Copyright Corrina Tough 2011

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Finally.... Time for Dinner

Now that everyone has a beautiful table to complete the atmosphere I love to have candles throughout the house and keep lighting to just lamps with the candles for a soft glow. My hubby and I love music and I think this is an important element of a dinner party. If it's too full on you can't talk and relax so I keep it low enough to talk but at a level that is audible. We have so many styles but for this evening we played the soundtrack to eat,pray, love while canapes were being devoured out on the deck and then when we came inside for the meal, jazz and Edith Piaff.

What are we eating you say? I have a couple of rules when I cook for dinner parties and I have learned the hard way

  1. Never make something you haven't cooked before or are at least familiar with
  2. Never make something extremely complex- it just adds stress
  3. If you cook with seasonal ingredients they're always at their best
  4. Try to have at least a few elements that can be done in advance so the day is not too stressful
  5. I have a principle I have for the entirety of the menu- have at least one really stand out thing- so if you are going to do something complex I usually choose the desert for wow factor and because mostly it can be done say in the morning and out of the way. For entre or canapes I try to keep it simple but quality, and for the main have one element very simple and one very special (it may be a stand out ingredient like lobster!)
  6. I try not to have every element needing to be cooked
  7. Clean up as you go ! You'll appreciate this later.
With all this in mind the menu for this dinner party was as follows

 Canapes : Drinks- Gin and Tonics with fresh lemon and plenty of ice
                 Small bowls of olives, cashews
                 Parmesan biscuits with pesto ('What Katie Ate' page 116)
Main    Spit Roast Whole chicken ala naturale
            Marinated green bean salad
            My  roast pumpkin, pine nut, rocket, fetta and pomegranate salad
Desert   : French Chocolat Gateaux with preserved plums and cream
            :  Lemon Brulee Tart

We couldn't decide which desert so I just did both. Now I do have to apologise as because I was chef, host,  etc etc it was a little hard and not really appropriate to be snapping everything we ate as I served so I am lacking in pics fo rhis post. What you get is pics of my salad I made this recipe up a few weeks before and photographed it then.
All images copyright Corrina Tough Photography

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