Weeknight Dinner with Friends
Even on a busy weeknight, it is easy to host a casual dinner for friends. The key: Choose simple recipes that allow you to do much of the work in advance.

Our menu begins with a refreshing salad that combines tart grapefruit segments with crisp jicama, creamy avocado and slightly bitter radicchio, a wonderful contrast of flavors and textures. The main course features chicken braised with mushrooms; the dish can be cooked the night before and tastes even better the next day because the flavors have had time to meld. Accompany with brown butter mashed potatoes to soak up the savory sauce. For a luxurious ending to the meal, serve chocolate mocha mousse, which can be made a day ahead of time.