If you’re looking for simple Bonfire Night recipes, then why not cook your meal in the embers of the bonfire itself? Put it to some use other than burning the Guy!
Jacket potatoes are the obvious choice for bonfire night recipes but you can add other food ideas too.
Choose big baking potatoes and prick them with a skewer or fork a couple of times to avoid the skin splitting. I would then suggest that you give them a minute in the microwave to start the cooking process and avoid hard, inedible, potatoes later on!
Then give them a light smear of olive or vegetable oil and wrap in two or three (to avoid tearing) layers of tin foil before putting in the embers of the fire for about an hour, depending on their size. Then serve with butter or sour cream and chives.
Roast sweet potatoes in the same way and serve with some chilli butter.
Fish can also be cooked on the embers. Try trout, salmon or pike, cleaned and rinsed. Place on a sheet of buttered foil and place some butter inside the fish. Sprinkle with parsley and maybe some chives, or lemon slices.
Wrap the fish in the foil and then enclose it in several layers of wet newspaper to make a package. Lay on the glowing embers and cook depending on the size of the fish. A fish of one and a half kilos will take about 40 minutes to cook. Smaller fish will require a shorter time.
Remove charred paper, cut up the package and serve direct from the tinfoil with the cooked potatoes.
Toffee Apples provide a fun dessert when the bonfire embers are still hot but cool enough to stand beside easily.
Skewer a crisp eating apple and hold it close to the embers, turning it all the time until the skin blisters and comes off. It'll take up to 10 minutes. Roll in a bowl of sugar and then return to roasting it near the embers until the sugar melts and caramelizes.
If you prefer you can bake the apples in foil. Wash and core them first. Then put each on a piece of double tinfoil, large enough to be able to cover them well.
Fill the centers with sugar and dust with cinnamon if you like. Add a small pat of butter and wrap well in the foil before putting in the embers for about half an hour.
You can also cook pears in foil in the same way.
Fill the holes with marzipan, as this almond taste blends beautifully with the pears.
Bananas are an old Bonfire Night recipe favourite, cooked in the embers or on a barbecue. Roast them in their skins for about 10 minutes. Then split open along their length and sprinkle with sugar and rum. Yum!
If you prefer, peel the bananas and place each one in the middle of a large piece of foil. Add a spoonful of sugar, a pat of butter and a splash of rum or brandy. Then wrap tightly and put in the embers.
Jessica Dean from Canada likes doing this and sent me the following message:
"I remember when I was young making banana boats with my family....what u need : a hot campfire with coals, tin foil, a stack of bananas, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, and tongs to get the banana boat out of the fire...what u do is get your tinfoil (enough to wrap the banana fully with room to spare) put the banana in the center of the foil & cut the banana down the center (lengthwise) fill with chocolate chips and marshmallows, wrap in tinfoil then toss in fire right on top of hot coals...let cook maybe 5 mins or more depending on heat of fire . . and enjoy"
As the embers die down, you can roast chestnuts (not conkers!) with a chestnut roaster and use long toasting forks to melt pink and white marshmallows and give them that smokey bonfire taste!