easy entertaining
Olive|September 2021
Get ahead with this stunning freezable three-course menu for a stress-free dinner with friends – all ready to defrost and finish up on the day
ADAM BUSH

Hot-smoked salmon vol-au-vents

This is the perfect starter for easy entertaining – make the pastry cases ahead, and freeze. They’re a doddle to defrost, and the saucy salmon mixture can also be made ahead and reheated to serve. Simply throw a salad together to go alongside and you’re good to go.

1 HOUR 15 MINUTES + FREEZING | SERVES 6 AS A STARTER EASY

puff pastry 500g block

plain flour for dusting

eggs 2, beaten

unsalted butter 2 tbsp

shallots 2 long, peeled and finely chopped

white or sparkling wine 250ml

double cream 200ml

wholegrain mustard 2 tbsp

hot-smoked salmon 400g, flaked

salmon roe 50g (optional)

lemon ½, juiced

chives a handful, finely chopped

1 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until about 40cm x 40cm. Use a round 12cm cutter to cut 12 circles from the pastry. Put six of the circles onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, then use a round 8cm cutter to stamp out the middles of the remaining six circles to make rings.

2 Brush the six rings with some of the beaten egg, then neatly lay one ring over each whole pastry circle. Prick the middles all over with a fork. Put the stamped-out middles on the baking tray, too – these can be used as lids for the vol-au-vents, if you like – and brush all the pastry with a little more of the beaten egg. Chill for 20 minutes.

3 Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Brush all the pastry again with the remaining beaten egg, then bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden. Cool completely, then wrap well and freeze for up to three months.

4 To defrost, heat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1, unwrap the pastry cases and put on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fully defrosted and crisp. Cool until needed.

5 To make the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the shallots with a large pinch of salt for 5-10 minutes or until softened. Pour in the wine and reduce by half, then pour in the cream and reduce again until saucy. Stir in the mustard, then flake in the salmon and continue to cook for a few minutes to warm through. When ready to serve, gently stir in the salmon roe (if using), lemon juice and chives, then season. Spoon the filling into the vol-au-vent cases, top with the lids, if you like, and serve.

PER SERVING 675 kcals | fat 48.9G saturates 24.4G | carbs 26.1G | sugars 4.4G fibre 2.8G | protein 24.8G | salt 2.5G

Beef shin with porcini and pickled walnuts, bone marrow polenta and crispy kale

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