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10 delicious recipes perfect for your next dinner party

From trendy cuisine and cool cocktails to an on-the-pulse dinner party playlist, we’ve sorted all the details for your next soirée. Mix and match to your heart’s content.

Tahini chicken

tahini chicken
These recipes and images are an edited extract from Rumi by Joseph Abboud with Photography by Armelle Habib. Murdoch Books, $39.99

Serves 4–8

Ingredients
1 × free-range chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon Baharat
400 ml Taratoor
50 g (1 3⁄4 oz) fried almonds
1 tablespoon fried pine nuts
50 g (1 3⁄4 oz) walnuts, chopped
1⁄2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, shredded
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1 teaspoon Turkish chilli powder

Remove the chicken from the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to cook it and preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F).
Rub the vegetable oil all over the chicken then season with the salt and baharat. Place in a roasting tin and cook for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. To check that your chicken is cooked, pierce the thigh with a knife – the juices should be clear. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F).

Take the bird apart by removing the legs and cutting them into thighs and drumsticks. Remove the breasts from the bone and cut each breast into two or three pieces. Pick the rest of the meat off the carcass and add to the pile of chicken pieces.

Drain the fat and excess juices out of the tray and set aside (see Note). Place the cut chicken in the tray and pour the taratoor over it. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve on your platter of choice topped with the mixed nuts, parsley, sumac and Turkish chilli.

Note:
After draining most of the fat away from the juices (and discarding it), you could warm the remaining pan juices and drizzle over the chicken before serving.

The leftovers can be shredded and served with crispy bread or used to make an excellent sandwich filling.

Taratoor

Makes 400 ml (14 fl oz)

Ingredients
80 ml (1⁄3 cup) lemon juice
2 tablespoons verjuice
10 g (1⁄4 oz) garlic, crushed to a fine paste, or 15 g (1⁄2 oz) Toum (page 34)
8 g (1⁄4 oz) salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
200 g (7 oz) tahini

Place all the ingredients in a jar or container, in the order in which they’re listed, with 150 ml (5 fl oz) water. Seal with a tight-fitting lid and shake, shake, shake!

The sauce may be very thick depending on the tahini, but it can be easily adjusted with a touch of water. You want it to be the consistency of single (pure) cream. This sauce will also thicken after refrigeration. Just add a little water to adjust the consistency. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Rumi meatballs

meatballs
These recipes and images are an edited extract from Rumi by Joseph Abboud with Photography by Armelle Habib. Murdoch Books, $39.99

Serves 6–8, or makes 18 meatballs

Ingredients
Meatballs
110 g (½ cup) medium-grain rice
1 small onion, grated or minced in a food processor
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
1 egg
½ bunch of at-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Advieh
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Saffron water

Sauce
1 onion, finely diced
100 ml (31⁄2 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt

Bring the rice to the boil in a saucepan of water set over a high heat and boil until only just cooked. Drain, then chill. (This can be done the day before.)

To make the meatballs, place all the ingredients in a large bowl, ensuring that your rice is also cold, and mix vigorously until well combined.
Divide the mixture into pieces approximately 50 g (1 ¾ oz) each. Roll into neat balls and refrigerate until the sauce is ready.

Now, make the sauce in a wide-based pan large enough to eventually accommodate the meatballs in one to two layers.

Sweat the onion in the olive oil for about 10 minutes over a low heat. This is a very important step as you want to draw the sweetness out of the onion. The onion should be translucent.

Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium–low and cook for a further 30 minutes. Stir in the salt, then add 125 ml (1/2 cup) water and bring back to a simmer.

Gently drop the meatballs into the sauce, ensuring they all sink down well, and monitor until it returns to the boil. Turn the heat down to a very low simmer and cook for another 30 minutes.

Freekeh, feta and pomegranate salad

freekeh, fet ana pomegranate salad
These recipes and images are an edited extract from Rumi by Joseph Abboud with Photography by Armelle Habib. Murdoch Books, $39.99

Serves 6–8

Ingredients
250 g (9 oz) cracked freekeh
2 tablespoons salt
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
50 g (1 3⁄4 oz) Bulgarian feta, lightly crumbled
100 ml (3 1⁄2 fl oz) Pomegranate dressing
50 g (1 3⁄4 oz) fried almond flakes, to serve
Wash the freekeh two or three times, then drain.

