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Dinner Party menu ideas please ...

(28 Posts)
Millie1 Tue 15-Feb-05 16:44:33

I'm having a small dinner party in a couple of weeks - just 6 of us but one of the invitees is an absolutely brilliant cook. I'll never match her nor would I try to but would like to do something really nice. I'd thought of a shoulder of pork a la Nigella or Hugh whathisname ... rubbed with various chilli, garlic etc and then cooked in really low oven for 16-24hrs. Has anyone tried it? Also, it's a huge piece of pork to feed up to 10 people and really I'll only be feeding 5 as I'll have to do something plain for one guest. Can I get a smaller shoulder and any advice re the cooking time adjustment? Maybe it's crazy to play with a new recipe. Any other ideas - would like something that can be got ready in advance and will just cook/reheat itself - preferably to do with dauphinois potatoes (again, another advance thing!). Desert I'd thought a baked cheesecake but it depends on the main and starter I haven't a clue. All dinner party menus welcome!!!


harrogatemum Tue 15-Feb-05 16:46:14

if you've got Nigella her chocolate mousse cake is to die seems complicated but actually not that hard and tastes out of this world! Cant help you on the pork front but a leg of lamb always works a treat for me - and goes great with dauphinoise!

Millie1 Tue 15-Feb-05 16:55:52

Which Nigella book Harrogatemum? Maybe a good old roast lamb would be nice ... it'll be near Easter ...mmm.

CountessDracula Tue 15-Feb-05 16:56:33

I would just keep it really simple but with top quality ingredients. then you don't have to do a separate thing for one guest presumably.

How about starter of smoked mackeral pate (whizz or mix up some flaked smoked mackeral, lemon juice and a packet of philadelphia, serve in little pots or one big pot with nice fresh bread.)

Then do a simple roast leg of lamb (you could stuff one end if you wanted or stick some garlic/rosemary in it) roasties and veggies or something else like that. Or how about pasta? Or a nice wintery stew.

And your cheesecake for pud, or do some really good fruit salad laced with booze and get 3 or 4 bits of good cheese.

hermykne Tue 15-Feb-05 16:58:48

my mum has done it twice and it is delicious
it'll keep for days cold?
lovely smell in the house for the 24hr!

harrogatemum Tue 15-Feb-05 16:58:50

the Domestic Goddess one. If you do lamb and your dauphinoise you could do roasted mediterranean veggies which are the easiest ever - just chuck peppers, courgettes, aubergine, red onion etc etc into a big roasting tray with some herbs and olive oil and roast for about half an hour....yummm, making my mouth water.

CountessDracula Tue 15-Feb-05 16:59:18

hermykne your name always cracks me up

harrogatemum Tue 15-Feb-05 17:03:01

also a great starter that I did last night for Valentines Day for dh - scallop and prosciutto salad - you tear up some slices of proscitto and dry fry it until crisp - toss it with some bought bagged salad and some scallops fried for about 2 mins each side. Dress with a dressing made with red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and olive oil..took about 10 mins tops to make and was deeelicious. God I could talk about food ALL DAY.

Millie1 Tue 15-Feb-05 17:04:33

Oh, now I'm torn - I've been dying to try the pork for ages and ages but the thought of a nice roast with nice veggies fab too. Countessdracula - re my fussy guest (BIL) ... he has been known to refuse to eat roast lamb with garlic in it, won't touch tomato sauce (not that I'd be serving it!), wouldn't touch a starter, need I go on. But I'm used to him so he'll get a steak and baked potato and that'll keep him happy!! Like the sound of the pate too.

Great ideas, keep them coming girls!

harrogatemum Tue 15-Feb-05 17:06:01

why not give him beans on toast? And watch him drool as you eat your culinary masterpiece!

Millie1 Tue 15-Feb-05 17:09:08

Because he probably wouldn't eat them!!! I could give him a bowl of cornflakes though ....

hermykne Tue 15-Feb-05 17:16:04

excuse me millie - to countess - it is my name hermione! phoentic version i suppose, nobody says it correctly, hermyonkne!!

CountessDracula Tue 15-Feb-05 17:19:48

Ah sorry I always read it as herminky (dd calls you know what her minky LOL)

hermykne Tue 15-Feb-05 17:20:56

oh j?* i'll think that now too!

CountessDracula Tue 15-Feb-05 17:23:51

Surely everyone knows Hermione wasnt a dog in Harry Potter called that? (I know one she is pronounce hermarnie

alicatsg Tue 15-Feb-05 17:25:49

If thats Hugh's donnie brasco pork I wouldn't recommend it - DH did it and we ended up chucking loads, plus the house stank for days. And to add insult it wasn't that great.

Millie1 Tue 15-Feb-05 18:23:56

Ooh, I'd better check his book to see if it's the same - can't remember name of it. Thanks!

Millie1 Wed 16-Feb-05 12:10:11

Harrogatemum ... could you give me quantities for the dressing for your starter please. Also, can I do it all in advance or should the scallops and proscuitto be warm? Finally, do you think I could shallow fry the proscuitto? This sounds sooooo nice!!! Thank you!

woodpops Wed 16-Feb-05 12:28:34

I had a dinner party last week and the menu was

Onion marmalade and camembert parcels
Peppered steak with roast spuds and veggies
I always like to have a choie of puds so made barbados creams and lemon meringue pudding. Much nicer than lemon meringue pie

otto Wed 16-Feb-05 12:30:44

My MIL cooked the Nigella slow roast lamb with pomegranates and it was gorgeous and good for a dinner party. I've done an spicy orange, slow roast pork recipe by Tamasin Day Lewis which was fab and really easy too. I don't have the recipe to hand as I'm at work, but could find it this evening. Agree with Nigella chocolate mousse pudding. Very easy and impressive too.

bundle Wed 16-Feb-05 12:31:49

did nigella's baked rigatoni the other night, dh said it was the best thing i'd ever made

Millie1 Wed 16-Feb-05 13:14:17

Just had lunch and I'm positively drooling at the mouth!!!!! Thank you! Woodpops - how did you do the onion marm parcels? Are they an 'in advance' thing .... everything has to be ready beforehand (or in the oven) as I'll have to put DS2 to bed just before they arrive. Otto - thanks for the offer of the pork recipe but I think I'll go with lamb - must check out that recipe of Nigella's which you mentioned. Not to mention the baked rigatoni Bundle.

woodpops Wed 16-Feb-05 14:17:54

Yep, I made them up in the morning and kept them in the fridge.

Onion marmalade is a couple of red onions finley sliced and softened in butter until golden bung in ½tsp light muscavado sugar and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and let it sizzle away and let it cool completeley. 1 205g camembert does 4 portions. Cut the camembert into 8 wedges. you'll need filo pasty cut into squares. 2 squares per person, get 1 square and brush with melted butter and place another square on top. In the centre of that place a dollop of the marmalade and 2 camembert wedges brush the pasrty round the side of the marmalade with melted butter and gather up to form open parcels. I think they were cooked at gas mk 4 for 15-20 minutes. I severed them of a bed of bistro salad leaves, cherry tomatoes and drizzled with a balsamic salad dressing. I got the recipe out of Delicious foodie mag. It's a great mag deffinatley worth getting

lisalisa Wed 16-Feb-05 14:27:58

Message withdrawn

Millie1 Wed 16-Feb-05 14:44:52

Sounds gorgeous Woodpops - thanks!

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