Feeding people is really just a sequence of tasks that adds up to a meal. Calmly following steps can hardly help but lead to success. That’s the whole idea with this menu, prepared in advance over the days leading up to your gathering, and finished off just before you eat.
Take my Inside-out Chicken Parmigiana for instance, it’s an impressive but easy chicken dish, with classic pub flavours and a little extra pizzazz. It’s easy to prepare ahead, then finish off when guests arrive or the family is clamouring.
Plan ahead music
Plan Ahead doesn’t exactly suggest a thematic direction for music but I was feeling funk and soul vibes as I was putting this playlist together. There’s a bit of Aretha Franklin, some Stevie Wonder and some Kool and the Gang for good measure. Hope you dig it!
Ah come on, you’ve done well to get this meal on the table with your busy life! Don’t worry about theming it up too much. For a meal like this, I’d happily place a stack of plates on the table or bench and fill tins or jugs with cutlery for everyone to help themselves. Be relaxed and your guests will be sure to match your unruffled demeanour.
The Togarashi is such a handy condiment – we sprinkle it over oysters in this menu but you could serve it with the main course for a bit of extra kick over the roasted potatoes. The Almond Thins can be served as nibbles but I prefer them at the end of the meal with cheese. I just love the Inside-Out Chicken Parmigiana – video coming soon! The Peanut Butter Parfait is stunning but another idea for dessert is the Black and White Chocolate Tartufo from the Party chapter – they’re a bit fiddly but so amazing.
I’ve got heaps more make-ahead dishes right here at Dani Valent Cooking, available to all my lovely subscribers. Favourites include the Thai Beef Ribs with Coconut Rice, which you get in the oven and forget about. The Hainanese Chicken is an ‘OMG what did you do to that chicken?!’ winner – you can have it cooked and flash it on the grill or barbecue at the last minute. Beef Rotolo is a red-meat spin on the Parmigiana.
I’ll be offering wine packs and pre-mixed cocktails soon. In the meantime, you could start with an icy cold sparkling wine to match the oysters and arancini, then move onto a red wine to complement the robust flavours of the chicken. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot or barbaresco will all do the job.
I love seeing dishes you’re making from this menu. Make sure to tag #ewdv – That’s ‘entertaining with Dani Valent’ of course :)