Cook This: Saturday's Dinner Party Plan

May  2, 2011

Planning a dinner party in advance (even just mentally) makes the end of your week as relaxing as it should be. Carve out this warm weather meal tonight and all you'll have to worry about is where to market and who to invite. And, whether the weather's warm enough to fire up the grill, of course.

The Menu:

Mint Limeade by vvvanessa

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Mint Limeade

Okay, we know this particular recipe's alcohol-free, but we figured (since vvvanessa is a self-professed "barkeep") it would work beautifully with a shot of tequila (or even gin or vodka) in each glass. 


Grilled (or Broiled) Oysters with Sriracha Lime Butter by melissav

Grilled (or Broiled) Oysters with Sriracha Lime Butter

The spice and zest of the lime butter makes these outside (or inside!) oysters taste like a summer night. Stand around and eat these as you wait for the main course to finish (cocktails in hand, of course.)


Misoyaki Roast Chicken with Shoyu Onion Sauce by timWuNotWoo

Misoyaki Roast Chicken with Shoyu Onion Sauce

This addictive sweet and savory chicken uses a miso grill marinade ("misoyaki" in Japanese) which timWuNotWoo discovered was fabulous on chicken. There's also some heat here, so if you're looking for a starch, how about some jasmine rice or couscous on the side?


Asparagus with Shallots, Chiles, and Lemon by amanda

Asparagus with Shallots, Chiles, and Lemon

We could not resist including this springy recipe -- between the shallots and the chiles, it's the perfect accompaniment to both the oysters and the chicken.


Toasted Coconut Gelato by NicoleCLang

Toasted Coconut Gelato


The Plan:

Things you can do in advance:

• Make and freeze the gelato.

• Prepare the mint limeade syrup toward the end of the week (just add the booze and fresh lime when serving).

• Make the Sriracha lime butter -- warning: you will want to use it on everything. Just be sure to leave enough for the oysters!

• Marinate that chicken (overnight).


Things to do the day of:

• Market!

• Roast your chicken and prepare the sauce. Make rice or couscous. Saute your asparagus.

• Once your friends arrive, pour and spike those drinks and grill or broil your oysters. People love to watch.

With a little labor knocked out in advance, you will, no doubt, enjoy your own dinner. It shouldn't be hard to be festive -- you just need a plan!

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