Take your dinner party to the next level

By Hannah Lewry, 24 August 2016

Take your shindig to near-restaurant status with these extras

Start with snack spoons

Arrange bite-sized snacks on spoons on a platter. Use combinations of Parma ham, preserved figs and blue cheese, or smoked salmon, dill, cream cheese and cucumber.

Go back to your roots

Add grated parsnips to home-made potato röstis, or make a carrot purée or celeriac and potato bake to serve with meat. Also try a root mash with boiled carrots and turnips, roast garlic, honey and butter.

Remember the mashed potato

Hosting a posh dinner party doesn’t mean that you can’t serve an old favourite. Try folding smashed olives and feta into mashed potato, or adding mascarpone and crunchy bacon bits.

Make a flavoured salt

Grate fresh raw beetroot into a handful of salt flakes and massage it together until stained brilliant purple. Or massage the flakes with chopped green herbs.

Bake the Parmesan

Grate circles onto baking paper and bake at 200°C until melted. Remove from the heat and peel away the paper when crisp and set. Break into shards and stack them high on a plate. Serve as canapés or with salads or soups. Try: Truffle-and-Parmesan-coated chips

Fry a pretty garnish

Tempura herbs are a fantastic addition to soups and stews. Make a batter by mixing 200 g Woolworths tempura flour with 1 cup ice-cold water. Coat herbs of your choice in the batter and quickly deep-fry in 2 cups hot vegetable oil. Drain on kitchen paper. Try: Tempura green beans or tempura celery leaves.

Popcorn for dessert

Satisfy the after-dinner sweet craving with popcorn coated in melted chocolate or caramel served with coffee, or sprinkle it over vanilla ice cream. Try: Chocolate caramel popcorn ice-cream cakeRead: The 8 rules of midweek hosting
Hannah Lewry

Article by Hannah Lewry

Woolworths TASTE’s Food Editor is passionate about conjuring up fresh ideas for fast and easy dishes that taste as great as they look. Turn to her expertise for everything from time-saving mid-week food to lazy weekend meals. You’ll have a lot of fun in the kitchen while you’re about it.
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