Ideas for a classy and sophisticated lunch(19 Posts)
So, it's a special occasion and I want to make a lovely, lingering, laid back lunch for 6 adults. Prob at least 3 courses. No expense spared! (Well - within reason). So hit me with your ideas please! No lasagne, pizza, baked potato type stuff!
Dietary restrictions? Age? Size of appetite (eg little old lady or giant teen)? What will you be drinking?
This recipe for a light salmon en croute is very easy and coincidentally it serves 6. As it says in the recipe, it can be made ahead and frozen if the salmon hasn't previously been frozen www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1771638/the-ultimate-makeover-salmon-en-crote
I love a lingering lunch
Quality seasonal ingredients are key IMO
I’m not a fan of formal starters, but love canapés served with a crisp white wine or fizz - eg a selection of Really Good smoked fish ones (eg smoked salmon, smoked mackerel etc), or a cheese and veg on a thingy combo eg Stilton and pear with a drizzle of thyme honey on a little bit of rye or cracker or mozzarella with grilled chilli and a very good tomato etc. Crab or lobster mini rolls are also very good - using mini brioche rolls.
I’d then go for something light for main - perhaps a whole big fish or two - served with some form of potatoes and either salads if warm weather, or cooked vegetables if not (eg green beans). Or maybe a whole chicken with a tarragon cream sauce with the same accompaniments.
Pudding I’d do perhaps a tarte au citron or a berry pavlova, and then I’d stretch it further with some Very Good Cheese, crackers, celery, grapes.
And lots and lots of wine
I would go for quality seasonal ingredients and keep it simple.
I would do fizz and canapés. I love salmon so I would go for salmon (cooked in advance) or a smoked haddock quiche (cooked in advance) with a lovely salad (prepared in advance) and new potatoes. Followed by strawberries & cream, apricot bread and butter pudding or raspberry pavlova or something and cheese and biscuits if you want really long and lingering.
Mmmm, I was going to suggest pear and Stilton salad or salade d'Auvergne to start.
Or something with a fresh mackerel pate, that is very tasty.
I would do a mezze for a lingering lunch, forget starters...they suit a restaurant situation where a chef needs time to cook your main and the starter keeps you happy while you wait - at home they are a distraction for the host - imo of course! And finish with an impressive cheese board and hand made chocolates.
Another option would be a lovely slow roasted bit of lamb, with new potatoes and a fresh spring salad. Nigella has a good one in her most recent book. It's good as you do most of the work before the guests arrive, so can relax with them over canapés and bubbles. Nothing worse than a host who spends the entire time stressed in the kitchen!
I'd do that with a light starter (smoked fish, ceviche, etc), then a light pudding (pavlova is a good shout) and finally some very indulgent chocolate truffles with coffee.
All served with lashings of good wine!
Foie gras on fruit bread for starter with a sweet wine. Then maybe a whole poached salmon, you could poach it before and cover it in cucumber slices 70s style if you wanted to take it easy on the day. Or beef wellington? Or salmon en croute as someone suggested.
When I think of a classy, sophisticated lunch at a friend's house, I'm drawn to think of something that is very simple and tasty not showy. Good wine bread, salads, roast chicken, cheese...
Lemon meringue pie or this delicious mangomisu www.taste.com.au/recipes/mangomisu/2cc39062-ada1-4ba9-86a2-5b71484937cb to finish!
Starters - well I always struggle to finish off serving the main when I serve starters so tend to avoid. But scallops are always delicious and luxurious and easy. I serve with a pea purée that I make in advance, plus leaves and sometimes a little fried chorizo or pancetta, sometimes balsamic pearls.
I also have a thing about remoulade at the moment, served with hot smoked trout or salmon or duck breast slices if fishy main.
Love a soufflé too, especially this twice baked cheddar souffle, again served with nice leaves.
But I am equally happy with a platter of cold meats, vegetables etc, so long as the meats are from a top quality deli. Maybe with some fried chorizo.
