Get the idea: Shared platters
Rub a butterflied leg of lamb with extra virgin olive oil, ground cinnamon, crushed garlic, freshly ground black pepper and salt. Roast at 200C or barbecue over high heat until done the way you like it, rest and slice across the grain of the meat. Roast peeled pumpkin until tender. Barbecue extra virgin olive oil-rubbed cos lettuce halves until well browned. Serve the sliced lamb on the vegetables and sprinkle with plenty of crumbled feta and coriander sprigs with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.
The ultimate caterer’s dish is the Silver Palette’s Chicken Marbella which is simply chicken portions on the bone, marinated overnight in a big bowl with chopped garlic, dried oregano, freshly ground black pepper, pitted prunes, capers, green olives and bay leaves. Next day pour into a deep oven dish and spread everything out, turning the chicken skin-side-up. Sprinkle with half a bottle of dry white wine and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Place in a 180C oven and bake 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked (check with a small knife). Remove chicken from the oven and cool a little before sprinkling with parsley and serving with rice or new potatoes.
Make a dry potato curry by slow-frying lots of chopped onion, chilli, cumin seeds, finely chopped ginger and garlic until the onion is soft, adding a little ground turmeric, plenty of peeled 3cm-chunked potatoes and enough water to cover. Simmer until all the water has evaporated and the potatoes are soft. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander. Accompany with warm flatbread, a carved free-range chicken rubbed all over with ground cinnamon, cumin, chopped garlic and some vegetable oil and a salad made from lots of sliced cucumber, spring onions, mint leaves, sliced banana, toasted coconut and sliced green chilli dressed with lemon juice and a little sugar.
Make a ham and chorizo pie. Roll out some Paneton flaky puff pastry into a large rectangle. Place a 3cm-thick layer of cold, well seasoned mashed agria potatoes down the middle, place diced ham and sliced chorizo on top, sprinkle with sliced spring onions, chopped parsley and top with plenty of wilted spinach leaves. Roll the pastry around the filling like a big sausage roll. Brush with beaten egg and cook at 200C for 25 minutes or until well cooked. Serve in slices with salad.
Take your biggest platter and on it, in separate piles, put cold poached prawns, mussels and clams, flaked boned smoked fish, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, celery, fennel, carrots, olives, capers, grilled red capsicums and a small dish of harissa. In the centre put a bowl of homemade aioli. Serve this platter with a big bowl of hot, boiled new potatoes tossed with a little finely chopped garlic, extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley.
Place a skinned boned side of salmon on a baking paper-lined oven tray, drizzle with a little oil and place in a 200C oven for about 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Meanwhile, make a dressing of half fish sauce and half lime juice, well sweetened with sugar. Add this to lots of halved cherry tomatoes, ripped up basil and mint leaves. Place the warm salmon on a platter, spoon the tomato mixture on top and serve with extra lime wedges, more basil and mint leaves and steamed rice.
Roast a piece of belly pork with garlic, ginger and star anise until well cooked, the fat crisp. Rest, slice thinly and serve with a slaw of thinly sliced Savoy cabbage, grated carrot, chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, sliced gherkins, finely chopped red onion, sliced red chilli and chopped coriander, well dressed with a mix of plain unsweetened yoghurt, bought mayo and lemon juice.
Make a large vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, a little finely chopped garlic, plenty of chopped soft boiled eggs, capers, chopped anchovies, sliced chives, a spoonful of Dijon mustard and chopped parsley. Serve over a rested, sliced fillet of beef on a big platter, the meat trimmed of fat and sinew, rubbed with freshly ground black pepper, garlic and extra virgin olive oil, browned in a hot frying pan and then roasted in a 200C oven until cooked the way you like it.
Rub a free-range chicken with extra virgin olive oil, ground cumin, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and salt. Put some squashed garlic cloves and a halved lime inside and roast as usual until well cooked. Serve, carved, with a guacamole salad of lots of diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion and chopped coriander. Serve with warm flour tortillas or crisp taco shells.
Boil plenty of green lentils until tender. Drain well. Place in a large bowl. Dress well with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Reserve. Slice carrots, fennel and kumara thinly lengthways, add whole mushrooms and quartered deseeded red and yellow capsicums. Toss all in a little extra virgin olive oil, spread on a roasting tray and roast at 200C until slightly shrivelled and browned. Place warm lentils on a platter, put the veges on top, blanched green beans around everything. Sprinkle with crumbled goat’s or sheep’s feta. Serve with lemon wedges.