1980s retro dinner party - recipes wanted!

(119 Posts)
flamingnora Tue 10-Mar-09 19:28:48

I rarely ate out in the 1980s and suspect the fare I was served by mum at home thoughout the decade was more representative of the '70s! I'm having a retro 1980s dinner party & would love some inspriration. Another snag is - 2 of my guests don't eat meat - so fish main courses/starters would be fab please!

compo Tue 10-Mar-09 19:30:10

prawn cocktail or egg mayonnaise to start
beef wellington for main
sherry trifle to finish!

Cathpot Tue 10-Mar-09 19:30:42

Can you still buy artic roll?

fryalot Tue 10-Mar-09 19:31:33

chicken in a basket
black forest gateau for pud.

vegetarian lasagne was the only veggie option in the 80s grin

GreatGooglyMoogly Tue 10-Mar-09 19:31:46

Pineapple upside down cake for pudding (serve warm).

fryalot Tue 10-Mar-09 19:31:56

cathpot - yes, you can. Tescos do one

docket Tue 10-Mar-09 19:32:01

mushrooms/cauliflower 'a la greque' soooo eighties!

avocado with prawn cocktail

black forest gateau

fryalot Tue 10-Mar-09 19:32:13

ooooh, a vesta curry grin

jellyhead Tue 10-Mar-09 19:33:32

wasn't it all noveau cuisine by the end of the eighties?
Teeny tiny bits of food with artfully squiggled on sauce

MrsTittleMouse Tue 10-Mar-09 19:33:49

Wasn't the 80s the prime time for nouvelle cuisine - teeny tiny portions artistically presented?

flamingnora Tue 10-Mar-09 19:33:59

ha ha! Now a vesta curry could work, you know!...

boudoiricca Tue 10-Mar-09 19:35:20

I remember my Mum making baked Alaska, but that could have been more 70s?

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 19:35:44

god yeah, you should frighten them with three artfully presented mangetout.

flamingnora Tue 10-Mar-09 19:36:59

I also remember baked alaska. And I remember cheesecake featuring on menus a lot - am I right?!
Novelle cuisine shudders - god, not sure I could take my guests down that memory lane!

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 19:37:14

A glass of grapefruit juice in a wine glass on a plate with a paper doily.
Prawn cocktail with melba toast.
Ice cream with Ice Magic topping.
A salad made only out of a round lettuce, some tomatoes cut in half zig zag style and cucumber sliced. Heinz salad cream.

beansontoast Tue 10-Mar-09 19:37:26

oh! was going to say 'chicken cordon bleu'

i think vienetta surfaced in the eighties?


do you have a grey glass table and some black chairs?

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 19:38:40

ice magic, lololol, that is a great idea.

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 19:39:14

Coq au vin, Colmans style!

MorocconOil Tue 10-Mar-09 19:39:37

Nut roast

docket Tue 10-Mar-09 19:39:46

oh the glass of juice on plate/doily idea is fantastic!

Lilymaid Tue 10-Mar-09 19:39:55

I was around doing dinner parties in the 80s. Monkfish had just come into fashion - so might be good for the non-meat eaters. I also did many veggie recipes from a BBC book/series. Actually, you can't do much better than a Delia recipe - her first set of books were de rigeur for dinner parties in the 80s.

flamingnora Tue 10-Mar-09 19:40:45

beansontoast - delighted to say I don't have a grey glass table - though I am sure there are plenty of unfashionably retro bits of tatt in my flat!
Would love to get a Vienetta out but we're doing a Come Dine With Me tribute party so I would feel bad if I wasn't slaving over a hot stove for hours before my guests around!

EffiePerine Tue 10-Mar-09 19:41:35

1/2 grapefruit with a cherry in the middle?

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 19:42:46

Fruit juice would probably have a cocktail cherry on a stick.

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 19:42:50

i am telling you, if you bring out ice magic with ice cream and whatever else for dessert, they will be so happy.

flamingnora Tue 10-Mar-09 19:42:55

Lilymaid - Bingo! I think you're right, you know - Delia could well hold the key to this! Will see if I can get hold of some good stuff from her website! Also loving the idea of the juice on a plate!

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 19:43:57

are they 70s?

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 19:43:57

Black Forest Gateaux

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 19:44:44

Ok Aitch.....
Angel Delight.

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 19:45:43

i was thinking butterscotch instant whip, myself.

