I love to host a dinner party. It really is one of my favorite things to do. But I often find that when I do, I get all tied up in the food preparation, timing, serving, etc that I don’t spend enough time actually being social and enjoying time with my guests. So I decided to try something new. Something between a cocktail party and a sit down dinner. Something with food substantial enough to be considered a meal, but with the ability to just pick throughout the evening. After discussing this idea with the Kraut...I came up with the following menu. And I have to say, I enjoyed this dinner party immensely! I’m sure the friends and wine helped, but I think a good time was had by all. And I didn’t spend the evening in the kitchen!
Deconstructed Cobb Salad
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
Slider rolls and homemade mayonnaise
Variety of cheeses
Piccolini pasta in a red sauce
Here’s how it played out in preparation:
I roasted the chicken and the lamb throughout the day. Then just covered and let sit. I cut and shredded and served at room temperature on a platter. You could either make a little slider sandwich using the meat and cobb salad or place on your salad or eat alone. The 6 adults that were there ate it all...so it must have been good.
I defrosted some of my sauce from a frozen batch and then made the piccolini (which is just a small version of a bow tie made by Barilla). I cooked this about 30 minutes before people arrived. Sprinkled with some good cheese. Again serving closer to room temperature. Again....6 adults cleaned it up.
Made some homemade mayo and put some vinaigrette dressing in pretty container for serving.
The last step was the Cobb salad. As you want it to be fresh, I put it together about 30 minutes before the friends arrived. You can really use whatever you want to do a salad like this. It’s nice because people can choose just the parts that they like and it just looks plain pretty. I used red leaf lettuce, boston lettuce, red onion, cucumber, tomato, hard boiled egg and bacon (made earlier that day) and blue cheese.
Everything was on the table and ready by the time our friends arrived and I spent the evening eating, drinking and sitting by the fireplace with them.
I have determined an evening of light fare is lovely. Definitely my entertaining of choice and I will be doing it again soon!