If you love hosting dinner parties....(18 Posts)
what is your favourite menu??
Just that really - I have guests coming over in two weeks and I am just looking for fresh ideas.
I'll start: (hard to get it down to just one dish per course - this menu comes straight from a Jo Pratt book)
-Crab and crayfish cocktail (very retro, I know but we are near the sea so the ingredients are lovely)
-Fillet of beef (I use Nigella's method for cooking a whole fillet and it is always perfect) seved with homemade chilli chips and asian coleslaw
-Lime and passionfruit cheesecakes.
Always looking for new but easy canapé ideas too.
Sounds lovely and I would happily eat all of that however DH would have to bypass the starter as he's not big into fish and that's just a fish to far
I always try to make sure my recipe doesn't include a lot of last minute cooking taking me away from the
I agee with XBenedict about doing stuff in advance.
I quite often do Italian style antipasti for a starter - parma ham, olives, bread etc etc
Main course quite often a 'posh' casserole or lamb shanks.
Pudding might be a gooey chocolate pudding - batter can be made hours in advance and the puddings are baked in ramekins for ten minutes when you need them - served with strawberries or other fruit to dip in the molten middle.
All sounds lovely - that's why I like Nigella's fillet, you cook it for 30 mins then rest it for two hours. Definitely with you on the drinking front!!
My other possible for my upcoming party is a chicken and tarragon casserole that's a one pot wonder....
I loathe Jamie but he has a great leg of lamb recipe with potatoes and root veg which cooks for about 5 hours and is basically a one pot wonder. Meat falls off the bone and veg is done too (I sometimes steam some greens to go with).
Delia's chocolate bread and butter pudding is a sure fire winner for pudding.
ISing - if you can link to your chocolate recipe it sounds lovely - I've done Delia's molten middle puds, similar??
Ottolenghi is wonderful. See:
I can personally vouch for the tom and pom salad and the barbecued leg of lamb. The latter in particular is absolutely spectacular.
I change what's on offer depending on numbers, time of year and level of formality. Though I try to avoid anyhting too formal at all costs.
My aim is to do as much as possible in advance so I can spend time with my guests. And to serve lots of food and alcohol. Abundance always feels friendly.
I've got people coming over on Friday and my plan is:
French Onion soup
Leg of lamb, oven baked vegetables, gratin of potatoes.
Lemon tart with rasberry sorbet.
Nigel slater's white chocolate and cardamom mousse is fab - and is prepared in advance.
Agree that Ottolenghi's recipes are amazing
poppadom and homehelp - I've looked at Ottolenghi's books before but don't own one ( and I have lots of cookbooks) - I think a trip to waterstones is in order!!
wordfactory - that is a gorgeous menu- I think we go about things in a very similar way. I did shoulder f lamb earlier in the year with potato gratin followed by lemon tart!
i put my best canape ideas in the mn recipes
prawsn on oatcakes
chorizo and chicken skewers etc
think they are filed under snacks
Petit what would you do for a vegetarian main? I have a dinner party in Oct that needs to be vegetarian, looking for inspiration!
Ooo good thread! My next menu is going to be:
prawns baked in garlic, chilli and parsley butter and ciabatta bread,
duck ragout with parmesan Polenta chips and crispy leeks (i'm trying to recreate a meal I had in a restaurant recently),
Pavlova (Lisa Faulkner's recipe always works well for me)
I'm not very good at vegetarian inspiration but I try to keep it similar to the non-veg option so would do something like a rich veg stew with Polenta.
Penny - Last time I had a vegetarian guest I made a kind of Wellington (totally made up!!) It was lovely though.
- Ready made pastry, a layer of cooked puy lentils fried with garlic and onions (I cooked it in advance then cooled it and made sure it wash't too wet), a layer of roasted butternut squash, a layer of fresh baby leaf spinach and topped with fried garlicky mushrooms. Rolled it up as you would a Beef Wellington then egg washed and baked for about 25 mins (everything in it had been cooked so it was just cooking the pastry) It looked really pretty when sliced - the other guests were having roast shoulder of lamb so I served everyone red wine sauce (without meat stock), potato gratin and peas.
I think it's nice when the Vegetarian can eat all of the same side dishes along with the other guests.
Dylan - Yum! Duck ragu sounds lovely!
Betsy - found your canapés - had never thought of looking in 'snacks' (checkout the 'easy quick lunch extravaganza'!!)
Pork and chicken terrine with a little salad garnish, crusty bread and possibly a chutney.
Salmon in filo pastry (mushroom for the friend who does not like fish)
Chicken in red wine with miniature baked potatoes (olive oil, slat and pepper before baking) batons of carrots, fine green beans and asparagus.
baked brie with bread to dip or a selection of cheeses, often serve pud and cheese together so people can have one or both
Tomato and aubergine casserole
1 aubergine per person, sliced and fried (or oven baked for less calories)
lightly fry some onions and then add one of
2) tinned chopped tomatoes
3) a mixture of the two
herbs, seasonings and a pit of paprika
put layers of aubergine in the bottom of a lasagne dish, add a layer of the tomato and onion, dollop on some cream or natural yoghurt - or if you are doing vegan use yoffu (it will cook to a solid but is still nice)
top with something crispy - I usually use breadcrumbs and grated cheese but you can use scrunched up crisps.
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