Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 22, 2007 03:27 PM

DINNER PARTY dish w/ minimal last-minute prep

I'm looking for suggestions of dishes that will wow my guests, but wont keep me stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is eating aps. Would love any thoughts!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hey there, I was really impressed with an Ina Garten chicken recipe I made for guests the other week. You basically prep it all and stick it in the fridge and then pop it in the oven an hour before you want to eat. I have heard Chicken Marbella is the same kind of thing and very easy impress factor. Along those lines - another one I love is lamb shanks - you can do the exact same thing.
    And then maybe serve them on cous cous or something you can whip up at the last minute?
    You can check out my version of the chicken recipe here:


    1 Reply
    1. re: daily_unadventures

      I second both of the recommendations -- Chicken Marbella and Barefoot Contessa's Indonesian Ginger Chicken. You prepare both of them the day before and then just put in the oven to cook.

    2. Go to your local Trader Joes. PU colassal cooked shrimp and Trader Giotto's pesto (ice box section. Make some fresh linguini noodles mix in the pesto, Top w/Fresh"grilled shrimp" ala pesto and wella. Delmonicos 30$ shrimp and linguini special. Top with a few toasted pine nuts.

      1. I like to do a Middle Eastern buffet meal as everything can be done ahead. First have a big selection of cold stuff like hummos, tabbouley, baba ganooj, fatoosh salad, Greek olives, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese etc etc. Then have a big moussaka with some spanakorizo (cooked chopped spinach, rice, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt). Then have baklava and maybe a sorbet or fresh fruit. Except for the salad, every bit of this can be done the day before.

        1. I made this petite filet and a pork roast with this rub for the holidays, it was awesome and easy. Add a nice coucous and some roasted vegetables (mixed with olive oil and balsamic):

          1/4 c finely ground coffee beans
          1/4 c br sugar
          2 Tbs chili powder
          2 Tbs paprika
          2 tsp gr sage
          1 tsp onion powder
          1/4 tsp cayenne ( i left this off, not sure of my crowd)

          combine the mix, rub on meat, let meat stand for 15 min. (make sure meat had been out of fridge for 1 hour before roasting before you put on rub.

          If you want to get a little creative, saute up some brocolli a head of time in a little olive oil and butter, then mix this with your favorite cheeses (feta, cheddar, motrella, parm, etc), mix in a whipped up egg, then roll this mixture up in filo dough to make a log (or two). Brush with butter before putting in the oven, slice when done - very impressive and delish. You can get creative and add other vegies, sprinkly outside with a few favorite herbs, etc.

          1. Braised dishes are impressive and all of the work is done hours ahead of time. I am partial to short ribs, but Coq au Vin, leg of lamb or osso bucco would also be great. Serve with horseraddish or leek mash potatoes which can also be made ahead of time and just reheated (or cut the potatoes ahead of time since how long does it really take to mash them up)

            A lot more money but a standing rib roast is always impressive, especially if you get prime beef, who doesn't love prime rib.

            If you really want to impress and have a backyard and are ambitious roast a whole lamb.

            Think about dishes you make on the holidays, generally those are made well in advance or at least some are. Ok I realize my lamb suggestion was a bit over the top.