The No-Cook Dinner
So, perhaps you’re not the best cook in town, but you want to have your friends over for dinner. Or maybe you’re up against the clock and don’t have the time to let a roast sit for hours in the oven. Whatever the reason, we’ve put together a menu of no-cook recipes and tips — no oven, stove, or Crock-Pots required.
The first tip we can offer is to prep beforehand. Do as much prepping as you can in advance to ensure that when your guests come, you can be part of the party, too. The added bonus of a no-cook menu is that it can require less preparation time, which frees you up to hang out with everyone.
Next, make sure you plan your menu. Planning your menu beforehand alleviates stress and makes things go more smoothly throughout the night. Have no fear — your meal can still be stellar without using a roasting rack or sauté pan. Think salads, ceviches, gazpacho, and dips. And if you want some heartier fare for a more well-rounded meal, don’t be afraid to pick up a juicy roasted chicken or cooked shrimp from your local market to add to a salad, or even to serve as a main course. It’s not cheating!
Without hours of braising and preparation, a no-cook dinner significantly reduces your total time spent in the kitchen, which increases the time you will be able to spend on other things like setting the table, assembling your centerpieces, and creating the perfect ambiance for your party. To make the process of setting the mood super-quick, put on one of your favorite playlists to get your guests into party mode, and pick up a bunch of flowers on the way home from the grocery store to brighten up the space.