MrsMattie Tue 10-Mar-09 19:47:05

Parma ham & melon balls for starters

hobbgoblin Tue 10-Mar-09 19:47:44

Oh and rice salad thing in a ring mould.

Lemon Meringue Pie, Black Forest Gateau as already mentioned.

Prawn cocktail, melon with cherry, Fruit cocktail

Lasagne, Moussaka, cheesecake, coronation chicken

Le Piat D'or aftewr eight mints

Irish coffee

PottyCock Tue 10-Mar-09 19:48:36

cheese and pineapple hedgehog?

or is that 70's... hmm

EffiePerine Tue 10-Mar-09 19:49:21

I lurved Ice magic - can you still buy it? Does it still set rock hard? (oo-er!)

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 19:49:39

nice, hobgoblin.

i was thinking cchichkrn chausseur, from delia.

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 19:50:18

My mum used to buy those ready made sponge flan cases, then fill it with tinned fruit and jelly.
Was horrible sad

hobbgoblin Tue 10-Mar-09 19:52:19

Aitch, I have ice magic in the cupboard - choc Mint flavour grin and Angel Delight!

Are you going to wear a jumpsuit with shoulder pads?

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 19:52:37

mine did her lemonmeringue pie in those. remember the lemon beads that you melted? lordy.
i loved it.

hobbgoblin Tue 10-Mar-09 19:56:13

Those flans are like eating a moist face flannel.

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 19:58:13

Yep, moist face flannel, with halved grapes as grapes weren't seedless, and lime jelly.... Mmmmm. Am I making you nauseus hungry?

oxocube Tue 10-Mar-09 20:00:09

Ooh had forgotten Le Piat D'Or

Les Francais adore le Piat D'Or grin

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:01:03

not if you bakedthem! shock <defends mother>

bubblejet Tue 10-Mar-09 20:01:44

We did 80s one last year and did prawn cocktail in wineglasses, lasagne and trifle. Jamie Oliver has a fab trifle recipe - lots of colured layers with hundreds and thousands on the top - looks v retro! and we did cheese and pineapple sticks on the foil hedgehog thing for nibbles with ritz crackers and primula cheese spread! (although strangely enough no one ate those...)
Also got everyone to give me photos of them in the 80s and stuck around the room. Backfired with my younger guests tho who brought baby photos... boy did we feel old..
hope you have fun!

hobbgoblin Tue 10-Mar-09 20:01:56

Is Ferrero Rocher 90s?

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:02:32

that soundsGREAT, bubble.

ChippyMinton Tue 10-Mar-09 20:04:17

Have plundered my recipe books, and from a Sainsburys cookbook dated 1985, I suggest for
pate, terrine, avocado pears stuffed with prawn cocktail
chicken kiev, exotic fish pie, chilli con carne, crispy duck (boiled and hung up to dry in your airing cupboard!), pork tenderloin, anything wrapped in puff pastry
anything with kiwi fruit, baked alaska

or (my favourite) the entire meal cooked in a microwave grin

oxocube Tue 10-Mar-09 20:04:24

Isn't Angel Delight 70's? I am a 66 babe and remember eating Angel Delight as a kid. Parma ham, mozzarella, parmesan and all things foreign definitely came to a head in the 80's I think

hobbgoblin Tue 10-Mar-09 20:05:55

Am puzzled by baking ready baked flan cases - are we talking the pastry or the sponge ones?

Babycham is 70s isn't it, sadly?

oxocube Tue 10-Mar-09 20:06:50

I remember my parents buying their first microwave and me cooking a chicken in a 'browning bag' in it. Went with the microwaved carrots and peas!! Very new age wink

IotasCat Tue 10-Mar-09 20:07:43

Agree with oxoxube- loads of suggestins on this thread are from the seventies

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:07:54

i'm talking sponge.

oxocube Tue 10-Mar-09 20:07:56

Bisto Instant Gravy Granules. Now they were definitely eighties

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:08:50

but iotascat, i think that normal folk ate them in the 80s, iykwim?

Goober Tue 10-Mar-09 20:09:20

Spaghetti bolognaise with mounds of dried parmasan shaken onto. Real thick spaghetti.

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:10:37

ah yes, the stuff that smells of vomit...

ChippyMinton Tue 10-Mar-09 20:15:08

Lots of this stuff is 70s. 80s was much fussier - odd combinations of ingredients, garnishes, 'exotic' ingredients.

