Hosting a Seventies Weekend Supper Party
We’re feeling all sentimental here at Good Food Ireland today. From flares to flower power, we’re getting all warm and fuzzy over what the 70’s era meant to those of us old enough to remember it. And how its iconic high points are still making an impression on those appreciating it second time around.
In food terms, the 70’s was the start of a dining revolution. This was the decade when eating out became trendy and dinner parties were de rigeur in swanky city homes and the neighbourhoods of suburbia. Think Abigail’s Party (made in 1977, still in the top BBC plays of all time and worth a watch if you haven’t seen it before) where the hostess Beverly throws a house party in her suburban home, trying to impress her guests with olives and finger foods. Think of the cookery talents of Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, Julia Child, and our own Myrtle Allen, who had been serving evening meals at Ballymaloe House since 1964 and by 1975 was already the holder of a Michelin Star.
Ireland’s artisan foods took root here in the 70’s. Some of the country’s earliest artisans were people seeking an ‘alternative’ lifestyle in a place where they could escape city life, exist simply and live off their land. Iconic cheesemakers like Veronica Steele of Milleens Cheese created those first products at the kitchen table in this incredible decade for Irish food. From here a movement toward speciality produce kick started our country's modern gourmet reputation.
This weekend, we want to celebrate all that the 70’s brought us in culinary magic, by serving up a retro seventies weekend supper party – 2017 style! We’ve been glancing through our recipe listings for dishes that were typical of the 70’s, when people wanted to show off their culinary skills at home with food that was considered to be fancy ‘restaurant style’.
Get out your evening gowns, flares and kipper ties and stick some James Taylor, Aretha Franklin or Carole King on the tunes. Then step back in time with our fantastic three course food tribute to the decade that made us sit up and take notice of a gourmet movement still gathering pace today.
We’re getting the ball rolling with one of the massive starters of the seventies. Prawn Cocktail was the holy grail of first courses, with its pearly pink prawns coated in that velvelty seafood sauce, lying on a crispy bed of shredded iceberg lettuce.
There was just something about digging your fork into the prawns, grabbing some of the lettuce and sauce and savouring the mix of textures and flavours.
Our Coburg Prawn Cocktail has been created by Executive Head Chef Dmitry Stroykov of The Coburg Restaurant at Conrad Dublin. A bang-up–to-the minute version with meaty fresh prawns and special spicy sauce recipe served on lettuce leaves in a martini cocktail glass. Snazzy.
Steak was always a showcase meat in the restaurants of the 1970’s. Killenure Dexter Gourmet Beef Steaks with Creamy Mash showcases the beautiful striploin steaks of the Dexter cattle reared exclusively on the Killenure Estate in Co. Tipperary. How you liked your steak cooked was part of the novelty of ordering it in a restaurant back in the day.
Who knew you could have a steak cooked Blue, Rare, Medium Rare or Medium? At home, if you got steak at all, ‘incinerated’ was the only option for serving! This recipe gives you the timings for cooking your steak to preference, a choice most people now take for granted. Oh how we’ve grown up!
This steak comes with creamy mash. We’d also highly recommend a 70’s style pepper sauce to go with it. This is easy to do. When you’ve removed your steaks from the pan, add a couple of tablespoons of brandy and tilt the pan to ignite. Stand well back from the flames, then when they have died down, pour in 125mls of cream and add some chopped green peppercorns. Stir to incorporate all the meat juces, bring to bubbling and season before pouring a little over each steak.
Soufflés were the French creation of the moment, the recipe everyone tried to master in the home kitchen. From savoury cheese to beautiful Grand Marnier scented sweet souffles, we couldn’t get enough of them and we wanted to know how to make them. Julia Child talked us through the process in her flamboyant style during ‘The French Chef’ series of the time. Julia was a gem in the kitchen and even if you never made a thing she cooked, it was the food porn of the day and we loved her!
To finish your retro feast, we’ve found a simple dessert soufflé from one of our longstanding preserve makers Lemon Curd Soufflés with Crossogue Preserves are a delightful dainty way to end your sevenites supper party. Gorgeous light fully pillows of egg with a tangy lemon flavour and dollop of Crossogue’s beautiful lemon curd underneath. Mmmm. Gorgeous.