Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell

I have written previously on the merits of mussels. This is a fun party dish that combines the elegance of steaming in white wine with the fun of a crisp canapé. It works best with large mussels because you are cooking them twice, thereby reducing the risk of overcooking. But of course, you don’t alwaysContinue reading “Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell”

Chicken, Chorizo & Swiss Chard Phyllo Bundles with an Avocado and Tomato Salsa

A lovely light dinner or exciting first course, these crispy bundles really deliver on taste and texture. If serving these as a first course, divide the filling into 6 and use one sheet of pastry per person for 6 bundles, using unchanged quantities of everything else. If you haven’t got any cooked chicken to hand,Continue reading “Chicken, Chorizo & Swiss Chard Phyllo Bundles with an Avocado and Tomato Salsa”

Lemon Trifle

This is an intensely lemony, dreamy dessert that falls somewhere between a trifle and a tiramisu. Though there are a few steps, they’re all very easy – and very worth it. As you work through the recipe, use a fine zester for the lemons, taking care not to zest the bitter white pith. Speaking ofContinue reading “Lemon Trifle”

Mini Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Chestnut Pies

These pies just say Christmas! Big enough to be generous, but small enough for a party snack, if I saw a plate of these beauties any time over the festive period, I would instantly know I was welcome. If homemade shortcrust pastry isn’t your thing, you can buy pre-made shortcrust pastry in most grocery stores.Continue reading “Mini Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Chestnut Pies”

Cauliflower and Truffle Soup with Parmesan Crisps

I don’t usually go in for cream soups, though there’s actually very little cream in this one and it feeds a lot of people. Either way, this soup is delicious and that’s justification enough. It makes a wonderful starter for a celebration meal, or a cosy lunch after a bracing country walk. Feeds 6 –Continue reading “Cauliflower and Truffle Soup with Parmesan Crisps”

Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds

A fuss-free ending for a casual meal. Feeds 4 Ingredients 100g good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids) Seeds of 1 pomegranate, dried with paper towel Method: Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Over a double boiler (heatproof bowl over a pot of barely-simmering water), melt the chocolate. Remove and set aside. Tumble in theContinue reading “Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds”

Baked Camembert with Oven-Crisped Fries

A classic appetizer, but this would also be a fabulous and unexpected dinner party menu. Some really good cold ham, piles of good-quality mini gherkins, a crisp bitter salad and lots of cold Champagne… Quantity-wise, one 4″ wheel will do for six as an appetizer. As a main, it will feed two generously. Ingredients ForContinue reading “Baked Camembert with Oven-Crisped Fries”

Moroccan Meatballs

This really delivers on flavour and it’s packed full of vegetables! I would make this for a casual dinner party (see Make Ahead tip below) but it’s also simple enough to cook on a weeknight. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – you probably have most of it already. Serves 4 –Continue reading “Moroccan Meatballs”