It was my birthday yesterday (already 27! How is that possible? How??), and I spent it in a laid-back fashion, with my family. Of course, we had to eat something, so I made a delicious birthday lunch. And, yes, the dork that I am – I had a Harry Potter cake... To my defense, it was my 31-year-old sister's idea – so I'm not the only dweeb in the family. Anyway, Harry was a very tasty combo of strawberries and chocolate, but, alas, I don't have the recipe (my sister brought it).
As for the other recipes, bear in mind that I cooked for 7 very hungry people and a child, and there were leftovers as well, so you can just use half of everything I used.
4 large chicken fillets (chicken breast – deboned) – approx 2 kg/ 4 lb meat
500 g (1 lb) prosciutto (thinly sliced)
500 g (1 lb) cheese (thinly sliced)
oil, vegetable spice blend, pepper
Cut the meat into big, thin slices. Beat it well, season with vegetable spice blend and pepper, and leave refrigerated overnight (be careful with the seasoning though, you'll have to check how salty the prosciutto is). Cover the bottom and sides of the pan (mine was square, 20x40 cm/8x16 in) completely with a large piece of tin foil, and then put baking paper over the foil. Grease the paper with a tiny drizzle of oil. Make a layer of chicken on the bottom of the pan, then cover the chicken with slices of cheese (gouda or edam), a layer of prosciutto, then cheese again (it will stick everything together), then another layer of chicken, and so on, until you've spent all the ingredients. Preferably, you should top it with chicken. Seal the pan as best as you can with tin foil and bake in a heated oven (200°C/392°F) for an hour and a half. Remove the foil cover for the last 15 minutes or so. When done, leave it to rest for at least 15 minutes (you don't want all the cheese oozing out as you cut it).
Prunes with bacon
You'll be needing an equal number of prunes (pitted) and thinly sliced smoked bacon. Just wrap each prune in a bacon slice, secure it with a toothpick and bake in a hot oven until the bacon turns golden and crispy. If you really want to go over the top, put an almond into each prune (instead of the pit). By the way, the combination might seem odd, but this starter was one of the best culinary surprises I've ever experienced!
500 g (1 lb) sweet corn
4 hard-boiled eggs
400 g/14 oz (drained) marinated button mushrooms (sliced)
2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced
5 tbsp sour cream
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Boil the corn and then combine it with the other ingredients.