Saturday 24 March 2018

Jimmy Garcia's Food for friends

King of the pop-up restaurant Jimmy Garcia offers up some fun recipes to impress your nearest and dearest

Chicken drummers
Chicken drummers
Tuna and sesame lollipops
Dill and lemon cupcakes
Social Eats by Jimmy Garcia

Jimmy Garcia has been dubbed king of London's pop-up restaurant scene and his debut book is all about food to impress your mates. Jimmy learned to cook from his Spanish dad and, after working as a private chef on a superyacht, he turned his front room into a restaurant one evening a month. He borrowed chairs and tables from the local church and the rest is... pop-up restaurant history.

Chicken drummers

Chicken drummers are great at the best of times, but this recipe's a banger! It takes some prep, but you won't be disappointed. I use chicken drumlets - where the small bone is taken off the breast of a chicken supreme - to make them look extra good and tasty! Serve with a chilli jam, or red onion chutney or simply with mayo… Whatever your preference.

Makes 12

You will need

12 chicken drumlets

For the marinade

500ml buttermilk

100ml sweet chilli jam

2 tbsp milk

For the confit 500ml duck fat or vegetable oil

Sprig of thyme

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

For the coating 100g plain flour

1 tbsp Cajun seasoning

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbsp dried oregano

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten

150g panko breadcrumbs

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Clean the bone of each chicken drumlet, by scraping down it, so that all the meat gathers at the wider end of the cut of meat. Wrap foil around the bone to protect it during cooking and stop it from burning.

Place all the marinade ingredients in a non-metallic shallow dish, add the chicken, cover and marinate overnight in the fridge - this helps to tenderise them. The next day, remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry.

Preheat the oven to 130˚C/gas mark 1. Place the chicken and the confit ingredients in a roasting tin and bake in the oven for 3 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone - they'll be extremely fragile by now. Remove the chicken drumlets, and allow to cool.

Mix together the flour, spices and herbs and season well. Place the flour mixture, egg and breadcrumbs into 3 separate shallow dishes. Dip the drumlets in the flour mix, then in the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Dip again into the egg and breadcrumbs. Remove the foil from the bones.Heat the oil in a deep pan to 180˚C (check with a kitchen thermometer) and deep-fry the drumlets, in batches of about 6 for around 3 minutes, until golden. Remove, using a slotted spoon, and place onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Serve while hot.

Tuna and sesame loillipops

Tuna and sesame lollipops

These look great, taste great and are really simple to make. The only issue is that when cutting the tuna into perfect circles you're left with some trimmings - but these can be diced up and used for ceviche.

Makes 8

You will need

2 tuna steaks, approximately 150g each and about 1cm thick

50g sesame seeds

Sesame oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cola and soy reduction or avocado cream, for dipping


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4.

Spread the sesame seeds on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, using a 3-4cm round cutter or the rim of a shot glass, cut out 4 circles from each tuna steak. Place the trimmings in the fridge to use another time. Roll the outsides of the tuna circles in the sesame seeds to form a nice crust. Season.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat with a small splash of oil then flash fry the tuna circles for around 30 seconds. Insert a lollipop stick through the middle of each, then serve with the dip of your choice.

These can be served hot or cold, but are best when hot and fresh.

Dill and lemon cupcakes with smoked salmon icing

Dill and lemon cupcakes

Not your standard cupcake! They can be served either as a canapé, or as a lunchbox filler.

Makes 12

You will need

For the cupcakes

180g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

2 medium eggs

1 pot natural yogurt

5 tbsp vegetable oil

1 bunch dill, finely chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

For the icing

150g smoked salmon, plus extra to garnish

100g crème fraîche

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh dill, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Line a large 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, then mix in all the remaining cupcake ingredients with a whisk until fully combined. Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, crack on with the icing. Place the salmon, crème fraîche and black pepper in a food processor, and blend to a smooth consistency. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle and pipe swirls on top of the cakes. Garnish each cake with a flake of salmon and a sprig of dill.

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