What to slap on the barbie this summer

Post Update: I've just discovered a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to better understand seafood and sustainability, right down to the different fishing techniques and aquaculture methods and what impact they have on our pretty little environment. There's also a Right Fish for the Dish guide. It's a must-visit. Visit GoodFishBadFish.

Via The Inspiration Room

We're Aussie, we love barbeques. It's in our blood. Summer means BBQs. BBQs mean friends, prawns, and friends eating prawns. So it'll probably send a few of you into a frenzy to learn that the AMCS suggests thinking twice before snapping up a kilo or two of prawns to share on Christmas day. It seems our insatiable appetite for the little fellas comes at a cost - some prawn trawling methods are causing damage to our seafloor habitats and injuring or killing wildlife that get caught up in the trawls, including sea turtles, sea snakes and sea horses.

The AMCS does offer some glimmer of hope. They list two species of prawn that are a better choice, due to more sustainable fishing methods - haul-caught School Prawns and Bay (Greentail) Prawns from NSW. They suggest thinking twice about the other species commonly found at fishmongers, including: King, Tiger, Banana, Redspot, School, Endeavour, Black Tiger, Bay & Royal Red Prawn. If you're not sure which species and method you're looking at, just ask.

Thankfully there are plenty of other perfectly barbequable (that's a word) seafood goodies that make the 'better choice' list, including mussels, scallops, crabs, squid, calamari, octopus and cuttlefish. For the full sustainable seafood guide, click here.

Meat, of course, is the other barbie staple. People expect lamb chops. It can be hard to take the plunge and go a different way. If you're wondering how you're going to serve up an earth-friendly feast for the family on New Years Day, consider scaling back on the meat a little, making meat a treat, a side-dish, and letting these tasty dishes take centre stage:

Via Jamie Oliver
Shellfish with garlic,  herbs and chilli
This one's from our (my) fave foodie Jamie Oliver. Make a dressing by mixing garlic, herbs (parsley and mint are good), lemon juice, dried chilli flakes and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Throw the shellfish on to the hottest part of the barbie, cover with a metal bowl and leave to grill and smoke for about 3 minutes. Carefully remove bowl with tongs, check all the shellfish have opened, place in a serving bowl and pour over the dressing. Stir and eat.

Sweet potatoes with cumin, lime and chilli
Another Oliver special. In a mortar and pestle, bash up dried chillis, cumin seeds and salt. Scrub and wash your sweet potatoes, pierce a few holes in them and rub with spiced salt. Wrap potatoes individually in a double layer of aluminium foil and bury in the hot coals. They take about 20 minutes. Serve with lime.

Via BBC Good Food
Haloumi, lemon, thyme and mushroom skewers
Firstly whip up a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and fresh thyme and set aside. Skewer chunks of haloumi, lemon and button mushrooms, then brush with dressing and whack on the barbie. They take all of 4 minutes.

Sweetcorn with smoked paprika butter
Blend pure organic butter (preferable from grass-fed cows) with smoked paprika, salt and garlic, until smooth. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Wrap peeled corn cobs in foil and bury in hot coals for about 10 minutes, then remove from foil and place on grill for another 5 mins or so to get that nice charred flavour. Serve with slices of butter.

Falafel and haloumi burgers
From the BBC's Good Food site. So much better than a lentil burger, don't you think? I'd use dried chickpeas soaked overnight, instead of canned.

Portobello field mushroom and caramelised onion burgers
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and lay out in a dish. I keep the stems and cook them seperately (they're yummy). Make a marinade by mixing extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic and thyme and pour over the mushrooms. Allow to stand for 1 hour, then barbeque for about 10 minutes. While the mushies are cooking, caramelise some finely sliced onion in a pan (or over the bbq if you've got a hot plate). Brush slices of crusty sourdough with olive oil and some garlic, pop over grill for a few seconds to get those nice char marks, then fill with mushroom, onion, fresh basil leaves, rocket, feta, asparagus, tomato...

And for dessert, try this for sugar-free deliciousness:

Pina Colada Pineapple Slices
Mix together lime juice, rum, coconut flakes and a little honey in a deep dish. Add slices of fresh pineapple, and coat. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour, then barbeque for a couple of minutes until caramelised on each side. Serve drizzled with the leftover marinade and a few fresh mint leaves.


  1. Oh Maria - those haloumi skewers and mushroom burger sound Ah-mazing!!



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