With the season of celebrations officially in full swing, I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about dinner parties. Putting out a delicious spread of food isn’t just about cooking, it’s also about the tricky job of knowing what combination of dishes makes sense. You must consider the flavors, textures, colors, richness and seasonality of all the various food in order to achieve balance on the plate. I find it helpful to settle on a theme when it comes to pulling together a menu. It can be a loose concept, say, “casual comfort food” or “Mediterranean appetizers”, or as is often true in my case, “Afghan”.
A few months back, Humaira and I hosted an Afghan dinner party for 10 that was part of a fundraising effort for our childrens’ school. Pulling together the menu took some forethought and more than a few emails back and forth to nail down just the right meal for the crowd, the season and the amount of time we wanted commit. Here is what we ultimately came up with:
Chicken and Caramelized Carrot Palau
We divvied up the various dishes, each taking on a handful of responsibilities, and the meal went off without a hitch. Plus, it was fun to do together. You can access recipes for most of the menu by clicking on the dish. Humaira will post the recipe for Chicken Palau next week. It’s the perfect sort of thing to serve to a crowd for end-of-year celebrations. Afghan-themed New Year’s Eve, anyone?
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