If it weren’t for my very good friend and amazing chef Stacey Tokunaga, I have no idea how I would have made it through the 4 dinner parties which I have had host this year for work. Stacey came up with the amazing idea that instead of messing around with food timings and having to prepare food when the guests arrived, to instead focus on delivering an awesome 1 pot meal which can be prepared ahead of time, and then simply served when the time arrived. Stacey was kind enough to show me a dish for each of these parties, and they all went down a storm. Here are the dishes I prepared, and which dishes you can use for your next dinner party.
Paella does require a bit of cooking but you can easily do this on the afternoon, finishing up a couple of hours before everyone gets there, and then simply serving up once the party has started. Paella is a super simple dish which uses bomba or arborio rice, which is slowly cooked with saffron and white wine. Throughout the cooking stage you can add chorizo, octopus, squid, white fish, prawns and even a touch of chicken to the mix. Keep it warm in the pot and then serve up to your guests.
Chili Con Carne
This is a dish which will blow your guests away and ensure that your dinner party is a success. The dish is made using kidneys beans, onions, tomatoes and minced beef, and it is super simple to cook. You can actually make this in a slow cooker to, which makes keeping it warm easier. Brown the mince and then put into the stockpot with a liter of beef stock, add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for an hour. Serve with cream and cheddar cheese with a chunk of crusty bread, delicious.
Curry is such an easy dish to prepare and the beauty is that you can leave it simmering for a long time and then reheat without losing any flavor. I made a chicken korma for my dinner party but you could choose from any curry that you like.
Pies are perfect for a dinner party because you can prepare them ahead of time and then just bang them in the oven an hour or so before eating. My personal favorite is a Shepherd’s pie, which is warming, filling and hearty. Brown off some lamb mince and place into a casserole dish, sauté some onions and carrots and then add those to the mix before adding some vegetable stock. Finally boil some potatoes and mash them down, then layer them on top of the meat and veg in the casserole tray. The pie will take around 45 minutes to cook and just before the end you can give it a healthy coating of cheddar cheese before serving it with some additional seasonal veg.
Delicious and easy one pot meals which will give you the perfect dinner party solution.