Start the School Year Off Right: Easiest dinner party recipe

The beginning of the term users in new flats, and along with it housewarming parties, so here is a stellar dinner party menu which is an assured way to wow your guests without requiring you to give up much of your precious free time before term gets underway. 

Main: Mussels

700g mussels scrubbed clean 

1 tablespoon butter (or can substitute for 1 tbsp olive oil) 

½ cup shallots chopped

4 cloves garlic diced

¾ cup roma tomatoes diced 

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Zest of one lemon 

½ cup white wine (dry works best – a Savugion blanc or prosecco) 

Pinch of black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

4 wedges lemon (for garnish) 

Wash the mussels thoroughly and discard any fibrous beards that are attached to the shells. Melt the butter in a pan and add the shallots and garlic until the shallots become soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and one tablespoon of the lemon juice and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and lemon zest, then add the mussels and cover the pot for about 2-3 minutes, steaming them until the mussels open. To serve add the lemon wedges, parsley, and the rest of the lemon juice. 

Dessert: Chocolate Bark

90g cocoa butter (or coconut oil)

60g raw cocao powder 

50g maple syrup 

Toppings:

-optional for whatever you want, in the photo I used coconut flake and chopped almonds to create an almond-joy bark.  

Melt the cocoa butter or oil in a saucepan (this might take a while so you could put it in the microwave for a couple seconds first), then stir in the cacao powder and maple syrup. Line a pan with parchment paper and pour the chocolate mixture in. Add your toppings and put in the freezer to set. Keep the chocolate bark in the freezer for 30 minutes, then move to the refrigerator until served. 

Enjoy!

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