Ideas for informal 'supper' type meals for friends please

(68 Posts)

Okay - need veggie idea to feed about eight people. Have already done curry night and lasgagne night. Don't want to do chilli night as have overloaded on veggie chilli lately.

Any more ideas please?

KellyMarieTunstall Sun 04-Nov-12 19:14:31

Tapas or mezze would be as informal as you want.

Mrscog Sun 04-Nov-12 19:18:21

What about roasted veg (with roasted garlic) with mozzerela melted over the top with crusty bread and salad?

That sounds nice Mrscog but probably too lasagne-ish.

I like meals that have lots of 'bits' to go with them so tapas or mezze type things would be good. In fact, you've reminded me of a lovely Greek bean dish I like.

What could veggie tapas involve apart from tortilla and potatas bravas?

cleanandclothed Sun 04-Nov-12 19:25:55

Garlic mushrooms? Quince paste and manchego?

Sparkles23 Sun 04-Nov-12 19:27:41

Fajitas always works well with a group

KarenHL Sun 04-Nov-12 19:27:48

Something we used to have a fair bit (need to have it again, thanks for the reminder!) is Nigella Lawson's supper onion dish.

Slow cook red onions (they only need quartering, that doesn't take long). Make up a cheese scone topping (can be done in advance, as needs to go in fridge for a while) - roll in the right shape, put on top of the onions and put in the oven. The recipe is in her 'domestic goddess' book (try library). We usually eat with baked beans and feel pogged afterward ('cause we eat a 4 person serving between 3). For a quick pud, I'd get something from the shop.

One quick pud MIL does at Christmas as an alternative to Christmas pud is frozen berries on a plate, with warm cream/custard sauce drizzled on top. It is yummy.

Allalonenow Sun 04-Nov-12 19:29:34

Garlic mushrooms
Roast pepper slices
Green beans with onion and tomato dressing
Butter beans with black olives
Cubed feta with spicy dressing
Membrillo with cheese
Aubergine with tomato

Lots of Hummus, Olives, pitta and flat breads, halloumi grilled on skewers, stuffed vine leaves... <drools>

dumdedah Sun 04-Nov-12 19:49:46

Fondue perhaps. Getting to be the weather for it. With baby potatoes, bread, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, peppers ... And a salad or two on the side or for entrée to aid digestion - wine helps too! smile Probably need two sets though for 8 people, so things aren't too crowded. And then if really motivated can have chocolate fondue w/ fruit (or cake cubes!) for dessert.

Dolmades are a nice addition to a mezze.

Thanks. These are all great ideas but none of them is jumping up and down as the 'chosen one' yet. Love Supper Onion Pie but really want something more special than that.

Middle Eastern or Greek is probably my favourite idea so far. Hate dolmades though. Could do chocolate fondue for pud after a non-fondue meal, maybe!

SO: ideas for Greek/Middle Eastern - or any more ideas please. Filing them away for family dinners too.

CaptainNancy Sun 04-Nov-12 20:06:48

Where does one get membrillo these days?
Waitrose have stopped selling it sad
I luffs it!

|What is membrillo? Is it quince paste? If yes, I hate it - but am pretty sure you used to be able to buy it in the deli in Moseley, Captain Nancy.

Roseformeplease Sun 04-Nov-12 20:08:33

Mexican themed food?
Do they eat fish? Fish pie?

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 04-Nov-12 20:10:13

Spanakopita? (Spinach and feta pie)?

Lovely baked persian ricey thing?

No to fish. I don't like it and couldn't stand the smell anyway!

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 04-Nov-12 20:11:03

Or, not Med/ME, but a nice british pie. a chicken and mushroom pie, but with quorn.

Persian baked rice thing = gorgeous. Do you have a good recipe, Hazel?

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 04-Nov-12 20:12:59

Ooh, what about shakshuka? Lovely red peppers, onions and toms sauteed, then eggs added in and baked. WIth a green salad and crusty bread.

DameFanny Sun 04-Nov-12 20:15:36

Yy to spanakopita, also google the recipe for green beans in tomatoes - scary quantity of olive oil but delicious.

