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Summer 2016 has certainly been a scorcher!
With the temperature reaching as high 32.4 degrees celsius in Wales and 33.5 degrees Celsius in England, it’s definitely been a summer to enjoy this year.
As they find themselves moving close to Autumn, Clarriots Care wanted to share some of their favourite dishes they’ve found over the summer.
Slow-roast Tomato Tatin
• 25g butter
• splash of good olive oil
• 800g medium and small mixed tomato, halved across the middle and seeds roughly scooped out
• 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or oregano, plus extra to serve
• 375g block all-butter puff pastry
• plain flour, for dusting
• Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Melt the butter with a splash of olive oil in your widest frying pan. Add the tomatoes, skin-side down, in a single layer (you can do this in 2 batches if they won’t all fit) and cook over a low heat until they release their juices. Lift out with a slotted spoon and rearrange in a tart tin (roughly 23cm), skin-side down – cram them in as they will shrink a little and you don’t want any gaps. Add the sugar and vinegar to the pan, and cook until the pan juices are reduced and syrupy. Drizzle over the tomatoes in the tin, then scatter with the oregano or thyme and season.
• Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a good 25-26cm round. Lay on top of the tomatoes, and tuck the edges down. Use a fork to prick holes all over the pastry – this will help the steam to escape.
• Sit the tart tin on a flat baking tray and bake for 30 mins or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Let the tart sit for 10 mins, then run a knife round the edge to release the pastry. Carefully flip the tart over onto a serving plate or board and scatter with more herbs to serve.
Roast Chicken with peppers and feta
• 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves, 3 crushed, remainder left whole
• 2 tbsp chopped oregano
• 2 lemon, juice of 1, the other cut into wedges
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1 chicken (about 1.6kg/3lb 8oz)
• 3 large red pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
• 3 small red onion, cut into wedges
• 4 large courgette, cut into thick wedges
• 3 tbsp chopped mint , plus a few sprigs to serve
• 200g pack feta cheese, crumbled into chunks
• 400g can chickpea, drained
• crusty bread, to serve (optional)
• Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the crushed garlic and oregano with the lemon juice and 3 tbsp of the oil to make a dressing. Season. Make a few slashes in each chicken leg, then put the chicken in a large roasting tin and rub with 2 tbsp of the dressing. Stuff the squeezed lemon shells inside the body cavity. Roast for 30 mins.
• Meanwhile, tip the peppers, onions, whole garlic cloves and courgettes into a large bowl, and toss with the remaining oil and some seasoning. After 30 mins, pile the veg around the chicken, drizzle with half the remaining dressing and roast for one hour.
• Remove the chicken from the oven, lift onto a platter, cover with foil and leave to rest. Check the roasting tin, and if the chicken has rendered a lot of fat, pour it off, skim and return the juices to the tin. Stir the lemon wedges, mint, feta, chickpeas and remaining dressing through the veg and juices, then return to the oven for 10 mins to warm through. Pile around the chicken, scatter with mint sprigs and serve with bread, if you like, to mop up the juices.
Individual Summer Puddings
• 350g mixed berry, fresh or frozen (we used raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, blueberries and strawberries)
• 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
• zest 1 lemon
• sunflower oil , for greasing
• 3-4 slices slightly stale white bread, crusts removed
• 2 tbsp extra-thick double cream
• 2 tsp icing sugar, sifted
• Tip all the berries, apart from the strawberries, into a saucepan. Sprinkle over the sugar and stir. Set over a low heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has started to release its juices. Increase the heat, bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for 2 mins until the fruit is soft and you have lots of deep red juices. Quarter the strawberries and stir into the berries, along with the lemon zest. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the fruit through a sieve, reserving the juices. Meanwhile, lightly oil 2 x 175ml dariole moulds (or 2 large teacups) and line with cling film. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out 2 small circles of bread to fit in the base of each mould. Dip one side into the reserved juices while still hot, and place, juice-side down, into the bottom of the lined mould. Cut another 2 larger circles from the bread, and slice the remainder into 2.5cm-wide strips that are the same height as the mould. Dip the strips into the juices and use to line the sides of the moulds in the same way, pressing each piece in place and overlapping slightly.
• Pack the strained fruit into the bread-lined moulds, reserving some fruit and juices for serving. Fold over any strips of bread that protrude from the mould, then dip the final 2 circles of bread in the juices and top the puddings to seal. Cover with cling film and push down firmly with the palm of your hand. Pop in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hrs, preferably overnight.
• When ready to serve, whip together the cream and icing sugar. Turn the puddings out onto plates, top with the reserved fruit and juices, and serve with the sugared cream.
[Recipes sourced from BBC Good Food website]