Every time I have friends come over for a party, my first instinct is to make a helluvalot of food. Like a good host, my concern is always about everyone’s appetite and if they’re hungry or not. What can I say? I’m a product of my environment—my mother would do the same thing. So here’s what I had on the menu when I had my first ever dinner party at my apartment for my friends!
I had just acquired a crock pot, and I knew I had to try it out as soon as I could. It was a simple pot roast that I just kind of experimented with. I started by sauteing beef in a pan, then deglazed it with a red wine (shiraz), then poured it right into the crock pot! I also put in some pearl onions, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, a bay leaf, and bam—you’re ready to just go about your day while that bad boy cooks on its own.
The other big ticket item in my meal was a roasted chicken. Don’t worry, I bought it from the store already cooked—I’m not at roasting level yet—but I did make three sauces to go with it: a simple garlic and parmesan sauce, a blue cheese cream sauce, and a roasted red pepper cream sauce. The garlic sauce was literally garlic in olive oil that was slowly sauteing, and when ready to serve, add grated parmesan to it. Simple! The cheese sauce was made by boiling cream, and as soon as it started to bubble, add your crumbs of whatever cheese you’d like, and voila! Finally, the pepper sauce was simply blending cream, slices of roasted bell pepper, and a little hot sauce, and some brown sugar to counteract it all.
I started out the meal with a couscous salad with bell peppers and onions—I threw in some spring greens too. Other things on the menu were crab rangoons, vegetable tempura, and my mom’s “pancit” that I saved from when she visited during my birthday—a Filipino rice noodle dish with pork, chicken, and lots of vegetables.
Add a couple bottles of wine, and the dinner party was ready! Based on the empty plates afterwards, I’d say it was a major success! This was a sign of things to come, obviously. Looks like I’m gonna have to invest in more recipes and host more parties!