Author Topic: Menu suggestions for dinner party  (Read 3699 times)

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miranova

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Menu suggestions for dinner party
« on: July 02, 2012, 12:51:42 PM »
We are having my husband's employees and their spouses over for a nice appreciation dinner.   We are fairly decent cooks and not afraid of doing something somewhat difficult, however we don't want to be so busy preparing that we can't socialize.  So something that could slide into the oven as guests are arriving or shortly before they arrive would be perfect.  If it needed more prep time that would be ok, as we will have all day to prepare. 

Also need suggestions for appetizers.  We will be a group of 12.  I am thinking stuffed mushrooms as one of the appetizers but I think I need more than one thing for a group that large.  We have already decided on a dessert and we already pretty much know what to have on hand for people's favorite drinks.  Thanks in advance!

lady_disdain

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 12:57:14 PM »
First of all, are there any food restrictions? Vegetarian, kosher, allergies, etc.


miranova

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 01:06:34 PM »
First of all, are there any food restrictions? Vegetarian, kosher, allergies, etc.

Very good question, thanks.  There are none that I know of.  We have dined with most of these people before and I don't remember any.  However I will have my husband double check.

AustenFan

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 01:23:06 PM »
Sorry to be a pain, but how formal is the dinner? Are appies going to be served individually or on trays?

It does make a difference for what I suggest, it's not just to be a nosey ned.  :-\

miranova

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 01:28:43 PM »
Sorry to be a pain, but how formal is the dinner? Are appies going to be served individually or on trays?

It does make a difference for what I suggest, it's not just to be a nosey ned.  :-\

I wouldn't exactly call it formal.  We want to do something nice, so that they really feel appreciated since that is the purpose, but we want everyone to feel totally comfortable and have fun.  Apps on trays for sure.  I imagine they would be eaten as we are welcoming everyone and serving drinks, and we wouldn't sit down until we were ready to eat the main course.

miranova

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 01:31:14 PM »
Also I called my husband and he was able to ask everyone in the office about food restricitons right away.  There aren't any.  :)

AustenFan

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 01:36:33 PM »
I'm great with appetizers, cocktail parties are one of my favorite things to do, and I'm a pro at things that look harder than they are. All of these can be served platter style or as a tasting plate.

I've been interrogated over what gives this the "edge" (anchovy, I substitute paste) and refuse to give out the recipe since it's so easy. Carmelized Onion Toasts:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/caramelized-onion-toasts-recipe/index.html

I had to Google this because I usually use a "throw it together in puff pastry" recipe for this. It's less fancy but fantastic, and can be made ahead of time and served warm.
Fig & goat cheese puffed pastry: http://myfrenchkitchen.wordpress.com/2007/10/17/fig-and-goats-cheese-tartlets/

I'm a Smitten Kitchen devotee, and while this is fantastic I might throw together a couple dips or a hummus for a dinner party to have with it: delicious flatbread: http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/07/flatbreads-with-honey-thyme-and-sea-salt/

jpcher

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 04:00:05 PM »
I'm assuming you want your apps to be a bit more upscale than the standard relish/veggie tray or the sausage/cheese tray and crackers.

Also assuming that the apps will be buffet-style? With small plates and tooth-pick type of thing?


How about sushi? Small California rolls, Smoked salmon w/cream cheese, spicey crab, etc.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Sushi

or this might help:

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Appetizers/CaliforniaRoll.htm


It is a bit time consuming but not really that difficult. You could make this a day in advance, served chilled.

Some people are afraid of sushi because of the "raw fish" connotation . . . not true.



What about a shrimp tray? Go with prawns (the larger shrimp) served cold with a cocktail sauce. Lightly boiled and served on ice.


Bruchetta ( http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/bruschetta_with_tomato_and_basil/ ) I've used this recipe with regular tomatoes, but squeezed most of the juice out of the tomato . . . also, adding small chunks of fresh mozzarella. The toasted bread can be done in advance and then just warmed a bit (wrapped in tin-foil, sprinkled with a bit of water for 10 min or so in a 400 oven) or served room temperature, no warming needed.



