HOSTING THE IDEAL ALFRESCO DINNER PARTY
Thinking of celebrating the August bank holiday in staycation style?
Why not move from the dining room to the garden? We’ve got some great food ideas for you to throw a memorable dinner party alfresco style – but don’t worry, you can still do it all indoors if the classic British weather threatens!
Consider really making your alfresco dinner party an occasion by having a theme and giving your guest the task of bringing a dish that complements it. This is a great idea for kids to get involved with, as you can task them with decorating the table or the garden to really bring the evening together.
Theme-wise, you could throw an amazing tropical-style party, complete with Pina Coladas, and then incorporate the food into it too. Perhaps serve a coconut, mango, and crayfish tailssalad, and some barbecued watermelon and monkfish skewers. Pineapple is amazing grilled on the barbecue for afters! If that’s not entirely up your street, why not try having a Mexican fiesta complete with zesty DIY fish tacos and plenty of margaritas. Or play posh, and get everyone to dress in their glad rags for an English Garden Party, which would be incomplete without dainty smoked salmon sandwiches and lashings of Pimms. Salad Masterpieces Salads are an essential part of every alfresco dining experience, but they’re never usually very exciting.
Make your salad stand out by adding pre-cooked grains for the base, and some fresh Cornish fish for a real wow factor. Maybe you could flake some delicate Cornish crab over a mix of green leaves, pink grapefruit segments and some very thinly sliced fennel, or perhaps you could go retro with an impressive tuna niçoise made with our triple A-grade tuna and golden-yolked free-range eggs. Giant couscous and middle eastern flavours such as zaatar really complement cooked flaked salmon, and hot smoked trout does amazingly with very finely chopped parsley, bulgar wheat, rocket and toasted nuts and seeds. The world is your oyster! (But don’t add those to a salad)
Quick – where’s the quiche?!
Nothing says summer like a dill and salmon quiche – it’s a crowd-pleasing tummy-filler and can look absolutely spectacular if you make an enormous one and put it in the centre of the table for everyone to devour.
Quiche is best served at around room temperature, or slightly warm, rather than piping hot or straight from the fridge. Really, you can use any fillet fish you like but we think fresh salmon is your best bet, with a choice of either hot smoked which is ready to use, or unsmoked fillets, which are best lightly poached before being incorporated in the quiche mix. Oh, and you can cheat a little by using shop-bought shortcrust – no one will ever know! Nothing else matters with a Smoked fish platter For a super easy way to impress grown-up guests, why not arrange a smoked fish platter as a centrepiece for a lighter, buffet-style supper. What could look better than a slate or wooden board, piled high with smoked salmon, smoked crevettes,smoked mackerel pate and some hot smoked trout fillets? It’s a low-effort way to get big smiles on faces. The depth of flavour from our home-cure smoked seafood, smoked over oak chips in our very own kilns, is second to none. And we’ve got the Great Taste awards to prove it! Serve your smoked fish platter with a selection of high-quality crackers and oatcakes, some wedges of lemon and maybe some homemade sour gooseberry compote to offset the richness of the fish. Whatever the occasion, however you choose to celebrate your bank holiday weekend, The Cornish Fishmonger has recipes, products and ideas galore for you to enjoy.