Saturday 4 August 2012

Family dinner

The family were coming to dinner. This doesn’t happen often but it is always a pleasure when it does.

I needed to settle on a menu that would please all, be able to be got together without too much trouble and that suited the occasion with plenty to sample. I also decided to choose a menu from items on my blog site.

I decided to begin with a chickpea and leek soup (Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef) that is a favourite with us at home. In fact, of all the soups we eat, this one would be the one that we make most frequently. It’s easy to prepare, can be made a bit ahead of time and packs a heap of flavour to start people wanting more. With the soup we had an olive sourdough bread. Very tasty.

For mains I already had prepared the previous evening two individual casseroles of quick tomato macaroni cheese (Jamie’s Dinners). For the other dinner guests I prepared individual baked ricottas (Vegetarian, Alice Hart). I cooked these in the oven when the guests arrived while, at the same time, heating up the macaroni cheeses.

For vegetables I decided on broccolini with truffle butter, cherry tomatoes on the stem, green beans cooked in vodka (More from the Accidental Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer) and Pan Haggarty (The Accidental Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer). The green beans did not turn out extra special as I had anticipated that they would but the Pan Haggarty was particularly good—far better than the first time I had made it.

For the dessert course I thought I would make two so that guests could choose one or the other—and they all chose to have both. One was cold, a papaya, blood orange and strawberry salad (Salades, Damien Pignolet), and the other was hot, Mother’s Roly Poly (Mrs Harvey’s Sister-in-Law and other tasty dishes, Margaret Dunn). I guess you could consider the sweets a great success. There weren't even any photos taken as they all went down too quickly.

We had a great night. Everyone was in a really happy mood. The food all went down well. It always helps when there is choice (even if everyone takes both of the choices).

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