    • Mel
      Author
      09/06/2017 / 10:36 am

      It was brilliant! Most fun I had in ages!

  2. Midge @Peachicks' Bakery
    09/06/2017 / 11:55 am


    Ok seriously hungry now! Those kebabs look amazing, great flavour combination! Love fruit on a bbq so definitely going to check out that pineapple dish! excited for the rest of the #FreefromBBQs now!

    • Mel
      Author
      09/06/2017 / 2:24 pm

      That pineapple is seriously one of the best things I have tasted in ages. I am not one for eating pineapple in any form other than its raw, freshly sliced form, but it was seriously decadent and yum! Nayna and Manjiri are a bunch of geniuses!

  3. 09/06/2017 / 12:04 pm

    Oh my word! I’m so jealous. What a fabulous night and a great opportunity to pick up more tips to improve your already amazing photography. I love the look of this recipe…great combo!

    • Mel
      Author
      09/06/2017 / 2:23 pm

      Thanks sweetie. I know, I acted like a stalker all night and kept asking Charlie a gazillion questions. He must have thought I was a weirdo! The PR team kept looking for me because I wasn’t taking part in the activities properly as I was so desperate to spy on the food photography process. Gosh I love taking photos!

  4. 09/06/2017 / 2:12 pm

    I’m definitely adding this to my summer BBQ list, Mel. We just lost chicken/turkey as safe foods, and the cod seems like a really neat balance to the sausage for some protein. Beautiful photos, too!

    • Mel
      Author
      09/06/2017 / 2:22 pm

      Thanks Nicole! What a pain not having chicken / turkey as safe foods! Cod is a nice one to have, so is chorizo (how can anyone live without chorizo???). x

  5. Julie's Family Kitchen
    10/06/2017 / 7:45 am


    Hi Mel. It was such a fun event and your chorizo and cod kebabs were totally amazing. I absolutely adore that photo of us, as you know I’m using one of the photos you took as a head shot. You’ve really captured the day well, great post lovely. xxx

    • Mel
      Author
      27/06/2017 / 2:20 pm

      I loved every minute of it. It felt like a lovely dinner with friends.

  6. 10/06/2017 / 9:57 am


    Oh wow – that sounds like an awesome night!! I would have been right there with you watching that photoshoot for sure…I’m always fascinated by how the pros do it! Especially in imperfect circumstances…i.e. not in a studio with everything to hand. And those cod and chorizo kebabs, oh my…so up my street – easy peasy, but super tasty!! Eb x

  7. 10/06/2017 / 10:39 pm

    The cod and chorizo combination sounds amazing. I’ll have to try that for sure. What a fab evening, especially the watcing the food photography set up! Thanks for sharing the tips! #FreeFromFridays

    • Mel
      Author
      14/06/2017 / 10:31 am

      The simplest combinations are quite often the best, aren’t they?

  8. Anyonita
    16/06/2017 / 5:31 am

    So many things to mention in this comment! Hahaha
    1. Those kebabs are seriously making my tummy growl. I may or may not be contemplating chorizo and cod kebabs for brekkie. Lol. 2. I want in on your #freefrom gang!!! What do I need to do? I NEED some more kick ass UK based free from bloggers in my life because the struggle is real!

    • Mel
      Author
      27/06/2017 / 2:49 pm

      Hi Anyonita, thanks for joining in! We’d love to have you in our Facebook group. Is that the one you fancy joining?

  9. Sarah
    18/06/2017 / 6:58 pm

    Love the ides of cod and chorizo, this would be amazing with some grilled peppers too. Cannot wait to try it! x

    • Mel
      Author
      19/06/2017 / 12:03 am

      There were peppers, onions and courgettes too on the kebabs 🙂

  10. Pingback: Asparagus & Halloumi Salad - BBQ Masterclass with Ed Smith - Julie's Family Kitchen
  11. Kate - gluten free alchemist
    26/06/2017 / 7:47 pm

    What a great opportunity to ‘spy’ on a pro….. Mind you ‘if you have the right light…..’????? Not sure I can fit all that white gubbins in my kitchen!!! And I’m with you….. I simply don’t have time to switch off auto-focus!
    Great kebabs though….. Love love love Chorizo!
    Would you mind adding a link to my fish in the #FreeFromBBQ list? xx

    • Mel
      Author
      27/06/2017 / 2:23 pm

      Me too, I always have chorizo in the fridge. xxx

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