Simply.Striking

Simply striking and strikingly simple. Recipes, crafts, home decor and general life hacks that are easy yet impressive.

Ideas for Interactive Hands On Dinner Parties

Each era we see a resurgence of participant type dinners where guests roll up their sleeves to pitch in and be engaged. It was fondue in the 60’s, murder mystery dinners in the 80’s/90’s, and these days the popularity of themed dress up/menus around television shows have sky rocketed. As well dinner parties invariable always turn out where guests participate in the entire process rather than just showing up to sit down and eat. Whether it is bringing a contribution of wine or dessert, congregating in the kitchen beforehand, or helping clear the table.

What does that tell us? That people love to pitch in and be a part of the party, not just sit idly by.

Below are some ideas to get your guests active in the dinner process:

1) Sushi rolling party. You supply the rolling mats, nori, rice, and fixings. Maybe encourage guests to being their favourite ingredient. Set everything in the middle of the table and have get everyone rolling. Don’t forget the saki!

You can also break out of the of the norm from traditional fillings to include new flavours like fruit. Mango is a great fruit that compliments sushi rice well.

Instructions on making sushi rice:

You will need to select a proper rice for sushi. These days sushi rice is very easy to find, and it will be labelled as such or as “shari”. If you are unable to find sushi rice, and this may sound blasphemous to sushi aficionados, but Italian arborrio rice works too. The easiest way t cook the rice is with a rice cooker or you may use a pot. The rice to water ratio is generally 1:1, but add just a little extra water, approx. 1/4 cup for every cup of rice. Cook the rice until the water is absorbed. let cool and add 1/2 cup of rice vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp of salt for every cup of raw rice cooked. Using a brood paddled spatula (I recommend plastic or bamboo so that metal does not react with the vinegar) mix the rice well.

2) Korean BBQ. Korean BBQ is a meal of marinated and thinly sliced protein cooked on a communal grill in the middle of the table. Because the meat is so thinly slices, it cooks easily and the marinades burst with delicious flavour in your mouth. Start the meal off with some kimchi and let your guests get cooking. For a Korean BBQ experience at home, just set up 1 or 2 electric grills or griddles.

Recipe for Bulgogi marinade (works with thinly sliced rib eye steak or chicken)

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp crushed garlic
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp rice wine (sake)
Pinch of black pepper

Mix ingredients together and marinate for at least 2 hrs before grilling.

3) Resurrect the fondue! There are so many variations of fondue to consider and you can really go wild with your choices. Of course there is traditional cheese, tomato and chocolate to turn to, and a myriad of choices to dip into. A related style of fondue cooking is the Asian Hot Pot. Hot pot is ver much like fondue, but the main cooking liquid are broths. Thinly sliced meats, meat balls, vegetables, and a large variety of seafoods are prominent in Asian style hot pot cooking. Much of the food is skewed on bamboo sticks for easier cooking and retrieving.

Gruyere and Beer Fondue Recipe

1 cup pilsner  beer
1 lb Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 comments on “Ideas for Interactive Hands On Dinner Parties

  1. BBQ Bob
    October 30, 2013

    Another idea is building your own kabobs and grilling them over the bbq grill. Everyone can bring a side dish to share, a la potluck and the host can provide the marinated beef, chicken and/or pork to assemble with the attendees preferred veggies. What say you?

    • simplystrikingblog
      October 30, 2013

      I like it! A communal dinner is always tastier. Thanks for the great idea and taking the time to comment 😛

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2013 by in Entertaining, Family, Lifestyle and tagged , , , , .
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