Elegant Dinner Party Recipes

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Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Tartlet Appetizers Recipe

Whenever we host parties, I always like to serve bite-size appetizers. For our most recent fete, I made small savory tartlets filled with mashed pumpkin and Butter Gold potatoes. For extra creaminess, I added crumbled goat cheese along with some sesame-flavored candied walnuts for crunch.

The wrapping was made of puff pastry, which I’ve also used for many other types of appetizers. Whatever filling you choose, these cute miniature appetizers are always a hit.


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Beet Cream with Goat Cheese Recipe

Beet Cream with Goat Cheese

04.12.11 by Jackie

I’ve used the combination of beets and goat cheese several times, and I think that it works incredibly well. The color is so vibrant it only makes sense to use it as an appetizer. To brighten up the purée, I added marinated artichoke as a garnish and covered it in crumbled goat cheese as a hint of what’s inside. Just serve it in small shot glasses along with some tasty black sesame crackers, and you’ll have an easy appetizer that still brings the wow factor.

It also goes great alongside the hummus that I published yesterday, so mix and match and have fun!


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How to Make Hummus Recipe

How to Make Hummus

04.11.11 by Jackie

Hummus is very easy to make, plus it can be prepared in advance. All you need are garbanzo beans, oil, lemon and a few other ingredients. I made a batch today, and after whipping it together, I served the hummus in tiny cups and garnished it with roasted bell peppers and lemon crackers.

If -like us- you host a lot of dinner parties, you might feel a little pressed for fresh appetizer ideas. My criteria for the perfect appetizer, besides being incredibly delicious, is that it doesn’t take an insane amount of time to prepare. I love to cook, but it’s (usually) more fun to spend time with your guests! All you need is a simple recipe, the right ingredients and attractive, small containers to show them off.


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PhamFatale.com reaches 500 recipes! Recipe

This week, PhamFatale.com reached 500 recipes. It's truly surprising to me that there are over 500 recipes in my head, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. In this case, the proof is also in the crème brulée, the risotto and the other dishes I've shared over the past year and a half.

I never in a million years imagined that publishing the recipes I prepare daily for and with my family and friends could have been so much fun. Food is an ephemeral art form, so it's easy to forget what ingredient combinations I've made in the past and what I've served.

The other neat side of the website I've enjoyed a lot is to be able to interact with other food lovers from around the world and also make dear friends locally. I'm always surprised at how readers find the website, whether it is through another food site, the newspaper or from a friend. Thanks so much for joining me in my culinary adventures. It's wonderful fun experimenting with recipes, playing with photography by switching lenses and getting the children interested and familiar with cooking. You've probably seen the dietary restrictions in my large family. They aren’t always simple to fulfill but they're always a great adventure!

Thanks for reading! And stay tuned as new surprises will arrive soon.

For now, here's an example of a menu I would typically serve for a dinner party, gathering my favorite recipes including Vietnamese, French and Indian cuisines. Enjoy!


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Savory Goat Ricotta Cheese Puffs Recipe

There are guests coming tomorrow, and as usual I had no clue about what to make. I scoured my pantry and found a bag of macadamia nuts, just waiting to be used. I made walnut pesto yesterday, and I didn't feel like making another pasta and pesto dish. As they say, variety is the spice of life. 

I think appetizers are perfect for dinner parties; they allow people to nibble without interrupting the flow of conversation. I often make some sort of mini puff pastry, and I thought a macadamia pesto would be the perfect filling. However, a traditional pesto would be too thin on its own, so I added some homemade crème fraîche and some goat ricotta cheese. As you may have noticed, I'm a huge fan of goat ricotta cheese, and I get it whenever it's available at the local creamery.

Today, I made the pesto and the dough, tested out and baked a couple of puffs in the oven for tasting. The smell was intoxicating, and it was really difficult to snap a couple of photos before everyone descended upon them. 

You can freeze both the pesto and the dough. If you often have last minute guests as we do, it's easy to pop them out of the freezer and bake them. Your guests will love them, and you'll be a rockstar without much effort!


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