First barbecue of the year! – Soy glazed swordfish and halloumi & pepper skewers

So last weekend spring finally fully hit Manchester! In fact, you could probably say forget spring, summer had just swooped right in, given we had TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS of bright sunshine and 20 degrees!! (Just a shame that one of them was a work day!) Except now we are back down to 8 or 9 degrees and I am staring out the window at the same grey skies and rain that we have had for the last four days and are forecast to have for the next four days… So I am going to reminisce about summer last weekend with this post about our first barbecue of the year!

I am quite probably halloumi’s biggest fan. It is just the most brilliant foodstuff ever, don’t you think?! So meaty yet cheesy and so satisfying. And oh so delicious when grilled or barbecued. I have made pepper and halloumi skewers whenever we’ve fired up the barbie for years now, as well as peddling them at the barbecues of friends and family too! So of course I was definitely making these for our first bbq of the year.

Given it was just the two of us, and we felt like being a bit healthier, we decided to barbecue some swordfish. I really like barbecued fish, it’s a nice change from the usual meat-fest and goes really well with a nice summery salad. I’d never tried swordfish on the barbecue before so was pretty excited to try these delicious steaks! In order to make sure the fish stayed really juicy and moist, I decided on a sticky glaze type marinade. I also wanted something that would be fast to do and faff-free – minimising kitchen time and maximising sunny garden time! I sort of made it up as I went along so don’t have the measurements, but it was so simple and worked a treat! – I glugged some soy sauce into a pan along with some dark brown sugar, and kept stirring until the sugar had dissolved, then took off the heat, squeezed in a little fresh lime juice and poured over the fish. The fish was then basted during cooking with more of the sauce. So simple but so tasty! It really coated the steaks well, kept them moist and juicy, and was very moreish!

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Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Yesterday we had a bbq to celebrate 1 year (and a bit!) in our house. Last summer we had a bbq around the same time for our housewarming as well as to celebrate the other half’s 30th. This year we were more lucky with the weather – no rain so we didn’t need the gazebo and we didn’t even need to light the chimnea til 9.30pm! The sun didn’t quite shine but the clouds stayed a relatively pale shade of grey and it was pleasantly warm! Our friends arrived and we ate, drank and were generally merry. Last year I had made a Caribbean brownie cake (with ginger, rum and pecans!) for desert, this year I decided to go with something that didn’t involve turning the oven on (given how humid the weather has been these last few days!) and ended up making cheesecake stuffed strawberries after seeing the recipe in the Guardian magazine last weekend. No actual baking, plus the use of strawberries means it’s healthy, right? 😉

I adjusted the amounts a little as follows;

  • 2 large punnets (bar the odd one that went straight in my mouth!) of strawberries (try to pick largeish strawberries as they’ll be easier to hollow out and stuff!)
  • 300g cream cheese
  • Around 6 tbsp icing sugar (you can adjust depending how sweet or not you like it)
  • 1 tsp of good quality vanilla extract
  • Smashed digestive biscuits

Cut the tops of the strawberries and hollow out the middle. If I had more time I would have saved the flesh I was cutting out and maybe made a sorbet or something with it. As I was in a bit of a rush with guests arriving any minute, I’m afraid most of it just got eaten…. oh well!

Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract then use a piping bag to to fill the strawberries. Bash up some digestive biscuits (very satisfying!) then sprinkle over the top. Yum!!

I had planned to take more bbq food pictures but somehow after a few beers got a little waylaid…

We also ate pepper, red onion and halloumi skewers (I really don’t think  there are many things nicer than barbecued halloumi!)

As well as chicken strips marinated in my Turkish kebab mixture (see earlier post!), chicken strips marinated in lemon, olive oil and herbs, and some yummy pork and honey sausages!

Oh, and mustn’t forget the toasted marshmallows! 😀