When hosting a dinner party, we all hope each dish we serve will impress our guests, but attempting to look after your friends, join in the conversation, serve drinks and cook all at once is no mean feat. For easy to cook dishes that have a wow factor, try these dinner party recipes below.
Scallops With Chorizo & Hazelnut Picarda
Generally considered an occasion dish, scallops alone are impressive but serving them on the shell with a Spanish touch makes for a zesty first course. Ask your fishmonger to prepare the scallops for cooking and clean the shells and make the picarda and fry the chorizo in advance to reduce cooking once your guests have arrived. Serve with extra crusty bread or some rocket leaves.
For a less traditional take on dinner party recipes, consider a grazing board in the place of a starter and main course. By picking a cuisine (Italian, French, Middle Eastern, Thai, etc) and sticking to it, you can gather a selection of both shop-bought and homemade small bites, dips, and salads and arrange them as a table feature for people to pick from. This grazing style of dining means you can prepare everything in advance and spend the whole evening with your guests. It’s also great for fussier eaters as you can provide something for everyone.
By amping up this classic dish with venison rather than beef and restaurant looking shoestring fries, you can make a simple meal look elegant. Since there are few ingredients involved in making this dish, visit a butcher to ensure you get good quality meat and don’t have guests chewing for hours. Marinade the steaks in the morning so they are full of flavor and be sure to ask your guests how they would like them cooked.
Beef Bourguignon & Celeriac Mash
Serve your guests some hearty French comfort food with this beef bourguignon. Slow cooked over three hours, this dish is packed full of intense flavors and requires little effort once it is in the pan. The side of celeriac mash is a welcomed alternative to potatoes and makes the dish feel slightly fancier and up to scratch for a dinner party main course.
Lamb Ragu Pappardelle
Another slow-cooked main course that will save you valuable time in the kitchen and still excite your guests is this lamb ragu pappardelle pasta. Full of bold flavors to make a powerful sauce, this is one of the richer dinner party recipes that comes from the kitchen of London’s famous Bancone restaurant. If you are feeling adventurous and have some extra time on your hands then have a go at making your own pasta. If not then be sure to pick out a good quality pappardelle from the store.
Individual desserts always go down well at dinner parties as guests can see the time and effort you put into each one. These mini pasticciotto come from Southern Puglia and are small custard and chocolate pastries that go down well with an espresso or after dinner liqueur. An unexpected dessert that will be sure to impress – make sure you make some extras.
Tia Maria Cheesecake
A cross between a tiramisu and a cheesecake, this Tia Maria dessert looks and tastes amazing. If Tia Maria is not your thing then feel free to swap it for another coffee liqueur, perhaps a chocolate-flavoured one to make a decadent dessert. Since it needs to cool in the oven for 2 hours, you can make this dessert earlier in the week and then freeze it before thawing when you want it for your dinner party.
Apple Tarte Tatin
Truly a classic dessert that is loved by many, Tarte Tatin is one of the simplest dinner party recipes to make and will be sure to please all of your guests. Bring the pan out and flip over in front of your guests before drizzling over the sauce for a theatrical end to the evening. Serve up the tarte with a choice of clotted cream or real vanilla ice cream.