Now I love food, good food I hasten to add, and therefore enjoy occasionally going out for a nice meal in a local Restuarant or Pub, but I do also enjoy cooking. We have some friends and once a month they come to our house or we go to theirs, taking in turns to make (hopefully declicious) a three course dinner. I do like cooking, but it is not arty farty cooking that looks absolutely gorgeous on the plate, has taken hours to do, but then a couple of mouthfulls is all gone and you are left hungry.
My style of cooking for our dinner parties is fairly basic, but tasty (I hope) and easy too. The hardest part is to think up different menus, so I don’t repeat anything, and also when you are hosting, it is nice to prepare and cook as much as you can in advance, or dishes that do not need to be cooked when your guests are ensconced, so you spend most of the time with your guests rather than being in the the kitchen.
I do normally follow a basic recipe, but on occasions I do tend to add or alter slightly, and I have to admit that when it comes to actually weighing ingredients, I tend not to bother and just put in what I think I would like. Recipes I have used have been from Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, James Martin, Delia Smith, Gordon Ramsay. I have got some from the website and have downloaded recipes that have been on cookery programmes such as “Come Dine With Me” where I have seen a particular dish that I have liked the look of and then tried replicating. Some of my recipes do not state exact quantities as I tend to use as much as I feel necessary, and therefore guesswork comes into play. The same goes for cooking times, and timing a lot of the time depends on how individuals like their food cooked, and as ovens vary from one to the other, you can usually tell when something is cooked. My timings and oven temperatures are for a fan oven, so if you have a conventional oven then you would need to do a higher heat and cook for a bit longer.
You will probably notice that none of my recipes include fish or shellfish. I do not like any sort of fish and therefore I do not cook it – for anyone!!!! However, I love cheese, and as you will see a lot of my starters are cheesey!!!
Now, I keep lists for absolutely everything I do in general, and dinner party menus are no exception. Not many cookbooks actually give you ideas for a three course dinner party so I thought I would share with you some of my menus that I have done in the past. You could easily mix and match any courses, but I confirm that I have cooked all the dishes listed.
Occasionally, I will cut a few corners, well everyone can do a bit of cheating at some time.
Please enjoy reading and trying any of the following menus. Although I have actually cooked these partiuclar menus together, obviously they can all be mixed and matched. I would love to hear your comments.