Steak au Poivre

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

One of my favourite ways to serve steak is this traditional French bistro method. Pepper, a seasoning that often hides in the background barely noticed, is thrust onto centre stage. Where normally we grind peppercorns into a fine powder, here they are left in larger chunks so you notice the flavour and texture as well as the heat.

Roast Loin of Lamb with a Spicy Rub

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

The loin is the most tender cut of lamb with a meltingly soft texture.

Sesame and Mint Chickpea Pancakes

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

The pancakes contrast perfectly with the moist and crunchy salad, while the mint brings a real freshness.

Scallops with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Orange

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

If you can, try to use scallops that haven't been frozen, otherwise they may leak too much water and end up poached rather than fried.

Spinach Soup with Rosemary Oil

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

The aromatic flavour of rosemary, drizzled as an oil over this soup, works to perfection with spinach.

Zesty Pine Nut-Crusted Fish with Salsa Verde

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

Pine nuts are such a versatile ingredient, they can add texture and depth to anything from couscous or salads to pestos and even tarts.

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.

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.




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