RECIPES FOR HOSTING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS DINNER
Taking your associates out for drinks is a good way to build your working relationships. However, it would really impress them if you invited them for a home-cooked meal. It may sound scary if you're single and also don't have help in the kitchen, but these recipes from celebrity chefs are simple to prepare and can work wonders for anyone's palate. What more? it's a proper, three-course meal!
Rachael Ray's Chicken Soup with Pasta
This combination could really work; pasta is quite a favourite and everyone loves chicken soup!
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup pound penne
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 6 cups chicken stock, divided
- 2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 large bay leaf
- 5-6 carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise ?-inch thick
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 rind Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (optional), plus grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for topping
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 lime, zested
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain; drizzle with olive oil.
- While the pasta is working, in a small skillet, pour about 2 cups chicken stock over the chicken to cover it. Add the wine and bay leaf; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Make sure the chicken is not sticking to the pan by giving it a wiggle with tongs. Lower the heat to low and gently poach until fully cooked (about 12 minutes).
- Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the carrots, onion, garlic and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook until the vegetables are softened (about 10 minutes).
- Add the remaining stock and the cheese rind, if using; bring to a simmer. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid; cut into bite-size cubes and add to the soup. Strain in the poaching liquid. Stir in the peas and parsley; discard the bay leaf. Spoon the pasta into bowls. Ladle in the hot soup and top with the lemon zest and grated cheese.
Donna Hay's 'Bacon and Rosemary Roasted Lamb'
Lamb is the perfect protein for your main course, and with the right seasoning, you're sure to have a winner!
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 easy-carve lamb leg
- 12 slices bacon
- 1.25 l chicken stock
- 1 cup polenta
- 1/4 cup single (pouring) cream
- 50g butter
- Preheat oven to 200 degree C. Place the rosemary, garlic, salt and oil in a bowl and stir to combine. Place 1 tbsp of the rosemary mixture in the centre of the lamb leg. With a small, sharp knife make shallow slits in the lamb leg and spread the remaining rosemary mixture over, pressing it into the slits. Wrap the bacon around the lamb and secure with kitchen string.
- Place the lamb on a wire rack in a baking dish. Add 2 cups of stock to the baking dish and roast for 1?1? hours for medium or until cooked to your liking.
- Place remaining stock in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Gradually add the polenta, whisking continuously. Cook for 2-5 minutes or until thickened. Stir through the cream and butter.
- Slice the lamb and serve with the polenta.
Nigella Lawson's 'Instant Chocolate Mousse'
With marshmallows and chocolates, this recipe doesn't require much prep and doesn't include raw eggs.
Serves: Four to six
- 1.5 cups mini marshmallows
- 50 g soft butter
- 250 g bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
- Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan. Put the saucepan on the stove, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
- Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about ? cup each in capacity, or 6 smaller ? cup ones, and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!
This article originally appeared in The Label - Recipes For Hosting A Business Dinner