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First ever dinner party- help!

(16 Posts)
DesperatelySeeking2016 Thu 13-Apr-17 19:38:08

What can I make that is easy and not too expensive? I was thinking of baking a Camembert for a starter with crusty bread but don't know what main would complement it. Any suggestions? Or do I change the starter and do a chicken tagine and couscous for the main? I might just buy a pudding unless anyone has any foolproof recipes?

OlennasWimple Thu 13-Apr-17 19:39:31

How many people? Any dietary requirements? What is your budget?

Bleurghghghgh Thu 13-Apr-17 19:42:13

If you have a pan big enough/two pans steak is good (but expensive), I do that with your starter for pretty much all dinner parties

Lamb shanks/some kind of stuffed chicken breast, a nice coq au vin or boef bourgeon?

Bleurghghghgh Thu 13-Apr-17 19:44:40

For dessert I'd do (and do) Eton mess - try making meringue the day before and if it doesn't work use shop bought. Mixed with chopped strawbs and half clotted cream half Waitrose white choc icecream. My mum cried the first time I gave her it she was very drunk

AtleastitsnotMonday Thu 13-Apr-17 20:58:06

What are you most confident with? For a first dinner party I'd stick with what you know you well. If it can be done in advance even better. How about salted caramel brownies with raspberries and a good vanilla ice cream for pud?

DimpleDumpling Thu 13-Apr-17 21:10:46

Chicken and chorizo paella always goes down well when I have people to feed. It's a help yourself dish so everyone can have what they want, it's stupidly easy to make, and its not too expensive.

AdaColeman Thu 13-Apr-17 21:28:02

A simple plan is a cold starter, hot main and cold pudding. That way you can have the cold things ready well in advance to reduce any panic!

Another good idea is to to serve a main course that doesn't have to be timed to the second, so a casserole is ideal.

Your idea of a tagine would work well, and I'd do a mixed meze as a starter, things like houmus, olives, some pretty salad leaves, tzaziki, stuffed vine leaves, falafel, you could buy all that or make some of it, such as the falafel.

For pudding I'd keep the Middle Eastern theme going, with perhaps peaches baked in honey, or thick yoghurt flavoured with rosewater served with raspberries.

Have a lovely night! wine wine

SilenceOfThePrams Thu 13-Apr-17 21:47:19

Baked Camembert and crusty bread sounds awesome. If I were doing that, I'd probably do a casserole of some kind as a main dish, and then a fairly light desert - fruit fool or little pots of something cold and delicious.

Or, I might go smaller on the starter, and go for a nice played salad, with little grilled mini Camembert or goats cheese rounds, rather than the bread, and then enjoy the Couscous and tagine.

Make your most complicated dish one you're already confident at making. So if that's the tagine, go simple for the other courses. As pp suggested, meze maybe, or a Greek salad?

DesperatelySeeking2016 Fri 14-Apr-17 12:55:15

I spoke to dh and he wants chicken tagine so I'll do a mezze starter. The Eton mess with white chocolate ice cream sounds amazing so I might do that for pudding (even though it doesn't fit).
I'm not very confident at cooking so don't have a recipe to turn too but might make this...http://www.cooksister.com/2010/04/moroccan-chicken-tagine.html#comments

antimatter Fri 14-Apr-17 18:23:51

this recipe should be fine, could even be cooked day in advance or earlier that day and reheated

I would go easy on cinnamon though, some ppl use Saigon cinnamon for savoury dishes, cinnamon bought in supermarket is from Ceylon and IMHO it has stronger "sweet" flavour

BoboChic Fri 14-Apr-17 18:25:31

Bread and cheese is not a good starter. It's too heavy and ruins the rest of the meal.

DesperatelySeeking2016 Fri 14-Apr-17 19:38:25

Thanks for the tip antimatter!

Trills Fri 14-Apr-17 19:43:43

Ada's advice is the best, regarding cold-hot-cold and things that don't need to be planned too far in advance.

Your guests are there to see you, so plan it as much as possible so that you are not cooking and arranging and faffing, you are chatting and drinking wine.

OhTheRoses Fri 14-Apr-17 19:46:48

Make life easy. Do the tagine. Do olives, pitta hoummous, sundried toms to start. Pud = strawberries, raspberries, top quality vanilla ice cream and flake.

AdaColeman Fri 14-Apr-17 20:28:14

Another idea for pudding which would fit in well with the tagine is to buy a box or two of baklava, those lovely little pastries with honey and nuts, full of Eastern promise as they say! smile
(Try Sainsburys Morrisons or M&S)
You could serve a plate of those with a plate of sliced fruit, perhaps strawberries, peeled orange segments, small sprigs of grapes or cubes of melon. Looks pretty and so easy too.

As a pp said, the most important thing is to enjoy it yourself. wine wine

BasicBetty Tue 18-Apr-17 12:26:15

If you fancy making a pudding, this is SUPER easy and always seems to go down well. They keep for a couple of days in the fridge covered in cling film, so you could have a go ahead of time.

If they don't work out (virtually impossible!), you still have plenty of time to get something else!

I serve them in ramekins, espresso cups, glasses whatever. Stick a raspberry on top, sprinkle with icing sugar and bingo.

kerrycooks.com/mary-berrys-zesty-lemon-cream-pots/

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