If the biggest foodies you knew were coming to dinner, you would serve them….(31 Posts)
….need a starter, main and dessert ideas! Everything I can think of seems a bit, er crap . Help me with your ideas!
I don't very often do starters but get some really good bread like sour dough or olive bread and put on good butter and smoked salmon or make crostini or bruschetta with roasted tomatoes or broad beans with goats cheese and mint. In summer I would make a large green salad with various leaves, fennel, celery cress mange tout and roasted pepper strips, fry some Haloumi cheese and toss in sesame seeds and serve with some roasted grilled meats?
Dessert strawberries and cream and cheese board.
I'd do a salad starter, eg cooked warm chestnut mushrooms, sun lush tomatoes, goats cheese/halloumi and salad leaves with balsamic glaze and olive oil dressing. Maybe a roast or pan fried meat with veg side and rice/potatoes.
Do you like to cook? If you do and feel confident then maybe try something like duck breast with a nice sauce, green beans and potatoes. Or a really good steak? Delicious magazine has some great recipes.
If you don't feel like competing, then just cook what you like to eat.
Or you can buy fancy things that you don't need to cook. Just put together a grazing buffet of things like cheeses, cold meats, baby toms, fancy bread, good butter etc etc.
Asparagus with hollandaise and a poached egg.
Monkfish on a canaloni bean and chorizo casserole.
Elderflower custard cream with shortbread.
Depends on your cooking skills really. Today with the weather being reasonably nice i'd go a bit Italian and do some bruschetta and antipasti
followed by some handmade crab ravioli or crab linguine. I love making my own pasta but haven't made any for a while as i've been a bit lazy. For dessert it would be panna cotta with summer berries or a summer berry pavlova
I would go very simple.
Bangers and mash, strawberries and cream etc. Simple food done really well is much better than trying out a dish that you've never done before in order to impress someone.
Dinner parties are for socialising, so nothing that requires lots of last minute faffing.
Tagine and couscous. Starter can be a meze platter. Pud something light - lemon tart? Something rose flavoured? That Turkish pastry stuff?
DXB I do like to cook, yes, but I'm not very confident with big joints of meat (which they always do when we visit them!)
I usually do stews/pies etc which I can make in advance, but I want to do something a bit posher if you see what I mean….
Some of these ideas look great, thank you. So useful to hear other people's recipes.
This always looks impressive as a starter, take the seeds out of the chilli if you don't want much heat www.nigella.com/recipes/view/halloumi-with-chilli-2560
these are a bit of a faff but taste great, i usually put cocktail sticks on the plate for easier eating cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013299-cherry-tomatoes-stuffed-with-pesto
@chipped - can I come to yours for dinner?
Sorry I realise this isn't helpful to the OP
You could do an mini lamb kebabs for starter with some nice raita, then for main Indian Fish, Chips and Peas - oven roasted cod with a coriander/lime/chilli crust served with Aloo Jeera (Cumin roasted potatoes) and motor panneer (cheesy peas).
A lush ice cream for pudding.
Ottolenghi's lamb shawarma is wonderful and after the initial hassle requires not much effort. Serve with salads and flatbreads.
I veer towards more wine as pudding, but that is because I favour wine over pudding.
You could do pies anyway if you make great ones. Just do them with posh veg and make a fancy pudding to posh it up. Serve sparkly wine and it will feel posher...
I would do a main course that could sit in the oven for as long as it wanted, with little last-minute prep, so that I could enjoy having a drink and nibbles and starter with my guests.
Assuming that you like these people of course.
So that's a stew type thing (beef bourgignon? goulash? some kind of curry?) or lasagne/moussaka type thing or slow-cooked meat (pulled pork? slow roasted lmb shoulder?).
I would go for something like Eastern European, which they are unlikely to be able to compare unfavourably to something else they have eaten, and do something that can be largely prepared ahead. For the summer I would do a cold soup - either a Hungarian cold cherry soup or Lithuanian Chlodnik (which is vvvv easy, made with beetroot, cucumber, yogurt and dill, and I have never met anyone who wasn't pleasantly surprised by it, even beetroot haters), and then maybe a chicken paprikas with a salad and gnocchi, as this can all sit quite happily in a slow cooker. Or Hortobagy pancakes, which can be made in advance, and heated through, and a sauce made quickly when you are ready to eat.
And cheesecake with some fresh fruit for pudding - again, this can be made the day before, or if you feel there has been too much dairy, a poppy seed cake, maybe with some raspberries on the side. Or keep it really simple and serve lemon sorbet with a little vodka or chilli vodka poured on top.
I would also do something simple and that they may not have eaten.
I'd start with fried Padron peppers (these are great some are spicy others are not so it's fun and tasty) with tetilla cheese and garlic aioli.
Main I'd do a bit of tapas some amoroso mussels, Serrano ham with grilled asparagus, skate wings, stuffed spinach leaves, olives and a nice bit of bread with olive oil and vinegar
Dessert fried milk and churros with a dipping sauce.
Oh and huge jug of sangria.
I would do
Twice baked Gorgonzola soufflés with poached pears
Pan fried herb crumbed lamb fillet
Strawberry shortcake with balsamic vinegar ice cream
Good cheese board
Roasted red pepper and goats' cheese verrines with toasted pine nuts
Beef stroganoff with home made tagliatelle, with steamed mange tout
Homemade Eve's pudding with crème fraîche
Cheese and bread
Sorry just realised I've written spinach leaves. Clearly that should be vine leaves. I don't think I've ever stuffed a spinach leaf, clearly your foodie friends would be even more thrown for a loop if you served them stuffed spinach leaves. Mi Abuela would be rolling in her grave
I'd go with the grilled halloumi with chilli, a la Nigella - easy and moreish, with maybe a spinach, roasted pine nuts and pancetta salad in balsamic vinegar vinaigrette on the side, and lovely fresh bread to go with;
Moussaka or pasticcio (Greek lasagne, make in advance and keep warm) - oh, actually, salad probably better with this course, sorry! Also, maybe something like poulet a la Normande a better bet (casseroled chicken in apple, cider and cream sauce - very 70's!), with celeriac and potato dauphinoise as well as salad, if you go for the first dessert I recommend below:
Jamie Oliver's Greek honey and pistachio cake served with creme fraiche - can't find the link so pm me if you want the recipe - can be prepared well in advance! Also, an easy favourite is mascarpone and lime cheesecake, which takes about 5 mins to prepare and 30 to chill and tastes like heaven.
Hope this makes sense. I love
eating cooking, so am just throwing out random ideas. Banoffee pie is really easy if you use digestives or ginger biccies rather than a pastry base, but nobody really makes it themselves and everybody loves it!
Rambling greedily on, I could go on for a lot longer..
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