On Wednesday I had some friends over for dinner and because of the gorgeous weather of late I decided to keep a summery and fuss-free approach to the food.
We started with a pre-dinner drink from Germany, called Hugo, that my bestie Emma introduced to me. It is so refreshing with elderflower, bubbly and mint.
I kept the starter simple and served it on a large plate. Scattered on a bed of rocket, these little Parma ham parcels are filled with sundried tomatoes and cream cheese and drizzled with a good olive oil and crema di balsamico.
For the maincourse we had caramelised pork tenderloin slices with an amazing all-in-one potato salad with new potatoes, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and water cress and a lovely (yet incredibly simple) parmesan and lemon crème.
As I was short of time prepping that evening, I had the pudding already sitting in the fridge as I made this stunning dulce de leche cheesecake the night before.
We had such a fun evening with the wine flowing, lots of laughter and fun conversation. Thanks guys!
Hugo, per drink
1 part elderflower cordial
3 parts sparkling wine
1 part sparkling water
Mix and serve.
Parma ham parcels with sundried tomato crème and rocket, serves 4
200 g rocket
12 slices Parma ham or similar
100-150 g Philadelphia
4-5 sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
crema di balsamic
Spread out the rocket on a large plate. Mix the chopped tomatoes with the cream cheese. Season to taste. Place a dollop of the mixture onto each ham slice and fold into a parcel. Place the parcels on the bed of rocket and drizzle with olive oil and crema di balsamico. Add basil leaves. Serve with bread and butter.
Potato salad with asparagus, serves 4
about 800 g new potatoes
8-10 asparagus stalks
150-200 g cherry tomatoes
100 g watercress
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
50 ml good quality olive oil
1-2 tsp lemon juice
salt, black pepper
1 handful chopped chives
1 handful chopped parsley
Wash and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Cook, drain and leave to cool. Cut the asparagus into inch-long pieces, steam/boil for 2-3 minutes, drain and place in ice water. Drain.
Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the potatoes and asparagus. Add the watercress. Mix mustard and honey in a bowl and add the oil while whisking season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Dress the salad and mix well.
Chop the herbs and scatter on top. Serve.
Parmesan and lemon crème, serves 4
300 mlcreme fraiche (at least)
3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
1/2 lemon, grated zest
salt, black pepper
Mix all the ingredients and serve.