Whether or not you’re a football fan, Euro 2016 is a great opportunity to invite a few friends round for food and drinks. Everyone enjoys the build up to a big game, and with a little thought and effort you can create a party atmosphere and enjoy the tournament as much as you would if you were in the stadium itself.
Like all parties, though, a bit of planning and preparation is required. You’ll need to think about the sort of food to serve as well as how to minimise the amount of clearing up you’ll have to do.
But never fear, here’s our quick and handy guide to running a winning Euro 2016 get-together.
Timing is everything
Your guests won’t appreciate being peeled away from the telly during the game. So plan to eat before or after the game, particularly if you’re cooking hot food. If you’re serving food beforehand, make sure you allow plenty of time otherwise you may find your efforts wasted if the food isn’t eaten before the game starts as everyone rushes to take their seats for the match. Bear in mind that if you’re serving food after the game, you may have to miss some of it as you complete last minute preparations.
What to cook
Curry and football are perfect partners. It’s a great dish for a football party as you can cook a huge quantity in advance, so you can socialise rather than cook when your friends arrive. Add some poppadoms with a pickle selection as well as naan bread for a complete meal. Take a look at The Hairy Bikers, they do great curry recipes.
A pasta dish is also an easy choice for a football party, and again you can make it in advance. Try perparing a delicious sauce, like this spicy chicken and tomato pasta sauce, or compile a couple of lasagnes – a vegetarian option and a beef version. Serve with crusty rolls and a fresh green salad.
A barbeque is perfect if the forecast is good but keep it simple in order to minimise your cooking time. While burgers are standard-fare for a barbeque you could make yours a little different by making them yourself. Simply prepare a selection of delicious home-made burgers like these by Good Housekeeping and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Serve on burger buns with crispy leaves and slices of sweet tomato.
During the game you may like to serve some tasty nibbles to keep your guests’ energy levels up. Crisps and nuts are the obvious choice but you could also go for a selection of olives, crudites with a yogurt dip or potato wedges.
Afterwards, you might like to finish off your meal with a cheeseboard. As the tournament is being held in France, a selection of delicious French cheeses would certainly fit the bill.
Minimising the mess
No-one likes clearing up so either enlist some support so you’re not left to do everything on your own, or minimise the mess by using paper plates and napkins. By serving food in only one room you can also reduce the mess as you won’t find glasses or plates left all over the house, plus you’ll protect your carpet and soft furnishings from spills.