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dinner party

appet ZETS
These

tempting first courses are all visually

appealing and perfect for setting the right

tone at the beginning of a special meal.

306 Dinner Party Appetizers

Pears a nd Stilton
This is a traditional English dish and
a marriage made in heaven. The
flavours and textures of pears and
cheese are simply superb together-

Serves 4
4 ripe pears, lightly chilled
759/3oz blue Stilton
50gl2oz curd (farmer's) cheese

ground black pepper

watercress spriqs, to qarnish

then scoop out the cores and cut away

then spoon it over the pears. Serve

the calyx from the rounded end.

garnished with some watercress sprigs.

vARlATtOtu

Cut the pears in hal{ lengthways,

Shake the dressing to mix it again,

For the dressing

45ml/3 tbsp light olive oil


15ml/1 tbsp lemon juice
1

0ml/2 tsp toasted poppy seeds

salt and ground black pepper

Stilton is the classic British blue cheese,

with a little pepper and beat lightly

but you could use Blue Cheshire or even a

again. Divide this mixture among the

non-British cheese, such as Gorgonzola or

cavities in the pears.

Roquefort, if you like.

,.:.

1 First make the dressing, place the


olive oil and lemon juice. poppy seeds
and seasoning to taste n a screw-top
1ar

and then shake together vigorously

until emulsified.

COOK'S TTPS

Comice pears are a good choice for this

dish, being very juicy and aromatic. For a

dramatic colour contrast, select the


excellent sweet and juicy Red Williams or
Red Bartletts.

You can mix the cheese filling in

advance and store, covered with clear film


(plastic wrap) in the refrigerator. Similarly,

mix the dressing ahead of time, but bring


it to room temperature to serve. However,

don't halve the pears until just before


serving or the flesh will discolour,

becoming an unappetizing brown.

Place the Stilton and curd cheese in

a bowl and beat together, then season

Dinner Party Appetizers 307

Asparagus with Raspberry Dressing


Asparagus and raspberries

complement each other. The sauce


gives this appetizer a real zing.

and st r with a fork until the salt has

Put the vinegar and salt into a bowl

drssolved. St r in the Dijon mustard.


Gradually stir in the oil until it

Serves 4

is

blended. Add the sour cream or yogurt


and season with pepper to taste.

6/59/11/zlb thin asparagus spears

30mll2 tbsp raspberry vinegar

To serve, arrange the asparagus on

nd vidual plates, dividing the spears

2.5m1/1/z tsp salt

5ml/1 tsp Dijon mustard

equally, and drizzle the dressing across

25ml/11/z tbsp sunflower oil

30ml/2 tbsp sour cream ar


natural (plain) yoqurt

carefully remove the asparagus

ground white pepper

and immerse them in cold water to

C(,(,K'S

stop any further cooking. Drain, then

Adding Dijon or other mustard to salad

untie the bundles. Pat the spears dry

dressings not only provides flavour, but

with kitchen paper. Chill the asparagus

also helps the oil and vinegar mixture to

1 Fill a large wide frying pan or wok


with water l0cm/4,n deep and brirg
to the boil.

2 Trim off the tough ends of the


asparagus spears. lf you ike, remove
us ng a

,eqetable peeler.

3 -re the asparagus spears into two

:-^c

the mlddle of them. Garnish with the


fresh raspbenies.

bundles from the frying pan or wok

759/60211 cup fresh raspberries

ihe "scales" on the stems,

Using a fish slice or metal spatula,

es. Lowerthe bundles into the

:: '19 water and cook for about


I - ''ruies, untii just tendel

in the refr gerator for at least

hour.

T!P

combine and emulsify.

308 Dinner Party Appetizers

Tomato and Courgette Timbales


Timbales are baked savoury

3 Whisk toqether the eqqs, cream,

custards typical of the south

of
France, and mainly made with light

tomato sauce or passata and basll or

vegetables. This combination is

with salt and pepper.

delicious

as an

oregano in a bowl. Season to taste

appetizer. lt can be
4

served warm or cool.

Pour the egg mixture into the

ramekins.

Serves 4

and half

ace them in a roasting pan

fil the

pan with hot water.

Bake the rameklns for

20-30 m nutes,

unt the custard slustfrrm.

butter, for qreasinq


Gas 4. Lightly butter

1 Preheat the oven to 1 80"C/350"F/


four large

5 Cool slightly, then run a knife blade

2 firm, ripe vine tomatoes, sliced

ramekins. Tr m the courgettes, then

around the rims of the ramekins and

2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks


45ml/3 tbsp double (heavy) cream

cut them into thin slices. Put them into

carefully turn out on to small plates.

a steamer and steam over bo ling

Serve

2 courgettes (zucchini), about


7

759/6oz

5ml/1 tbsp fresh tomata sauce or


pa ssata (bottled stra i n ed to matoes)

water for 4-5 minutes.

?ml/2 tsp chopped fresh basil or

2 Drain the courgette

oregano or 5ml/1 tsp died oregano

slices well in a

with

sa ad leaves.

