Forget lacklustre sandwiches and uninspired cupcakes – here, three bastions of the British food scene give their take on retro party recipes
Ottolenghi’s Puy lentil Galettes
Eat as canapés and have a box of napkins at the ready. Serves four
200g puy lentils
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
250g Greek yoghurt
50g baby spinach
3 tbsp chopped coriander and mint
3 tbsp chopped mint
Juice of 1 lemon
400g best-quality puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Step 1: Cook the lentils in a litre of boiling water with the bay leaves for 20-30 minutes. Drain in a sieve and set aside.
Step 2: In a frying pan, dry-roast the cumin and coriander seeds for 2 minutes then grind.
Step 3: Heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry the onion gently for 6-8 minutes. Add the ground spices and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Mix with the lentils and, once cool, stir in the herbs, lemon juice, yoghurt, spinach, 4 tbsp oil and season.
Step 4: Roll out the puff pastry 3mm thick and cut out four circles 8cm wide. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Brush pastry with the egg and bake for 10–15 minutes, until golden. Place the pastry discs on four plates and pile lentils on top. Finish with olive oil.
From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (£25, ebury press)
Eric Lanlard’s Popping Candy Eton Mess
Surprise your guests with this twist on a classic dessert. Serves six
2 punnets (350g) fresh raspberries, plus a few extrato decorate
2 tsp raspberry liqueur (or vodka or grenadine)
50g vanilla sugar
100g golden caster sugar
250ml whipping cream
250g mascarpone cheese
50g bought or home-made meringues, or meringue nests, broken into pieces
2-3 sachets of strawberrypopping candy
Step 1: Firstly, make the raspberry coulis. Place the two punnets of raspberries in a saucepan with the liqueur, and cook on a slow heat until the fruit softens. Using a fork, mash the mixture up roughly and leave to cool.
Step 2: In a large bowl, using an electric hand whisk, mix the cream with both sugars to form nice soft peaks. In another large bowl stir the mascarpone until soft, then fold in the cream.
Step 3: Now we are ready to build the mess! In individual glass dishes, in a not too formal way, layer the cream, raspberry coulis and broken meringue pieces, trying to make it look as attractive as possible.
Step 4: Top with the remaining fresh raspberries and, just before serving, sprinkle the popping candy on the top to finish.
From Home Bake by Eric Lanlard (£20, Octopus publishing)
Mark Hix’s Chorizo Scotch duck eggs
Take this traditional picnic staple to a whole new level. Serves four
4 Clarence Court Gladys May duck eggs (available from Sainsbury’s and Waitrose) boiled for 5-6 minutes, cooled in cold water and peeled
300g good quality Cumberland sausage meat
100g cooking chorizo, skinned
Handful of flour for dusting
1 Clarence Court burford brown egg, beaten
50-60g fresh white breadcrumbs
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying
Step 1: Mash up the chorizo with your hands or a spoon then mix thoroughly with the sausage meat. Divide the mixture into four balls and flatten them into patties. Wrap the meat around each of the eggs evenly, moulding it with your hands.
Step 2: Have three shallow containers ready: flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Put the eggs through the flour first, shaking off any excess, then through the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs, re-moulding them if necessary.
Step 3: Pre-heat about 8cm of oil to 140- 150°C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Cook the eggs for 4-5 minutes, turning them every so often. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper. Serve with seasonal leaves.
Mark Hix is an ambassador for Clarence Court eggs; clarencecourt.co.uk