Sunday, 29 July 2012

Party Food: A Summer Cream Tea and Sizzling Burger Bar

I've been frantically planning, buying and baking for the last few days to prepare some homemade treats to accompany an afternoon cream tea and garden party followed by an evening barbeque to celebrate my parents' ruby wedding anniversary. I've already shared my recipes for Champagne Cupcakes and Fraisier aux Biscuits Roses on the Blog, which we served alongside some delicious scones made by my two sisters and an incredible afternoon tea-themed cake created by Best Friend Jess...


We dressed the garden and food table with ruby red petals, jugs of flowers, candles, fairy lights, and strings of white bunting decorated with photos of the happy couple over the years. In the evening, dozens of tealights glowed in the pretty white candle bags and simple jars wrapped in red tissue paper (an idea stolen from a recent supper club I attended).

Being a huge fan of the barbeque and all of its accompaniments, I searched for the best sauce recipes known to man and came up with Horseradish Sauce courtesy of the Ginger Pig Meat Book and Phil Vickery's Barbeque Sauce from his very useful book on outdoor cooking and eating. We dished up an array of sauces, pickles and 'slaws with some great quality burgers and hotdogs expertly barbequed by "the Boys."

Phil Vickery's BBQ Sauce 

This recipe for homemade barbeque sauce from Phil Vickery's Great Outdoors Cookbook is really simple to make and creates a very tasty, authentic barbeque sauce. It is chunky, sweet, fruity, slightly sour and with a little kick of heat. Perfect. We loved it with hand-made Stapleford Classic pork sausages from the butchers at Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop near Cambridge.

What you need:

100ml olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
200ml tomato ketchup
200ml passata
50ml cider vinegar
100ml Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 3 large lemons
150ml pineapple juice
150ml apple juice
4 tbsp light brown sugar
4 tbsp English mustard
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
1 tbsp cornflour, to thicken

What to do:

1. Fry the chopped garlic and onion in the oil for about 3 minutes at a medium heat.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the cornflour) when the onions are softened and golden. Stir well and bring to the boil.
3. Simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes. If you wish to thicken the sauce (I recommend it if wishing to use in burgers, hotdogs, etc) mix the cornflour with a small amount of the sauce in a small bowl until it makes a paste. Add this to the simmering sauce and stir.
4. Serve warm or cool, cover and chill. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Horseradish Sauce

I adapted a recipe from the Ginger Pig Meat Book to make this homemade horseradish sauce. It is so much better than buying a jar of sauce and it contains minimal ingredients, all of which are fresh and very tasty! I found it difficult to source a horseradish root to use but I did manage to intercept the local fruit and veg supplier to my local Spar shop and ask him to get hold of some for me. Two days later some freshly packed jars of grated wild horseradish appeared, fantastic for knocking up the sauce the evening before the party. 


170g grated horseradish
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp English mustard
230g crème fraîche 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1. Add the vinegar and mustard to the horseradish and blend. 
2. Add the crème fraîche and seasoning and mix together. 
3. Leave to infuse for at least 2 hours before serving. Adjust to taste by adding extra crème fraîche if the sauce is too hot! 

Enjoy! :-)