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The Interview

DAN
DOHERTY’S
EASY PARTY
IDEAS

It’s officially party time, so we’ve asked chef Dan Doherty of London restaurant Duck & Waffle to whip up a selection of tasty treats using our festive in-store ingredients

“On Christmas Eve I’ll be hosting my neighbours for drinks and mince pies. The recipes here paired with my fruity bellinis are exactly what we’ll be serving.”

 

I’ve always been a massive fan of Christmas, mostly because of all the food! I love starting the prep the week leading up to the big day, which really gets you in the mood for eating and drinking plenty. It’s not all about Christmas Day, though; my menu planning starts with Christmas Eve and goes right through to New Year’s Eve. It’s the perfect time of year to plan some brilliant feasts and to get creative with the leftovers.

“I love party food; I’m a big fan of a platter of cocktail sausages, scotch eggs and pastry goodies, but I’d add a gooey cheese tart using truffle gouda for some sophistication.

“My main tip for party prep is do the messy work before people get there and pick dishes that will just need a flash in the oven before serving, like ready-made party food.

I love making interesting dips that are really tasty and quick to do – again, before family and friends arrive.

“I think it’s all about experimenting and not being afraid of it going wrong. If a recipe calls for bacon in a sauce, try changing for another cured pork ingredient, like n’duja. It tastes totally different but is amazing, which is why I came up with a way to get it into my spiced seafood medley recipe. It’s quick to make and is a definite talking point at parties – it works brilliantly with scallops and mussels and with fresh prawns or crab claws, too.

“And, of course, things wouldn’t feel festive without a glass of fizz. The preserved fruits I’ve paired with prosecco have loads of flavour and add the little kick you’ll need to get you through Christmas and into New Year.”

 

 

Fruity bellinis

“It’s nice to serve classic drinks that are made extra-impressive with a little twist, like these sparklers made from a blend of prosecco with fruit steeped in liqueurs. Plus, they’re easy to do, which is a bonus when you have lots of people over.”

 

Ingredients
Prosecco
M&S peaches in brandy syrup
M&S apricots in amaretto syrup
M&S cherries in kirsch

Method
Blitz the fruit, using a little of the alcohol, into a smooth purée.

Spoon into the bottom of the glasses and top with prosecco. The cherries are best when passed through a fine sieve. Give a little stir before serving.

 

Truffle gouda tart with
plum pudding chutney

“This tart is the kind of thing I do when I’ve had a bit too much meat and can’t face any more! It has deep flavours with a nice tang from the chutney and is incredibly satisfying after a chilly winter walk.”

 

Makes 1 large tart (4-6 slices)

Ingredients
50g M&S truffle gouda
100g M&S plum pudding chutney
30-centimetre-square sheet puff pastry
500g new potatoes, par-boiled
Drizzle of honey
Large sprig thyme, leaves only
30g butter
Salt
Pepper
Watercress to garnish


Preheat your oven to 180°C. Slice the potatoes in half lengthways.

Heat a medium non-stick frying pan and add the butter. When foaming, add the potatoes and the thyme leaves and sauté for five to six minutes, until the potatoes start to colour.

When ready, take the pan off the heat. Make sure the potatoes are evenly spread over the base of the pan.

Next, scatter the chutney as evenly as possible on top of the potatoes.

Cut the puff pastry out to approximately five centimetres bigger than the frying pan. Lay the pastry over the pan and tuck in the sides so it’s snug.

Pop in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry has risen and is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate.

While the tart is still warm, finely grate the cheese over the potatoes evenly.

To serve, drizzle over a little honey and finish with a good twist of black pepper and some dressed watercress.

 

Scallops and mussels roasted in n’duja
butter with crunchy herby breadcrumbs

“This slightly spicy starter is wonderful with a slice of bread to mop up the juices. You can add some more shellfish to it too, like crab claws or prawns, with some potatoes and vegetables to turn it into a main meal.”

 

Serves 2

Ingredients
4 scallops
500g mussels
60g n’duja
100ml chicken stock
1 slice bread, blitzed to a crumb
Pinch chopped tarragon
Pinch chopped parsley
1 lemon
30g butter
Salt
Sliced bread to serve


In a frying pan, melt half the butter and add the breadcrumbs. On a low heat, toast the breadcrumbs until crunchy and golden.

When ready, take the breadcrumbs out and add the herbs and zest of the lemon and stir in. Set aside.

In another frying pan, on a medium heat, melt the rest of the butter and add the n’duja and stir in.

Turn up the heat and add the scallops and sauté for three-to-four minutes until nicely coloured. Take out and rest on a plate.

Add the mussels and the chicken stock and put a lid on. Cook for five-to-six minutes until the mussels are open.

Place the scallops on your serving plates. Squeeze half of the lemon juice over the mussels and turn all out on top of the scallops (the hot mussels will heat the scallops), dividing the juice evenly.

Sprinkle over the crumb and eat immediately. Serve with sliced bread to mop up the juices.

Photographs and recipes: Dan Doherty / Editor: Emma Sleight