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  • The Mousseline of Scallop Roe appears in the book for the St. Valentine’s Day menu.
  • Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Ten Dinner Parties for Two by Frances Bissell.
  • Excerpt from Chapter 2 of Ten Dinner Parties for Two by Frances Bissell.
  • Opening of Chapter 5 of Ten Dinner Parties for Two by Frances Bissell.
  • Excerpt from Chapter 8 of Ten Dinner Parties for Two by Frances Bissell.

    Ten Dinner Parties for Two


    For Frances Bissell, a simple evening at home with her husband can turn into a memorable dinner party. In this book, her pleasure has been distilled into a set of menus and recipes for anyone who enjoys the intimacy of a shared meal with good wine and food. Drawing her inspiration from France, Italy, America and Hong Kong, while bearing everyday practicality in mind, Frances Bissell provides accessible, unpretentious recipes which are graceful and original.

    • RRP: £8.95 (Incl. VAT)
    • Format: 247 mm x 190 mm (9 ¾ x 7 ½ in)
    • Pages: 128
    • Weight: 0.6 kg (1.3 lb)
    • Pictures: 40 colour photographs, 15 colour drawings
    • Binding: Hardback
    • Publication: 1989
  • ISBN: 978 0 85223 611 6
  • Description

    Every day that she is at home with her husband Tom Frances Bissel gives dinner party, a dinner party for two. There will be a tablecloth, linen napkins, appropriate wine, flowers, a candle in winter, an open window in summer and a thoughtfully prepared meal made from the freshest ingredients. Creating a treat for a treasured companion, spouse or friend is what she likes doing best, and in this book her pleasure has been distilled into a set of menus and recipes for anyone who enjoys the intimacy of a shared meal with good wine and food.

    There are some dates in the calendar, such as Christmas and St Valentine’s Day, that demand a special effort and Frances Bissell has accordingly suggested menus that add to the sense of occasion; but in her view every dinner is special, whether it be a carefully planned treat or a quick and easy meal to restore the equilibrium after a stressful day.

    Frances Bissell has retained the sound common sense towards food that prevails in her native county of Yorkshire while drawing inspiration from the cuisine of the countries in which she has travelled, notably France, Italy, America and Hong Kong. Since she came in to the public eye in 1983 after winning The Observer’s Mouton Cadet award, she has built a reputation for providing accessible, unpretentious recipes that are nonetheless graced with a rare quality of subtlety and originality.



    Some Notes on My Store Cupboard and Kitchen

    Basic Recipes

    Quails’ Eggs Baked in New Potatoes
    Snails Baked in New Potatoes
    Asparagus and White Wine Risotto
    Cod Fillets with Beetroot Sauce
    Hedgerow Salad with Walnut and Nettle Dressing
    Light Lemon and Hazelnut Sponge

    Mousseline of Scallop Roe
    Scallops with Julienne of Vegetables
    Stuffed Poussin with Vegetables
    Wild Rice, Rosé Champagne Granita
    Almond Biscuits
    Rose Hearts, Rhubarb Sauce
    Demi-Sec Champagnes

    Carrot and Rosemary Flower Soup
    Broccoli, Pear and Tarragon Soup
    Tomato and Redcurrant Soup
    Tomato and Garlic Soup
    Basil and Cardamom Salad
    Note on Salad Dressings
    Tarragon Pot-Roasted Quail
    Warm Potato Salad
    Apricots in Muscat Wine
    Melon in Honey Ginger Syrup

    Crab and Vegetable Tart
    Samphire with Lemon Butter
    Turbot with Laver Sauce
    Strawberries with Honey and Balsamic Vinegar
    Muscat Jelly

    Almond Soup
    Gazpacho Andaluz
    Calf’s Liver with Sage and Balsamic Vinegar
    Lamb Fillet with Basil and Sauvignon Sauce
    Broccoli with Tomato and Soy Butter
    Stir-Fried Green Vegetables
    Cherry Kissel

    Bean and Vegetable Soup
    Bean and Pasta Soup
    Medallions of Venison Marinated in Pomegranate
    Celeriac and Potato Cake
    Fennel Salad
    Pears and Fresh Ginger in Spiced Red Wine Syrup
    Caramel Pears
    Quince Jelly
    Rosemary Jelly

    Brill with Celery
    Leeks and Tomatoes
    Oxtail Terrine
    Chilled Rhubarb Soup
    Oxtail Stew
    Thimble Dumplings
    Lemon Rice Pudding
    Green Fruit Salad

    Smoked Salmon Shapes
    Oysters in Spinach Overcoats
    Sicilian Orange Sorbet
    Roast Fillet of Beef
    Roast Barbary Duck
    Pot Roast Partridges
    Rice Stuffing
    Baked Jerusalem Artichokes
    Chicken or Turkey Filo Pastry Pie
    Grilled Radicchio and Goat’s Cheese
    Chilled Persimmon Creams
    Mincemeat Soufflé

    Vegetable Fondue
    Salmon Fillets in Red Wine Sauce
    Prawns with Garlic
    Chicken with Walnuts
    Grilled Tomatoes and Cheese on Toast
    Hot Fruit Salad

    Duck Liver and Roquefort Salad
    Home-Made Ravioli Stuffed with Duck
    Duck Rillettes
    Note on Potted Meats
    Duck Breasts in Chinon
    Duck and Green Olive Casserole
    Stir-Fried Mixed Cabbage
    Mango Mousse
    Mango Sorbet with Jasmine Tea Sauce


    Frances Bissell made a dramatic entrance into the world of cookery when, in 1983, she entered and won an Observer competition for the best dinner party menu to accompany Mouton Cadet wines. The contest brought her immediate recognition and, at the suggestion of Jane Grigson, she used the personal food diaries she had kept for over a decade as material for A Cook’s Calendar, published by Chatto & Windus. A further book, The Pleasures of Cookery, epitomizes the approach to food that has made Frances Bissell such a popular author. Winner of the Glenfiddich Award for Cookery Writer of the Year and the first woman chef to become a member of the Académie Culinaire de France, she is now the author of nine books including Frances Bissell’s West Country Kitchen, The A-Z of Food and Wine, Modern Classics and Entertaining. Frances has also written for The Times, The Sunday Times, Homes and Gardens, À La Carte and Harpers and Queen.

    Image from Ten Dinner Parties For Two

    Cooking food according to its season has always been very important to me, both for practical reasons as well as more intangible ones. Food cooked and eaten during its growing and harvesting season reaches us in a much fresher condition and is better in texture, smell and flavour than if it has been stored. You have only to think of the delightful aroma of the first English apples as they appear in August and September to know what I mean. Although it is unlikely to be so, they actually smell as if they had been picked a moment ago. Summer and early autumn tomatoes sometimes still have that freshly picked ‘green’ smell by the time they reach the shops.

    From all our travels we bring back mementos. Sometimes it is photographs we look at to remind us of a particular place. More often, it will be recipes that have been given to me by the people who have cooked the dishes for us, or that I have re-created as closely as possible to the original. Then, of course, I begin to add my own touches and it is no longer possible to say that that is the original shellfish dish from Brittany or that the original pasta dish from Emilia Romagna.

    The Almond Soup here is, however, still very closely related to the bowl of Gazpacho Blanco we tasted during a visit to southern Spain some years ago. Before that visit I had thought there was only one gazpacho, the tomato and olive-based Gazpacho Andaluz. In fact there are three, the third made of beans.

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