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Dinner party ideas please!

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by lilachardy, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Jacket potatoes.
  2. I would go for something like beef bourginon or coq au vin as the main - both always look impressive and you can just cook them in the oven and be getting on with the rest.
    For a starter - I love doing a red lentil salad (which I serve in a stack) with either roast duck slices or chicken livers.
    Or you could do a fancy salad - I like lamb's lettuce, raspberries, goats cheese and walnuts.
    Or I sometimes do a chicory salad (if you like chicory) and arrange it on the plate like a sunflower - two chicory leaves at angels for the leaves, chives as the stems, and orange segments as the flower, with a rasperry as the centre. Drizzle over dressing and add nasturtiums as decoration also.
    Another nice salad starter is fennel with orange segments.

  3. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Starter - Homemade soup ....always impressive, very cheap, and can be done in the slow-cooker with minimum of fuss. I would go for a tomato and red-pepper soup, this can br served hot, warm or chilled depending on the weather! Home-made bread if you can manage it will earn extra Brownie-points.
    Main - A roast dinner - cooked in your lovely new kichen.
    Dessert - I would do my baked cheesecake with bottled cherries on top and cream for those who want it. Really simple to make (I posted the recipe onTES some time ago...if you want it I'll find it) but looks and tastes impressive!
    Coffee....real coffee with homemade biscuits and little marzipan treats....again easily made in advance.
  4. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    This would be fab if i was just having my mates over - I'd get the raclette grill out (does anyone else have one of those? I love mine) and put out a selection of bits to cook on it - raclette cheese, mushrooms, peppers, prawns, steak, anything else you fancy - and everyone cooks for themselves. Simple! I would love to see my mum's face if I dished up jackets as dinner party food! (I'd be slightly less keen to see OH's and his mum's face, but it's still tempting.)

    CQ, the chicory salad sounds good, thank you. I've never tried beef bourguinon or coq au vin, but upon googling recipes they both seem manageable. My main courses are rarely completely successful. I have once (just once) managed a chicken with cheese, spinach and prosciutto roulade-type thing which was lovely, but too fiddly if I have to concentrate on starter and pud too. My multi-tasking has a limit!
  5. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    Hadn't even thought of soup, thanks Bethannie, great idea!
  6. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    What will you do if your kitchen isn't finished in time?

    The oven should be useable, and you can heat beans, and grate cheese....
    Jacket potatoes!!!
  7. Salad wouldn't be a problem.
    And she could do beef bourginon or coq au vin in the slow cooker [​IMG] (either in the oven or slow cooker, they really are not difficult).
    Always have a back up plan...tee hee.

  8. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    Fortunately, it will be easy to postpone. It would also work out better for me as OH won't be tied up with work and then he can cook! Especially as it was his idea in the first place. I'd be happy christening the oven with a tomato macaroni cheese for 2 (one of my student days specialties, haha).
    Hmmmm, thinking about unscrewing some fittings from the walls now... ;)
  9. To ease the pressure I would definitely do a coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, carbonnade.....that sort of thing. You can make them the day before - they taste better. You could also do pommes dauphnoise, boulangere or, my favourite, gruyere potatoes. Saves faffing around with too many last minute things to do. Then you only have to concentrate on a vegetable.
    I never do starters any more - just plonk bowls of olives, good salami cut into chunks, hummus, marinated peppers etc on the table for people to nibble on - but if you think the mothers wouldn't like that then soup is a very good choice.
    Puddings - something you can do well in advance. I often do chocolate roulade as it can, if need be, be made and frozen up to a week before needed.
    I'll post the recipe if you like - as soon as I have worked out the quantities!
  10. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    That would be great, thank you! I'll take all the help and ideas I can get :)
  11. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Soup is a great suggestion for the starter, or a plate of cold meats and dips with chopped veg and pitta bread.
    This main course was recommended to me on here once years ago and is very easy and delicious: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/tender-chicken-legs-with-tomatoes
    It would go well with mash or jacket spuds and some salad.
    For dessert lemon mousse is very straight forward if you do a non-gelatine recipe and I prefer it that way: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4362/lemon-mousse

    Whatever you decide to do, have fun!
  12. I tend to do soup as a starter in the Winter, not the Summer but I have posted my chilled soup recipe for raspberry and mint soup somewhere - it is a stunner!
    I shall see if I can find the link...
  13. Here you go

    500g raspberries
    200 ml ish of water
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    150 ml maple syrup or honey
    500 ml apple juice
    Whizz together. Chilll for at least 2 hours.
    Whirl in some cream in spirals.
    Mint relish:
    a big handful of chopped, fresh mint
    a wee but of freshly ground pepper (or a few green pepper corns)
    a drop of oil
    mix to a paste which can be dropped from a spoon.

  14. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    That looks delicious CQ - at last a use for my tub full of fresh mint which is growing like wild fire.
    Another cold soup suggestion is Vichyssoise - it's just a cold leek and potato soup but easy to make in advance and it sounds (and looks!) very posh. A swirl of sour cream at the end is a nice touch.
  15. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I've found the link to my baked cheesecake....
    Just remember it's the recipe given in post number 9 (I forgot the eggs in post 1!)
    It works well with white chocolate and raspberries for summer (instead of dark chocolate and cherries which is also scrummy!)
  16. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    With limited kitchen would definitely do olives/saussicon/hummmus etc. to start
    Main - One pot braise of puy lentils, belly pork, Italian sausage and chunks of pancetta. With crisp salad and bread.
    Pud - Pavlova
  17. Pud -I'd go for a clafoutis. Bit early for juicy plums, but cherries are coming into season now.You can make it with any soft fruit anyway (very nice with raspberries but if I mention raspberries again you will think I am obsessed with them).

  18. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Starter - Mezze/tapas or soup - I have an amazing recipe for a Thai-style butternut squash soup
    Main - Something one pot where you can leave it for as long as possible is good. I think I have a recipe somewhere for a chicken and bacon summer stew with spinach and ricotta dumplings if you want the recipe?
    Dessert - Something using summer berries would be good as they're coming into season - mousses are good can be made ahead of time. Strawberry and rosewater mousse maybe, and if you made some biscuits to go alongside it it can be quite an impressive dessert.
  19. Summer pudding!
    All you need is bread and berries! No cooking! (you need a fridge though!)
  20. Another Summery main from me (I think I have posted this one about a hundred times, but TESSers have tried and tested it!) - it is served in one pot, ideal for a dinner party.
    <u>CQ's "Somerset" Pork</u>

    2 pounds diced pork

    250g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained, (or
    equivalent in tins but then stick in at the end, you will need 2 tins)

    2 carrots

    1 leek

    1/2 pint apple juice (or add more to taste)

    1 pint chicken or veg stock

    2 great big splodges of honey

    one onion, with a bay leaf spiked on with 4 cloves

    some mixed herbs
    tomato puree
    worcestershire sauce

    Brown off the meat in batches.

    Return to pan and add stock, apple juice, honey, a bit of salt and
    pepper and the soaked beans (if using tinned beans, add at the end) and
    the spiked onion.

    Bring to boil then simmer for at least one hour.

    Add the veg. Cook for another 20-30 mins or so. At the end, add some
    mixed herbs (about 5 or 10 mins before end of cooking time). Add about a tbsp. tom puree and a dash of worcestershire sauce.

    Adjust apple juice and honey to taste.

    Serve with tatties, pasta or rice and some crusty bread.


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