Whether it’s an intimate meal for two, or a grown-up gathering, a barbecue can make for a surprisingly suave occasion.

by Sarah ▪ 14 July, 2021

Dinner party

A casual get-together with friends and family is always lovely, but there is also something to be said for an old-fashioned dinner party where everyone dresses up, and the hosts plan a three-course menu – even if it’s just so you can all rate each other’s cooking, ‘Come Dine With Me’ style!

Well, we think you’d come out with top marks if you used one of our ‘fancy’ barbecue menus below, and the great thing is they’re both easy to prep and cook (helped, of course, by delicious Gourmade sides and desserts.

Menu 1: Simply steak

Entrée: Smoked salmon paté
Main: Steak and dauphinoise potatoes 
Dessert: Raspberry Roulades 

Homemade salmon paté is unexpectedly easy to make, can be prepped in advance and always gives a chic impression, besides being temptingly tasty! The BBC offers a particularly simple recipe here. You have a wide array of options available when it comes to serving, from classic melba toasts to toasted slices of more ciabattas, sourdoughs or baguettes. You may even prefer oat cakes or serving the paté in canapés (these look fab topped with a prawn!). A small dressed salad on the side will add colour and crunch, and don’t forget a lemon wedge and parsley garnish. Dry white wines such as Sancerre and Chablis make a perfect accompaniment for a salmon dish.
Steak is always a winner, so long as it’s cooked well – and that also means to each individual’s taste, even if it goes against an epicure’s etiquette! If you’re going to shell out for steak, it’s worth getting the best you can afford, so check out your local butcher or farm shop. Thicker (and more tender) cuts are often good for the barbecue, so they remain juicy inside while the outside chars to the perfect smoky taste and texture – think a rib-eye, rump, sirloin or fillet. For more advice on barbecuing steak, look here and here. If you want to marinade your steaks, BBC Good Food claims to have the ‘world’s best’ recipe –so why wouldn’t you try it?
For the ultimate in elegance and sumptuousness, serve your steaks alongside Gourmade’s Potato Dauphinoise and buttered green beans. You will need nothing else to make this dish shine. Steak, of course, is complemented by full-bodied red wines, such as Merlots and Malbecs.
Finish off with Gourmade’s Raspberry roulades. We suggest cutting them into slices and serve two slices per person in stylish ‘wings’ surrounding fresh raspberries, all topped with a dusting of icing sugar, a drizzle of raspberry coulis and a sprig of mint. To go the extra mile, make Kir Royal to sip alongside them.

Menu 2: Sea-phistication

Entrée: Twice baked cheese soufflé
Main: Whole sea bass with Posh Peas 
Dessert: Lemon Tarts 

The great thing about this recipe for twice baked cheese soufflé from Recipe-tin Eats is that it can be made in advance (and even froxen – our favourite kind of dish!), ready for warming in the oven on the big night. Well, that’s one great thing – the other, of course, is the wonderfully warming, melt-in-the-mouth cheesiness of it all! Serve alongside some crusty French bread and butter, and a crisp, acidic salad of romaine hearts or baby greens with bite, such as rocket. Both white and red wines can accompany a cheese soufflé – an Australian Chardonnay or Chilean Merlot would work well.
Barbecued whole sea bass really has class – it looks exquisite and tastes divine. It’s also both quick and simple to cook. If you choose to, you can stuff the fish cavity with lemon slices and garlic cloves, or bruised lemongrass stalks and ginger. You can also marinade the fish, or simply oil and season it. Wrapping the fish in foil helps retain moisture and prevents and stuffing from falling out, but removing it for a couple of minutes each side will result in elegant char lines which look marvellous when dishing up.
With the delicate flavours of fish, particularly if it’s stuffed or marinaded, the sides can afford to be relatively simple and unadorned. Peas, of course, famously work wonderfully with fish, and you really can’t get better than our Posh Peas. If you’re looking for other veggies to impress, why not try some wilted samphire for an authentic sea tang.
Meanwhile, sautéed potatoes are both simple and satisfying, and they have a wow factor that chips can’t quite aspire to. Wine wise, opt for lighter reds or a Chardonnay (or Champagne, if it’s a really special occasion!).
Finish off with Lemon Tarts – simply dust with icing sugar and top with a few raspberries, and serve with a scoop of lemon or raspberry sorbet. Once again, Chardonnay will make a perfect companion wine.
With such easy yet elegant menus at hand, there’s simply no excuse not to have that romantic anniversary dinner or invite your friends for a barbecue banquet … so go forth into the summer evenings and entertain!

Posh pics

We’d love to see you dressed up to the nines for a fancy al fresco soirée. Tag us on Insta, Twitter or Facebook, and tell us which Gourmade dessert graced your gourmet gathering!