Every quarter I host a dinner at my home and invite all of the Hurley House staff. This event always proves to be an incredible time of connection and fun. As my team has grown over the years, we have gone from fitting around one table to occupying several rooms.
My goal with last month’s dinner was to cook as little as possible, freeing me up to fully enjoy my coworkers. Feeding a crowd of twenty requires logistical considerations, and keeping the food simple and mostly store-bought helped me accomplish my desired end.
If you are hosting a crowd and need a great menu, here is what I served…
I started with grilled chicken skewers (which I purchased from Costco) and added some roasted cauliflower which I prepared the day before. I seasoned the cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper, and turmeric, and it was the first item to disappear!
Next I put together a platter of hummus, tzatziki, olives, tabbouleh, pickled onions and sliced cucumbers. This kind of appetizer spread is so fresh and easy, and all of it was store-bought.
The one dish I did cook from scratch was a delicious baked feta with blistered tomatoes and roasted chickpeas. This dish was inspired by Deb’s Roasted Feta with Tomatoes and Chickpeas, but I doubled it and made a few changes (recipe coming soon!). It was a huge hit, and I am so glad I went to a tiny bit of trouble to include a homemade item on the menu.
I rounded out the menu with a basket of naan and a platter of spanakopita from the freezer section of Whole Foods.
The wonderful thing about this menu is how it all could be served at room temperature. I didn’t worry about whether or not the baked feta and spanakopita were piping hot. I prepared them both, set them out, and let them be. Finding items that can sit at room temperature is the secret to a great party menu in my opinion.
For dessert I purchased mini scones from CM and added raspberry sorbet with fresh raspberries that I sprinkled with sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice a couple of hours before the party began.
The evening was casual, relaxed, and to my delight, a cinch to pull together. My favorite kind of parties are the ones where I get to sit and talk to my friends instead of fuss over the food. This menu definitely helped make that possible.