When picnic o’ clock next strikes, delight friends and family with some delicious recipes from Gizzi Erskine, the glamorous chef and presenter of Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin. We’ve just had a look inside her latest book – Kitchen Magic – to find some mouth-watering recipes to share with you. Check out the yummy Sticky Thai Chicken and Mango Salad and dreamy Smoked Salmon Goat’s cCheese and Pea Tart. We love the ‘take them away before we eat them all’ Reese’s peanut butter cupcakes too! They’re sure to be a hit at a picnic…
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Sticky Thai Chicken and Mango Salad
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless chicken thighs, skin left on
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
a 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 red Thai chilli, chopped
For the salad
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 banana shallots, peeled and sliced
1 ripe but firm mango
2 rd chillies, seeded and cut into thin strips
a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked
a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Rub the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and lay them skin side down in the pan. Cook over a medium to low heat for 6-8 minutes, and turn regularly until skin is crisp and golden.
Remove chicken and set aside while you make the glaze. Add the fish sauce, sugar, 1 tbsp lime juice, ginger and chilli to the pan and stir until sugar melted. Let sauce bubble for a few seconds, then return the chicken thighs to the pan briefly and coat them in the sauce. Remove form the heat and leave to rest while you make the salad.
Heat oil in smaller frying pan. Add shallots – stir on medium heat for five minutes. Turn onto sheet of kitchen paper to cool and drain.
Peel the mango, Slice the flesh into long, thin slivers and put them into a bowl with remaining uncooked shallots, red chilli and herbs. In a smaller bowl, mix together the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and pour over the salad. Slice the chicken over, sprinkle with crispy shallots and remaining sauce in pan.
2 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into small wedges
100ml white wine
120g smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
120g fresh peas
100g soft goat’s cheese
3 free-range eggs
150ml double cream
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs such as dill, mint and chives
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C/gas 3. Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add red onion and fry on a fairly high heat for 5 minutes, or until slightly charred but beginning to soften. Remove from pan and set aside.
Pour white wine into a pan and boil on a high heat for 5 minutes until syrupy. Pour into mixing bowl and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Neatly scatter the red onions, smoked salmon, peas and goat’s cheese into pastry tart case. Add eggs, cream and Parmesan to the mixing bowl containing the reduced white wine and whisk together. Season.
Place tart on baking tray, pour on the liquid and place carefully on bottom shelf of oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tart begins to turn golden. You want it to still have a little wobble but it should not be runny at all. Remove form oven and leave to cool on wire rack.
170g softened butter
170g golden caster sugar
3 large free-range eggs
170g self-raising flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3-4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped into small pieces
Reese’s peanut butter cups or peanuts, to decorate
For the peanut butter frosting
200g peanut butter
170g icing sugar
150ml full fat cream cheese
Preheat oven to 170degrees C/gas 3.
Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with electric whisk for around 5 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Whisk in the eggs, one by one, until combined. You may find the mixture curdles a little when you pop in your last eggs but it should come together again when you add the flour.
Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and stir. Add 3 tbsp milk and vanilla extract. You want the batter to fall off the spoon easily; if you think it’s too thick, stir in another tablespoon of milk. Stir in the chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Divide the mixture between 18 cupcake cases and bake for 20-24 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. You can check this by sliding a skewer into a cake; if it comes out clean, it’s done.
Beat peanut butter with icing sugar and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. There are no real rules when icing a cupcake except that it has to be really think – so whether you want to use a knife or piping bag, give them some shape or make them smooth, the choice is yours. Decorate with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups or peanuts.
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor