We’ve Joined Hitched!

Cucumber Catering is proud to announce we have joined Hitched as a preferred caterer in the South East!

Hitched is the UK’s No.1 wedding planning website, with over 6000 amazing venues and suppliers, clever planning tools to get your wed-min in order and, of course, lots of help, advice and inspiration along the way.

The website is a one stop shop for all your prepping needs, even the ones you haven’t remembered you need yet!

We’re very excited to be part of such a great platform, be sure to look out for our growing profile too!

Lots of people we work with can also be found on Hitched, remember to leave us a review if you have used us before.

Watch this space!

Leftover Easter Eggs that you NEED to get rid of?

We all know how it goes. Friends and family are generous over Easter, easter eggs hang around for weeks following the long weekend and we find ourselves religiously snacking or finding excuses to eat an egg to get rid of it…

We’ve been trying out a few different ideas in the cucumber kitchen to free our cupboards of eggs and create treats good enough to share (or not…). Take a look at our favourites, get your children involved too for boredom busting fun over the Easter holidays.

Happy Baking!

NO BAKE EASTER MESS

350g Easter Egg chocolate
125g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
200g digestive biscuits
175g mini eggs
Any other decorative sweet treats!

This is the most simple of the lot. Basically, this recipe involves melting down mountains of Easter eggs (tip: use a mixing bowl over a saucepan of boiling water – this will help the chocolate melt without burning). Set aside a little chocolate to melt later on during decorating.

Add butter & golden syrup – keep stirring.

Put your digestive biscuits in a sandwich bag/freezer and beat them with a rolling pin. Let the children get involved if you’re feeling brave… Once complete, add these to the mixture and stir in.

Line a deep baking tray/tin with greaseproof paper and pour mixture in.

Set in fridge for 1 hour. Remove and decorate with rest of chocolate (melted down). Use mini eggs to stick in the drizzled meted chocolate for decoration. Decoration can be as simple or fantastically creative as you desire!

Then, square and share!

 

CHOCOLATE TWIST

2 Ready made puff pastry sheets
Easter Egg chocolate – use as much or as little as you want. Note: Creme Eggs work amazingly in this recipe!
1 egg

Start by melting your chocolate using a mixing bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.

Roll out your pastry sheet.

Spread a generous layer of chocolate over your sheet, being careful to cover ALL edges and corners.

Roll your other pastry sheet and lay on top. Make sure they are the same size and in-line.

Using a pizza cutter, cut your pastry into strips around 4cm thick.

Once complete, take an end of a strip in each hand using your finger and thumb and twist from both ends.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay strips onto tray. Beat an egg and lightly wash over your strips using a pastry brush for a golden finish.

Cook for 20 mins at 200C. Best served slightly warm.

 

FROZEN BANANA & AVO BITES

3 Large Bananas
6 Avocado Halves, pipped
Easter Egg Chocolate
2 tbsp Coconut oil
100g Peanuts, crushed
50g Coconut, flaked
20g Sea Salt
Lolly sticks or Toothpicks

Melt your chocolate down using a mixing bowl over a saucepan full of boiling water. Add your coconut oil and stir.

Put your peanuts, coconut and salt into small dishes for rolling.

Cut your bananas and avocado into bitesize chunks and stick onto the ends of your lolly sticks/toothpicks. Make sure the stick does not go all the way through the chunk, we want this to be a blunt end.

Dunk your banana & avocado chunks into the chocolate so that they are fully coated. You may want to use a spoon to help completely cover in chocolate.

Next, dip into your topping of choice. Use your fingers to sprinkle any extra if necessary.

Stand on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Once solid, put your bites into the freezer. Eat straight from freezer for best results.

Let us know if you try any different toppings on your bites – we’d love to see pictures!

 

 

Our Favourite Irish Stew

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

The Cucumber kitchen has been non-stop, producing Irish stew for the last couple of weeks. A comfort favourite amongst us, a traditional Irish stew is packed full of succulent meat, root veg, strong flavours and soggy spuds.

Mary Berry’s recipe is one of our absolute favourites and combines all elements of the best Irish stew. It’s very simple to follow for those cooking at home. Give it a go and let us know how you get on!

Head over to our Instagram page to see our version of Irish Stew.

Ingredients

2 tbsp plain flour
1kg (2lb 3oz) neck fillet of lamb, diced into 2cm (¾in) cubes
2-3 tbsp oil
2 onions, sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
600ml (1 pint) chicken or lamb stock
750g (1¾lb) floury potatoes (such as Maris Piper), peeled and cut into slices about 1cm (½in) thick
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Cook time: 2-2½ hours, plus resting

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.

2. Season the flour with salt and pepper and then toss the lamb in the flour. Heat some of the oil in a wide-based flameproof and ovenproof casserole dish with a lid, then fry the lamb on all sides over a high heat for 4–6 minutes until golden. Fry the lamb in batches, adding more oil as needed and removing each batch with a slotted spoon to set aside while you cook the rest.

3. Add a little more oil to the pan, then tip in the onions, celery and carrots and fry over a medium-high heat for 4–5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and thyme and scatter the browned lamb over the top. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil.

4. Reduce the heat and arrange the potatoes on top. Season with salt and pepper as you layer the potato slices, gently pressing down so the liquid rises to cover them.

5. Cover with the lid and carefully transfer to the oven to cook for 1½–2 hours or until the lamb and potatoes are both tender. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6, remove the lid and cook for a further 8–10 minutes or until the potatoes are golden.

6. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and remove the bay leaves before serving with a leafy green vegetable, such as chard or cabbage.

Mary’s Top Tips:

* Ask your butcher to give you the bones from the filleted neck – perfect for making stock. Roast the bones for a fuller flavour, then cover with water and simmer with herbs and chopped vegetables for an hour. Freeze to use when you next make stew.

* Check the stew after 1½ hours – you don’t want it to dry out, particularly as it will be cooked for another 8–10 minutes.

 

Pancakes: Our Go-To Savoury & Sweets

Shrove Tuesday is nearly here and we are ready for a pancake blowout – who’s with us? The Cucumber kitchen has been thinking of our favourite toppings. Have you got a sweet tooth that needs a sugar fix or do you prefer a pancake filled with savoury goodness?

The classics are sometimes the best, but we wanted to share a few of our absolute faves. Tag us in your pancake efforts, and be sure to let us know if you try any of our recipes!

Strawberry & Nutella

A timeless classic and an absolute favourite for all chocolate lovers!

Tip: whether you use pre-made mix or not, use fresh strawberries for that fruity bite!

Blueberries, Banana & Ice Cream

The perfect combo of bitter and sweet, these pancakes suit an indulgent Sunday brunch or impressive dessert.

Tip: the fluffier the better when ice cream is involved! Use this recipe with American style pancakes for tastiest results.

Bacon, Avocado & Feta 

Perfect for brunch with friends or a quick and easy recipe for a busy day, these pancakes are a treat for the taste buds!

Tip: although full of flavour already, add chilli flakes and a splash of lime for spicy vibes and a side of sour cream.

Spinach & Ricotta

Another classic combo, but definitely a good’un.

Be sure to drain the spinach fully before adding ricotta so the mix isn’t too watery. This works well in thin pancakes too.

Tip: add a pinch of nutmeg to your mix for a deeper flavour.

We can’t wait to see your combos – please remember to share!

Welcome to our Blog!

We’ve decided to write a blog to share our favourite recipes, tips and catering secrets with you.

Over the year, we will share as much as we can with you but let us know what you would like to see too!

We’re passionate about our food and drink and want to share that the best we can.

Enjoy and let us know what you think! x