Summer... season of sun, sea and barbecues. And, by happy coincidence, a chance for chef Sally Morris to indulge all her favourite passions.
Sally and sister Becky grew up in South Yorkshire but spent most summer holidays with their family in Portugal.
That experience broadened their horizons and instilled a taste for adventure, in food as well as travel.
For the last decade the sisters have exploited both, discovering new places and new cultures.
Now, for the first time since 2008, they are both back in the UK – and are celebrating their shared interests by launching their own Gluttons’ Supper Club.
“Portugal changed us in a lot of ways,” says Sally. “We used to be very fussy, but on holiday we got more adventurous, so it changed the way we ate.”
At university she developed her interest in cooking, and friends said she should become a chef: “But I always thought it looked like a dirty, sweaty life.”
Then she became friends with Angela Rodgers, catering manager at Sheffield’s Burton Street Foundation: “I started helping her… and realised that I like the dirt and sweat of the kitchen!”
Sally spent 10 years in Sheffield, becoming sous chef at Burton’s, then gave in to her wanderlust and spent a year travelling the world.
In India she immersed herself in the culture, working as a chef in Goa, then headed for Cusco, Peru, where she ran her own restaurant.
It was after returning home that she and Becky came up with the idea of the supper club. They had been collaborating on a food blog – Recipe for Gluttony – for some time and decided to put some of their ideas into practice.
The first Sheffield Gluttons Club was held at the Burton Street restaurant a couple of week ago, with a Portuguese theme in honour of those happy family holidays.
“Portuguese food combines the lush flavours of the Mediterranean with spices from Asia,” says Sally. “The people were explorers and their travels enriched the cuisine just like Indian food has done in England.”
The club proved a big success and the second is already being planned.
Meanwhile, Sally is sharing some of her recipes.
“Everyone knows chicken piri piri from Nandos, but we have the proper recipe.
“It should make the lips tingle but not burn the mouth – and it’s great for barbecues at this time of year,” she says.
“The potatoes are simple but incredibly tasty and luxurious. I’ve cooked these dishes for people all over the world and they’ve loved it.”
Recipe by Sally Morris
Chicken Piri Piri with Portuguese potatoes
1 whole chicken or 4 portions
3 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp white wine vinegar
100ml white wine
1 lemon (juice & rind)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
10 bay leaves
1 heaped tblsp piri piri powder (or any hot chilli, piri piri is similar to cayenne)
salt & ½ tsp pepper
1kg potatoes (waxy new potatoes are particularly good)
2 large onions
500g tomatoes (vine is best for stronger flavour)
6-7 bay leaves (fresh if possible, add a couple extra if using dried ones)
150ml white wine
50ml olive oil
Salt & pepper
The day before cooking (to allow time for flavours to be absorbed), mix together all chicken ingredients except salt & piri piri.
Portion chicken & add to marinade, ensuring everything is covered. Leave to marinade.
Just before cooking, remove from marinade & brush off any pieces of garlic, lemon rind or herbs.
Sprinkle a good covering of salt & piri piri over the chicken and cook by preferred method. A grill or barbecue is best, but oven baking is still really tasty.
Take a roasting tin where the potatoes will fit snugly inside. Heat oven to 180ºC
Clean potatoes and cut in half or thirds.
Take half the butter and dot it around bottom of tin; place bay leaves on top.
Place potatoes, flat side down, on top, fitting them as close together as possible.
Slice onions (3-4mm thick) & place on top of potatoes. Dot remaining butter on top & add olive oil & wine. Season well with salt & pepper.
Cover tightly with foil so potatoes steam in the oven. Roast for 1 hour.
Slice each tomato into 4 and cover potatoes. Season with a little salt, replace foil & roast for a further 30 mins.
Finally remove foil & roast 10-15 minutes until potatoes are soft & tomatoes & onions have combined to make a delicious sauce.
Serve over rocket or watercress as the sauce makes a great dressing.