ISO ideas for interactive dinner party.
Hi. I have hosted a dinner party for the same group of people every year for the past few years. I have always come up with some way for the guests to be involved in the preparations in the kitchen in a fun way, but I am running out of ideas for this year. Some things we have done are:
- make your own pizza
- make your own sushi
- I put out veggies and different meats and skewers, and they "built" their own shish kebobs, which we grilled
- extensive salad bar
- pasta bar
- I put out puff pastry and fruit, chocolate and fillings and they created their own desserts that baked while we ate food that I had prepared
- taco bar
Anyone out there have any suggestions? Thanks so much!!
I know you've already decided on your theme, bu I just wanted to say that I've had a lot of luck with a make-your-own spring roll party. Put out a ton of fillings and dips, an urn and a big bowl for hot water in which to soften the rice paper wrappers, and instruct the crowd on rolling them. It's a lot of chopping for you beforehand, but doesn't require any cooking during the party itself.
Okonomiyaki party! We've done this with an assortment of possible traditional and not-so-traditional fillings on hand (seafood, bacon, corn, kimchi, natto, etc.). It's easy because there's a fixed "base" (each batch gets an egg, some cabbage, green onion, pickle, tenkasu flakes) and people can just choose what to add to the batter, and whether to put seafood, bacon etc. on the top side when it's put down. It's also good because one finished pancake can be shared in small pieces, so everyone can easily share each other's combinations, without having to wait their own turn before they can eat.
The only downside is that unless you have an extremely well ventilated kitchen, everyone will definitely come away with the smell of okonomiyaki frying on their clothes :)
We've done a few of the "build your own" dinners with friends over, including the pizza and tacos. Here are a few others that we've done and enjoyed:
-Make your own mac and cheese; we did this mostly with just mix ins (various veggies, grilled chicken, bacon, etc. and our friends also decided whether they wanted creamy or homestyle (baked with cheese and breadcrumbs) mac and cheese. You could get more adventurous than we did with different cheese offerings.
-Make your own sandwich/panini (I think we almost gave people too many options for this)
We've also done a couple of iron chef/chopped cooking challenges at another friends' house. This is fun as long as it's limited to only a couple of cooks and the ingredients given are actually something that can be made into something reasonably good and be enjoyed by most of the other guests.
personally love omelettes, so second the above.
you could also do muffins -- devote 2 or 3 wells for each guest; provide a couple of basic batters, then let guests mix in their add-ins of choice
could do something similar with baked frittata muffins.
fish/veggies en papillote
builld your own stir fry (could be a lot of cleanup)
decorate your own cake/cupcake/choc chip cookie/truffles
ravioli filling party (could use pasta or rice wrappers)
____ Velvet cupcakes (provide several types of food coloring, let them experiment)
Stuffed risotto balls or peppers (a la chili rellenos) (choose their filling)
Salsa building party (could then give them their extra as a hostess gift)
Beer brewing party?? (then you get to have another party a little later when its finished!)
Bread baking party
i know ya already did tacos, but ya could do nachos, or lay out different herbs/flowers etc to press into fresh corn tortillas