And baba ghanoush is another favourite

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 04-Nov-12 20:18:24

I've made a nice rice and potato pilav (baked Persian ricey thing). Do you want that rec? NB traditionally, you'd have it in one dish, then serve per plate. Then you'd add in a RAW egg yolk and yog, and sumac, and mix it all together. This is delicious, and I'm a bit gippy about raw egg. But you could of course miss out the eggy bit.

OhBuggerandArse Sun 04-Nov-12 20:19:59

You need Claudia Roden's Book of Middle Eastern Food. Full of inspiration for that kind of supper, and a real work of love and scholarship. It's a great read, as cookery books go!

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 04-Nov-12 20:21:27

OOh, or the Armenian cheese bread thing from Nigella's Feast?

can you tell I am fond of both carbs and cheese??

ImperialFireworksInMyKnickers Sun 04-Nov-12 20:22:47

We do Curry Feast night, proper Indian stuff is full of veg specials.

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 04-Nov-12 20:23:44

Or, you need this beauty - Arto de Haroutunian's Vegetarian dishes from the middle east...

Or Ottolenghi's books. Can vouch for 1st 2, not seen the recent one.

EdgarAllansPo Sun 04-Nov-12 20:24:30

risotto, either as a main dish or a tapas.
stuffed peppers/mushrooms/courgettes
couscous with a variety of chopped veg
plain rice, lemon & herb rice, onion & mushroom/sweet pepper rice
sweet potato dip or roasted chunks with other roasted root veg
celariac chips
roasted cherry tomatoes
crostini (sliced baguettes with a pizza style topping, make it as posh as you like with olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes or wild mushrooms, etc.)
little veggie kebabs on cocktail sticks (can use choice of tiny cocktail pickled onions, or fried spring onions, cheeses, tomatoes, sweet peppers, garlic mushrooms, chunks of marinated cooked courgettes)
mini quiches with brocolli and cheddar with garlic/spinach & goats cheese and toasted pine nuts or whatever Med ingredients you have not used in your other dishes. Can be made in advance and served hot or cold.

nothruroad Sun 04-Nov-12 21:00:43

What about raclette with lots of little boiled potatoes, pickes and some roasted vegetables?

MrsPnut Sun 04-Nov-12 21:06:17

Falafels, hummus, vegetable paella, patatas bravas, tortilla, cheese, olives, bread, oil, garlic mushrooms and big beans in tomato sauce would all be well received by OH for dinner.

Did Indian feast last time but that sort of thing is perfect because it can all easily be veggie and you can make lots of dishes without too much fuss.

Lots of great ideas here, thank you.

plantsitter Sun 04-Nov-12 21:14:27

Home-made pizzas
big vat cous-cous
falafel and pitta and yummy sides to go in pittas (like fried aubergine etc)
Arancini with various fillings

WildRumpus Sun 04-Nov-12 21:18:31

I did Moroccan for supper tonight - couscous with a mixed vegetable & chickpea tagine flavoured with cumin, cinnamon, smoked paprika etc. Very quick and easy and even my picky 3 year old cleared his plate. DH supplemented his with a lamb chop cooked on the griddle to get his meat fix.

soundevenfruity Sun 04-Nov-12 21:29:30

Risotto topped with prawns and mussels? Frozen are reasonable price. Especially in Eastern supermarkets.

Yum to tagine.

Fish no good - needs to be veggie.

chipmunch Sun 04-Nov-12 21:31:44

Do a nut roast (the christmas lunch for vegetarians) and all the trimmings.It's a classic

chipmunch Sun 04-Nov-12 21:32:12

bunny food

soundevenfruity Sun 04-Nov-12 21:36:08

It should have some sort of protein. If prawns are out then fry some halloumi.

MaureenLove Sun 04-Nov-12 21:37:59

Bet someone's said anti fucking pasti

So bloody expensive. And odd.

neontetra Sun 04-Nov-12 21:40:00

Greek dishes: baked feta in a parcel with tomatoes and herbs; fried aubergine and courgette slices; large beans in tomatoe sauce; aubergine dip; chillie cheese dip; hummus; stuffed peppers etc etc yum yum yum.

Or you could just do a quiche. God I love quiche.

Ooh yes to baked feta.

