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My Best Entertaining Menu
« on: December 06, 2006, 11:29:13 AM »
This thread is for posters to share their favorite menu for entertaining, complete with recipes. If you can share your time table for how you execute this meal, that would be great, too.


  • Guest
Re: My Best Entertaining Menu
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2007, 01:16:57 PM »
Orange cheese with crackers, Marinated Flank Steak, Potatoes and Cream, Hungarian Broccoli, Caesar Salad and Vanilla Ice Cream with Berries Artesia.  This will serve 4-6. ***This is not a low calorie meal***

The Orange Cheese should be made the day before, for the flavors to marry. The marinade for the steak, the Potatoes (except for baking) and the Berries Artesia can all be made the day before.  I usually do these around noon on the day of, for a 6pm dinner.  Romaine lettuce can also be rinsed, torn, dried and stored in the refrigerator the day before.

Day of, bring Orange Cheese out of refrigerator about 30 minutes before guests arrive so it can reach room temperature (butter and cream cheese get really hard when cold); put potatoes in oven about 1 1/4 hours before dinner is served.  Assemble salad (don't dress until just before serving), and cut broccoli heads into flowerets.

Nani's Orange Cheese (Nani was my Dad's Mom)

  1 8 oz brick cream cheese
  1 cup butter
  1 lg onion, minced
  Paprika (Hungarian Sweet)

Bring butter and cream cheese to room temperature.  Blend together well, mix in onion.  Add enough paprika to make a nice deep orange color, blending as you add.  Shape into a ball (or two) and refrigerate for several hours to blend flavors.  Serve with Triscuit crackers.

Marinated Flank Steak

  1 2-3 lb flank steak, about an inch thick   
  3/8 cup soy sauce               
  1/2 cup plus 1 tb honey            
  3/8 cup vinegar               
  1 1/2 tb garlic powder
  1 1/2 tb ground ginger
  2 cups oil
  3 finely chopped scallions

Score meat on both sides, in a crisscross pattern.  Mix soy, honey and vinegar.  Blend in garlic powder and ginger.  Add oil and chopped onion.  Place meat in glass dish and cover with marinade.  Marinate for at least 6 hours, turning occasionally.  Broil 3-5 minutes on each side.  Let rest about 5 minutes, then slice thinly at an angle.  Bring remainder of marinade to a boil, and cool slightly.  If meat needs to be reheated after slicing, pop in microwave for 30 seconds.  Serve with warm marinade on the side. 

Potatoes and Cream

  4-6 lg russet potatoes, peeled, sliced very thinly
  1 lg onion, diced and sautéed in butter until just translucent
  Heavy cream, salt and pepper

Layer potatoes, overlapping,  in 9x13 baking dish alternately with onions, salt and pepper.  Build up layers this way, ending with onions on top. Pour heavy cream over all, filling halfway up dish.  At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before baking or add an additional 10 or so minutes to the baking time. Bake at 350° for one hour or til brown and crispy on top and potatoes are done throughout.  A mandolin makes quick work of slicing all the potatoes as thin as you need them.  Cover with foil and let stand until meat cooks.  Turn oven to broil and let it heat up.
Hungarian Style Broccoli

  2 lg heads of broccoli
  1/4 lb butter
  1 cup bread crumbs
  1/8 ts salt

Trim off thick stems of broccoli. Break the heads into flowerets.  Cook in salted water till tender.  I prefer to steam them until tender crisp.  I don't like really soft veggies.  Drain and place on a serving dish.

In a sauté pan melt butter and medium brown the bread crumbs, season with salt. Stir and toss crumbs. Do not let it burn or it will be bitter.  Spoon butter and crumb mixture over the top of broccoli and serve. You can do this during the 10 minutes that the steak is broiling... just cover and keep warm while you cut the steak.
Caesar Salad

  2 bunches of Romaine lettuce
  2 cups of Garlic or Caesar Croutons
  1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  Girard's Caesar Dressing

If you prefer shredded Parmesan, use that.  I just prefer the taste of Asiago to Parmesan.  Girard's is the best bottled Caesar dressing I've found.. not heavy on the anchovies at all.  And, of course, if you prefer to make your own, or even your own croutons, have at it.  I've just never been that motivated, lol.

