Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw is throwing no-stress weeknight parties for anyone, anytime, and (almost) every kitchen. You're invited.
Today: Dive into your pantry, come out with a party. Here's a step-by-step plan.
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It's hard to make a pantry meal feel sexy.
Because let's face it. These are cans and bags and sacks and jars we're dealing with, not leggy asparagus, not round, perfect tomatoes. Cooking from the pantry feels more like a transaction than a dark, steamy love affair: we're putting metal to metal. We're rehydrating. We're eating straight from the jar, on the couch, without pants on.
So cooking a dinner party from the pantry feels like a cheat, a cop-out, a snub. But in the dead of winter, when all that's at the market is sad, dirty kale and gnarly celeriac and yet another towering pile of cabbage, getting re-inspired with what we already have feels like a gift. And transforming it into something that people eat with all their clothes on, in the company of other people, is thrilling. It's exciting. It's, well, sexy.
Here's how to emerge from your pantry in a tight black dress and stilettos. Invite some friends over. Right now.
When you get home from work: Get that celery braising! You can finish up the dish and leave it on the stove -- and then warm it just before serving.
Party time! When your guests have arrived, put on a pot of water to boil. Once it's rolling, drop in your pasta, get your celery warming, toss your salad, gather everyone around the table. Dinner is served!
When it's time for dessert: Whip some cream. Serve your tart. Put your feet up. Feel sexy.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).