Showing posts with label Dinner Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner Party. Show all posts

Raclette Dinner Party - Recipe Ideas

Okay, I know Raclette grills have been about for ages, and I've always wanted one, but since our house is already overrun with more kitchen gadgets than you can shake a stick at, I've controlled myself from buying one.....till last week that is.

Oh my goodness they are such fun and I say everyone should rush out and get one immediately!
Relaxed and sociable eating along with drinking, a raclette meal can still be going on hours later.

What can be nicer than cooking your own meal at the table, picking and choosing for yourself just what you fancy?

Whoa, I've just noticed that cheese is missing from the table, I must have brought it out after the pictures - and in case you're wondering about drink....yes the wine hadn't got to the table at this point either!  The only slight problem I need to overcome is there isn't enough room at the table for anymore people once it's filled with the grill and all the food.

More about Raclette:
The name 'Raclette' refers to a meal and also to a type of cheese with the same name.  Which as yet I've not been able to find here in the UK, that said I haven't looked hard enough as I've discovered you can get it here.

Traditionally raclette is a dish is of melted cheese and boiled potatoes, served with small gherkins and pickled onions along with dried meats, ham and sausages etc.
These days we can now buy one as an electrical appliance called Raclette grills, which are table top machines.  They come with either a stone top or a metal griddle and or pancake griddle.
Raclette grills also come with individual melting pans (called coupelles) that sit underneath the top and are used to melt cheese or heat already cooked foods such as boiled potatoes.

The Food:
You can have whatever takes your fancy but cheese is a must.
Clockwise from the top starting with the Lazy Susan turntable;
Sliced mushrooms, sliced red and green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, sweetcorn, baby tomatoes.
Sliced new potatoes (feeling lazy myself I used the ones in a tin).
Thinly sliced strips of beef marinated in Jack Daniel's Hot Pepper Steak Sauce, thinly sliced chicken fillet marinated in Old El Paso Original Smoky BBQ spicy mix for fajitas.
Pepperoni, soured cream and chives (only because I had some living on the fridge which needed to be used up) and sliced onion.

The raclette grill came with 8 melting pans and since there were only two of us at this 'raclette party for two' I made a couple of dishes ready to take out to the table and for these pictures....coz once I've started eating and drinking, pictures just ain't gonna happen!

Here they are BEFORE being cooked:

Above is a concoction of egg (just crack into the melting pan) top with a slice of Monterey Jack cheese and sprinkle with a little paprika for a bit of colour.  Verdict, very moreish and truly delicious.

And my next concoction, a pizza style fiery mixture of cheesy goodness!

Into the melting pan, slices of cooked new potatoes, topped with a mix of grated cheeses fiery from the added crushed chillies (available in any good supermarket) add to that slices of pepperoni halved baby tomatoes a a couple of jalapeno peppers taken from a jar.  A few snipped chives, why? because I had some left from making the soured cream earlier.

All that's left to do is pop the pan underneath the raclette to bubble and melt then enjoy.
Check out some more of my raclette recipes.

I hope this post has made you want a raclette grill - yes or no?

Baked Fig and Goats Cheese with Parma Ham

This is one seriously delicious combination - tangy warm goat cheese, sweetness from the baked fig and a slight saltiness from the Parma ham.

Oh yes, this is just perfect as a starter for any good dinner party.

Baked Fig and Goats Cheese with Parma Ham

Easy to make and no need for any fancy equipment - just a non-stick baking sheet or very shallow tray.

Sauce Bois Boudrin - Perfect for Steak

Fillet steak and sauce Bois boudrin are a perfect match.  So very easy to make and since it is best made in advance it's just perfect for a dinner party.

Sauce Bois Boudrin

 Print Recipe

To make sauce enough for 4 you will need:
1 large shallot - finely chopped
150g small cherry tomatoes - halved
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
a squeeze of lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
a glug or two of good quality extra virgin olive oil - say a tablespoon
small handful tarragon leaves - finely chopped

How to do it:
Just mix everything together in a small bowl - that's it job done, told you it was simple!

