FOOD FUN LOVE

FOOD FUN LOVE

Dinner Party at Home with Chef Jojo

One might think I would be tired when I get home after cooking all day. But the truth of the matter is, I truly LOVE cooking, and moreover, I enjoy having friends over for lunch, dinner or simply cocktails and appetizers. Sharing food and conversation around the table is one of my most favorite things to do in life.

 

After working in catering for over 22 years, I have learnt to plan menus that allow me to entertain and spend time with my guests rather than spend all my time in the kitchen. So today, I thought I would share two simple menus with a timeline of how I’d go about preparing them so that you can impress your guests, while enjoying your time together with them.

Day Before

One day prior to your scheduled dinner, use your time to prepare the hummus and dressing and store covered in the refrigerator. 

 

You can also use the day before to make the meringue clouds. Refrigerate and store these as well.

Day Of

The morning of your gathering place the salmon on a sheet tray and top it with za’atar and olive oil. 

 

Prepare carrot sticks and place in bowl and cover.

 

Cut pita and place in basket and cover.

 

Prepare salad and put it in a bowl and cover with damp towel.

 

Whip the cream for dessert and place in refrigerator.

 

Prepare potato, tomato, zucchini gratin in a shallow dish.

 

Set the table. Quite often I will make a place card and perch it inside half a lemon.

Before Guests Arrive

Before guest arrive put the hummus, carrots and bread on your coffee table.

 

Put the potato dish in the oven at 350 degrees. It will take about an hour to cook.

After Guests' Arrival

Fifteen minutes before you seat guests, put the salmon in the oven at 450 degrees.

 

Keep the potatoes in the oven as you add the salmon. The added heat will crust the top of the potatoes while the salmon takes 12 minutes to cook. Remove both from oven.

 

Toss the salad. Place potato dish on dining room table with salad. Place salmon on each guest’s plate, sprinkling with citrus olive oil and garnishing with capers and za’atar.

 

When you get to dessert, top the pavlova with whipped cream and berries with some mint to garnish.

garlicky hummus
onion gratin
berry pavlova

Day Before

Prepare the salad dressing, make the cake and whisk mascarpone cream and refrigerate.

Day Of

The morning of the gathering, grill the asparagus and poach the potatoes.

 

Peel and cut two oranges and one grapefruit into segments, using them to decorate the top of the cake.

 

Place racks of lamb with mustard rosemary rub on sheet pan.

 

Again, set your table early so you can give yourself some me time before your guests arrive.

Prepare the salad and cover with a damp towel and refrigerate. 

Before Guests Arrive

Set tomatoes, tequila, and spices in bowls on a tray and accompany them with small skewers. Serve on your coffee table with cocktail napkins.

 

Place asparagus on platter, adding shaved parmesan along the bottom of the stems and decorate with edible flowers.

After Guests' Arrival

Thirty minutes before you want to seat your guests place the lamb in the oven at 400 degrees.

 

Toss salad with cucumber, avocado, croutons, parmesan and dressing and place on the dining table with asparagus platter.

 

Put the potatoes in the microwave with some butter to heat through. Garnish with fresh dill and cracked black pepper. Place on dining room table.

 

Carve the lamb into double chops and place on each guest’s plate with a bunch of fresh rosemary.

 

When it is time for dessert, bring out the cake and cut it into slices, topping with a dollop of cream and serve.

cherry tomatoes
asparagus
new potatoes
roast lamb

Cheers to planning things ahead of time so you can enjoy your dinner parties again! Let me know if you try any of these menus or you have any other fabulous entertaining ideas I should know about!

 

XO

 

Chef Jojo

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