Best Foods to Wow Your Dinner Guests
The best home cooks have a few tricks up their sleeves. They know just how to make a dish look impressive, taste even better, and feel even more extravagant than it actually is. These kitchen hacks aren’t reserved for fancy restaurants—some of the world’s best home cooks rely on them daily. So whether you’re hoping to wow guests with your next home-cooked meal or save time and money in the long run, keep reading to discover some of the best foods for an unforgettable home-cooked experience.
For those not in the know, the Hasselback potato is a potato that’s been thinly sliced lengthwise and then baked. When sliced thinly and baked, the potato’s edges become caramelized and crispy, while the inside becomes buttery, tender, and rich in flavor. This means that when cooked, the Hasselback potato slices take on a texture and flavor that’s reminiscent of hash browns. And if you want to impress your dinner guests, the Hasselback potato is a must. Click here to learn how to make sliced baked potatoes at Kevin is Cooking.
Scallops were likely on the menu if you’ve ever dined in a fancy restaurant. And for good reason: scallops are an extremely versatile ingredient that can be served in various ways. But many dishes that contain scallops leave them rubbery and chewy. This is because scallops are rich in connective tissue, which, if not properly cooked, will leave you with a tough texture to chew through. To avoid this, many chefs use a dry-based pan (i.e., a pan that’s been heated without any oil), which is an excellent method in theory. Fortunately, there’s a better method for searing scallops. Heat the pan over high heat for about 30 seconds. Then, add a bit of oil to the pan and wait for it to smoke. Cook the scallops for about a minute before flipping them over and cooking for another minute. Finally, add the scallops to the pan, making sure to keep the pan manageable.
For those unacquainted with the joys of beef wellington, it’s a dish created by layering thinly sliced beef, sometimes with a rich and creamy mushroom sauce, between pastry sheets. The pastry is then baked until golden brown, which not only helps seal in the meat’s juices but also gives the dish an incredible texture. Now, cooking the beef wellington itself is easy enough. But, if you want to wow your guests, you’ll want to take your presentation to the next level using two tried-and-true techniques. Firstly, you’ll want to separate the pastry sheets with parchment paper. This will make it easier for you to remove the finished pastry from the baking tray later. Secondly, make sure that the beef is cold before layering it between the pastry sheets. This will help the pastry seal its juices as it bakes, ensuring a tender and juicy meal.
Lamb is an incredibly luxurious meat that lends itself well to being cooked in several ways. However, lamb is also a delicate meat that can quickly become dry if not cooked properly. To make sure that your lamb stays tender and juicy, it’s essential to choose the right cut. A lamb rack, or lamb leg, is a fantastic choice for those who want to serve a tender and juicy lamb dish. The lamb rack is made up of the loin, which is the best part of the lamb leg. This means you won’t need to cut away any excess fat or connective tissue, often found in lamb legs. Furthermore, a lamb rack is easy to cook and will yield tender and juicy results every time.
Chopped Citrus Salad
If you’re looking for a salad that’s not only easy to prepare but also visually impressive, look no further than the chopped citrus salad:
- Make sure that your citrus is at room temperature.
- You’ll want to choose a combination of citrus fruits that are contrasting in color and texture. For example, you could use oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and blood oranges.
- You’ll want to layer the citrus in a bowl with any herbs or spices that complement it, such as sliced almonds, pomegranate seeds, croutons, and shredded coconut.
- Drizzle the citrus and its accompaniments with a simple dressing made from honey and lemon juice.
As you can see, this salad is not only delicious but also visually impressive.
Poached Pears with Chocolate
For those looking for an easy dessert that’s both decadent and visually impressive, poached pears with chocolate are the way to go. For starters, you’ll want to ensure that your pears are ripe before you begin. To do so:
- Tap the pear with your fingers. If it gives slightly, it’s ripe.
- If it’s firm, leave it on the countertop a bit longer. Once your pears are ripe, you’ll want to slice them in half and remove the seeds.
- Place the pears in a pot of water with a bit of lemon juice and a cinnamon stick.
- Bring the water to a boil and let the pears simmer for a few minutes until they’re tender.
- Once the pears are tender, remove them from the water and let them cool on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Pour the chocolate sauce over the pears and serve.
These are just a few of the most impressive dishes you can easily make at home. Whether trying to impress a date or hosting a dinner party with friends and family, these dishes are sure to do the trick.
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