Entertaining | What French hostesses will be serving this Christmas


What French hostesses will be serving this Christmas

Open any French food magazine and you’ll find pages devoted to them. There are whole books on the subject. And no surprise, really - they’re easy, they’re pretty and they make you look like a great cook!

They are France’s seemingly unstoppable craze ‘verrines’, little glass tumblers layered with different ingredients to provide a contrast of flavours, colours and textures. You can make them savoury or sweet. You can prepare them beforehand. No wonder they’re so popular!

I had them earlier this year at the fashionable Paris restaurant Les Cocottes where we enjoyed a classic crab cocktail on a layer of shredded iceberg lettuce and a triple-layered jar of chopped tuna, caviar of aubergines and tomato jelly.

Desserts which can be given the verrine treatment include tiramisu, cheesecake and trifle (perfect for Christmas entertaining)

Dishes that seem dated or cliched such as prawn and avocado cocktail or sweet or savoury mousses seem fresh and chic served as a verrine.

You can also make mini-verrines for parties in shot glasses served with a coffee spoon.

If you read a bit of French, take a look at the French websites Goosto and Les Foodies for other ideas. Or, if you don’t, there’s an English-language book called Terrine & Verrines

Once you get the verrine habit it’s clearly addictive . . .

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