by David Burtka
106 killer recipes, 16 creative party themes, and 250 gorgeous photos--plus playlists and easy planning tips--make LIFE IS A PARTY the indispensable cookbook and guide for home cooks.
Chef, actor, and entertaining authority David Burtka knows that every day can be a party. Over a lifetime of throwing epic gatherings, the Cordon Bleu-trained Burtka has perfected the formula for creating easy and perfect get-togethers at home. Now, in the pages of his debut cookbook, he's sharing all of his secrets and an intimate look into the lives of one of Hollywood's favorite families. Everything you need to throw a memorable party, or to make a delicious weeknight meal, can be found right here.
Whether your event and budget are modest or you're going all-out, and whether the guest list is an intimate crew or it's a blowout bash, David's sixteen party themes-from cozy game nights at home to elegant New Year's fêtes-are built around doable, show-stopping menus that take the guesswork out of high-impact hosting. Complete with endless and fun ways to mix-and-match dishes, create stunning decor, prep ahead, and get guests involved, David helps you put all the elements in place to make every party a success without ever losing your cool.
At the heart of the book are David's amazing recipes, including delicious twists on comfort classics like Corn Cakes with Bacon Jam, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, and Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. And you don't need to wait for a party to try recipes like Ham, Egg, and Cheese Calzones; Mint Pesto Pasta; and Thyme and Gruyère Popovers. Never one to miss the opportunity to toast friends and family, David also shows you how to make delicious cocktails for a crowd: think Mojito Slushies, Charred Peach and Plum Sangria, and Cucumber-Lime Spritzers. So raise a glass and get cooking! Because there's no better time than now to make your life a party.
MAKES SERVES 8 TO 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Active Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
(includes marinating, roasting, and retesting time)
GOT LEFTOVERS? Slice them up for gyros on the fly the next day.
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 large cloves)
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (7- to 8-pound) bone-in leg of lamb, tied (Have your butcher do this.)
- Halved pitted apricots, for garnish
- Chopped fresh mint, for garnish
- Instant-read thermometer
1. In a small bowl, stir together the oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set the lamb on a cutting board and rub the paste all over, then lightly enclose it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
3. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, and place the lamb on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 135°F, about 1 hour 30 minutes more.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and let the lamb rest for 20 minutes before transferring it to a cutting board. Remove the butcher’s twine and carve the lamb into thin pieces crosswise and against the grain, taking care to carve around the bone. Transfer to a platter and garnish with apricots and mint. Serve immediately with Quick Yogurt Sauce (see below).
QUICK YOGURT SAUCE
Makes about 2 cups
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 cup chopped mint
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.