Easy but impressive dinner party ideas?(21 Posts)
Having little dinner party soon with 6 people and need a quick and easy menu as have toddler and newborn also to deal with!
Any ideas greatly appreciated. Need starter main and pud.
Usually do a casserole and Eton mess but they've all had that a few times and I've no more 'party pieces'
Oh and I don't have a slow cooker so that's not an option I'm afraid.
Plus, no fish as I'm not a fan.
Turn the eton mess in to a pavlova? Easy peasy. For starter you could do antipasti. Just chuck so cold cuts on a wooden board or platter with a bread basket and some bits and bobs like olives and Sun dried tomatoes. For a main you could do a "no stir risotto" or jambalaya.
Anything you can make in advance...
Starters- always something cold. Salad that can be pre plated and put in the fridge. Something like mozzarella and fig.
Mains- tom kerridges slow cooked lamb shoulder. Will sit in the oven all day. Just serve with a few veg and the sauce (don't bother with potatoes if you're doing 3 courses) you could even buy microwave pouches of veg that steam.
Pudding- make brownies the week before and pop in freezer (they freeze brilliantly). Warm and serve with a bit of clotted cream and raspberries.
Actually go with honeysuckles anti pasti idea. So easy. Everyone lover it.
Slow cooked pork or lamb shoulder is always my go to. Buy a loaf of really nice bread (then you dont have to make potatoes, rice etc) and make two interesting salads (stuff with pomegranate seeds etc. There are loads of lovely different squashes around this time
Of year so something with those? I often do a roasted acorn squash with orzo and kale with a garlicky yoghurt sauce). The meat can go in the oven with little prep low and slow and the salads can be made ahead of time whenever it suits. Anything that requires 'plating up' or last minute attention is your enemy.
You could ask guests to bring pudding?
Otherwise again would do something that can be made ahead of time. I often make dark chocolate and sea salt biscuits. Or just get some nice chocolate as people might be quite full?
Do you need starter? Could you just do nibbly bits on arrival. Something like rosemary popcorn or crispy chick peas? To eat when standing around chatting.
Roast beef, potato dauphinoise & green beans is my quick win dinner for this sort of thing. Prep the dauphinoise early - just peel and slice potatoes, season, rub a dish with garlic and tip them in, cover with cream. There are more fiddly ways of doing it but the taste is the same. Prep green beans by trimming and putting in steamer. Rare roast beef doesn't take long in the oven & a decent joint needs next to no prep.
Or, Nigel Slater's coq au Riesling (google it), or pulled pork if you wanted something a bit more rustic. Did that recently (rubbed the pork with spices and stuck it in low oven with cider and water in bottom of pan pretty much all day). Grate carrot and apple, shred some white cabbage and throw yoghurt over the whole lot for a slaw, serve with rolls and/or fries (did oven ones).
Starter ideas...shame no fish! What about pears, walnuts and Stilton? Or antipasti to share?
For pudding do a truffle cake: melted cream and chocolate on a "buttery biscuit base." Or a lemon posset?
Delias Cheats Chocolate Trifle. Really easy. (Looks like it wasn't )
Nigella's mojito cheesecake is very easy but people are very impressed by it. It's just mascarpone cheese mixed with loads of lime, chopped mint and a drop of booze, on a ginger biscuit base.
Loving these ideas!
Right, I do a mean brownie so that's pudding sorted.
Like the antipasti ideas so will try that.
Can't decide on a main, pulled pork sounds lush
making me want a pork and stuffing sandwich for breakfast
Keep them coming!
I would go with soup for the starter-it can be made in advance and frozen until the day. Add a selection of really nice breads and a dollop of crème fraiche.
Anything with dauphinoise potato's always goes down well for the main. I know this can be a hassle to make. Shop bought is also really nice though so an easy cheat.
This is such an easy recipe for raspberry soufflé. Takes no longer than 10-15 mins prep. It can be made a couple of days before, kept in the fridge and then cooked for about 7-8 minutes on the day for a gooey middle.
Enjoy your dinner party!
main- Nigella's slow cooked warm lamb with pomegranate is amazing and with her way of doing potato gratin- truly easy peasy! Also a really good pannacotta- with a red berries or lemon curd side -quick to make and done day before for pudding. I have a fab recipe if you need it. Agree with anti pasti I love it!
Sorry to hijack - but could anyone point me in the direction of a good pulled pork recipe? Thanks.
Good luck OP. If you don't go with the brownie idea, how about Jamie Oliver's chocolate pots - very easy and deliciously spectacular!
jemima I'm a big fan of Nigella recipes and this is superb - though I usually do it without the chillies as I have a DD who is allergic to them www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/slow-roasted-aromatic-shoulder-of-pork-recipe.html
Duck always looks impressive and is dead easy. Just prick all over to let the fat out (collect it for roast potatoes) and put it in the oven for 2 hours, for 6 people I'd do 2 ducks.
For a stunning sauce use the one I pinched from Delia, 1/2 a jar of cherry jam and 1/2 a bottle of wine - stick them in a pan (use expensive jam with lots of cherries) and stir for about 10-15 mis until it reduces.
Serve with mash and watercress.
I know you have already got starters but chicken liver pate is simple and cheap. Get a tub of chicken livers from the supermarket - they are frozen and less than £1. Put them in a frying pan with loads of butter and a chopped onion, optional extras are brandy and herbs or choice.
Once cooked through blitz in a blender and pour in to ramekins to set - it looks like poo at this stage but don't let that put you off. Chill overnight and serve with crust bread and a bit of salad.
How about a pile of marinaded ribs with potato wedges and salad?
I'm having a small dinner party on Friday and have decided on the following as it can all be made in advance then heated/bunged in the oven:
Roast tomato soup with rosemary rolls
Chicken and leek pie
Chocolate cake with sour crea
My party piece dessert is Snow Queen. Sounds and looks fancy but is easy as anything. Basically a load of whipped cream with sugar and brandy in. Stir in some crumbled up meringue (bought or home made) and freeze, preferably in a ring mould for maximum prettiness. Turn out and fill with fruit of your choice. I often use thawed frozen berries/fruits of the forest in winter.
Put salad leaves on plates. Slice a chunk of baguette into 1/4 inch slices and toast on both sides until golden and cut into 2 or 4 pieces, depending on size. You need about 6 to 8 per person. Crumble up some Roquefort cheese and stir into fromage frais - needs to be quite lumpy. Just before serving, dunk the crisp bread pieces into the cheese/fromage frais pieces and place on the salad leaves.
Cranachan is always a good pud - soak oars in whisky, whip cream, much raspberries, stir it altogether!
FWIW my dinner party is tomorrow, I made the soup yesterday, just needs reheating. Made pie filling and defrosted pastry tonight - tomorrow I'll just bung it in the oven and roast couchettes at the same time. Done
This is brill and prepare ahead
store bought mash and green beans.
Anti pasti start, brownie dessert. Easy!
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