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Sunday night dinner for four, need some yummy ideas

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My husband and I are having two people over for dinner on Sunday night who we have never had over before. No restrictions on diets (but I am pregnant) as both are meat eaters, etc. We plan on watching football so I'm thinking sort of casual but not too casual. Some of my ideas have included a fall chili or homemade BBQ with cornbread but I am a bit uninspired. I normally have a lot of ideas but my pregnant brain is feeling a little foggy. Anyone have anything delicious?

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  1. What about braised short ribs? I'll find the recipe that I like if that sounds appealing.

    6 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Good call MMRuth. We had friends for dinner last week and I didn't want to have to fuss with dinner and spend time with my guests. I did braised lamb shanks. Did all the prep work for the shanks and the sides earlier in the day. When they walked in the smell was enticing for sure.

      1. re: MMRuth

        I made braised short ribs last Sunday. Here is roughly what I did and they were great. Heat oil in dutch oven, brown ribs on all sides, set aside. Saute onion, carrots celery garlic, add fresh thyme and mushrooms, put ribs on top of veggies, and one bottle of red wine ( I used a cote du rhone). Add enough beef broth so the he liquid comes up just to cover ribs, put lid on and braise in a 275 oven for 3 hours. Then before serving, remove ribs and simmer liquid to thicken a bit if you want. It was great for a cold night!

        1. re: MMRuth

          MMRuth, would you mind sharing this recipe? Sounds great to me.

          1. re: gramercyfoodie

            Sure - here it is:

            http://manycookbooks.blogspot.com/200...

            One thing - I'm pretty sure I've never used canned beef stock, and I've not made beef stock. So, I think I use a combination of purchased veal demiglace (diluted) and purchased 'store made' beef stock. The port does add nice flavor, but I have on occasion omitted it and used more red wine instead. I like to serve it with spatzle, and often turn leftovers into a soup.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Thx a bunch!

              1. re: gramercyfoodie

                I will say, it is a bit time consuming until you get it into the oven - cutting the strings, tying up the ribs (though for some odd reason, I love making the little celery bouquet garni - it just seems like such a clever way to do it!), browning them, etc. At least an hour.

        2. This chicken cashew chili, with ancho chiles and **chocolate, is phenomenal. Make a big batch so you have some leftovers! It's fantastic and quite imaginative.

          You could also do a really simple roast chicken. On Saturday I am making Giada's balsamic roasted chicken. Marinate a chicken (cut in serving pieces--have your butcher do that part) in balsamic, lemon, garlic, dijon etc the night before, and the day of really you just have to POP it into the oven! Baked stuffed potatoes or scalloped potatoes on the side, and maybe roasted butternut? All really low-impact prep dishes, and a beautiful and simple fall meal. The balsamic chicken is one of those dishes that tastes sooooo fantastic, way better than you would think from the simple prep.

          Chili:
          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          Balsamic roasted chicken:
          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

          1 Reply
          1. re: foxy fairy

            Ummm, braised short ribs sounds so good for a rainy night watching football. Shifting into Fall comfort food mode, other delicious ideas come to mind.

            Beef Stew with crusty sourdough
            Slow, slow roasted pork shoulder
            Pot Roast with buttered noodles
            Chicken and sausage Jambalaya

          2. I'm with the braisers. You can do most of the prep and cooking beforehand and have it braising at low heat in your oven when the guests arrive. oxtail is good for this, as are the other meats mentioned. this would allow you to entertain your guests while your dish is aromantically simmering.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chuckl

              Thanks everyone for the ideas. My husband is going to love the short ribs idea. I haven't made them in a long time.

              1. re: upstate girl

                short ribs sound good...

                how about some smashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes or twice baked potatoes on the side.

                for a veggie, you could caramelize some onions and saute with some wild mushrooms (would have said deglaze with marsala, but not for you :)

                i'd do simple apps... if not cheese and crackers type of thing, then maybe some cherry tomatoes skewered with cubes of mozzarella cheese and basil drizzled with olive oil; or some stuffed endive leaves;

                for dessert, something hearty calls out for brownies w/ vanilla ice cream... if you're thinking lighter, how about some fruit with angel food cake and a drizzle an easy apricot jam sauce; or even simpler, baked apples stuffed down the core with brown sugar, cinnamon, and the optional raisins/nuts served w/ or w/o creamy vanilla ice cream/yogurt