Peasant’s Gazpacho Soup
Impress your guests this summer with this exotic yet simple to make soup. Keep cool with chopped cucumber and herby ice cubes, with the extra option of sprinkling a handful of crusty croutons to give this dish some crunch!
- 1½ lb (700g) firm and red ripe tomatoes
- 4 inch (10cm) piece of cucumber (peeled and diced)
- 2 or 3 spring onions (peeled and chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- ½ large red or green pepper (deseeded and diced)
- 1 heaped tbsp. of freshly chopped thyme
- 4 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1½ tbsp. of wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the garnish:
- ½ large red or green pepper (deseeded and very finely chopped)
- 4 inch (10cm) piece of cucumber (peeled and finely chopped)
- 2 spring onions (finely chopped)
- 1 heaped tbsp. of freshly chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- Small croutons (optional)
- 4 ice cubes with small sprig of thyme, or herb of your choice, frozen within (use pre-boiled water for clear ice cubes)
Pre-freeze your herbed ice cubes in clear, boiled water overnight. The boiled water will ensure that the ice cubes freeze clear, showcasing your delicious green herbs. To begin, quarter the tomatoes, scoop out and discard the seeds. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, crushed garlic and chopped pepper in a liquidiser, adding a seasoning of salt and pepper, thyme, oil and wine vinegar. Blend everything until the soup is smooth. Taste to check the seasoning and pour the soup into a bowl. Stir a little cold water in to thin the mixture slightly as desired; approximately 5-10 fl oz (150-275 ml) then cover the bowl with cling film and chill thoroughly. To make the garnish, combine all the ingredients together, season, divide into 4-6 equal amounts and place on top of the soup in the centre of the bowl. Serve the soup, placing four herbed ice cubes per bowl on top of the garnish to finish. Add the small croutons if desired.
Glorious Globe Artichokes in Melted Butter
Not only do these artichokes taste delicious, but they look sublime too! These pretty and intriguing green globes will be the talk of your table this summer. Ideally serve one artichoke per person.
- 3 artichokes (1 per person)
- 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
- Finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- ½ stick of butter
To prepare the artichokes, simply chop off the stalk and remove some of the less fresh outer leaves. Place them in boiling water adding 2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice. Boil for 30–40 minutes. Check if they are done by pulling at the leaves; you should be able to pull them off easily once fully cooked. Melt half a stick of butter just before serving and add a handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley for your guests to dip into the leaves.
Lamb Kidneys Fried in Butter and Thyme
Who says you can’t cook a good, hearty meal in the summertime? Surprise your guests with this appetising starter; you’ll be thrilled with the quick and easy results!
- 6-8 lamb kidneys (skinned and cut into 2-3 pieces)
- 2 tbsp. of plain flour
- 6oz butter
- 1 medium onion (finely sliced)
- 1 tbsp. of English mustard
- 2 tsp. of fresh thyme (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp. of fresh flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 loaf of sourdough bread (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Toss the kidneys in the flour then melt butter in a large ceramic frying pan. Add the onion and gently soften. Add the kidneys and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard then the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped parsley just before serving. Serve on thick slices of sourdough bread or on a mix of rocket and watercress.
Sugar Glazed Sticky Finger Ribs
Don’t be afraid to get messy with these finger–lickingly delicious ribs – you won’t be able to resist getting stuck in, so why not prepare a sticky finger bowl with a squeeze of lemon to keep your guests feeling fresh?
- 2lb pork ribs
- Jar of honey
- Jar of tomato puree
- 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 4 peeled and crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- ½ tsp. chilli sauce
- 3oz dark brown sugar (mixed with 2 tbsp. of honey)
Gather all the ingredients (except for the ribs) and sugar mix together. Place the ribs into a pressure cooker for 30 minutes, or boil in large pan for 1 hour. Remove the ribs once cooked and pat dry. Place the ribs into an oven dish and smother with sauce. Put the dish back into a preheated oven (200?) for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes pour the sugar glaze over the ribs and put them back into the oven for 5–7 minutes. Serve with potato salad, corn on the cobs and a green salad with an additional pot of sauce ready for drizzling.
Posh Fish ‘n’ Chunky Chips
You simply cannot beat good old-fashioned fish and chips. Whether you gobble it up straight off the crinkled newspaper or douse yours with lashes of vinegar, there is just something so quintessentially British about this summer dish!
