Please find below some fun and easy recipe ideas for you to try…
Easy Coronation Chicken
6 tbsp mayonnaise
2-3 tsp mild curry powder, to taste
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp mango chutney
1-3 tbsp sultanas, or to taste
500g shredded cooked chicken
- Mix the mayo, curry powder, cinnamon, chutney and sultanas together and season with black pepper.
- Add the shredded chicken and stir to coat in the sauce. Stir in 2 tbsp water to loosen if needed, then season and serve as desired.
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
350g new potatoes, sliced
4 rashers rindless smoked back bacon, chopped
6 large eggs
85g mature cheddar, grated
- Heat the olive oil in a small non-stick frying pan, add the onion and potatoes and fry for 8 minutes, turning the veg frequently until tender but not browned. Add the bacon and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl with plenty of salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese.
- Remove the potato mixture with a slotted spoon and stir into the eggs. Reserve most of the excess oil, leaving a little in the pan. Pour in the egg mixture and leave to cook undisturbed over a gentle heat for 8 minutes until firmly set underneath but not set on top.
- Invert the tortilla on to a plate and return the pan to the heat with a bit more of the reserved oil. Slide the tortilla back into the pan, uncooked side down, and cook for 5 minutes until set all through.
Cheese and chorizo or prosciutto skewers
12 slices chorizo
6 red grapes, halved
12 mini mozzarella balls
12 small basil leaves (optional)
6 slices prosciutto, halved
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the manchego into 12 cubes or oblongs. Fold a slice of chorizo around each piece of cheese and push a cocktail stick through the middle to secure it. Push half a grape on to one side, then transfer skewers to a baking tray and cook for 5 mins. Cool.
- Wrap each mozzarella ball in basil, top with half a slice of prosciutto and push a skewer through. To serve young children, slide everything off the skewers.
Fruity tabbouleh with feta
100g bulgur wheat
6 tbsp olive oil
200g mixed shelled nut, roughly chopped (any mixture of almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and pistachios)
200g mixed dried fruit, large fruit chopped (any mixture of raisins, sultanas, apricots, dates and cranberries)
zest and juice 2 lemons
small pack mint, leaves roughly chopped
small pack flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g feta cheese, crumbled
- Boil the kettle. Put the bulgur wheat in a sieve and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well and transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour over 200ml boiling water and 1 tbsp olive oil, cover with a plate and leave to soak for 30 mins. Meanwhile, put the couscous into a second mixing bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, just cover with boiling water, then cover with a plate and leave to stand for 5-10 mins.
- Once the bulgur wheat and couscous are ready, put them in a mixing bowl and fluff up the grains with a fork. Stir through the nuts and dried fruit, too.
- Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, herbs, remaining olive oil and the garlic. Pour over the grains, nuts and fruit, and stir everything together well with some seasoning. Transfer to a serving plate, scatter with the crumbled feta, and serve with grilled lamb or pork chops, if you like.
Stuffed rainbow baguette
1 artisan-style baguette
4 tbsp hummus
8 slices medium cheddar
¼ red pepper, thinly sliced
¼ cooked beetroot, shredded
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 yellow or orange carrot, shredded or grated
handful green leaves
1 tbsp vegetarian pesto, mixed with 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cut the baguette in half so you can open it out like a book. Spread the hummus over the bottom half of the baguette and add the cheese, breaking the slices up if you need to. Scatter the pepper, beetroot, radish and carrot along the baguette, then add the leaves, dribble with the pesto and close the baguette.
- Wrap the baguette tightly in baking parchment and tie securely with string. Take a bread knife with you so you can slice it when you’re ready to eat it.
Store cupboard pasta salad
2 tsp finely chopped red onion
1 tsp caper
1 tbsp pesto
2 tsp olive oil
185g can of tuna in spring water, drained
100g leftover pasta shapes
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- Mix the onion, capers, pesto and oil. Flake the tuna into a bowl with the pasta and tomatoes, then stir in the pesto mix.
For the pastry
180g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g cold butter, diced
1 medium egg yolk
For the filling
400g pack cherry tomatoes on the vine
olive oil, for drizzling
90g pack thin pancetta rashers
100g parmesan, grated
3 eggs, plus 5 egg yolks (reserve a little of the egg white for brushing)
250ml double cream
½ small pack basil, finely chopped
You will also need:
10 tartlet tins (about 7½ cm diameter each)
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the tomatoes in a roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive oil and season. Roast for 25-30 mins until they start to shrink and darken, then remove and leave to cool.
