Beef Wellington

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

If I have time, I like to place the Beef Wellington parcels in the freezer for about 15 minutes prior to cooking so that the pastry is very cold before going into the oven.

Chocolate Crèmes Brûlées

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

My brother-in-law makes this divine chocolate variation of the classic crème brûlée. It is such a pleasing thing to eat, using your spoon to break the crisp sugar barrier to invade the creamy chocolate custard it protects.

Crab Bisque

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

You can either buy cooked crab meat or to cook your own. Serve the soup as a starter or for lunch with crusty bread.

Chicken Liver Pâté with Sweet Apple Relish

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

The combination of port, brandy and thyme gives this rich, smooth pâté bags of flavour - fabulous as a dinner party starter on toast, crusty bread or thin crackers and with a dollop of the sweet apple relish.

Baked Beetroot Risotto with Parmesan Crisps

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

With its amazing deep pink colour, this is a fun-looking dish with a seriously delicious taste. A risotto cooked in the traditional way can be a pain to prepare for a party. You have to be on hand to stir the stock constantly into the rice when you'd much rather be dazzling your guests with witty repartee. This baked recipe offers an easy alternative to all that stirring. For added convenience, the beetroot can be cooked up to two days in advance and the Parmesan crisps be kept for up to eight hours, if stored in an airtight box.

Poached Monkfish with Tomato, Sherry Vinegar and Toasted Hazelnut Salsa

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

Poached monkfish is quite easy to cook when entertaining as it just needs a few minutes in boiling, salted water, and can be prepared in advance.

Blueberry and Custard Tart

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

This is a great vegetarian dessert for summer entertaining. The pastry can be made a day in advance of filling and serving, and if you'd rather use raspberries, there's nothing to stop you.

Almond Meringue with Apricot Purée

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

The apricot purée is also divine served with natural yoghurt as a quick snack or for breakfast. It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container and will keep for up to a week.

Smoked Mackerel and Goat's Cheese Soufflé

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

Cheese soufflé is a classic and not nearly as scary a dinner party prospect as you might imagine. This version, with goat's cheese and smoked mackerel, is a fantastic variation on the theme.

Roasted Vegetable Coconut Curry

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

Making your own curry paste only takes a few minutes and the complex depth of flavour means it’s always worth doing.




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