Antipasti does nothing for me tbh. Most of it is slimy, over salted, or just not terribly nice.

soundevenfruity Sun 04-Nov-12 21:51:57

Antipasti such as roasted and marinated peppers, stuffed olives, cured ham, salami etc are a better buy in small ethnic food shops like Turkish Food Centre. I would imagine ther are more difficult to find outside of big cities but generally this food is cheaper where people eat it all the time and not as pary food.

Flatbread Sun 04-Nov-12 21:57:45

If it were me, I woukd make one centre dish and some sides.

E.g., polenta with mushroom ragout served with sweet potato/potato mash and stuffed augerbines

Or a big goat cheese and blue cheese tart tatin (cut into slices) with a rocket and shallot salad and grilled vegetable kebabs

Or nut roast with potato dauphinoise and seasonal veggies

Or a Chinese stir fry medley -ma po tofu, Chinese greens, braised green beans and rice

Or Thai green curry with rice and papaya/mango salad and corn fritters

worm77daisy Mon 05-Nov-12 04:49:09

You can get membrillo in the tesco world foods bit and in marks and spencer.

jojane Mon 05-Nov-12 16:07:08

Cold meat and cheese platter with crusty rolls and olives etc
Couscous and a nice veggie tangine


Needs to be veggie and hot, rather than cold antipasti and meat etc.

Mexican a good idea but I've done if before and fancy something different. Not risotto - want to be able to prepare most of it in advance.

Still think Greek or Moroccan could be the way forward.

ethelb Mon 05-Nov-12 20:03:14

we are doing mezze for friends before we go out for her birthday. She has a rtoom booked in a nearby pub and we will get ready, grab some food and go out. Pretty informal?

DillyTante Mon 05-Nov-12 22:18:05

If you are doing picky food Sainsburys do some gorgeous butternut squash, sage & mozzarella rissotto balls. They are yummy and obviously you could make your own (but why bother when the sainsbo's ones are so yummy?!)

Thank you.

Don't want basic picky stuff (but will try those for myself at some point!).

Don't want a one dish meal and some sides.

I want a meal that involves a selection of hot dishes, all of which go well together, with some sides.

For example - for an Indian I'd do say a chickpea curry, a mushroom curry, a spinach dish, a paneer dish, rice, chutneys etc.

So for Moroccan it could maybe be: veggie tagine, cous cous, a carrot salad and ? and ? and ?

For Mexican it could be wraps with a couple of hot fillings (pepper and mushroom, refried beans??) plus guacamole, plus salad plus salsa plus ???

For Greek, it could be feta and spinach pie, plus Greek baked beans, plus Greek salad, plus hoummus plus?????

Any more ideas much appreciated - gosh I love reading about food! smile

RatherContrary Tue 06-Nov-12 20:01:20

What about Thai/asian inspired?

Eg Nigel Slater's thai chickpea curry recipe here, jasmine rice, stir fried asian greens (?bok choy or similar), perhaps a tofu/fish/meat dish?

You could also have various nibble type dishes first, not a thai one but great fun in a group is vietnamese rolls - rice paper circles with roast duck/ prawns / marinated tofu with a huge selection of chopped up veggies (cucumber, spring onion, iceberg lettuce, beansprouts, baby corn slices, HUGE piles of herbs - coriander/basil/mint - avocado slices, carrot slivers etc etc). Have bowls of hot water on table in which each person can soak their rice paper circles, then they pile in whatever they fancy from the bits, and roll and dip and eat. Dips could include hoisin sauce or a sweet/hot chilli and peanut sauce etc.

I also strongly support suggestions for the Ottolenghi recipes - 4-5 from any of the books as they usually work well together and are delicious.

EdgarAllansPo Tue 06-Nov-12 20:44:47

You can freeze risotto...I make them up with stock or wine, spring onions and sweet potato/butternut squash, spinach etc. then freeze. On the day I defrost in the fridge, then warm very gently, and then add the dairy (double cream & grated cheese of choice) and some fresh chopped herbs just before serving.

EdgarAllansPo Tue 06-Nov-12 21:13:24

Let's see how these links work...

