Hi my name is Kim and i need help. My friend is hosting a dinner party and is cooking main course, she wants me to do the starter. She is cooking spicy beef casserole , any ideas for a yummy starter to go with this?

Here a couple of suggestions:

Potted Shrimp


1 lb fairly small shrimp, shells on OR you can use cooked salad shrimp, usually at the deli counter.
1 cup butter
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch ground mace
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 salt & pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Toss the shrimp and, 1
minute later, start tasting them; they’ll cook very quickly. Drain
them immediately and peel when they are cool. Cut them into little
bite-size pieces.

Melt 1/2 c of the butter over medium heat; stir in the shrimp,
lemon juice, nutmeg, mace, cayenne, salt and pepper, and turn off the
heat. Divide the shrimp among small bowls or place in a nice crock.

Melt the remaining butter over very low heat. Skim the foam off
the top, and then carefully pour the clarified butter over the shrimp,
leaving the butter solids in the pan. Refrigerate immediately.

Served chilled or slightly warmed as a spread served on brown bread. OR you can blanch some broccoli rabe until just crisp tender. Put into ice water to preserve the color and stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry. Keep at room temperature. When you are ready to serve, warm some of the potted shrimp just long enough to melt the butter. Drizzle over the broccoli rabe.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

• 1 large sweet onion
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
• 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
• 1 Tbsp. curry powder
• 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
• 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
• 2 15 oz. cans unsweetened pumpkin
• 1 cup water
• 1 32 oz. vegetable or chicken broth
• 1 13.5 oz. can lite coconut milk
• 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
• 2 1/2 tsp. salt
• sour cream
• fresh chives
Sauté onion in hot oil over med.-high heat (3 minutes. or until tender). Add garlic and next 4 ingredients sauté 1 min. Transfer to medium pot add to the onion and garlic mixture the pumpkin, 1 cup water and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium add coconut milk, lime juice and salt and simmer stirring often.

Serves 6

Recipe Notes
Top with sour cream and chopped fresh chives for a pretty presentation. Add an elegant touch with cooked shrimp or crabmeat. Vegetarian if you choose to vegetable broth.