CO(IK'S TIP

colander, then ayer them in the

Don't overcook the timbales or the

salt and ground black pepper

prepared ramekins alternating with

texture of the savoury custard will

salad leaves, to serve

the sliced tomatoes.

become rubbery,

s'

Dinner Party Appetizers 309

Lemon, Thyme and Bean Stuffed Mushrooms


Portabello mushrooms have a rich

flavour and a meaty texture that go


well with this fragrant herb-anolemon stuffing. The garlicky pine nu1
is a traditional
Middle Eastern dish with a smooth,
creamy consistency similar to that
of hummus.

accompaniment

Serves 4-6
2009/7oz/1 cup dried or 4009/14o2/
2 cups drained, canned aduki beans

45ml/3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra


for brushing

I onion, finely chopped


2 garlic cloves, crushed
30ml/2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme or

5nl/1

tsp dried

8 large field mushrooms, such as

ft a bel I o

po

m ush

room s, sta I ks

finely chopped

509/2oz/1 cup fresh wholemeal


(whole-wheat) breadcrumbs
iuice

of I lemon

1859/61/z oz/3/.t cup crumbled

Brush an ovenproof dish and the

base and sides of the mushrooms

goat's cheese

with

olive oil, then top each one with a

salt and ground black pepper

spoonful of the bean mixture. Place


the mushrooms in the d sh, cover with

For

the pine nut

foil and bake for 20 minutes.

sauce

509/2oz/1/z cup pine nuts, toasted


2 garlic cloves, chopped

5 Remove the {oil. Top each mushroom


with some of the goat's cheese and

200m1/7fl oz/scant

bake for a f urther

509/2az/1 cup cubed white bread


1

cup milk

:5ml/3 tbsp olive oil


'

5ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to


garnish (optional)

1 ' rsirg

o.ieo bears, p ore them

bowl, add cold water to cover and

:ave to soak overnight, then dra

:-d

rinse well. Place the beans in a

:an, add enough water to cover and


:'rng to the boil. Bo I vigorously for
-

0 minutes, then reduce the heat,

Preheat the oven to 200"c/400"F/

Gas 6. Heat the oil in a large, heary

and the mushrooms are tender

and cook, stining occasionally. for about

5 To make the pine nut sauce, place

5 minutes, until softened. Add the

the ingredients in a food processor or

al1

thyme and the mushroom stalks and

blender and process or blend unti

cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring

smooth and creamy. Add more milk if

occasionally, until tender.

the mixture appears too th ck. Sprink


wrth parsley, if us ng, and serve with

3 Stir

n the beans, breadcrumbs and

lemon julce, season well with salt and


pepper, then cook for 2 minutes, until

:':

leaving the remaininq beans whole.

set aside.

5 minutes, or until

frying pan. Add the onion and garlic

:Jck for about 30 mlnutes, until


::rder, then drain. lf using canned
::ans, rinse under cold running water,

r we l, then

'l

the goats cheese is melted and bubb y

heated through. Mash two-thirds of the


beans with a fork or potato masher,

the stuffed mushrooms.

310 Dinner Party Appetizers

Hard-boiled Eggs with Tuna Sauce


The combination of eggs and

tasty tuna mayonnaise makes a


nourishing first course that is quick
and easy to prepare.

anchovies, capers, lemon juice and

Place the tuna

with its oil, the

olive oil in a blender or a food


processor. Process until smooth.

Serves 6
6 large (US extra large) eggs

200gl7oz can tuna in olive oil


3 anchovy fillets
1

5mll1 tbsp capers, drained

lemon juice

serving platter. Spoon over the sauce,

30ml12 tbsp olive oil


salt and

ground

black pepper

drained capers and anchovy fillets, to


garnish (optional)

and garnish with capers and anchovy

fillets, if using. Serve the eggs chilled.

Fold the tuna and anchovy mixture

into the mayonnaise. Season with


For
1

the mayonnaise

black pepper, and extra salt if

egg yolk, at room temperature

5ml/1 tsp Dijon mustard

5mlll

tsp white wine vinegar or

lemon juice
150m1/1/n

pintP/t cup olive oil

1 Cook the eggs in a pan of boiling


water for 12-14 minutes. Drain and
rinse under cold water. Shell carefully
and set aside.

Make the mayonnaise by whisking


the egg yolk, Drjon mustard and white

wine vinegar or lemon juice together


in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil,
a

few drops at

To serve, cut the eggs in half

lengthways. Arrange them on a

a time

to begin with,

until 45-60m1/3-4 tbsp of the oil


have been incorporated. Pour in the

remaining oil in a slow, steady stream,


whisking constantly until thickened
and fully incorporated.

necessary. Chill for at least

hour.

coot(,s TtP
lf hard-boiled eggs are left to cool in their
shells, the yolks will discolour,

Dinner Party Appetizers 3I l

Salmon Cakes with Butter Sauce


Salmon fish cakes make a real treat
for the start of a dinner party. They
are also economical as you could
use any small tail pieces which are
on special offer from your local fish
store or supermarket.

Makes 6
2259/8oz salmon tail piece, cooked
30ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped

grated rind and juice of

1/z

lemon

225gl8oz mashed potato (not too soft)


1

egg

50gl2oz/ 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs


759/3oz/6 tbsp buttet plus extra for
frying (optional)
oil, for frying (optional)
salt and ground black pepper

courgefie (zucchini) and carrot slices


and coriander (cilantro), to garnish

5 To make the butter sauce, melt the

1 Remove and discard all the skin and

butier, whisk in the remaining lemon


rind, the lemon juice, 15-30m1/

bones from the fish and mash or flake

the flesh well.

