We have found hosting a dinner party without auxiliary help to be a bit tricky. If we are assuming the roles of both host and cook ,we have to divide our time between work in the kitchen and having a socializing presence where we can engage in pre-dinner conversation.
We can’t be in two places at once, so I have found it’s ideal to have the food cooking and much of the preparation done before the guests arrive. As an example, if the entrée is beef bourguignon, we would assemble and begin cooking the dish about five hours ahead of the time prior to the meal being served. We would prepare casseroles of potatoes and some creamed vegetables the day before, so each could be taken out of the refrigerator and popped into the oven at the proper time. When ready, the entrée and sides can simply be plated and served to each guest seated at our table.
Below is a simple recipe for what I call an “ahead of time” side. If you are hosting a dinner party and employ the concepts described above, your guests won’t feel abandoned by their hosts once they’ve arrived and are inside your door.
Creamed Vegetable Corn
32 oz.Corn frozen
1 cupCream whipping
To tasteKosher salt and pepper
Prepare ahead of time (usually the morning or early afternoon of the dinner).
Time: Morning of the dinner
Place all of the ingredients but the butter in a 2-qt. casserole or oval baker.
Cut butter in pats and place on top.
Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.
Time: 2.5 Hours before serving
Remove from refrigerator.
Time: 90 Minutes before serving
Have oven preheated to 400 degrees.
Place covered baker or casserole in the oven and cook for 60 minutes.
Remove aluminum foil and cook for 30 minutes more.
Remove from oven. May have to spoon out excess liquid, and the serve.
Place on the counter so you can plate the creamed corn with the rest.