Does anything beat a dinner party? This may once have been something your parents did, but the moment you have kids, you’ll come to understand why. Adult responsibilities mean you can’t just hit the town with mates whenever you fancy. Instead, we have to stay in for the kids. Before you know, it’s dinner parties or nothing if you want to catch up with friends.
Lucky for you, hosting a dinner party can be more fun than you imagine. They’re a wonderful and chilled way to catch up, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than going out to a club. That’s not to say this is a walk in the park. If you want your party to go off with a bang, you’ll need to put a fair amount of effort into what you’re cooking. A dinner party with dud food isn’t guaranteed to lead to a good evening. If the food falls flat, you can bet your atmosphere won’t be far behind.
Of course, getting food right is about more than your main course. While the starter is an afterthought for many, getting this right could be all it takes to ensure your evening is a success. This is what breaks the ice, after all. It’s also what your guests eat when they’re hungriest. With that in mind, consider the following options to impress.
There’s nothing fishy about fish
For the most part, a starter with fish as the main ingredient will go down well. A quick look at recipes for starters reveals that we just can’t get enough. Whether you’re doing pan fried scallops like those found at citarella.com, or mini fishcakes, you’re onto a winner. Of course, the secret here is in the cooking. It’s all too easy to get fish wrong. You want scallops browned but not chewy, and fish crisp but still flaky. Master that, and you’ll have guests eating out of the palm of your hand. Literally.
If you really want to impress, it may be worth pulling a souffle out of the bag. Due to the high-risk factor of these, they’re always an excellent way to wow your guests. A perfectly risen souffle see a silence of admiration from everyone at your table. Of course, that risk factor also means your starter could flatten with the atmosphere. A good way around this would be to opt for a souffle you can prepare ahead of time, like those found at www.recipetineats.com. Otherwise, you know what they say about practice…
Build your own beauties
It may also be worth going all out with a starter your guests can build themselves. This ensures you don’t spend ages in the kitchen when they first arrive. It can also be a fantastic way to break the ice if guests don’t all know each other. Options here could include build-your-own bruschetta or crispy duck pancakes. These options may seem simplistic, but you can bet your guests will remember them for a long time to come.