8 celeb party recipes guaranteed to win you rave reviews

Plus the stars’ tried-and-tested secrets to nailing them yourself.

8 celeb party recipes guaranteed to win you rave reviews
8 celeb party recipes guaranteed to win you rave reviews
16 Dec 2019

8 celeb party recipes guaranteed to win you rave reviews

‘Tis the season of parties and merrymaking. If you are planning to host a shindig or are heading to a potluck, we’ve got just the party food inspo for you. From red wine risotto and braised chicken to indulgent sous vide steak and chocolate tarts, these celeb party dishes are so good, you won’t have any leftovers.

Shane Pow
Shane Pow
16 Dec 2019

Shane Pow

Go-to party dish: Beef chilli 

Shane doesn’t just own a restaurant; the towkay knows his way around the kitchen too. He has no qualms about slaving over a hot stove - he once spent four hours cooking buah keluak for girlfriend Kimberly Wang - but when it comes to parties, the “practical cook” prefers one-pot dishes where “you can just throw everything in” because they are fuss-free and ideal when you are cooking for a crowd.

“Recently, I have been making beef chilli, which takes 20 minutes tops. One day I was craving Mexican food, so I Googled the recipe. It is a good appetiser and has a good bite. I gave it my own personal touch by adding chilli padi so it is spicy and damn shiok. I mix it with sour cream and cheese so it is thicker and creamier, and it is best eaten with nachos,” said Shane.

Photos: Shane Pow

Beef chilli 
Beef chilli 
16 Dec 2019

Beef chilli 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
450g lean ground beef (you can substitute with your preferred meat)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3/4 cup beef broth
1 can (around 425g) diced tomatoes
1 can (around 425g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Mozzarella cheese and sour cream to serve (optional)

Instructions

Add oil to pot and fry onions and garlic over medium heat until browned.

Add minced beef and spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper), and fry till beef is medium.

Add beans, diced tomatoes, and stir.

Add 3/4 cup of beef broth

Add 2 chilli padi (optional)

Simmer on low heat for 10 mins.

Add corn starch if chilli is too watery.

Serve in bowl. Top it off with cheese and sour cream or on the side.

Chef’s pro tip:

To ensure proper flavour is achieved, stir and taste regularly while cooking because the taste changes slightly as the liquid boils down. Shane also recommends serving the cheese and sour cream on the side or the beef chilli might go bad if you leave it out for too long.

Michelle Wong
Michelle Wong
16 Dec 2019

Michelle Wong

Go-to party dish: Chocolate hazelnut tart

If you’ve been following Michelle on Instagram, you would know she is quite the baking queen. She occasionally posts videos of her baking adventures - it helps her de-stress - and we’ve been dying to try her chocolate hazelnut tart ever since we saw her teaching Belinda Lee how to make it in 2017. Yes, she is that good. Her desserts need to fulfil three criteria: easy, tasty, and cute. And you can bet this rich and indulgent tart fits the bill (although the cute factor is limited by your imagination).

Photos: Instagram/@mich.wong

Chocolate hazelnut tart
Chocolate hazelnut tart
16 Dec 2019

Chocolate hazelnut tart

Ingredients

1 pack of digestive biscuits
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Hazelnut chocolate (milk or dark chocolate)
Heavy cream

Instructions

To make the base, blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they are fine crumbs and mix with melted butter until it becomes paste-like.

Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of your baking dish to form the crust. You can make it as thin or thick as you want. You can use excess crumbs as toppings later.

Pop it in the oven and bake at 180 ° Celcius for 10 to 15 mins. When done, remove from oven and leave it to cool so it can set.

For the ganache filling, all you have to remember is the ratio 2:1. Regardless of the size of your tart, your filling should consist of 2 parts chocolate and 1 part cream. So if you have 450g of chocolate, you should mix it with 225g of cream.

Chop up the chocolate into small pieces.

