Dinner party preparations and nibbles

Place cards with songs

I had a dinner party for my friends in the summer house to mark my 30th birthday and with several guests it was quite a lot to prepare, but it all went well.

I feel confident enough in the kitchen now to be able to improvise if I need to. The day before the party I went grocery shopping and prepared the frozen dessert and on the day of the dinner party I did everything else, with help from my best friend Emma and my parents.

Emma got to do all the boring but time consuming tasks like wash and cut the potatoes, which I am very grateful for. We also left all the washing up for next day so we too could enjoy the party fully and that worked really well.

Mum made the table decorations

Salmon for the starter

The mussels are prepped

The meat is browned before hitting the oven

The guests can pour the aperitif

When the guests arrived we had bubbly and nibbles. Both the lovely ricotta stuffed mushrooms with lemon and persillade as well as mussels with aioli. In Sweden we don’t eat mussels very often, and I guess this was my attempt to put them ‘out there’. It seemed to work.

Mussels with aioli, makes 35-40

1 kg fresh large mussels (ca 35-40)

1 batch homemade aioli (see below)

water

Rinse the mussels and de-beard them. Discard of the mussels that are open and or have broken shell. Bring the water to the boil in a large sauce pan and place as many as the mussels you can fit (cook them in batches if necessary), put the lid on and cook for a few minutes until the mussels are opened. Drain and let cool enough for you to discard of the empty half shells. Place the mussels shell side down in an oven-proof dish and place a dollop (1/2-1 tsp) of aioli on each mussel. Put in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes before serving. 

Aioli:

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

150 ml neutral oil

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, pepper

1 garlic clove, pressed

Place the yolk in a bowl and add the oil drop by drop at first and then in a small spout, while whisking. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and garlic.

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