- 4 boneless and skinless haddock or other firm white fish (approx 4-6oz each but not too thick)
- 4oz plain flour (for fish)
- 4–6 large potatoes (peeled and chopped into chunks)
For the batter mix:
- 6oz plain flour (for batter)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- Salt and black pepper
- 7 fl. oz cold pale ale
- Rapeseed oil, approx. 1in deep in frying pan (deep enough to hold the hot oil and fish safely)
Peel and cut 4–6 large potatoes into 1inch thick chunks. In a pan of boiling water, put the chips in for 2 minutes. Once boiled, drain them and lay them out to dry on a clean cloth. Either deep fry or put into your Actifry until cooked. Place on paper towel to drain excess oil.
To prepare the batter, blend all the batter mix ingredients together. Dust the fish in the flour on both sides then sprinkle with salt and dip into the batter mix. Gently place the fish into the heated oil in the frying pan for approximately 6–8 mins. Lift it out and drain the excess oil on a paper towel. Serve with chunky chips and optional tartar sauce. To make homemade tartar sauce simply add good quality mayonnaise mixed with chopped up capers, and finely chopped red onion.
Colourful Prawn Chorizo and Lime Kebabs
When it comes to summer cuisine, no one wants to spend all day inside cooking. So why not take the kitchen outside this year and entertain your guests as you get busy with the barbeque? Alternatively, (in case the English weather tries to ruin your plans) you can also cook these kebabs on the kitchen grill.
- 12 shell on king prawns
- 1 ring of spicy chorizo sausage (cut into 12 equal pieces)
- 4 limes (quartered)
- 8 large cloves of peeled garlic
- Oil (to brush with)
- Coarse salt
- 4 kebab sticks
For Sour Cream and Chive Dip:
- 300ml of sour cream
- Zest and juice of ½ lime
- 2 tbsp. of chopped chives
Starting with a raw king prawn, thread your pieces of food into the kebab sticks. Repeat until each kebab has been threaded with three each of prawns, chorizo and lime wedges, but only two cloves of garlic. Brush everything with oil just before cooking and sprinkle with a little salt. Place the kebabs on your barbeque or grill until the prawns are fully pink and cooked through. Serve with more lime wedges and a tabbouleh salad or simply dip into a heavenly Sour Cream and Chive Dip. To make the Sour Cream and Chive Dip simply mix all of the dip ingredients in together, using a spoon to mix.
Taste a spoonful of nostalgia with the perfect mix of cream and fruit. Nothing screams ‘endless summer days’ more than a traditional British trifle. Ready to dive into heaven? All you need is a few spoons and some good company. Dig in!
- 2 pack of raspberry jelly (made up as instructions)
- 1 punnet of raspberries (keeping some for decoration)
- Raspberry swiss roll (cut into slices enough to go into the bottom of your chosen bowl)
- Medium carton of fresh custard (heated and thickened with a little corn flour, mixed with water to a paste, and allowed to cool)
- 3 tbsp. sherry (optional)
- 400ml double cream (beaten until fairly thick)
- 50g toasted flaked almonds
Sprinkle the sponge with the optional sherry, if desired. Pre-make the two packs of jelly. Place the raspberries on the bottom of your selected trifle dish and cover with the made up jelly. Leave in the fridge to chill completely. When it is cold and the jelly has set, spread the thickened custard over the top in one single layer. Add the beaten thick cream and spread to completely cover. Top with flaked toasted almonds and a few raspberries and chill for at least a further hour.
Layered Meringue Cake on a sea of Strawberries
Get ready for crumbs on the picnic blanket, sweet strawberry juice rolling down your chin and soft white cream oozing all over your hands with a romantic meringue made for two! What could be sweeter?
- 8 large egg whites at room temperature
- 230g caster sugar
- 230g icing sugar
- 1l Chantilly cream (beaten until thick with 3 tbsp. of icing sugar)
- 300g strawberries (topped and sliced)
- 200g strawberries (tops left on and cut in half)
Preheat the oven to fan 100?;/ conventional 110?;/gas ¼. Line 2–3 baking sheets with non–stick liner or parchment paper and draw 3 circles about 8 inches in diameter. Tip the 8 large egg whites into a large mixing bowl (non-plastic). Beat them on medium speed with an electric hand whisk or in a stand mixer, until the mixture resembles a fluffy cloud and stands up in stiff peaks when the blades are lifted. Turn the speed up and start to add the caster sugar, a dessert spoonful at a time. Continue beating for 3-4 seconds between each addition. Add the sugar slowly but don’t over-beat. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy. Sift one third of the icing sugar over the mixture, then gently fold it in with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to sift and fold in the remaining icing sugar a third at a time. Divide the mix into 3 and gently spread each third onto the parchment circles right to the drawn edge on the baking sheets.
Bake for 90 minutes in a fan oven, and keep checking until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath and are a pale coffee colour. Leave to cool on the trays or a cooling rack. When completely cool, spread the first meringue with a third of the Chantilly cream and cover with half of the sliced strawberries. Place the next layer on top, and spread it with another third of the cream followed, by the second half of the sliced strawberries. Finally place the top layer of meringue on top and spread with the last of the Chantilly cream. Place the strawberries which have been cut into halves on top to decorate as desired.
