Dinner for 14..

(9 Posts)

What started off as having a few mates over for supper has suddenly turned into a dinner for 14 of us! I have no problem with this, other than I have no idea how to cater this at home - the only "big" meal we ever do is Christmas Dinner (maximum 10, 4 of whom are children).

So - I want it to be a sit down affair, we can cobble the seating together just, but also wanting it to be "prepare as much in advance" so I can join in the fun rather than be tied to the stove doing some fancy last minute pan fry job, and the types of dishes that are easy for en masse catering. Also, people helping themselves to dishes rather than us serving up is my preference too.

I'm thinking a curry night, where really the only things needing doing at the last minute are the rice and naan and some veg... Possibly 3 varieties of curry, lots of nice relishes and pickles, dahl.... or am I still biting off to much? What could be the hidden pitfalls there?! What have I overlooked that might mean lots of last minute rushing around? Sadly, this is very soon so the outside barbie/salad type option that is so easy to do for lots of people is not a possibility.

I'd be grateful for what you might do when you've got that many descending.

Gales Fri 15-Mar-13 14:34:08

Your plan sounds good to me, although I might not be quite so keen to do "lots of nice relishes and pickles" That sounds like hard work for the actual amount of food it would add iyswim.

My sister has a massive slow cooker and her default for lots of people is a lamb tagine. No pre-browning required, chuck it all in, get drunk with your guests for 4 hours, bring the slow cooker pot to the table and let guests help themselves. Serve with Cous Cous (is there anything in the world easier?) and salad (if you must)

JamNan Fri 15-Mar-13 15:32:58

I'd also go for a slow cooker type dish or something that can be cooked in the oven. Think school-dinners style catering.

Sausages and mash (colcannon), roasted tomatoes/root veg.
Lamb tagine, (yep Gales) cous cous, flat breads, carrot and coriander salad.
Mexican chilli, with tortillas, guacamole, salad etc (much easier than a curry).
Pulled pork in buns with Asian coleslaw, and oven chips.
Hearty big beef casserole cooked in red wine or Guinness (not for the kiddies though) and dumplings, kale, mashed swede and Rockin' Horse.
Fish pie/chowder?

ivykaty44 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:42:26

making the curry earlier in the week - say 4-5 days before the event will give a far better curry.

I would do
this I have never used asafoetida and it is delicious. At the moment sainsbury have an offer on chickpeas 4 tins for £1 grin
cauliflower curry

Then choose a decent meat dish

rice

boiled rice

serve with pitta bread, toasted and cut up, naan bread

if you have a slow cooker you can make the pilau rice and place in the slow cooker to keep warm - keep the other dishes in the oven covered.

make sure you put the plates in the sink and pour over boiling water to heat them up - this will help to keep peoples food warm as there are many people hovering to get food, cold plates reduce the heat of food very quickly.

Using vegetables dishes will also increase the diversity of the meal and make it less heavy.

I would make everything one day at a time before so you don't have a lot of cooking on any one day, leaving the rice until the actual day.

Serve sorbet for desert or ice cream

Waferthinmint Fri 15-Mar-13 15:44:41

Definitely a chilli, and mince is cheaper than meat for a curry,
You can make the chilli in advance, I always 'posh' mine up for guests with some chopped chorizo sausage in it.

I can't do chilli - the exact same group we have invited all had chilli at the last supper we were all at, otherwise, I would be doing my utterly most favourite chilli recipe in the world!!!!!

Casserole also out, as I did that two weeks ago when one of the couples were here....

Am going to look at the tagine idea though, that could be an absolute cracker, and ivykaty - thanks for the stuff on curry tips!!!!

Tagine, tagine, this could be it! Can't believe I didn't think of that!

Thanks all. xxx

dairymoo Fri 15-Mar-13 17:55:38

I'd do a lamb tagine too and possibly a veggies one as well. Serve with cous cous with pine nuts, lots of herbs, possibly some feta thrown in too. 'Starter' could be a mezze spread with flatbreads, baba ganough, hoummous (HFW Veg book has some lovely ones - carrot/beetroot, etc), dukka, marinated olives....

Carrying on the theme....pudding could be a cardoman rice pudding, or something along those lines. I think there's some nice recipes in Ottalenghi's latest book.

frenchfancy Sat 16-Mar-13 14:11:18

I do gratin dauphinoise when I'm cooking for lots. Served with some sort of roast pork ( don't bother with the crackling and it is easy). I always think of the gratin as the main event and the meat as the side dish. I would do a tart or a cheesecake for pud.
I think curry and sides are much more work for that sort of number.

StuffezLaBouche Sat 16-Mar-13 16:17:06

Have you got a big pot, the kind people make big batches of jam in?
A boeuf bourguignon would cook beautifully in a few hours - just make the mash at the last moment.

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