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Dinner party, what should I make?


Rodders
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Morning all. For the first time ever I'm going to be having people round my place for dinner, which is a bit daunting. What should I make? Needs to be something simple as it's my first go and will be for 5 people in all. Some sort of pasta-based dish perhaps? I've got a small kitchen but will practice beforehand to make sure I don;t cock it up.

Ta!

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Pudding....cheesecake! Appears to be easy to make...but everyone likes it. :)

Depends innit, if you do a fridge set cheesecake (like the Galaxy one on this very forum a while back) then it's pretty quick. A baked one can be marginally more time consuming but still relatively straight forward I think

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There's a slow cooked chilli recipe in one of the chilli threads on here, which is all sorts of awesome and allows you spend the time with friends rather than in the kitchen. It's more like a super delicate spiced stew than a chilli made with beef and chorizo, but it tastes wonderful.

If you want the recipe let me know as I have the Mexican cook book it's from at home.

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Risotto is very easy to make for five people, perhaps serve with a stuffed chicken breast (sliced) on top which you can cook in the oven while you cook the risotto. Serve with salad and maybe some homemade focaccia bread.

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Risotto is a good option, but one you really should stand over and watch while it's cooking.

EDIT: An option for desert is chocolate profiteroles. Another than can be made mostly in advance, just heat the sauce prior to serving having made the choux buns with cream earlier.

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You need something generous which you can prep well in advance, and also something that you personally love to eat. It's no good picking a recipe at random from a book with ingredients you've never heard of.

Holly's Lasagna Idea is a good one. You can prep it the night before, and serve a big bowl of salad alongside, and some bread. Easy to source a veggie version as well if you have vegetables coming.

In keeping with that theme, no-one will complain if for a starter you simply lay out some mixed Italian meats (parma ham, salami etc) and some nice mozarella, olives etc for a starter.

I'm not much of a pudding person, but you'll need something light after that. Some sort of lemon tart perhaps.

Cheese & Biscuits if you know your guests go for that sort of thing, and they have the room, or if it's likely you'll be sat at the table long enough for people to get a second wind. A bottle of Port always goes down well! And proper coffee.

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Pudding....cheesecake! Appears to be easy to make...but everyone likes it. :)

OBJECTION.

I don't :)

An awesome pudding without much effort is Eton mess: make some meringues (or buy them, they're be unrecognisable by the end anyway), break them up and mix with whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc. It is absolutely gorgeous.

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An awesome pudding without much effort is Eton mess: make some meringues (or buy them, they're be unrecognisable by the end anyway), break them up and mix with whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc. It is absolutely gorgeous.

That's a really good idea.

If you want to make a bit of extra effort you can steep the fruit in sugar first so that the juices run, and you can also swirl some shop-bought raspberry coulis through the mess.

Looks great served in glasses too.

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Risotto is a good option, but one you really should stand over and watch while it's cooking.

EDIT: An option for desert is chocolate profiteroles. Another than can be made mostly in advance, just heat the sauce prior to serving having made the choux buns with cream earlier.

Baked risotto is super easy, there's a good recipe on the BBC website that I wholeheartedly recommend!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bakedspanishrisotto_70241

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The ultimate lasagne ( ultimates are stickied in this folder ) would be a good start.

If you want to keep it simple you can use the Ragu for a bolognaise instead. get it simmering well before people arrive and then all you need to do is boil up the pasta and serve.

For a starter go with a caprese salad:

Beef Tomato

Mozarella

Basil

Layer them up on a plate and let people help themselves. It is so, so tasty.

Desert should obviously be a Sara Lea.

[ Actually, the correct desert would be Gelato. ]

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It also depends on your living arrangements. If your kitchen is in the living room like mine then imo you can get away with 20 mins cooking. All good suggestions, to add to the mix I'd recommend Jamie Oliver's 20 min Carbonarra, the silky sauce makes people think it's hard (err, well my flatmates thought it was...).

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Is 20 minute Carbonara some kind of more labour intensive version? ;)

Apparently it took Laine 30 minutes :unsure:

Me: 5 mins to get pasta to boil, 10 mins to cook pasta, 5 mins other shit.

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Buy diced beef, doesn't have to be expensive one. Buy approx 300g per person. Then the same amount in potatoes, peel and dice them as well. If your guests are hearty eater, add 100-200g potatoes per person.

Both the meat and the potatoes should be about 1.5 cubic inch per dice, more or less.

Put meat and potatoes into a casserole and mix them a bit. Add 7dl cream and 7dl red wine of your choice (Rioja works well). Add plenty of chopped parsley. Mix everything together.

Cover with aluminum foil, preheat oven to 180 degrees and then bake the stuff for 4 hours without doing anything at all.

Extremely tasty! Some people (including me) prefer to put salt on the finished thing, but your guests can do that themselves.

Not too expensive, fool-proof and you've got time for your guests.

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Apparently it took Laine 30 minutes :unsure:

Me: 5 mins to get pasta to boil, 10 mins to cook pasta, 5 mins other shit.

It's because I wasn't following his instructions properly. :P

It took me ages to just grate up all those bloody corguettes!

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Thanks for all this. I like the Lasagne and carbonara ideas. Dessert is going to be a lemon posset (ooer, fancy) because I know how to make it, but no starter as it's a fairly quick and simple dinner.

And I can cook but I'm no expert, so I'll need to try watever I choose at least once! Never done a lasagne before...

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For simplicity I would recommend

Melon & Parma Ham- just arrange cubes of melon and strips of parma ham nicely on a plate

Thai Chicken & Noodle Salad- marinade cubes of chicken in lime juice, garlic and chilli, thread onto skewers, grill and serve with thai carrot salad

Mango & Ice Cream- use either fresh or tinned mango (its sweeter) and just make sure you get really nice quality vanilla ice-cream

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Thanks for all this. I like the Lasagne and carbonara ideas.

For the novice and and at a dinner party where you should enjoy the evening too, I'd say lasagne. If you follow a recipe you'd do well to fuck it up. And next time personalise it to make it even better, before you know it your lasagne will be legendary ^_^ . Good luck.

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Baked risotto is super easy, there's a good recipe on the BBC website that I wholeheartedly recommend!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bakedspanishrisotto_70241

I've been using this recipe for over a year now, it's really good for a 'cheat' meal. I usually use extra tomatoes, and sometimes I'll substitute 200ml of the stock for white wine, and I always use fresh chili's in mine. I've never made it with the prawns, though, not sure why.

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