City living isn’t always conducive to entertaining at home, let’s face it. Time is short and space even more so. After a long day at the office, meeting in town for a bite to eat is far more appealing than racing for the shops, trying to beat your friends home and then embarking on a new recipe. And that’s not even to mention the inevitable end of night washing up.
But that said, breaking up the working week with a meal and chinwag with friends is a very successful recipe for getting over that so-called hump day. I love entertaining and many of my recipes are very suited to singles or couples cooking in small spaces; that was pretty much the premise of ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’ after all. I like to make things that look pretty on the plate, can be on the table in a matter of minutes and above all, taste delicious, all of which are crucial criteria for a great meal between friends.
My cute little Oeufs en cocotte are fail-safe crowd-pleasers and require zero prep and fewer ingredients than you can count on one hand. They make a great starter, or a light brunch with plenty of buttered sourdough toast.
Among my favourite easy entertaining dishes is my winter salad, a colourful medley of ingredients that comes together in minutes (literally), and keeps the washing up to a serious minimum. Check out my YouTube video or you can find the recipe in my latest book Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook.
Last, but certainly not least, my chocolate pudding is a speedy foolproof recipe that can be made the day ahead of a dinner party and when chilled in pretty little glasses (I think they look pretty fancy for such a simple process). The crunchy praline topping is technically optional, but well worth the extra few minutes.
Try this 3-course menu for a mid-week dinner party or a fuss free weekend meal:
Oeufs en cocotte (from The Little Paris Kitchen p.29)
Winter Salad (from my You Tube channel)
Chocolate Pudding (from my Evening Standard Column)
If you are looking for more entertaining ideas, here are some of my favourite sources:
Sunday Suppers – for inspirational styling and tantalising recipe ideas
Pimp up you table setting skills with ideas from Griottes – brilliant ideas for styling your table
Check out Nigel Slater’s mid-week dinner ideas for some beautiful plates of food for guests