Spring is officially here! Bright flowers and thick grass will soon peek through the ground, making way for outdoor entertainment — finally! What’s more festive than a spring dinner party? Blend together tasty food, delectable wine, and warm weather, and you get a sweet aroma of fresh beginnings. Get inspired for your first dinner party of the season, and don’t forget to get creative with your unique taste!
Red or white wine? That is the question…
Wine is a versatile crowd-pleaser — it not only tastes delicious, but marries with all kinds of flavors, complementing tastes from bold and vibrant to light and simple. No matter what you decide to serve, you’re sure to find a great bottle to pair well with your meal.
A very general rule for beginners is to remember is that tart, acidic foods go best with dry white wines, sweet or spicy foods are complimented best with sweet white wines, and hearty or bitter foods should be paired with red wines. Remembering these basic pairings will guide you in choosing the kind of wine that you enjoy best!
Whet your appetite
Whether sweet or savory, appetizers prime the tastebuds for a larger, denser meal. Incorporating hints of seafood in your pre-dinner snacks is the best way to open up the palate and revitalize taste buds. This Ginger Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce recipe has it all — a bite-sized punch of flavor in a crunchy coating with a smooth, peanut-y sauce.
Sweet and rich, these pot stickers pack just the right amount of flavor, are easy to grab and munch on, and cause very little mess. Pro tip: the different burners on Fisher & Paykel’s gas cooktops allow you to take complete control over the crunch factor! Different heat settings put you in charge of just how crispy you want your pot stickers to be. Check out this award-winning recipe that’ll have your guests calling for days to come.
Leafy greens to celebrate spring
A simple, tasty Chopped Spring Salad with a little kick goes a long way. The fresh, earthy aroma of vegetables paired with a zesty dressing is the perfect combination for a second pre-dinner treat. The mild taste of the veggies will have your guests feeling cleansed and ready for the main course. Use yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, sriracha, chives, and mint for a delectable dressing to drizzle on cucumbers, avocados, scallions, radishes, peas, and tomatoes as desired! For the full recipe, check out Bon Appetit.
The heart of the meal
Now we get to the meat of the meal — literally. This Chicken with Artichoke-Olive Sauce is a quintessential spring meal, with a light texture and bountiful flavors. Not only that, it’s incredibly easy to make, with a total cooking time of about twenty minutes. Check out the full recipe here.
Here are the basics:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Whisk 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic and oregano
- Fold in the artichokes, olives and feta; season the sauce with salt and pepper
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper
- In an ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, add the chicken (skinned side down), and cook over moderately high heat until browned
- After 3 minutes, turn and transfer the skillet to the oven
- Roast the chicken for 10 minutes, until white throughout
If you’ve got more time to prepare your main dish, White Pizzas with Arugula will wow your audience — guaranteed. This recipe from Ina Garten creates a flavorful dough topped with melt-in-your-mouth fontina, mozzarella, and goat cheeses, finished off with the sweet and salty pairing of arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh black pepper. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Find the full recipe to this spring delight here.
Wash it all down with something sweet!
There’s nothing more gratifying than finishing a delicious meal with a tangy Lemon Sorbet. This refreshing dessert will keep spring vibes on your tastebuds long after the bowls have been scooped clean. A simple ingredient lineup of water, sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and grated lemon zest is all that’s required.
The mixture is first simmered in a saucepan, then transferred over to either an ice cream maker or a baking pan placed in the freezer. Voila! Full instructions here.
While sorbet washes down food like a charm, we haven’t forgotten about our dedicated chocoholics. Another delicious spring dessert option is a mouth-watering Chocolate-Raspberry Tart with a Gingersnap Crust. Just the name has us drooling! This recipe requires:
- Vegetable oil for the pan
- About 40 gingersnap wafers (to yield 1-1/2 cups finely ground)
- 4 Tbs. melted unsalted butter
- 3-1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
- Small pinch salt
Although this tart is a bit more complicated to put together than the lemon sorbet, its end result is equally delicious, satisfying your sweet tooth with a thick ganache filling, buttery-ginger crust, and fresh, flavor-bursting raspberries. Find the whole recipe to this chocolate dream here.
Did someone say dishes?
We’re not going to lie, the thought of doing dishes almost spoils the excitement of hosting a big dinner party. But there’s a way to beat the cleaning blues! After each course, clear the plates/bowls and silverware, and soak them in soap and warm water immediately to avoid sticky food at the end of the night. Scrape leftovers down the garbage disposal to free up room in your sink as well! This will only take a few minutes, and when you return to your sink after your guests have left, your dishes will be ready to place in the dishwasher without a hassle.
For advanced cleaning and time-saving, the Fisher & Paykel Double DishDrawer™lets you do dishes in halves. This makes a quick round of washing fresh glasses or utensils incredibly simple. Or, save the top drawer for end-of-the-night dishes and use the bottom drawer to quickly get ahead on the dishes that were cleared earlier! This way, water and detergent is not wasted, and half of your load will be done by the time the party’s over.
We hope that you enjoy your next big dinner party, and happy spring!