Place in a pot with the salt and 750 ml (3 cups) water and bring to the boil. Once it comes to the boil, simmer over a low heat until tender, then turn it off and let it sit for a further 3 minutes (see Note).

Strain the freekeh, then place in a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Add the parsley, feta and pomegranate dressing and mix lightly but thoroughly.

Be careful not to over mix; you don’t want the feta to become a fine crumble and get lost in the grains. Garnish with the fried almond flakes.

Note:
Different freekeh varieties will require different cooking times, so you may need to adjust accordingly. It will still be quite firm, but you don’t want it to be crunchy. If using whole (not cracked) freekeh, soak for at least 2 hours before cooking.

Pomegranate Dressing

Makes 280 ml (9 1⁄2 fl oz)

Ingredients
80 ml (1⁄3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
80 ml (1⁄3 cup) canola oil
30 ml (1 fl oz) pomegranate molasses
50 ml (1 3⁄4 fl oz) red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Seal, and give it a good shake. Store in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Muhallabieh chocolate pudding with barberries and pomegranate

chocolate pudding
These recipes and images are an edited extract from Rumi by Joseph Abboud with Photography by Armelle Habib. Murdoch Books, $39.99

Serves 8

Ingredients
50 g (1¾ oz) dried barberries
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) pomegranate molasses
80 g (2¾ oz) dark chocolate
90 ml (3 fl oz) full-cream milk
290 ml (10 fl oz) thick (double) cream
50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 silver-grade gelatine leaf
sweet biscuits, to serve

Soak the barberries in water for at least 2 hours, then drain well. Mix with the pomegranate molasses and set aside.

To make the chocolate pudding, place the chocolate, milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan set over a low heat. Gently dissolve the chocolate, stirring occasionally, then bring almost to the boil. Quickly turn off the heat as soon as you see any sign of boiling.

While the chocolate pudding mixture is heating, submerge the gelatine leaf in water for about 5 minutes till it softens.

Remove the softened gelatine from the water, squeeze out any excess and place in the hot chocolate pudding mixture. Stir to thoroughly dissolve. Pour into glasses and set overnight in the fridge.

To serve, top with 1 teaspoon of the barberries and syrup and serve with your favourite biscuits.

Spaghetti vongole

spaghetti vongole
These recipes and images are an edited extract from The Food I Love by Neil Perry, with photography by Earl Carter. Murdoch Books, $65

Serves 4

Ingredients
400 g (14 oz) dried spaghetti
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) live clams (vongole)
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 French shallots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) dry white wine
35 g (11/4 oz/1/4 bunch) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Clean the clams by giving them a quick rinse in water.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the garlic, shallots, chilli flakes and white wine and bring to the boil.

Add the clams and cover. Steam over high heat for 3–4 minutes, shaking the pan, until the shells open.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente (about 8 minutes), then drain well.

Add the spaghetti and chopped parsley to the saucepan and toss through.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and serve in four deep pasta bowls.

Note:
This combination of pasta, garlic, chilli and parsley works well with all seafood. You can replace the clams with mussels, pippies or fresh crab meat. Or, you can sauté some prawns (shrimp), rest them on a plate while you make the sauce, then, when ready, add the prawns and pasta and toss together.

Another good combination is to sauté some squid, perhaps even adding a little squid ink, and toss through the pasta. The addition of the ink makes the pasta slightly black and accentuates the flavour of the sea.

Moroccan eggplant salad

moroccan eggplant
These recipes and images are an edited extract from The Food I Love by Neil Perry, with photography by Earl Carter. Murdoch Books, $65

Serves 4

Ingredients
3 eggplants (aubergines), sliced into 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick rounds
extra virgin olive oil
1 handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
sea salt
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground pepper

In a large frying pan, heat enough extra virgin olive oil – about 1 cm (½ inch) deep – to shallow-fry the eggplant. Add the eggplant and fry, in three or four batches, until dark brown all over. Remove to a bowl when done.

Carefully add the parsley to the hot oil – it will spit a fair bit. Add the tomato, cumin and some sea salt and toss with the parsley for 1–2 minutes over low heat (trying not to burn the cumin). Add the eggplant and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, check the seasoning and finish with a grind of pepper.