Heat your cream until it comes to a boil. When it starts bubble, turn off the heat and pour it over your chocolate. Leave it to sit for around 10 mins to melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally and you will get a thick mixture.  

If you like your tart rich, add a tablespoon of butter (optional).

Pour your mixture into the tin and refrigerate for at least two hours but Michelle recommends chilling it overnight so the texture becomes thicker.

Decorate as you please.

Chef’s pro tip:

Get good quality chocolate that has hazelnuts in it like those from Ritter Sport so you don’t have to add nuts yourself when making the filling. The result is a rich Nutella-y tart that is not too sweet. And be sure to chop the chocolate into small pieces, otherwise, it will not melt. But if that happens, you can still salvage it by popping it into the microwave for around 15 secs.

Photos: Instagram/@leebelinda

Desmond Tan
Desmond Tan
16 Dec 2019

Desmond Tan

Go-to party dish: Red wine risotto

Desmond’s go-to party dish came about as a coincidence. One day, he wanted to have risotto but ran out of white wine, so he substituted it with red. After that, there was no turning back. Red wine not only adds colour, but also a rich depth of flavour and luxury to the dish. Desmond likes his risotto with mushrooms, though he sometimes changes it up by adding seafood or chicken, depending on what’s in his fridge.

The unique dish has been a hit - not to mention a good conversation starter - with his carbo-loving pals, and we can see why: intrigued, we whipped this up with clams and button mushrooms one rainy evening and it was delish and very comforting.

Photos: Toggle

Red wine risotto
Red wine risotto
16 Dec 2019

Red wine risotto

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
340g baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish (you could substitute 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme)
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup red wine
7 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided (you may not need all of it)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion and sauté for about 2 mins until translucent.

Add garlic, mushrooms, salt, and pepper to saucepan and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 mins until mushrooms are soft and have reduced in size.

Pull thyme leaves off the sprigs and add leaves to saucepan.

Add arborio rice to saucepan and toast, stirring frequently, for about a minute, until any liquid is absorbed.

Add red wine to pan and cook for about 10 mins, stirring frequently, until rice has absorbed nearly all of the wine.

Add 1 cup of stock and cook, stirring frequently, until rice has absorbed nearly all of the stock. Repeat this process, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and letting the rice absorb it in between each addition, until rice is al dente. Taste the rice in between each addition of stock to see if it needs more; the final product should have a slight bite to it and not be mushy, and the rice and stock will have formed a thick, starchy broth. I generally use about 6 cups of stock before the risotto is done.

When rice is cooked, remove risotto from heat.

Stir in unsalted butter and parmesan cheese, stirring continuously until they’ve both melted into the risotto. Taste again and add seasoning if necessary.

Top with fresh thyme and serve immediately.


Chef’s pro tip:

Don’t rush it. Risotto is time-consuming and needs a lot of heart, patience, and attention. You have to keep stirring to cook down the stock and keep a close watch on the risotto so that it doesn’t burn. The more you stir, the creamier it gets. There are no shortcuts. Enjoying the rest of the wine while cooking is highly recommended. Okay, that’s our tip, not Desmond’s.

Denise Camillia Tan
Denise Camillia Tan
16 Dec 2019

Denise Camillia Tan

Go-to party dish: Spaghetti Bolognese

Denise was never a pasta person, but her Italy trip last year changed all that. She went on a pasta binge and everything tasted so good that she was inspired to recreate the flavours back home. Her go-to dish is the Italian classic spaghetti Bolognese, which is based on British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s recipe. “Of course, you cannot compare mine with the ones in Italy,” laughed Denise. “But my mum says it’s not bad. And when she says it’s not bad, it means it’s good!”

Photos: Instagram/@denisecamillia, TPGOpen

Spaghetti Bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese
16 Dec 2019

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

400g minced beef (you can substitute with your preferred meat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 carrot
1 onion
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 dried bay leaves
2 canned tomatoes or 2 tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Red wine
 

Instructions

Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add olive oil.

