Fawkes over knives: Bill Granger's finger-friendly fireworks fare
You don't want to worry about getting your mittens round cutlery when gathering for Bonfire Night. So why not try lighting up your guests' faces with our chef's recipes?
I do love Bonfire Night. Obviously it doesn't exist in Australia, but I've never been one to mind a celebration and food to go with it, so it's a British tradition that I've been more than happy to adopt. Actually, it gives me a chance to entertain outdoors – and that I do have a lot of experience with. The important thing to think about is that people might be standing around the fire, so the food needs to be easy to eat – you certainly don't want to be struggling with a knife while wearing mittens.
With Guy Fawkes Night falling on a weekday this year, I've gone for an easy, hearty menu that can be put together in less than an hour. If you want you can get ahead of yourself and make the stew the day before – it will probably taste even better reheated, but leave the baking of the brownies to the last minute, so they're still warm and at their gooiest when you take that first bite.
Bill's spicy sausage and bean stew
I've used fresh chorizo sausages here – the ones that still need cooking. These can sometimes be quite fiery, so if you can't get hold of the mild ones, labelled as dulce, hold back on adding the chilli flakes.
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
600g/1¼lb fresh mild chorizo sausages
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
400g/13oz can butterbeans, drained and rinsed
400g/13oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g/13oz can chopped tomatoes
500ml/17fl oz good chicken stock
250g/8oz baby spinach
Crusty bread, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided frying pan. Cut the sausages into chunks and fry them over a medium-low heat until they are starting to colour and release some of their oils. Tip in the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the paprika, chilli flakes, beans, chickpeas and tomatoes then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Tip in the spinach and allow the heat of the pan to wilt the leaves. Remove from the heat, drizzle with olive oil and serve with crusty bread to soak up any juices.
Buttterscotch fudge brownies
"A finger of Fudge is just enough…" My friends tell me that if I'd grown up in Britain, I would be singing this jingle in my head every time I see a Fudge k finger. I love it that I've completely unwittingly given some serious retro credentials to these brownies.
Makes 12 brownies
200g/7oz butterscotch chocolate, roughly chopped
350g/11½oz caster sugar
40g/1½oz cocoa powder
100g/3½oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Cadbury Fudge fingers, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas4. Line a 22cm square baking tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter and butterscotch chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.
Put the sugar, cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the eggs and the melted chocolate mix. Fold through the Fudge pieces.
Tip the brownie batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked but still a little wobbly in the centre. Leave the brownies to cool slightly in the tin, then cut into squares and eat while still warm.
Spiced sweet-potato wedges
These are great fun and full of attitude, with plenty of flavours bouncing off the sweetness of the potatoes and maple syrup.
8 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp jalapeño peppers, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
Sour cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, spices and thyme. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Drizzle with maple syrup and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden and tender.
Remove from the oven, scatter over the jalapeños and spring onions and serve with soured cream to dunk.
Food preparation: Marina Filippelli
Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
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