|Having a dinner party
Having a dinner party for your share house is what real fun is all about. there are so many different types of parties that you can throw. You can have a small intimate one, all depending on the size of your house or you can throw a lavished party and invite all your friends. There are caterers that you can use that will set something up (one that I like is Mrs. B's Country Concierge, they do a great job) and take care of all the necessary arrangements or you can cook and do it yourself. I run a large house and usually throw a big dinner party on Saturday Nights when everybody is present and accounted for. A good time is around seven or eight that gives people enough time to shower and come back from the beach. You can also have cocktails first which is kind of nice it gives people a little time to mingle before hand. If you don't want to cater it you have to cook it the other of the two C's. If you don't know how to cook don't be intimidated there are allot of simple things that you can prepare that are easy and taste great. When I first started having dinner parties I was overwhelmed. My house is huge up to fifteen people a weekend. I made the mistake of doing the shopping and the cooking all by myself by the six or seventh party I was burned out and wanted to cry. The trick is to get other house mates to help you. At first you might get some resistance but I find your house mates are usually willing to help. I like to set up certain tasks for different people. Delegate different tasks like who will shop, who will chop and who will set up up the grill (please tell me you have a grill). Also collect money before hand or save the receipts and put then in a bowl to split up later.
Ok now lets get down to the nitty gritty. What are you going to cook? I like to make something that's relatively healthy. My menu usually consists of fish grilled, a nice large salad, possibly corn if it's in season and my specialty baked rosemary potatoes (there so tasty and they make the best home fries the next morning). You can also have desert but don't spend to much time on dessert just buy a nice country pie and some vanilla ice cream. You can also offer chicken as any alternative if some people don't like seafood. Also try and but some nice fresh cut flowers on the table and a couple of candles long ones if you can find them (I hope Im not turning into the male Martha Steward).
Preparing the food
What I like to do first of course other people will be helping you by now. I'll just say what I like to do it's alot easier. Ok what I like to do first is marinate the fish. I usually buy the fish from a fish market . There's a place I go to called the fish farm its off a road called Cranberry Hole road off route 27 on the way to Montauk. I usually buy fish chunks and make shish-kabobs and put some cheery tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and onions on and throw them on the grill. If you don't want Shish Kabobs buy steaks they also work well, make sure there are no bones. I find that salmon, Tuna(skip tuna if you are on a budget) and sword fish work really well. Another benefit to cooking dinner is that it 's so much cheaper than going out. For about 10-15 dollars a person you can really stuff yourself as instead of to 25-45 at a restaurant. Lets get back to the marinade I usually just mix teriyaki lemon and that's it. Let the fish sit in it for an hour or so and put it in the fridge. Oh yeah some one needs to cut up the peppers and onions they can do this while there preparing the salad.
The second thing I like to do is to prepare the rosemary potatoes since they take the longest to cook about an hour to an hour and a half. Buy red skin potatoes cut them up into half or quarters and make sure you wash them well. then slice up one at least one carton of mushrooms. Mix the tatters and the schrooms together in a deep tin foil disposable cooking tray. Then throw in allot of rosemary (fresh rosemary is the best they usually have it at the supermarket or farmers market). Fresh rosemary you have to wash and remove from the stems, it s easy once you get the hang of it. Once everything is together douce the mixture with allot of virgin olive oil, some teriyaki, salt and a little pepper. Mix it all thoroughly I use my hands and feet it's easier. Then cover the tray with tinfoil and put it into a 350 degree preheated oven. You must stir them up every half hour, don't be afraid to taste them to see if they need more salt. The roasted potatoes are ready when there soft in the middle and brown and crispy on the outside.
You can also make some corn if you like. Corn only takes 8-10 minute to cook (it's a no brainer). Get other people to clean it since your in charge.
Half way through cooking the roast potatoes start the grill if you have a gas grill your lucky but if you have the cheapy grill where you have to use charcoal don't worry I think charcoal tastes better. Make sure the coals are white hot before you start cooking. You don't even need lighter fluid I use these really cool things they're metal tubes that you put the charcoal in the top and newspaper in the bottom and light them up. They take about twenty minutes or so to get the coals nice and hot, then just dump them out on the grill and flatten them out. Once the potatoes are three quarters done about an hour later and the coals are nice and hot now is the time to throw the fish on (either the kabobs or steaks). Fish usually cooks pretty quickly about 7-15 minutes. The kabobs take about 15-20 minutes. Very important make sure the grill is relatively clean and oiled. Just put some olive oil on a paper towel and rub it on "oh baby" rub it on the grill. There's nothing worse than food that sticks. By this time hope fully the salad is ready and waiting. A nice salad dressing consist of olive oil, red wine vinegar and a little mustard and some oregano and fresh ground pepper. Hopefully you used romaine lettuce and maybe some spinage not iceberg lettuce.
OK now that the fish is done and the rosemary potatoes are cooked and you have a great big salad and corn now its time to eat. I think sitting down at the table with all your friends is the way to go but if your having allot of guests sometimes it's easier to have a buffet and let the line begin. Last summer when it was really hot out we brought the table outside and ate under the stars. It was the best.
Remember cook anything you like just enjoy and have lots of fun! Keep the recipes coming