We are now well and truly into our Summer months (she says, gazing out the window at the black clouds sweeping across the sky), and the BBQ season is officially underway. The last time I blogged seemed an age ago, and I was crossing my fingers for a dry #CookForSyria party. Looking back at the day, it appeared to mark the start of what has been a blooming glorious few weeks of sunshine, heat waves and even the first dry Glastonbury since 2010!!!
It has been a mega busy time for me, not just with working life but with prepping for our next charity event, Fund Fayre (more details to come), crazy/sequin/neon outfit planning for Glastonbury and all together making the most of getting out and enjoying the warm weather!
I am now finally taking 5 minutes to sit down and tell you about my #CookForSyria party… and what an awesome day it was!! To have so many friends come along to eat your food and support a very deserving course is a truly magical thing, and I loved every single moment of the day, especially when I finally got to sit down at the end of it.
So what was on the menu?….. Well, after months of trying out recipes from the #CookfForSyria book I devised the following courses, some of which had a little HMWM twist….
– Lamb Yaprak (recipe to follow)
– Nuts & Crisps (these were particularly popular with the children! – much to all my other efforts!)
Course 1: Spit Roast Chicken with…
– Muhammara (Sweet Red Pepper Dip)
– Red Cabbage Slaw
– Tahini & yoghurt sauce
– Herb Salad
Course 3: Spicy Overnight Marinated Lamb Chops with…
– Syrian red bulgah wheat salad
– Feta and herb sauce
– Mixed leaf salad
Course 4: Butchers Sausages with….
Pudding: I was too tired (and possibly drunk!)!!!
Over the course of the last few years, I have been asked on a number of occasions what my proudest accievement is, and if I am totest honest I have to put my #CookForSyria party right up there. I would even go as far as to put it above my degree, as to not only feed 28 of you closest friends and them a) not go home hungry, to b) love it, and c) have an awsome time; feels great, but the fact that we also managed to raise £650 for UNICEF in the process is absolutely incredible!
You will have seen from my previous #CookfForSyria posts, the enourmously important work that UNICEF do for children living in war-torn countries without a home, food or water, and it really makes you realise how ridiculously lucky we are to live in a society where we have the chance to experience food from around the World.
My Just Giving page is still open (although not for much longer), so if you feel that this is a worthwhile cause to donate to then please do so…. a little goes a very long way in providing food, shelter and support to these children!… https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cookforsyria-hmwm
I am now going to share with you one more recipe that I haven’t already done so. These Dolmades were the first thing I served on the day and despite what looked like an endless quantity of them, they were gobbled up in all of 5 minutes. I was also asked on numerous occasions what was in them; so for everyone that want’s to try these at home, here is the recipe for:
Yaprak (aka Dolmades) – Recipe courtesy of the #CookForSyria Book…
Makes 16-20 dolmades
- 100g basmati rice – cooked according to pack instructions
- 200g jar of vine leaves in brine, drained
- 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 200g minced lamb
- 2 garlic cloves – peeled and finely chopped
- 1 onion – peeled and finely chopped
- 50g raisins
- 50g pine nuts
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- A small handful flay leaf parsley – finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
Place a large frying pan over a high heat and pour in half the oil.
Fry the lamb, garlic and onion for about 10 minutes until golden.
Add the sultanas, pinenuts, cinamon and oregano, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Add 50ml of cold water and the tomato puree, stir and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked rice and parsley. Season to taste and set asside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 160’C
Place one vineleaf on a chopping board with the veins facing up, then spoon 1 desertspoon of the filling into the centre of the leaf. Carefully fold in the sides and tightly roll up.
Place the leaf onto an ovenproof dish and repeat the process with the remaining vine leaves.
Mix the remaining oil with 50ml of hot water and the lemon juice and pour over the vine leaves.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Leave to cool slightly before serving.