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.
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?