Last weekend the Mr went on a trip to Germany to visit Gamescom. Meanwhile, I enlisted my girls to come keep me company with a day of cooking, drinking and general merriment.
The idea was that we would each pick a course and run with it. Emma chose the starter, Ceri took the main course, I had the dessert and Charlie designated herself as pot washer!
Here was the finished menu we chose.
Mushroom & Halloumi Stuffed Roast Peppers
Feta, Mozzarella & Sun Dried Tomato stuffed Chicken with a Parmesan Crust – Served with Spicy Potato Dauphinoise
6 Layer Peanut Butter S’mores Cookie Bars
First up was Emma’s starter. The recipe she used is based on THIS ONE from the trusty BBC Good Food website.
She roasted the peppers in the oven first for about 15 minutes, until they were soft & slightly charred but still held their shape.
Then she stuffed them using most of the ingredients on the list but instead of using the antipasti mushrooms, cooked her own and added in some toasted almonds to the mix.
After baking for about 15 minutes more in a 180°C oven, they came out all golden and delicious…
Now having never eaten stuffed peppers before, but I must say, I bloomin loved them! They seem to have an added sweetness to them when they’ve been roasted which is absolutely delicious. The textures from the filling that Emma chose were great too! Soft and fluffy couscous teamed up with the meaty mushrooms, ‘squeaky’ halloumi & the crunchy almonds, really made for a fantastic, light starter. I also added a cheeky drizzle of truffle oil to mine, made them even more delicious… cracking job Em!
For the main course, Ceri started on the potato dauphinoise which is based on THIS RECIPE from the Love Potatoes site. She peeled and thinly sliced the potatoes & set to one side in a bowl of cold water to stop them from browning. Then moved onto the sauce by putting some cream, milk chopped garlic & some added chilli flakes into a saucepan and brought to the boil. When that was ready, she added in the potatoes, covered with a lid and simmered for about 10 minutes or so until just starting to soften.
Tipping the potatoes into a glass dish, she then topped it all off with mountains of gruyère cheese and placed in a 180°C oven for about half an hour until cooked through, golden & bubbling…
Just look at it… isn’t is beautiful??
Anyway! Now we’ve all stopped drooling at the potatoes, onto the chicken!
Loosely based on THIS RECIPE from the Eating Well website, Ceri butterflied each chicken breast, smeared in some sun dried tomatoes, feta & mozzarella cheese then folded back over. She then blitzed up some breadcrumbs with parmesan, Italian herbs, salt & pepper and spread them all over the tops of the chicken breasts.
They went in the oven alongside the potatoes for about 30 minutes until golden & crispy on top…
Yep… I can assure you, it was as tasty as it looks. That chicken was seriously tasty stuff! Super crispy on the outside with a sweet tomato and cheesy centre, team that up with the creamy potatoes (that packed a punch with that extra chilli kick!) and you have yourself a winner ladies and gentleman. Compliments to Chef Ceri!
Right! Now it was my turn to try and impress.
I came across THIS RECIPE from the excellent Cookies & Cups blog and knew it was the one.
The only thing that I really need to say, which isn’t spelled out from the pictures, is that I used 1 batch of my own Ultimate Choc Chip Cookie recipe for the dough.
Well that, and I may have gotten slightly carried away with the quantities I used but in my opinion, this only made it bigger, better & messier! Just the way I like it…
So! Line a large square tin with baking paper, preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C and press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the tin.
Next, lay blocks of milk chocolate on top of the cookie dough… yep, you heard me. WHOLE block chocolate!
Then smear on lots of smooth peanut butter…
Blitz up some milk chocolate digestive biscuits (not too fine… I got a little carried away haha) then spread them out onto the peanut butter…
Now for the fun bit… spread (I use that term loosely) some marshmallow Fluff over the top of the crushed biscuits. Yeah… you’ll have fun with that!
Now roll out the leftover cookie dough into a square and press onto the top to finish…
If you can actually lift it up (it weighs a bloomin ton!) put into the centre of the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp on top.
Now for the painful bit… wait. It has to be completely cool before you even attempt to get it out the tin, let alone try and cut it. So preferably, make this the day before, allow to come to room temperature then chill in the fridge overnight. Otherwise (like me!) you will get yourself in a right ruddy mess! Well, they do say patience is a virtue… something I’ll have to master one of these days!
But to be fair… let’s face it, it’s totally worth it!
I mean, what’s not to like? The crunchy yet gooey cookie? The milk chocolatey goodness? The creamy peanut butter? The unbearable deliciousness of marshmallow Fluff? Nope, didn’t think so. There is actually nothing not to like about this ridiculously indulgent bar of amazingness!
It’s honestly that good, our Emma was handing it out to strangers in the pub who were randomly congratulating me even though I had never met them before.
When all is said and done though, I think we put together an awesome meal! Massive thanks to my girls for all going out of their way to keep me company whilst the Mr was away at Gamescom.
Until next time my lovelies!