The best way to enjoy a party is to divide chores between spouses, one should tend to the food and one should be in charge of the drinks.
Better yet invest in getting a helping hand from a professional waiter. Shop around and you might find that a couple hundred dollars can go a long way to make your life easier: from greeting guests, serving, to the final cleanup, it can all be prearranged.
A must-have when guests arrive is a “welcoming drink” such as red or white wine, beer, water, and a premixed cocktail ready to be poured. Also, knowing your guests preferences is imperative as it doesn’t make sense to go crazy with cocktails if you have beer fanatics.
Now that we have taken care of beverages, we can move on to munchies. Some Parmigiano nuggets, toasted garlic bread, hummus dip, dry cured sausages and olives are always safe choices.
Next step to your dinner party planning is the meal preparation. A squash flan can be prepared ahead of time and to garnish use some wilted kale with dry cranberries as it only takes a few seconds to complete. The bulk of its flavour comes from the flan itself and it is a very popular item at Mistura in our Fall menu.
For the main course, you can never go wrong with a favourite Holiday serving such as a roasted turkey. It is not a very popular year round course due its size, but makes a tasty treat for gatherings.
TIP: Have your butcher debone the turkey completely and flatten it out while keeping the skin intact. Then, fill it with the stuffing and roast it carefully. This technique will save a third of the time baking and the meat won’t taste dry.
As dessert is also an important course, I prepared a panna cotta with roasted pears. A simple touch of good balsamic or glaze completes this dessert. Panna cotta is a relatively new invention but has become a favorite amongst diners. The name panna cotta means cooked cream and it implies a heavy creamy dessert but it is a gentle light concoction sure to please all your guests.
Photography by Stephani Buchman