Top Tip:  
You can make this in advance (but no more than the day before) then keep covered in the fridge.
You will need to remove from the fridge at least an hour before serving.  If you make it the same day there's no need to put it in the fridge - just cover it till needed.


Our Wedding Anniversary - Big Night In

Yes indeed, staying in is the new going out!  
These days, everything seems to be getting more and more expensive and whilst it is nice to go out, it can also be just as good to stay in.  With no taxis to pay for, no tips and no need to get all dressed up, you can totally relax and have a great time.

Having been set a challenge by MoneySupermarket to have a Big Night In for £50 since our wedding anniversary is in a few days time, I decided to cook up a right nice semi-posh Dinner Party for Two.

The Starter;
I kept everything simple, Baked Fig and Goat's Cheese with Parma ham, a few leaves and balsamic glaze.

Chicken with Parma Ham and Goats Cheese

Simple to make and good to eat.  Lovely moist chicken with a slight saltiness from the Parma ham but also a bit tangy from the goats cheese - what's not to like?

Chicken with Parma Ham and Goats Cheese

Arm yourself with a shallow baking tray or one of those amazing tin foil trays which are disposable but you can re-use them as I do.  Just pop into a dishwasher or soak over night.  Okay, they go a funny colour but it's all okay.

Chicken Bouillabaisse Recipe

Chicken and potatoes cooked in a rich sweet garlic and tomato sauce along with saffron, Pernod, white wine, fennel seeds and rosemary.  Totally delicious and easy to make too as it's all cooked in one pot. 

Oh yes this is now in my top five dinners of all dinners and has to be made again soon.
After seeing Ina Garten cook this the other night the Food Network TV show 'Back to Basics', it had to made there and then.

I believe this is usually made with fish and served with rouille (garlicky mayonnaise).  Because of my rush to make it I didn't have enough garlic to make the roullie so just served it with nice crusty bread.
According to Wikipedia, Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille.

Chilli Beef Lettuce Wraps - Finger Food at it's Best

As soon as I saw this recipe on Gordon Ramsay's 'Ultimate Cookery Course' on Channel 4 I had to make it.  What a  fantastic show, everything he's made so far I want to make immediately! 

Gordon Ramsay

Spicy chilli beef served wrapped in gem lettuce with a lovely dipping sauce.

Lettuce Wraps

Absolutely delicious and very easy to make - finger food at it's best.

Marinated Peppers - Healthy and Delicious

Did you know a large red pepper contains three times more vitamin C than an orange?  In fact peppers in general contain three times more Vitamin C than oranges and other citrus fruit.  A red pepper contains twice the Vitamin C of a green one, and ten times the Vitamin A - how marvelous is that?!

Now, there's nothing quite as nice as a roasted or grilled blackened pepper - not only does it make them easy to peel but it brings out their natural sweetness and they taste amazing.


Spaghetti with Chicken Chorizo and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Along the lines of my Linguini with Prawns and Chorizo and just as yummy!  Not only is this pasta recipe easy to make, it looks good too.


It's a fact of life that chicken and chorizo are a great combo anyway.  Add sun-dried tomatoes along with a bit of chilli for heat, throw in a few peas for colour and you have one delicious meal in no time at all.

Camembert Baked in the Box with Bacon Dust

Melty, sticky, gooey cheese that oozes from its box and topped with bacon dust.  Ready in no time and all that's needed is fresh crusty bread and you're all set to dive in. 
With some bacon in the fridge in need of being used up what to do but make bacon dust!

Camembert Baked in the Box with Bacon Dust

Having had a bit of a Google I think I just might have invented this as there seems to be no other baked Camembert with bacon dust recipes to be found. 

No Bake - White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

Easy no bake mini cheesecakes.  After the success of my Tiny Toblerone Cheesecakes, I had a go at white chocolate and raspberry as I love the combo and besides, raspberries always look nice in any dessert. 

Of course this recipe can be adapted to make one big cheesecake - see the different print options below.

