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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Coq au Vin

From: Rachel Allen's Dinner Parties

Like most stews, this can be made in advance and will taste even better reheated the next day.

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.




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