MrsTittleMouse Tue 10-Mar-09 20:15:50

kiwi fruit is definitely 80s

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:17:32

there was a lot of physalis, i think.

oxocube Tue 10-Mar-09 20:18:23

tiramisu? tuna pasta bake?

IotasCat Tue 10-Mar-09 20:18:30

Well I remember making chilli, risotto and spag bol when I was a student in the early eighties.

And I remember things like angel delight and arctic roll from when I was a child in the seventies.

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:22:38

i deffo think spag and chili are 70s, or they were in our house.

hobbgoblin Tue 10-Mar-09 20:22:47

Do you know how to make roses out of tomatoes?

ChippyMinton Tue 10-Mar-09 20:23:46

Yes, physalis - adorning a cheesecake perhaps LOL
Lots of dramatic desserts like layered meringues and bombes

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:27:21

lol at bombes. my mum was the queen of the hazlenut nutella pavlova.

IotasCat Tue 10-Mar-09 20:28:10

My mother certainly used to make spag bol and lasagne in the seventies. Along with traditional favourites of steak and kidney pie, shepherds pie, gammon with broad beans and parsley sauce ( no pineapple) liver and bacon, chops, beef stew and mash and so on.

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 20:29:20

i do think you should try to fool them with a nouvelle cuisine course, they'll be GUTTED. and then bring out a beef wellington and bowls of mangetout etc.

MmeLindt Tue 10-Mar-09 20:35:53

I can remember my mum making Baked Alaska when I was about 8 or 9 so that would be early 80s. I also recall the time she dropped the perfect and painstakingly decorated Pavlova in the pot drawer while taking it out of the fridge.

DB did his O level cookery at the end of the 80s. He cooked Spag Bol and Choc Mousse.

ChippyMinton Tue 10-Mar-09 20:36:34

what about this from my DH's 80s microwave cookbook:
Sauteed Turkey and Banana with Lemon Sauce
Kidney and Celery Saute
Savoury Haddock Crumble

Fruited Butterscotch Ring
Creamy Chocolate Banana Pie

BriansAmazingBeard Tue 10-Mar-09 20:39:34


agree with prawn cocktail with home made marie rose (kethup and salad cream)

80s foods

or melon and port

and you gotta have chicken chassure

and egg custard, baked alaska or merange nests

BriansAmazingBeard Tue 10-Mar-09 20:42:55


harpomarx Tue 10-Mar-09 20:51:00

jesus, chippy - that is one hell of a cookbook you your DH has got...

I love old cookbooks, especially really old ones written by WI members and featuring loads of vomtastic salads made of corned beef, lime jelly and whipped cream.

ChippyMinton Tue 10-Mar-09 20:54:23

"Recipes supplied and tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute" no less! Really must have a clear out, although in my his defence it was hidden behind a row of nigella and jamies grin

harpomarx Tue 10-Mar-09 20:58:52

I think it deserves pride of place, chippy! have you ever tried the kidney/celery or turkey/banana/lemon combo???

MmeLindt Tue 10-Mar-09 21:10:55

What about Vol-au-vonts? Surely they deserve a mention?

Filled with tuna/salad cream or prawn cocktail or even chicken supreme.

Dozymare Tue 10-Mar-09 21:13:04

How about credit crunching nouveau cuisine?? Just serve them a baby carrot on a plate with artistically styled garnish? grin

Babbity Tue 10-Mar-09 21:17:34

My mum's dinner parties in the 80s were a half avocado filled with prawn marie rose, sprinkled with cayenne pepper

main was something delia ish with "crusty bread" (very Jen Teale)

pud was homemade choux pastry profiteroles with chocolate sauce

AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 21:22:14

rofl crusty bread.

Mercy Tue 10-Mar-09 21:22:38

I agree,a lot of hte food mentioned was 1970s style food.

Ime, the 80s was more about the introduction chilled and frozen products and ready meals! (and some 'exotic' food)

Eg, chicken nuggets and oven chips followed by some defrosted dessert (Sara Lee gateau maybe?)

Mercy Tue 10-Mar-09 21:25:15

garlic bread was big news.

Babbity Tue 10-Mar-09 21:27:35

mercy yes definitely. I used to be allowed to make the garlic bread - french stick, butter with crushed garlic, foil --> oven. Voila. Sophisticé, non?

squeaver Tue 10-Mar-09 21:28:15

Loving this thread, especially melon with port.

