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Summer entertaining - your favouriate recipes (and advise!) to feed groups of 8-18?

(5 Posts)
npreston Wed 06-Jul-11 10:07:30

Hi all. We're lucky enough to have a summer home in the south of France where we can welcome friends all summer. The only unlucky bit is the catering. I don't love to cook on the best of days and the constant meal planning, running to the shops (25 mins away), cooking, cleaning etc (and separate meals for adults and children) is really driving me nutters. Part of the problem is that I need to collect a neat set of reliable recipes that I can master (and I need to learn how to stock a cupboard properly at the beginning of the season.)

Many guests just pitch right in and shop//offer to cook... these are the easy weeks. But still I'd really like to collect a set of recipes that I can prep quickly in the morning and not get nervous about. Ideally the recipes would be made from easy-to-get ingredients as the shops aren't terribly exotic here (can find soy sauce but not fish sauce).

I tend to slice fresh veg (tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, etc) w cheese/cold meats for lunch but also need some composed salads with starches and/or interesting cold meat dishes that can be done quickly or ahead.

For dinner we tend to barbeque but as my husband is French we don't have a natural barbequer on hand. Simple (fail-proof?) recipes for salmon and other steak fish, chicken, and/or non-barbeque main or side recipes that are a bit special would be appreciated.

Wondering how other netumus handle summer guests? I'd be grateful for recipes but also any general advise on stocking the larder, planning, keeping a smile on my face whilst catering!!

(recipes low in wheat and high in other grains would be especially appreciated)

thanks very much for your help!!


HannahHack Wed 06-Jul-11 16:39:22

I do Delia's roasted summer vegetable, goats cheese, harissa and cous cous salad which feeds 4 on its own or 8 as a side.

That or a big plate of leaves, beans, walnuts, capers and olives with lots of bread.

For BBQ, just wrap the fish in foil and it should be more difficult to over cook.

Same with veg!

BTW This is mumsnet not netmums!

farkly Wed 06-Jul-11 17:24:04

Bananas on the bbq wrapped in foil mmmmmm
Veg (mushrooms, cherry toms, courgettes, aubergine) & halloumi skewers
Corn on the cob grin
agree that couscous is a good side dish
Salads - grated carrot, raisins & walnuts with some bog standard dressing
Grated celeriac mixed with mayonnaise, simple but delicious

farkly Wed 06-Jul-11 17:26:11

also not for bbq but very easy, quick & delicious - nigella's halloumi, merguez (easily available in france) and roast peppers (from her express book)

farkly Wed 06-Jul-11 17:29:15

me again...our family have a house in S of France too and the understanding for guests is that everyone chips in whether it's washing the salad, shopping for food, doing the dishes. If there's a really big group staying for a long time we all take turns (in pairs or threes normally) to cook a meal for everyone. I don't think it should be up to you to do everything - after all it's your holiday as well smile

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