Tear up the romaine and place in a large bowl.  Put about a quarter cup of the cheese and about a cup of the croutons on the top.  Pour a little of the dressing over the top, then mix the salad (just so the cheese and croutons have dressing on them and stick somewhat to the lettuce.  Add more dressing to your liking, then add the remaining cheese and croutons and mix lightly.  Don't dress the salad until just as you sit down... it will wilt.
Berries Artesia

Use mixed berries, but if you have an abundance of one kind, that’s ok, too. Simple and elegant.

  2 cups Pinot Noir (red wine)
  2 cups apple juice
  1 bay leaf
  2 cups sugar
  1 vanilla bean, split down the middle and seeds scraped out
  2 tb arrowroot
  3 lbs mixed fresh berries (or just one kind)

Rinse berries well and put aside. In a heavy saucepan, add the wine, apple juice, bay leaf, sugar and vanilla bean, making sure to add the pod as well as the scraped-out seeds. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, then add arrowroot to thicken. Return to the heat and simmer for two minutes. Add berries and allow to cool. Serve over ice cream.  If you refrigerate this ahead of time, let it come to room temperature before using.  I usually make this in the afternoon, about 3 hours before dinner. 

I think that's it, all I can think of.  Enjoy!


  • Guest
Re: My Best Entertaining Menu
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007, 10:38:39 PM »
An Easy Dinner Party for Four

If your weekends get so busy you find it hard to catch up with friends, this menu might help you. It's possible to complete this meal within an hour of arriving home from work if you follow the suggested time scale. You will need to be in the kitchen for about 10 minutes after your guests arrive, so this menu is best for a relatively casual post-work dinner rather than a formal occasion. The dishes are easy but always seem to impress.

Chilli/Garlic Edamame (Soy Bean Pods)
Savoury Mint Lamb Cutlets with Rosemary Roast Vegetables
Chocolate Cream

The Day Before:
Make the Chocolate Cream.

Chocolate Cream
150ml cream or light cream
100g dark chocolate
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon alcohol (try Cointreau, hazelnut or coffee liqueur, or whisky & vanilla essence)
10g unsalted butter (optional)

Heat cream very gently in a saucepan. Break in chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolk lightly with alcohol. Pour into slightly cooled chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Add butter if desired and stir until all ingredients are well combined and smooth. Divide chocolate cream evenly between four small, decorative bowls or glasses (espresso cups, cocktail glasses, or Chinese or Japanese tea cups are ideal). Cover with clingwrap and refridgerate. (The portions might look small, but it is very rich.)

On the day:
1) Marinate the Lamb Cutlets.

Savoury Mint Lamb Cutlets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground black pepper
8-12 lamb cutlets

Trim fat from lamb cutlets. Combine remaining ingredients. Rub into cutlets and leave to stand.

2) Prepare Rosemary Roast Vegetables
8 cups vegetables, cut into rough chunks (pumpkin, zucchini, red capsicum, eggplant & mushrooms go well with lamb)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary

Toss vegetables in a baking tray with garlic, oil and rosemary.

3) Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
4) Put pot of water to boil on stove for edamame.
5) Dice some garlic and chilli and fry in hot oil until fragrant. Leave on stove.
6) Don't forget to set the table!
7) When your guests arrive, throw one packet of edamame into the boiling water. Leave one minute while you pour your guests a glass of wine, then drain and throw through the chilli/garlic mix. Pour onto a plate and serve with a side bowl for the edamame pods.
8) Put the vegetables in the oven.
9) Catch up with your friends for half an hour. You may need to catch up with them for longer if you've included potato in your vegetables, unless you parboil the potato first.
10) Fry or grill the cutlets for 4 minutes on each side.
11) Plate up with roast vegetables; garnish with fresh sprigs of mint if desired.
12) Enjoy the main course.
13) To serve dessert, place the chocolate cream container on a small side plate. Surround with a selection of dried fruit (apricots and peaches are good), fresh fruit (strawberries, crisp slices of apple) or small, crisp biscuits (i.e. gingernuts or macaroons). Guests can dip their fruit or biscuits in the cream. Make sure they are equipped with a spoon to finish off any leftover chocolate, or in case they don't wish to dunk!

Note on edamame: these are uncooked, unprocessed soy bean pods. You can usually find them in the freezer section of Asian groceries. To eat, pick up a pod and squeeze gently to pop the soy beans out into your mouth. Don't eat the pod. This is action food, so again, not appropriate for a more formal dinner party.


  • Guest
Re: My Best Entertaining Menu
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 07:51:28 PM »
added to site