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Dec 30, 2008 02:14 PM

Dear lady friend coming for New Years Eve Dinner

I want to do something really lovely for her. I do need to work up until 4PM. She will arrive at around 6PM. Help! I can do some prep tonight and in the morning. Thanks so much, I love this site, Happy New Year!

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  1. A couple questions about the lady... are there any dietary concerns? Does she eat meat? Anything she has a dislike of that you know?

    My go to meal for special times is steak and potatoes. I usually do this because it is so simple and it's hard to mess up. A nice steak grilled or seared in a cast iron skillet. Maybe with a nice mushroom gravy on top or a side of sauteed marinated mushrooms? Twice baked potato or even a nice cheesy mashed potato. Goes well with pretty much any type of vegetable... roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli with hollandaise, spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic, roasted root vegetables.

    I also generally finish with something chocolate. There are a dozen recipes that are very simple for molten chocolate cakes or a nice chocolate fondue for two?

    Good luck I hope everything turns out excellent!

    1 Reply
    1. re: atwistedlime

      Yum, no dietary concerns and she loves good food. Your suggestions are wonderful. Can't miss with chocolate. I also thought about making a great Irish Cream receipe I have using marshmello cream with bourbon. It is very, very decadent. And way too sweet for "everyday." Again, thank you atwistedlime!

    2. Well, tell me, waddayugot in your ref and pantry and waddus she like to eat?

      12 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Sam, pantry is sad right now. I want to do something other than the usual stuff in my freezer, fridge or pantry. Ok, I have been watching the diet. Dont' want to tomorrow night! Suggestions? I can go to the market.

        1. re: amazing grace

          This is getting intriguing (sp?). I'd love to give some suggestions but still have way too many. What ethnic cuisines do you like to prepare (and I mean including European as well as elsewhere)?

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            See, the world is our oyster, so to speak. Both of us love food, but I feel I am the most acomplished with Mexican, Italian, California seafood, does that make sense? Live on the California central coast, so wonderful seafood is not a challenge.

            1. re: amazing grace

              Amazing....I'm going to offer you this astounding recipe from Epicurious...with not much effort...but I know living in Cali, you can find good tuna! The sauce here is the reviews and judge for yourself...


              1. re: Val

                Oh my VAl, this is amazing. Definately in the running!

                1. re: Val

                  Hi Val, while I did not use this recipe this time, I can hardly wait for my next dinner party where I will. Actually, I think I will try it out on myself this weekend. Thanks much!

                  1. re: Val

                    This recipe is horribly flawed. It is EXTREMELY salty. I halved the recipe for 2 servings, figuring I can have extra sauce on hand. I tasted it after adding the cream and it was so unbelievably salty. I was able to more or less save it by straining the liquid and adding more cream and whole milk (too much cream, IMO. Even with cutting back the cream and adding milk, I thought it was unnecessarily heavy). The mushrooms had already absorbed so much of the soy sauce that I really didn’t need to add back much of the liquid. The other thing is the soy sauce flavor was so strong and overwhelming that it overpowered the ginger/scallion/mushroom flavors. I would recommend starting with only ONE TABLESPOON of soy sauce for the FULL recipe and correcting the seasoning with salt to avoid soy sauce overload. If you desire more soy sauce flavor, you can always add more. Perhaps low sodium soy sauce would help but I think 6 T is still too much.

                    1. re: soniabegonia

                      Sonia...I only ever make this recipe for special company...because #1: it is expensive for me...the fresh tuna runs around $20 per pound here in SW FL...and the shiitakes are $4.29 for 4 ounces #2: it is rich, heavy, laden with cream and *perhaps* too much salt depending on your palate! BUT: I only make it once in a while...and I've only ever had people practically ask if they can lick their plate (my father-in-law DID ask me if he could, as a matter of sons remember that dinner!) I really don't think it's "horribly flawed" but maybe somewhat flawed-- depending on one's tolerance for sodium. Did you read the reviews? Not TOO many people out of 692 said it was way too salty...of course, it all depends on each person's palate. In fact, more people seemed to say it was too rich...well, it is very rich! But once in a while won't kill certainly is not an everyday meal, that's for sure!

