Favorite (relatively simple) Party or Housewarming Dish
I lean more towards the baking side of things then the straight up cooking side when it comes to wowing from the kitchen. I'm hosting a house warming party and while I have plenty of ideas of things to make, I feel like I'm constantly coming up with the same things over and over. This is where the board comes in and the wonderful regional favorites and differences in background for influence.
My question, as stated by the topic, is what is/are some of your favorite and relatively simple party or housewarming dishes to make? Please no cocktails or the like. Bonus if you can point myself and others towards a tried and true recipe.
I'm doing a housewarming/welcome home party for my cousin who is returning from a stint in Afghanistan next month. The menu is not quite nailed down yet but so far I'm doing:
Beef cocktail sausages with a hot & sweet sauce
Grilled assorted pizzas (he has a huge brick grill in his yard that I'll be manning)
Pulled Turkey BBQ with assorted homemade rolls
Spanish rice & beans
Marinated veggie salad
My cousin, who makes the best carolina vinegar bbq sauce may be making his famous grilled chicken and since it'll be October & the party is going to be a combination of inside/outside (with the grilling and all), I'm debating a fish and or seafood stew to ward off the chill. Desserts so far is undetermined.
This cheesy artichoke bread was a HUGE hit at my superbowl party last year. You could make the filling the day before. I used the food processor, adding all the filling ingredients except the artichoke hearts and processing till smooth, then adding the artichokes and pulsing to leave them a bit chunky. ETA link: http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/201...
The other thing that always goes over well is a baked ham, with an assortment of small breads and rolls, various mustards, and possibly some cheese, so people can slice their own ham and make little sandwiches. I've never figured out why this is so popular but I suspect it's because few people want to commit themselves to eating a whole baked ham so they never have one. Obviously if you go on-line and get a fancy ham (Nueske's makes amazing ones) it will be stunning, but even the supermarket spiral sliced hams are awfully good. Trick to reheating is to cover the baking dish in which the ham sits very tightly with foil and heat in a low oven (300 or so) only till just barely heated though -- you want to be sure you don't dry it out. I throw away the glaze packet but I do stick in lots of whole cloves before reheating. And the big bonus is that later you will have a ham bone to make soup.
I have always loved artichoke squares and they are super easy to make. Buy a small (or large) wheel of brie and wrap it in puff pastry, you could add something on top of the brie before the puff such as cranberries and chopped pecans or sundried tomatoes and pesto, bake it off and I promise you it will be devoured.
Here is the recipe I use. I got it somewhere on the web but don't recall where.
2 cups jarred artichokes, drained
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove chopped garlic
2 tblspn fresh lemon juice
1 tblspn chopped oregano
4 lg eggs
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 lb grated Asiago
Grease an 8 inch square dish and line with parchment.
In food processor pulse first 6 ingredients until finely chopped but NOT pureed. Add remaining ingredients individually pulsing after each addition. Scrape into prepared pan. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Cool before cutting into squares and store in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve cold or at room temp.
So good and so easy!
Dumplings (jiaoxi, guotie, potstickers, gyoza etc) are really popular especially if guests get plates but they're a PITA to make and cook in large numbers especially if you want to hang out with your guests.
You could do a temaki-sushi bar or fish tacos, which would leave the impetus on your guests to serve themselves. Gravlaks and accompaniments would also work and wouldn't take too much time either (Andreas Viestad has a nice gravlaks cure in his Kitchen of Light cookbook).
Or do a 70s throwback and serve Swedish meatballs in a chafing dish.