I have my own little way of preparing for a dinner party - so the below is working for me, it might not work for you. The structure of my dinner parties is always the same - canapés & cocktail on arrival, starter, soup, main course, dessert, tea/coffee with homemade chocolates or biscuits. All that means that I might have to cook the whole day - especially since I cook everything from scratch but fear not, a lot of the dishes can be prepared in advance. Soups can be made a week in advance and frozen, same goes for pastry etc. I would recommend a timetable for beginners - tick off items as you go along.... trust me, it works.
Since the weather was so beautiful and warm, I wanted to serve a cocktail that felt like summer. Puree a quarter of a watermelon in a food processor and pass through a sieve. Pour into a jug and chill until needed. That can be done a few hours in advance to give the juice time to chill nicely. When your guests arrive, pour watermelon juice into champagne flutes halfway and fill up with chilled prosecco - summer in a glass.
While your guests are enjoying the canapés and cocktail, check if the table is nicely set and start arranging the first starter. I have opted for a terrine last Friday - it is made the day before, doesn't need re-heating and looks impressive when served in slices on a bed of salad leaves and a light dressing. I always line a terrine tin with heatproof clingfilm to make it easier to remove the terrine from the form after cooling down.
Pork Terrine with Chicken
|Pork Terrine with Chicken|
250g bacon (enough to line a loaf tin)
4 small chicken breasts (skinned)
1/2 lemon - juice only
400g pork mince
1/2 onion, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
small bunch of fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
olive or sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 160-180C
Line a 2 pound loaf tin with heatproof cling film (make sure it is heatproof otherwise it will melt into the terrine). Now take the bacon and stretch it with the back of a knife. Line the tin with the strips of bacon, making sure that there are no gaps.
Take one of the chicken breasts and cut into thin strips, drizzle with lemon juice and set aside. Put the rest of the chicken into a food processor together with the pork and the chopped onion. Process until almost combined, now add the eggs, seasoning and parsley to the mix and process until combined.
Spoon half the mix into the lined tin, scatter the chicken strips on top and spoon in the rest of the pork mix and level the surface. Knock the form a few times hard on the table/worktop to remove any air pockets. Oil a piece of tinfoil large enough to cover the top of the loaf tin and squeeze the tinfoil tight around the terrine. Place the tin into a roasting pan and pour boiling water to halfway up the sides of the loaf tin. Place into the preheated oven and bake for about 50 mins.
Leave the terrine to cool in the tin. Take a tea towel and cover the terrine and place a heavy weight on it. This will ensure that the terrine doesn't fall apart when sliced later (in case there are still some air pockets). When completely cooled, remove the terrine from the form and place on an oblong platter. Serve sliced on a bed of salad leaves with a light dressing.