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Recipe / menu ideas to feed 8 for a not very confident cook

(20 Posts)
Monr0e Sat 10-Feb-18 15:37:16

We have invited friends round for a meal with their dc's in a few weeks time. We often go to theirs and I wish to return the invite but I'm not a very confident cook. There will be 8 of us in total, 4 adults and 4 dcs aged between 6 and 12. I'm looking for easy to prepare meal ideas that i know I can do justice to and will be enjoyed by everyone. Not fussed about a starter, just a main meal with maybe a few sides to go with it would be great.

OP’s posts: |
Catinthecorner Sat 10-Feb-18 16:46:31

Something where you can get all the prep out of the way early. Maybe a couple of big pasta bakes/lasagnas/fancy mac’n’cheese with garlic bread and salad

CraftyGin Sat 10-Feb-18 16:51:28

My main dinner party dish is beef bourgignon - few ingredients, can be made in advance, better than everyday food.

Monr0e Sat 10-Feb-18 18:02:18

Some good ideas, thank you

I'm definately thinking of something I can prep well in advance and not worry too much about

OP’s posts: |
Elisheva Sat 10-Feb-18 18:04:07

What about chilli and rice with lots of sides like nachos, corn on the cob, sour cream, corn bread etc.?

CrabappleBiscuit Sat 10-Feb-18 18:05:13

Jamie Oliver eight hour lamb if they’ll all ear it. Or slow cooked shoulder of pork with soft buns and coleslaw and salad.

You could oven cook sausages for kids if you think they might prefer that...

Magmatic80 Sat 10-Feb-18 18:08:34

Will the DCs eat chilli? Made a divine bean chilli last week that just got better after being in fridge 2 days. Dead easy then, just do loads of rice/pasta and salad to eat with it on the day.

PurpleDaisies Sat 10-Feb-18 18:10:03

What do you usually cook? If there’s something nice, do that! All you need to do is add nice bread to most meals and they’re a bit more special.

tkband3 Sat 10-Feb-18 18:11:02

Both of these chicken traybake recipes from Jamie Oliver are dead easy and delicious. I’d slightly tip the vote towards the second one - you can easily scale it up with lots of chicken thighs and serve with mash or roast potatoes and veg.

(Sorry - can’t do links on my phone.)

GoatPavlova Sat 10-Feb-18 18:12:57

I’d either do as suggested a slow cooked joint (lamb in pitta with tabbouleh, plus pomegranate, watermelon and feta salad and maybe some crudités with hummus and a mint/yoghurt dip ) or (Pork with lots of crackling, apple sauce, stuffing and cocktail sausages in brioche buns or baguette with maybe an apple coleslaw and watercress based green salad)
Otherwise a lasagne or pasta bake with salad. Olives, cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts with a little salami to pick at beforehand.

Monr0e Sat 10-Feb-18 18:18:21

The older dc's will eat chilli. I'm liking the idea of lots of side dishes and help yourself rather than plating up for each person.

The traybakes look good as well. Thank you.

I'm not very adventurous in the kitchen, mainly down to time, money and trying to make food everyone will eat rather than separate food for the dc's. We tend to stick to straightforward stuff like bolognese, fajitas, roast chicken dinner on a sunday. The family visiting are great hosts and good cooks, partly why I invite them here less as i dont want to look a bit rubbish compared to them. Not that they'd ever think that, they are too lovely

OP’s posts: |
orangesticker Sat 10-Feb-18 19:44:17

A chicken dinner would be fine. Stick with something you are comfortable with, you'll be happier and the food will taste better. Beef bourguignon is a great idea to prep in advance with mash and steamed broccoli - everyone can still serve themselves at the table.

woodlanddreamer Sat 10-Feb-18 19:50:58

Everyone loves a roast chicken dinner.

Ickyockycocky Sat 10-Feb-18 19:55:44

Slow roast meats like pork shoulder or lamb shoulder are easy and make delicious gravy. Serve with veg and roast potatoes. Lamb shank is also easy.

Nigella’s cherry cheesecake is so easy and really nice.

calzone Sat 10-Feb-18 20:07:46

Literally shove raw chicken breasts, bag raw new potatoes, chopped red onions and chunky chopped chorizo into a large dish. Spray with oil. Salt and peppers.


Serve with broccoli.

Littlelambpeep Sat 10-Feb-18 20:12:49

You know chicken skewers are really easy - soak the wooden skewers and thread on chicken breast cubed.

Marinade in whatever (BBQ seasoning or whatever you like)

Then I would serve pitta breads, loads of salad, nice bread, jacket potatoes or baby potatoes with herbs.

AtleastitsnotMonday Sat 10-Feb-18 20:47:40

If you make a good bolognaise, I’d do a big lasagne. Garlic dough balls are easy to make, or buy something similar. A green salad and homemade coleslaw (super easy if you have a food processor).
I think lasagne is fairly universally popular with both kids and adults and it can all be prepped in advance.

Monr0e Sat 10-Feb-18 22:00:48

Some great ideas here, thank you and I'm sure I can manage most of them! Just need to decide which to go for

OP’s posts: |
FoodBlog Sat 10-Feb-18 22:06:23

How about a tagine? Generally pretty straightforward to make. Feeds loads. And can make it hours or even days before you need it - in fact, the longer the better, to allow flavours to develop even more. Also can serve with couscous, which doesn't take long. (Nigel Slater has a great recipe online for 'lamb and apricot' - I used dried apricots.)

halfwitpicker Sun 11-Feb-18 00:47:01

Lasagne, garlic bread, green salad, choc fudge cake and ice-cream for pud. No-one will be unhappy with that.

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