Thursday, 7 June 2012

Jubilee - A Diamond Feaster

I've loved the build up to Jubilee weekend from every prospective, everyone is being so patriotic, bunting hanging across buildings, flags a-flying and British food and drink at the forefront.

As well as the opportunity to celebrate Britain in all its glory, I took it as my prompt, over the course of the weekend, to create an Anglo menu fit for a Queen.

Whilst there was a lot of talk about reign during the Jubilee festival, the sad reality was that rain was the word of the weekend and so my planned picnic with Union Jack flags blowing in the balmy summer breeze was altered, my feast had to come indoors as opposed it to being enjoyed in the anticipated glorious sunshine.

Coronation Chicken is the obvious choice for the Jubilee occasion, after all the dish was created to mark the Queen's coronation 60 years ago.  To make this a vegetarian  dish I used 2 plain soya chicken fillets (I used Quorn), I fried them in oil and sea salt.  Whilst they were frying, I made the Coronation sauce in a bowl - some natural yoghurt mixed with a little chopped mango (from a tin), a little chopped coriander and ½ teaspoon of mixed spice.  However, if you want to turn up the heat, you can add some curry powder and chilli to the sauce.  Once both are ready, serve the fillets warm with the sauce.  If you want to make this as a sandwich filling or as a cold dish, swap the fillets and use Quorn Roast Fillet Slices (pre-cooked fillets).  If natural yoghurt isn't for you, you can always use mayonnaise or even a bit of houmous.  If cooking doesn't take your fancy but you still want the taste, you can buy Marks & Spencer Coronation Chicken flavour crisps which are suitable for vegetarians.

To accompany my Jubilee Soya Chicken and taking advantage of it's current seasonal peak, I made a recipe that I've recently been acquainted with via ITV1 chef, Dean Edwards, using British Asparagus.  Asparagus mixed with potatoes covered in a sun blushed tomato pesto makes a great side dish, works well with soya chicken and really showcases Britain's finest produce

Disheartened by the weather, with the rain making you yearn for warm comfort food,  I turned to a favourite of mine, Gooseberry & Elderflower Crumble which offers a taste of Britain and also embraces the nation's rekindled love for elderflower.  I put my hands up to using tinned gooseberries, as gooseberry season is yet to come, but it worked very well regardless (for the recipe, see Nigella Lawson's 'Kitchen' book).  Coupled with yet another English classic, clotted cream Cornish ice cream it provided gorgeous end to the meal. 

Now that the Jubilee celebrations draw to an end it doesn't mean an end to flying the flag for British cuisine, with a whole summer ahead of us, with Great British events a-plenty, especially as many fruits and vegetables are coming into season, it's time to keep the bulldog spirit going in the kitchen by buying local/British and making those dishes we all love (see Jamie Oliver's Great Britain link for inspiration -, so wave your wooden spoon in the air, heat up the stove and  "Cook Britannia"!

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