Need to know how to throw a last minute dinner party?
Ahh! You forgot your mates were coming over, or your in-laws, or your cousin and her new boyfriend. Maybe you just fancy getting everyone round for a last minute soirée! Fret not – I’m going to run through how to throw a killer last minute dinner party.
Since you don’t have much time, pre-made is your friend on this occasion. Here are some menu ideas you can quickly grab from most large supermarkets on your way home from work to help you pull off a top notch last minute dinner party.
What to buy: Duck terrine/pate, figs, pre-washed rocket salad, onion jam, toasts.
What to do: Leave the terrine out of the fridge for up to an hour or so before serving. This really allows the flavours to develop as it comes to room temperature & will be so much tastier for your guests. You can slice & plate this up well in advance. Rest a few slices or quarters of fig against the terrine & a spoon of sticky red onion jam. Providing everything was fridge cold to begin with & your kitchen isn’t overly warm (not a problem here in Scotland!), this can all sit out on the side while you get everything else ready. Just before serving, brush the exposed side of terrine with a little olive oil to give it a delicious sheen and place a small handful of dressed rocket on top. Serve toasts in a basket on the table for everyone to share.
What to buy: Salmon fillets, 3 Lemongrass, 2 Fresh chilli, 5cm Fresh ginger, Soy Sauce, Teriaki sauce, Sesame seeds, Mangetout, Thin egg noodles, Fresh coriander
What to do: This all comes together quickly so get your plates etc ready. Place a shallow pan of water on to simmer, bash your lemongrass & chilli a little and add to the pan, slice up some ginger and add that too along with some soy sauce to season. Leave it to gently bubble for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. In the meantime get another pan of water on for the noodles, and a steamer basket for the mangetout. Put the salmon into the simmering water for 3 minutes then turn off the heat and flip the salmon over. Leave it in there for another 3-4 minutes – it will be perfectly soft and still pink. When you flip the salmon, cook your egg noodles and place the mangetout in a steamer on top. Once cooked, drain and toss in teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds. Serve noodles on a big platter with salmon on top garnished with coriander. Mangetout on the side with extra sliced chilli.
What to buy: Meringue nests, creme fraiche, berries, mint, icing sugar
What to do: Quarter strawberries and place in a bowl with raspberries & blueberries. Sprinkle over a tbsp of icing sugar and leave to macerate for an hour or so. This will soften and sweeten the fruit a little, making a light natural syrup. When ready to serve, place a dollop of creme fraiche in the middle of the plate and pop the meringue nest on top (this will stop it sliding across the plate). Add another tbsp of creme fraiche into the meringue, followed by the macerated berries & a few sprigs of fresh mint. Finish with a final dusting of icing sugar & serve. Elegant & delicious.
Get your oven on as soon as you get home to pre-heat.
If you’re really in a pinch, a charcuterie sharing platter starter is a quick & easy option which can be dressed up with lots of lovely garnish – pickles, cheeses, salad, olives etc.
Don’t forget drinks – simple spritzers are so quick and easy