Lamb and Mint Sliders with Roast Potatoes and Watercress
Create a roast-lamb dinner in miniature form with these gourmet sliders. They taste great in a bun, but even better served inside roast potato rounds.
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 roughly-equal rounds of potato, unpeeled
200 g/7 oz. lean minced/ground lamb
6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon beaten egg
a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a handful of watercress or rocket/arugula
4 cocktail sticks/toothpicks
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the oil on a baking sheet and lay the potato slices on top, turn to coat and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Put the lamb in a bowl with the mint, breadcrumbs, egg and salt and pepper. Work together with your hands until evenly mixed. Divide the mixture into quarters and shape into four slider patties. Press each slider down to make them nice and flat.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan/skillet and fry the sliders over medium–high heat for 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
Put one potato round on each serving plate and put a cooked slider on top of each. Top with a few leaves of watercress and finish with another potato round. Put a cocktail stick/toothpick through the middle of each slider to hold them together and serve.
Picnic or Garden Party, serve this drink from The Picnic, Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket (Artisan Books, April 2015)by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, Jen Stevenson...
Elderflower Pimm’s Cup
Is there anything better than a summer sipper that contains a sizeable snack? You’ll like this light spirit just as much as its pretty accompaniments. Pack your cooler with individual cocktails for a delicious, cheerful refreshment.
2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
1 ounce St. Germain liqueur
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Lemon Simple Syrup
1 strawberry, hulled and quartered
1 thin slice orange, quartered
3 thin slices cucumber
1 mint sprig
11⁄2 strips lemon peel, from Lemon Simple Syrup
In the Basket:
1. Combine the booze, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a Mason jar. Add the strawberry, orange, and cucumber. Replace the lid and pack in a cooler filled with ice. At the picnic, add ice, top with club soda, garnish with a mint sprig and lemon peel strip, add a straw, and serve.
Lemon Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 small lemon, zested with a peeler into ½ inch strips
1. Bring sugar and water to a gentle simmer in a small pot. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and add the lemon peel. Let the syrup steep for 1 hour. Strain the syrup into a jar. Reserve the lemon peel for garnish.
(*Excerpted with permission from The Picnic by (Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, and Jen Stevenson -Artisan Books- Copyright (c) 2015. Illustrations by Emily Isabella)
Heat up your vegetarian dip with this recipe from Salsas and Moles, Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More (Ten Speed Press, April 2015) by Deborah Schneider of Sol Cocina...
Salsa Verde (Cooked Tomatillo Salsa with Cilantro and Jalapeño)
Makes about 3 cups
Native green tomatillos are the most widely used base for salsas throughout Mexico. They have a tart-sweet taste that greatly enhances other flavors. The most common is the green tomatillo, but cooks love to use tiny purple tomatillos de milpa (milperas), and yellow tomatillos are prized and expensive.
This typically simple salsa verde will become a staple in your repertoire. At the store, choose firm tomatillos with their papery husks intact. Before using, remove the husks and wash off the sticky film under cold running water.
6 medium tomatillos, husked and washed
1 clove garlic
1⁄2 white onion cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large jalapeno or serrano chile, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
10 sprigs cilantro, stemmed
Place the tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeño, and salt in a 11⁄2-quart saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover the tomatillos and quickly bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the vegetables until the tomatillos have softened and the tip of a knife can be inserted, about 5 minutes; do not overcook.
Drain off the cooking water and transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender, along with the cilantro leaves. Pulse the salsa until smooth. You will still be able to see some seeds, along with flecks of cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Serving Ideas: Spoon this salsa onto anything and everything— eggs, simmered or grilled meats, tacos, quesadillas, or huaraches (masa cakes) with beans and cheese. This is the salsa used to make classic chilaquiles verdes as well as elegant, rich enchiladas suizas: corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and cheese and bathed in tart salsa verde and rich Mexican-style crema. Salsa verde is also the base for chicken or pork chile verde.
One of my main chagrins at wine tastings and events is the paucity of food.
It will not be the case at Raw Fair, the natural wine event in London created by Isabelle Legeron.
2015 edition (May 17) will have an appetizing line-up of food offerings:
"Three of London’s top natural wine venues will be onsite serving a delicious array of dishes. The latest addition to the booming Hackney dining scene, The Richmond, will be hosting a Raw Fish Bar, all freshly caught in Cornwall. Rawduck, known for producing their own in-house pickles and ferments will be serving up enticing salads and you can enjoy a selection of top charcuterie from Antidote, London’s original natural wine bar.
The capital is a hub for artisan food producers of the highest quality and they’ll be out in force at RAW. Sample the likes of Hansen-Lydersen salmon, sustainably sourced from the Faroe Islands and smoked in Stoke Newington, a range of cheeses from Bermonsey-based Kappacasein Dairy and Mons Cheesemongers and handmade croissants, brownies and other sweet treats from The Little Bread Pedlar, who deliver their wares to cafes across the city by bicycle. Other not-to-be-missed delicacies include Maldon Oysters and traditional handmade pasta from pastificio Burro e Salvia, based in Shoreditch & East Dulwich. Rude Health , purveyors of delicious, healthy cereals and snacks, will be on hand, providing each wine producer with their Mini Thins - the perfect palate cleanser."