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I must be stark staring MAD !!

(12 Posts)
crystaltips Wed 16-Feb-05 11:17:58

DH and I have been living like hermits for ages .... I had a rush of blood to the head just after Christmas and arranged a few dinner parties.... it's now coming back to haunt me

I have one next weekend for 12 and one after that for 16 and two after that for 12 again ... ( God I'm a silly cow !! )

Anyway I am looking for some inspired prepare ahead meals .... ideas PLEASE

I am an OK cook and don't usually cave in with pressure - but I want to make it as easy as possible for myself.

I have an Aga ( not sure if taht makes a difference ) BUT I loathe cooking joints .... I get soooo stressed just before I carve that it's grossly overdone ... so I'm afraid those are out ....

anyother ideas greatfully received.

CountessDracula Wed 16-Feb-05 11:19:24

Curry - do lots of diff ones + side things like chutnies
Stew + jacket pots
anything you can do in advance and heat up!

amynnixmum Wed 16-Feb-05 11:22:01

How about something in a pot - stroganoff, bourginon, chicken in white wine etc. Could serve it with rice. Not very exciting maybe but nice and easy to make for that many. Alternatively you could do a cold buffet type of dinner which could nearly all be prepared in advance.

crystaltips Wed 16-Feb-05 11:23:45

Whose are the "failsafe" recipies ? Anyone know ?

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Feb-05 11:51:45

Monkfish wrapped in pancetta and cooked in the oven is piss easy and quick but can give the impression that you have gone to some trouble (when you haven't)

alicatsg Wed 16-Feb-05 12:00:42

what about a really nice fish pie/shepherds pie type thing? Or Delia has a great venison sausage casserole thing that seems v lush but is actually really cheap and cheerful. Think its in the winter collection.

I find Nigel Slater pretty foolproof. Jamie's never work timing wise imo.

Last one I did was a retro thing - prawn cocktail in avocado, fondue, strogonoff and black forest gateaux. Played 70s music and dh and I dressed appropriately. The guests loved it as it wasn't expected and never realised it was cos we'd just left it too late to get anything else sensible at the supermarket. Drew the line at blue nun tho.

crystaltips Wed 16-Feb-05 12:06:36

hmc .... how do you stop the monkfish from getting too tough .... I know that it's a "meaty" fish ... but mine can go a bit rubbery IYKWIM

katzguk Wed 16-Feb-05 12:09:00

i have a great quick and easy but fab dessert reciepe for key lime pie, you can make little individual ones or one big one do you want that!

CountessDracula Wed 16-Feb-05 12:15:54

Oooh yes the delia sausage casserole is fab and so easy. Delia is pretty failsafe IMO

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Feb-05 12:22:32


I will consult my recipe book later when at home (this was a 15 minute recipe from my 15 minute cook book)...maybe it's all in the cooking time, but it didn't happen to my monkfish when I followed the recipe instructions

turquoise Wed 16-Feb-05 12:51:09

Agree Delia usually comes out right, also Mary Berry has one called "Cook now, eat later" that my friend swears by, never used it myself but might be worth a look.
Delia's creamed chicken with avocado is quick and easy and yum, but may not be fancy enough for a dinner party.

bundle Wed 16-Feb-05 12:54:50

i did a rigatoni dish from Feast by Nigella - the quantities are for 16 people, but i reduced it. it's basically a meaty tomatoey sauce plus a bechamel but instead of fiddly lasagne/canneloni you just plop the whole lot in a dish and bake it with cheese on top. the meaty sauce has whizzed up celery, carrots, onions, garlic and minced beef in in plus herbs, 2 tins toms and puree. she says simmer for 2 hours but i did mine for less and put a jar of loyd grossman sauce in instead of one of the tins toms because i wanted it quickly. absolutely delish and you can domost of it the day before.

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