The Perfect Dinner Party Menu

8 May 2019

Photo by Jordan Arnold on Unsplash


Have you got a dinner party on the horizon? Unsure and stressed about the menu? Worry not. I love dinner parties and want to share a few super-simple, tried-and-tested recipes with you – all of which are sure to impress your guests.

Dinner parties don’t have to be perfect. Neither do they have to be restaurant-like in quality. They don’t have to be laid out on the table like the ones featured in those dreamy restaurant interiors.

You just want your dinner menu to be appealing, pleasant, warm and stress-free – for your guests, and you, too.

If you’re organising an 11th-hour dinner party or running out of time, fret not. Making the meal doesn’t have to involve a trolley dash to your nearest supermarket.

Check out the below easy and delicious dinner party recipes to make. From barbecue scallops to no-bake cheesecake, these easy dishes are sure to wow your guests and give you ample time to spend on the important things.

STARTER

Barbecued Scallops

This scallop dish is perfect for a speedy yet impressive dinner party starter. It’s best to get the scallops from a fishmonger so they’re still in their shells. Be sure to ask them to clean them for you – and keep the shells for cooking.

If you’re grilling, use tiny beds of coarse salt to keep the scallops even.

INGREDIENTS

4 large scallops, cleaned (keep the shells)
4 tbsp butter
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced
½ a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 

METHOD

Fire up the barbecue or grill to medium-high. Pop each scallop into a shell with 1 tbsp of butter and some seasoning.

Place onto the barbecue or under the grill for a few minutes until lightly scorched. Meanwhile, combine the shallot, capers, lemon juice and parsley then spoon over the scallops and serve. 

MAINS

Cajun-Stuffed Chicken with Green Beans and Potatoes

Cajun-stuffed chicken breasts are stuffed with the classic combo of onion and bell peppers – and there’s cheese in there, too. To complement all that yummy goodness inside, a little Cajun spice is sprinkled on like magic dust.

This dish is best served with runner beans and a decent helping of roast potatoes. If you don’t want to make your own roasties, opt for McCain roasts. They’re basted in the finest goose fat for a scrumptiously crispy and tasty finish.

INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red and green bell pepper, diced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Grated Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 170° C. Warm the oil in a large ovenproof pan. Throw in the onions and peppers for a few minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and leave to cool a little.
Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast. Fill each with vegetable mixture then top with the Cheddar. Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning all over the chicken and season well with salt and pepper. 

Add chicken to pan and bake for roughly 30 minutes until cooked through.

Serve with runner beans. 

For the Potatoes

1.8kg King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into large, even-sized pieces
250ml olive oil
Salt 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 200°C . Pop the potatoes in a large pan so they’re just covered with water. Put on the lid and bring to the boil then simmer for a few minutes. Drain and fluff up the edges by shaking in a colander. 

Pour the oil into a large roasting tin and heat on the hob. Carefully position the potatoes in one layer in the tin. Turn them so they’re evenly coated in oil and roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. 

Drain off the oil and season with salt. Cook for a further five minutes. 

DESSERT

No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

What beats a tasty cheesecake to serve up to hungry guests? One that involves zero baking, which is exactly what this little number is. My Easy No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake has a crunchy digestive biscuit base finished with smooth, velvety and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. Better yet, it’s a breeze to make.

Even though it involves no baking, you still need to leave enough time to create it so it has time to set properly in the fridge. Or pop it in the freezer if you’re really short of time to speed up the process.

INGREDIENTS

Serves: 6
150g (5 oz) digestive biscuits
45g (1 1/2 oz) butter
110g (4 oz) caster sugar, divided
120ml whipping cream
150g (5 oz) dark chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons cocoa powder mixed with a little hot water
1 (200g) tub cream cheese

METHOD

Crush the digestive biscuits and mix with the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar. Press into a 18cm (7 in) cake tin and refrigerate. 

Whip cream until soft peak stage. Add cooled melted chocolate then the cocoa powder mix. Blend well and set aside. 

Beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar together. Fold in cream/chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly. 

Spread into tin on top of crushed biscuits. Freeze for one hour. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes then serve. 

Voila! If you’re throwing a dinner party soon and are in need of some trusty recipes then look no further than the above delicious dishes. They’re sure to get your guests’ taste buds tingling so your dinner party goes with a bang.

This is a collaborative post.

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