The easiest festive meal I know how to cook is Greek-themed. I’ve already blogged several of these recipes: Now it’s time to put them together. For this party, I plan to serve Dolmathes and Figs Stuffed with Cheese and Nuts as easy appetizers; a main meal of Greek Salad, Roast Potatoes, Basmati Rice, Souvlaki skewers, and Tzatziki with Pita Bread, and Baklava for dessert.
This meal works perfectly with the Greek white wine known as Retsina (which tastes like rubbing alcohol) or with one of the Sangria recipes I posted a few days ago; be sure to offer plenty of sparkling water, too. So here’s how to proceed!
(Postscript: One day after writing about lamb skewers from Costco, Ron and I cooked some. The quality was appalling. The meat fell off the skewers in small bits; the marinade was overly spiced and salted. Although our experience with Costco’s pork skewers has been positive, I can not recommend Costco’s lamb skewers.)
And what to serve after this delicious meal? Tomorrow, I’ll give you my version of what has been called Greece’s national coffee, the fabulous Café Frappe.
Guidelines and Tips:
I love to cook, so often become over-enthusiastic (Translation: Unrealistic) about how much time I need to fulfill my grandiose plans (I’ll carve butter into swans!). When I plan and think through my ambitious menus, I invariably cut one or two dishes as too time-consuming to make or too much food to serve.
If I make one very elaborate dish, I make sure the rest of the meal I’ve planned for my Dinner Party are convenience foods or easy make-aheads.
Planning a menu is like packing for vacation - after you lay everything out on the bed, consider how much will fit in your suitcase, how heavy it will be to lug around, and what compromises you can make.
I don’t normally do “potlucks,” but the older I get, the more appealing they are! Potlucks also have the added plus of making everyone who brings a dish feel “included.”
If you have a dinner party that you remember with fondness, drop me a note at the email address next to my profile and tell me what you or your host did that was special! Be sure to include an email address where I can reach you if I have questions; I won’t share your address with a soul! And P.S.: I’ve done several other blogs on Dinner Party Guidelines and Tips. You’ll find them under that heading in the Index.
|Start your meal with a make-ahead Greek Salad.|
|Let your potatoes roast as you enjoy pre-dinner nibbles.|
|Your potatoes will be ready when you are.|
|Electric rice cookers turn off automatically, but keep rice warm.|
|These marinated and skewered Souvlakis are a bargain!|
|As the only dish that needs on-the-spot cooking, they're quick!|
|Presenting ... Your Greek dinner!|
Click on the photo to enlarge it.
|Cut flowers add a splash of color to any table. These were |
simple and inexpensive, offsetting my vinyl tablecloth.
|I bought this china in a thrift store! Think creatively!|
|Here's the Baklava! A little goes a long way.|
|Consider colorful packets of herbal tea within the|
evening's color palate: God is in the details!