In honour of the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, we take a look at some classic British and American dishes… and mash them together.
We were properly chuffed with some of these combinations. For example, take a sponge cake, fill it with peanut butter and jelly, and Bob’s your uncle.
On the other hand, trying to engineer a Scotch egg–corn dog fusion? Dude, fuhgeddaboutit. The hard-boiled egg kept disintegrating, the corn batter and minced meat wouldn’t stick, plus a fear of deep-frying didn’t help.
So, if you’re having a royal wedding party, here are six mashups to consider (find links to some of the recipes we used below). Two other dishes that we think sound plausible are Catfish And Chips and Toad In The Jambalaya.
Have your own ideas? Let us know in the comments section.
Victoria PBJ Sandwich
This mashup is a royal marriage in itself: A classic British cake named for a queen and an American gastronomic icon. A 2002 survey showed the average American will have eaten 1,500 of these sandwiches before high school graduation.
The cake is quick to make. The batter can be baked in two tins, but some recipes also call for one cake sliced into two layers. (The recipe comes from Claire Ptak’s The Violet Bakery Cookbook. Ptak, by the way, will be baking the cake for the royal wedding.)
A typical Victoria sponge is sandwiched with raspberry jam and whipped cream or buttercream. Instead of using peanut butter on its own, we used it in buttercream for a lighter filling. The top of the cake is simply decorated with a dusting of icing sugar.
If you’re feeling particularly inspired, throw slices of banana into the mix for a Victoria PBJ&B Sandwich. American icon Elvis would have loved it.
Marmite Mac ‘n Cheese
Like the PBJ sponge cake, this combination is brilliant – presuming, of course, that you like Marmite. The dish can be made with any mac ’n cheese recipe, but be mindful that you can’t just add the yeast extract, which is salty, without adjusting the amount of cheese. If you like a crunchy topping, put the macaroni and sauce into a heat-proof serving dish, sprinkle with more cheese and breadcrumbs and broil until golden.
Fried Chicken Crumpet
Instead of rolls or buns, we used these griddle cakes with holes on the top. Crumpets are usually eaten warm with lashings of butter. They are not split, so for the sandwich, use two crumpets for the top and bottom “bun”.
Store-bought crumpets are usually the size of slider buns so homemade ones need to be larger to hold the spiced chicken fillet that is marinated in buttermilk, battered and shallow-fried.
We have garnished the sandwich with cheese, tomato slices and a mango salsa influenced by south-western cuisine.
Cock-A-Leekie Clam Chowder
The classic Scottish leek soup is clear and contains prunes for a slightly sweet flavour, which may be strange for some folks. Chicken is often cooked in the broth and barley is an optional addition.
New England chowder, on the other hand, is a thick milk or cream-based soup. Besides the shelled clams, it also contains cubes of potatoes.
This mashup ended up being a thick clam and leek soup that tasted seafood-y, with a garnish of shredded chicken and chopped prunes. Sounds bizarre, and perhaps not a match made in heaven, but it was still wicked.
S’mores are made with graham crackers, squares of milk chocolate (usually Hershey’s) and a toasted marshmallow.
You could substitute the whole-wheat cracker with any British biscuit – hobnob, jammy dodger, bourbon, rich tea … and more! (all of them are great) – and make a good alternative S’more, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?
So we put this confection together with a plain scone split in half – remember, that’s always done with a fork, never a knife. The marshmallow was skewered and toasted with a blowtorch, but you can do this over an open flame or under the grill.
The most difficult part was trying to come up with a mash-up name. Sc’more, s’mone, sc’ore, sc’mone – any of these work for you?
Yorkshire Pecan Pudding-Pie
This pudding-pie combo uses the cooked English puffed batter as the casing for the pie filling. It was a last-minute addition to the list after the Scotch dog/corn egg disaster, so we probably didn’t think through the recipe carefully.
Our plan was to bake the pudding part first (in muffin tins) and then fill the indent with the pecan pie filling, which is a sort of caramel and nut sauce, and bake some more until firm.
The Yorkshire puddings puffed up beautifully like giant mushrooms, but not all of them came out in a cup shape, so holes were gouged out with a knife. Also, they were all lopsided and were fiddly to fill, even though we left the puddings in the muffin tins. A lot of the filling spilled out.
Despite all that, the taste was pretty good. Nice one!