Confession. As much as I love to cook, preparing a meal for anyone other than my nearest and dearest freaks me out. Think it’s because everyone knows that I spend the vast majority of my free time in the kitchen and I worry that the food I prepare will be thought mediocre. Or undercooked. Or overcooked. Or just plain crap.
Thankfully, in the same way my fear of flying does not deter me from travelling, my dinner party jitters do not stop me inviting people over for a meal. I just make sure I am really really REALLY well prepared. And I always cook a tried and tested recipe. Last weekend, for example, D’s sister and brother-in-law came for dinner. I laid on a tapas-esque spread for them: Spanish tortilla, aubergine salad, roasted peppers, tapanade, paprika chicken, baby leeks in jamón and some crusty bread to mop the juices up. Everything dish could be prepared in advance and each dish was something I was very confident tasted great. Perfect, right?
Then why do I feel like I copped out? Would be interested to know what you guys cook when guests come to dinner.
The baby leeks recipe I mentioned is a winner. Hugely simply, unbelievable tasty. Works as a starter or a side or, as above, part of a tapas selection.
Baby Leeks in Jamón
(serves 4 as a tapas)
12 baby leeks, washed well and trimmed
6 slices of jamón or other cured meat (Parma ham would be fine), cut in half length-ways
- Simply wrap the leeks in half a slice of jamon and rub with a little olive oil and pepper.
- Roast in a preheated oven (180oC) for 20 minutes until the leeks are soft and the ham is crispy.
Vegetarians – Baby leeks are delicious roasted without the ham too. :)