1-2 tbsp water and season to taste

with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few


minutes, whisking, and serve with the

Place the fish in a bowl and add the

fresh parsley. onions and 5m1/1 tsp of

hot fish cakes, garnished with slices of

the lemon rind, then season with salt


and plenty of black pepper.

courgette and carrot and a sprig of


fresh coriander

3 Gently work in the mashed potato


and then, with lightly dampened

4 Preheat the grill (broiler). Beat the

hands, shape the mixture into six

the breadcrumbs.When chilled,

rounds, triangles or croquettes. Place

the salmon cakes on a platter and chill

coat the salmon cakes well in egg and


then in the breadcrumbs. Grill (broil)

them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes

gently for 5 minutes on each side, or

to firm up.

until golden, or fry n butter and oil.

egg in a shallow dish and spread out

312

- '..t

Party Appetizers

Prawn, Egg and Avocado Mousses


A light and creamy mousse with
lots of chunky texture and a great

3 Cut the avocado in half, twist to

mix of f lavours.

the point of the knife. In a medium bowl

separate and remove the stone (pit) with


mash the avocado fLesh, then mix in the

i
t-

Serves 6

I
\

a little olive oil

juice and rind of

1.

r,.r

mixture and then fold in the cream and

,#r

'

lemon

eggs and prawns. Stir in the gelatine


egg wh tes. Season to taste with salt

.:r"

and pepper. When evenly b ended,


spoon into the ramek ns or souffle dish

1 sachet gelatine
60 m I /4 tbsp good -q

uaI

and chill for 3-4 hours.

ity mayon na ise

60ml/4 tbsp chapped fresh dill

Put the lemon juice into a small,

5ml/1 tsp anchovy essence (extract)

heatproof bow, stir in 1 5ml/1 tbsp hot

5ml/1 tsp Warcestershire sauce

water and sprinkle over the gelatine.

large avocado, ripe but just firm

4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled

for 5 m nutes, unti spongy, then

set the bowl over hot water, until clear,

stlring

and chopped
1

Leave

759/602/1 cup cooked peeled prawns


(shrimp), coarsely chopped if large

250m1/8fl oz/1 cup double (heaur') or

4 Garnish wlth the dill or parsley and


serue the mousse with bread or toast.

occas onally. Leave

to cool

coor('s TIP
Other fish can make a good alternative to

sllghtly, then b end ln the lemon rind,

prawns (shrimp).Try substituting the same

mayonnaise, d ll, anchovy essence and

quantity of smoked trout or salmon, or

Worrestersh re sauce.

cooked crab meat.

whipping cream, lightly whipped


2 egg whites, whBked
salt and ground black pepper

fresh dill or parsley sprigs, to garnish

warm bread or toast, to serve

t'9i.,

'.11,,

, ",;

liir

,:.\ Lr"s,.,
1 Prepare six

smalL ramekins. Light y

grease the dishes with olive oil, then


wrap a greaseproof (wax) paper collar

around the top o{ each and secure with


tape. This makes sure that you can fill

the dishes as h gh as you like, and the


extra mixture w ll be supported while it
s setting. The mousses

A ierratively, prepare just one medium

sorf

e d sh.

-sry

will look really

dramatic when you remove the paper.

-''

= - ."- ,.t'

;'E'"8

'=:'{,- )E:
"-3

Dinner Party Appetizers 313

Sea Trout Mousse


a cLean, grease-free bowl, beat

3 When the

makes a little sea trout go a long

handle, renove a.rd discard the sI in

the egg wh tes w th a pinch of salt

and any stray bones, then flake the

until they form soft peaks. Then

way.

lt

is

equally good made

with salmon if

sea

trout

is

sea

trout

5 ln

This deliciously creamy mousse

is cool enough to

flesh. Pour the stock into a food

using a large meta spoon or rubber

unavailable. Serve with crisp


Melba toast or triangles of lightly
toasted pitta bread.

processor or blender. Process briefly.

spatula, stir about one-third of the egg

then gradually add the flaked sea trout,

whites nto the

lemon juice, sherry or vermouth and

slacken it s ightly, then carefully fold in

Parmesan through the feeder tube,

the remainder.

Serves 6

continuing to process the mixture untll

2509/9oz sea trout fillet

and leave to cool completely.

it

is

smooth. Scrape into a large bowl

1/z

Lightly grease slx ramek ns or similar

mousse equa ly among the prepared

or I 5ml/1 tbsp

powdered gelatine
juice of

trout mixture to

individual servrng dishes. Divide the

20ml/4fl oz/1/z cup fish stock

2 gelatine leaves,

sea

Lightly whip the cream ln a bow,

d sl-es

ard

level Ll-e :.r'fara. Plare n

then fold it into the cold trout mixture.

the refrigeraior for 2-3 hours, until

Season to taste wrth salt and pepper,

set. lust be{ore servlng, arrange a few

30mll2 tbsp dry sherry or dry vermouth

then cover w rh clear f lm (p,astrc

slices of cucumber and a small herb

30mll2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

wrap) and chi L until the mousse

lemon

3A)mll1/2 pint/1

1/4

cups whipping cream

2 egg whites

is

lust

sprig on top of each mousse and,

starting to set. lt shoL,ld have rhe

finally, sprinkle over a llttle chopped

consistency of mayonnaise.

d ll or chervil.

15ml/1 tbsp sun{lower oil, for greasing


salt and ground white pepper

w,

\o

For the garnish

i :'.#*

5cm/2in piece cucumber, with peel,


thinly sliced and halved

-"5
r*

fresh dill or chervil

"ffi.v1
*#&"@,..

-J

,}

,VI
1

Put the sea

trout in a arge, sha low

pan. Pour ln the f sh stock and heat


gent y to simmering point. Poach the
fish for about 3-4 minutes, until

ghtly cooked. Carefu ly strain the


stock lnto a jug (pitcher) and eave
the sea trout to cool sllghtly.

2 Add the gelatine to the

reserued

hot slock and stir wel until it has


dissolved completely. Cover and set
as

de until required.

314 Dinner Party Appetizers

Monkfish Packages
Notoriously ugly, the monkfish
makes delicious eating with its

faintly shellfish-like f lavour. You


could use a cheaper fish, but you'll
lose that special taste.

