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Impressive but easy/quick ideas for dinner with friends?

(6 Posts)
NinaHagen Wed 31-Aug-11 14:18:16

Hi all,

I've invited some friends round for dinner because they've gone out of their way to help me a few times recently. I'm a single mum with a toddler, they're a couple with no children with more disposable income than me and a big interest in yummy food.

I'd really like to make something special that won't take all day or a million saucepans to prepare.

Any ideas please?

BlingLoving Wed 31-Aug-11 18:37:52

Do you have time to slow roast? Shoulder of lamb or pork belly are delicious, cheap and easy. Time taken is simply to cook - actual prep is low.

Otherwise a good pasta dish with good ingredients can work well? Sausage, fennel and creme fraiche is one of my stand bys. Can give you recipe.

NinaHagen Wed 31-Aug-11 21:08:13

I thought about doing a roast of some sort, but that's what I do every time these friends come over, so I thought it's time for something new.

Am quite intrigued by the pasta/sausage/fennel recipe. Thank you!

BlingLoving Thu 01-Sep-11 19:35:48

Right, so, to serve four:

Take a packet of pork sausages, preferably Italian, and remove sausage meat from the skins and chop roughly into chunks.

Fry the sausage chunks in sone olive oil with a a teaspoon of fennel seeds.

Add a clove of crushed garlic and the zest of one lemon and stir in.

Add two tomatoes cut into small chunks (optional).

Add 100ml each of White wine and milk (lean towards stinginess rather than generosity here) and boil for about five minutes until liquid has reduced significantly.

Stir through 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche and cook just long enough to warm through.

Mix with your cooked pasta then Season with some fresh basil and a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper and Parmesan.

If you like a little heat you can add some fresh chilli or flakes at same time as garlic and lemon. You can also stir in some fresh baby spinach with the milk and wine if you want some greens.

BlingLoving Thu 01-Sep-11 21:28:03

If you want something a little dazzling, what about dessert? I have a poached pear dessert i do when I want to impress - bit fiddly though. Or a good chocolate dessert can really impress.

EverSoLagom Thu 01-Sep-11 21:37:42

Tasty and pretty dessert which is super easy and especially cheap if you pick your own blackberries:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/blackberryfool_79647

I add some crushed meringue and a slosh of something alcoholic, and decorate with fresh berries.

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