Sauté onions, carrots, and garlic, for around 10 mins until the vegetables soften.

Add minced beef and cook for 3 to 4 mins until the meat is browned.

Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, bay leaves, and red wine. The amount to add is completely arbitrary, depending on how thick you’d like your sauce. Mix well.

Cover pan with lid and let it simmer under low heat for 1 hour 15 mins. Stir the sauce from time to time.

While the Bolognese sauce is almost done, prepare a pot of water to boil spaghetti.

Add olive oil and salt into boiling water and cook spaghetti until al dente.

Drain the spaghetti and pour the sauce on top to serve. 

Chef’s pro tip:

Bolognese sauce tastes better the next day. So if time permits, prepare it the day before and let it mature in the fridge overnight.

Felicia Chin
Felicia Chin
16 Dec 2019

Felicia Chin

Go-to party dish: Braised dark soy sauce chicken

Like Denise’s spaghetti Bolognese, Felicia’s braised chicken is delicious for dinner... but even better the next day. Chock-full of potatoes, carrots, and tender chunks of chicken, the homely stew is reminiscent of something Felicia’s mum used to make when she was younger. Best eaten with rice, the dish has gotten boyfriend Jeffrey Xu’s stamp of approval, and the actress often receives requests to cook it again.

“It is a simple recipe that I gleaned from a cooking blog five years ago. There were a lot of easy-to-follow recipes and they taste good. I am the kind of cook that follows recipes to a T, so even a novice can make this,” said Felicia.

Photo: Pig Pigs Corner

Braised dark soy sauce chicken
Braised dark soy sauce chicken
16 Dec 2019

Braised dark soy sauce chicken

Ingredients

Chicken marinade
10 chicken mid wings (substitute with chicken thigh or drumsticks if you prefer more tender meat)
2 tablespoon dark soy sauce 
1 tablespoon light soy sauce to taste
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar (white or brown)
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
white pepper to taste

To cook
1 large potato, cut into big chunks 
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 inch thumb ginger sliced into 5 pieces
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

Instructions

Marinade chicken in all the ingredients for 15 mins.

In a pot, saute garlic and ginger on medium heat until it starts to brown.

Add chicken only. Set aside the marinade.

Brown chicken and add cinnamon stick, star anise, marinade, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, potatoes and water.

Bring to a boil, add sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer.

Cook for 20 to 25 mins until potatoes and chicken are tender, and liquid is reduced.

Season to taste with soy sauce if needed. Remove from heat and serve.

Chef’s pro tip:

Put all the spices into a bag made with strainer cloth before adding them into the pot. Not only will it be easier to remove them later, you will not run the risk of biting into the bitter cloves or cinnamon when you have the gravy.

Zhang Zetong
Zhang Zetong
16 Dec 2019

Zhang Zetong

Go-to party dish: Bak kut teh

Okay, so Zetong’s Malaysia-style herbal bak kut teh, which he whips up using a premix, is a bit of a cheat’s dish, but it’s a good one - at least that’s what the Star Search 2019 champ tells us. He recommends using the A1 premix which tastes authentic, and besides pork ribs, he adds enoki mushrooms and “whatever ingredients I like” to elevate the dish.

For someone who doesn’t think too highly of his own cooking, Zetong was pleasantly surprised with the results when he attempted to make the pork rib soup for the first time five years ago. There were requests for seconds and the pot was wiped clean by the end of the night. Not sure about you, but that, to us, is one of the best compliments to a chef.

Photo: Zhang Zetong

Bak kut teh
Bak kut teh
16 Dec 2019

Bak kut teh

Ingredients

2kg pork ribs
8 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of black soya sauce
4 teaspoons of light soya sauce
2 teaspoons of oyster sauce
1.5 litres of water
1 packet of bak kut teh spice mix
Pepper to taste.

Instructions

Blanch the pork ribs in boiling water for a few minutes to remove impurities and fat. Discard the water and set the pork ribs aside.