So for Moroccan it could maybe be: veggie tagine, cous cous, a carrot salad and ? and ? and ?
*moroccan omlette* *briouats *aubergine side*

For Mexican it could be wraps with a couple of hot fillings (pepper and mushroom, refried beans??) plus guacamole, plus salad plus salsa plus ???
*Mexican Potatoes* *black bean chili* *quesadillas* *corn cakes* *huevos rancheros* *tamales* *individual casseroles* *fieos*

For Greek, it could be feta and spinach pie, plus Greek baked beans, plus Greek salad, plus hoummus plus?????

Eat your heart out! grin

multitaskmama Tue 06-Nov-12 22:38:13

I love butternut squash and chickpeas with couscous!
Its filling, healthy and a great veggie dish

CSLewis Wed 07-Nov-12 17:15:32

You could add tzatziki and tabbouleh to your Greek(ish) menu, maybe using giant bulgur wheat to differentiate it from your cous-cous.

Yum! Tabbouleh a great suggestion - and so delicious (minus the evil soggy tomatoes!).

Thanks for those links, Edgar - I will check through all the Greek ones tonight.

Multi - how do you do your bns?

moogdroog Wed 07-Nov-12 23:36:29

I would do Ottolenghi's honeyed sweet potatoes with chickpeas and tomatoes, with Madhur Jaffrey's green bean and lime persian pilaf from the World Vegetarian book, though there's a version of it here, but its better with dried limes. I'd make some olive oily bread, a green salad and maybe a salad of grilled courgettes with tahini dressing.
I'm probably mixing my cuisines a bit too much, but I'd enjoy it <salivates>

NWThreeMum Thu 08-Nov-12 02:20:08

I went to a dinner party last week where they served a gorgeous mushroom risotto with a Jamie Oliver courgette salad and warm bread.

Moogdroog - okay: forget all the recipes and links etc - I'm just coming round to your house instead! smile

NW3 - sounds lovely but not the sort of thing I'm after this time. I want to be able to have a bit of a lot of nice things not a lot of one or two things.

moogdroog Thu 08-Nov-12 19:40:54

Remus You'd be very welcome grin

Honestly though, the pilaf is quite a faff but you can prep it in stages to make it a bit easier. Looks amazing when you turn it out and bring it to the table though.

Must make it again soon especially as I had to go to the other side of the country to find dried limes

I have friends who could probably track down dried limes.

I've got World Vegetarian and love it, so a selection of things out of there would actually work really well. There's a good tagine recipe in there too. I often drool over the Persian rice recipes but they do read like a bit of a palaver. What sort of pan do you do it in and does it stick?

AitchDee Thu 08-Nov-12 20:30:08

Threads like this make me smile.

People I know wouldn't know what half of these foods are.

Give them pizza, beer and wine and they'd be in their element. As would I.

I don't like pizza v much - but I do like cooking. smile

AitchDee Thu 08-Nov-12 20:50:54

Remus, I suspect my friends and I are of a lower quality than yourself ;)

If I tried to feed them quince paste and manchego (wtaf?!?) they'd all piss themselves laughing and ask for the number of the local takeaway.

EdgarAllansPo Thu 08-Nov-12 20:58:30

moogdroog - I have a packet of dried limes in my cupboard that I don't know what to do with! I think I got them from our local Asda.

No way, Aitch. I'm as common as muck. And quince paste is bloomin' horrible imho. And I have never tasted Manchego because I have only ever seen it in Waitrose and it is far too expensive for the likes of me!

moogdroog Thu 08-Nov-12 22:42:56

Remus - I used to do it in an enormous enamel pan, which I've sadly had to part with as I've got an induction hob. Now I just do it in the biggest stainless steel saucepan I've got. Needs a lid though. Doesn't stick much, though I did once overdo the potatoes.

edgar sadly the shelves of Asda in South Wales were devoid of dried limes. I then ended up buying a coffee grinder to get them powdered properly. I've seen recipes with them whole though.

Thanks Moog.

jenduck Fri 09-Nov-12 16:36:46

Don't know if anybody has suggested this, but fondue is a very sociable meal to enjoy with friends. We do a lovely cheese one which has cider in it (can't remember exact recipe). Can be served with chunks of bread & with veg. If you have any left over the next day, it also makes a fab cheese sauce heated up <drools>

Thanks - think I will do chocolate fondue for pud.

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