You mentioned stuffed mushrooms -- yum! How do you make yours?



For a main dish? I'm thinking something light like Salmon. With sides of wild rice, asparagus and salad.

Pork tenderloin (marinated in lemon, garlic and sage) with twice-baked potatoes (prepared in advance, just put in the oven to re-heat), vegetable of your choice and a salad.

I'm not sure why, but I would stay away from beef.

Zilla

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 05:44:37 PM »
I also agree with the pork tenderloins, tasty and easy to roast to doneness within 30 minutes of cooking times if they are smaller.  Also if you want to do something decadent, a prime rib or roast beef would be delicious with yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and a nice baked spinach gratin.  All can be roasted in the oven at the same time. 




Venus193

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 06:09:59 PM »
Here's a chicken recipe that is simple but impressive (especially the aroma):

12 chicken breasts (boned, but with skin left on)

2 sticks butter
6 tbsp dijon mustard
1 cup shelled walnuts
1/2 cup cognac

Blend 2nd 4 ingredients in food processor, fill pastry gun and inject under chicken skin.  Place in 375-degree pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast meat.

Skin will not brown; it's there to hold in the flavor.  Strip off when removing chicken from oven.  Serve with long-grain and wild rice side dish and green veg or salad.

This butter mixture also works well served with French bread beforehand.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2012, 06:33:25 PM »
POD'ing the pork tenderloin. So simple, yet looks elegant.

For starters I love the mushroom idea! Your second could be this fab little app that I found on pinterest but it doesn't have a name. Spread herbed goat cheese on small slices of crusty bread. Then put a fresh basil leaf on top of that. Finally add a small piece of soppresseta or prosciutto. SO yum & they look pretty!

Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

Zilla

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2012, 06:51:41 PM »
POD'ing the pork tenderloin. So simple, yet looks elegant.

For starters I love the mushroom idea! Your second could be this fab little app that I found on pinterest but it doesn't have a name. Spread herbed goat cheese on small slices of crusty bread. Then put a fresh basil leaf on top of that. Finally add a small piece of soppresseta or prosciutto. SO yum & they look pretty!


Ooh building on this idea, you can have a platter of different toast each with a topping.  Another one can have tapenade on it and another with diced tomatoes/balsamic/olive oil type of bruchetta topping. 

miranova

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2012, 09:33:11 PM »
I love all of the ideas!  You guys are great!  Keep 'em coming!!

blarg314

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 12:34:01 AM »

If you're doing oven appetizers, you'll want a stove top main course, and vice versa, so you aren't trying to juggle stuff in the oven when your guests are arriving.

With stuffed mushrooms, you could add marninated olives. Take plain green olives (pit in) and marinate with fresh rosemary, thinly sliced lemon zest, a bit of sliced garlic, fresh ground pepper and olive oil. Remove from the marinated, and warm before serving. Alternatively, you can gently warm the olives and seasoning in the oven, and serve directly.

If you want a non-oven appetizer course, the olives could still work (warm in the microwave). Brushetta would be good - thinly slice a day old baguette, brush with olive oil on both sides, and rub with a clove of garlic. Toast in a low oven until crispy.  Top with finely diced fresh tomato, seasoned, or goat cheese and capers, or tapenade. You can do the bread ahead of time, but the tomato topping should be done shortly before serving.

If you want to continue the Italian theme, then you could go with lasagne as a main dish - spring for fresh noodles and a good sauce and assemble ahead of time (if you want, I've got an absolutely incredible recipe, but it does take some time).  Serve with a simple salad of mixed greens with a vinagrette dressing, and a simple vegetable side dish or two. Then go for something refreshing for dessert to contrast the richness of the lasagne - say, lemon sorbet with fresh raspberries and coffee to go with. 








cicero

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Re: Menu suggestions for dinner party
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 04:18:48 AM »
so if i understand - you will serve apps and drinks *not* at the table?

I haven't done this yet, but liked the idea of "salad on a skewer". (google it, there are tons of ideas). for my next party i am planning to skewer caprese salad with a basil vinaigrette for dipping. there are loads of other ideas.


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