So you think pasta is the most efficient dish to serve for last-minute dinner parties? Well, you’re not wrong, but there are other alternatives to time-saving and cost-effective (yet, delicious!) meals to serve to your guests. Casseroles have been an American staple for decades and the possibilities are endless. For last week’s dinner party, my friend Ciara and I whipped up our take on a classic tuna casserole and it was absolutely divine.Read More »
For our most recent dinner party, my friend Ciara helped me make youvetsi, a classic Greek stew that uses meat, orzo, and Greek tomato paste (which has the perfect consistency and flavor). It comes to no surprise that Ciara can easily whip up such an authentic dish: ever since she married into a Greek family, her Greek cooking skills have skyrocketed. She’s already a natural in the kitchen, and she’s proven that her cooking capabilities can transition to any type of dish and cuisine.
Traditionally made with lamb, we opted to use beef shoulder for our recipe. Because it cooks for a long time and at a low temperature, we were able to go for a cheaper cut of meat and still have it turn out incredibly tender. This was also my first time using orzo, a short-cut pasta that resembles rice.
While it’s known to be a stew, the consistency of youvetsi is more comparable to an Italian risotto. We presented the plates with a side of feta cheese to allow our guests to sprinkle it on their serving. It was quite the honor when Ciara’s husband took his first bite and immediately gave his seal of approval.
Our Friday night dinner parties are a hosting tradition that Joe and I constantly look forward to. Our base invitees always include our dear friends, Ciara and Bill. We expect them at our place so often that it almost feels off-beat when they can’t make it for one of their Friday evening visits. Luckily, the non-visiting situation is rare and our weekly get-togethers become these type of double-date nights where the four of us just dine, chat, and catch up. Sometimes though, they consist of a larger guest list where a few of our other friends will drop by to help us wind-down and wrap-up our busy work-week.
A couple of Fridays ago, we hosted a taco night which is something we love to do when we’re tight on time. It gives us a chance to offer our guests an interactive and free-for-all dinner. My favorite part of serving tacos is Joe’s homemade guacamole. I have a slight allergy to avocados but I can’t help but devour his creamy take on the recipe (filled with onions, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice). I take one for the team and join the others in adding the guacamole to my plate, allowing it to act like a side dish. My allergy can sometimes give me a bit of a tummy ache, so I always watch my helpings (it’s all in moderation, my friends).
Also, my tacos are always stuffed with cheese. Always.
How do you usually spend your Friday nights?