Boil litres of water in a large pot before adding the blanched meat and 2 sachets of A1 spice mix to cook for 30 mins on medium heat.

Add soya sauce and oyster sauce and simmer until meat is fully cooked. Pierce the meat to check for tenderness. Let your broth simmer longer if you like it more flavourful.

Add enoki mushrooms 5 mins before you serving. Add pepper to taste.

If you do not plan to serve the bak kut teh immediately, remove the meat.

Chef’s pro tip:

It is important to treat the meat to ensure that it is tender. If you do not plan to serve the kut teh immediately, remove the pork ribs from the broth after they are cooked and add it back in when you are ready to eat.

Romeo Tan
Romeo Tan
16 Dec 2019

Romeo Tan

Go-to party dish: Sous vide steak

The first thing we thought when we heard Romeo’s party dish was, “How fancy.” Hooked on sous vide cooking, Romeo has been busy playing around with his new toy, whipping up chicken breast, salmon, and almost restaurant-standard steak (he claims “it’s 60 to 80 per cent alike”) at home. “The first few times I made sous vide steak, it turned out quite bad. My mum said it was not cooked and I had to eat it myself. But gradually the taste improved and now it is quite presentable,” he said proudly. We’d sure love to score an invite to Romeo’s party.

Photos: Instagram/@romeotan

Sous vide steak
Sous vide steak
16 Dec 2019

Sous vide steak

Ingredients

1 steak
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

Season the steak with salt and pepper.

Sous vide your steak at 150° F (66 °C) for medium-rare for around 2.5 hours.

Remove the bag from the water bath and let the steak rest for around 10 mins.

Cut open the vacuum bag and let the steak dry for around 5 to 10 mins. If it is still not dry, dab it with a kitchen towel.

Heat up the iron cast pan until it is really hot. Test by adding a small amount of water (about 1/8th teaspoon) into the pan. If it evaporates or disperses, repeat the step until the water forms a ball and rolls around the pan.

Drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add a little truffle oil if you want to elevate the taste. Place steak in skillet and sear for around 30 secs on each side until golden brown.

Quickly add a bit of butter and sear for another 15 secs on each side to get a brown crisp layer.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Chef’s pro tip:

Use a cast iron pan to sear the steak instead of non-stick or stainless steel pans. Cast iron skillets retain heat well, searing food faster and more beautifully, giving it a thick, browned crust. Timing is very important during searing because the steak can easily overcook if left in the pan for too long. Just 30 secs on each side will do.

Chantalle Ng
Chantalle Ng
16 Dec 2019

Chantalle Ng

Go-to party dish: Salted chocolate chip cookies

Chantalle adores cookies. When we spoke to her about party snacks, the chirpy actress offered more than one recipe, despite her rainbow butter cookies looking a “mess” as the coloured layers blended together (“But they taste good!”). Faring better are her salted chocolate chip cookies, which look and taste elegant enough for a party. Chewy and chocolatey, the salt elevates the taste to a new level. But best of all, the recipe is fail-proof and easy to make.

Photos: Chantalle Ng

Salted chocolate chip cookies
Salted chocolate chip cookies
16 Dec 2019

Salted chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cold salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Flaky sea salt

Instructions

Line two large baking sheets with parchment papers. Stir together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

Cream together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 min. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 mins. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined, about 30 sec. Gently fold in chocolate chops using wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Divide dough evenly into 12 balls. Arrange balls on baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball. Do not flatten. Sprinkle each ball lightly with sea salt flakes. Cover and chill overnight, or freeze 15 to 20 mins.

Preheat oven to 190 °C. Uncover cookie dough and bake cookies until edges are golden brown, 20 to 22 mins. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 mins. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Related:
Best festive takeaways for your year-end parties
Bubble tea bread pudding, and 9 more Christmas desserts to try if you have log cake fatigue

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