Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Dinner For Ten

On the Thursday evening before New Year I set myself the challenge of preparing a three course meal for ten people are my parents house, something I'd never attempted to do before. 
My group of close friends from school were all invited, as well as my parents as a thanks for letting me host it and for the help they gave me sourcing ingredients etc.! 
I had such fun laying the table up with cutlery and glasses, but it is staggering how much silverware you get on the table when you put all the correct knives and forks in their right places!
For my starter I serves up a plate of prawns and salmon with a simple garlic and lime aioli. This is so simple to make, and if you take care with the presentation it can be a really great starter.  I used different sized prawns, some still with tails to give a bit of variety. To make the aioli add chopped dill, crushed garlic and freshly squeezed lime juice to taste. Serve with a nice seedy brown bread.
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This main course too some doing, and if I never have to chop another mushroom again it would not be a moment too soon! I served up a mushroom stuffed chicken breast with mushroom, pancetta and marsala sauce with baby vegetables. 
I made my dessert ahead a few days before and kept them in the freezer, as they can be served frozen: white chocolate, sour cherry and amaretto bombes. This is one of my favourite festive recipes, and it is so simple but looks amazing and really fiddly when it is served up, with a glass of Disaranno liquor on the side to pour over before eating. 
To finish we had a cheese board with biscuits, grapes and pomegranate pieces. Also dotted around the table I had my final surprise of the evening for my guests; I'd made some home made chocolate truffles.

When was the last time you went to dinner at someones house? What did you eat, or what did you serve the last time you threw a dinner party?


  1. I've never been to a dinner party actually, well nothing formal anyway! I'd probably shy away from them as in all honesty. I would'nt know what cutlery is used with what course as they're are so many! Your home has that wonderful traditional look, it's beautiful. The food also looks fantastic, well done!

  2. I was actually thinking about doing a post on table and cutlery etiquette as I was laying the table and I still might - I remember learning how to lay a table and learning which knives and forks to use for which course when I was at school, but I did actually have to look up where to put the cheese knife as I had totally forgotten!

  3. Brilliant brilliant brilliant. I'm jealous of your execution (and your parents house).

  4. It looks absolutely delicious! I've always wanted to host my own dinner party for a few friends and you have really inspired me to do so! <3

  5. This all looks so yum, not the best thing to look at while I'm waiting for dinner! Could you share your truffle recipe as well please?

  6. Rachel, I want an invite next time please...this looks delicious. Especially pudding! X

  7. I will share it next time I make them and I can photograph the process, but I don't know when that will be. If you need them for something particular, drop me an email and I'll send it over!

  8. Wow! Well done, Rachel. The dinner looks amazing. The main course looks absolutely delicious. I am totally taking cooking lessons from you!

  9. Cooking lessons from me? I need them from you! Still have not managed to perfectly replicate that french toast you make for me!

  10. So brave! The most I have cooked for is 9, but it was a roast with all the trimmings, so fairly easy to pull off! I have done cupcakes and cakes for 60 people for my engagement party, I gave myself RSI and had to take painkillers though, from all the stirring! Apart from Christmas dinner, my last meal was this
    I love cooking dinner for people, one of my favourite things to do of an evening!

  11. LOVE all the photos! All the food looks amazing and the setting looks so elegant :)
    I would love to have some of the dessert!

    xo Stephanie,
    *Amour, Stephanie

  12. Ahh, that amount of cakes sound epic! I've done that before, but never by myself - my mother baked them all and I decorated them all - well done you for doing it single handedly!

  13. This all looks amazing, well done! I've never gone to a dinner party, and I wouldn't dare try to throw one, haha.

  14. Wowee! That looks an amazing meal. I'm craving smoked salmon now, which is impressive considering the amount I put away over Christmas!