- Dry-fry the pancetta until crisp and golden. Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the pastry. In a food processor, pulse the flour and 1/2 tsp salt a few times. Add the butter and whizz for about 20 secs until you have a fine crumb. While the processor is going, add 2-3 tbsp of ice-cold water and 1 egg yolk. Mix until a dough is just formed, but do not over-process. Remove the dough, press it into a lump, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 mins.
- Once rested, lightly dust the work surface with a little flour and roll out the dough to a very thin layer, about the thickness of a lasagne sheet. Line each tartlet tin with pastry by cutting a circle around a plate or bowl that’s slightly larger than the tins. Press the pastry into the fluted edge, allow the excess to fall over the top edge, and run the rolling pin over the tops of the tins to trim the pastry. Re-roll the pastry off-cuts until you’ve lined all your tins, then put in the fridge again for 30 mins or until firm.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line the tart cases with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 10 mins. Remove the paper and beans, and bake for a further 5 mins until just turning lightly golden. As soon as the cases come out of the oven, brush them all over with egg white. This creates a seal to protect the pastry from becoming wet from the filling, and ensures a crisper pastry case.
- Scatter half the grated cheese and crumble the crispy pancetta into each tart case. Nestle in the roasted tomatoes, then top with the remaining cheese.
- In a jug, beat together the remaining eggs, the cream and some black pepper. Add the basil and beat again to combine. Put a baking tray in the oven to heat up, then put the quiches on the hot tray resting on the oven shelf and carefully pour the egg mix over the filling until the cases are full. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden and puffed up. Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Can be made up to a day ahead.
Yummy golden syrup flapjacks
250g jumbo porridge oats
125g light brown sugar
2-3 tbsp golden syrup (depending on how gooey you want it)
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Put 250g jumbo porridge oats, 125g butter, 125g light brown sugar and 2-3 tbsp golden syrup in a food processor and pulse until mixed, but be careful not to overmix otherwise the oats may lose their texture.
- Lightly grease a 20x20cm baking tin with butter and spoon in the mixture. Press into the corners with the back of a spoon so the mixture is flat and score into 12 squares.
- Bake for around 15 minutes until golden brown.
Strawberries and cream cheesecake jars
200g buttery biscuit (like shortbread or Viennese whirls)
200g cream cheese
200ml double cream
6 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
500g strawberry, halved or quartered
You will need
8 jars with lids
- Blitz the biscuits to crumbs in a food processor or in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin. Divide the biscuit crumbs between the jars.
- In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, cream, 5 tbsp icing sugar and the vanilla extract until softly whipped. Tip half the strawberries and the remaining sugar into another bowl and crush with a fork to a purée. Ripple the purée through the cream and divide between the jars. Top each cheesecake with remaining strawberries, secure the lids and chill until ready to pack up.
Classic Victoria sandwich
200g caster sugar200g softened butter
4 eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
For the filling
100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
drop vanilla extract (optional)
half a 340g jar good-quality strawberry jam
icing sugar, to decorate
- Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper.
- In a large bowl, beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
- Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
- Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract (if you’re using it).
- Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top.
- Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.
Homemade pink lemonade
8 lemons, plus extra slices to serve
200g caster sugar, plus extra to taste
140g raspberry, plus extra to serve
ice, to serve
- Pare the zest from the lemons with a peeler, removing as little white pith as possible – cut away any pith you can from the strips. Juice the lemons and mix the juice, zest, sugar and raspberries with 1.2 litres of boiling water. Let cool, then sieve, pressing through juice with the back of a spoon. Add sugar to taste and chill in jugs. To serve, add a few lemon slices, raspberries and lots of ice.
Summer cup mocktail
1cm thick slice of cucumber
1 sprig mint
few frozen red berries
120ml clear, sparkling lemonade
more frozen berries, chopped fruits, cucumber slice, mint, citrus – all optional
- Chop the cucumber and mint sprig into small pieces. Bring 200ml water to the boil in a small pan and then add the mint and cucumber. Turn off the heat and leave for 2 mins. Add a small handful of frozen berries, let them defrost for a minute, then crush them lightly with the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture. This will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours and will be enough to make four drinks.
- Pour 40ml of your strained mixture into a tall glass. Add a handful of ice and top up with 120ml lemonade. Garnish with whatever chopped fruit you like or some more frozen berries and mint leaves if you have them. Stir gently to combine.
Additional recipes and ideas for your picnic can be found on the following websites: