Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Year End Parties (with Pasta Salad & Air-fried Roast Chicken recipes)

Hosting a party can be pretty stressful especially when you need to cook for many people. Planning is important and if things can be done in advance it does help a lot so that you being the host is able to mingle with your guests. Honestly speaking I am very lousy when it comes to cooking for a big crowd as normal days I only cook for my hubby and I. Hence I still have a lot to learn on the art of hosting parties. For example a cake or cream puffs could be done a day in advance. Freshly baked bread is an ideal starter especially if you have a bread machine. Start the machine 3 hours prior to the meal time and when the timer beeps you that the bread is ready, that's the ring for the meal commencement. Serve with some butter, cheese or balsamic vinegar over some wine. Doesn't that sound great? If you have more time, soup will definitely be a crowd-pleaser when served with bread.

Another item that you could prepare earlier is the pasta salad. It has carbohydrate being the staple food and vegetables to balance the diet. If your party is for dinner, you could prepare this as early in the morning and leave it in the fridge. Recipe of Pasta Salad is found in this page.

For meat item I will go with a roasted whole chicken and this can be done in 30mins in a air fryer and an hour in the oven.


1/2 box of pasta (any shapes, I used bow tie)
2 hard boiled eggs (boiled, remove shells and sliced)
2-3 potatoes (boiled till soft and cut into big cubes)
1 box of cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 Japanese cucumber (1/2cm sliced)
100g streaky bacon (cut into small pieces, rinse with water, squeeze dry and fry/air fry till crispy)
10 grey prawns (remove shells & veins, boiled till cooked)
1 box of raisin to sprinkle

Salad sauce
1/2 bottle of mayonnaise
About 5 tbsp of fresh milk (depends on how runny you want the sauce to be, amount can be adjusted)
Few drops of fresh lemon juice

1) In a pot of boiling water with few drops of olive oil and salt, cook pasta till Al dente. Drain the water and leave aside to cool.
2) Separately prepare all other ingredients.
3) When all ingredients are cooled, prepare the salad sauce and toss everything together lightly in order not to mash the potatoes.
4) Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

These ready-cooked baby back ribs are so good, they are tender and flavorful. I got them from Foodie Marketplace and all you need is to defrost them and bake at 160 degree for 20mins. If you don't tell your guests these are store-purchased, they couldn't tell. All they will see is you bringing the tray out from the oven and serve right to their table ;) Shhhhhhhh.....


The air-fried roasted whole chicken is easy and quick. About 30mins at 180 degree C and another 5mins at 200mins C is all it takes to impress my guests. Timing varies according to the size of the chicken. The advantage of air fryer is having the flexibility to pull out the basket and check as often as you like.

1 spring or small chicken (that can fit into Air fryer)

1 tsp Oyster sauce
1/4 tsp Dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tsp Sesame oil
Pinch of pepper

Note: I am using kitchen measuring spoons, they are bigger compared to cutlery spoons.

End year is all about parties and food, from Christmas's eve all the way to New Year day. One whole week to celebrate with food. Here are some photos of what I had cooked up with: