Most Dinner Party stress comes from not knowing how the meal will turn out, and the main way to avoid this is to use a reliable Dinner Party menu or practice your dishes before you use them.
According to Alexandria Blaelock, author of Stress Free Dinner Parties: How to plan, host and enjoy your party a reliable Dinner Party menu is the best way. “One well-practised meal can be churned out with minor variations time after time after time. It will always produce the same consistent and reliably delicious Dinner Party.”
Here are Blaelock’s tips for a reliable Dinner Party menu:
- Apéritif: The most reliable pre-dinner snack is always going to be Champagne and something. Like potato chips (crisps), vegetable sticks with store bought dips, or a jar of nice olives. That’s because Brands produce food that tastes exactly the same every time you eat it. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t keep buying it.
- Appetiser: Something simple that relies on very fresh produce, like a slice of melon wrapped in prosciutto, or slices of tomato, and mozzarella with fresh basil. Topped with a little sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. With more Champagne.
- Main: The kind of casserole where you throw bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables into a pot with a slosh of wine or stock and cook in the oven for hours. Red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat is still a good basic principle.
- Dessert: A fresh and fancy fruit or custard tart from a good bakery or cake shop, served with full-fat cream or ice cream. Served with a sweet wine.
- Digestif: “Homemade” style cookies (biscuits) from the same bakery/cake shop you got the tart, served with liqueur.
There’s not a lot that can go wrong with this menu. As you develop your cooking skills further, you can expand your reliable Dinner Party menu to include those dishes instead.
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