Monday, June 07, 2010

Barbecue catering for a hen party in Bisley (between Stroud and Cheltenham)

Make the most of the last of your freedom!
Well I've cooked in some amazing houses over the years but this definitely ranks as the most high. Bisley is one of those secret Cotswold villages - off the tourist track (and all the better for it) - maybe that's why Jilly Cooper lives there. I had been in the neighbouring villages but not this one - now I saw it have to go back.

When they said you go up a steep slope they weren't kidding. It's steep, and then goes up a bit more, a bit more and a bit more - like a mountain with a load of false summits. But look what awaits you when you get there - an 18th century wisteria clad beauty. The garden was bursting with life, and being so high you get a great view of the valley. Truly a stunning house.

While you can order the barbecue menu, sadly you can't order the weather - though I am working on it. This was the polar opposite of the week before. That had been the hottest day of the year - at 33 oC + hotter than Greece and the med and the wedding party had soaked it up. This week however, it rained all afternoon and the evening went cold. So it was a bit of indoor barbecuing instead, which is no bad thing. At the end of last year I purchased a large Le Creuset grill pan and fell instantly in love with it. It sure did the job on this occasion too.

Skewers of chorizo, bacon, halloumi & red onions
The hens had left choosing the menu to me so I did a couple of favourites and a couple of new things. A few days before I had been admiring Jan's chicken, bacon and halloumi skewers, and thought (& tweeted) how good halloumi and chorizo would be. @Cotswoldfood tweeted back '@MyCotswoldfood Did halloumi, pancetta and red onion the other night, excellent!' well that settled that then. And oh yes - this was such a meat fest! Sure I could eat chorizo for breakfast, lunch and dinner......

Barbecued beef stroganof
I cut up the finest Home Farm rib eye beef and marinaded it overnight in barbecue sauce. Then skewered with button mushrooms. Meanwhile my white wine and mushroom cream sauce was reducing away.
As the hens were eating inside there was limited serving space so we decided it would be easier to plate up the main items and for them to pass the salads around. So the stroganof sauce went over the skewers once plated. Classics are great aren't they?
I had first done this 4 years previously when I was cooking a series of barbecues for the same hosts and had to come up with varied options. It was about time to do it again. It's like a cross between barbecue and fondue - what could be better? [Those are grilled chilli-tiger prawns in the background by the way.]
Campari poached chicken wrapped in parma ham

This makes a great hen party dish - campari, well they like their cocktails. Because it is poached it is much moister. Wrapped in parma and barbecued (or grilled in this case), it just finishes it off.






Salads at the ready to be passed (spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onion & olive, potato salad and spiced pepper quinoa)
Desserts

Grilled pears with greek yogurt and honey
One for Ms Marmitelover - a dessert in a large bowl to help yourself. This was almost too good to serve. I had poached the pears with cinnamon, cardamon and cloves first.









Strawberry skewers with white chocolate dip
Well you can't have a barbecue without them can you? Especially a hen party barbecue.

So while we cleared up they got ready for their night out on the town (Cheltenham) - no point in doing things by halves.


Related posts

Other barbecues we have served

2 comments:

History of Greek Food said...

Grilled pears with yogurt and honey! A deeply delicious dessert!! I wanna make it right now!

James said...

I was making it again for 60 about half an hour after your comment. Is popular.