Cooking for a crowd is so satisfying. The secret for me is “getting ahead”, using locally sourced ingredients, and an attention to detail that delivers a “wow” factor to the simplest of recipes.
As the summer arrives we look forward to the experience of eating alfresco. Whether it’s a picnic with family and friends or a simple supper in the garden, these three unique recipes are guaranteed to satisfy.
My starter, main course and dessert can all be made in advance, each one prepared in around 30 minutes and when served need little by way of accompaniment. I propose the eggs be served as finger food to start, a green salad to sit alongside the salmon main course and a drizzle of cream with the tart – hope you enjoy!
Free Range Eggs With Bacon
Makes 24 halves
Perfect for picnics, parties, a quick lunch, a barbecue, canapes – the list goes on!
Devilled eggs I think are making a comeback. Back in the 1970s the yolks were often flavoured with a basic curry powder, but for me those days have passed. These perfect free-range eggs are hollowed out and the yolks flavoured slightly so to not mask their delicate gorgeousness!
- 12 large free range eggs
- 4 rashers of streaky bacon
For the filling
- 200g mayonnaise
- 2 tsp malt vinegar
- 2 tsp yellow English mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 2-3 tbsp hot water
- 1-2 tbsp finely chopped chives to garnish
1. Start by hard boiling the eggs.
Top Tip: The yolk will place itself in the centre of the boiled egg if the eggs are stored point side down for a day before boiling – this will make presentation more uniform.
Bring a large pan of water to a fast boil then carefully lower the eggs into the water. The eggs need to be at room temperature so that they don’t crack (not straight from the fridge). Bring the water back up to the boil and cook for 1 minute exactly then take the pan from the heat, cover with a lid and leave for 14 minutes.
2. When the time is up, take the eggs from the hot water and immediately place into a large bowl of cold water. This will prevent a green line forming around the yolk. When cold, shell the eggs and cut in half from point to point (lengthways).
3. Fry the bacon until just crispy and cut into triangles whilst still warm. Waiting until the bacon cools will make it too brittle to cut.
4. To remove the yolks, simply use a teaspoon to scoop them out. Place into a small bowl then add all the other ingredients apart from the hot water. Either mash with a fork or, for a really smooth filling, blitz with a hand blender. If the mix is very thick, slacken off with 1 or 2 tbsp of hot water.
5. Fill a small piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle with the mixture, then fill each hollow of the eggs. Top off with a bacon triangle and a sprinkle of chives.
Look out for Nancy’s main course recipe coming soon to It’s a Shoe Thing. You can find her delicious Rhubarb and Orange Custard Tart recipe here
We’d love to see photos of your creations! If you’ve given this recipe a go then please tag Hotter in your pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Born and bred in Yorkshire, retired practice manager Nancy quickly became a household name in 2014 when she competed in and won the fifth series of the BBC’s ‘Great British Bake Off’.
Since then she has made guest appearances at numerous events; teaching and demonstrating her culinary skills at food shows and festivals, and undertaking public speaking engagements. She has an active following on social media where she loves to share her recipes and top tips for the home. Aside from baking and cookery, Nancy enjoys an active lifestyle – walking, gardening and cycling – as well as enjoying family time with her husband, children and grandchildren.