Giant Coconut and Lime Cake
The sweet smell of coconut and freshly squeezed lime floating through the air is one of life’s little luxuries. So stop and smell the summer by adding some zest into your cooking.
Prepare all ingredients at room temperature before commencing pre-heat oven to 160?;
- 12oz margarine
- 12oz caster sugar
- 12oz SR flour
- 6 eggs
- 3oz desiccated coconut soaked in 100ml tinned coconut milk
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1lb unsalted butter (softened)
- 2lb icing sugar
- Zest and juice of 3 limes
- ½lb desiccated coconut
- 3 x 8inch baking tins
Start by creaming the margarine and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy for approximately 5 minutes. Add the eggs slowly and then add the juice and zest of one of the limes. Add the coconut soaked in in coconut milk. Mix well, followed by the flour and baking powder. Mix until just incorporated but don’t over beat. Divide the mixture into the 3 tins and bake for approximately 25–30 minutes. Dip a toothpick into the mixture and when it comes out clean it has been baked enough. Whilst the cake is baking, make up the frosting by beating the soft butter until pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and gently mix together. Add the juice of the other 2 limes, beat well, and remove the bowl from the machine and mix in the lime zest well with a spatula. Once the cake has been taken out of the oven, turn them out of the tins and let them cool. When completely cool, spread a thin layer of the frosting over 2 of the sponges and put them together in a stack. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, then with the rest of the desiccated coconut spread it over the top and sides. Finally add some fresh lime zest to the top of the cake to decorate. Sprinkle some dried coconut flakes on top if desired.
Roasted Sugar Boozed-Up Fruit
Get the party started with these simple yet endlessly fun boozed-up fruit pieces. And why not mix things up a bit and try an array of different fruit? Or even better, an array of different beverages!
- 3 peaches
- 3 nectarines
- 3 plums
- Punnet of raspberries
- Punnet of blueberries
- 6oz caster sugar
- 6 fl. oz dark rum, sherry, port or similar
Cut the peaches, nectarines and plums into quarters, discarding the stones. Put them into an ovenproof dish and pour the alcohol over all of the fruit. Sprinkle the caster sugar all over the boozed-up fruit. The heat of the oven will evaporate any alcohol, leaving only the flavour. Place in a preheated oven (180?;) for approximately 40 minutes. Take it out of the oven and scatter the raspberries and blueberries over the top. Put all fruit back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes. Serve hot with ice-cream or crème fraiche.
Smoked Trout Pâté
Sometimes less is more when it comes to fine cuisine, and you won’t believe how easy this recipe is. Enjoy the mouthwatering flavours of this fish pâté on crusty bread in just two simple steps.
- 4 smoked trout fillets
- 150g soft goat‘s cheese (or cream cheese if preferred)
- 6 sprigs of dill
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with toasted flatbread or sourdough toast.
Duck Egg and Dill Omelette
Dare to try something new this season with these adorable duck eggs, perfectly light and fluffy for the warm weather. Not only are they pretty to look at, they are also easy to cook!
- 3 duck eggs
- Knob of butter
- 10g (approximately 2 tbsp.) finely chopped dill
- Extra butter for cooking
- Salt and pepper
Beat the eggs well by hand using a fork or whisk. Add the butter and chopped dill. Mix again to incorporate then melt the butter in a medium heated small frying pan. Pour the egg mixture into a frying pan, gently bringing in the mixture from the edges all around into the middle, until the omelette has started to set. Let it cook for a few minutes more then carefully fold over and serve. Season it with salt and pepper as desired.
Summer Citrus Zinger Cocktail with Flowered Cubes
This summery beverage tastes wonderful and what’s more it looks absolutely stunning! Treat yourself to something fabulous this hot weather and get ready to raise a gorgeous cocktail glass with friends.
- 200ml Bombay Sapphire gin
- 200ml elderflower cordial
- 200ml Prosecco
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Handful of crushed ice
- 10 Edible flowers of choice (such as Viola flower)
Pre–freeze your flowered ice cubes in clear, boiled water overnight. The boiled water will ensure that the ice cubes freeze clear, ensuring your beautiful edible flowers reach their pretty potential. Place 1–2 flower head per cube. First crush your ice with a blender and pour into the cocktail jug. Leave it to freeze so your drink remains cooler for longer. Put all of the other ingredients into a blender and mix for 10 seconds. Add the pre–crushed ice into the blender. Add in the flowered cubes. Serve with long curls of lemon and lime zest and sprigs of lemon thyme or mint as desired.