I'm pretty sure my Mum discovered cheesecake in the 80s - with the base made from digestive biscuits of course. Also pate - I'm certain I was teenager before I tried that.

My Mum's great starter was half a hard boiled egg covered with Campbells condensed mushroom soup, served in a ramekin dish [boak emoticon].

BriansAmazingBeard Tue 10-Mar-09 21:30:38

half a hard boiled egg covered with Campbells condensed mushroom soup, served in a ramekin dish

<vom squared>

Mercy Tue 10-Mar-09 21:33:13

Cheesecake - oh yes!

MmeLindt Tue 10-Mar-09 21:34:01

You just reminded me of mum's blackcurrant cheesecake, out of a packet. The crowning glory was the little foil packet with the berry plastic-flavoured sauce. It was quite purple. I loved it.

squeaver Tue 10-Mar-09 21:35:01

I tell you, Brian, she'd had it at a dinner party then inflicted it on served it to us for ever after...

squeaver Tue 10-Mar-09 21:35:54

Oh I think ours came from a packet too!

I've just thought of something - you have to serve Blue Nun wine!!! Or Mateus Rose!

Babbity Tue 10-Mar-09 21:37:21

Nigella's London Chesecake is an absolute replica of the one my mum used to make - biscuit made from digestives (I did it last weekend and it was lovely). Mum use to cover it in thinly sliced kiwifruit halves. Kiwifruit is definitely an 80s fruit.

When did sundried tomatoes come in - early 90s?

BriansAmazingBeard Tue 10-Mar-09 21:37:31
AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 21:37:35

LOVED that too, mmelindt. with biscuit base.

MmeLindt Tue 10-Mar-09 21:40:54



The height of sophistication

I lived in Germany for 16 years and never saw it on sale. No German has ever heard of it, much less tasted it.

BriansAmazingBeard Tue 10-Mar-09 21:40:59


The name is a German word literally meaning "Beloved lady's milk".

In Germany this wine is sold as low-priced supermarket wine due to the perceived campiness.

In the U.S. and the UK, perhaps the best known example has been Blue Nun, which no longer uses the Liebfraumilch designation. While the term is associated with low quality wine, Liebfraumilch is defined by the German Wine Law as one step above the lowest category, Tafelwein (table wine).

BriansAmazingBeard Tue 10-Mar-09 21:41:52

perceived campiness


MmeLindt Tue 10-Mar-09 21:42:01

Or Sangria



80s were definitely the era of poncetastic food. Nouvelle cuisine especially. Anything with kiwi fruit and mangetout.

I used to buy a magazine called A La Carte, which was real foody porn. It inspired a series of OTT dinner parties; yuppies were all the rage as well.

One colour plate in particular inspired it. It was in a feature of an 'ordinary' reader and her dinner party, and featured one dish that was mangetout stuffed with pearls. I kid you not!

One menu I remember went like this:

White and green tagliatelle, woven together to form a green/white sort of mat effect, stuffed with mozzarella and garlicky tomato sauce

A sort of savoury swiss roll of quails eggs and cheese/tarragon sauce

Pink champagne jelly

All served with vats of Champagne!

Babbity Tue 10-Mar-09 21:43:41

Mangetout - brilliant. The height of sophistication chez nous (see what I did there?). I hated the rubbery bloody things.

MmeLindt Tue 10-Mar-09 21:44:20

LOL only winos in Germany would touch blue nun. We keep the good stuff for ourselves.

Really, to be authentic it has to be out of a box

Babbity Tue 10-Mar-09 21:45:19

tagliatelle - very 80s.

some kind of fish, with tagliatelle (tricolore, natch) and mangetout?

fishie Tue 10-Mar-09 21:47:13

grilled grapefruit
vol au vent

lauradora Tue 10-Mar-09 21:47:25

ice magic..we need a revival!
sure chicken kiev was a bit of a dinner party special in the 80s

BriansAmazingBeard Tue 10-Mar-09 21:47:44

lol at grilled grapefruit


Mercy Tue 10-Mar-09 21:48:01

babbity, yes I think sun dried toms were 90s. When I was a young a kiwi fruit was known a as Chinese gooseberry (but I had a forriner father)

Pasta was popular in the 80s (especially taglietelle and lasagne iirc). Ready made sandwiches (prawn and mayo)

Babbity Tue 10-Mar-09 21:49:09

ice magic, chicken kiev, vol au vents - thy're up there with chesy pineapple things in the 70s dinner party rather than the 80s, I'd say. I'm sure mum served vol au vents in an ironic way in the 80swink knowing they were already out of fashion.

