It’s delightful weather at the moment, ideal for easy, informal al fresco eating. Make use of your AGA cookware to make dining easy.
The robust AGA Portmeirion range of ceramics means cooking and serving from the same dish – certainly a time-saver to go from AGA to table! The range is also suitable for the freezer.
Sunny weather and warm light evenings is all about eating outdoors and there is no better cooker to produce pastry tarts, flans or quiches – there will be no soggy bottoms and you do not need to bake blind – the answer is cooking on the floor of the roasting oven (use the floor grid if your cooker requires it).
The AGA Portmeirion Baking Tray makes a super tart, use several filo pastry leaves to cover the base then top with blanched asparagus and cubes of raw salmon, scatter with a copious amount of chopped parsley or dill, cover with a savoury custard and cook for 20-25 minutes on the floor of the roasting oven.
If you fancy a change from garlic bread, try pesto bread or pesto and brie. Slice and stuff the baguette style loaf wrap in foil and pop into the roasting oven for about 10 minutes.
If you are looking to add some crunch to salads then toast pine nuts or cumin seeds on a circle of Bake-O-Glide on the simmering plate.
Make use of the AGA griddles or grill pans for that authentic barbeque flavour. Grill slices of courgette (cut lengthways from top to bottom) and quarters of red pepper, allow them to cool and serve with a yogurt dressing sprinkled with some toasted walnuts and fresh coriander.
The AGA griddle pan is also brilliant at cooking steak, kebabs, fish and halloumi. If you only have a small amount of grilled steak make it go much further by cutting into strips and accompany with a horseradish dip.
Home-made burgers or koftas (or indeed use ones of your preference!) can also be successfully grilled on the AGA griddle. If you use the floor of the roasting oven it means cooking smells are reduced and fat splashes are carbonised over time, so a cleaner cooking method. The ridges on the AGA griddle means any excess fat drains away from the meat.
Griddled asparagus is beautiful. This vegetable is in mid-season now so at the height of its flavour. Take asparagus spears and bend to snap off the woody part, wash and dry. Just roll the spears in a little oil of your choice then use the AGA griddle to cook and produce the brown stripes, turn the spears over a couple of times. Serve au naturel or with shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese.
Rice and pasta are excellent cooked in the AGA Stainless Steel Casseroles, once they are drained mix with your chosen ingredients, such as roasted vegetables and a dressing.
Pavlova is the perfect al fresco dessert as it can be made several days ahead, and then filled with cream and fresh fruit before serving. The simmering oven is where it is cooked and using Bake-O-Glide underneath means it will not stick!
Another favourite dessert is a Strawberry Choux Ring, again it can be made beforehand and filled just before eating. It looks very impressive drizzled with melted chocolate. Make the choux pastry in the large AGA non-stick saucepan so washing up is a doddle.
Many of us roast vegetables in the AGA but fewer roast fruit. Do try because roasted fruits make for an easy and delicious pudding. Place the fruits onto a piece of Bake-O-Glide lined AGA baking tray, or straight onto the flat AGA Portmeirion baking tray, making sure they are roundabout the same size drizzle with sweeten with honey or maple syrup and roast for about 10 minutes. Ideal fruits are stoned cherries, raspberries, strawberries, apricots or peaches and maybe a little of your late rhubarb. Other flavourings can be added such as star anise, orange peel, lemon peel or cinnamon sticks. Serve with a crisp shortbread biscuit.