I guess if your guests don't mind eating the same food everytime you host dinner, it can get progressively easier to prepare dinner... and considering the average time cycle that elapses before they get the eat this particular menu again would be anywhere from 6 months to a year, I guess memories should have been erased by then.
The good things about regurgitating the same menu is you become an expert and can get away with shorter and shorter time. Last Saturday's menu, for friend's farewell, comprised basically the following:
For Starters we had:
Fajitas; a medley of tortillas, honey roast chicken, avocado, caramelised sauteed onions, hot chilli jalapenos, and a mango tomato salsa..
This is really easy to prepare. Buy tortillas, they're cheapest at Carrefour, of various flavours. There's garlic, plain and potato. Roast your own chicken if you must, but with the abundance of roast chickens, very aromatic too, in various supermarkets, like Tesco, Giant, TMC, from as low as 5.99 per bird, heck, .....
I used two ripe plump Aussie avocadoes, removed the stone, and crushed it with some lemon. Onions were sauteed on a hot fire, with grape seed oil, and sea salt.
Mangos (chokanan) and tomatoes are finely diced, (cubed), and tossed in some lemon juice.
Sour cream from the tub.
Zap tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds before serving.
Cheese platter : I know ze cultured have cheeses AFTER dinner, but I find it suits my chinky palate to have cheeses as a starter. I served a block of Harvati Cheese, and Brandied Apricot Fruit Cheese, which some described as almost like eating ice cream. I suspect the true blue cheese connoiseurs would tut tut this as being an impostor cheese, but who cares, as long as the majority loves it. Served with Ritz Crackers. I find Water Table a bit overated.... I like the slight saltiness of Ritz crackers.
Freshly baked baguettes : Delifrance has these frozen baguettes, which you throw into an oven for about 20 minutes, and it's like eating freshly baked bread. Goes divinely with REAL butter.
Creamy Potato and Leek Soup : Deskin one whole chicken, and boil in a stock pot. (I used 15 cups of water, estimating 15 bowls of soup). Chuck in some onions, and whatever else you think will sweeten the stock. An hour before serving, chuck in the potatoes, (I used 8 large potatoes), 4 large leeks, 2 large onions, and chunks of thick bacon. It might be a good idea to remove the chicken (which should have disintergrated by now) before adding the potatoes and stuff. If not, you'll have to sift through a conglomeration of chicken, potatoes, leeks, onions...which you have to puree in a blender. After pureeing the concoction, put back into stock to boil. Actually, the soup is creamy on its own, but I added in some cream, and about 1/4 bottle of white wine, with sea salt. Goes brilliantly with the freshly baked baguettes.
Roast Leg of Lamb With Rosemary, Garlic and Honey Mustard Glaze.
The night before, I seasoned the leg of lamb with the garlic and rosemary. Pierce the skin of the leg of lamb (mine was 2.3kg), and stuff with garlic...I used 2 garlic bulbs? cloves? Two whole garlic. Also pierce with rosemary sprigs. Put in plastic bag, and refrigerate overnight.
2 hours before dinner, place on roasting pan at 180C, and roast for 1 hour. Take out, glaze with honey mustard, (1/2 cup seeded mustard, 1/2 cup dijon, and 1/2 cup honey), and put back to bake for a further 20-30 minutes, until the meat thermometer shows your preferred doneness.
Serve with pan juices and mint jelly.
Zuchinni Mushroom Pie
Use ready made puff pastry, unless you have all the time in the world, and a cold kitchen.
Slice 1 pack of button mushroom and 2 zuchinni, into a large bowl. Toss in one cup of cream, 1 packet of instant mushroom soup, (mixed into a concentrated soup), and some grated cheddar, or sliced cheddar cheese torn into bits. Line bottom of pie plate with puff pastry, put in filling, close the top with more puff pastry, glaze with milk or egg, and bake until nice and brown, in the same oven with the lamb.
Salad With Quails Eggs
Salads have got to be the empty canvass equivalent for a cook. Really, possibilities are endless. This time I used two types of frisse lettuce, 2 yellow capsicum, a punnet of cherry tomatoes, 30 quails eggs, a handful of toasted pine nuts.
Dressing : 1/2 cup seeded mustard, 1/3rd cup honey, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil.
Spaghetti With Aubergine and Oyster Mushroom
Have to ask the maid.
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Warm Chocolate Sauce and Pure Cream
Lemon Meringue Pie
Both of which have been described in earlier posts. These can be made ahead, either day before, or morning of dinner.