We had a whole pile of lovely friends over for dinner last weekend, and had a very jolly evening. I really enjoyed the food – both the cooking and the eating. The menu was simple, but had lots of our favourite things.
We started with two lovely nibbles:
- an olive, inside a peppadew pepper, wrapped in a basil leaf, held together with a cocktail stick (not dissimilar to recipes I’ve blogged before)
- a devilled piggyback date: a date, stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped in bacon and grilled.*
The starter was a trio of pate: chicken and chorizo, duck and orange and a coarse Ardennes, with a fig chutney and rye blend toast.
The main was gnocchi carbonara, courtesy of Delia Smith. I love this recipe – it’s a cheat, but it has some great first-principle ingredients nad tasted absolutely delicious!
Having not cooked with it for many years, I love pancetta; some of it was smoked, and it was particularly tasty. Ditto gnocchi; so quick to cook and I do love it so.
I adapted Delia’s recipe to finish it off in the oven for 25 minutes, rather than grilling it – that way I could cook it while we were starting or meal.
The tomato salad was a mixture of chopped tomatoes, torn basil leaves with balsamic vinegar and seasoning.
The dessert was one I’d done recently for Mum’s birthday: meringue nests topped with whipped cream, raspberries and passion fruit seeds. Simple and yummy.