Mercy Tue 10-Mar-09 21:50:47

babbity beat me to it! god I'm slow

tricolore indeed!

abouteve Tue 10-Mar-09 21:52:33

Mangetout Rodney!!!

Mercy Tue 10-Mar-09 21:57:13


AitchTwoOh Tue 10-Mar-09 22:20:10

rofl at mangetout rodney.

squeaver Tue 10-Mar-09 22:35:10

Now I think about it, in the 80s when I was at Uni and we were trying to be dead sophisticated like, Delia was our bible; tagliatelle was cutting edge (esp green tagliatelle); chocolate mousse was impressive; we flirted with sun dried toms and pushed the boat out with a bottle of Merlot.

Vulgar Thu 12-Mar-09 12:54:38

Banoffee pie was a really 80's dessert.

spiralperm Thu 12-Mar-09 14:14:11

nobody has mentioned Surf 'n' Turf....

permatired Thu 12-Mar-09 15:22:23

This fab! I'd vote for the glass of juice on a doily, prawn cocktail, veggie lasagne & black forest gateau (& Tainted Love playing in the background, legwarmers and a side ponytail too - wahoo!). Can I come?

eeyore2 Thu 12-Mar-09 16:57:58

My mum was a caterer in the 80s. She used to cook the food at home and then put it in the car, drive over to the client, sneak it in the back door and then the lady of the house would serve it to her dinner party guests with a big flourish, not mentioning that it wasn't actually made by her own fair hand. I still have all her old files of recipes from those days. Big 80s dishes were any type of 'roulade' (sweet or savoury), souffles (sweet or savoury again), 'floating islands' for dessert, and all sorts of mousses and pate's. Lasagna was definitely big as well.

shockers Thu 12-Mar-09 17:24:08

I seem to remember a big trend for Mexican food served with Sol(or some other bottled lager) with a wedge of lime stuck in the neck , can't think of any desserts other than Vienetta... although it did arrive in mint flavour in the 80's if you wanted something a little more exotic!!!

shockers Thu 12-Mar-09 17:25:53

Ooooh... and Lambrusco to drink ( red cos we were classy teenagers!)

oxocube Thu 12-Mar-09 21:25:46

grin at the Sol and similar. I do remember eating loads of Mexican food in the late 80's: I discovered the burrito and the enchilada alongside American desserts like chocolate fudge cake and brownies. Up til then, I had been a Victoria Sponge and Lemon Meringue pie from a Green's packet mix kind of gal!!

tjtheminx Fri 13-Mar-09 00:28:26

I thought Sol and the like didn't turn up till 1990 (but I was in Ireland so I suppose the UK was far more sophisticated then)

I distinctly recall things being served on black plates:

This is a bit mixed up 70s and 80s but here goes:

-1/2 a melon (very generous) with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper
-Garlic bread
-1/2 a grapefruit
-pate and melba toast
- tiny glass of orange juice (from a carton obviously)

-Quiche Lorraine
-Spag Bol
-Coquille St Jacques
-Mixed Grill
-Chicken and Mushroom Vol au Vents
-Chicken Cordon Bleu
-Crepes with chicken and mushroom or seafood -sauce

-Pavlova with Kiwi Fruit
-Tinned Fruit Cocktail in a stainless steel cup thing (the grapefruit from the starter served in the same kind of bowl)
-Knickerbocker Glory

My Dad would take us to the "Big City" ( Cork!)once or twice a year and this is what I remember from the menu in the "posh" resturant he used to take us to.

EustaciaVye Fri 13-Mar-09 18:39:11

prawn cocktail
spag bol
baked alaska

JoeTwoTies Sun 15-Mar-09 21:46:44

How about a cheese fondue? We hosted a cheesy 80's dinner eve this week and the fondue went down a storm!!

My kids (aged 10 & 13 have just asked if I could make a fondue. Has it come up in some TV programme, I wonder? Chocolate mousse is a) definitely very 80s and b) delioious. How about chilled avocado soup for a starter? Oh, and cocktails were HUGE - Pina Coladas and Brandy Alexanders.

grannystap09 Sun 16-Feb-14 15:29:22

i remember a la carte magazines i thought it was brilliant

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