Dinner for 14

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We've got a love-hate relationship with food in Prague. We LOVE the lack of preservatives, affordability of seasonal produce, and Czech yogurt. The yogurt here is divine. Oh, and we like how nutrition is clearly labeled on products.

Egg liquer-flavored yogurt... it's pretty good!
You know exactly what you're eating
But... we dislike the limited selection (compared to back home) and high cost of imported/out-of-season goods. This has challenged us to be creative about our cooking so we not only stay within a budget but also make sure we're not lapsing into gorging on klobasa and rye bread every night because they're convenient.

When BW informed me after a night of Billiards and beverages that he'd invited 12 (!) people over for an impromptu dinner the next day, I blanched. What could we serve that wasn't root vegetables or typical Czech stuff everyone eats? And how would we fit that many people in our flat?

So the next morning, we organized the kitchen cupboards and took note of what we already had.

This is the cleanest our cabinets have been in a very long time
Then we hit the internet for ideas, planned a menu and hurriedly went shopping. (Of course the cash register malfunctioned when we were checking out and we had to be rung up twice.) Back at home, we cooked up a monsoon of food and cleaned maniacally.

Regretfully, I forgot to take pictures of the dishes we made as well as all 12 guests crammed into our living room, balancing plates on their knees. But here's the rundown of what we made with ingredients available in the CR. Pictures are from the Internet; we could never make food look this good.

Avocado-stuffed cherry tomatoes
Pears and farmer's ham
Balkan flatbread

Coq au vin

Rosemary potato fans
Onion pull-apart bread
Tomato-corn salad

Store-bought strudel :)

The experience made us enjoy and appreciate what our local grocers have on offer. Perhaps we'll have to invite another group over to inspire more creative cooking. It definitely got us to clean our flat head to toe!

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