Monday, 26 June 2017

Reliable Retro Recipes

Last Tuesday evening we enjoyed a visit from one of my WWDP committee friends, and her husband. They were down here camping and came over for a meal. Then on Wednesday the Alpha group were here again. I didn't want to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen, but I did want to provide something a bit special. I decided to go retro, and use 'old faithful' recipes.
Tuesday's starter was Prawn Cocktail. I used some fancy glasses which Steph gave Bob. The greenery is shredded little gem lettuce, with cucumber crescents. A mixture of two sorts of prawns- regular and kingsize [from Lidl] A very simple Marie Rose Sauce [mayo and ketchup] A sprinkling of paprika and some cress to garnish - with a king prawn and slice of lemon hooked over the glass. 

On Tuesday, and again on Wednesday, I served Jamie Oliver's Mediterranean Chicken - a really easy traybake. This photo is his - I forgot both times to take pictures. I substituted a big bag of chicken pieces for the legs when I doubled up to serve 8 on Wednesday night. Accompanied with a green salad. Lemony and fresh for a summer's evening.
1 lemon
4 free-range chicken legs
1 kg new potatoes
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 bunch of fresh thyme
olive oil
100 g pitted green olives
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Slice the lemon lengthways into quarters and place in a large roasting tin with the chicken legs, new potatoes and all of the herbs. Toss in 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil, season well and roast for 45 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven. Carefully squeeze the roasted lemon wedges over everything, squashing down some of the potatoes so they burst – this gives you a bigger surface area so they soak up lots of flavour and get nice and crispy. Add the olives, give everything a stir and roast for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden.
Tuesday's dessert was Delia Smith's Chocolate Mousse.
You can find her recipe here. I served mine in coffee cups, with a strawberry fan in each saucer.
It is very rich, you don't need much.
Wednesday's dessert was Martha Stewart's Strawberry Tart. I have known this recipe for years, and it is so simple - I love the ease with which you make the pastry base. It was actually featured in the Guardian recently as the perfect example of this dish.
I made mine in a long rectangular loose based tin [much easier to serve 8 portions] and ignored the instruction to stand the strawberry wedges up - I laid mine in pretty rows. The orange slices and mint sprigs were there to prettify the space. because I couldn't find a narrower serving tray!
The perfect strawberry tart (Serves 8)
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
110g cold butter, cut into cubes
65g caster sugar
¼ tsp fine salt
For the filling:
200ml whipping cream
2 tsp icing sugar
1½ tsp rose water
200g thick whole milk yogurt
About 500g ripe strawberries
To make the pastry, put all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until they look like damp ground almonds – this will probably take a minute or so. Tip into a loose-bottomed shallow tart tin about 25cm wide, spread out and press with a mug or glass until you have a pastry case. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes until firm. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C.
Prick the base all over with a fork, then bake for about 20-25 minutes until lightly golden (overcook it and it will be crumbly). Allow to cool in the tin, then gently transfer to a serving plate. When the shell is cool, whip cream to soft peaks, then whip in the sugar and rose water, and fold in the yogurt. Spoon into the tart shell and smooth. Hull the strawberries and cut into quarters, or sixths if large, and then arrange, point upwards, in concentric circles. [Or lay down in rows!]
I really had fun making these meals for my friends, and using my best dinner service and cutlery [retro wedding gifts from 1979] 
What would be on your dinner party menu for a warm summer evening? 
Do you have a tried-and-true recipe?


  1. Well, all this looks marvellous!!! I'd gladly eat it!!.x

  2. How delicious that looks, and what an easy way to make pastry!

    1. It really is simple and tastes excellent too. One of my guests commented that the butter gives it the flavour of good Scottish shortbread

  3. The food all sounds and looks lovely, well done. I always used to have prawn cocktail to start when we went out for meals years ago.

  4. I love prawn cocktail and we regularly serve it for guests. Your menu sounds great. A favourite summer dish of ours would be salmon parcels with new potatoes and fresh peas or asparagus, followed by strawberry pavlova.

    1. Salmon followed by Pavlova sounds delicious

  5. that strawberry tart is so pretty. Cheers

  6. Thank-you for stopping by and leaving such an honorable comment about my girls' patterns. Around here, us lunch ladies like something cool. Chicken salad croissant sandwich, sliced tomatoes, deviled eggs,and low carb strawberry cream cheese dessert you find on my blog is a favorite.

  7. Joy, that strawberry dessert looks cool and delicious, just right for a hot day

  8. Your menus sound wonderful! I especially liked the desserts! Yum!


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