Pair can help party hosts
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.
Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood know how to cater for a party.