Today was definitely a t-shirt day. Blue sky, little wispy clouds and much less evidence of the pesky brisk north wind that's been taking the shine off the sun lately. We've even plucked up the courage to sneak a peek at the weather forecast - and guess what?
Looking pretty good. So good in fact that this weekend we're thinking of dusting off the Barbecue and officially launching the start of summer.
For the Anyfish team, the Great British Barbecue isn't a sausage-fest or a burger-a-thon. It's a chance to showcase some of our favourite fish, cooked simply and speedily over smouldering-hot coals, accompanied by a glass of something seriously cold and a seasonal salad.
Take the humble sardine for example. Slid onto a skewer and sprinkled with herbs, garlic, plenty of salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of lemon this super healthy, flavourful fish can be popped straight onto the grill and in just a few moments, cooked to perfection. For something a touch more exotic, create a simple salsa verde with crushed anchovies, garlic, olive oil, capers and coriander leaves and marinade the fish with it first. This works wonderfully well with mackerel too and you can stuff them with the salsa verde to make sure the flavour is thoroughly infused.
A couple of salmon steaks go a long way when you transform them into stylish salmon kebabs. Nestle chunks of salmon alongside slices of courgette, red pepper, cherry tomatoes or button mushrooms for crowd-pleasing kebabs that'll suit everyone. A little drizzle of chilli oil or harissa paste spices things up nicely and for added texture, mix in a few prawns. If you fancy taking your skewers to the next level, a dash of Ouzo and a sprinkle of fennel will do nicely.
One of our favourites is Barbecued Squid. Some might say that it's not for the faint hearted, but if you pop along to the Anyfish shop we can provide you with a perfectly prepared package of this surprisingly succulent seafood, all ready for you to sling straight onto the barbie. With the classic addition of a good scrunch of seasoning, a sprinkle of herbs and a squeeze of lemon you can have a supremely healthy, truly scrumptious squid related spread in a matter of seconds.
For something showstopping, a whole fish grilled over hot coals is the perfect summer barbecue solution. Be it Sea Bream, Sea Bass or Snapper that floats your boat, we can clean and prepare a prize fishy specimen for you and recommend the ideal stuffing or marinade to make it fit for a king.
So all we need now is a big bag of charcoal, some family on hand to help out and eat up and a set of huge barbecue tongs (the bigger the better). Here's to a long hot summer...
(PS. The pictures in this post are all from Pinterest. Search out Rick Stein for the sardines, Plating Pixels for the salmon, Jamie Oliver for the whole fish and Olive magazine for the Squid.)