Dinner parties are good fun. It’s all about talking with friends, showing off your cooking skills, playing host and having a few glasses of wine. What’s not fun is spending the entire day beforehand stressing about what you’re going to cook, when to put the food on and whether it’s going to come out of the oven in time. And the worst thing is when you’ve invited all your friends round for a meal and they all have a lovely time while you spend the entire night in the kitchen.
Luckily, we’re here to give some quick and easy recipes that still look impressive when you serve them up.
Goats Cheese and Asparagus Rolls
While these rolls look impressive, they’re actually really straight forward. For this recipe you’ll need:
- 18 spears of trimmed asparagus,
- 100g of soft goat’s cheese
- 100g of butter
- 6 X 18 by 25cm sheets of readymade filo pastry.
First, boil the asparagus in salted water until it’s tender, this should take around 3-4 minutes. Next, drain and rinse your asparagus in cold water before drying them on kitchen towel.
Brush the filo pastry with melted butter then lay out three of the asparagus spears at one end of it, make sure the spears are next to each to other and their edges are just slightly overlapping. Spread the goat’s cheese over the top of the asparagus until they are mostly covered.
The next step is to roll the pastry around as neatly and tightly as possible. Make five of these rolls and stick then in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. Afterwards you can slice each of them diagonally to make eight to ten bite-size pieces. All that’s left to do is pop them in a pre-heated oven (200C) for eight to ten minutes just before your guests arrive. Done!
Best of all, the rolls will keep in the fridge for up to 12 hours before cooking.
Extra Fancy Parmesan and Truffle Fries
You might not think of fries as the most exquisite dinner party food, but when handled properly you can make some truly delicious snacks with them. A simple pack of McCain chips, cooked and tossed in a bag with some salt, pepper, parsley, truffle oil and grated parmesan is guaranteed to impress.
Serve them with a side of garlic aioli by mixing:
- 165 grams of mayonnaise
- Three finely chopped cloves of garlic
- Two tbsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
There you have it, a lovely party snack that your guests are going to love!
These stuffed aubergines are so tasty, you’re sure to get praise for them. Although these are slightly more complicated, they work fantastically as a main course. For every two aubergines you’re going to stuff you’ll need:
- Two tbsp. of olive oil,
- One finely chopped onion
- Two finely chopped garlic cloves
- 225g of sliced mushrooms
- 350g of fresh washed spinach
- 50g of parmesan
- Six tbsp. of fromage frais
- Three tbsp. of breadcrumb
- Zest of a lemon
- 25g of toasted pine nuts
- Two tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley
Preheat your oven to 200C, cut your aubergines in half and boil them in a large pan of water for 4-5 minutes. Next, drain them and pat them dry with some kitchen paper. Put them in a baking tray, brush them with olive oil and stick them in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once they’re tender and golden, scoop out the flesh (leaving about a cm’s worth around the inner skin) and roughly chop up the flesh.
Heat some oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until the onion softens, throw in the aubergine flesh and then add the mushrooms. Fry the whole lot for 5 minutes and then add the spinach, stirring frequently until the spinach has wilted. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the parmesan and the fromage frais and then add some seasoning. In another bowl mix up your breadcrumbs, lemon zest, pine nuts and parsley.
Spoon your spinach mixture into the aubergine halves and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top. Pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes at (200C) and they’ll come out the other end golden and delicious!