Entertaining

Although it's lovely to have friends round for dinner, the last thing you want is to be chained to the kitchen. Delia's recipes for entertaining allow you to prepare ahead, or involve minimal work before serving, so you can have a stress-free, relaxed evening as well!

 
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OssobucoServes 4

Ossobuco

Slow-cooked shin of veal with tomatoes and wine: a true taste of Italy. Gremolata - garlic, parsley and lemon zest - sprinkled over at the end makes it even better. Serve with rice, preferably risotto.

 
 
Butter Bean, Bacon and Parsley SoupServes 4

Butter Bean, Bacon and Parsley Soup

A lovely wintry soup, butter beans absorb the flavours of parsley, bacon, onions and garlic in this hearty and cheap dish. Perfect on a winter's day.

 
 
Polenta and Ricotta Cake with Dates and PecansServes 8-10

Polenta and Ricotta Cake with Dates and Pecans

This unusual Italian cake freezes really well and makes a nice change from the more obvious teatime offerings: polenta gives the cake a grainy texture while the ricotta and amaretto to add moisture and an alcoholic kick!

 
 
Little Sticky Toffee Puddings with Pecan Toffee SauceServes 8

Little Sticky Toffee Puddings with Pecan Toffee Sauce

Why not freeze these gorgeous little puds for a very special dessert? Your guests will love the wonderful flavours of this real treat.

 
 
Boiled Smoked Bacon with Pease Pudding with Onion and Mustard SauceServes 6

Boiled Smoked Bacon with Pease Pudding with Onion and Mustard Sauce

This may sound like quite a retro kind of dish, but as Delia says, collar of bacon has great flavour... and if you've never tasted traditional pease pudding you're in for a treat!

 
 
Eton MessServes 6

Eton Mess

Invented at Eton for 4 June celebrations, this easy summery dessert is one of the quickest and most delectable ways to enjoy home-grown strawberries, couple with cream and meringue. Yum!

 
 
Canadian Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple SyrupMakes about 6

Canadian Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Syrup

The Canadian bit comes from the maple syrup - that sticky, sweet, caramelly ingredient that lifts pancakes into the realm of the heavenly. Using buttermilk makes pancakes particularly light and moreish.

 
 
Fried Skate Wings with Very Quick Homemade Tartare SauceServes 2

Fried Skate Wings with Very Quick Homemade Tartare Sauce

This unctuous sauce keeps for a week and so can be called into service for other fish dishes too. Make it with lime and coriander for a more oriental touch. Skate is hugely underrated, easy to cook and well worth the effort.

 
 
Wild Mushroom and Walnut SoupServes 8 as a first course

Wild Mushroom and Walnut Soup

Full of autumnal or Christmas flavours, this wonderful soup is a real treat and has plenty of French influence. It uses dried wild mushrooms so no need to go foraging!

 
 
Roasted Tomato Soup with Puree of Basil and Olive CroutonsServes 6

Roasted Tomato Soup with Puree of Basil and Olive Croutons

Roasting tomatoes results in a soup that's packed with intense flavour, while the addition of basil brings out the very best in this Mediterranean ingredient.

 
 
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