Most freelancers are juggling projects and family demands as usual so when they are asked to bring something to a Jubilee Party dishes for all the neighbours to witness, they may start to fret.
For those last-minute attempts to impress at this weekend’s Jubilee celebrations, The Freelance Informer is offering some recipe ideas. Some may not even require a hob or stove, saving on energy costs.
Strawberry cake with lemon curd
This first dazzler is inspired by none other than British Baking Queen, Dame Mary Berry, and BBC Food: Strawberry cake with lemon curd.
If you want to make this cake from scratch by all means follow the recipe here. But if you are on deadline and need to make this last-minute with the minimal fuss, then feel free follow our last-minute take on this most British of cakes.
First, you need the pre-made sponge cake(s) or if in a pinch, fairy cakes, which you can buy at most supermarkets. That means buying two sponge cake bases or a dozen or two pre-baked fairy cakes, which are nice and easy for people to pick up at picnics or buffet style parties. Carefully cut a fairy cake across the middle (below the top of the cake) so you can spread a layer of lemon curd between the fairy cakes/or between two larger sponge cakes.
Now the topping. You can go for pre-made vanilla or lemon icing. These will very likely be super sweet, but they are a time saver. Just spread gently on the top layer of your cake or fairy cakes and for a pretty garnish add a cut strawberry (without the stem). Alternatively, put some whipping cream with a teaspoon of icing sugar (optional) and whip in a mixer or by hand until the whipped cream is light and fluffy with peaks. Very gently place a tuft of whipped cream on top of your cake or ferry cakes and then add after cut strawberries.
If you do want to impress, then why not go for the official Jubilee Pudding published by The Royal Family: Platinum Pudding Recipe. But even the Royal Household knows that we all need some recipe short-cuts. They suggest a shortcut for this lemon swiss roll and amaretti trifle recipe, by using ready-made versions for most of the components and just make the Swiss rolls and mandarin coulis from scratch.
Greece meets Italy Pasta Salad (can opt ‘free from’ or ‘gluten-free’)
This dish could have you done and out the door in 30 minutes. However, it’s better to make in the morning as pasta salad, once it has time to absorb all the flavours of the dressing, gets tastier as time goes on.
You can opt for regular, ‘free from’ or gluten-free pasta choices, so anyone can enjoy your dish at the party. Just make sure you don’t overcook the pasta as you will want something that can hold up the ingredients and has a slight bite to the texture.
While you are waiting for the pasta water to boil, make your dressing and clean and cut your veggies and prep your extras.
Pasta (500 grams/1lb. dried/16oz.) bowtie, penne and rigatoni work well
Option 1: Italian/Greek Vinaigrette
- In a large bowl where you will serve your pasta salad, whisk some extra virgin olive oil (118ml) with some red wine vinegar (79ml), (balsamic if you don’t have red wine variety), then add some Italian dried herbs, such as basil and oregano, add a pinch of salt and pepper or to taste depending on large a quantity you are making about ½ teaspoon of each. For a kick, you can opt for 2 to 3 tablespoons juice from a pepperoncini jar.
Option 2: Stir-in sauce
If you have kids (or adults) that might not care for the tartness of a vinaigrette, then you could try a pre-made stir-in sauce instead. Many supermarkets have their own brand and name brand stir-in sauces to choose from. It’s best to stir in such sauces as soon as the pasta is cooked and drained. I would opt for two jars or cartons to cover the entire pasta. Then season to taste with herbs if needed.
- 1 bell pepper (chopped)
- ½ cucumber (cut in small chunks or medallions)
- 8oz. cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 5-6 thinly sliced green onions (or scallions)
- 1 grated carrot
- 8 oz. olives
- 6 finely chopped sundried tomatoes (optional)
- 1 pack small balls of mozzarella or 2 handfuls of shredded mozzarella
- add a handful of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (optional)
When the pasta is cooked and drained place it into the large bowl with the dressing and toss. It’s ok that the pasta is still warm. Mix the pasta with the dressing, then add your vegetables, cheese and any other toppings. It’s ready to go!
Inspiration for this salad was found on Inspired Taste. See the how-to video version here.
A platter of coronation chicken wraps
Coronation chicken sandwich filler, such as Morrisons Coronation Chicken Sandwich Filler, is a quick and easy crowd-pleaser.
- You could opt to pre-make these wraps and keep them together with toothpicks or serve in wrapped serviettes.
- You could also layout the ingredients (wraps and fillers) on platters and in bowls so people can make their coronation wraps with optional fillings, such as watercress, cucumber (finely chopped) lettuce, and/or tomato (finely chopped).
- Ingredients: small wraps, coronation chicken sandwich/deli filler, other fillers
- Platters, serviettes and toothpicks