American Deb asked:
While lovingly polishing your modern ceramics, may I suggest you clean your mouth out as well? Perhaps with a bit of Mr Sheen? Language, darling! My question: please give me a three course summer meal which won’t take up too much time and impress my guests. Being able to cook it on a bbq would be a plus. Suggestions for a summery cocktail to kick off with and something to sip at the end also appreciated. As well as any hangover cures with that you can back up with science. Finally, while we are at it, how does one look stylish yet keep warm when sitting outside during British summertime? I anxiously await your reply.
Does Mr Sheen come in industrial extra strength? It would be the only product to clean up my smut!
Here are three really quick, easy summer dishes which provide plenty of time to get thoroughly pissed:
Starter – Peppered smoked mackerel.
Place a small pile of fancy leaves in the centre of a big white plate.
Cut one fillet of peppered smoked mackerel per guest diagonally in half and place in a cross on top of the leaves.
Zest a lemon and toss this very lightly over the fish and the plate. You could also sprinkle over a few sprigs of dill.
Make a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon, whole grain Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Just before serving add a small amount of dressing to the fish, and use a teaspoon to make a few swirly splashes on the plate.
It looks bloody marvellous and it tastes great.
Main – BBQed Salmon Fillet.
Use a square of aluminium foil per person and lightly brush this with olive oil.
Place a salmon fillet in the middle of each sheet of foil, skin side down.
Sprinkle with: soy sauce, lemon juice, finely chopped red chillies, fresh ginger, spring onions and coarsely chopped coriander (optional).
Fold the foil into parcels, leaving an air space above the fish, and leave to marinate until you are ready to eat. Cook on the barbeque for about 20 minutes. Serve to your guests in the foil.
I like to grill buttered asparagus on the BBQ at the same time as cooking the fish. Squeeze some lemon over the asparagus before serving.
Since it’s summer, I like to serve this with some simple boiled and minted Jersey Royals, and a salad.
Pudding – A simple, boozy tropical(ish) fruit salad.
I mix pineapple, kiwi, mango, green apple (covered in lemon juice to stop it colouring) and blueberries. Scoop and squeeze out two large passion fruits, and sprinkle them with vanilla sugar and a good glug of Cointreau. Leave this in the fridge until you are ready to serve with some rich clotted cream.
Cocktail – Melon Martini. Juice a Cantaloupe and mix with plenty of vodka and lime juice over ice. Strain into cocktail glasses. Garnish with mint leaves.
Something to sip afterwards: since it will by this time be getting cool, I think a drop of Drambuie would finish things nicely. If you want to be a bit different, get hold of some Agavero (sweet Tequila flavoured with Damiana flowers) and serve with a single ice cube.
It is delicious!
To ward off the inevitable: Berocca and co-codamol in a pint of water before going to bed. If you fail, it’s still not bad the next day.
And to wear: anything but a pashmina, darling.