Publisher: Murdoch Books
If you are like me, you will have a dread of going to cocktail parties where the hostess has sent the dear husband down to their nearest supermarket to buy the safe, but tasteless, instant canapés; or worst still is a tray of cheese and pineapple on a stick and bowls of cabanossi for everyone to make a grab for. There is certainly no reason for it, for canapés by their nature are quick and easy to prepare, with a lot of them being able to be made in advance. Problem is what to make for those ever-so fussy guests? Luckily for all those budding hosts and hostesses, Pete Evans has put together a fantastic book that covers the art of preparing tasty and exciting canapés in a simple, concise manner.
My Party, canapés and cocktails is presented in party themes. So, if you were planning a formal black tie affair or a relaxed pool party, there are serving suggestions that will give you a balance in taste and texture. The themes are: pool party, club med, spice nights, carnival, supper club, chill factor, black tie and high tea. While each theme will guide you in preparing a particular type of function, you can easily mix and match the recipes to suit your guests needs.
The range of recipes will cover almost every occasion, and are simple to prepare and cook. the aim is to encourage you to abandon the tasteless and mundane and, instead, create lovely tasty little morsels to please your guests. So, here are a few that I like: caesar salad tartlets with quail eggs, fried prawn won tons with sweet chilli, which we all know you can buy, but thats not the point, mexican fish tacos with guacamole and fore gras påtê on toasted brioche with sauternes jelly. Hopefully, the few from many has whet your appetite to explore the rest.
The real charm about My Party is the fact that Pete presents his favourite recipes with fond memories and recollections. So, when we find the beef and shiraz pie recipe, we learn about Pete's childhood love of the Aussie meat pie. (Funny, I have fond memories of the Four & Twenty pie, but when I did revisit that gastronomic past I was not so inanimate with fond recollections.) Added with Mark Ward's cocktail collection, this book will sweep away the boring and herald a new way of entertaining.
Also, not just as a postscript, I want to say that the cocktails presented by Mark are great addition. You get the whole package, with cocktails that match the canapés. There are come classics, like Kentucky ice tea and the pink panther, along with some contemporary ones, like luxury side car and limoncello and basil martini. Almost worrth buying the book for the cocktail recipes, alone.