“Remember remember the 5th of November…” You can’t beat a good bonfire party on fireworks night. It’s lovely to spend time outdoors in the autumn, seeing your breath in the chill of the night as you chat to loved ones. Imagine how nice it will be for your visitors to ‘ooo’ and ‘aah’ at fireworks, as they wrap gloved hands around a mug of delicious homemade soup. Or maybe you’d prefer your guests to sit around the fire with a plateful of hot food on your lap - bangers and mash anyone? There’s something very special about coming together with friends and family for an outdoor party on a chilly autumn evening.
Food fit for Guy Fawkes Night
If you’re hosting a bonfire party this year, the beauty of it is that simple foods are the most effective. It’s the experience that counts more than producing a complex menu, which means you don’t need to be in the kitchen all evening to prepare food. Here are our suggestions for a menu that’ll appeal to young and old alike.
Bangers and Mash
You can’t beat good old fashioned bangers around the bonfire on a cold night - especially if the mash is the best mash ever! And with Sensio’s best-selling Masha, you can make the creamiest, smoothest mash - so good, in fact, that Nigella has used it to mash her tatties for her Colcannon recipe on Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat (the one where she doesn’t know how to pronounce ‘microwave’).
To make the perfect mash, Delia Smith recommends using Desirée potatoes, roughly chopped and steamed for 20-25 minutes until they’re tender. Set them aside for a few minutes to get rid of the steam, then add butter, milk and cream before mashing with your Masha - using the aerator blade. If you want to give your mash a bit of a kick, add a bit of mustard or horseradish to taste.
Alternatively use sweet potatoes instead for a different kind of mash. The advantage being that sweet potatoes count as one of your five a day, whereas ordinary potatoes don’t (because they’re too starchy).
When it comes to cooking the bangers, remember that you can bake them in the oven so you don’t have to keep checking up on them like you have to do if you’re frying or grilling them. Preheat the oven to 180oC, line a pan with tin foil (to save on washing up) and add the sausages (you don’t even need to prick the sausages when oven cooking). If you’re trying to be healthy, put the sausages on top of the grill pan rack and let the fat fall into the tray below them. Put them in the oven and cook for 20 minutes for small sausages, 40 minutes for thicker ones. You only need to turn them once, halfway through, which will leave you with a lot more time to enjoy your party!
Delicious homemade soups are always firm favourites at bonfire parties, and your Masha will also help you create the perfect consistency with the minimum of mess and fuss. The good thing about soups is that you can make them out of almost anything and they’re a great way of using up any vegetables you’ve got in the fridge. However, there’s a classic which your bonfire night guests are bound to love - a classic tomato soup which can be made in advance and heated before you serve it.
Fresh Tomato SoupIngredients:
1kg fresh tomatoes roughly chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
1 onion finely chopped
1 small carrot finely chopped
2 tsp tomato puree
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and carrot over a low heat until soft, stirring occasionally (roughly 10 minutes).
Add the tomato puree, as well as salt and pepper to taste, and stir into the vegetables.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, put the lid on the pan and simmer for around ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock and stir well. Turn up the heat until the soup begins to bubble, then turn down the heat, replace the lid and simmer gently for around 20-25 minutes.
Take the soup off the heat. Let it cool before using the Masha - using the rotor blade - to blend it into a smooth consistency.
Reheat before serving, then serve to your guests with warmed fresh bread (why not make your own bread using the Sensio breadmaker).
What a great way of making your bonfire party go with a bang!