Easy three-course feasts

Easy three-course feasts

Try these short cuts to make a simple supper into a special three-course meal.

Add tasty starters and delicious puddings to top and tail your main meal for an impressive treat.

Getting started
• Pick a main dish that doesn’t require lots of fiddly side dishes. A casserole takes care of this because all your accompanying vegetables are included in the pot.
• Or opt for a big pan of ragout or goulash, where you only have to cook up a large bowl of rice to go on the table alongside your main dish.

Get your pudding in order

• Make a dessert that can sit in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it rather than something you need to prepare while your guests are at the table.
• Mini pavlovas – get shop bought meringues then the only prep time needed is for whisking double cream and washing the raspberries. Keep the three different ingredients ready but separate then assemble just before dinner.
• Lemon or chocolate sponge – make the cake the night before. Turn it into a tasty winter pudding by serving slices with whisked cream mixed with the juice of half a freshly squeezed orange (or mix the juice into a pot of mascarpone).


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Starters at the ready

• Homemade soup – keep it straightforward, something like a leek and potato soup where you just have to simmer the veg in stock for an hour or so and then add a little milk or cream to thicken.

• Combine simple ingredients. Try slices of ripe pear and rocket leaves topped with shavings of parmesan or smoked cheddar. Or steam fresh asparagus for five minutes then top with the grated parmesan and drizzle with lemon olive oil.

Savvy tip
For an impressive starter, make two regular portions of a dish you often cook (a simple cheesy risotto, for example) and spoon this into six to eight small ramekins.

Pass it on – DIY pudding
Save time making a dessert by just cutting batons of fruit or putting washed strawberries on sticks, then placing these in the middle of the table with a bowl of melted chocolate (on a low microwave setting this can be done quickly just before serving). The guests can help themselves.

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