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SKEWER DISHES IDEAL FOR BONFIRE NIGHT

SKEWER DISHES IDEAL FOR BONFIRE NIGHT

I come from a family of ‘feeders’ and you only have to ask my children or neighbours how many meals I have passed over fences to make sure they were fed to verify this but I do love simple recipes which concentrate more on preparation than cooking.

These three recipes are my ‘go to’ ones, when I am expecting large numbers as they are from three different countries, they tick the box for whether people like spicy or not and are all about preparation with sauces/dips and salad which can be used for them all. You will need lots of skewers which should be soaked in water for around ½ an hour before use.

EASY CHICKEN SATAY SKEWERS

You will need:

1 kilo chicken breasts (cut into thin strips)

1 tablespoon curry powder (i used hot but this is down to personal choice as mild/medium are available)

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Put the strips of chicken, curry powder, salt and oil in a bowl and mix till all the chicken is coated and leave to marinate.

For the satay sauce

1 tin coconut milk

1 teaspoon of red curry paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Method:

Whilst the chicken is marinating, put the coconut milk into a heavy pan and on a medium heat, warm up, add the curry paste, soy sauce and peanut butter and TA DAH you have a delicious satay sauce.

Once you have done this, set it aside.

Thread the chicken breast strips onto soaked wooden skewers and grill for around 5 minutes each side. Serve with satay sauce and a little cucumber and onion salad.

SEEKH KEBABS

Without a doubt, Indian Seekh Kebabs are a must in my house. Easy to make and they can be made in advance and cooked either in the oven, under the grill or on the BBQ and again, spice to personal taste.

You will need:

1 kilo minced lamb (you can use beef but it needs to have a 20% fat content)

2 large onions

4 cloves garlic

2 inch piece of ginger

Small bunch of corriander – chopped finely

3 chillis

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground corriander

2 teaspoons chilli powder

2 teaspoons salt

Method:

I use a food processor as it makes it so much easier. Blitz the onions until finely chopped but not mushy. Tip into a sieve and allow some of the water to drain.  Then pop the peeled ginger, garlic and the chillies into the food processor and blend to a fine paste. Put the mince, drained onions and garlic/ginger paste add the spices, salt and the finely chopped coriander in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Then create a hand sized ball and put the skewer through the middle and gently but firmly, squish the meat along the skewer. Repeat until all the mince is used and bake for 20-25 minutes (Gas 7, electric 230, fan 210) until fully cooked.  They need to be on a trivet or a mesh tray to ensure that they are not sitting in any oil or meat juices. Simply serve with a yoghurt and mint sauce (recipe at the end which will suffice for this and the next recipe).

Delicious.

PORK SOUVLAKI

If you have ever been to Greece, or one of its stunning islands you will no doubt have tried these delightfully tasty kebabs.

This tried and tested recipe is a family favourite and great anytime.

You will need:

2 kilos of pork cut into 1 inch cubes (you can use chicken if preferred)

4 cloves of crushed garlic

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 teaspoons of dried oregano

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

Method:

Put the pork in a large bowl and add the lemon juice, garlic, and all remaining ingredients and massage into the meat. Cover and marinate for 1-2 hours (do not do chicken for more than 1 hour as the lemon juice may make it tough).

After marinating, thread the pieces of pork onto the skewers and grill for approximately 5 minutes each side until cooked through. Serve with a yoghurt and mint sauce.

SIMPLE FLAT BREADS

These can be used with all the skewer recipes and are a lovely alternative to the shop bought flatbreads. This recipe makes 8 so you can adjust for the size of the crowd you are expecting (and if you have a hungry nosed set like me, ready another batch!).

You will need:

1 ½ lb plain flour (700 grams)

1 teaspoon of salt

4 oz butter (100 grams)

12 fluid ounces of milk (340 ml)

2 tablespoons of oil for cooking

Method:

Warm the milk slightly and add the butter, ensuring that the butter is melted and stirred through the milk mixture. Put the flour and salt into a bowl and put a small well in the middle and pour the milk/butter mixture in. Stir till you have a soft dough and then tip it out and gently knead for a couple of minutes until smooth.  If it’s a little too ‘wet’ add a little flour … if its dry, a little olive oil will do the trick.  Once kneaded, pop it back into the bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for around 30 minutes. After resting, tip out, divide the dough into 8 balls and roll out to a couple of millimetres thick. Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan (use a tawa – Indian chapati pan if you have one) and fry in a little oil until you have golden bubbles on each side.

TALATOURI - TZATZIKI (YOGHURT, MINT AND CUCUMBER DIP)

This is a great one to use with both the seekh kebabs and the pork souvlaki.

You will need:

1 large tub Greek yoghurt

1 cucumber

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Finely chopped mint

2 garlic cloves (crushed and finely grated)

Paprika for serving

Method:

Peel and deseed a cucumber and grate the flesh. Pop into a sieve and set over a bowl to drain the excess fluid. Once drained, combine the cucumber with the yoghurt, lemon, garlic and chopped mint and add a little paprika to serve.

I hope you try at least one of these recipes and all you need to add is a bit of love and of course some fireworks and you have a great night planned.

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