Some things I’ve made over the summer holidays that have been absolutely gorgeous…
This salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road. Melt 200 grams each of plain and milk chocolate with a tablespoon of golden syrup and 50gr of butter. Weigh 100 grams each of salted peanuts, mini marshmallows and three chopped Crunchie bars, stir into the chocolate mix and pack the mix into a lined, 25cm square traybake tin.
A bizarre sausage and cheese sauce combo from a how-to video in Portuguese which I cannot now find, originally on Facebook. Boil a pack of sausages in beer for 15 minutes and transfer to a grill / hot oven. Take a cup of the boiling beer and stir in a cup of cream cheese and a cup of grated cheese. This was one of those recipes where you think, I like all of the ingredients, how can it go wrong? And yet it was especially delicious. It might have helped that the cheese I had was a mix of strong cheddar and shaved parmesan, and the beer was German, but on the flipside the sausages were a fairly ordinary supermarket own brand. The mix felt a little thin as it was cooking so I added more cheese and a teaspoon of cornflour dissolved in cold water, and the cheese sauce at the end was just amazing. Delicious hot, delicious cold as a sort of cheese spread, and in future I’m wondering about using it as a fondue recipe. I can’t tell whether it would work as well without the sausage boiling stage.
This was vaguely a possibility for barbecue or camping meals.
For a pudding club, I made blini – well, basically sourdough pancakes. A cup of sourdough starter with an egg and a spoon of bicarb beaten in and fried in small batches. I then planned to top with cream cheese and sweet chilli sauce, cream cheese and smoked salmon trimmings, chutney and parmesan shavings and cherry tomatoes and pesto. All quick and easy to buy and yet somehow I forgot to actually buy the salmon!
Last night I got carried away and made three courses, trying to see how much I could get through the nutribullet. This was shortly after having got carried away in Aldi, so most of the ingredients came from there.
Quick, nutribullet pate – blitz two smoked salmon fillets, a large spoon of creme fraiche, squeeze of lime juice, jar of black olives. This was delicious but the final consistency was perhaps too smooth and sloppy and a little bit grey. Easily enough for 6.
Quick, 4 ingredient nutribullet cheesecake – in retrospect, make this first because if the blender case is even slightly damp the biscuits stick. Blitz six digestive biscuits and tip into a pan in which you have melted a large knob of butter. Mix well, press into two ramekins and chill. When you are feeling sufficiently relaxed and the biscuit base has hardened mix well two tablespoons of mascarpone cheese with an equal amount of lemon curd, home made if possible, shop bought if necessary, and spoon onto the base. Chill further.
My main course was as lacking in inspiration as always. Marinade chicken breast chunks in the rest of the lime juice and oil for as long as possible and fry until golden. Add an onion to the frying pan towards the end, if you have any left that aren’t rotten. Boil new potatoes in bite size chunks. Mix the two together with pesto. Serve with a crunchy salad of carrot, radish and cherry tomatoes – I made a honey mustard salad dressing with some slightly suspicious elderly dijon from the fridge.