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Reasonable dinner for guests that is low effort

17 replies

iismum · 06/06/2019 13:52

We've unexpectedly got friends coming round for dinner tonight and I've got a lot on and am pretty knackered. I know they'd be happy with a take away but they always make a big effort for us and I'd like to do something ... Any suggestions about what would be not-too-disappointing dinner but would be pretty easy to make. It can take time in the oven, etc., as I'll be at home, but not a huge amount of preparation time.

OP posts:
BIWI · 06/06/2019 13:57

Roast chicken (stuff the cavity with lemons, squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken, give it a good coating of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and dried oregano or thyme)

Roast veg - essentially a tray bake! - peppers, onions, carrots, cauliflower, couple of heads of garlic, courgettes - maybe a couple of chopped chillies if you like heat, good drizzle of olive oil, seasoned well, roast for 20 minutes on a high heat till starting to brown, then chuck in a handful of cherry tomatoes and continue to roast for another 20 minutes till well charred

Green salad/crusty bread to accompany it

Fresh strawberries and clotted cream

Cheese platter

iismum · 06/06/2019 14:05

Ooh, great ideas! There's one veggie but he would be happy with a good selection of roast veg.

OP posts:
AdaColeman · 06/06/2019 14:51

Coq au vin, make it with chicken portions, chopped tomatoes, prepared mushrooms, red wine. No need to brown the chicken first, just assemble and put in the oven.
Serve with ready made mash, or rice or a quick to cook pasta.

Perhaps you could do a quorn version for the vegetarian, or a mushroom stroganoff which would use a lot of the same ingredients?

If you want a starter, roast asparagus, with strawberries and cream for pudding. If you have time, or a helpful child available, you could dip a few of the strawberries in melted chocolate to dress up the pudding a bit.

Wine Wine Wine Wine Wine

H2OH20Everywhere · 06/06/2019 16:31

For pudding:

Put a cup of brown sugar into a sweet pastry case. Add a tablespoon of plain flower and mix with your hands, getting rid of any lumps. Add 200ml of double cream and use a finger to stir together.

160 degrees for 45-75 mins. The middle should be wobbly but firm. Leave to cool for as long as possible.

DirtyDennis · 06/06/2019 16:33

A vegetable tray bake sounds like a lot of work when you factor in chopping.

I always always prefer a take away when going round to friends houses for tea.

Sexnotgender · 06/06/2019 16:35

Roasted vegetables finished with fresh pesto is delicious as a side with roast chicken, not jar pesto, the stuff you get in the fridges by the pasta.

Whoopstheregomyinsides · 06/06/2019 16:47

Garlic mushroom and blue cheese pasta with green salad and nice bread.
Fry mushrooms with garlic, add enough double cream to make a sauce and chuck blue cheese in to melt before serving.
Bag mixed leaves with dressing and crusty bread. Everyone fed one dish
Leave cheese out of you don’t like it
Bought vanilla cheesecake.

BIWI · 06/06/2019 16:58

Not a lot of chopping for roast veg! Cut peppers into quarters, peel onion and chop into eighths. Courgettes into quarters, cauliflower into florets - it shouldn't take more than ten minutes to do that. It doesn't need small chunks, which is what makes it so easy to do.

SinkGirl · 06/06/2019 17:00

Steak and chips, particularly cote de boeuf if you can get one in time, would be my meal of choice for this scenario as it’s low effort and amazing if you can cook it well.

Slow cooked shoulder of lamb is the other, but probably not enough time now!

Easiest dinner ever that looks good is some large fresh filled pasta with a burnt butter, sage and Parmesan sauce (all in, about 10 mins cook and prep), can be veggie too. Chuck in a fancy garlic bread and you’re done!

(To be fair i’d rather have a takeaway too as then there’s no problem picking what you want!)

noodledoodler · 06/06/2019 17:15

Chicken breasts in a dish, cover with grated cheese, add slices of bacon on top, tomatoes round the edge, italian herb seasoning and olive oil. If I have chorizo or mushrooms/peppers I might chop a bit and sprinkle it on. Stick some spuds in the oven to bake. Green salad. Your veggie could have a meat free version of the bake.

poopypants · 06/06/2019 17:19

H20H20everywhere why wouldn't you mix it all in a jug or small bowl and pour it into the case? It doesn't save any time and barely any extra washing up by mixing with your fingers in the case. And it would be better mixed surely.

ElizabethinherGermanGarden · 06/06/2019 17:40

Buy something from Cook! Always delicious.

BlueSkiesLies · 06/06/2019 17:45

Two packs of green beans
Pack or two of nice baby tomatoes
Kalamatra olives (no stones in) - quite a lot.
Good couple of tablespoons of Capers
Rub through olive oil and salt and pepper Nestle on four cod fillets and season
Anchovy on each cod fillet. Slice of lemon as well.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins and serve with hot bread straight out the oven (the part baked ciabatta is good)

So easy

rosesandcashmere · 06/06/2019 17:47

With crusty bread and a fresh green salad. It's amazing and so easy

H2OH20Everywhere · 06/06/2019 18:14

poopypants - Saves on the washing up...? I dunno, that's the method given in the instructions I had.

sleepwhenidie · 06/06/2019 18:17

That Spanish chicken dish really is great and v easy. Always a crowd pleaser, even with kids. Perhaps not a vegetarian though!

sleepwhenidie · 06/06/2019 18:21

This sweet potato and chickpea curry is so easy and fantastic - though personally is switch the ratio of chickpea and sweet potatoes so that there’s more chickpeas (I love the fat Navaricco ones in the glass jar). Serve with supermarket vegetarian mini Indian snacks (Bhajis/samosas etc) and rice/flat breads.

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