After seven glorious seasons, Mad Men is drawing to a close. In other words, the time to throw the ultimate '60s (and early '70s) bash is nigh. Take a drag from your cigarette holder and whip out your pearl necklaces and cufflinks, your fedoras and your cat-eye glasses: it's time to get retro. We're talking Swedish meatballs with a side of toothpicks, creamy deviled eggs, tangy French onion dip, pastry-encased beef Wellington, and beyond. And yes, don't worry, we've got the drinks covered too.
'Entertaining' on Serious Eats
This four-course meal looks fancy and tastes delicious, but that's just part of the good news: each of these dishes can be made in under an hour from start to finish, and all of them can be made simultaneously. In other words, with a little planning and prep work, you can have a full guest-worthy spread on the table without breaking a sweat.
Spring is in the air! Can you feel it? Because...I can't, not yet anyway. Luckily, I can see it, mainly in the form of fresh young produce on my supermarket shelves. It may not be picnic weather just yet, but the first tender asparagus and sweet peas are just starting to return to our tables, and in my book that's reason enough to celebrate. Here's a four-course brunch menu to get you started.
There's a lot to love about poutine, the Canadian dish of brown gravy- and cheese curd-topped fries. But it's not exactly a good finger food at a party, unless you like the idea of dozens of gravy-coated fingers being wiped on the couch. Well, we'd like to introduce the solution to that problem: the Poutine Popper.
We'll drink cocktails any time of year, but it's especially festive to celebrate the holidays with a communal bowl of punch or a big batch of eggnog. These delicious prep-ahead options take the stress out of hosting a party, and fill your guests with plenty of winter cheer.
The holiday season is fast approaching. Did your stomach just drop? Did your chest seize with anxiety? Did you jump up and down with gleeful joy? No matter. Whether you dread hosting or simply can't wait, we've got some crucial basics that will make your life a whole lot easier (and make your food look a whole lot better).
For the last 15 years or so, I've been more likely to stuff a suitcase than a turkey come Thanksgiving. But I have a little fantasy about Turkey Day. It involves Bill Withers singing "Just the two of us" on the stereo as a fire crackles in our little fireplace. It involves a really nice bottle of Champagne that doesn't need to be split eight ways. It involves staying home: no planes, no trains, and a meal that's meant for just us. Here's what I'd serve.
Follow the advice I offer here, and you can throw a heck of a bash without blowing all the cash you'll need for your office's Secret Santa routine.
A couple of weeks back a friend of mine asked how to poach a large number of eggs for a brunch party. Here's a secret: When poaching eggs, you don't have to cook them to-order. In fact, you can poach them up to five days in advance with no loss in quality. Not only that, but it takes just 2 minutes and zero skill to take those eggs from fridge-cold to ready-to-serve once brunch begins. Here's how it's done.
Is there a correct way to seat guests at a dinner party?
So many readers asked for my husband Joe Cleffie's meatball recipe that we had to oblige. With a few small tweaks made for foolproofing and streamlining, we're proud to present it here. This isn't the most complicated meatball recipe around—quite the opposite in fact. Our goal here is a recipe that anyone can make, no practice required, and get great results out of. I hope it inspires a thousand dinners in communities worldwide.
When hitting up the closest dim sum restaurant feels about as easy as traveling to China, creating a downscale experience at home is the answer, and the Dim Sum Classics we've been writing about all week are a great place to start. Your complete menu, after the jump!
Weekly spaghetti dinners with a rotating cast of friends and family started as an easy solution for working parents who missed having a social life. We had no idea it would tap into something much deeper.
Make outdoor entertaining easy with this fill-your-own taco brunch.
What to do if you're hosting a dinner party and your friends insist on opening a bag of chips right before dinner.
I once threw a potluck where five people brought green salad and two brought cookies. Period. Even with the revelers manage to cover the courses, the flavors are a trip around the world: Indian curry, Greek salad, Tex-Mex enchiladas, Swedish meatballs, Mama's Lasagna. The unifying theme, if any, is diversity. So what about that wine? What can you take to a potluck that'll taste good amid the noise of flavors, textures, and styles?
In the dead of winter, there's nothing better than hunkering down over a big 'ol meal with your nearest and dearest (assuming you can convince them to leave the house in the midst of yet another Polar Vortex). Then again, for those who live in more temperate climates, any day ending in "y" is an excuse to throw a dinner party. So with that in mind, we asked our editors for their go-to dish when entertaining.
I would say that everyone loves a holiday party, but that's just not true; many of them suck. Here are a few tips that should help ensure that yours is of the non-sucky variety.
Hot on the heels of an all-the-sourdough-in-San-Francisco taste test, I found myself on Wednesday afternoon with six half-eaten loaves of awesome sour dough in the kitchen with very few ideas as to what to do with them. When I'm in need of ideas, I usually head to one of two places: the bath tub or the farmers' market. Luckily for you, this time it was the latter.
With the tips I have for you today, you'll be primed to host the most awesome beer and cheese tasting party ever...and you and your guests might even learn something along the way.