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Dinner Party – 4

Smoked Salmon Canapes

Cream cheese60g / 2oz
chives30g / 1oz
Smoked salmon112g / 4oz

Beat the cheese and chives and season. Lay out the smoked salmon on clingfilm slightly overlapping. Spread cheese mix on salmon and roll up tight. Chill. Remove clingfilm. Slice to serve.

Melon Martini (serves 2-4)

Honeydew melon1
watermelon¼
Vodka (optional) 
MintTo garnish

For the shot – peel and blend the watermelon and pass through a fine sieve. Chill before serving in a shot glass.

For the martini – peel and seed the honeydew melon. Take out 4 pearls. Blend the rest. Chill. Serve in martini glasses with a single melon ball on a cocktail stick. Garnish with mint. (add optional vodka)

Spiced Apple Compote (serves 2)

Bramley/cooking apple1
Five-spice1 pinch
Cinnamon stick¼
lemon¼
water2 tablespoons
Granulated sugar60g / 2oz

Peel and core the apple, then chop into wedges. Juice the lemon. Put all the ingredients into a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes; making sure not catching. Remove cinnamon stick. Puree.

Spiced Parsnip Cappuccino (serves 2)

butter15g / ½ oz
mushrooms112g/ 4oz
thymesprig
Full fat milk25ml
onion30g / 1oz
Garlic¼  clove
Cajun spices1 pinch
Veg/chicken stock112ml / ¼  pt

Chop mushrooms, onion and garlic. Pick the thyme leaves In a pan melt the butter and sweat the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and thyme. Add the stock. Boil then simmer to cook. Blend. Add spices and season to taste. Serve in coffee cup. Whip hot milk with blender to a froth and put on top of the soup.

Pork & Black Pudding En Croute (serves 1)

Pork tenderloin112g / 4oz
Puff pastry112g / 4oz
paprika1 pinch
Spring/savoy cabbage60g / 2oz
black pudding60g / 2oz
egg21

Finely chop cabbage. Roll out the pastry to square and trim the edges. Season the pork with salt and pepper and paprika. Seal in a hot oiled pan. Leave to cool. Place cabbage in puff pastry. Top with layered black pudding and seared pork. Wrap. Eggwash. Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes at 200 deg C / Gas Mark 6 until golden brown.

Red Wine Sauce

Shallot1
Red pepper¼
chivesPinch
Unsalted butter  25g/ 1oz
Brown Chicken stock4 tablespoons
Red wine2 tablespoons

Finely chop the red pepper, chives and shallot.  Heat a saucepan and add any juices from the roasting pan but remove any excess oil, add the red wine and simmer for 1 minute then add the shallot, red pepper, chives and stock and bring to the boil.  Whisk in butter.

Pears Poached in Spiced Wine (Serves 4)

Pear (firm)4
Caster sugar100g / 4 oz
Red wine150ml / ¼ pt
Water150ml / ¼ pt
Lemon2 strips of rind
Lemon juice1 table spoon
Cinnamon1 stick / 1 teaspoon of ground
Cloves6
Mint sprigsTo decorate
optionalServed cream or crème fraiche

Peel pears leaving stalk intact. Put sugar, wine, water, lemon peel, cinnamon and cloves in pan and heat gently stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Put pears in pan and bring the pouching liquid to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until pears are tender. Turn them occasionally to ensure even cooking. Remove pears from pan, pour over poaching liquid and decorate with mint leaf imitating leaves from pear; serve with crème fraiche or soured cream.

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Author: Brian Hannan

I am a published author of books about film - over a dozen to my name, the latest being "When Women Ruled Hollywood." As the title of the blog suggests, this is a site devoted to movies of the 1960s but since I go to the movies twice a week - an old-fashioned double-bill of my own choosing - I might occasionally slip in a review of a contemporary picture.

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