Me and the other half decided to throw a dinner party for some close friends this weekend. It was a lovely & stress free one too as I had the week off work before hand… plenty of easy going prep time!
This was the menu that we decided on.
Pizza Bites with Home Made Marinara dipping sauce
Chicken stuffed with Cream Cheese, Spring Onion, Chorizo, Basil & Parsley wrapped in Puff Pastry
with a side of Home Made Crispy Chips
Home Made Chocolate Chip Cookie & Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich
With warm Chocolate Fudge Sauce
So I’ll begin with the starter, Pizza Bites. Although these can be a little fiddly & time consuming to make they are definitely worth it & a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The recipe is another I found using the legendary Foodgawker website. Its from a blog called Chaos in the Kitchen.
(Makes approx 24)
What you will need:
- 3 Packs 145g pizza dough mix
- 225g Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Pack sliced pepperoni
- Italian Seasoning/Olive oil (easily made with whatever you have in your cupboards)
- 500g Carton of Tomato Passata
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tsp Sugar
Firstly you need to make the pizza dough following the packet instructions.
Whilst you wait for the dough to rise, slice your mozzarella into cubes & your pepperoni slices in half. (Dependent on the size you bought.)
Make your oil coating by mixing together a little olive oil along with dried herbs from your cupboard. I used oregano, chives & a little salt. This will be brushed on the tops of the bites before freezing/cooking.
When your dough is ready, pull off a walnut sized piece and roll out. Then put a couple of pieces of pepperoni and a cube of mozzarella in the middle and roll up. Place on a baking tray seam side down. Rinse & repeat.
When you have used up all your ingredients, brush the tops of the bites with your oil mix. If you are freezing them, cover the trays with cling film & freeze at this point. If you are going to bake them straight away, preheat your oven to 200°C and place in the middle for 15-20mins.
To make the marinara sauce, simply chop the garlic finely & fry in a little oil in a saucepan for about a minute. Then add the tomato passata. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add some salt & pepper to taste & the teaspoon of sugar. Allow to reduce for about 5-10 minutes then remove from the heat & stir in the chopped parsley & basil. Either use straight away or allow to cool & store in the fridge until needed. Simply reheat in a saucepan.
Onto the main, Stuffed chicken & home made crispy chips.
What you will need:
- 150g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 5 Spring onions, chopped
- approx 40g Chorizo, chopped
- Fresh Basil, chopped
- Fresh Parsley
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 block Puff Pastry
- 6 Chicken Breasts
- 8 medium Potatoes
For the stuffed chicken, simply mix together the cream cheese, spring onions, chorizo, basil, parsley & salt & pepper in a bowl. Carefully slice the chicken through the middle to create “pockets” then stuff as much filling in as you can. Roll out your block of pastry & divide into 6 rectangles. Place each stuffed chicken breast on a pastry rectangle and season with salt & pepper. Then wrap them up making sure to seal the edges well. Brush the tops with beaten egg . Put in the middle of a 200°C oven for about 30mins, or until the pastry is golden on top & the chicken is cooked through.
For the chips, peel the potatoes and chop into fairly chunky sized chips. Heat a decent amount of rice bran oil in a wok & preheat your oven to 180°C. I use rice bran oil due to its high smoke point, meaning you can get the oil really hot without it smoking out your kitchen or bursting into flames! When the oil is hot (hot enough that when you put a chip in it sizzles instantly) carefully put the chips in the wok. Stir them occasionally and keep cooking until they are just starting to crisp on the outside & turning slightly golden. Drain on kitchen towel & put on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 20 mins. When this is done, fry them in the wok again until they are golden brown and crispy.
At this point I should mention I can’t take credit for how nice these chips come out. Big shout out to my foodie Dad for teaching me how to make these perfect chips!
Now onto the best bit. The chocolate chip cookie & Vanilla ice cream sandwich with warm chocolate fudge sauce.
The cookie recipe I used is the House Warming Cookies from a couple of months back. I made a batch of these a few days before the dinner party so as to spread out the workload!
As for the ice cream, I used the recipe Real Vanilla Ice Cream from the BBC Good Food website. I didn’t make any changes to the recipe and it worked & tasted a treat! … hmm, well, except for the bit where I scrambled the eggs so I had to start all over again, haha woops! We live and learn : D When it came to slicing the ice cream into discs, that was interesting! I froze the ice cream in a cylindrical plastic tub. Once completely frozen, and with some resistance, I managed to remove the ice cream from the tub. I then got some boiling water & a sharp knife and began the frustrating & very messy task of slicing ice cream. But it was worth the effort! I placed each ice cream disc on a sheet of greaseproof paper to keep separate & popped back in the freezer until needed.
For the fudge sauce I used a recipe from The Cookie Shop.
(Makes about 400ml)
What you need:
- 50g Butter
- 170g Milk Chocolate
- 180ml Double Cream
- 3 tbsp Golden Syrup
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
First, melt the chocolate and the butter in a glass bowl over simmering water & set to one side. Next in a heavy saucepan mix the double cream, golden syrup, sugar & salt and bring to the boil. Let boil for 1 minute & remove from the heat. Then pour the cream mix over the chocolate in thirds, mixing thoroughly until smooth each time. If, like me, you want to make this ahead & store until needed, allow the sauce to cool & store in the fridge. Just reheat in a pan over a low heat until it’s back to a “pourable” consistency.
Once you have all the components made, assembly is very quick and easy which is ideally what you want in a dinner party pud so you can spend more time with your guests.
All in all, thanks to the help of the prep & the lovely guests of course, it was a success! My only criticism is that the pudding was a little on the large size! So I would make these smaller if I made them again.
Thank you so much for reading guys! If you would like to receive an e-mail telling you when there is a new post so you don’t miss any, click the “sign me up!” button on the right of the screen.
Miss Kitchen Mason