Tandoori chicken drumsticks and more

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Yoghurt dip

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

salt

white pepper

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. 

A nice get together in the summer house

Our summer house has survived many dinner parties and parties through the years, but the one we had during this holiday in Sweden was probably the best one so far. The weather was good, it was a nice group of friends and the perfect amount of people, and even the food seemed to be appreciated. 🙂

And it is so nice to have a party among old friends sometimes. Friends who without even asking just start helping you. All of a sudden Carina was doing the washing up, Linus carved the meat, Maria made coffee and Claes took charge of the camera. Thanks, guys!

I also had both Malin and Emma to help me in the kitchen with the canapés (and the gossip) and they did a great job (followed orders, I mean).

We started off with two canapés, both found on a lovely Swedish foodblog: Pyttes. We had fried halloumi with grilled peppers and crustades with girolles. Both adorable and extremely tasty!

As a starter I chose a dish I have made before and love; the salmon tartar with cream cheese topping. It is a great summery dish that looks more difficult to make than it is, plus you can prepare it in advance.

For the mains we had barbecued chicken with lemon and rosemary and barbecued leg of lamb marinated in red wine, garlic and rosemary. With this we served celeriac gratin, tomatoes provencale and small carrots.

The dessert was prepared in advance as well, the best way to do it for a large gathering I think. I had made an elderflower pannacotta with passionfruit on top, and it was really nice actually, made with mothers homemade elderflower cordial.

I poured the panna cotta into disposable plastic cups, not very sexy, but nice to skip the washing up, when there is 17 of you!

Thank you to all my great friends for coming!

Halloumi canapés with grilled peppers, serves 20 if combined with another canapé.

2 packets of halloumi

5 bell peppers

1 bunch of basil

crema di balsamico

olive oil for frying

cocktail sticks/small scewers

Cut the peppers into big chunks. Rinse and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season. Put the tray in the oven until the peppers are soft and has got some colour, about 25 minutes, 200C, this step you can do in advance.

Slice the hallomi and fry in olive oil until golden, just before serving. Place a piece of pepper and a piece of halloumi on a cocktail stick with a basil leaf in between. Place on platter and repeat until it is all used up. Drizzle crema di balsamico on the platter. Serve with napkins.

Crustades with girolles, serves 12-18 together with another canapé

2 packs (48 pieces) of crustades (you find them in Waitrose)

500 g girolles

butter for frying

150-200 g garlic and herb cream cheese

50 ml sourcream or creme fraiche

1 tsp honey

1 tsp dijon mustard

salt, white pepper

chives to decorate

Clean the mushrooms and chop them. Fry in butter on high heat. Remove from pan to a bowl and add the cream cheese, sour cream, mustard and honey. Season to taste. Fill the crustades with the mixture just before serving (otherwise the crustades go soggy). Cut the chives and sprinkle on top. Serve and enjoy!

Barbecued whole chicken with rosemary and lemon, 8-10 people at a buffet

2 medium chickens

50 g softened butter

rosmary

1 lemon

4 garlic cloves

Rinse the birds. Mix the butter with lemon peel and rosemary leaves. Season the birds and cut pockets in the skin above the breasts. Fill the pockets with butter and smear the rest of the butter around the birds. Cut the lemon in half and place each half the the bird’s cavarties. Place the chickens in a cooking bag each. Place 2 garlic cloves in each bag. Cut a small whole on the top of the bag (as a chimney) and place the chickens in the oven on 200C for about 45 minutes or until almost done. Remove from the bags and place on the barbecue and cook until done (clear juices at the joints).

Barbecued leg of lamb with red wine, rosemary and garlic, serves 12

2 legs of lamb

1 bottle red wine

1 bunch rosmary

garlic

Season the meat on all sides and place in a cooking bag each. Add rosemary sprigs and garlic to the bags and pour half the bottle in each bag. Let the meat marinate for 24 hours, make sure to turn the bag a few times so it marinated evenly. Cut a small whole on the top of the bags (as a chimney) and place the bags in the oven (200C) for about an hour. A meat thermometer is a great tool here, but unfortunately our old one in the summer house didn’t work. Take the meat out of the bags and barbecue at the end to get the crisp and sooty outside. Let the meat rest before carving.

Tomatoes provencale, serves 2-4

2 large tomatoes

3-4 tbsp grated parmesan

5 tbsp breadcrumbs

1 garlic clove

chopped parsley

olive oil

Cut the tomatoes in half (nicest if you cut vertically). Place with the cut side up and brush with oliv oil. Bake in 200 C for 15 minutes. Mix parmesan, breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley in a bowl. Add enough olive oil for the mixture to soak it up. Season the tomatoes and place a spoonful of the mixture on each halve. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.

Elderflower pannacotta, serves 6

700 ml cream (I mixed  single and double)

4 tbsp concentrated elderflower cordial (preferrably homemade)

40 g caster sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

3 gelatine leaves

Decoration: 2 passion fruits + 2 tsp icing sugar

It is best to make this dessert the day before serving so it has time to set properly. Cover the gelatine leaves with cold water in a bowl. Mix sugar, cream and vanilla in a non-stick saucepan. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and add them to the cream mixture. Stir so they dissolve evenly. Add the elderflower cordial and leave the mixture for 30 minutes to cool down. Pour into plastic cups or small bowls. Leave to cool completely before putting them into the fridge. Leave them overnight to set.

On the same day, scoop out the passionfruit and mix with the icing sugar. Divide the mixture between the pannacottas and spread it out over the top. Serve and realise with the first spoonful that you have gone to heaven.