Recipes tagged with: summer

Caponata

Caponata

A delicious piquant aubergine dish originating from Sicily. Sicilians all have their own version of this slightly salt, sour and sweet dish, with many variations depending on what vegetables are available. Fennel is very good in place of the celery. Serve hot or cold, but never straight from the fridge!

  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Crab Linguine

Crab Linguine

A quick and easy crab recipe which serves eight as a starter, or four as a large main course.

  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Complexity: very easy

Devilled Crab with Hot Avocado

Devilled Crab with Hot Avocado

Make ahead for a dinner party and just pop into the oven when required. Makes six individual gratins or one large dish.

  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Complexity: easy

Elderflower Cordial

Elderflower Cordial

A delicious fragrant cordial, capturing the taste of summer. You must pick the elderflowers on a dry, warm and sunny day, when the flower heads are fully open.  They must be perfect, with no trace of brown blossoms. Do not wash them so make sure that you pick them from an area where they are unikely to have been contaminated by wildlife or passing vehicles.

The cordial will keep for several weeks in a cool pantry, several months in the fridge or alternatively freeze in plastic containers and it will keep for a year.

Citric acid is available from chemists and DIY wine making suppliers.

 

  • Time: Preparation time 30 minutes. Steeping time 24hrs.
  • Complexity: easy

Fresh Apricot Jam

Fresh Apricot Jam

The pretty pink, freckled, French apricots, when they arrive in the early summer are the best for making this jam. Make sure that they are not over ripe and that they are still slightly firm to the touch (not hard and not squashy). The addition of one or two of the kernels also gives a disitinctive almond like flavour to the jam, if you fancy cracking a couple of the stones and putting them in. This recipe will make about 5 x 1lb jars.

  • Time: allow at least an hour
  • Complexity: medium

Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi cheese cooks very well on the barbecue as it doesn't melt into a puddle as soon as it hits the heat. I prefer to cut quite large cubes of cheese so it doesn't fall between the grid on the barbecue into the fire. Marinade in lemon, garlic and oregano. Skewers work too, although halloumi is prone to break when you try to turn them over. Grill to form a lovely brown crust.

  • Time: 10 minutes plus cooking time of about 10 minutes.
  • Complexity: very easy

Indian Spiced Chicken Kebabs

Indian Spiced Chicken Kebabs

Succulent chicken breast marinated in Indian spices and yoghurt making a very quick and delicious summer meal. Chicken thigh meat is great to use too and possibly more tasty and succulent than breast meat. Use less chilli powder or cayenne pepper if you prefer, although the amount in recipe won't have you gasping for water! If you do not have all the spices in your store cupboard, don't worry, just substitute all of the spices with curry powder.

  • Time: 20 minutes plus cooking time of 10 to 15 minutes
  • Complexity: very easy

Lamb, Onion and Rosemary Skewers

Lamb, Onion and Rosemary Skewers

Leg of lamb is perfect for these dainty little skewers. Use small woody stems of rosemary to thread marinated lamb and onion and grill over a hot barbeque or camp fire. Make sure that the rosemary sprigs are not too fleshy or the meat will not thread. This recipe makes 8 mini skewers, enough for 4 people as a starter or 2 people for a main course. Delicious served in pitta bread with some tzatziki.

 

  • Time: 30 mins plus marinating and cooking time
  • Complexity: medium

Lemon, Garlic and Oregano Marinade

Lemon, Garlic and Oregano Marinade

A quick and easy marinade to use on barbecued/grilled cheese, meat or fish. Delicous to perk up halloumi cheese, salmon or lamb.

  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Complexity: very easy

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

A fresh and summery salad which is just delicious by itself or as part of a mezze style meal. Tabbouleh is usually made with bulghur wheat but quinoa makes a great change and is also gluten free.

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Complexity: very easy

Raspberry Shrub (Drinking Vinegar)

Raspberry Shrub (Drinking Vinegar)

Drinking Vinegars, or Shrubs as they are also known are not new, but becoming popular again. Created since the 17th Century as a method to preserve fruit in vinegar, then sweetened with sugar to make a syrup to mix with soda, hot or cold water, or as a base for a cocktail. Try adding some crushed sweet cicely seeds to the strained liquid and sugar for a hint of aniseed.

 

  • Time: 48 hrs to macerate and then 30 mins to make and bottle
  • Complexity: medium

Red Poll Shin and Oxtail Stew

Red Poll Shin and Oxtail Stew

Red Poll is a native breed of Suffolk producing excellent beef. Your local butcher will be able to provide a whole oxtail and cut it into sections for you. Use well sourced meat that has been hung for at least 28 days. The stew must be slow cooked until the meat falls from the bones. Try and use shin if possible as although it takes longer to cook it makes a gorgeous more gelatinous, sticky and lip smacking gravy. It's a cheaper cut too.
This recipe is great for slow cooking on a camp fire fire and I always make it in my South African Potjie over smouldering logs. It works just as well made in a casserole or saucepan and cooked in the oven.

  • Time: Full cooking time is 4 hrs. Can be made ahead.
  • Complexity: medium

Redcurrant Jelly

Redcurrant Jelly

Redcurrant jelly is traditionally served with roast lamb. I like it spread on toast for breakfast and also use it to glaze fruit tarts and flans, or dolloped onto some natural yoghurt for breakfast. To make a firmer and stronger flavoured jelly do not use the water but you must watch the redcurrants carefully and stir to prevent them from catching on the bottom of the pan.

  • Time: 10 minutes then overnight to strain through a jelly bag then a further 15/20 minutes
  • Complexity: medium

Rub for a Barbecue Rib-Eye or Sirloin of Beef

Rub for a Barbecue Rib-Eye or Sirloin of Beef

Spice blends, commonly called dry rubs are rubbed into meat before cooking. Ideally salt should not be included in a rub and meat should be dry brined by rubbing in salt a day in advance, in order for the salt to penetrate the meat. The spices in a rub do not tend to penetrate the meat but will help form the delicious spicy crust (or bark, as they call it down South). However as we are all so short of time in our busy lives I suggest mixing the salt into the rub and leaving it overnight in the fridge. Sugar is a matter of taste and needed to help caramelise the crust. I use just a little on beef. Experiment with your own spice blends and store in an airtight jar. Use a whole piece of rib eye or sirloin, or if you prefer individual steaks.

  • Time: 10 minutes for the rub.
  • Complexity: easy

Salmon with Sumac, Lemon and Dill

Salmon with Sumac, Lemon and Dill

This is a Middle Eastern inspired dish with Sumac adding lemon citrus flavours and tartness to the fish. Sumac is a coarsely ground powder made from the berries of the Sumac bush, which is native to the Middle East and particularly notable in Iran. It is easy to find in Waitrose and other good supermarkets. Try this recipe with any other firm fleshed fish but make sure that if you plan to cook it on the barbecue that you keep the skin on as it helps prevent the fish from sticking to the grid.

 

  • Time: 15 minutes plus cooking time of about 10/15 minutes.
  • Complexity: easy