The perfect entrée is a warm-up to the main event that is your plat principal. It should be delicious, but not too filling so as to spoil the main meal.
Ideally, it should also be quick and easy, so you can prepare it without spending your entire dinner party in the kitchen.
Here are a few ideas for quick but impressive entrees for your next party.
Bruschetta is a classic Italian plate that is remarkably tasty for how easy it is to make. It smells, looks, and tastes fantastic, and it’s a light introduction to any meal.
You’ll need 1-centimetre thick slices of crusty bread, such as a French baguette, as well as fresh ripe tomatoes and basil leaves, sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Lightly toast the bread slices under the grill, and mix the chopped tomato and basil leaves with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a generous dash of olive oil. Pile the tomato mix on top of the toasted bread and serve.
You can also rub garlic onto the bread after toasting for an extra authentic flavour.
Roast pumpkin soup with focaccia bread
Every chef must have a great soup recipe for those colder nights and hearty winter meals.
Pumpkin soup is a classic that pair extraordinarily well with light and fluffy focaccia bread, for a flavoursome warming entrée without the fuss. While there is some preparation involved in making soup and bread, it can be done in the day or two leading up to the dinner party to save you time during the event.
You’ll need to cut the pumpkin to pieces and roast it with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. For an extra burst of flavour, add finely ground chilli and coriander seeds. Chop and cook garlic, carrot, celery and onion, then mix it all with a processor with vegetable stock for a smooth finish.
Focaccia bread is easy to make even without a breadmaker, so long as you have the basic ingredients of yeast, flour, salt and olive oil, and delicious condiments such as oregano, rosemary, and mixed Italian herbs.
Spring rolls can be incredibly diverse, healthy and flavoursome, but they don’t take hours to prepare. You can fill them with just about anything that’s in season, making for an ideal starter no matter the time of year.
Finely chop or grate ingredients such as different coloured capsicum, cabbage, spring onions, carrots, and sprouts, and mix in a bowl with cooked rice noodles. Add a splash of soy sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, and ginger to the mix. If you like, you can also add cooked chicken, prawns or pork as well. Or if you have vegetarian guests, separate your mix into two bowls and only add meat to one.
Lay out sheets of filo pastry and spoon the mixture into neat portions before rolling the morsels and holding them together with a beaten egg wash. Brush the tops with this egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds for a golden, appetising look, then serve with a simple sweet chilli dip.