Serves 4
1

759/6oz/1

1/z

cups strong white

bread flour
2 eggs
1

5g/4oz skinless monkfish fillet, diced

grated rind of

lemon

garlic clove, chopped

fresh red chilli, seeded and sliced

45ml/3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


30ml/2 tbsp single (light) cream
salt and ground black pepper

For the

tomato oil

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and


finely diced
45ml13 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

15mll1 tbsp lemon juice

Pulse the flour, eggs and 2.5m1/

% tsp salt in a blender or food

processor to form a soft dough. Knead

for 2-3 minutes. Wrap in clear film

floured surface and cut out 32 rounds,

Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly

using a 4cml11/2in plain cutter Divide

(plastic wrap) and chill for 20 minutes.

the monkfish filling equally among


half the rounds, then cover them with

the remaining rounds. Pinch the edges


tightly to seal, trying to exclude

as

much air as possible.

5
3

Place the diced monkfish, lemon

l\,4ake

the tomato oil by stirring the

Bring a large pan of water to the

boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

diced tomatoes with the olive oil and

Add the fish packages, in batches, and

lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt

poach for 2-3 minutes, or until they

with

to taste. Cover with clear film and chill

rise to the surface. Remove

in the re{rigerator until ready to serve.

slotted spoon, drain well and keep hot


while you cook the remaining

rind, qarlic, chilli and parsley in the

clean food processor and process until

cooK's rrPs

packages. Serve hot, drizzled with the

very finely chopped. Add the cream

tomato oil.

and season with plenty o{ salt and

flour into the bowl of the food processor.

lf the dough is sticky, sprinkle a little

ground black pepper, then process

again until a very thick paste is formed

membrane that surrounds the monkfish

Scrape into a bowl.

fillet before dicing.

lVlake sure

that you remove the grey

Dinner Party Appetizers 315

Scallop and Mussel Kebabs


These delightfully crispy seafood
skewers are served

with hot

3 Scrub the mussels and remove their


beards.

toast spread with a lovely fresh


herb butter.

ther

r nse rnde" co d

rurring

water. Discard any that do not shut


when sharply tapped. Place in a arge
pan with about 2.5cm/1in of water

Serves 4

in the base. Cover tightly and steam


over a medium heat, shakrng the pan

659/21/zoz/5 tbsp butter, at

occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until

they open. When cool enough to

room temperature
32mll2 tbsp minced (ground)fresh

handie, remove them from their shells,

fennel or parsley

and pat dry using kitchen paper.

15mll1 tbsp lemon juice

Discard any mussels that have not

32 small scallops

opened during cooking.

5 Preheat the gri I (broi er). Spread


the breadcrumbs on a plate.
Brush the seafood with olive oil

and roll in the crumbs to coat all over.

24 large mussels, in the shell


8 bacon rashers (strips)

509/2oz/1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

metai skewers. Thread on each one,

50ml/2fl oz/1/a cup olive oil

alternateiy, four scallops and

Grill (broil) for

salt and ground black pepper

three mussels. As you are doing this,

side, until crisp and lightly browned.

hot toast. to serve

weave a rasher of bacon between the

Serve immediately

scallops and mussels.

the flavoured butter.

1 l\lake the tlavoured butter by


combining the butter with the minced
herbs and lemon juice in a bowl.
Season

with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix well and set aside.

2 Cook the scallops in their own liquor


in a small pan untrl they begrn to

shrink. lf there is no scallop liquor

retained from the shells after shucking

use a little fish stock or white wine.

Drain the scallops well and then pat


dry with kitchen paper.

coot(,s TIP
When shucking scallopl wrap the hand

that is holding the shell in a dishtowel to


protect it, as the sharp knife required for
the process can easily slip.

Take eight

5cm/6in wooden or
Place the skewers on the grill rack.

4-5

minutes on each

with hot toast and

316 Dinner Party Appetizers

Salmon and Scallop Brochettes


With their delicate colours and

really superb flavour, these skewers


make the perfect first course.

and then brush ali over the brochettes.

Me t the butter ln a small pan, add


the lemon juice and a p nch of paprika
Grill (broil) the skewers for about

Serves 4

{-,&

8 lemon grass stalks


2259/8oz salmon fillet, skinned

-e

8 shucked queen scallops, with thetr

2 3 minutes on each

side, turning and

basting the brochettes every m nute,

until the fish and scallops are just


cooked, but are sti I very juicy. Transfer
to a platter and keep hot while you

corals

if

1/z

yellow (bell) pepper, seeded and cut


into

make the tarragon butter sauce.

possible

8 baby (pearl) onions, blanched

squares

259/1 oz/2 tbsp butter


juice of 1/z lemon
salt, ground white pepper and paprika

1 Preheat the grill (broiler) to mediumhigh. Cut off the top 7.5-1 0cm/3 4in
of each lemon grass stalk to make
"skewers"for the brochettes. Reserve
the bulb ends for another dish. Cut the

To make the sauce, pour the dry

vermouth and the leftover cooking


luices from the brochettes rnto a pan,
br ng to the boil and boil fierce y to

salmon fillet into twelve 2cml%in

reduce by half. Lower the heat, add

cubes. Thread the salmon cubes,

the butter and me t, then stir in the


chopped fresh tarragon and season
with salt and ground white pepper.

For the sauce

scallops, corals if available, onions and

30mll2 tbsp dry vermouth

pepper squares on to the lemon grass

509/2oz/1/a cup butter

stalLs and arrange the bro(hettes rn a

Pour the tatragon butter sauce over

5ml/7 tsp chopped fresh tanagon

gril

the brochettes and serve.

pan.

t4.

