Inviting friends over for a dinner party should be a fun and relaxing experience. For some of us though it fills us with dread. The key to hosting a successful dinner party is all about the prep. The last thing you want to be doing is spending the night in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite summer recipes that are straightforward and easy to prep the night before so you can relax and enjoy the evening.
To kick things off we have a cooling cocktail that’s super easy to make, and all you need to do is ensure you freeze there strawberries the night before and have them on hand ready to go. Prep just before your guests arrive and serve in a chilled tall glass, you will be sure to win your guests over.
FROSÉ (FROZEN ROSÉ) BY BROMA BAKERY
1 bottle of Rosé
6 cups frozen strawberries
Place frozen strawberries in a high power blend. Pour full of bottle of rosé in and cover blender.
Blend at a medium high speed until no chunks of strawberries remain, about 2-3 minutes depending on the power of your blender.
Serve right away!
Words and source: Broma Bakery
MOZZARELLA, PEACHES AND HAM BY ALEX JACKSON
Although hardly a recipe, more of an assembly, this is summer ‘cooking’ at its simplest. As the success of this dish hinges on the quality of the ingredients, wait until the peaches are perfectly ripe and sweet. I prefer buffalo mozzarella from Campania, the fresher the better, but this would also be nice with fresh ricotta. You could also substitute nectarines in place of the peaches.
4 x 125g balls of buffalo mozzarella
12 basil leaves
4 slices of cured ham (prosciutto if possible)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Tear the mozzarella with your hands into large pieces and scatter over a large plate or serving dish.
2. Halve, stone and slice the peaches into sixths or thick slices. Dress the peaches lightly with a tiny splash of olive oil and just enough lemon juice to balance out the sweetness of the peaches. Season with salt and black pepper.
3. Toss the basil gently and briefly with the dressed peaches, then arrange on the serving plate with the mozzarella. Drizzle the cheese with your best olive oil. Finally, drape the ham lovingly over the top.
Words and Source : Sheerluxe
SPATCHCOCK GRILLED CHICKEN BY THE MODERN PROPER
How To Spatchcock a Chicken
This is a great recipe because you can do all your prep the night before by either asking your butcher to spatchcock it for you or do it yourself following the directions below. Marinade over night and then just take it out when you’re ready to grill.
Good kitchen tools and a little confidence are all you need to spatchcock, or butterfly, a chicken at home. Here’s how to do it yourself:
Cut the backbone out of the chicken, starting from the thigh end and working upwards. You’ll snip through the rib bones as you go, but it shouldn’t be too hard—a good, sharp pair of poultry shears or kitchen scissors really help with this step. Get as close to the backbone as you can, and once you’ve removed it, don’t toss it! It’s great for making chicken stock.
Flatten that bird! Flip the chicken over so that it is skin-side up, and press down hard on the breastbone to flatten the chicken out. Remember: the goal is to make the chicken as evenly-splayed out as possible for quick, even cooking on the grill.
P.S. Friendly reminder—don’t rinse your chicken! And wash your hands super thoroughly before and after handling raw chicken. And, while we’re talking chicken and food safety, always check that your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F before you pull it off the grill or out of the oven.
How To Grill a Spatchcocked Chicken
Your chicken has been prepped, rubbed with a paprika-garlic spice mix, and the grill is hot—now what?! Your work is nearly over—it’s time to let your grill do the rest. Our grilled spatchcock chicken recipe works perfectly on either a gas grill or a charcoal grill. Here are a few things to know:
If you’re grilling your spatchcocked chicken on a gas grill: start with medium-high heat for the first few minutes of cooking, just until the skin is a nice crispy, golden-brown. Then crank that heat to low.
If you’ll be grilling a whole chicken over charcoal: begin cooking the dry-rubbed, spatchcocked whole chicken over direct heat (the warmest part of the grill) to give the skin a lovely char. After a few minutes, flip and move the chicken so that it finishes cooking over indirect heat.
SPATCHCOCK GRILLED CHICKEN
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
5 lb chicken, spatchcocked
10 basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, packed
4 green onions, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Pat chicken dry using a paper towel. With your hands coat the chicken on all sides with the spice rub.
Heat your grill to medium high heat.
Once grill is preheated, brush grates with olive oil. Grill the chicken skin side down over direct heat, until golden brown, crispy and lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, flip the chicken over. ** Continue to grill until skin is golden brown all over, juices run clear, and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F. This will take about 45 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend on high and set aside.
Once chicken is cooked remove from the grill let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve alongside the green garlic sauce and enjoy!
**If using a charcoal grill, move chicken away from indirect heat while cooking to be sure you don’t dry it out. This method may take longer than 45 minutes, so be sure to use a thermometer for doneness.
If You’ve Got 30 Seconds and a Blender, You’ve Got Homemade Herb Sauce.
The best spatchcock chicken recipe is only as good as the herbs and spices that flavour it, and this easy, creamy garlic-and-herb sauce is what pushes the particular whole chicken recipe into overdrive. A whole spatchcocked chicken, fresh off the grill and carved at the table while it’s still steaming and juicy, served with this garlicky, bright, basil-y sauce for dipping and slathering and drizzling—well, let’s just say that it’ll make even the newbiest of new home cooks look like a master. And the best part? You just toss a bunch of fresh herbs in a blender with some mayo and lemon juice and give it a whirl. Herb sauce—made. Again do this the night before and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Words and Source The Modern Proper
We love a no-bake dessert that you prep the night before. Anything that means we can spend more time hanging out with friends and drinking wine.
NO-BAKE FIG TART BY DEV AMADEO
Shortbread cookies – 11 oz. (1 package)
Shelled pistachios – ¼ cup
Unsalted butter, melted – 4 to 5 TBSP
Raw sugar - 2 TBSP
Pinch of fine sea salt
Heavy cream, chilled - 1 cup
Cream cheese, at room temperature - 8 oz.
Raw sugar - 3 TBSP
Powdered sugar - 5 TBSP
Halved figs, and crushed pistachios for topping
Honey to drizzle the figs (optional)
To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°. In the bowl of the food processor already attached to the base, pulse the pistachios just before finely ground. Break the cookies and add them to the bowl with the salt. Pulse again until almost crushed, about less than 10 seconds. Make sure everything is well incorporated by scraping the bowl sides and bottom, then pulse a few more seconds to make everything come together. With the food processor running, pour the melted butter through the lid hole and pulse just a few seconds more, until the cookie crumbs look just wet. Transfer the content to the tart flute pan or the pan you will be using. Press onto the bottom and up to the sides, until the crumbs are evenly distributed and you have reached the edges of the pan. You may use a bottom flat small measuring cup or utensil to help yourself press down and distribute the crumbs. Bake for 8 minutes and then place it in the fridge to cool down.
To make the filling: Using an electric hand mixer or a standup mixer, both with the whisk attachment attached, whip the cream in medium speed until frothy and soft peak forms, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cream cheese, small pieces at a time. Then add the powdered sugar and the raw sugar. Keep beating for a few minutes more, 3 to 4, just until the cream starts to look firm. Spread over the prepare crust. Decorate with figs and sprinkle some crushed pistachios or any other nuts. Drizzle some honey over the figs, if desire, before serving.
Words and Source : Dev Amadeo