Vegetarian Picnic for a local Business Summer Party plus a recipe for Rhubarb + Cashew Blondies

white, chocolate, brownies, rhubarb, cashew

One of my favourite jobs to date has been preparing picnic food for a Brilliant Noise staff summer party. Held in Preston Park in Brighton. The brief was very open- a selection of vegetarian and vegan snacks to feed 50 but it had to include THOSE rhubarb & cashew blondies!

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I fired over a long list of suggestions which were quickly approved. We then slightly narrowed down the selection and a menu was born.

feta, chive, soured cream, scones, cheese, biscuits, flaky

The team feasted on

  • Cambodian Wedding Dip
  • Green Goddess Dip
  • Hummus
  • Baba Ganoush
  • With flatbreads, breadsticks & crudités for dipping
  • Stuffed Focaccia w/ Braised Courgette, Chilli & Lemon (vg)
  • Sour Cream, Chive & Feta Scones
  • Tomato & Thyme Galettes
  • Potato Salad w/ Capers, Red Onions, Mint, Dill & Mustard Dressing
  • Roasted Miso Aubergine w/ Spring Onion, Coriander & Bulgar Wheat Salad
  • Rhubarb & Cashew Blondies
  • Cherry Bakewell Slice (vg)
  • Watermelon w/ Lime, Chilli & Salt (vg)
picnic, brighton, delivery, lunch, snacks, catering

Rhubarb & Cashew Blondies Recipe

Ever since I took some treats to the Brilliant Noise team a few month earlier these blondies seem to have been the talk of the office. It’s best to use the thin, vibrantly coloured rhubarb that appears early in season but I appreciate we are now in July, and a full 6 months out of season for Yorkshire forced rhubarb. However, if you do happen to spot some at the market you really should put it to good use in these.

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, melted
  • 400g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 240g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 300g rhubarb, chopped into 2inch pieces
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 100g, roughly chopped cashews

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tin (approx 30x20cm) with baking parchment.

In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Once smooth, beat in the eggs one by one followed by the vanilla extract. Sift in the flour and salt and gently fold in till no streaks of flour remain. Now add the white chocolate and half of the cashews.

Spoon half of the mixture into your prepared tin and gently smooth down. Lay the pieces of rhubarb on top followed by the orange zest. Top with the remaining blondie mixture & chopped cashews.

Bake for 30-45 minutes. Test after 30 minutes with a skewer. You want there to be a few moist crumbs but not really gooey. This will depend on how much moisture your rhubarb contains so you may need to cook for a little longer. Bear in mind as the mixture cools it will firm up so be careful not to overcook. Leave to cool before slicing and then dig in!

Tapas Meal for a Hen Party in Brighton

pan con tomate, sussex tomatoes, garlic, sourdough baguette

A little while ago I was asked to come up with a Spanish tapas style dinner for a hen party celebration in Brighton. Sharing menus are always my favourite way to not only eat but serve for guests. Maybe I’m just greedy but I really like getting to try lots of different dishes in one sitting.

I think family style sharing menus work really well as they encourage guests to interact and means there will be plenty of variety so that everyone is happy. Plus if any guests have dietary requirements it makes makes it much more accessible for all.sweet potato, kale & manchego empanadas, chopped salad, spiced crispy chickpeas, mint, tomato, cucumber

To Start

Pan Con Tomate (vg) (gf)

Honey Glazed Chorizo (gf)

Manchego & Kale Empanadas (v)

Fried Spiced Chickpeas w/ Chopped Salad (vg) (gf)

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Mains

Albondigas in a Smoky Tomato Sauce

Grilled Prawns w/ Romesco Sauce

Red Pepper Tortilla (v) (gf)

Patatas Bravas (v) (gf)

Grilled Courgette Salad w/ Pine Nuts & Sumac (vg) (gf)

Dessert

Arroz Con Leche w/ Poached Rhubarb (gf)

patatas bravas, roasted potatoes, spicy tomato sauce, alioli, garlic, mayo
grilled prawns with romesco sauce, lemon & parsley

Romesco Sauce Recipe

This Romesco sauce is made with just almonds but some recipes do include hazelnuts, so you could use half almond, half hazelnut if you had some knocking about in your cupboard.

You will need-

  • A couple of large roasted peppers from a jar or roast and peel your own
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 55g toasted, blanched almonds
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Approx 120ml olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

To a food processor add the peppers, garlic, almonds, tomato puree, paprika & cayenne pepper. Pulse until everything is a uniform size then add the vinegar before slowly drizzling in the olive oil till it’s the consistency you are after. Season to taste & add more vinegar/oil as needed.

I think it’s particularly delicious with seafood but it would accompany chicken especially well. Or, why not serve it with vegetables? For a substantial vegan dinner roast some cauliflower florets or even a whole head of caulifower and when it’s roughly 10 minutes off being done toss the florets or spread the whole cauliflower in the Romesco sauce and return to the oven. Serve with a simple fresh green salad.

Catering on Location for a Fashion Photo Shoot

seaford, coastguard cottages, seven sisters, cliffs, sea, lunch

Last week I was asked by Great Northern Locations to cater a photo shoot for a fashion brand in the absolutely beautiful Coastguard Cottages in Seaford, East Sussex. (They very kindly left me some feedback which you can read here ) It was quite easily one of the most beautiful settings I have ever been to let alone catered.

Fin & Farm Sussex Produce, Seasonal, Vegetables, Fruit & Flowers

I really enjoyed working with the abundance of beautiful seasonal ingredients, many of which from Sussex and the surrounding counties. Most of the dishes were decorated with gorgeous, colourful organic flowers grown in Fletching. I am working on my balcony crop but for now these are really doing the trick. Moving to Sussex it’s been such a treat discovering all the wonderful suppliers on my doorstep. From Fin & Farm for veggies, fruit, flowers & meat to Brighton & Newhaven Fish and Canham & Sons butchers. Although I adore this time of the year for produce I am very much looking forward to the bumper autumnal crops – that season definitely produces some of my most favourite vegetables & fruit.

Event catering, Brighton, summer saladLunch

Roasted Squash, Browned Butter & Sage Tart (v)

Broccoli, Avocado, Orange and Toasted Seed Salad (vg) (gf)

Miso Roasted Aubergine, Pearl Barley, Spring Onion & Coriander Salad (vg)

Kefir & Herb Marinated Chicken w/ Brown Rice, Broccoli & Salad (gf)

Whole Baked Spiced Sweet Potato, Soy Sauce, Agave, Black Eye Beans, Cavelo Nero, Salsa (vg)

Mixed Sussex Leaf Salad (vg) (gf) w/ Honey & Mustard Vinaigrette (v) (gf)

Snacks, Desserts & Drinks

Avocado, Radish & Chimichurri on Rye Bread (vg)

Smoked Salmon Bagels with Capers, Pickled Red Onion & Cream Cheese

Ham & Leek Parmeson Scones

Chocolate Chip, Tahini, Sea Salt Cookies

Vegan Snickers Bars (vg) (gf)

Strawberry, Raspberry, Rose & Grape Salad (vg) (gf)

Watermelon, Gaia Melon, Pineapple & Pineapple Sage Salad (vg) (gf)

Ringden Farm Apple Juice

Kale, Kiwi, Pear & Fennel Juicemisoauberginesalad.JPGIf you have a shoot or need food for a location I am very happy to travel around Sussex & deliver breakfasts, lunches & dinners straight to you. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss this any further.

Kefir marinated chicken, tomato salsa, brown rice, broccoli, gluten free, lunch delivery catering