It wouldn't be summer without a barbecue and it's nice to make the most of all the lovely summer berries as well as the abundance of fresh vegetables available.
So, regardless of the weather, we can still enjoy some delicious seasonal food and have a great summer! E.L.
STICKY SPICY RIBS (Serves 8)
Reserve any unused bbq sauce and store in the fridge. Use to brush over sausages, pork or chicken.
1kg / 2.2lbs spare ribs
For the dry rub:
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp paprika ½ tsp chilli powder (to taste)
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground black pepper
For the bbq sauce:
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1½ tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
450ml / 15floz tomato ketchup
150ml / 5floz cider vinegar
6 tbsp soy sauce
150ml / 5floz water
150g / 6oz soft brown sugar
¾ tsp ground black pepper
Line a baking tin with foil. Brush with a little oil. Mix all the dry rub ingredients together. Lay ribs in baking tin and coat with the dry rub. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Before cooking, bring the ribs to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 200ºC / Gas 6. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 1¼ hours.
Meanwhile make the sauce. In a large pan cook the onions, garlic and ginger in the oil for about 6 minutes until softened. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Cool slightly and then blitz in the food processor.
To cook: BBQ the ribs over a gentle heat for about 30-40 minutes, basting generously with bbq sauce and turning frequently, until the ribs are tender, browned and sticky.
TRADITIONAL CHEESECAKE AND SUMMER BERRIES (Serves 8)
Best made the day before as this improves the taste and texture. Don't be surprised if this cheesecake sinks slightly as it cools.
25g / 1oz butter
6 digestive biscuits, crushed
225g / 8oz cottage cheese
225g / 8oz fresh cream cheese
125g / 5oz caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
½ tsp vanilla essence
25g / 1oz cornflour
150ml / 5floz soured cream
juice and zest of 1 lemon
To serve: mixed summer berries and icing sugar
Heat the oven to 150ºC / 300ºF / Gas 2. Grease a 20cm / 8 inch round cake tin - a spring-clip sided tin is important. To make the base of the cheesecake, melt the butter and stir in the crushed biscuits. Spoon this mixture evening over the base of the tin and press down firmly.
In a food processor, blend the cottage cheese and the cream cheese together until smooth then add all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the egg whites and whizz for a few seconds until well blended. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. In a separate, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they are stiff then gently fold them into the cheese mixture. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake base, then place the tin just below the centre of the oven and bake for 1½ hours. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven until cold. Serve with mixed berries & a dusting of icing sugar.
QUICK SUMMER SALAD IDEAS...
* Shave courgettes into strips with a potato peeler. Season with salt and black pepper and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Leave for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.
* Peel some raw beetroot, then grate the raw beetroot into a bowl and drizzle with sweet balsamic vinegar.
* Grate raw carrots, season with lime juice, honey and vinegar, then top with pumpkin seeds.