5 Dinner Party Necessities
Dinner parties are a great way to get together with friends and share some intimate conversations over food and drinks. The more delicious and longer the meal is drawn out, the better. Here are five areas on which you can focus your energies, so as to create the perfect ambience for an evening to remember.
1. Pizza Stone – Great Homemade Pizzas
Real pizza from a restaurant is delicious, and part of that comes from the specially designed pizza oven inside which the pizza is cooked. You cannot realistically hope to emulate that at home unless you are extremely wealthy. However, what you can do is purchase a pizza stone on to which you can place your homemade dough. This will help you make a killer base. The toppings are of secondary importance, really; the primary concern is the base. Pizza stones tend to be composed of raw ceramic, with the advantage of being able to absorb all the excess moisture from the dough, leaving you with a crisp, perfectly cooked base. Making your own delicious pizza is within reach – go for it. Your guests will love it.
2. Pasta Maker – Authentic Homemade Pasta
Making your own pasta, like grinding your own coffee, leads to a fresher tasting product. Pasta makers are not particularly expensive and the amount of satisfaction and enjoyment you’ll get from it over the years makes it worth the purchase. You just need to make sure it doesn’t dry out; in order to prevent that, simply place it in the refrigerator. You can even add in your own coloring using squid ink pasta, beetroot, or spinach. Like baking, it’s a great activity for children to assist with – they can get their hands stuck right into the process and even learn a bit more about Italian culture along the way. Your friends will certainly be impressed. Ravioli, gnocchi, tagliatelle, tortellini; all made by you!
3. Pressure Cooker – Quick And Easy Meals That Taste Great
Cooking via steam as opposed to flame is a great way of extracting the maximum in terms of flavor from often underused items. A chicken carcass, for example, can be placed in a pressure cooker and in just thirty minutes give you a delicious chicken soup. Stews and chowder are also much easier to make when produced through a pressure cooker. It works due to trapped steam which quickly becomes twice as pressurized as the regular atmosphere, making the inner heat not only very hot but also more consistently hot for cooking. It works wonders with bony meats because the collagen in the bones wilts under its pressure, thus intensifying the rich creaminess of the food. Yum!
4. Spiralizer – Unique Healthy Options
Using spiralizer for vegetables is good for health; you end up eating more without noticing, while you can add a garnish of which there are many varieties, and it just looks so aesthetically pleasing. Think about it; would you rather have big blocky vegetables or stylishly serrated spirals of sophistication? Your guests will be receiving that extra bit of quality and panache, as well as a boosted metabolism, all thanks to those vegetables which are high in folates. The higher content of dietary fiber in many vegetables also aids digestion and consequently leads to a less bloated feeling at the end of a good meal. The conversation will flow more comfortably as a result.
5. Ice Cream Maker – Win Your Guests Over With Dessert
What better way to end a delicious meal with good company than to serve up some sumptuous, homemade ice cream? An ice cream maker will enable you to create gelatos, sorbets, frozen yogurts, or just regular soft ice cream. You can cater specifically for your guests rather than relying on generic store-bought products. The cheaper sort requires you to churn the initial mixture in a special bowl, then leave it to chill for 24 hours. The more expensive kind have built-in freezers which actually do the cooling process as you go along. Either way, you can add in many varieties of things, from biscuits and nuts to berries and chocolate chips. A great ice-cream is the perfect way to round off a meal and will soothe the palette if you’ve been treating your guests to something a little spicy. Alternatively, if you really wish to push the boat out, lemon sorbet could be served between courses, as a palette cleanser. Now that really would turn the evening into a 5* experience to remember.
Overall, it is the company that counts, not the food. However, by making that extra effort and avoiding pre-packaged, processed food, you will be treating your guests to something special; showing them that they’re worth it and that you’re willing to honor them by going out of your way. It’s also far healthier when you make things from scratch; thankfully, these days we have the tools to make this happen.