Have you ever planned a dinner party with a few couples that don't know each other but you are sure they'll get on....... then closer to the time you think "What have I done... this will be a disaster"
The key to introducing new friends to each other is to make sure you're around to keep the conversation flowing, you can't do this if you are in the kitchen all night preparing a beautiful but time consuming meal.
I find if you keep the pre-dinner drink time to half an hour 45 minutes and then move straight into the entree the conversation will flow.
The perfect entree is something that can be shared around the table and will break the ice, on these occasions I like to do an Antipasto Platter.
A big platter in the middle of the table will have your guests raving about the presentation and will also have them serving each other.... everyone will start to relax and enjoy themselves
Even as we come into the cooler months an Antipasto Platter makes a delicious start to the meal, the key is to use good quality ingredients, buy your prosciutto and salami from a good deli, and the rest you can do yourself.
Zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, asparagus look fantastic on a platter together, the trick is to make sure you slice your vegetables nice and thin use a good quality olive oil and lots of garlic, brush the vegies on both sides and char grill on the barbecue, this can be done the morning of or even the day before your dinner party. I like to marinate my mushrooms at least 24 hours ahead of serving with olive oil, lemon juice and lots of continental parsley.
Add to your platter some marinated Feta you have bought or marinated your self, some olives and serve with good quality Italian bread.
You have the perfect entree that is prepared way in advance and will encourage your friends to relax and enjoy the food and the company
They'll all think they should have met years ago.