Bangers for your buck
For a spicy take on a fireworks favourite, marinate sausages in barbeque sauce before cooking on the grill. Toast rolls on the BBQ, then top with onions which have been fried gently until soft and sticky – nothing beats the smell! Don’t forget to stock up on sauces – head to your local McColl’s for great-value ketchup, mayo, squeezable sour cream and guacamole.
Spuds you like
It wouldn’t be Bonfire Night without baked potatoes. The perfect jacket should be fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Potato aficionados recommend rubbing olive oil into the skin and sprinkling with salt before baking on a low heat (180C) for 2 hours 20 minutes. But you can save energy and time by blasting your potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes, then finishing in the oven for 40 minutes. Put a spin on traditional toppings by adding a pinch of chilli powder to baked beans – ideal for vegan guests. Or mix two classics by combining pizza and potato – add mozzarella, sliced tomato, basil, pepperoni and a twist of black pepper to your spuds.
Give the humble chip a makeover. Dirty fries are a staple of fashionable food pop-up joints, but are easy to make at home, too. Sprinkle oven chips with sliced chilli and grated cheddar five minutes before the end of their cooking time, then return to the oven. Once the cheese is gooey and melted, remove before drizzling with sour cream and finishing with chopped coriander for an on-trend accompaniment to impress guests.
Teens in US movies often mention making s’mores around the campfire, but what exactly are they? A sugary sandwich of biscuits, marshmallows and chocolate, this traditional American treat is quick and simple to whip up on the BBQ. US recipes call for Graham Crackers – basically a sweet cracker – which we don’t have in the UK, but you can sub for digestive or rich tea biscuits. Place a square of milk chocolate and a marshmallow between two biscuits, wrap in foil, put on the BBQ for two minutes and wait as the contents transform into an oozy slab of deliciousness.
Bark with bite
Let the kids get creative in the kitchen by making chocolate bark to share at the party. Gently melt 400g of milk chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water – making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water – then pour into a parchment-lined baking tin. While still soft, get the kids to sprinkle a combination of toffee popcorn, mini marshmallows, hundreds and thousands and crunched-up pretzels evenly across the chocolate. Put into the fridge to firm up. When ready to serve, break it into chunks and watch the children beam with pride at as they offer their homemade treat around.
There’s something so soothing about a warming drink on a night when there’s a nip in the air. Get guests in the party mood with a mug of freshly mulled cider. Stud two oranges with 12 cloves and place in a large pan filled with 1.5 litres of cider and 400ml of apple juice. Add two cinnamon sticks and stir in two tablespoons of brown sugar. Warm on a low heat for 20 minutes, being careful not to let the liquid boil.
For younger guests, you can’t beat a comforting hot chocolate. Up the fun factor by letting them top with squirty cream, chocolate sauce and flakes. Adults can make theirs extra special by adding a dash of rum, Baileys or whiskey. Be sure to check out the latest offers on cider and spirits at your local McColl’s.