Feast: an easy dinner party menu from Mary Berry and Lucy Young

Date:15-02-2014 08:58:58 read:11

Feast: an easy dinner party menu from Mary Berry and Lucy Young

Mary Berry and her close friend, Lucy Young, share an easy three-course menu that is bound to impress your guests

Entertaining made easy: Mary Berry and Lucy Young Photo: Noel Murphy

STARTER: Bruschette with Reblochon and roasted vegetables

Serves 6

2 yellow peppers, halved, deseeded, and chopped into 2.5cm (1in) pieces

1 red onion, sliced into wedges

3 small courgettes, cut into

1cm (1⁄2in) slices

4 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Small bunch of basil, roughly chopped

1⁄2 ciabatta or white

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200g (7oz) Reblochon de Savoie

Paprika, to dust

1. Preheat the oven to 220˚C (200˚C fan/425˚F/Gas 7). Mix the vegetables in a roasting tin, add half the oil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Toss together well, then roast for 30 minutes or until soft and tinged golden brown. Remove from the oven and stir in the vinegar and basil.

3. Meanwhile, cut the ciabatta or baguette into six slices. Mix the remaining oil with the garlic in a small bowl, then brush both sides of the bread with it. Place on a baking sheet and bake on a shelf under the vegetables, turning them halfway through, for 10–12 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp.

4. Remove the crispy bruschette from the oven and top with the vegetables. Keeping the rind on, slice the cheese into six wedges, put one on top of each pile of vegetables, then dust lightly with paprika.

5. Return to the oven for 10–12 minutes or until the cheese has melted. If some runs off the sides of the bread, quickly scoop it back on top. Serve hot.

Prepare ahead:

The ciabatta can be baked up to 3 days ahead. The vegetables can be roasted up to 8 hours ahead. Assemble up to the end of step 3 up to 3 hours ahead. Not suitable for freezing.

MAIN: Aromatic beef curry with ginger and tomatoes

Serves 6

1 heaped tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, and garam masala

1⁄2 tsp turmeric

10 cardamom pods, crushed, pods discarded, and seeds finely crushed

2 tbsp olive oil

900g (2lb) stewing beef, chopped into 2.5cm (1in) pieces

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 red chilli, halved, deseeded, and chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2cm (3⁄4in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

400g can chopped tomatoes

300ml (10fl oz) beef stock

1 cinnamon stick

4 tbsp tomato purée

3 tbsp mango chutney

Salt and freshly ground pepper

200g (7oz) okra or green beans, sliced into 2cm (3⁄4in) pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C (140˚C fan/325˚F/Gas 3). Heat a large frying pan or casserole over a high heat, add all the spices, and fry for 1 minute or until just toasted, then spoon into a small bowl.

2. Add the oil to the pan and quickly brown the beef until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. You may need to do this in batches. Add the onion to the pan with the toasted spices, the chilli, garlic, and ginger and fry for 3–4 minutes.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, tomato purée, and chutney. Return the beef to the pan, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, cover with a lid, and transfer to the oven for 2–21⁄4 hours or until the beef is tender.

4. Cook the okra or green beans in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, drain, and stir into the pan. Fish out the cinnamon and discard and serve straightaway.

Prepare ahead:

The curry can be made up to 2 days ahead. Freeze without the okra or green beans for up to 2 months.

DESSERT: Heavenly lemon cheesecake on a ginger crust

Makes a 20cm (8in) cheesecake (serves 8)

Special equipment:

20cm (8in) round loose-bottomed cake tin, greased and base-lined with baking parchment

100g (31⁄2oz) ginger biscuits, crushed

50g (13⁄4oz) butter, melted

2 x 250g tubs mascarpone

325g jar luxury lemon curd

Juice of 1 small lemon

Fresh raspberries and blueberries,

To decorate:

Icing sugar, to dust

1. Mix the biscuits with the butter in a bowl, then press into the base of the tin (but not up the sides).

2. Put the mascarpone, lemon curd, and lemon juice in a bowl and beat with a spatula until smooth.

3. Spoon on to the biscuit base and level the top. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours to firm up.

4. To serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin, peel off the baking parchment, and arrange on a platter. Decorate with the fruit and dust with icing sugar.

Prepare ahead:

The cheesecake can be made up to the end of step 3 up to 1 day ahead. Not suitable for freezing.

Adapted from Cook Up a Feast by Mary Berry and Lucy Young, now available in paper back, £14.99, DK Books

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