When you find yourself in the mood for a party that's just a little bit exotic, one that conjures up a dreamy, romantic, sunny place, I suggest hosting a Greek dinner party. You can't help but smile when thoughts of sun-splashed, bright white buildings and azure seas come to mind. Combine the sunny images of Greece with the bright flavors of the cuisine, and your spirits and that of your companions is sure to be transported in short order.
Setting the Stage
Decorate your table in the colors of the Greek flag - blue and white. Either purchase table linens that have blue and white stripes, or top a bright white cloth with an azure runner.
Purchase clear votive candle holders and paint them with metallic gold stripes around the base. Fill with white candles and create a circle of them in the center of your table. Place a low vase of white roses in the center of the votive circle.
Create a placecard for each guest by writing their names with gold glitter glue on clean, white clam shells.
Roll white linen napkins into a tight cigar shape and place inside a gold colored napkin ring.
Play traditional Greek music in the background.
There are certain flavors and ingredients that will automatically find their way to your table when you plan a Greek dinner party. Olives, olive oil, lemon, eggplants, lamb, honey, seafood and herbs are some of the dominant elements in this cuisine. Here is a menu that guarantees you've captured the flavors of a Greek meal at your party.
Start with a Meze Platter
Meze, or small bites, are a ubiquitous part of Greek culture. They can be served at any time of the day, and their purpose is to accompany drinks and facilitate conversation. Meze can be simple, assembled nibbles, or tasty cooked morsels. For texture and interest assemble a meze platter as the appetizer course of your meal using a combination of ready-to-serve ingredients along with a few prepared bites:
- feta cheese chunks
- hummus dip
- Greek Eggplant Dip
- pita bread wedges
- stuffed grape leaves
Accompany your meze platter with glasses of the famous Greek liquor, Ouzo.
Lamb Souvlaki with Tzatziki - Much of the work for these savory lamb, pita sandwiches can be done in advance.
Greek Orzo and Shrimp Salad - This is a satisfying accompaniment to the lamb that can also be prepared ahead of time.
An assortment of Greek wines and beer.
Baklava - Who can resist this classic honey and nut Greek treat?
If you'd like to find more of Donna Pilato's advice on hosting parties and entertaining friends and family you can visit her at The Delicious Dozen.