I hosted a girls dinner last night. Yes, I hosted a dinner party on a Wednesday night. I’m crazy like that. But not as crazy as it might seem, you see – I had some tricks up my sleeve. And I’m going to share them with you, so you too can host a mid-week dinner party and not be completely stressed out by it.
Now, let me start by saying that the amazing women I hosted last night are wonderful friends and have been for more than half my life, so I wasn’t all that worried about the house being entirely perfect. Yes, I cleaned and shoved things into closets to ‘tidy’ up, but I was more focused on spending time with friends and of course, the meal.
To make sure I could relax, enjoy time with my friends, and not be stuck in the kitchen, I did some of prep and cooking the night before.
Here’s how it worked:
- On Monday night, I made up my favourite marinade for Flank steak and popped it into the fridge.
- On Tuesday night, I cooked up the steak, and chopped and grilled all the veggies (red, yellow, and orange pepper, zucchini, and red onion)
- On Tuesday night, I pulled the shrimp out the freezer and put them in a marinade of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, cilantro, and some crushed red pepper flakes. This sat in the fridge overnight.
- Also on Tuesday night, I made up a big batch of quinoa. This was cooked with a bit of Madras Curry Powder to add a bit of zip.
- Once the quinoa and veggies were done, I mixed the two up and put them into the serving bowl covered with wrap – all ready for serving up the next night.
- The steak was cooked, I let it rest on the cutting board for a few minutes and then wrapped it (whole) in foil for the fridge.
- On Wednesday night, all that was left to do was quickly fire up the barbecue and cook the marinated shrimp and also some fresh asparagus.
- Oh, and slice the steak – thinly and against the grain (key!) – I served it cold along with the quinoa w veg.
- and …Voila! Dinner was done!
I served it up buffet style and we all enjoyed it outside.
And then of course for dessert, fresh Ontario peaches…heaven on a hot summer night.
It was wonderful to spend time with great friends. It’s amazing how sharing a meal with friends can feed the soul. Don’t you agree?
About the author: Heather is part of the Canada Beef communications team and tweets as @CanadianBeef. She lives with her husband and their two dogs in house with a great kitchen. She cooks a lot and loves learning all the ways to enjoy Canadian beef.