"l&
,j'

Dinner Party Appetizers 317

Coq u illes St Jacq ues


4 To make the sauce, melt the butter

A classic French first course that

in a small pan, add the f our and cook

for the best quality scallops


possible to produce a truly
wonderful result. Select firm, white
shellfish and check that they have
calls

over

a ow

heat, stitring constantly, for

a couple of minutes, gradua ly add the

milk and cream, stirr ng constant y, and


cook unti th ckened.

not previously been frozen before


brying them to avoid their being
watery and flabby. You will need
eight scallop shells to serve this dish.

5 Stlr n the cheese and cook unt

me ted. Season to taste with sa t and


pepper. Spoon

a ittle sauce in the

base

Serves 8

3 Simmer the scallops in the fish stock


for about 3 mlnutes, or untii just firm.

of each shel . Divide the sca lops


between the she ls and then pour the

9AAg/ 2 lb potatoes, chopped

Do not allow the stock to bo I but

rerd

: 1 5gl4az/1h cup butter

poach rhe sca ,oo) qently. othe'wtse

8 large or 16 small scallops

they wrll become tough and rubbery.

Drain and s ice the scal ops th n y. Set

until go den. Garn sh w th dil and


serve with grl led lemon wedges.

250m1/8fl

ozll

cup fish stock

',esh dill sprigs, to garnish


grilled (broiled) lemon wedges, ta serve

them aside.

1 19 saL(e over

Bake the scal ops

the:co oo.

for 1 0 minutes, or

For the sauce

5Ag/2oz/4 tbsp butter


509/2oz/1,1 cup plain (all-purpose)

flour

600m1/1 pint/21h cups milk

60ml14 tbsp single (light) cream

25Ag/8oz/2 cups grated mature (sharp)


Cheddar cheese
salt and ground black pepper

1 Preheat oven to 200'c/400"F/Gas 6.

ace the chopped potatoes n a large

!an, cover with I ghtly sa ted water and


ro for 'l 5 minutes, or untrl tender.

)ra

n and mash

wth the

..,

butter.

st;i,

rf

:i'.;

aai

eE

't,

4tse

\:

:i

- - -.-

\:,

.,JSr
a:

\i-

,Er=
2 Spoon the mixture nto a pLping
oastry) bag fitted with a star nozzle.
r pe the potatoes around the outs de

cf

a cleaned sca lop shel . Repeat the

c"ocess, mak ng eight in tota

:5

\ *"8'lI

=r'

318 Dinner Party Appetizers

Grilled Scallops with Brown Butter


This is a very striking dish as the
scallops are served on the half
shell, still sizzling from the grill.
Reserve it

for

a special occasion

and special guests.

Serves 4
50gl2oz/1/t cup unsalted (sweet)

buttet diced

n - -::

GriLl (broi ) the sca lops for 4

it will not be necessary to turn

5ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


salt and ground black pepper

1 Preheat the 9r ll (bro ler) to hlgh.


Melt the butter n a small pan over
medium heat. Cont nue to heat t

lemon wedges, to serve

gently unt I it s pale go den brown.

then season with a little salt ano

Remove the pan from the heat

pepper and sprinkle the pars ey

8 scallops, prepared on the half shell


1

C(,(,K'S TIP

immed

ately the butter

rnust not be

lf you can't get hold of scallops in their

al owed to burn. Arrange the scal ops

shells, you can use shelled, fresh scallops

in

if you cook them on the day of purchase.

large cassero e or a sha low roasting

thei'1d

Avoid frozen scallops, as they have a

pan. Brush

flabby texture.

over them.

t snells

ir a srrgle

:':-:'

Pour over the rema ning brown cu

o,:-

rl^en. Serve immediately, wrLh le- . '


wedges for squeezing over.

lavet in a

a ittle of the brown butter

Fried Squid
The squid is simply dusted in f lour

and dipped in egg before being


fried, so the coating is light and
does not mask the flavour.

Serves 2
1

5gl4oz prepared squid, cut

into rings
30ml/2 tbsp seasoned plain
1

(all-purpose) flour

egg

Toss

our

the squ d rings n the season-"d


n a bow or strong plastic bag.

30ml/2 tbsp milk

Beat the egg and milk together in a

olive oil, for frying

sha low bow. Heat the o

sea sa/t, to tasre

heavy fryrng pan.

n a large,

lvABTATT(,lu
coating, dust the rings in

tiTe, nto the egg mrxru'e, s'to.

rrQ

C(,(!K'S

TIP

:-

any excess lroJ o. Ado to the hot o,

in batches if necessary, and cook fo'

2-3 minutes on each s de, unt I evegolden a I over.

lemon wedges, to serve

For a crisper

2 Dip the lloured squ d rings, one a:

3 Drain the fried squid on kitchen


paper, lhen sp'ink e with sall. T'ars':

flour, then dip them in batter instead of

Keep the squid warm in the oven while

lo a small warm plate and se"ve w

this simple egg and flour coating,

you cook the rest,

the lemon wedges.

t'

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320 Dinner Party Appetizers

Sca

llop-stuff ed Roast Peppers with Pesto

Serve these scallop-and-pesto-f illed

sweet red peppers with ltalian


bread, such as ciabatta or focaccia,
to mop up the garlicky juices.

and roast for 10 minutes more.


Transfer the peppers to individual

Serves 4

a few salad leaves and basil sprrgs.

Return the roasting pan to the oven

serving plates, sprinkle with qrated


Parmesan and garnish each plate with
Serve warm.

