Inspiration & Ideas

The perfect family summer feast

Planning a summer get-together? Don’t let anyone leave hungry from your farmhouse dining table with these great dishes.

The BEST Summer Burger

Try these delicious burgers at your summer feast, perfect for feeding a hungry crowd of people. For a buffet, buy smaller burger buns and make daintier burgers but serve with plenty of the homemade tasty burger sauce.

Fresh Grilled Hamburger

You will need;

For the burgers

*800g minced beef

*Olive oil

*1 large red onion

*A dash of white wine vinegar

*2 large gherkins

*4 burger buns – try sesame seed topped brioche buns for something a little different

*4 to 8 rasher of smoked streaky bacon

*4tsps. mustard

*Chipotle sauce

*4 slices of mature cheddar cheese

For the burger sauce

*Half an iceberg lettuce

*2 tbsps. mayonnaise

*1 tbsp. tomato ketchup

*1 tsp. chipotle sauce

*1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*1 tsp. of brandy or bourbon, although this is optional

Divide the mind into four, rolling each heap into a ball and then pressing flat into a burger shape. Make them a little bigger than the burger buns. Place on a plate oiled with olive oil and place the burger on it, and then into the fridge.

Next, finely slice the onion and then add the dash of white wine vinegar and a dash of sea salt too. Slice the gherkins and halve the buns.

Mix the burger ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.

Shred the lettuce.

Heat a large frying pan on a high heat, adding the burger and pressing down with a fish slice. You may need to lower the heat so that they cook but not burn.

In a smaller frying pan, cook the streaky bacon rashers over a medium heat. 

After a few minutes, flip the burgers and spread the cooked surface with a thin layer of mustard and the chipotle sauce. After a minute or two, flip again and repeat on the layer of mustard and chipotle sauce.

Grill the buns until lightly toasted and start to layer the burgers. Start with a layer of shredded iceberg lettuce, then the burger itself, topped with a layer of the cheddar cheese. Let your guests serve themselves to a dollop of homemade burger sauce and any other additions they would like to make.

Top the burger off with two slices of smoked bacon, top with the brioche bun top. Enjoy!

Chicken Tacos with homemade salsa

Homemade Tacos

These tacos swap mince for chicken and are perfect ‘finger food’ for an informal gathering around your dining table this summer.

You will need;

*1 x medium whole chicken

*Sprigs of fresh thyme

*Olive oil

*1 lemon

*1 bulb of garlic

*500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

*1iceberglettuce

*250g cherry tomatoes

*2 avocados

*Half a bunch each of mint and coriander

*200g feta cheese

For the salsa;

*2 red chillies

*4 large tomatoes

*2 spring onions

*1 clove of garlic

*2 tbsps. cider vinegar

*2 tbsps. olive oil

*The other half of the bunch of mint and coriander

*If you have it, a dash of tequila

Prepare the chicken for roasting by bashing the thyme in a pestle and mortar along with some sea salt and pepper. Rub some olive oil into the skin, followed by the thyme and salt rub. Halve the lemon and the bulb of garlic and stuff inside the cavity. Roast as per the instructions.

In the meantime, assemble the other ingredients;

The tacos

Place 500g of flour in a bowl and add 2 tbsps. of olive oil and around 150ml of cold water. Bring together until it forms a rough dough. On a flour-dusted surface, need the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Roll into a sausage shape around 45cm in length and slice into 16 and allow the small balls to rest on a place.

The salsa

Soak the tomatoes for 30 seconds in boiling water in a bowl until their skin starts to peel. Drain and remove the skin. Halve the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds. Roughly chop the rest of the flesh and place in a bowl. Finely chop the chillies – removing or leaving in the seeds depending on how much heat you like! – the spring onions and the garlic. Give it a generous pinch of salt and whizz in the food processor for a few seconds. Add a dash of tequila if you have it.

Shred the iceberg ready for your feast too and cube the feta cheese and place in a bowl, ready for taco assembly. In another bowl, place the roughly chopped avocado.

Back to the chicken

When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. And then start to strip away the flesh until there is nothing left on the carcass. Pile into a serving bowl on top of your small display cabinet.

With your guests assemble on the brightly coloured dining chairs, start to heat your homemade tacos. Simply flatten each ball of dough until it is very thin and place in a hot frying pan for 2 to 3 minutes. You’ll need to work through them in batches.

As they are served at the dining bench, your guests can assemble their chicken tacos as they wish with a bed of iceberg lettuce, pile on the chicken a dollop of delicious salsa followed by avocado chunks and feta cheese. Add other cheese too if you like, along with other sauces such as aioli or mayonnaise.

Berry Smoothie

Glass of Smoothie

Sometimes, after a summer feast, you are still in need of something a little sweet but not necessarily a dessert. This Berry Smoothie hits all the right notes – a zing of sweetness and amazingly refreshing too.

Empty the frozen berries of a 450g frozen bag into the blender with 450g fat-free strawberry yoghurt, along with 100ml of milk. Whizz on high until the whole mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour into four glasses and add a drizzle of honey if you like.

There are so many different bags of frozen fruits available that you can make all kinds of flavoured smoothies. Simply alter the yoghurt flavour to taste too. You could even set up your large sideboard as a smoothie bar!

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