Author of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ children’s classic Roald Dahl must have had treats like these in mind when he invented that word. Our summer recipes come from the winner of the Junior London best family cookbook award for 2012.
Cook School by Amanda Grant (Ryland Peters & Small £14.99 is not only filled to the brim with gorgeous creations that will be loved by the whole family but the book also details important skills that your child is learning as they help out in the kitchen. With kind permission we have reproduced some of Amanda’s most delicious summer dishes from the book for you here.
Crunchy Paprika Chicken
Try this crispy chicken with different coatings, such as crunchy biscuits for cheese or breadcrumbs; my children like to dip the chicken into cornflakes (instead of biscuits) too.
For 4 people you need:
about 10 dry biscuits for cheese – wheat are best (or 10 tablespoons cornflakes)
1 large pinch paprika
4 tablespoons tomato purée (or ketchup)
4 free-range skinless chicken thigh fillets, already cut into pieces (about 425 g)
salad and boiled new potatoes go well with the chicken
2 baking trays
2 mixing bowls
1 Turn the oven on to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas 4. Cut 2 pieces of greaseproof paper, each big enough to cover the baking trays, or brush a little olive oil over the trays. Count the biscuits into a mixing bowl and use your fingers to crush them into very small pieces. Add the paprika to the bowl, too, and mix with your hands.
2 Count the 4 spoonfuls of tomato purée and put them into another bowl.
3 Dip the chicken pieces into the tomato purée so that there is a bit of purée all over every piece.
4 Dip the pieces of chicken into the crushed biscuits so that the biscuit pieces stick to the chicken.
5 Put the crunchy chicken straight onto the lined baking trays. Now, WASH YOUR HANDS – you must always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
6 Ask an adult to help you put the trays into the oven using oven gloves. Cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked all the way through – ask an adult to help you check this.
Flower & Herb Ice Bowl
I first made one of these in my home economics (now called design technology) lessons at school and I still remember how cool I thought it was to have made my own bowl. You could scoop your favourite ice cream or sorbet into the middle, or just put fresh summer fruits inside. Whatever you choose, I bet your friends will be impressed with the bowl. Remember, you will need to be patient and wait several hours until this is frozen.
To make 1 beautiful ice bowl you need:
fresh edible flowers and/or fresh herbs or any pretty leaves from the garden (we used pink rose petals, rosemary, thyme and sage)
You might like to fill your bowl with a yoghurt and fruit mix like the berry crunch below, but you will need to make more to fill your ice bowl (without the cereal). You will also need lots of fresh raspberries and strawberries.
big freezerproof bowl
small freezerproof bowl
clean tea towel
1 Take your 2 bowls and pour enough cold water into the big bowl to half fill it. Scatter some fresh flowers and/or herbs in the water.
2 Rest the small bowl inside the big bowl and put a small weight in the small bowl to help it sit still. Stretch sticky tape across the tops of the bowls in several directions to hold the small bowl in place inside the big bowl. Put in the freezer and leave overnight.
3 The next day, peel off the sticky tape and carefully pull the small bowl out of the big bowl.
4 Lay a clean tea towel on the work surface and tip the big bowl upside down to let the ice bowl slip out. Turn the ice bowl the right way up and sit it on a plate. Fill your ice bowl with the yoghurt and fruit mix and top with fresh raspberries and strawberries.
Tip: You might need to sit the big bowl in a little warm water to help ease the ice bowl out of it, but don’t leave it sitting in warm water for long otherwise it will melt.
picking fresh herbs
Lola’s Strawberry Sweets
Lola, my middle daughter, came up with this sweet idea. Even though these are quick to make, you will need to have some patience and wait for the sweets to dry after you have made them. This is just like playing with play dough!
To make about 20 sweets you need:
1 ripe strawberry (eat some more fresh strawberries while you’re waiting for the sweets to set!)
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1⁄2 capful vanilla extract
about 300 g icing sugar (you may need slightly more or less to make a firm dough)
long thin green sweets to make strawberry ‘stalks’
pretty serving plate
1 Hull the strawberry – this means to pull the green stalk off the top using your fingers. Put the strawberry, cream cheese and vanilla into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork.
2 Add 3 spoonfuls of the icing sugar to the bowl and mix again. Add 3 more spoonfuls of sugar and keep mixing. You might want to use your hands now to mix. Keep adding sugar until you have a firm dough that is not too sticky.
3 Take a small piece of the mixture – about the size of a real strawberry – and shape it into a ball. Now squash it into a strawberry shape and put onto a plate. (You might like to put a piece of greaseproof paper on the plate first so that the sweets don’t stick to the plate.) Take the fork and push it into the sweet to make holes. Repeat for the rest of the sweets.
4 Using scissors, cut the green sweets into short pieces, then cut a few slits into each piece so that they fan open to look like leaves. Push into the strawberry sweets and leave to dry for 3–4 hours. Transfer them to a pretty plate before you serve them!
Finley likes to make this when we have friends round. The lemonade without the raspberries will keep for at least a week in a bottle in the fridge. If you do add raspberries, only add them when you are ready to drink the lemonade.
chopping with paring knife
squeezing lemons w pouring
measuring liquids w mashing
To make 8 glasses you need:
130 g golden caster sugar
1 litre cold water
handful fresh raspberries
ice cubes, if you want to make the drink cold!
small paring knife
1 You might like to ask an adult to help you with this, as lemons are quite tough to cut. Use the bridge-cutting technique to cut the lemons: on a chopping board, make a ‘bridge’ with a thumb and finger of one hand and hold the lemon. Hold a small paring knife in your other hand and put the blade under the bridge, then cut downwards firmly.
2 Put a lemon half over a lemon juicer and press down. Try to turn the lemon as you press down. If you don’t have a lemon juicer, you might like to try cutting the lemon half in half again using the bridge-cutting technique to make quarters and then squeeze the lemon quarters with your hands.
3 Before you pour the juice into a nice jug, if there are any pips in the juice, pour it through a sieve into the jug so that the sieve catches the pips.
4 Add the sugar to the jug and stir with a big spoon until the sugar has dissolved (or disappeared).
5 Pour cold water into a measuring jug up to the 1-litre mark. Pour the water into the lemon juice.
6 When you are ready to drink the lemonberryade, put the raspberries in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Add them to the lemonade and stir. You need to sieve the lemonade again into another jug, pushing the raspberries though the sieve with a fork as you go.
Tips: If you are going to drink this lemonade as soon as you have made it,
you could try using sparkling water to make it fizzy! And now that you know how to juice fruit, you might like to make some freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast.
1 Put most of the berries into a bowl (save a few for decorating the top) and mash with a fork or potato masher.
2 Count the spoons of yoghurt into the bowl with the mashed berries and mix with the spoon.
3 Spoon a bit of the cereal into the bottom of the glasses and spoon the fruity yoghurt on top of the cereal. You will start to see layers in the glasses.
Spoon a little more cereal on top of the yoghurt and then dollop some more yoghurt on top of the cereal. Finish with the saved berries on top.
All images are the copyright of Ryland Peters & Small. Photographer Susan Bell. Cook School by Amanda Grant £14.99, published by Ryland Peters & Small.