Fall is the season for dinner parties! We love the daily revelry that comes from inviting friends in from the chill to enjoy dinner together. There is something about sharing a meal that always leaves me filled with joy. Since it is almost October, I’m planning on hosting a grown-up Halloween dinner party.
While looking for something that would be spooky, but in a more refined version – I stumbled on an old family recipe for cooking octopus. Octopus! It’s awesome, unique, and just original enough to give it that little spook I am aiming for. When served on a plate of greens, this simple prep dish (anyone could make it) becomes a gourmet treat that will tun your next dinner party into dinner-awesome!
To cook an octopus for your next dinner party you’ll need; a fresh, or frozen octopus, large pot for boiling water, one large onion coarsely chopped, 1 lemon cut in quarters, 3 bay leaves, 2 carrots, a bunch of parsley chopped, 1/2 a cut up leek, 1 cup white wine, salt and peppercorns.
Start by boiling the water with the aromatics, salt, and peppercorn. Bring to a heavy roiling boil, then simmer for 20 minutes to fully allow the broth to combine. Bring back to a heavy roiling boil.
Using a pair of tongs hold the octopus and submerge it fully in the water for 5 seconds before removing. Do this 4 times.
After searing, add the white wine and turn the heat to medium high. Drop the octopus in the water. Cook for 10 minutes per pound or until octopus is tender enough to pierce with a fork. Allow to dry and cool for 5 minutes before cutting the tentacles off and serving with sauteed arugula and other greens.
Along with serving a creative and fun dish, here are a few other ways I’m making our dinner parties easy on me and great for my guests this season:
- Placing fresh herbs in large glasses around the room.
- Always having a fresh baguette of bread and cheeses out when guests arrive – this tends to make everyone feel at home.
- Using new quirky dish towels in place of fabric napkins to give every place seating its own fun touch.
- Making sure I have an easy craft project on hand that the kids can do once excused from the table, so that the adults can linger and chat.
And the best tip I’ve learned recently for amazing dinner party prep is to clean as we go! It makes my kitchen feel less chaotic and helps the after dinner lingering to not be hampered by dishes screaming my name.
The Electrolux Stainless Steel Dishwasher with IQ-Touch™ Controls (EI24ID50QS) is a perfect dishwasher to have for this easy dinner party tip. It has a unique third top tier that is perfect for stashing away my octopus tongues and other utensils that usually get lost in a dishwasher and it professionally cleans and entire cycle in 30 minutes – meaning I can get a cycle in after appetizers and have my favorite small dishes clean for dessert.
No matter what we are cooking, a good prep and clean up plan is often the difference between an amazing dinner party and an awkward one.
The new Electrolux dishwasher provides a professional level clean with its 30-minute wash and dry cycle. As the highest rated dishwasher on Reviewed.com, it also features SatelliteSpray Arm technology which provides 400% more water coverage than a traditional dishwasher. Visit ElectroluxAppliances.com for more information on this and other stylish and functional options available from Electrolux.
Compensation was provided for this post by Electrolux. The opinions expressed are all mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Electrolux.
(Photography © Jen Grantham/Stocksy United)
Posted September 29, 2014 3 Comments
Read more from dinner parties, Food by Victoria