4 squat red (bell) peppers

coo!(,s TtP

2 large garlic cloves, cut into


thin slivers

Scallops are available from most

60ml/4 tbsp olive oil

4 shelled scallops

each of the shelled scallops in half

45ml/3 tbsp pesto sauce

horizontally to make two flat discs,

longer than the time stated in the recipe

salt and ground black pepper

each with a piece of coral. When

or they will be tough and rubbery The

Using a sharp knife, careful y cut

fishmongers and supermarkets with fresh


fish counters. Never cook scallops for

freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

cooked, remove the peppers from the

orange-coloured corals

salad leaves and basil sprigs, to garnish

oven and place a scallop half in each

regarded by many as a delicacy, although

pepper half. Then top the scallops with

in the United States and some other

1 Preheai ihe oven to 1 80"C/350'F/

the pesto sauce.

countries they are usually discarded.

Gas 4. Cut the peppers in half

lengthways, through their stalks.


Scrape out and discard the cores and
seeds. Wash the pepper shells and pat

dry with kitchen paper.

2 Put the peppers, cut side up, in an


oiled roasting pan. Divide the slivers of
garlic equally among them and
sprinkle with salt and ground black
pepper to taste. Then spoon the olive
oil rnto the peppers and roast for

40 minutes.

r,ARIATI()lu
You could also prepare this dish using red
pesto sauce, which is made with sundried tomatoes.

scallop roe

are

Dinner Party Appetizers 321

Marinated Asparagus and Langoustines


For an even more extravagant

treat, you could make this


attractive salad with medallions of
fresh lobster. For a slightly more
economical version, use large
prawns, allowing six per serving.

Serves 4
1

6 langoustines

6 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed

2 carrots
30ml/2 tbsp olive oil
1

garlic clove, peeled

salt and ground black pepper

4 fresh tarragon sprigs and some


chopped fresh tarragon, to garnish
For the dressing
30mil2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
1

20ml/4fl oz/1/z cup olive oil

';i

"$3i{9ry}}f,;;:i:

r'.1. ,:

4!t

,,try

l\,4ake

cool('s rtP

the dressing. Wh sk the

tarragon vinegar w th the o ive o I in a


juq (pitcher). Season to taste with sa t

Langoustines are also known as Dublin

1 Pee the langoustines and keep the


discarded parts for making shel frsh

and pepper. Pour the dressing over the

sold already peeled, scampi. l\4ost of the

asparagus and carrots, cover and set

langoustines we buy have been cooked at

stock. Set the tail meat aside.

aside to mar nate.

sea, a necessary act because the flesh

2 Steam the asparagus over a pan of


boiling saited water unti just tender,

frying pan until very hot. Add the

but still a little crisp. Refresh under

langoustines and saut6 quickly until

Bay prawns, Norway lobster and, when

deteriorates rapidly after death. Bear this

co d water, drain

wel and place

in a

Heat the oil with the garlic in

in mind when you cook the shellfish,

just heated through. Discard the garl

Because it has already been cooked, it will


need to be only lightly saut6ed until
c.

shal ow dish.

Pee the carrots and

heated through. lf you are lucky enough

to buy live langoustines, kill them quickly

cut nto f

ne

6 Arrange four asparagus spears and a


quarter of the carrots on each of four

julenne shreds. Cook in a pan of

ind v dual p ates. Drizzle over the

lightly salted, bolling water for about

dressing rema ning in the dish and top

3 minutes, unti tender but stil

each portion w th four langoustine

retaining some crunch. Drain, refresh

ta ls. Top with the tarragon spngs and

under cold water and drain aga n. Add

sprinkle the chopped tarragon on top.

to the asparagus.

Serue immediately.

by immersing them in boiling water, then


sautd until cooked through.

322 Dinner Party Appetizers

Tiger Prawns with Mint, Dill and Lime

n'i6@
'. i=

f'-:,=::'l::

,)
;EJ

A wonderful combination

mint,

dill and lime blend together to


make a magical concoction to
flavour succulent tiger prawns that
will delight everyone who tries it.

llt \

ll

6.
L-+
F

..,

Preheat the oven to 230'C/450"F/

:i

Gas 8. Cut the t ger prawns in half

down the back of the prawn and

J-

remove the dark vein.

i//ii

lilil
till

1
:,j

Serves 4

ace

four prawns n the centre of

the doub e ayer of f lo pastry and


spr nkle a quarter of the mlnt,

4 large sheets filo pastry

I rne

759/3oz/1h cup butter


16 large tiger prawns (jumbo shrrmp),

cooked and peeled

l5ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus


extra to garnish

ju ce over the top.

Fo

and

d over the

sides, brush w th butter and roli up to

1 Keep the sheets of f o pastry


covered with a dry, clean dishtowe to
I eep rl-er -nors . lve I the bulL" r
a smal pan over a low heat, then

make a parcel.

Make three more parcels in the same

way. Place a I the parcels, loin s de


down, on a I ghtly greased baking

1 5ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh dill


juice of 1 lime

one sheet of f lo pastry n ha

8 cooked unpeeled tiger prawns

widthways and brush wth some of the

golden. Serve immediately, garn shed

(jumbo shrinp) and lime wedqes,

melted butter. Place one half on top of

w th whole t ger prawns, I me wedges

to serve

the other

and extra chopped mrnt.

remove the pan from the heat. Cut

sheet. Bake for 1 0 minutes, or unti

Dinner Party Appetizers 323

Prawn Cocktail
There is no nicer appetizer than a

good, fresh prawn cocktail - and


nothing nastierthan one in which
soggy prawns swim in a thin,

individual glasses one-third full. Gently

Finely shred the lettuce and fill six

stir the prawns into the sauce, then


taste and adjust the seasoning, if
necessary Spoon the prawn mixture

vinegary sauce embedded in limp


lettuce. This recipe shows just how

generously over the lettuce.

good a prawn cocktail can be.

