Make the most of the evening after you've made the most of the day.
Here’s how to cook the ultimate after-shoot dinner party for six people, from canapes to souffle.
Canapes: Poppy Seed and Cheese Biscuits
You don’t want anything too filling or fancy before you have grouse as its such a rich and indulgent thing. These easy cheese biscuits can be made days before and kept in an airtight container. This recipe makes a lot!
200g self raising flour
200g cheddar cheese
sald and pepper
- Put the butter, flour and cheese in the food processor and blend till it forms a ball. Roll out to form a long tube shape of about the size of a 10p piece in diameter. Now wrap the mixture in cling film and place in the fridge for roughly 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 185 ˚C/gas mark 6. Spread the poppy seeds on a board or work surface and roll the mixture in the seeds so that it is totally covered in seeds. Take a sharp knife and cut into biscuits, be careful not to make them too think as they have a high fat content and can break easily.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until lightly golden.
- Leave them to cool a bit before taking off the tray, so that they do not crumble.
Starter: Prawn and Avocado Mousse
This is a luxurious but light started with a lot of flavour.
Juice of 1 lemon
150g peeled prawns plus 6 good looking prawns for the top of the ramekin
4 tablespoons Hellman’s or home-made mayonnaise
4teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 ripe avocados
300mls double cream
2 egg whites
50g of butter
Dill for garnish
- Lightly grease 6 small ramekins.
- Peel and chop an onion and put in a food processor until finely chopped. Cook on a medium heat until slightly browned.
- Put the avocados in the food processor wiz for a few seconds. Add the prawns and wiz again, but don’t let the mixture get too fine, you still want a nice texture.
- Beat the cream in one bowl and then clean the beaters and beat the egg whites in another bowl. Tip the avocado and prawn mixture into a large bowl and add in the onions, mayonnaise, melted butter, lemon juice, worcetershire sauce and dill. Finally fold in the whipped cream and egg whites and season to taste.
- Spoon the mixture gently into the ramekins and set for a few hours in the fridge. Garnish with a prawn and dill on top and serve with melba toast or good oatcakes.
Main Course: Grouse breasts with a redcurrant sauce, parsnip and carrot stir fry and baby potato dauphinoise
This is a slightly more modern way to serve Grouse than serving the whole bird on the plate. This method is certainly much easier to eat rather than hacking into a whole bird!
Apart from frying the Grouse breasts you can make everything in advance and just warm up before you serve. You also use the food processor a lot, so you don’t have to do any chopping.
1kg baby potatoes
3-4 garlic cloves
500mls double cream
- Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 2160C/320F/Gas 2
- Peel the potatoes and pop into the food processor one by one with the blade attachment.
- Season generously and arrange in a baking dish with the garlic cloves. Pick out the nicest looking slices of potato and arrange then neatly overlapping one another on the top.
- Pour over the cream and dot the butter on top.
- Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1- 2 hours. You might want to cover it with foil for the first hour, especially if you are reheating it later, you don’t want the top to be too brown.
Carrot and Parsnip stir-fry
This side dish looks like it has been stir-fried but it is actually roasted in a hot oven, which is much easier than slaving over a hot stove
4 Large Carrots
4 Large Parsnips
150mls sunflower oil
1 tbs light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Peel and cut the vegetables into thirds so that they are able to fit into the funnel of the food processor length ways. Put the chunks of parsnip and carrot into the processor processor with the slicing attachment.
- Tip the sliced vegetables into a large roasting tin and pour over the oil, seasoning and sugar mixing thoroughly.
- Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes but keep checking every 5 minutes and turning the vegetables so that they are all evenly cooked. When you are ready to serve, chop some parsley and sprinkle over.
Accompaniment: Redcurrant Sauce
2 shallots or 1 red onion, finely chopped
8 tbsp redcurrant jelly
4 tbsp of red wine
Juice of one orange
Juices from grouse breasts
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Fry the onion until softened add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Season to taste.
12 grouse breasts
chunk of butter
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C
- Heat a large pan with a generous slab of butter in it. Fry the breasts for a few minutes on each side.
- Put the breasts onto a sheet of foil and wrap up into a parcel. Place in a roasting tray and pop in the oven for 10 minutes. This lets the meat rest and it also give you to time to cook all the breasts without letting the others get cold.
Pudding: Blackberry and Apple Soufflé
This is very light and has a lovely sauce at the bottom
150g caster sugar
350g blackberries and 24 for the bottom of the soufflé
1 large cooking apple peeled and finely diced
Zest and juice of 1 orange
3 egg whites
300 mls double cream for serving
Icing sugar for serving
- Cook blackberries, diced apple, zest and juice of orange in pan for 10 minutes until apple is pulp. Stir in 50 g of caster sugar. Cool.
- Place a spoonful of fruit puree and 4 blackberries into the bottom of 6 ramekins (buttered and dusted with sugar). This can be set aside until you are ready to serve pudding.
- Whist the egg whites until stiff and gradually whisk in sugar until its glossy. Fold in the rest of the fruit puree and pour into ramekins.
- Level the tops and run knife around edges of each dish. Place on a hot baking tray at 200C/400F/ Gas 6 for about 10-15 minutes until lightly brown.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
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