Guest gastronomy:

 

the complete guide to concocting a housewarming menu

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We need little excuse to organise a supper party, but when you’ve just moved into a new place, it’s an absolute prerequisite.

Whether you’re planning a drinks do with nibbles or a sit-down affair, it is possible to spend the day unpacking boxes and still give your guests fresh, interesting flavours.

Take inspiration from our menu suggestions and enjoy an evening with old friends and new beginnings.

Nibbles and bites

When it comes to delighting palates at a housewarming, less is more.

You can’t go wrong with finger foods such as roasted edamame with sea salt and cracked black pepper, smoked salmon blinis, parmesan straws, sautéed shrimp and luscious figs in prosciutto blankets.

The Passionate Cook’s scallop, asparagus and chilli canapés

The subtlety of the asparagus purée marries with the scallops in this recipe – we’ve added a sprinkling of chilli for a dimension of heat.

guestgastronomyscallops

 

Knives and forks

Even if you opt for a more formal meal, you’ll want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen.

Try these simple, flavourful menu suggestions for an autumnal feast.

Green Evi’s creamy carrot soup with coconut milk and peanut butter

As every clever hostess knows, the benefit of soups is that they can be made ahead of time. This one packs warming layers of flavour, without overpowering. We also love the fact that Evi is a wholefood-loving Hungarian photographer, living in Germany.

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Mourad Mazouz’s one-pot Moroccan chicken tagine

Slow-cooking is the house-warmer’s best friend, so why not whip up a tasty tagine for your guests? Combining fragrant flavours, easy preparation and a little theatre, it’s a simple, convivial option.

Legendary restaurateur Mourad Mazouz’s aromatic recipe calls for chicken breast but some prefer to use the darker meat.

Encourage guests to serve themselves from a centrally-placed pot, piling bowls of feta, mint, yoghurt and preserved lemons alongside, to add as required. Accompany with mint-spiked couscous.

chicken tagine

Xanthe Clay’s tarte aux pommes

Getting back to basics, Xanthe Clay indulges in a lovely foodie discussion about the various elements of a classic tarte aux pommes. Prepare in advance and pop into the oven as you serve your main course.

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Toasts

Of course, toasting the new home is mandatory – elevate any drink by serving it in the finest crystal.

Cocktails add sparkle and glamour and needn’t be a bind. Pitchers make life easier: try a pretty strawberry margarita, a tropical mai tai or a classic buck’s fizz.

For something slightly more avant-garde, try rejigging the classics; such as Food.com’s Blue lavender mojitos. This perfect muddle of classic mint and white rum brings a refreshing lavender syrup twist to stir up guest’s palattes. Serve in Lismore Connoisseur straight-sided tumblers.

For a beautifully peachy-coloured jug, Tangerine Tequila by Serious Eats is serious happiness in a glass. Served in Lismore Diamond martini glasses, the elegant mix of Campari, tequila and tangerine is a gleeful way to toast your fresh abode.

Here’s to you and your beautiful new home! Enjoy, relax – and leave the clearing up until the morning.

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