Since we were talking about food…
Wait…we weren't talking about food? Oh. Well, we should have been. You see, I think a lot about food and I guess assume you do since you are reading this.
I enjoy things that are high impact, high reward and deceptively simple. I appreciate complication as well, but high mileage, low maintenance can be extraordinarily satisfying when thinking about food that, say, might work for a dinner party.
Have I got a dish for you. Fish en Papillote with Julienned Vegetables and Truffle Oil.
Awwwww, yeah. That's French in that there title, so immediately it sounds complicated. Julienned? Please. Just a tricky way for saying sliced thin (sort of – look it up, take your time – it's not hard). Truffle Oil? Sounds expensive. Try a couple bucks an ounce, and a little goes a LONG way.
Try this recipe – CLICK HERE. Do not be turned off by the paper folding thing. Just do your best. I promise, even if you botch it, it will look awesome when it comes out of the oven. Your guests will freak. I modify the recipe – I use white wine (a good one) rather than lemon (though lemon would be fine); I added sliced shitake mushrooms to my vegetables as they were cooking; I use a bit more pepper.
I would have posted pictures but, well, we ate it all way too fast.
So, for a dinner party? Start with a soup – maybe a fresh pea soup that you have MADE AHEAD. You can make it look fancy by swirling a little creme fraiche in it. Then serve the fish (make the veg ahead of time; assemble the packets before everyone arrives); and for dessert do something like panna cotta with berries (also, NOT hard, looks hard, make ahead; tastes great).
Get ready to answer "How did you do all of this?" and perhaps "Oh my god, did you have this catered?"