Planning the menu for a dinner party is a creative yet practical process.
You want to present healthy, attractive courses that taste delicious but don't keep you in the kitchen -- away from the action. The food should fit the mood, as well. A evening of mystery evokes a sense of days past, think of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple enjoying a splendid meal in a traditional English country estate. So how do go about getting the menu just right?
Think traditional - but healthyWhile Miss Marple and her ilk may have been perfectly happy with gravies and vegetables swimming in cream sauces, you don't want to get that retro. Some of your guests, if not all of them, just might be into eating fresh and healthy. One clever way to offer a traditionally structured meal is to go local. We are all naturally curious about where we can find the best fresh food in our communities. And what better way to find out than at a neighborhood dinner party? Head put to a farmer's market. Or just a farm!
Serve at least four courses
Modern dining has become a casual affair, we often sit down with friends and family and dispense with courses. Dishes are placed on the table and we help ourselves; it cozy and familiar. And would absolutely destroy the vibe at a murder mystery dinner! Serve a soup, salad, entree and old-school dessert. If you have someone in your family or circle of friends that is willing to don a black-and-white maid's uniform, go for it. It will add that touch of formality you seek.
Simplicity is splendid
A root vegetable blended soup can be prepared the day before and will, if done right, burst with seasonal flavors; topping your soup with a dollop of yogurt and a few sprigs of cilantro will impress. A green salad should be super fresh and have fresh herbs as well as different lettuces. Dice it up so that it is easy to eat and always make your own dressing. A nice rare lamb or stuffed breast of chicken goes wonderfully with bright local vegetables. Top it all off with a decadent red velvet cake.
So, in the end, be creative, bring forth your culinary skills and imagination. Having your dinner menu reflect the atmosphere of your murder mystery will bring everything together.