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Jan 29, 2005 10:51 AM

Make ahead special dinner suggestions (w/ restrictions)

  • l

I am having 6 guests over for a birthday dinner and want to make as much ahead of time as possible. However, the restrictions are no beef, pork or lamb, and no recipes using alcohol.

What are some good suggestions of mains or side dishes I can make ahead? Recipes welcome, too.

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  1. You could start with a seafood cocktail prepared a day ahead, make a carrot puree rewarm just prior to serving, Roast a chicken or capon stuff the cavity with lemons, rosemary and thyme and rub the skin well with butter, if you want dressing that coud be made a day ahead too, or just get some really good crusty bread, sautee some baby spinach with oive oil and garlic. You could do a salad course but it is not necessary, and serve some interesting cheeses with it and more of that good crusty bread and then of course birthday cake.

    1. I just watched Barefoot Contessa do a 5 day make ahead dinner. Looked yummy and pretty simple.
      Arugala salad
      Chicken with morels and rosemary polenta
      Coconut macaroons for desert.

      Try this link:

      If that doens't work got ot "" seach for Barefoot Contessa and look up her program schedule for "5 day make ahead dinner."

      Have fun!

      1. i just had 10 people over yesterday (12 w/me and my husband) and i did the whole thing ahead of time. from gourmet ( made orzo nicoise salad, herbed olives, sweet and spicy nuts (using pecans only), cheese straws, (i guess the pate wouldn't be good for your crowd!), and from food and wine mag (or site), (delicious but not for your crowd were lamb meatballs with mint and a spiced prune chutney for the pate, which people ate on its own on crackers, so try it), roasted squash and onion turnovers and poached pear and ricotta crostata. from the "new york cookbook", thomas keller's eggplant caviar and from "silver palate cookbook", peppers provencal. i just popped the cheese straws and turnovers into the oven before the guests came and the crostatas baked while they we ate. it was perfect and stress-free. another great make ahead dish is caponata, or any baked pasta.