Good Food for Friends: over 175 recipes and ideas for easy entertaining
BBC Books, 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
he Introduction tells us that these 175 recipes from the
BBC Good Food Magazine
are designed for '
' so that hosts can enjoy a convivial occasion as much as guests, and avoid tearing their hair out over fussy food preparation. Sounds good to me. The cookbook includes a guide to menu planning, notes on wine selection, suggestions for preparation ahead of time, and a variety of other useful tips. Preparation and cooking times are included for each recipe, as well as the number served, and recommended wines.
he book begins with basic recipes for home-made
(to serve with desserts). Next come
Pea and watercress
sounds tasty for a cool autumn evening, as does
Smoked haddock chowder
Mushroom and duck soup
. Suggested soup garnishes include
- must try those. I love
, and am tempted by
Stilton patÚ with celery and walnut salad
Thai prawn salad
. The full page color picture entices me to try
Individual smoked salmon pots
, a classy opening to a dinner party.
Lunches & light meals
are next, for mid-day entertaining.
Goats' cheese salad with roasted vegetables
includes green lentils and looks '
full of contrasting textures and flavours
' as advertized. '
Caesar salad in a Parmesan crust
' appears elegant and appetizing.
Fish & seafood main courses
, we're advised to '
buy it fresh, keep the cooking simple and the flavourings few
Cod with golden mash and sherry sauce
appeals to me, as do
Pan-fried tuna steaks with baba ghanoush
Salmon and watercress puff
Smoked haddock and leek risotto
. Delicious! We eat a lot of chicken, so
Poultry & game
caught my eye.
Chicken and olive
casserole made me salivate, as did
Spicy chicken with mint raita
Peppered duck with red wine gravy
Meat main courses
next. My son loves rack of lamb, so we'll definitely try
Rack of lamb with an apricot and mustard crust
Moroccan lamb burgers
will make a spicy addition to our barbecue repertoire, as will
Caribbean barbecued jerk ribs
. And how about
Venison with herbed pumpin wedges
(if you can find the venison) for a change at Thanksgiving?
egetables & salads
are key elements in any successful dinner party.
Green beans with crispy Parma ham
look yummy. Though we rarely eat cabbage, the combination of
Cabbage and leeks with mustard seeds
Pink grapefruit and walnut salad
looks light and digestible, and
Warm wild mushroom and duck salad
is just the thing for a cold winter evening. A page on
The Perfect Mash
(mashed potatoes) gave me new ideas - not quite sure about
Blue cheese and bacon mash
, but I will try
Sun-dried tomato, basil and pine nut mash
. Finally, my downfall,
. Love the look (and anticipate the taste) of
Baked nectarines and cherries
Goats' cheese, pear and blackberry tart
. And I know the kids will enjoy
Melting chocolate puddings
Christmas chocolate roulade
ood Food for Friends
is a compendium of accessible recipes for busy hosts, which don't stint on important ingredients like home-made stocks and fresh herbs. The menu planning section at the back pulls it all together with suggestions that range from the '
' to a '
Teenager's birthday party
'. Our copy will get good use.
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