3 lf you

like, drape a whole cooked


prawn over the edge of each glass (see

Serves 5

Cook's Tip). Sprinkle each of the

60ml/4 tbsp double (heavy) cream,


lightly whipped
60m I /4 tbsp mayon na ise, preferably

home-made
60ml/4 tbsp tomato ketchup
5-1

)ml/1-2

juice of
1/z

1 Mix together the whipped cream,

cocktails with ground black pepper

mayonnaise and ketchup in a bowl.

and some paprika. Serue the cocktails

Add Worcestershire sauce to taste. Stir

immediately, with thinly sliced brown

in enough lemon juice to make a really

bread and butter and lemon wedges

tangy cocktail sauce.

for squeezing over.

tsp Worcestershire sauce

vARr,Afloil

lemon

cos or romaine lettuce

4509/1 lb/4 cups cooked peeled

You can also use this mixture for filling

vol-au-ventt cold puff pastry

cases,

to

serve as appetizers, canap6s or party

prawns (shrimp)

C(,(,K'S

TTP

salt, ground black pepper and paprika

snacks. The

6 large whole cooked unpeeled prawns

chopped before they are mixed with the

To prepare

sauce. Fill the cases just be{ore serving,

and peel the body shells from the prawnt

otherwise they will become soggy and

including the legl and leave the tail

liable to collapse.

"fan" for decoration.

(shrimp), to garnish (optional)


thinly sliced brown bread and lemon
wedges, to serve

prawns (shrimp) should be

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the garnish, remove the heads

324 Dinner Party AppeLizers

Garlic Prawns

Filo Tartlets

in

l;;&'

Tartlets made with crisp layers of


f ilo pastry and f illed with garlic
prawns make a tempting appetizer.

Serves 4
509/2oz/4 tbsp butter, melted

2-3 large
For the

sheets filo pastry

filling

5g/4ozl1/2 cup butter

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 Cut the filo pastry into twelve 10cm/


4in squares and brush them with the

the butter n a large frying pan, then

7 fresh red chilli, seeded

melted butter.

add the garlic, chilli and prawns and

through. Stir in the fresh parsley or

and chopped
3509/1 2oz/3 cups cooked peeled

prawns (shrimp)
30ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or
fresh chives

cook qurckly for 1-2 minutes to warm


Place three squares inside each tin,

overlapping them at slight angles and

chives and season with salt and plenty

frilling the edges and points while

of black pepper.

forming a good hollow in each centre.

salt and ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 200'c/400"F/


four 7.5cm/3in flan tins
(quiche pans) with melted butter.
Gas 6. Brush

5 Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt

6 Spoon the prawn fill ng into the

4 Bake 'or 1 0-l 5 minJTes, unlil crisp

tartlets and serve immediately, perhaps

and golden. Leave to cool slightly, then

with some sour cream.

remove the pastry cases (pie shells)

from the lins

Dinner Party Appetizers 325

Saut6ed Mussels with Garlic and Herbs


These mussels are served

without

Heat the oil in a saut6 pan, add the

their shells, in a delicious paprikaflavoured sauce. Eat them with

for 1 minute. Remove from the pan.

cocktail sticks or toothpicks.

Add the shallots and garlic and cook,

mussels and cook, stirring constantly.

covered, over a low heat for about

Serves 4

5 minutes, or until softened. Remove


from the heat and stir in the parsley,

9009/2lb fresh mussels

paprika and chilli.

lemon slice

90ml/6 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped


1
1

Return to the heat and stir in the

mussels. Cook briefly to heat through.

mussels and pu I off their

Remove from the heat and cover for

garlic clove, finely chopped

beards, discarding any damaged ones

5ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

or ones that do not close when sharply

tapped with a knife. Put the mussels

before serving.

2.5m\/1/2 tsp sweet paprika


1

1 Scrub the

.5ml/1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 minutes to let the f lavours mingle,

a large pan, with 250m1/8fl ozl1 cup

water and the slice of lemon. Bring to

lvARIAT!('!U

cool(,s TIP

the boiL and cook for 3-4 minutes.

This recipe also works well with clamt

The reason for discarding mussels that do

removing the mussels as they open.

especially the flavoursome, rough-shelled

not shut when they are being scrubbed

Discard any that remain closed. Take

varieties. You may need to cook them

and debearded is because they will

the mussels out of the shells and drain

slightly longer in step 2 to make sure that

certainly be dead and probably toxic.

on kitchen paper.

they are completely tender.

326 Dinner Party Appetizers

Mussels and Clams with Lemon Grass


Lemon grass has an incomparable
f

lavour and

is

excellent used with

medley of seafood.

Serves 6
1.8 2kgl441b lb fresh mussels
4509/1 lb baby clams, washed

120mll4fl oz/1/t cup dry white wine


1

bunch spring onions


(scallions), chopped

2 lemon grass stalks, chopped


6 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
1

0ml/2 tsp Thai green curry paste

200m1/7fl oz/scant

cup coconut cream

30ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh


coriander (cilantro)
salt and ground black pepper

whole garlic chives, to garnish

ttt
1 Scrub the mussels and pull off the
beards. Discard any that are broken or
stay open when tapped.

;1 -

4
2

Put the wine, spring onions, lemon

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the

mussels and clams to a warmed

grass, lime leaves and curry paste in a

serving bowl and keep hot. Discard

pan. Simmer over a low heat unttl the

any shellfish that remain closed. Strain

wine has almost evaporated.

the cooking liquid through a sieve

coot('s TtPs

clean pan. Set over a low heat and

simmer to reduce the quantity to

lined with muslin (cheesecloth) into a


Buy a few extra mussels just in case

there are any which have to be discarded.

about 250m1/8fl oz/1 cup.

