Well, as promised, here's part 2 of the lazy cooks guide to French dinner parties with another timeless classic, Pierrade. Pierre, as well as being my son's name, means "stone" and a pierrade machine is built around a really heavy stone that heats up so that you can cook meat directly on it.
Again, it's a no brainer as far as preparation and shopping goes. French supermarkets sell pre-packed pierrade assortments in their meat aisle or delicatessens ("traîteurs" as they're called) also sell made-to-order trays of different meats. The important thing is, they need to be extremely finely cut so that they cook very quickly. (You can use a meat tenderiser to flatten normal fillets if necessary.)
Traditionally you accompany it with rice and a selection of sauces (béarnaise, bourguignon, mayonnaise, aioli (garlic mayonnaise), tartare, etc). I also like to finely chop mushrooms, onions and red peppers that you can cook in the meat juices on the stone. Tomatoes are also nice, if you want to grill them on the stone.
If you want to be flash, you can get tiny lamb cutlets and fry quail eggs too. Bacon also works really well, as do mini chipolatas and merguez (spicy sausages) - chorizo would probably work too.
Many Pierrade machines double up as Raclette grills (see here). Again, it's a really simple and convivial dish. It's also pretty healthy, apart from the sauces, and the fact that you end up eating far too much because each piece of meat is tiny so you keep thinking "oh just one more" ad infinitum !
Other blogposts you may be interested in :