Yanks for the memories… A dream dinner party menu created for Taylor Wimpey

We’d not long been back from a trip to the USA when we were invited by Taylor Wimpey to enter a fab new competition to be judged by Ruth Clemens, author of the Pink Whisk blog and finalist in the Great British Bake-off 2010, and Mr P of food blog DeliciousDeliciousDelicious.

I scanned through Taylor Wimpey’s email with a still jet-lagged and somewhat muddled brain. It said ‘There’s something about good food that brings people together’, we totally agree! It continued ‘When you move into a new house, naturally you want to show it off to friends and neighbours as soon as possible’, yes, we agree with that also. Finally it stated… ‘and there’s no better way to do this than to get everyone round for a dinner party’, they’re spot on again (apart from the washing up part!)

As mentioned before I was very tired, I’d been awake for nearly 26 hours and was struggling to find any inspiration to create a fantasy ‘come dine with me’ dinner party menu. Then it hit me, a dim Thomas Edison light bulb of an idea… How about a USA themed menu with a typically British twist? You like?

I haven’t included the full method or listed all the ingredients, this is a fantasy menu after all, but I love these flavour combos and hope you like the quirky twist to my menu. All ingredients are available from the incredible Macknade fine foods in Faversham. Well, without further ado, here it is…


Yanks for the memories!
The US of A served the British way

Call me a stick in the mud, but a welcome drink should always be a glass of bubbles or a Pimm’s if the sun decides to shine. That said I’ve included an indulgent cocktail to compliment each course, rather than an accompanying wine.

A nice cup of triple pork chilli
With a crackling finger and a dollop of spiced apple sauce.
• Served with a Maple Old Fashioned cocktail (Recipe at bottom of post)

Chilli made using slow roasted pulled pork shoulder, pork belly and applewood smoked bacon, with haricot beans soaked in Kentish cider and sprinkled with chopped dried chilli peppers. All served in a traditional tea-cup and saucer, with a shortbread biscuit sized finger of crispy pork crackling and a tablespoon of coarse, lightly spiced apple sauce.


A slab of Texas style BBQ beef brisket
With pumpkin mash, grilled corn and steamed asparagus, in a Yorkshire pudding with bone marrow gravy.
• Served with a Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew cocktail (recipe at bottom of post)

Sliced brisket (coated in ‘Big Bad Beef Rub‘ and injected with a beef broth) with creamed pumpkin & potato mash, chargrilled corn (off the cob) and crunchy steamed green and white asparagus tips all in a plate-sized deep-walled Yorkshire pudding. Presented under an ornate traditional serving dome and gravy boat… With a bib and plenty of napkins!

Peanut butter & jelly sponge sandwich
• Served with a ‘Sweet as a Nutberry’ Martini cocktail (recipe at bottom of post)

Peanut butter ice-cream (1cm thick) sandwiched between two slices of dense, yet moist, vanilla sponge cake (each slice 1cm thick) and cut into a dainty triangles (to look like a traditional crust-less bread sandwich). Served with fresh strawberries poached in a light sugar syrup and strawberry compote, sprinkled with crushed roasted peanuts and strawberry flowers and leaves. I think it would be fun to serve the dessert on old school paper picnic plates and give the diner guests a can of squirty fresh cream to share. 

Well there you have it, my Yanks for the memories menu… A USA inspired menu with more than just a touch of British eccentricity… Have a nice day old chap!


The cocktail menu

Maple Old Fashioned
• 50ml. bourbon whiskey • 15ml. maple syrup • Slice of orange • Dash of bitters

Measure maple syrup into a glass. Add some ice, pour in bourbon a bit at a time, stirring in between to ensure you’ve properly combined it with the syrup. Add a splash of bitters. Rub an orange slice around the inside of a the glass, add fresh ice, and strain the bourbon mixture into the glass. Garnish with orange and serve.

Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew (by The Hawksmoor)
• 50ml ginger syrup • 50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice • 35ml gin • 100ml London Pride ale

In a blender, blitz the ginger syrup, lemon juice, gin and a handful of cubed  ice for 10 seconds. Strain through a coarse sieve into a frozen beer mug, so there are still a few ice chips in with the drink. Top with the London Pride and drink straight from the glass, as you would a beer.

Sweet as a Nutberry Martini
• 50ml Vodka • 25ml Pinnacle Whipped Vodka • 25ml Amaretto • 100ml strawberry syrup • Ice • Side plate of finely crushed roasted peanuts • Strawberries to garnish

Fill a side plate with finely crushed roasted peanuts. Coat the rim of a martini glass with strawberry syrup. Slowly spin the glass in the crushed nuts until well coated. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodkas, amaretto and syrup.  Shake well. Pour into prepared martini glasses and garnish with a strawberry.