Spoon the eggplant salad into a pretty bowl. The salad itself is not that attractive, but it sure does taste great.

Note:
If you like less oil, roast the whole eggplants (aubergines) in the oven until soft, then remove the skin and chop the flesh. Fry the parsley, tomato and cumin and add the chopped eggplant. The salad will have a slightly different taste, as it won’t have the caramelization from the initial frying.

You can also barbecue the eggplant to add a smoky flavour, and then start at the parsley frying stage again.

Stewed snapper with crazy water

stewed snapper
These recipes and images are an edited extract from The Food I Love by Neil Perry, with photography by Earl Carter. Murdoch Books, $65

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 x 200 g (7 oz) snapper fillets, skin on
7 vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped (page 64)
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 small red chillies, deseeded and chopped
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Use a heavy-based frying pan that will fit the fish fillets snugly. Put the tomato, garlic, parsley, chilli, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and about 875 ml (30 fl oz/3½ cups) water in the pan. Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove the lid, increase the heat and cook until the volume has reduced by half.

Add the fish, skin side up, and simmer gently for about 2 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over and cook for a further 5 minutes, by which time it should be done. Remove the pan from the heat.

Gently place one fish fillet on each of four white plates, spoon the sauce over and serve immediately.

Accompaniments
Some favourite side dishes here are broccolini with garlic and chilli, either pan-fried or soft polenta and gnocchi. A dollop of aïoli also works wonders.

Orange glazed octopus

orange glazed octopus
These recipes and images are an edited extract from Gwinganna Gourmet by Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.

Serves 6

Ingredients
Octopus
5 It water
1 cup white wine
¼ cup salt
1 brown onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 star anise
2 cinnamon quill
2 oranges, halved
1 kg octopus hands
1 cup orange glaze

Crispy chickpeas
400g tin chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
½2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp smoked paprika

Cannellini bean purée
2 × 400g tins cannellini beans, drained
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1½ cup rice milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup coconut cream

In a very large saucepan make a stock for the octopus by adding filtered water, white wine, salt, onion, celery, carrot, star anise and cinnamon.

Cut the oranges in half and squeeze in juice then place the remaining orange in the pot as well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.

Now dip the small end of the octopus tentacles 6 times into the boiling stock, to help tenderise the flesh, then carefully lower all of the octopus hands into the stock. Reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes, until a small sharp knife easily inserts into the largest tentacle. Remove the octopus from the heat and allow to cool in the stock. Once cool, remove the poached octopus hands and discard the stock.

Smother the octopus hands in the orange glaze and cook on a hot grill for 2 minutes on each side, just to crisp the outside and warm through. Brush with extra glaze.

Preheat oven to 180 C. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, toss well and then lay flat on an oven tray and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow to cool in the oven.

For the cannellini bean purée, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes so that the onion becomes caramelised and soft. Add the rice milk, lemon juice and coconut cream and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.

To serve, warm the cannellini bean purée and smear onto a plate, place octopus and add fennel, orange segments and crispy chickpeas.

Mushroom macadamia soup

mushroom soup
These recipes and images are an edited extract from Gwinganna Gourmet by Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.

Ingredients
1 tsp olive oil
½ large brown onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ tsp ginger, grated
2 cups button mushrooms, chopped
3 Swiss Brown mushrooms, chopped
100g macadamia nuts
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
1 Itr rice milk

In a large saucepan heat oil, add garlic, onion and ginger and sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add chopped mushrooms and macadamias and cook until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in spices and cook for 1 minute, then add the rice milk.

Bring to a boil then, reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then transfer to a high-speed blender and puree to a fine consistency.

Divide into serving bowls and garnish with dried oyster mushroom, cracked black pepper, a drizzle of parsley oil and a swirl of cashew cream.

Butternut pumpkin gnocchi

butternut pumpkin ghnocchi
These recipes and images are an edited extract from Gwinganna Gourmet by Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.

