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"Dinner party" food that you can prepare almost entirely in advance

(24 Posts)
champagnesupernova Tue 04-Oct-11 19:34:36

So I have folk coming round in a couple of weeks and have decided against what I was going to give them.
At their house we have had very much "dinner party fare"
S salmon, plated up indiv stuffed chicken breast, chocolate mousse that sort of thing.

I was going to do them individual chicken pies (it's an autumnal evening) in these lovely pie dishes I bought but we did a test run and they're blooody hard to eat and not quite the level of elegance I was going for.

We are eating in the kitchen and it is small
Don't want to be faffing in front of them. Would prefer to just remove from oven and serve (even if everyone helps them selves)
What else could I cook?
will obv be pouring the booze down them

MrsSnaplegs Tue 04-Oct-11 19:38:13

HughFW river cottage everyday book page 214 chicken in cider casserole. Takes about 15 mins to prep and then cooks on hob or in oven for 1&1/2 hour serve with fresh veg and crusty bread and butter - mine is on hob at present grin

Idasonions Tue 04-Oct-11 19:38:44

spicy squash soup

coq au vin or lasagne with green salad and bread

dark chocolate mousse

thestringcheeseincident Tue 04-Oct-11 19:39:41

Moroccan Lamb Tagine? With cous cous

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Tue 04-Oct-11 19:40:47

Oooh do what MrsSnaplegs suggests. Hugh is my hero! Also this dish has the lovely advantage of smelling amazing the second your guests arrive. By the time it's served they will be ravenous!

MrsSnaplegs Tue 04-Oct-11 19:46:46

grin I am ravenous now and it's not ready for another hour! You could do a cold pre plated starter and then have something like Nigel slatters rhubarb and caramel sauce for dessert

MrsSnaplegs Tue 04-Oct-11 19:48:20

caramel and rhubarb

BlingLoving Tue 04-Oct-11 21:23:08

Slow cooked leg/shoulder of lamb or pork belly?

Chocolate dessert cake you make in advance?

Starters of canapes you can prepare then pop in oven for 10 minutes as they arrive?

champagnesupernova Tue 04-Oct-11 22:14:38

ooh these all sound brilliant
ANy more for any more?

SazZaVoom Tue 04-Oct-11 22:16:54

Last one i did for 14 was:

Proscuttio, parmesan, tomato & lambs leaf salad drizzled with balsamic olive oil

Beef bourgionnone, jacket potatoes & peas

lemon tart


MrsSnaplegs Wed 05-Oct-11 08:47:37

The chicken was lovely last night, I used boneless thighs stuffed with garlic and mushroom and halved the amount of mustard in the recipe as I don't like mustardgrin

LowLevelWhingeing Wed 05-Oct-11 09:14:20

Ooh, lots of lovely mains ideas here <drool>

My new favourite food for guests dish is dauphinoise potatoes. Can be made in advance and it's VERY popular!

champagnesupernova Wed 05-Oct-11 11:31:31

ooh yes dauphonoise delish

paulapantsdown Wed 05-Oct-11 11:40:13

Last one I did for 10 was similar to ZaZa's :

beef bourginone made early in the am and left sitting ready for a heat through (after which it tastes better anyway)
mashed spuds
green beans fried off in a little garlic butter before serving
microwaved red cabbage from waitrose (which everyone went mental for!)

lemon possets with homemade shortbreads - all made the day before

as we all get together as a group of friends quite often we don't bother with starters, someone always brings posh crisps and dips to nibble at while we feed all the kids some fish fingers and chips/ice creams (before we make them go outside or upstairs to play while we eat!).

Was great fun last time, might do it again next weekend and do same menu.

TheArmadillo Wed 05-Oct-11 12:21:43

I'd do a board with selection of deli meats to start (nice ones mind) with some bread/butter/vine tomatoes and some nice chutney or similar. You can present it on a nice wooden board.

Main I'd go for coq au vin, with mash (you can premake and then reheat in the oven) and green beans (will take hardly any time). Or roast lamb with either potato dauphinoise or potato boulangerie (sp?) with kale, baby carrots and a red wine gravy.

And then I'd do some kind of tart or chocolate pudding for dessert with cream or on its own. Or a plain cheesecake with some kind of fruit couli over the top

AnnetteProfit Thu 06-Oct-11 15:22:08

raosted boned leg of lamb with garlic etc ( all done before) a gravy with redcurranta nd port ( made before)
dauphonoise spuds
green beans

pud CODS choc mousses thing ( on recipe hting here)

and starter is tiny oat cakes with bought salmon pate and a marks fancy prawn on top with drink

contact me for recipes CSN

Catslikehats Mon 10-Oct-11 07:12:30

Nigella also does a lovely chicken and cider casserole called "spring chicken" . I also can't recommend Gordon Ramsey's chick pea prawn and chorizon stew which is better the further in advance it is made.

Cholcoate mouse can easily be prepared in advance and you can make it fancier with your own praline etc.

anonymousbird Mon 10-Oct-11 13:00:00

Some fabulous ideas here, I need to do precisely the same as the OP!


mumofthreekids Tue 11-Oct-11 09:44:26

Fay Ripley's chocolate pear pudding is perfect for dinner parties as you can prepare it in advance, then it takes 30 mins to cook so you pop it in the over just as you are sitting down to your main course.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Oct-11 14:43:03

<lurkity lurk>

Tenebrist Tue 11-Oct-11 15:24:53

Did an informal dinner party a few days ago where everything was prepared beforehand.

Mixed platter of dips and Mediterranean snacks (stuffed cherry tomatoes, octopus, domadakia etc) on a bed of salad with pitta. You need one platter per four people. When I have time I prepare the dips myself - homous, aubergine dip, garlic dip - but this time I just bought them and arranged them on the plate a few hours beforehand, then kept the platters in the fridge covered with foil.

Main course of fish pie, more or less following the recipe by <whispers> Antony Worrall-Thompson. Prepared in the morning and kept in fridge until put into cook while we're eating the starter.

Desert of pumpkin pie, using Delia's recipe in How to Cook. Made the evening before and kept - you guessed it - the fridge, then served with good ice-cream.

Life is too short to be cooking DURING a dinner party, unless you can manage to cook AND make small talk without producing a burnt mess like I did once.

champagnesupernova Wed 12-Oct-11 10:49:15

Ooh hadnt seen the oat cakes with pate starter
I am flummoxed on starter atm

wineandcheese Fri 14-Oct-11 11:58:43

I love Delia's pork and cider casserole - can be prepared in advance and perfect for Autumn.

eeyore2 Fri 14-Oct-11 12:06:57

For a 'special' dinner where you want to go a bit more off the beaten track you could do braised lamb shanks with cannelini beans or how about osso bucco with oven baked saffron risotto. Sides could be mash, dauphinnoise, boulangere potatoes (a bit less unhealthy than dauphinoise, made with stock and onions). For something more homey how about a lovely Lancashire Hotpot which looks gorgeou son the table with its sliced potato topping. For dessert a beautiful fruit tart served cold. You could do a simple one with berries and mascapone that doesn't even need that much work apart from the pastry. Then you don't have to worry about switching things in and out of the oven. Or a smart bread-and-butter pudding? Or even a steamed pudding that steams on the hob all the way through dinner.

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