What are the best dishes for entertaining? When it comes to entertaining with atmosphere, it’s hard to beat an Australian summer evening. And since summer is the ultimate time to relax, it’s important to dazzle your guests with the minimum of hassle.
Here are a few refreshing, delicious dishes that will wow your guests but cause you little fuss.
- Pimm’s Cup
#HisenseHack: Not a fan of the sweet and fruit Pimm’s Cup? Try Pimm’s with Tonic for a refreshing tipple.
No sunny afternoon catch-up is complete without that classic cocktai, the Pimm’s Cup. Refreshing, moreish and easy to make, this punch is literally the taste of summer. Start by cutting up some fresh lemon slices, ripe strawberries and mint picked from the kitchen garden. Throw them into your favourite jug, then fill it to the brim with ice — and remember, bigger ice-cubes melt more slowly, so it’s worth investing in some large silicone moulds. Pour in one part Pimm’s No 1 to three-parts ginger ale (you can add a little gin if you’re game), then agitate with a swizzle-stick. To serve, fill a highball glass with more ice, add a slice of cucumber, and simply pour over your punch.
- Fresh Oysters with Strawberry Champagne Vinaigrette
#HisenseHack: When buying oysters, ask to hold them; if they feel heavy for their size, they’re perfect but avoid them if they sound hollow.
While a freshly-shucked oyster needs little addition, this chilled vinaigrette can improve on perfection. The day before, place a punnet of ripe strawberries in the freezer section of your Hisense French Door Fridge, and leave them to freeze overnight. Just before serving, throw the strawberries, two tablespoons of olive oil, three tablespoons of champagne vinegar and the juice of a freshly-squeezed lemon into the blender and whip until smooth. As tempting as it is to buy pre-shucked oysters, there’s simply no comparison with those you open as you serve them — and it’s super-easy to do. Simply hold the shell in a tea towel, then insert a knife into the hinge end of the oyster and twist, prising up the shell. Run the knife around the outside of the lid and lift it up and away. Arrange the oysters on a bed of crushed ice, then add a dollop of your strawberry champagne vinaigrette to each.
- Blini with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche
#HisenseHack:Margaret Fulton is the undisputed Queen of the Blini, stick to her tried and tested recipe.
Nothing speaks of sophisticated summer fare more than blini topped with crème fraîche, smoked salmon and chives. The legendary Margaret Fulton’s recipe has not been bettered, so it’s best to stick to that. To make the little blini, pour 30g of compressed yeast into 500ml of warm milk, and stir until it’s dissolved. Sift 225g of plain flour with 195g of buckwheat flour and mix 1 1/2 cups of the combined flours and two tablespoons of sugar into the milk. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap, and leave the mixture to stand in a warm place for about an hour and a half, when bubbles start to form. Next, beat three egg yolks and combine with 125g of melted butter, a teaspoon of salt, and the remaining flour, then combine with the previous mixture. Let it stand for another hour and a half, until the batter rises. Finally, beat the three egg whites until they’re fluffly and fold into the mixture. Then, add the mixture one tablespoon at a time to a hot frying pan greased in butter, flipping the blinis once the underside browns. When your blini are cooked, simply swipe on some creme fraiche, top with a small roll of smoked salmon, and garnish with finely chopped chives. Delicious!
- Charcuterie Board
#HisenseHack: Got vegans or vegetarians in the mix? Why not try out this delicious and easy Walnut Mushroom Pâté recipe.
When it comes to return on investment, the classic charcuterie board is hard to beat and simple to prepare. Simply nip down to your favourite deli and pick up some cured goodies — think wagyu bresaola, jamón or prosciutto, a rustic terrine, a chorizo, sopressa or even a piece of saucisson sec (if you can get your hands on it!) Accompany them with a crusty baguette, a spoonful of dijon mustard, some pickled cornichons and peppers, a couple of sour cherries and a dollop of fig conserve.
- Strawberry and Sparkling White Popsicle
#HisenseHack: Add some fresh fruits and edible flowers to your popsicles for colour and flavour.
Champagne popsicles are all the rage this summer, but you don’t need to order out — you can make them at home in your very own Hisense Top Mount Fridge. You’ll need some moulds and a pack of popsicle sticks, which you should be able to find at your local supermarket. Next, finely slice some fresh strawberries, and pick some mint from the garden, and place them gently in the mould. Pour over some champagne, prosecco or sparkling white wine (perhaps in rosé!) and leave them in the freezer to set overnight. Serve these icy delicacies when the sun is highest in the sky.
Need more space for entertaining? Check out the Hisense 701L French Door Fridge.
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