                  2. re: amazing grace

                    1. Pork enchiladas with green sauce or red snapper burritos or chiles rellenos - with green rice, tortilla soup, spiced plantain chips, and mango margaritas.

                    2. Linguini with prawns and arugula or tagliolini with shrimp and zucchini or ravioli di pesce di mare - with spinach, mushroom, and Parmasan salad or orange and fennel salad, asparagus or other risotto or rice and peas, and baked Sicilian eggplant. Grappa.

                    3. Either Val's Tuna or salmon steaks with pipian sauce served with rice with toasted pumpkin seeds and new green beans with epazote.

                    1. re: amazing grace

                      Can you score live Monterey Bay spot prawns in your neighborhood? Lots of Asian markets have them. You could saute them simply with garlic and butter (and a bunch of parsley at the end) and serve with rice or pasta. Or make Coctel de Camarones (a big beer schooner full of tomato juice, fresh-cooked shrimp, avocado, onion, etc.).

                      If you open with shrimp cocktail, then you could still do a braised pork dish for a main course. Chili verde is always a good standby. A few good tortillas, and it's dinner...

                  3. re: amazing grace

                    I just found a recipe I intend to try tonight for a Chocolate Souffle with a Chocolate Grand Marnier sauce. If I accomplish it tonight I will let you know how it is.

                    I had another thought. On my last anniversary I made a shrimp pasta that was very light basically it was the following:

                    cherry tomatoes
                    lemon juice
                    olive oil
                    parm cheese

                    I think that was it... for some reason I am thinking there were capers but I am fairly certain there were not. Maybe that was the greek pasta I made a few months ago.

                    I know a lot of people say no garlic or onions on a nice dinner date but in my opinion as long as you are both eating it what does it matter?

                    The mallow cream and bourbon sounds luscious!

                    1. re: atwistedlime

                      Yum is all I have to say. atwistedlime. I did use this as I felt quite comfortable with it. I did add capers with homemade linguine, it was fabulous! Thanks so much.

                2. If home alone with my husband, I serve lobster, steamed new potatoes and a salad. If you have a local store that has live lobsters and will steam them for you, you can pick it up on your way home...still hot. Normally, I reserve the lobsters and when I arrive at the store ask them to steam them while I finish my shopping. Cook your new potatoes, skin on, in the microwave (you can test one to see how long for the size). Have your salad dressing made beforehand and voila.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Virginia Girl

                    No husbands here. No live lobsters heres either. Shoud have been more specificl I am but a few mile from the California coast. However,will not be able to run over there tomorrow. Virginia Girl, I so appreciate your input.

                  2. Addendum: The reason I have the lobsters cooked at the market is I can't stand to kill them. The last time I bought live lobsters I felt like driving them to the shore and releasing them. I insist they kill them before cooking, too. I know I'm a wimp.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Virginia Girl

                      Virginia Girl, you have articulated exaxtly where I am coming from and did not want to say. Thank you, thank you. I can't kill anything, yes a certified wimp and I would accompany you to the shore! Unreasonable, yes, I am not a vegetarian. I should be embarresed and am.

                    2. Can I suggest a chicken you have prepared with a salt rub with herbs? I make a salt rub based on Sally Schneiders's mock duck confit recipe. I can type it up if you are interested.

                      You rub your salt on the chicken in the morning, leave it in the fridge as the salt does its magic, and pop the chicken in the oven for the requisite amount of time. You can prepare a soup and wash some greens in the coming days for a salad. And of course buy a couple of good cheeses to serve with grapes, sliced aples and good bread. I'll leave dessert suggestions to others, but if you're not a big baker, give yourself a break and buy something nice from your local patisserie if you have one.

                      Serve some drinks and nibbles for when she arrives and she can give you a hand in the kitchen as you prepare the final stages. It's always nice to help the host, I think, and gives you something to dispel any awkward moments at first :-)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: TheSnowpea

                        Thank you Snowpea, I could pull this off

                        1. re: amazing grace

                          When you've done your cookery magic, come back to this thread and tell us what you made :-D I'm sure we'll all be curious to find out how it went (well, cooking-wise, anyway ;-)