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.
2 cupsPeas frozen green thawed
1/3 cupCream heavy
2 TbspFlour all-purpose
1 TbspSugar white
Can prepare this side ahead of time and refrigerate. Take out of refrigerator 2 hours ahead of time, and then place in a 225 degree oven 1 hour prior to serving.
Time: 30 Minutes prior to target time
In a medium saucepan, combine peas, water, and salt. Bring to boil, then stir in butter.
In a small bowl, whisk together cream, flour, and sugar. Stir mixture into peas. Cook over medium-high heat until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Place on the counter so that you can spoon creamed peas onto the plate with the rest of the servings. You can also pass the peas at the table.