Serves 6

Ingredients
1 kg King Edward potatoes
2¾ cups butternut pumpkin
2 cups gluten-free flour, plus approx. 1 cup for rolling
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1½ tbsp nutritional yeast
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp olive oil

Napoli 
Makes about 2 cups
2 tsp olive oil
1 brown onion, sliced
2 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 red capsicum, diced
8 very ripe Roma tomatoes, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Pesto
¼ cup pine nuts
2 cup rocket leaves
½ lemon, juice & zest
1 tsp nutritional yeast
125ml olive oil

To serve
2 tbsp cashew cream
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
dehydrated basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Peel the potatoes then place in a large pot of salted water and boil until they are soft, about 15 minutes. Peel and chop pumpkin then roast pumpkin for 30 minutes or until tender. Pass pumpkin and potatoes through a ricer, (a utensil with small holes to push food through to form particles of a similar size to grains of rice) and process into a consistently smooth mash.

Transfer potato-pumpkin mash into an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (not a dough hook). Add in two cups of gluten-free flour, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, egg and salt and mix on medium speed until combined into a wet dough.

Remove from the mixer and place on a floured surface using the remaining gluten-free flour as required. Split dough into 8 portions, then roll each into long tubes about 1 cm wide. Ensure the dough is coated on the outside and not wet. Cut into 1 cm pillow-shaped pieces and allow to dry for 15 minutes before cooking.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add gnocchi and boil for 3 minutes or until they float to the top. You may also steam the gnocchi for 3 minutes for firmer gnocchi. Remove from the pot and pat dry with paper towels. Oil a large fry pan with olive oil then place the pan over a moderate heat. Add gnocchi and pan fry, moving around the pan constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until the outside is golden and crispy.

In a large saucepan over a moderate heat, sauté onion and garlic for about 7 minutes, then add the capsicum, tomato and tomato paste, bring to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a high-speed blender and process with the basil, season to taste.

Toast pine nuts in a pan over high heat until coloured. Place pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add rocket leaves and pulse quickly to chop and combine. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and nutritional yeast then pulse until combined. Place in a bowl and stir in olive oil to bring it all together into a paste. Season to taste.

Place hot Napoli on a plate, top with crispy gnocchi and drizzle with pesto. Serve with cashew cream, toasted pine nuts and basil leaves.

Pre-dinner cocktails, wine and a nightcap

Wow your guests with delicious pre-dinner cocktails, pair the mains with a show-stopping drop, and then close the evening with a rare nightcap.

Patrón El Cielo Spritz

30ml Patrón El Cielo
30ml chilled Pinot Grigio or Provençale rosé wine
300ml chilled Fever Tree ginger ale
Orange slice for garnish

In a white wine glass with cubed ice, build all ingredients, stir to combine.

Garnish with a fresh orange wedge: squeeze and drop into the glass.

a bottle of Patrón El Cielo and two spritz cocktails
Patrón El Cielo, RRP $300

Classic Bacardi Mojito

50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum
25ml lime juice
12 mint leaves and 1 sprig
2tsp extra fine sugar
25ml soda water

Mix lime juice and sugar in a glass, add mint leaves and press with a bar spoon to release the oils.

Half-fill the glass with crushed ice then add rum and mix. Top with crushed ice and soda then garnish with a sprig of mint.

Bacardi Mojito
Bacardi Carta Blanca 700ml, RRP $49.99

Wine

Grange Shiraz 2019 is a pleasingly full-bodied multi-regional blend that’s readily available. Expect powerful flavours such as licorice, dark chocolate and blue, black and crimson fruits from this complex blend.

Grange Shiraz 2019
Penfolds Grange Shiraz 2019, RRP $1000

Nightcap

Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 45-Year-Old: Glacial Edge is finally available in Australia. With an oil-smooth texture and full body, this rare dram is best served with a dash of water to activate toffee-sweet top notes, a salty, peppery middle and an intense finish.

Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 45-Year-Old: Glacial Edge
Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 45-Year-Old: Glacial Edge, RRP $7800

Music

Visit Bacardi on Spotify to peruse more than 50 pre-curated playlists for parties, dinners and relaxed lunches.

Bacardi on Spotify

Read more:

Top-shelf tequilas and margarita recipes
The ultimate guide to Christmas cocktails
Meet mezcal, tequila’s smoky artisan cousin

This article originally appeared in volume 47 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. Subscribe to the latest issue today.

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