With temperatures rising and our evenings staying lighter for longer, now is the ideal time to showcase your skills in plating-up the latest trending summer cuisine for family and friends.
To find out what’s in vogue and get the skills you need to effortlessly delight your guests with beautiful flavour combinations, we spoke with Isobel Dreisenstock, Home Economist for Miele.

“This summer, chic entertainers will use light, fresh, healthy produce sourced direct from the grower at farmers’ markets.
“Trending now is ancient wellness, using traditional grains and heritage varieties creating a luscious use of colour. The heirloom tomato salad is the perfect example of superb colour on a plate, using a mix of tomato varieties in orange, green, red and yellow.

“Presentation is also so important, as is being together. The communal table concept with mains served on sharing plates and platters is in vogue. Entrées and desserts however, served individually, makes for an opulent impact.”

Simple summer entertaining from start to finish

Ms Dreisenstock recommends this exquisite menu for on-trend summer entertaining:

· Entrée: Deconstructed prawn cocktail;
· Main: Pork belly with spiced honey glaze, served with a summer slaw, Lemon and pea and rice salad, Heirloom Tomato Salad;
· Dessert: Individual Ricotta cheesecake, compressed strawberries and biscuit crumbs.

Many elements of this mouth-watering summer menu can be prepared in advance, and finishing touches applied just before serving.
To produce this menu effortlessly Ms Dreisenstock recommends the home chef reads through each recipe and assesses what stages can be prepared in advance.
For example, most salad dressings and sauces can be prepared up to a week prior. Make all dressings at the same time and refrigerate in glass jars until needed.
“The pork belly, individual cheesecakes and biscuit crumbs can be prepared the day prior.
“By preparing in advance, you keep your work areas and equipment clean and reduce prep time on the day, leaving you more time to socialise,” Ms Dreisenstock added.

Deconstructed prawn cocktail

The prawn cocktail is back with a new, modern twist. Individual witlof leaves containing a fresh mix of prawns and avocado salad, garnished with baby herbs and mouth-popping finger lime pearls. Ms Dreisenstock says,
“It’s simple, because you can pre-prepare most elements prior and refrigerate. Just add the prawns and dressing when ready to serve.
“The foolproof way to cook moist and succulent prawns is to steam them for two minutes in Miele’s Steam Oven at 85 degrees celsius which brings out their flavour.

Pork Belly with spiced honey glaze and summer slaw

“Many people associate cuts like pork belly as a winter dish. But this cut is so versatile you can serve it hot or cold. The fruit and slaw accompaniments give it a real summer flavour,” says Ms Dreisenstock.
Tips for serving the ultimate pork belly is to use Miele’s Fan Grill function to create a crisp crackling and Miele’s Moisture Plus Oven function to slow cook the meat over three and a half hours the day before.
“Miele’s Moisture Plus function applies bursts of steam during cooking to keep the food moist. This way you don’t have to open your oven whilst cooking to baste the meat,” says Ms Dreisenstock.

Lemon and pea rice salad

“A simple and nutritious way to cook grains and rice is using Miele’s Steam Oven. In just 20 minutes the rice is fluffy, the grains separated and there is no mess,” says Isobel.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

A top tip from Ms Dreisenstock to save time on the day that won’t compromise on taste: “The heirloom tomato salad recipe can be kept in a vacuum sealed bag for up to a week before your summer party.”

Individual Ricotta cheesecake, compressed strawberries and biscuit crumbs

This dessert is a modern, healthier take on an old favourite. Ms Dreisenstock says, “It looks stunning, is full of flavour and again is so easy to cook by steaming the individual custards simultaneously in individual glass dishes for 25 minutes”.

The compressed strawberries and biscuit crumb add the freshness and crunch to make this dessert unforgettable.

Miele offer complimentary cooking demonstrations at the Miele Experience Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.

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