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James McIntosh

Cozy Nights In. Dinner Party.

Posted by James McIntosh Tuesday, 29th October 2013

Dinner -party

I'm not a fan of October.  It's a shock to my system; especially after the fantastic record-breaking summer we had this year. 

The leaves turn brown, the nights get longer and the central heating needs to be turned on.  I'm the sort that refuses to live with negative thoughts, so chop chop, plan of action, let's turn this drab time of year into something fab and have a dinner party.  We all have lists of those that we say we should meet up with and have a chat over dinner - I can't think of a better time of year to do it.  Children settled back at school, Christmas in the distance and a Rangemaster sitting in the kitchen ready to use.




Food -plan

Cooking a dinner party is not a difficult thing if you're not a great cook.  Just write out a plan of cooking timings and stick to it, all will be fine.  I have two funny rules about dinner parties:

1)       Your guests have not seen the picture of the food in the cookery book or blog and I assure you the finished product will not look like this anyway unless you have selective mood lighting in your kitchen.  Dinner parties are about a time of love, fun and sharing, not a competition.

2)       If it goes wrong, so what.  No one is there to judge you; your guests are on your side so as long as you know the difference in icing sugar and parsley and which food to put what on, you can cover up all manner of potential sins. 

Now relax and let the Rangemaster do all the hard work.  With the different combinations of ovens many things can be done at once, roasting, baking, grilling, stir-fry, boiling, and the list goes on.  I've covered most of these in previous blogs here so look back for hints and tips on roasting, baking and cooking vegetables.


Oh, and then there are the dishes.  Don't worry, the Rangemaster dishwasher can clean up to 12 place settings at once.


Paella (serves: 6)




  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g chorizo, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 350g paella rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 x 2g packet saffron, mixed with 3 tbsp hot water
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 100g raw tiger prawns, shell removed
  • 100g raw squid rings
  • 12 large mussels, washed
  • 6 large king prawns, in shells
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 4tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in large pan.  Add the chorizo and brown for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken and continue to brown all over. Transfer to a plate and keep, set aside.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan, with the onion, pepper and garlic, and cook until the onion is beginning to soften. Add the rice, wine, saffron and stock, and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is nearly cooked. Stir once during the cooking period.
  3. Add the browned chorizo and chicken, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, this should take no more than 5-6 minutes. Add the seafood and the lemon juice, and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the seafood is cooked through.
  4. Season, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.


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