There are ocassions when you have to entertain an out of town business associate or personal friend for dinner and the only time available is the middle of the week. A lot of us work and the time we have available to put together a nice dinner party is during the weekend but circumstances arise and we just have to work around it. In a way, entertaining during the week is easier for not as much is expected of you and these parties tend to be a little more casual and more relaxed than those we have on a Saturday night. It also makes for an early evening since some of your guests will have to get up early to go to work.
With a little planning and some creativity, you can pull off an evening like this with great success. Plan to make something you have cooked before, this is not a time to experiment, and make it easy on yourself by buying the dessert or the hors' d'oeuvres so you only have a couple of recipes to worry about.
You can set the table and make the main dish the night before and if you have had plenty of notice, even the weekend before. I find winter and fall to be perfect times to entertain during the week. There are so many hearty entrees that you can make ahead either the day before or on the weekend and freeze.
Here's an elegant no hassle menu I often used when I lived in the city:
Fresh Pears served with Crackers, Stilton and Port
The truffles can be made the week before or bought. Make sure you buy very good pears, they are the stars of the dessert course. If you can't find, go with something else.
Wine: Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone
Photo: Southern Accents