Dinner Party Trends With Sara Oteri

June 4, 2018

Host a trend-setting dinner party with these delicious and easy Lamb recipes courtesy of Sara Oteri.
Australians love coming together over Lamb, whether it is barbecued lamb
chops with friends or a spiced lamb salad shared over lunch, Lamb is the
one dish that can bring everyone to the table, no matter how diverse their
background or culture.
Across the country, we’re also hosting modern dinner parties, infusing new
flavours and themes with the traditions of the past. Gone are the days of
formal sit down dinners, with hosts spending hours in the kitchen, traded
instead for informal gatherings, culinary challenges and collaborative
Former MasterChef contestant and Instagram foodie, Sara Oteri, has
created three delicious Australian Lamb recipes inspired by the latest
dinner party trends.
Trend: Weeknight entertaining
Weeknight entertaining is the new weekend dinner party, with Wednesday
being the night of choice to catch up with friends at home. With young
Australians more time poor than ever, hosts are opting for authentic and
traditional food that is easy to prepare instead of a three-course meal.
Trend: Collaborative cooking
Collaborative cooking is an emerging trend being embraced by
millennials, eager to connect with one another over food and escape the
routine and stress of every day life. By sharing in the preparation and
cooking of meals together, dinner transforms into a collaborative journey
to feast rather than one person stressing over the cooking.
Trend: Bring-A-Dish
The practicalities of hosting a dinner party have changed over time, with
city dwellers rarely having the space for a dining table, least one large
enough for a sizeable dinner party. As kitchens also get smaller, themed
‘bring a dish’ get-togethers have evolved – bending the rules as to how
and where dinner is prepared and served. The rise in street food-inspired
dishes, ethnic flavours, simplicity and ‘fast causal’ concepts all lend
themselves to dinner parties where attendees bring their own dish,
adhering to a pre-assigned theme.

Sara’s Spiced Lamb Pita Pockets with Charred Eggplant and Fresh Herbs

Cooking is best when shared amongst friends. One can slice the tomatoes,
while one fries the halloumi and another makes the lamb. These pita
pockets are the perfect crowd pleaser any night of the week and will make
sure to get everyone involved.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Serves: 6 (1 pita per person)



  • 500g lamb mince (makes 6
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked and
    roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup panko crumbs or bread


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 6 tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 3 Lebanese cucumbers, ribboned
  • 1/2 red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup tzatziki
  • 225g haloumi, fried
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Bunch of dill
  • Bunch of mint
  • Lemon cheeks to dress (optional)
  • 6 pack pita bread

1. Combine the mince with garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, and
raisins. Once well combined, add egg and incorporate well before
adding the panko crumbs until well combined. Split the mix into 6
even portions and roll into 2cm thick patties.

2. Slice the eggplants into 2cm rounds and fry on a griddle pan to
colour and cook through. Set aside.

3. Fry the patties in a non-stick pan on medium heat until golden and
cooked through. Allow to rest for 3 minutes.

4. To serve, fill your pita with lamb, eggplant and as many of the
accompaniments as you feel like.

• Mince patties need time to rest after cooking to make sure you set
aside for at least 3 minutes.
• Patties tend to shrink when cooked, which can make them thicker in
the middle. If you feel the meat is still undercooked in the centre,
finish it in the oven, not the pan. This will stop the outside from
burning while you cook it.
• The recipe lends itself to getting creative in the kitchen! The
accompaniments are suggestions only, so feel free to mix it up and
choose your favourite mix and match ingredients!

Check out We Love Our Lamb for more delicious lamb recipes!

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