With traditional dishes such as hummus, kebabs, and tabbouleh it’s no wonder that Middle Eastern food is some of the most beloved in the world. Their cuisine is full or colour and amazing flavour, and it’s all relatively easy to cook! If you’re thinking about hosting a dinner party, why not try a Middle Eastern theme? With these tips your food will be sure to impress!
Do’s and Don’ts
Before we even get to the cooking, let’s go over some general do’s and don’ts of hosting a dinner party. Firstly, go over the ingredients again and again before you visit the shops. You don’t want to realise you’re missing an ingredient right before serving when you have no time to go shopping again! Make sure you start your cooking a little bit early in case something ends up needing a bit more time in the oven than expected, and clean as you go if possible, so that you don’t have to worry about getting everything cleaned up as soon as everyone leaves.
Don’t forget about dietary restrictions. That’s not to say you should go out of your way to make vegetarian or gluten free everything, but make sure you’re able to offer your guests more than just salad. And don’t forget dessert! Making a big spread of food can be preoccupying, but providing even a simple dessert is a great way to end dinner on a high note.
Before you serve dinner, have some snacks out on the table for guests to munch on while they’re waiting for the last 10 minutes on the moussaka. Hummus is an obvious and delicious choice, but you could go for some more unexpected appetisers as well such as falafel fritters on a bed of rocket with a delicious tangy dressing, veggie kebabs brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with traditional baharat spice, or even a plate of good quality feta with roasted tomatoes, olives, and garlic!
There are so many options to choose from for your main meal, but I’d recommend sticking with two or three. Your guests may already be less hungry by the time they’ve had a few appetisers, and you want to save room for dessert and drinks! Choose one or two mains with meat, and one without so that everyone will get a chance to eat. Lamb recipes are a perfect option for one of your mains. You could make skewers with a yoghurt dipping sauce, or lamb meatballs in a pita. Another wonderful option to please your guests can be oven roasted chicken shawarma. This Middle Eastern-inspired dish is made by marinating chicken in a blend of spices and then roasting it in the oven until it is tender and juicy. Give this recipe a try, and enjoy the deliciousness of homemade oven roasted chicken shawarma.
Shakshouka is a spicy tomato dish simmered with herbs and spiced with cracked eggs on top, allowing them to fry in the hot sauce. This dish is usually served with warm bread and is easy to make and to eat!
So next time you’re planning a dinner party, try ditching the traditional pastas or meats for something Middle Eastern instead. This type of cuisine has so many different styles that it’s easy to find something for everyone, and your guests are sure to be impressed!