A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of their first BBQ of the year (yes, I’m looking at you Matt!) and I have to say, much as I love a good BBQ, I have found the weather a little too much on the chilly side to be tempted to the dust off the grill and fire-lighters just yet (and by that, of COURSE I mean, get hubby to dust off the grill and fire-lighters). That being said, I definitely feel like the season of outside eating is just around the corner, and it’s definitely not too early to start planning that first spring or summer BBQ with friends…or to start taste testing this fabulous Grapefruit Gin and Tonic Slushie to make sure it’s up to scratch. You’re such a good friend to care so much about getting it just right! 😉
Apart from the fact that it’s just more pleasant to eat a meal in the garden, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of birds singing in the trees; it also makes entertaining so much easier and somehow less formal. People can be ushered quickly through the house (before they notice you haven’t hoovered) and out into the garden, where you welcome them with a little drinky…
(I’m sorry. I had to. It was just too good).
…Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Assuming you’re not as brave as my friend Matt and you haven’t yet had your first BBQ of the year then I urge you to include these as an aperitif when you do.. They’re a (ahem) ‘citrus’ twist on an old classic and they’re both refreshing and just alcoholic enough to kick your afternoon or evening off with a pleasant buzz.
The other day, disaster struck. I had bought a chicken, ready for a Sunday roast, but when the day dawned and I went to the fridge to begin preparations, I realised, with horror in my heart, that we had no potatoes. It was a dark moment indeed, let me tell you. The supermarket already shut, I had no option, but to consider alternative meals and to break it gently to my family that their Sunday roast would be a little different this week…
As luck would have it, everything turned out rather well. I decided to roast the chicken anyway, but with a lighter twist – something more fitting for spring. I also had a whole load of asparagus in the fridge (thanks to our lovely friend Wendy, who brought it round for us after picking it up on her travels in Lincolnshire).
I tried to go for light, spring-like flavours and the end result was a beautiful alternative to the usual Sunday roast. We enjoyed it so much that I did it again today and I suspect it will become a firm favourite in the coming months of warmer weather.
You will need:
1 medium chicken (approx 1.7k)
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 handful parsley
You will need:
200g bulgur wheat
1/2 onion (or about 5 spring onions)
1 oz unsalted butter
500 ml chicken stock (or veg fine too)
1 bunch of asparagus
150 g peas (fresh or frozen!)
1 heaped tbs of chopped, fresh mint
Enjoy with a glass of chilled white wine – or just keep it simple with a jug of iced water with a few sprigs of mint and slices of lemon.
If you find yourself with a spot of the bulgur wheat salad and a bit of chicken left over then you can make yourself another tasty little meal in no time at all. Just pick any leftover chicken from the bone and mix in with the salad along with some chopped tomato, salty chunks of feta and a good sprinkling of chilli flakes. It’s best served at room temperature and is a real little treat. 🙂
Every now and then, I have an idea for a recipe that makes me nervous. The image is so clear in my imagination that I can almost taste it, but I’m not sure if I can actually do it justice in the kitchen.
This little beauty of a dish was everything that I hoped it would be and I urge you all to give it a go! It’s perfect for entertaining – it tastes luxurious and like you’ve been slaving in the kitchen for hours. HOWEVER, it’s actually so fast to make, that you could comfortably do it after work one evening without even breaking a sweat.
You will need:
2 smoked salmon fillets* (skinned)
1 tbs crème fraiche
1 tbs cream cheese
1 tbs chopped gherkin
1 tbs chopped tarragon
1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
1 tbs milk
*Don’t panic if you can’t get/don’t like smoked salmon fillets, the un-smoked variety will also be delicious!
After asking for opinions on whether the inclusion of calories would be welcome or horrifying, I got a mixed response (although most seemed in favour) so I decided to introduce this final, secret if you want it to be, section to my recipes. Enjoy (or not, as the case may be!)
I’d love you to get in touch through the comments section. Let me know if you give this recipe a try – or if you have a favourite fish recipe that you’d like to share 🙂
Firstly, an apology is in order for missing the last few months and not posting any seasonal food between February-April. Today, I’m putting things right with a reminder of all the wonderful foods out there that will be in season in May…
Just seeing those top two, fills me with a real sense of pleasure. Asparagus is always such a treat and I really believe that not much beats the humble pea. My little boy and I love to sit and munch our way through bags of fresh peas at this time of year – although I can’t help but feel that I’m doing all the shelling and Jacob is doing all the eating…
Another gorgeous selection! Sardines always remind me of holidays to Spain where we eat them fresh from the BBQ with a beautiful zingy salsa full of zesty lemon.
This is the one that I’m MOST excited about! Last year, I was given a recipe for Elderflower Champagne, but I didn’t get around to collecting any Elderflower before its season was finished so I’ve waited a whole year in anticipation of finally giving it a go! If it’s good, I’ll be sure to post it but in the meantime, here’s something to be going on with…