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Dinner party for 10--easy. Make ahead?

I'll be having a dinner party for 10 in mid-June and would love your recipes for easyish dishes. Seasonal suggestions are good, and I live in a multi-ethnic area so I have access to a wide variety of ingredients. (I don't have really great access to seafood, though.) Even better if dishes can be cooked in advance. Thanks!

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  1. My go-to dish is paella. You can prep it ahead of time and throwing it together before the guests arrive only takes a couple of minutes.

    1. I recently (finally) did the famous chicken marbella for a dinner party. Super easy and everyone loved it...and leftovers were fabulous. Attached is the version for boneless breasts, which I used, but the original recipe uses chicken parts--google silver palate chicken marbella for the original recipe.
      http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe...

      6 Replies
      1. re: Marge

        I've clicked on this link and my computer froze both times. Is there another way to get to this recipe?

        1. re: Joebob

          Google Joan Nathan chicken marbella.

        2. re: Marge

          I'm not sure that everyone loves chicken Marbella. I for one find it nauseating and I am always horrified when it shows up at a dinner party. It's got a huge amount of sugar in it and prunes and olives. Yeech. What a combo. I hate sweet food.

          1. re: roxlet

            I dislike sweet food as well, which is why I used just a sprinkle of raw sugar when I made this dish. I don't find prunes and olive "yeech" though...although the recipe initially looked strange to me, with all the raves throughout so many years, I had to try it, and was glad I did (as were all of my guests, none of whom were "horrified".

            1. re: Marge

              Well, a "sprinkle" of sugar is certainly not part of that recipe (I believe it calls for a cup of brown sugar!!), and I fear that most people follow it to the letter.
              For make-ahead for a crowd, what about a lasagna, or crespelle filled with the freshest, most delicious ricotta? It is simple to make ahead, and is fabulous with a nice green salad, and some bruscetta to start. For the crespelle, I make a simple crepe recipe from any cookbook. These can even be made ahead and frozen. For the filling, look for a cheese ravioli filing, and use that. I make a very simple marinara sauce, and pop it in the oven about 40 minutes before dining. It also has the virtue of being meatless, for those surprise vegetarian guests...

              1. re: Marge

                The recipe looks strange, until you taste it. I, too, lower the sugar called for. I don't tell people what's in it unless they ask; I just say it is a Mediterrannean chicken marinade.

                I know it's silly, but I really don't like the name. It sounds like cafeteria food.

          2. I second the chicken marbella. It is lovely.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sarah galvin

              the version i've had wasn't that sweet. i don't like food sweet at all. it had a nice sweet-salty balance with the capers/olives.
              never made it myself though.
              but it might not go over for picky eaters. i love coq au vin for a party but don't think of it as very summery. is great with a nice salad and your choice of potatoes or noodles or just crusty bread.

            2. Moussaka: easily made ahead and easy to reheat.

              1. Hi! I think you can get some great brainstorming ideas from this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_mo Many different recipes for dinner parties, and I noticed one indeed was entitled "make ahead dinner party". There are also links for paella recipes, per Sarah's great suggestion.

                For me, I love coq au vin. It tastes even better day # 2. You can easily adjust this recipe for 10: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tehama

                  so funny - hadn't read yours yet when i posted above! everyone loves coq au vin. chicken and bacon - what's not to like?