There are plenty of great entertaining tips from The Vogue Book of Menus I reviewed recently. One party category I didn't even realize existed is the "11:30 supper," and there are good reasons we should bring it back into fashion.
Whether you're headed out to a play, a concert, or just the latest action thriller in IMAX, there's usually only time to grab a quick bite (or rely on movie theater popcorn) beforehand. Vogue harkens back to a time where people said, "Come home with us after the theatre."
"There's something rather festive in the very idea of a little supper late in the evening," says the Vogue book, and I have to agree. After a wonderful night of entertainment and culture, a lukewarm slice of greasy pepperoni is a bit of a buzzkill (and a recipe for heartburn). No one expects anything fancypants when the dinner hour is approaching midnight, but a "cold bird and a bottle" requires nothing more than a little pre-planning.
The key is to make the dinner seem almost impromptu — by having to do as little as possible after your guests arrive. Pick dishes that only need to be heated or partially assembled at most. Vogue suggests things like lobster salad, pâté and toast, hot dips, or finger sandwiches. Here are some other options from The Kitchn:
Chicken Salad with Parsley Walnut Pesto
• Cheddar Olives
• Roasted Jalapeño and Lime Hummus
• Chicken Liver Pâté with Sage, Apple and Thyme
• Cheese Gougères
• Crispy Turnovers with Apple, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions
• Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles
• Chicken Salad with Parsley Walnut Pesto
• White Bean & Roasted Vegetable Salad
• Rosewater Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberries
• No-Bake Fat Elvis Peanut Butter & Banana Pie
(Images: Ballantine Beer via Envisioning the American Dream; recipes as linked above)