Dinner Parties Made Easy: Simple Recipes For Guaranteed Success
When it comes to throwing a dinner party, you no doubt want to ensure that the evening is relaxed, enjoyable, and boasts some delicious food. Of course, what you also want to ensure is that you can be a part of the night and spend time with your guests, instead of spending the entire evening shut away in the kitchen cooking.
With that in mind, it’s best to serve a menu that’s easy to put together, so that you can enjoy the evening along with your guests. A dinner party isn’t just about serving delicious food, it’s also about spending time with your guests and having a laugh, so the easier you can make things for yourself, the better.
For all the most delicious and easiest to make dishes, that are perfect for serving at your next dinner party, below is a list of ideas for guaranteed success. These are all tasty dishes that are not only easy to whip up but should also impress your guests.
Parmesan and rosemary shortbread
A unique twist on a classic sweet treat, Parmesan and rosemary shortbread is the perfect dinner party appetizer, especially as it’s super quick and easy to make, plus it tastes incredible.
160 grams of plain flour
120 grams grated parmesan cheese
100 grams of butter
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp of chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of the ingredients together, apart from 30 grams of cheese, and make a dough. Knead the dough until smooth, roll into a cylinder shape, wrap in cling film, and place in the fridge for an hour.
Remove from the fridge, slice the cylinder of shortbread into small disks, place on a baking tray and bake for between ten and 15 minutes. Once the shortbread is a golden color, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the leftover cheese, rosemary, and salt.
For a gluten free alternative, simply swap the plain flour for gluten free flour.
Slow cooker tomato and basil soup with a twist
It might be an old classic, but you can’t beat a bowl of delicious tomato and basil soup, which is what makes it the perfect starter to serve at any dinner party. Plus, it’s fairly easy to make as it’s just a case of popping it all in the slow cooker, and it’s quick to serve, and it isn’t too filling either.
4 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
2 kg of mixed tomatoes (need to be ripe and sweet)
Handful of fresh basil
Slice the garlic, onion, and tomatoes, dice the basil as small as you can get it, not forgetting to remove the stalks beforehand. Then add the chopped ingredients to the slow cooker, along with the vegetable stock made up in ½ a pint of water. Turn the slow cooker to high and leave for around three hours, stirring occasionally.
After three hours, check that the soup is cooked, use a hand blender to blend the ingredients up, making the mixture as smooth or chunky as you like.
Before serving the soup, dice the mozzarella up and add it to the piping hot soup, swirl a little cream onto the soup, add a sprig of basil, and serve. To make the starter a little more filling, serve the soup with gourmet breadsticks, crusty bread, or salted crackers. For any guests with a gluten intolerance, pick up some gluten free alternatives.
Chargrilled chicken and red pepper paella with fresh lime
The perfect meal for a dinner party, chargrilled chicken and red pepper paella with a hint of lime is super easy to make, tastes insane, and is sure to be loved by everyone in attendance.
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp paprika
250 grams of paella rice
700 ml of chicken stock
4 pieces of chicken (either thighs or bone on breasts)
100 grams roasted peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onions, garlic, and tomatoes until cooked, and then add the paprika. Gently simmer the mixture for around five minutes so that the paprika can infuse into the ingredients.
Place the sliced red pepper on a baking tray, add oil, salt and pepper, and place in the oven to roast for around 20 minutes.
Add the paella rice to the pan and allow it to toast slightly, turning clear. Pour in the chicken stock and leave to simmer for around five minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Don’t stir the rice, allow it to coat the bottom of the pan, forming a crust.
While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken. Cook the chicken slowly over a medium heat, crisping up on the outside. Then, when partly cooked, place in the oven to cook through.
Once each part of the dish is cooked, place the chicken and red peppers on top of the rice, add a dash of paprika and salt and pepper to taste, then squeeze some fresh lime juice over the dish, and it’s ready to serve.
If you have a guest who is gluten free attending, make sure to pick a variety of rice that is naturally free from gluten. For a vegetarian option, serve the paella without the chicken, just with the roasted red pepper.
Lemon meringue pie
For anyone who loves zesty, fruity desserts with a sweet kick, lemon meringue pie is the perfect dessert.
For the filling:
1 jar of lemon curd
For the pastry:
175 gram of plain flour
100 grams of cold butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp of icing sugar
For the meringue topping:
4 egg whites
200 grams of golden caster sugar
Cream of tartar (or a substitute)
To make the pastry, put the flour, butter, egg yolk, and icing sugar into a food processor and mix until a dough forms. Tip the mixture out onto a clean surface, gently knead, roll out and place on a lined baking tray. To prevent bubbles from occurring, prick the pastry with a fork, then place in the fridge for an hour. After an hour put the pastry into the oven and bake until golden brown.
For the meringue topping, pop the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Then slowly add the sugar, whisking each time a small amount is added to the mixture. Add in the cream or tartar or a substitute for it, to help stabilize the topping. Wondering what are cream of tartar substitutes? Then read up online and learn about the alternative options, such as lemon juice and baking soda, for instance.
The next step is to fill the pastry case with lemon curd – while you could make it yourself, a shop bought lemon curd can work just as well and is much quicker and easier. Then, once you have added the lemon curd, the next step is to pop the meringue topping on top, then the pie needs to go back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the meringue is golden and gooey.
See, organizing a delicious dinner party doesn’t have to be a nightmare, does it? It’s just a case of picking the right dishes to serve, that’s all.