I sometimes do have dinner parties, in fact I enjoy having people over for dinner. My time however is always in short supply. The other consideration is that if I am having people over for dinner, I want to spend as much time as possible with them, and not necessarily in the kitchen. Given those considerations, when I have a dinner party, I’m thinking simplicity. Now this also goes with my thinking that the most important element in good food is good ingredients, and by keeping it simple, you let those ingredients shine through. Some of the things I like to do are: get some great meats from Fleishers’ Grass Fed & Organic Meats and have a barbecue, make a lasagna and serve it with a knockout Italian red wine from Terrapin’s wine cellar, or roast a local chicken and serve it vegetables and potatoes that I’d get from the Rhinebeck farmer’s market.
Another fun party I had once was a raclette party. Raclette parties are real popular in Europe. You need a special piece of equipment called a raclette grill; it is a tabletop electric broiler that has eight non-stick scoops that you put cheese in to melt. It’s similar in concept to fondue, in that the guest gets involved with the making of their meal. You serve the cheese with cooked potatoes and sliced meats. First you put a slice of cheese on your scoop and stick it under the broiler and melt it. Then, pour the melted cheese over the potatoes and salami. It’s fun and easy to prepare. It’s great to get your guests involved in the meal. Really, when I have the time to spend with my family and friends, that’s what I want to do. What I generally do not want to do is to spend the day in the kitchen.