Pair can help party hosts

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Janita Singh The Din­ner Ladies by So­phie Gil­li­att and Kather­ine West­wood is out now, mur­dochbooks.com.au

THERE might be a crowd to feed but don’t panic.

Home cooks can make an im­pres­sion at par­ties with­out break­ing their backs or bank bal­ance, ac­cord­ing to Kather­ine West­wood and So­phie Gil­li­att aka The Din­ner Ladies.

The two Sydney moth­ers first met at the school gate when their chil­dren (now teenagers) be­came friends in kinder­garten.

They went on to form a din­ner de­liv­ery busi­ness for time-poor fam­i­lies called The Din­ner Ladies in 2007 and re­cently re­leased their first recipe book of the same name.

“We are great be­liev­ers in keep­ing it sim­ple, ro­bust, de­li­cious and do­ing as much as you can in ad­vance,’’ West­wood says.

This means hav­ing meats mar­i­nated, herbs plucked, grains cooked, ve­g­ies chopped and dress­ings made well in ad­vance.

Gil­li­att says “try­ing to im­press guests with tricky food that you haven’t tried be­fore can be dis­as­trous”.

Cook­ing in batches and freez­ing meals can help – there’s noth­ing like know­ing you have a home­made frozen lasagne or pie that can be put straight into the oven,’’ Gil­li­att adds.

“Slow-roast­ing is also great for a crowd,” she says.

“Big joints of meat like a pork shoul­der or beef brisket can be slathered in spices, cooked for hours, pulled into shreds and tossed in sauce, served with side dishes or sal­ads.”

The pair love any­thing that doesn’t re­quire plates and can be eaten by hand.

This could in­clude ke­babs in flat breads and shred­ded beef in tor­tillas with sal­ads and sauces.

That way guests can also cre­ate their own com­bi­na­tion of flavours.

“A huge favourite of ours is roast porchetta with fen­nel, cab­bage slaw and ap­ple sauce, piled into a sour­dough roll,” West­wood says.

Pic­ture: The Din­ner Ladies

So­phie Gil­li­att and Kather­ine West­wood know how to cater for a party.

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