A Few Tips
Started conversation Sep 17, 2001
Well, here are a few things that have proved sucessful for me:
>To cut down on the cooking time, make as much as you can beforehand; ie dessert which can be frozen, or marinading meat in the freezer. The latter may sound bizarre, but it works. Just put your meat and the marinating sauce in a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. Somehow, it works just as well as the old, 'leave in a warm place covered for several hours' trick.
>White wine for white meat, and red wine for red meat - this is the old rule, and it tends to be followed rigourously. However, it is not to say that a full bodied white wine can't accompany roast pork. Consider how it tastes; hence you might want to try out some wines (the fun part), and think 'will the flavour of the wine be obliterated by the dish?' and of course, vice-versa. My personal favourite is a full bodied Gamay wine with roast lamb.
>Non-alcoholics; always, always have a grape juice/fancy spritzer on standby. People may be driving home, or just not want to drink. Orange juice works well too.
>Don't try dishes that are too difficult - yes, what Delia Smith may want is 6 hours cooking time with 4 hours preparation, but hasn't she heard of the phrase, 'I want never gets'? Consider what you can do; ie boil pasta, and what you can't, eg, pheasant plucking when you only have 2 hours to go. The best dishes are ones that can be prepared simply and effectively. Although if you are at the stage when you can't boil an egg, it may be best to call a friend in to help.
>Never put the dressing on until the last moment - otherwise your salad will be as soggy as a very soggy thing by the time it reaches the table.
>Allergies - ask those who are invited if they are allergic to anything, ie seafood, , peanuts etc.
Bit long, but hope this helps!