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Now that Food52's Editorial Assistant Brette Warshaw has stocked her First Kitchen, she's ready to throw parties in it: no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.
Today: The party to throw when everyone wants take-out, with a step-by-step tutorial.
“Ugh, let’s just order take-out.”
If my life were a musical -- and oh, how I wish it was -- this would be the chorus’ constant refrain: the one whispered in the library as the sun starts to set; belted while passing the grocery store, tired and achey; muttered while laying on the couch, arms splayed, feet up, eyes closed.
But on a night like this, when the chorus of “take out take out take out” is rising higher and higher, and a pile of greasy take-out boxes is sounding tempting, do the unthinkable: invite the chorus over for a dinner party.
Now boogie on home and get cooking -- because you can do better. And because no sentence about dinner should contain the word “ugh.”
As soon as you get home: Put on some showtunes and start prepping. Slice the vegetables for your spring rolls and pad thai. Make the dipping sauce – and feel free to omit the mango (I did, opting for the ingredients that I could simply dump and stir together, and adding sugar to taste.). Steam your shrimp, and set aside in the fridge.
A half hour before showtime: Get your rice pudding simmering on the stove. You want it to be room temperature when it’s time to serve it.
Before your guests arrive: Soak your noodles and your wrappers. Arrange the ingredients for your spring rolls in pretty bowls on your kitchen table.
When your guests arrive: Teach your chorus how to roll the spring rolls, and then put them to work. Leave them chatting at your kitchen table while you finish your pad thai.
Pop in a sheet pan of fried eggs using the oven method. Top each bowl of pad thai with an egg, bring them to the table, and smile at the mound of messy-beautiful spring rolls on your table. Dinner is served.
Got any leftovers? Send your friends home with them -- in take-out boxes.