I’m thinking about Christmas party food. Mr LTT has been super-organised and got his party invitations out for his Christmas office party at the beginning of the month. I only wish he was this organised with dealing with his pile of laundry…
Of course, there’s the usual kind of buffet party food you might expect – sausage rolls, cheese on sticks. But I like to be a little more inventive. Enter the humble California prune. Long maligned for its laxative properties, the humble prune does not feature much in modern cooking, especially not in my house. That has been resolved with the making of these delicious skewers. I would never have thought of putting halloumi and prunes together, but the textures are actually a good contrast between each other with a soft juicy prune, a squeaky bite to the cheese and a little crunch from the red pepper.
I made six big skewers but if you were doing these for a party you don’t want people having to make like a sword swallower and get all of the food off the skewer whilst making chit-chat. You can get those fancy toothpicks with little flags on and you could skewer one piece of halloumi, a prune and a red pepper slice for easy party snacking.
The satay is really easy to make and I used a wholenut crunchy peanut butter and the chilli adds a little kick to the sauce. By the way, try and marinate for as long as possible of course, the lime juice and coriander really bring a lot of flavour to the skewers.
Makes 6 big skewers
For the skewers
- 1 red pepper
- 250g halloumi cheese
- 100g California prunes
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2tbsp coriander roughly chopped
- 1tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp black pepper
For the satay sauce
- 1tsp oil
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 red chilli (medium size, medium spice)
- 75g wholenut crunch peanut butter
- Juice ½ lemon
- ½tsp balsamic vinegar
- ½tsp muscovado sugar
- 125ml of water
- Chop pepper and halloumi into bitesize pieces that will be easy to slide onto skewers/toothpicks without breaking. Place in a large bowl along with the California prunes.
- Squeeze over the lime juice and add the coriander, olive oil and black pepper. Mix well and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes but preferably an hour or so.
- If you’re making skewers, then marinate bamboo skewers for 10 minutes in cold water, then thread ingredients on. If serving as party food, place all ingredients onto a baking tray.
- Grill for 8-10 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Make the satay sauce: Finely chop the shallot and saute in the oil over a medium heat until soft.
- Peel and crush the garlic and finely chop the chilli then add to the pan.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Return to the heat and add the water, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir until it thickens a little.
- If serving the skewers as party food, thread onto small party toothpicks of manageable size – 1 California prune, 1 piece of pepper and 1 piece of halloumi.
Dislaimer: I was sent the California prunes to review but opinions are all my own