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Suggestions for a casual dinner party?

(19 Posts)
Margomyhero Sun 10-Sep-17 14:15:04

Am cooking dinner for four. Me, DH and a friend and her DH.

My mind has gone blank - what can I serve up? No dietary requirements.

Not bothered about a starter - will do nibbles with a drink upon arrival.

I have spent the past year cooking veggie/diet meals so am stuck for ideas.

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Bluesheep8 Sun 10-Sep-17 14:56:33

Paella? Just springs to mind as this was what I last cooked for a casual dinner for 4

BIWI Sun 10-Sep-17 14:58:27

How time do you have for prep? Is it a weekday or a weekend thing?

When you say 'casual' what do you mean?

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 10-Sep-17 14:59:05

I like this lasagne - it's delicious.

LadyPenelopeCantDance Sun 10-Sep-17 15:09:02

We made this for friends a few weeks ago with the matching Greek salad. It was delicious and had enough for leftover the next day.

RonnieBear Sun 10-Sep-17 15:09:51

I recently cooked a leg of lamb for a dinner party. Was marinated in a array of middle eastern spices and then just into the oven. It is a Yotom Ottolenghj recipe. I served it with flatbreads and middle eastern dips which you can make or buy. Had some salad too. For dessert I had a version of Eton mess. Had creme fraiche mixed with marscapone cheese and added some honey and rose water. Mix with meringues and raspberries and pomegranate. It went down very well with my friends. (Who are really into their food). And not much effort involved.

Margomyhero Sun 10-Sep-17 15:11:43

Thanks for some good suggestions.

The veg lasagne looks good - with some interesting additions.

I have plenty of time to prep. It will be on a Saturday eve. Casual as in just a catch up, few drinks and food.

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Margomyhero Sun 10-Sep-17 15:14:05

Whilst I am not totally vegetarian I am not a huge meat lover. I'll do chicken or fish. Beef I guess too. Lamb makes me feel a bit icky so I never eat or cook it.

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AdaColeman Sun 10-Sep-17 15:15:28

What about a chicken tagine, spicey but not hot, prepared in advance. you could serve it with cous-cous that had finely chopped peppers, tomato and olives, prepare the veg additions beforehand.

For pudding you could buy baklava and serve with rosewater yoghurt.

IHaveBrilloHair Sun 10-Sep-17 15:15:30

I'd do an oxtail ragu, just nibbles for starter and something light to finish, poached pears in red wine maybe, with a blob of creme fraiche.
A cheeseboard for sitting around and picking at afterwards.

Margomyhero Sun 10-Sep-17 15:21:21

Chicken tagine sounds good.

I like the dessert suggestions of the poached pears or Eton mess too. Both pretty simple

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abigailgabble Sun 10-Sep-17 15:24:36

i had a lovely ready-meal from m&s the other day which I'm going to try to recreate. it was a white parsley type sauce, cod, sweet potato, spinach, baked. v tasty and warming but not heavy.

Jedbartletforpresident Sun 10-Sep-17 15:32:43

My favourite casual dinner menu for guests is a roast joint of chicken and another of beef or lamb and then a couple of nice substantial warm salads, (roasted butternut squash, pepper and feta or bulgar wheat with cranberries for example), some roasted baby potatoes, nice veg and some fresh bread. Stick it in the middle of the table and everyone serves themselves.

Joinourclub Sun 10-Sep-17 15:40:18

Salmon traybake

Margomyhero Sun 10-Sep-17 16:28:06

mmm fish might be a good option.

Salmon is pretty easy.

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Joinourclub Sun 10-Sep-17 16:34:47

So easy

Serve with a nice green salad.

kateandme Mon 11-Sep-17 09:57:19

are you with cosco.they do a side of salmon for way cheaper tha you get in shops.comes beautifully.we usually buy and portion unless cooking for a dinner party like your wonderfully baked.
the current fabvourite is aldi chillie sauce.comes as a condemant looking bottle and we lug couple of those over the top with some spring onions and peppers.bake serve with taglietele or rice.yum.bit chilli though if you don't like spice avoid.
weve also done it with ikea pour over pouch sauce the tomato one and the white sauce and dill one.
or fish pie
lasagne is always a success with salad and garlic bread
they do some lovely pour over curry sauces nowadays too.add some cauliflowrr and green beans with either chicken thighs or breasts works really nicely.then you can include popadoms and naan breads,chutneys in with thr meal for a starter or pre dinner nibbles.
eton mess sounds good for pud as its meant to look messy smile and you can change it a choc version by putton choclate buttons,fudge pieces,maltersers and stiring through some toffee or caramel sauce!

FurryDogMother Mon 11-Sep-17 10:03:01

I just did this for a casual gathering of 5 last Saturday (I used 9 chicken breasts, cut into pieces, and scaled everything up). It's a (can be mild or spicy, depending on how much chilli powder you add) chicken curry.

4 skinned chicken thighs
3/4 of a cup of finely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 inch piece of ginger, minced
3/4 of a cup of finely chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons of oil
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 asian bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 tablespoons of finely chopped coriander


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium to high heat. Fry the cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf for 1 minute.

2. Add the onions and fry until dark brown for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

3. Then add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.

4. Sprinkle on the coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder, turmeric, salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the yogurt to the above mixture and mix well. Finally add the chicken pieces, cover and cook on medium heat until chicken is tender.

6. Garnish with some more fresh coriander and serve with fried rice or chapatis.

Served it with pilau rice and a mushroom bhajee, plus poppadoms and naan. Went down well!

Margomyhero Sat 16-Sep-17 10:45:54

Still undecided but might attempt the chicken curry.

I love Indian food but mine never seem just as good as the restaurant meals. I keep persevering though.

Thanks for all suggestions.

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