Delia's recipe for salmon coulibiac is my favourite version of salmon en croute. Nice with asparagus if in season.
I like beef wellington for a special occasion too but probably not in this weather.
On the beef theme, Donald Russell's chateaubriand is pure luxury to me. You'd want 2 or 3 for 6 depending on appetite. Traditionally it's served with skinny fries and bearnaise sauce. We have salad too.
If lamb, I love seven hour lamb with a leg of salt marsh lamb.
I love halibut and Dover sole as treat food too but am not so great at cooking those.
Dessert depends hugely on time of year and what's gone before. In June you can't beat a home made Eton Mess (again, I love Delia's recipe). I also have a fab recipe for a passion fruit parfait that I serve with a mango sauce and coconut biscuits which tastes and looks amazing. In colder weather I am a fan of chocolate desserts or sticky toffee pudding.
Cheese is a must for a leisurely lunch, coming out the English way, I.e. after dessert (I know it is 'wrong' but for me, this way round works best for long lunches), probably an hour or so after dessert. For special occasions, I go to Neal's Yard dairy or order from an online supplier like Pong. Also need some decent port or other digestif.
How about vichyssoise to start, followed by a smoked salmon and asparagus tart with buttered Jersey Royals and a heritage tomato salad, followed by apple and rose petal ice cream with tuile biscuits?
Or a smoked salmon terrine with samphire, rack of herb-crusted lamb with minted peas and potatoes dauphinoise, with a tarte au citron afterwards?
I once was fed a beautiful late lunch in a friend's gorgeous garden on a summer afternoon. We had canapes of little nibbles on melba toasts and olives then a green Thai linguine with crab. She finished it with nigella's honey semi freddo with pine nuts. Lots of very cold Chablis and fairy lights and blankets as it got later. Very happy evening!!
starters.a salami deli meats platter.with buffalo mozerella.feta.sun dried tomatos.roasted peppers.hummus,crudettes,french stick to dip in little bowl of oil and balsamic dressing.olives.lay it all out on big plate
some creamy leeks on brioche loaf topped with pepper smoked salmon those not wanting meat can have garlicky mushrooms instead of salmon.
soup of course.
little blinis.smoked salmon cream cheese and dill.beef and horseradish.cucumber and cream cheese.pestrami and melon,smashed avocado and radish slice on top.corn salsa,onion chutney with garlicy mushrooms,roasted sweetpotatos and crispy fried onions.
poached egg on bagels with salmon and holandaise
tomato pesto tartlets
parma ham wrapped round a chiken thigh with stuffed herb creame cheese.serve with warm or cold potato salad or dauphinous or boulangere potatos.
layer creame freaiche roasted tomatos and peppers and spring onion between salmon roast and serve with a rice salad.
I big sharing risotto or jambalya peaullla
ragu with garlic bread
thia chicken curry with noodles and some little naans.
whole baked side of salmon
curry served in big dish with lots of little dishes sides pickles chutneys etc.naans.popodoms.
depending on how cold.a pie never goes ammi or stew and dumpling.
a spring veg stew with stock veggies,chicken thighs little crème frache.bacon onion garlic.serve with some little pasta or crusty bread
roasted rack of lamb.
who prawn and vege kebabs.
prok chops on top of roasted spring or winter veggies served with a mustard glaze or dressing.
whole baked peppers
whole baked squash
seared steak with chimichurri sauce and roasted onions and peppers
seared sea bass with fennel and onion caramlised
churros and choc sauce
baked fruit with white chocolate cream sauce
choc covered fruit
whole baked apple or peaches served with ice cream
OLives, tatziki with pitta strips
Slow cooked kleftiko lamb
Roasted Mediterranean veg
Don't so three courses. That is rather unsophisticated in a domestic setting. Have a rolling savoury course (start with mezze/caviar etc. Then clear plates as they empty and replace them with more substantial things like salads, stuffed aubergines, whatever. Then clear everything and bring out cheeses, fruits, and puddings. Then clear the puddings and replace with dried fruits/nuts and serve tea and coffee).
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