Make it Quick: Ethiopian Inspired Dinner Party in One Hour


Of course the day I plan on having a dinner party the metro is single tracking or some shit. Blah.

When I finally get home from work I had roughly an hour to pull things together. Luckily I prepared the day before. I cleaned everything, so all I had to worry about was getting the food together.

bbelle #sls stylish life simplified tip!
Prep everything you possible can ahead of time. Cleaning, food prep/shopping should all be done in advance so that you don’t stress yourself out.

Table Setting

I picked several low profile (not tall) plants that I had around my house and a candle for ambiance and aroma. I always prefer using fabric to a tablecloth, it cuts down on waste, looks much more unique and adds texture. Black and white fabric is a great pallet starter and it goes with everything.

bbelle #sls stylish life simplified tip!
Use plants instead of flowers as a centerpiece. It’s a great alternative in a time crunch, is an unexpected touch, and great way to add texture.

Luckily I did not have to think about booze this time! My good friend Ian picked brought the goods.
We started off with a rose champagne, the fruit forwardness of rose lends itself very well with spicy food. Next, we moved on to the Riesling. It is a terrific food wine, especially a dry version plays well with a whole array of foods, but best with spicier food.

I butterflied it so that it would cook much faster. Seasoned with sea salt, pepper, Zhoug and a dusting of Berbere on both sides. Then laid the chicken on a bed of lemon and onion slices. I used two slices of my herb butter for flavor and moisture, because the chicken was pretty lean. I covered and baked until the chicken reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, basting every 10 minutes or so. After it was cooked through I broiled it on low to get the skin nice and crispy. Let it rest and then serve.

Red Lentils
Berbere spice is my jam. Ever since I ate at this Ethiopian spot in Atlanta I’ve been obsessed. For the red lentils, I used this recipe and added zest of half a lemon. Turned out so yummy. I will say this; they are VERY easy to overcook! Babysit them, err on the side of caution. I added extra garlic, fresh tomatoes, and zest of one lemon to this recipe. Serve with a lemon wedge.

Nothing fancy here. Since I knew I’d be pressed for time I figured sautéed spinach would be easiest. I cooked it once everything was finished with salt, pepper and a clove of minced garlic. I would have loved the make collards.


If you have no time to bake or prepare anything, this is perfect. A scoop of mascarpone, two scoops of mango sorbet, minced basil and cilantro, and a pinch of cayenne. So. Fucking. Good. And super simple.