Small, smooth-shelled clams just need

rinsing in cold water, but the larger;


rough-shelled varieties should be well

3 Add the mussels and clams to the


pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid and

Stir in the coconut cream and

coriander and season with salt and

scrubbed. Like mussels, discard any

steam the shellfish over a high heat,

pepper to taste. Heat through. Pour

with broken shells or that are open and

shaking the pan occasionally, for

the sauce over the seafood and serve

5 6 minutes, until

do not shut immediately when sharply

about

tapped with a knife.

shells have opened.

all the

immediately, garnished with whole


garlic chives.

Dinner Party Appetizers 327

Prosciutto with Potato R6moulade

Lime juice brings a contemporary

3 Heat the oil in a griddle or frying pan

twist to this cream-enriched version

and cook the prosciutto, in batches,


until crisp and golden. Remove with

of the classic piquant r6moulade


dressing. lt is best made when the
new season's asparagus is available.

slotted spoon, draining each piece well.

4 Cook the asparagus in the olive oil

Serves 8

remaining in the pan for 3 minutes,


or until tender and golden.

4 polatoes, each weighing aboul

1 Put the potatoes in a pan. Add water

5 Put a generous spoonful of potato


rmoulade on each plate and top with

to cover and br ng to the boil. Add salt,

several slices of prosciutto. Add the

350911 2oz, quanered lengthways


3

00m I /lh pi ntl

/4 cu p

mayon naise

300m1/1h pint/11/a cup double

(heavy) cream
i

-:Lice

then simmer {or about

5 mlnutes, or

asparagus and garnish with rocket.

5ml/2 3 tsp Dijon mustard

until the potatoes are tender, but do

Serue immediately. offering olive oil

of 1 lime

not let them get too soft. Drain

to drizzle over

fimll4

tbsp olive oil

24 prosciutto slices

thoroughly and leave to cool, then cut


into long, thin strips.

9Q0g/2lb asparagus spears, halved

l,ARTATI(,lu
Use

a mixture of potatoes and celeriac

instead of all potatoes. For an inexpensive

s;lt and ground black pepper

5@/2oz wild rocket (arugula),

mustard, line ju ce and seasoning in d

salad, use mixed root vegetables and omit

large bowl. Add the potatoes and stir

the asparagul adding fresh or roasted

carefu.'y to (oat then w'th the dressrng.

cherry tomatoes instead.

garnish

=.r.ita virgin olive oil, to serve

Beat together the mayonnaise, cream.

328 Dinner Party Appetizers

Stuffed Garlic

M ush

rooms with Prosciutto

Field mushrooms can vary greatly


in size. Try to find similar-sized
specimens with undamaged edges.

Serves 4
8 field (portabello) mushrooms
1

59l1/zozll/a cup dried ceps, bay

boletus or saffron milk-caps, soaked


in warm water for 20 minutes
759/3oz/6 tbsp unsalted (sweet) butter
1

onion, chopped

garlic clove, crushed

759/3oz/3/n cup fresh breadcrumbs


1

egg

75mil5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


1

5ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

salt and ground black pepper


1

5g/4oz prosciutto di Parma or


Daniele, thinly sliced

'an

fresh parsley, to garnish

5 Top each mushroom with a slice of

prosciutto, garnish with parsley and


serve immediately.

1 Preheat the oven to 1 90"C/375"F/


Gas 5. Carefully break off the stems

of the field mushrooms, without


damaging the caps. Set the caps as de.

coot(,s TtPs

Fine y chop the stems. Drain the dried

mushrooms and chop finely.

Garlic mushrooms can be easily

prepared in advance ready to go into the

2 Melt half the butter ln a large, heai,ry


fryinq pan until foaminq. Add the

4 Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add


the breadcrumbs, egg, parsley and

onion and cook over a low heat,

thyme and season to taste with salt

then frozen. They can be taken from the

stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes,

and pepper. l\,4elt the remaining butter

freezer as they are required and do not

until softened but not coloured.

in a small pan and generously brush

need to be thawed first.

oven when your guests arrive,


Fresh

breadcrumbs can be made and

over lhe reserued mushroom caps.

3 Add the garlic, dried mushroom and

Arrange the mushroom caps on a

opinions on whether Parma or 5an

chopped mushroom stems to the pan

baking sheet and spoon in the l'illing.

and cook, stirrlng occaslonally, for

Bake

about 2-3 minutes.

well browned and tender.

for 20-25 minutes, until they

are

Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham and

Daniele ham is superior differ. You could


also use Jambon de Bayonne, Lomo
Ahumado or Smithfield ham.

Dinner Party Appetizers 329

Grilled Asparagus with Salt-cured Ham


Serve this classic Spanish tapas

when asparagus is plentif ul and


not too expensive.

Serves 4
6 slices of Serrano ham
1

2 asparagus spears

15mlll tbsp olive oil


sea salt and coarsely

ground
1 Preheat the grill (broiler) to high. Cut

each slice of ham lengthways in half

with oil and

cool(,s TIP

and wrap one half around each of the

and pepper. Pla(e on lhe grill rack.

lf you can't find Serrano ham, the best

asparagus spears.

black pepper

Brush the ham and asparagus lightly


season to taste

wlth salt

Grill (broil), turning frequently but

variety of which is called Jam6n de


jabugo, you can use ltalian prosciutto or

carefully with tongs, for 5-6 minutes.

Portuguese presunto instead.

until the asparagus

is

tender but still

irm. Serve immediately.