I love having people over for dinner on Saturday nights. It gives me an excuse to plan a wonderful meal, buy special ingredients, set a nice table, and cook up a storm. Spending time with the people we invite is a wonderful fringe benefit!
Dave, however, isn’t always keen on the big Saturday night dinner party – he usually ends up doing a lot of dishes. To take a little pressure off the expansiveness (and expense) of entertaining, we’ve been experimenting with inviting people over on a less demanding night of the week. We had our friend Nicole over on a Tuesday a couple of months ago. I made a simple, satisfying paella-inspired dish with a green salad and ice cream for dessert.
Last week, we decided to ask our friends Brian and Mishka over for supper on Sunday. It would be a little earlier, a little less wine-soaked, and just a little more casual than a typical Saturday night affair. We started by deep-frying zucchini flowers, something I have always wanted to do. They were fantastic – crisp and salty-sweet, with a subtle floral flavor. We ate these standing up in the kitchen and hallway. We skipped a first course and went straight to the main event – chicken marabella from the Silver Palate cookbook, tomato clafoutis, and a simply dressed green salad. For dessert I made a peach frangipane tart.
Now, I’m not saying this meal was made in an hour, of course. But, the chicken was marinated the day before, the frangipane was waiting in my freezer, and the clafoutis had about seven ingredients in it total. Rosa had a ball eating “peachy peachy” tart, the chicken was very good, and the whole evening was low-key and relaxed – a perfect way to slide into the workweek.
My fantasy is to have a Sunday supper with friends every week, but I realize that’s probably pushing it for my dish-averse husband. Maybe we’ll shoot for once a month and I’ll make sure the dishwasher is clear before I start.