We may have seen the signs of autumn creeping in, here in the UK, but summer isn’t over yet. There will still be opportunities for a late summer ‘family get together’ outside. A ‘Cookout’ or ‘Barbeque’ is always popular and I like to combine outdoor cooking with some of the elements of an Afternoon Tea party.
I was recently asked what favourite items I would want to put in a ‘Cookout Crate’ and so started to think about what essentials make a great outdoors family feast. A ‘Cookout Crate’ is an idea from Man Crates, a new company that ships ‘awesome’ gifts for men in custom wooden crates. I was intrigued by this as the men in my family are often difficult to find exciting gifts for. Man Crates have some great ideas and I love their Hickory Grill Crate which would be perfect for a man who loves a cookout.
Here are my family’s top 5 essentials for a fun Cookout:-
1. Beer-Can Barbequed Chicken
The men in the family love to cook outdoors and this recipe for a whole chicken cooked with beer has become a favourite!
2. Freshly made mayonnaise
We love home-made mayo with lots of salad and it’s surprisingly simple to make!
(This recipe is adapted from other recipes I’ve seen as it contains Rapeseed Oil)
140mls Rapeseed Oil
1 Medium (very fresh) Egg Yolk
1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
Whisk the egg yolk, white wine vinegar, mustard and salt together, in a food mixer. Continue to whisk while slowly trickling the oil into the mixture until it turns thick and creamy. You can add a pinch of chilli flakes or herbs to the mix at the end for added flavour.
For an extra special Potato Salad
Fry partially cooked, chopped potatoes in their skins, with sliced onions until everything is golden brown. Allow to cool and then stir in some home made mayo and a handful of chopped herbs – yum!
3. Jasmine Tea Delight
Alcohol will often play a part in a family get together but for a lighter option here is Angel Adoree’s recipe for a lovely alcoholic iced tea:
5 green Jasmine tea bags, 4 tbsp sugar, or to taste, 750ml champagne or prosecco.
Brew the tea for 1 minute in 200ml hot water, then remove the bags, stir in the sugar and add 500ml cold water. Cool in the fridge. This can be served in pretty summer glasses or in a vintage china tea cup – simply fill half a teacup with tea, then top up with the bubbly.
4. Home baked cake
Don’t forget a delicious home baked cake – no family get together would be complete without a deliciously moist carrot cake or a Dorset apple cake served with clotted cream.
Carrot, Date and Pecan Traybake
275g finely grated carrots
250g dates, chopped
175g pecan nuts, chopped
350g soft brown sugar
9 fl ozs sunflower oil
350g SR flour
Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy. Whisk in the oil slowly then add all the remaining ingredients. Bake in a shallow tin at 190 c for approximately 35-40 minutes.
5. Fresh flowers in a jug on the table
Just because we’re outside and the men are cooking doesn’t mean we can’t have a bit of styling!
“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck”