This article was created in collaboration with Barilla® as part of Together at the Table.
Hosting a dinner party is like having to sauté a lot of critics on stage. Even the most confident person in the world can feel a great deal of pressure to prepare a fancy dish that's * just * right.
Thanks to our friends at Barilla®, who always provide us with great cooking tips and tricks, we know that preparing a delicious dinner does not have to be complicated. It's amazingly easy to prepare a food-grade dish without being bent over the stove for hours.
Below, three cooking and hosting professionals give their best advice, making you feel better than ever when you hold a gathering that brings friends. Family and strangers together. Your guests will not even notice that the removal took almost no time and effort!
Make a good first impression.
Brittany Mullins, holistic nutritionist, prefers to start with a vegetable tray, so the guests have something to eat when they arrive.
"[Veggie trays] are super easy and everyone loves it A healthy snack you can enjoy before dinner," she says. "I keep the vegetable platters exciting by finding unique, seasonal products like endive salad or watermelon radishes."
Mullins likes to make guacamole, but she swears by a controversial secret ingredient: peas! Mix them with the avocado and you'll get a lighter version of everyone's favorite dipping dish – no one will notice the difference.
. 2 Recreate classic dishes in a new way.
Nothing brings people together like a bowl of noodles. While you can not go wrong with classic spaghetti and marinara, a dinner party is a great way to confuse things and surprise guests with something unexpected.
Erin Gleeson, the blogger and cookbook author of The Forest Feast, is looking for creative ways to integrate color and fresh produce. A good example? Your snap pea pasta.
It combines roasted sugar-snap peas and asparagus in a warm pot of Al Dente Penne (the recipe calls for wholemeal, but you can also try Barilla® Collezione Penne.) Bronze for a coarser texture that absorbs better sauce (yummy) toss them with chopped basil and coriander, olive oil and shaved Parmesan, you'll love how pretty it looks on your dining table, your guests will love how satisfied it is, and create a unique pasta dish, the whole, with Barilla's recipes The handy infographics make it easy to turn a box of noodles into a tasty plant-based meal that people will talk about long after the table is clear (Barilla® Orzo with pomegranate seeds, roasted pine nuts, chickpeas, olive oil and Za'atar?)
3. Do not forget the supplement.
Herbs change the game when it comes to cooking eht. They add flavor, texture and color in a single stroke. Blogger Yumna Jawad of Feel Good Foodie says you should never serve a meal without herbs. "There is nothing that gives a dish more flavor than fresh and crunchy herbs added just before serving," she says.
In order to keep herbs such as parsley and coriander (their ingredients) as fresh as possible, Jawad stores them with their stems in water or wrap them in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag. When ready, simply dab it dry with a clean towel and chop it.
. 4 Use your freezer.
Do not be afraid of the freezer! It's a wonderful tool that will make your ingredients last longer and shorten the day you cook.
Mullins has a brilliant trick to preserve fresh ginger: peel it with the back of the spoon and store it in the freezer. "It lasts longer and can be easily rasped if necessary," she says.
The freezer is also used if you want to prepare ingredients or meals in advance. For example, home-made pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays and then heated in individual portions when you're ready to serve dinner.
. 5 Use your leftovers again for other purposes.
Do not throw away these vegetarian leftovers or chicken bones! Jawad suggests using them for making broth. "Broth is so easy to season not just soups, but also stews, noodles, marinades, casseroles, rice and stir-fries," she says.
Our favorite: put the broth in a glass of pasta sauce. This trick is especially useful for vegetarian recipes where Jawad determines that you do not have the fat of meat to improve the taste (use only vegetable stock if you want to keep the recipe meat-free). No matter which dish you upgrade with this trick, your guests will not guess your secret – but they will definitely notice the taste.
. 6 Try out new gadgets and methods.
Mullins & # 39; two favorite cooking techniques? Fry the air and sous vide. Air fryers are amazing tools as you can make your favorite foods healthier, but they are still crispy and delicious.
Sous Vide is a method of closing food in an airtight container and then cooking it. Sounds complicated, but it's quite simple – and makes sure that your meat is cooked evenly. Try preparing steak or chicken sous vide before adding Barilla® pasta sauce.
No matter how many you host or what you have on the menu, with these simple tricks you can easily prepare your dinner. In this way, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the best: sitting at the table with the people you love.