You can use fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries for this.

Foil Baked Salmon and King Prawns with Chilli and Lime Butter

Another of my 'make it up as I go along' easy to cook salmon recipes.  Just bake the salmon in a foil parcel.  Add a few King Prawns and some other bits and bobs with lime zest and a squeeze of the juice along with a knob of butter.  Done and ready to eat in 20 minutes. 

Now that can't be bad can it? 


Guide to Make Perfect Fondant Potatoes

Fondant potatoes are much easier to make than you might think.  They are just perfect for that special Valentine's Meal or Dinner Party and are a lovely change from an ordinary cooked potato.  I think I've seen almost every MasterChef tv series has at least 2 chefs that make them on each show! 

Serve with a nice Fillet Steak with a Blackberry and Port sauce, Chantenay carrots and green beans - then you can invite me to dinner 😊

How to make Fondant Potatoes

Crispy on top yet soft underneath from the Chicken stock they were cooked in.

Linguine with King Prawns Chorizo and Sun-dried Tomatoes

You don't have to go out to eat on Valentine's Day, it's really easy to cook something up at home.  There's something quite nice about not having to dress up and just sitting down together with a nice bowl of pasta and a bottle of wine.  There's a lovely mixture of tastes in this dish, King prawns and sun-dried tomatoes with chorizo and chilli are just perfect together. 

This is my entry to the Find Me A Gift Valentine's Day Food Blogger's Competition.  If you're looking for a gift for your Valentine, they have loads of Valentines Day Gifts to choose from both for him or for her. 

Linguine with King Prawns Chorizo and Sun-dried Tomatoes

This dish is perfect for a Valentine's dinner - just have everything prepared in advance and it's cooked in no time at all.

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce - Just like the Takeaway!

Baby Pak choi, Bean-sprouts, Shiitaki mushrooms, Carrots and Spring onion cooked in a tasty Chinese style sauce.  After much experimenting, I think I've finally cracked the recipe!  This sauce tastes just like the sauce in the dish called 'Happy Families' you get from a Chinese takeaway. 

Chinese Vegetables

'Happy Families' is a dish that usually has a bit of everything in it, so there's something for everyone to like keeping the whole family happy!  So very simple to make and I'm thinking this has to be healthy and I can't see where the calories in this dish would be.   I suggest you serve with some nice egg fried rice - perfect.

Chocolate Ice Cream Bombe - Dessert

Chocolate lovers will just love this dessert - rich chocolate ice cream encased in slices of chocolate Swiss roll and topped with even more chocolate!

It's really, really easy to make too - continue reading for my step by step picture instructions.  

Balsamic Glazed Beetroot and Carrots

Another fantastic idea from Marks and Spencer this Christmas!  Beetroot and Chantenay Carrots roasted with a Balsamic and Honey Glaze.   Of course, as soon as I spied them I had to have a go at making them myself.

Just a few minutes to mix up a bit of Balsamic vinegar, honey and a couple of other bits and bobs.  Minimal preparation - just throw the vegetables into a foil tray and your ready to roast.  


Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Goats Cheese

Oozy goats cheese dripping down bacon wrapped chicken makes for a seriously good meal.  Serve with crispy garlic and lemon roast potatoes (link to my recipe below) or of course, whatever else you fancy.

Very easy to do and can be prepared in advance, wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge ready to cook later.

The Best Apple Strudel Recipe

Almost everyone in the UK will have seen the Marks and Spencer advert for their apple strudel on television and I think nearly everyone has tried one!

Although I'm not one for desserts I had a go at making it myself.  Now I'm so not into pastry or baking but the result (although it didn't quite look like the M&S one) was good.

Dress the Board Pan-fried Chicken and some rather nice chips

This is along the lines of Jamie Oliver's Dress the Board Steak that I made the other day using my choice of ingredients.  

What a marvellous idea I thought it would be to chop different dressing ingredients then add them to pan-fried chicken.

Served with my home made crunchy chips and a little salad, you have a nice easy meal ready in no time at all.
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