So you’ve organised a dinner party and everything is in place apart from the menu. To achieve the fantastic dinner party you want, the main meal has got to do two things; look fantastic and taste amazing.
The first thing you need to do before even considering the menu is to know the number of guests coming and any dietary requirements they may have. Armed with this information you are not ready to choose your brilliant dinner party menu!
Here are seven brilliant dinner party dishes that create excitement, taste fantastic and add some theatre to the table.
1. Rack of lamb
Dauphinoise potatoes, tender stem broccoli and a red wine sauce.
If you plate up the dauphinoise and the tender stem broccoli it gives you a great opportunity for some theatre. On a big wooden chopping board serve the racks of lamb and carve at the table. With the sauce in a couple of sauce boats down the table. The theatre brings the whole table together and rack of lamb is very easy to carve (just slide a sharp knife down one side of the bone and repeat), 3 cutlets per person and it’s done. Looks fantastic, tastes fantastic and with the added theatre gives you the ambiance you want for a fantastic dinner party.
2. Chicken fricassee
A beautifully easy dish but made the right way with the little added touches gives you a show stopper of a main course for you dinner party. First trick, crispy chicken skin, gives the dish a crunch and a little salt to balance the dish. Place the skin on a tray in between two sheets of parchment paper put another tray on top and weigh it down and oven cook for around 15-20 mins. You will be left with beautifully cooked crispy chicken skin. Serve with new potatoes and chicken breasts on top with the fricassee of beans, pancetta, leeks in a white wine creamy sauce. Place the crispy chicken skin on top and your left with a vibrant in colour and delicious looking dinner party dish.
3. Slow roast pork belly
Crackling, colcannon mash and cider cream sauce
Cook once, press it, then cook again on the evening (this gives you perfect in size and brilliantly uniform slices for your guests) the restaurant look in your own home. A great winter dinner party dish that puts a big smile on your face as well as all your guests. The rich cider cream sauce is heavenly accompaniment with the pork belly and compliment each other extremely well.
4.Whole fillet of Beef
The sight of a whole cooked fillet put down in front of all your guests always looks spectacular. Giving your guests the choice of different sauces completes the main course and adds the theatre that you want, try a red wine sauce, bearnaise sauce and even a spicy tomato and herb sauce goes extremely well. Don’t forget mustard and horseradish on the table, as all these create a busy table for your guests to pass around sauces and eye up each others choices. A brilliant dish to do at any dinner party and works on so many levels, serve with sautéed new potatoes, green veggies.
5. Whole side of salmon
Quinoa, asparagus and lemon yoghurt dressing
A whole dressed salmon on the table always looks fantastic, accompanied by a really tasty quinoa salad and charred asparagus. The salmon just needs a good amount of seasoning and covered in thin slices of lemon. Cover with tin foil and it goes in the oven, easy as that. Cook your quinoa, then add lushes amounts of parsley, dill, spinach and watercress. Make your self a dill, parsley and lemon yoghurt dressing find a quirky bowl and fill it up. This whole meal is brilliant as it really gets your guests involved. They get given a plate with a deliciously tasty quinoa salad and char-grilled asparagus already on it. Then you bring out the whole side of salmon. A great lighter option for an evening dinner party dish that goes extremely well with an oak-aged Chardonnay or a White Pinot Noir.
6. Slow braised lamb shank
Bubble and squeak cake, honey roast parsnips and carrots with a rich red wine and shallot sauce
Everybody loves a slow cooked lamb shank and for a minimum amount of effort it gives maximum flavour. All you need for this is time! It is a great dinner party dish as you can spend more time with the guests and less time in the kitchen. Flour, egg and bread crumb your bubble and squeak cake, then fry them and pop them in the oven to warm through. Serve the lamb shank on top of your bubble and squeak cake, place your honey roasted carrots and parsnips to the side and serve your rich red wine shallot sauce in a sauce boat. Have some sprigs of rosemary to put on each plate, the heat from the lamb shank will merge with the rosemary to give the room a mouthwatering smell.
7 .Veggie Wellington (or beef)
Sauteed new potatoes, Roasted veggies and a mixture of sauces
A real show stopper! The king of all dinner party menus. Whole fillet beef wellington with a mixture of roasted veggies, sautéed new potatoes and a selection of sauces. The key to make this stand out is all in the details. Make a little design for the top of the wellington with any extra pastry and enjoy yourself with it. Get yourself a temperature probe (they work wonders and take all the guessing out of cooking perfectly cooked meat) when it reaches 135°F (57°C) – that’s medium rare and a good time to take it out of the oven.
How can P&T help?
Cooking a dinner party is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and by taking the right steps it should be just that. They are a great occasion where family and friends come together and enjoy each others company, with the accompaniment of some fantastic food and ambiance. These menu ideas are great for when your planning your next dinner party and hopefully should assist you in making the menu choices you need for a fantastic dinner party.
If you have decided what you want to serve (or perhaps you still can’t decide!) and you want to outsource the cooking – you can always get in touch with Polo & Tweed, with high calibre chefs from around the world ready and available to come and give you a fantastic dinner party guaranteed.