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Party-Perfect Bites

It’s that time of year again. We entertain in grand fashion. There are crowds of folks to feed and we don’t, speaking for myself, have a clue what to do. A nice plate of ham sandwiches will likely impress and perhaps a plate of cheese sandwiches on brown bread for vegetarians so they don’t feel short-changed. Catering sorted. But, in truth it’s not that simple.

Milli Taylor is a young woman who has already carved out an enviable catering career. She has delighted theparty perfect great (and some very great) and the good with her delicious preparations and now she shares a few secrets with a wider audience via the medium of this, her first book.

Party-Perfect Bites, delicious recipes for canapés, finger food and party snacks – to give it the full title – does indeed offer all the mentioned categories of food for company, but it has also given me ideas for starters for regular dinner parties as well as desserts for small gatherings. This book has many culinary facets.

Milli celebrates her Japanese family with a selection of dishes. Okonomiyaki is traditional and comforting. In Japan this savoury pancake is made in large portions by a chef or at a table hot-plate with guests mixing and cooking ingredients themselves. It’s a batter that coats cabbage, onion and bacon, with a decorative garnish of the Okonomiyaki sauce (found in supermarkets these days), plus Japanese mayo and bonito flakes. Milli’s canapé-size rounds are so addictive that you will likely be driven to make the regular-size to eat alone.

One of the most simple but equally one of the most luxurious recipes here is that for Crushed Yellow Bean Prawns. Milli suggests Shaoxing wine as one of the ingredients but I have tried substituting Japanese sake and that also works, as would dry sherry. This makes 20 canapés but it would also be well received as an exotic starter for a Chinese-themed dinner party. Yes, granted, its more costly than a cube of cheddar and a tinned pineapple chunk, but your guests will love you for your thoughtfulness and you will doubtless be basking in the warm glow of compliments long after the visitors have left you with the washing-up.

Party-Perfect Bites will have you drooling and planning. Milli Taylor has penned a book to inspire. Her recipes are vibrant but accessible for any home cook. This would be a great holiday gift but consider giving it early. That prospective party-giver will thank you.

Party-Perfect Bites
Author: Milli Taylor
Published by: Ryland Peters & Small
Price: £16.99
ISBN-10: 184975568X
ISBN-13: 978-1849755689



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