About a month and a half have passed since my summer party back in Sweden and you can really tell that summer’s over. It’s windy, grey and it has started raining again. But I think all Londoners are happy about the fact that we actually had a decent summer this year, so we are mentally prepared to embrace autumn and winter.
Luckily the recipes for the food I cooked for my friends that summer’s day in August works just as well at this time of year – just choose less summery sides.
So, finally, I give you the recipes!
We started off with a simple yet very tasty pre-dinner cocktail made from vodka, mummy’s homemade elderflower cordial, lemonade, lime and mint together with some amazing Parmesan biscuits I have posted on here before. Do try them if you like cheese at all, they are simply divine!
As I mentioned before, this was a pretty relaxed party, so the starter was served on platters. On a bed of rocket, cucumber and radishes I had piled squares of Ottolenghi’s caramelized garlic tarte high which looked pretty rustic. I simply adore this tarte and all my friends loved it too – such a crowd pleaser! I also made some rustic baguettes after my blog friend Helena’s recipe. She calls them faux sourdough baguettes and that’s a very fitting description; they’re chewy and nice but far easier to make than real sourdough baguettes.
For the maincourse I served two types of meat; rare roast beef with a homemade aromatic butter and tandoori chicken drumsticks with a minty yoghurt dip. Not all my friends like red meat so I always try to serve chicken as well and although Indian food is far less common in Sweden this went down really well with everyone. I had also made two substantial salads which went with both meats; one with roasted new potatoes, spinach, spring onions and cucumber and one with roasted peppers, courgettes and aubergines with rocket and feta. Both dressed with a nice olive oil and a touch of balsamic.
For dessert I let everybody serve themselves a sundae with vanilla and mango icecream, whipped cream, blueberries, raspberries and homemade oat crisps. Super easy to prepare in advance and very popular with my friends!
Tandoori chicken drumsticks, serves 4
Adapted from Simon Hopkinson’s recipe.
The only labour intensive part of this recipe is skinning the drumsticks, which is especially tedious if you make five batches at once like I did. But I assure you, it is worth it.
1,75 g chicken drumsticks
a pinch of salt
2 lemons, juice only
500 g plain yoghurt
3-4 tbsp tandoori spice mix
Remove the skin from the drumsticks, then cut deep incisions in the flesh with a knife. Place the chicken into a bowl and sprinkle over the salt and the juice of two lemons, massaging into the chicken until well coated.
Mix the yoghurt and tandoori spice mix together in a bowl. Pour the marinade onto the chicken and massage into the flesh. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the grill to high. Lift the drumsticks from the tandoori mixture and gently shake off any excess. Place a wire rack over a roasting tin and lay the drumsticks upon it. Grill for 20 minutes, turning regularly, or until richly burnished and the chicken is cooked through. Add more lemon juice to taste.
3-4 tbsp plain yoghurt
a pinch salt
a pinch sugar
5 sprigs of mint
1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve alongside the chicken drumsticks.
Faux sourdough baguettes, makes 3
Translated and adapted from Helena’s receipe.
3 pea sized pieces of fresh yeast (or the equivalent of dry yeast)
300 ml lukewarm water
1.5 tsp salt
25 ml wheat bran
about 380 g strong white flour
Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until all combined and you have a loose dough. Cover with cling and let it rise overnight or at least for five hours.
Turn out the dough on a floured surface and fold the dough in on itself once so both sides of the dough are floured. Pull the dough into a rectangle shape, about 15 x 25 cm. Divide into three equally sized portions and flour all around. Twist the dough pieces into baguettes and place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Let rest while preheating the oven to 275C. Before placing the baking tray in the oven spray the inside of the oven with water both up and down, which will contribute to a nice crust. Bake the breads for 13-15 minutes, the leave to cool on a wire rack uncovered.
Aromatic butter for meat
250 g softened butter
2-3 tsp paprika
1 garlic clove, pressed or grated
1 handful parsley, finely chopped
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, season to taste. Using clingfilm shape into a roll and cover it with cling. Leave to set in the fridge. Slice before serving.