IRISH chef Nico Reynolds is urging people to fire up their barbie first thing in the morning.
The Dubliner is currently lighting up screens on RTE with his new cooking show, All Fired Up.
The new show sees Nico introduce a range of unique Caribbean-inspired dishes cooked on the barbecue.
From Sunday dinner to desserts, Nico’s on a mission to make people think beyond just burgers on the barbie.
He said: “Think of it like your salt and your pepper, the lick of the flame or the cinder of charcoal is part of the seasoning. It’s so intrinsic to humanity that everybody understands the flavor of something cooked over fire.”
And he’s got a few surprises in store on the show as he takes on the challenge of cooking an Irish breakfast blaa on his grill.
The secret to cooking the eggs is cracking them into a pepper, while he also lets the flames cook the sausages and pudding.
He opts for pork belly instead of the mainstay rasher that would feature in most Irish fry-ups.
Many viewers will recognize Nico from his appearances on Lodging with Lucy – with Lucy Kennedy – where he acted as the in-house chef.
He also previously presented a successful pilot web series that streamed on RTÉ Player.
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The Dublin native has cooked from a young age, getting much of his inspiration from his Jamaican Grandmother, learning about the depth of flavor and the variety of spice in Caribbean cooking.
Bringing this knowledge to Latin America, he ran a catered event company and a small restaurant in Buenos Aires for six years.
Upon returning to Dublin Nico opened a pop-up restaurant called ‘Lil Portie’ that soon became one of the must-eat spots in Dublin and even gained international recognition.
He said: “My Granny would bring informal bottles of scotch bonnet hot sauce by the liter to Dublin that I would turn to, bring back to South America and introduce into creative projects with chefs and cooks from around the world.
NEW TV SERIES
“This became the starting point for my recipes, adding them to colorful South American palates. Finding different ways to use my granny’s sauce for marinades, sauces, dips and bases became an obsession.”
Over the six episodes, Nico tackles dishes like Crushed Pork & Pineapple Burgers with Chilli Mayo & Shredded Slaw, BBQ Steak Tacos with Hot Sauce & Charred Corn Salsa, Jerk Chicken and Cauliflower, Smoked Hummus & Grilled Veggie Flatbread and Showstopper Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb .
The new series is sponsored by Tesco Fire Pit, Tesco Ireland’s specialty BBQ range, which is available in stores and online now.
Chef Nico Reynolds said: “When someone believes in a personal vision it’s a gift and when that someone is Tesco it’s an incredible pleasure, having them believe in the new series has been special.
“Ultimately cooking is one great unifier we have, it transcends culture and borders and how I cook always has to reflect that there’s something for everyone.
“The Tesco Fire Pit range hits the spot with a broad range of varied flavors and a taste for every palate.”
Nico reckons even breakfast can be barbecued and shares his recipe.
For the Blaa:
500g thinly sliced pork belly
2 red peppers
8 slices black pudding
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For Nico’s Brown Sauce:
2 green apples
50g dark brown sugar
200g pitted dates
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
500 ml of malt vinegar
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 Blaas or any soft bread roll
Brown Sauce Method
- Peel and core the apples then halve. Halve the onions but leave in their skins.
- Place the apple on the grill to soften and add the onions near the coals to roast, then
close the lid until both have softened, which should take about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Heat the vinegar in a small pot and pour over the dates in a bowl to hydrate them
- In a small pot toast the mustard seeds over a medium heat before adding a drizzle of
- Then add the minced garlic, ginger and tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes
- When the apples and onions have softened, remove the skin from the onions and dice.
- Stir the apples and onions in with the garlic, ginger, tomato paste and worcestershire
sauce & Cook for 3 mins
- Add the sugar, cayenne pepper, soaked dates and vinegar and bring to the boil. Once
boiling leave to simmer for 30 minutes then blitz everything together until completely
- This sauce will keep in a sealed bottle in the fridge for up to 3 months
- Season the pork belly with black pepper and salt.
- Grill the pork belly over indirect heat for 15 minutes turning frequently.
- Cook the sausage near the indirect side until cooked (approx 20 mins) then butterfly and
place back on the direct side of the grill to crisp up.
- Place the black pudding over the direct side of the grill cooking for 5-6 mins turning
- Split the pepper down the middle and remove the seeds to form a little boat. Lay it flat
on the indirect side of the grill so it stands still then crack an egg inside. Season well with
salt and pepper and cook the egg in the pepper for about 10 minutes or until the egg is
cooked to your liking.
- Cut open your Blaa and spread it with butter. Add the black pudding, squishing it as you
go then top with the pork belly, sausage and brown sauce.
- Sprinkle the egg with chives and serve alongside your Breakfast Blaa.