Dinner party (1st ever!) menu(9 Posts)
I'm having my first dinner party on Saturday night and wonder if my menu sounds okay? There will be me and DP, plus 2 other couples. DP and I are good friends with the 2 other couples but they have never met each other. I want to keep the menu easy and light - we all like a drink so something to line the stomach but not make us uncomfortably full. Also, it's quite a casual thing.
I won't bother with a starter. I'll have some olives and bread/oil/balsamic on the table though. Then I thought a roast chicken would be a good idea. And rather than have roast veg I thought I'd do a nice (naice?!) salad, coldslaw, some new potatoes, and possibly some asparagus in pancetta to accompany the chicken. None of us are particularly sweet toothed so I though an interesting cheeseboard would be an idea for afters. Does this sound ok? Anything in particular that should go with the cheese? Anything else I should think about or should I start afresh?
Thanks I'm usually quite confident about things but would like this to go well!
Sounds great to me although I would add a light dessert as cheese can be a bit heavy-duty. My criteria for a good dinner party menu is that I don't spend all night in the kitchen but spend as long as possible with guests. So nothing last-minute-fiddly - which is what you've got. My other criteria is that everything should be able to go on hold if someone's late... so nothing with critical timings, lots of things that can sit in fridges or wherever until required. With your cheeseboard how about a selection of exotic fruits and some melted chocolate to dip them in?
Oh yes, fruits with chocolate sounds lovely. Thanks for your suggestions Cogito I too don't want to spend hours in the kitchen!
1 chicken for 6 adults? Hmm, asparagus in pancetta and coleslaw, in the same course, not a good match, is it?
Sorry to be party-pooper, literally, but exotic fruit and chocolate is something quite odd, no? Most exotic fruit are tasteless and rather horrid out of their country of habitat anyway and don't suit chocolate IMO.
Good cheese board with some quality dates and figs could do for the cheese/pudding course if none of you have a proper sweet tooth. Followed by port?
A light pudding like a chocolate mousse might be a good idea?
But if you have your heart set on cheese how about serving with a nice chutney, grapes, celery?
I think that sounds a bit summery for November. Why don't you do do pan roast veg and some greens for freshness on the side. Also think that stretching a chicken to 6 adults is an ask.
I think you will struggle to give six adults a generous portion of meat each from one roast chicken, unless the carver is a surgeon! You would be better with six quarter chicken portions which you could roast with say herbs and lemon chunks, have a look at the BBC Food site or Jamie, they will have some guide lines for times.
Garnish your cheese board with grapes or nuts and have bread, bath olivers, oat cakes available and perhaps port as it is a winter treat. Not everyone will eat cheese, so don't go overboard on a vast selection.
As you are not doing pudding maybe some nice chocolates or marzipan to go with coffee would be good.
Good luck, and enjoy the planning and the work, it is a great feeling when you have pulled it all together and everyone is enjoying your food.
Do report back on your first dinner party!!
I would go for 6 or 8 chicken breasts wrapped in parma ham (I wrap the chicken breasts right at the end with the parma ham and just pop back in the oven for 5 mins) or you could use bacon. That way everyone gets a lovely lump of tasty chicken breast and no one fights over the leg or wing. Salad, new potatoes and coleslaw will go really well with this. Even better would be a caesar salad (buy a bag or two from the supermarket and cheat!).
For table nibbles as starters I find that spicy Salsa dip and Doritos are always popular, as is hummus and chopped raw celery and carrot fingers to dip in it.
I like the sound of a good cheese board but agree with Allalonenow that you need some "sweet" stuff like dates, grapes, figs, whole brazil and walnuts, chutney, and as an absolute must you need Bendicks mint selection to go with the coffee afterwards.
Yummy...... hope your evening is a hit!
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