Waitrose: The Everyday Kitchen

Episode five: The Ultimate Dinner Partywaitrose new

Waitrose has been working with Mumsnet to produce a web TV series - demonstrating that quick and tasty culinary achievements can be an everyday feature in your kitchen despite the trials and tribulations of family life.

Through the series we'll be offering you inspiration for your ingredients from Waitrose executive chef Neil Nugent and insights into gastronomic goodness with nutritionist Moira Howie. We'll be covering everything from how to take the stress out of Sunday lunch to bringing back the lost art of baking.

Great hosting needn't involve slaving over the stove while your guests relax in the next room. This week's episode on The Ultimate Dinner Party has a few ideas that are guaranteed to impress by using fresh and flavourful ingredients cooked simply - leaving you time with your guests.



Fancy having a go yourself? Here's the recipe and list of the ingredients you'll need.

Thanks for submitting your hints and tips on this week's theme. Here are a few of our favourites: 

  • Oh I just love dinner parties, what a great way to indulge my favourite hobbies: cooking, friends, fun and laughter!
 I think the best meals are those that don't take you away from the guests too much - so beef bourguinon, lasagne and a chicken layered with ratatouille are my specialities. 
I adore making and indulging in puddings and usually go to town on these. Anything from chocolate fudge cake to cheesecake, to tiramisu...  I've even been known to make home-made truffles to serve with coffee. 
One of my most impressive and best cheats is an appetiser or party snack. Get a loaf of brown bread. Roll out each slice till it's thin and no longer resembles bread. Cut out tart-like disks and place them in an oiled tart tin. Use Frylight or brush a little oil on the top and bob in the oven for five minutes until brown and crisp. Once the tarts are made they can be filled with cold fillings like cream cheese, prawn cocktail and pickles, or made into mini pizzas by smearing with tomato puree and adding chopped mushrooms, ham and grated cheese. They look sooooo impressive, are dead easy to make and taste yummy! sjwfrance 
  • A whole baked Camembert looks impressive as a starter and is simply delicious served with some crostini and marinated olives. Everyone can just dig in, like a fondue, and it takes very little preparation - which is always nice!
 A MNer once suggested Eton Mess to me as an easy dinner party dessert and it was wonderful. I made sure I bought freshly made meringue from a good deli and served it in layers in a pretty glass. Perfect! 
It's nice to put effort into making something special for your guests but there is nothing worse than going to a dinner party and not seeing the host because they are stuck in the kitchen all night. However, if the MIL is on the guest list, then I suddenly find a burning desire to make something like souffle. "Gosh, I hardly spoke to you all night, what a shame, but I do hope you enjoyed the food..." WibblyPigRocks
  • The main thing is to make dishes that can be largely made in advance. Examples in my repertoire are fish burritos (just a bit of frying at the end), Keralan fish curry, lamb tagine with pomegranate relish. Slow cooking is also a good one - I have a great pork and a great lamb recipe.

You can view the full thread here and congratulations to Lisad123 who has won £100 of Waitrose vouchers. Enjoy!

Looking for more recipes? Why not check out the recipe library at www.waitrose.com for more delicious ideas from the Waitrose food team.

We'd like to say a final thank you to our featured Mumsnetters, MyNameIsJane and HolyMoly – you were absolute stars and we're glad you enjoyed the experience!

Last updated: about 3 years ago