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Husband's boss coming for dinner. HELP!

m
Main Line Tracey May 6, 2009 07:41 PM

Hello! My husband's boss and wife are coming for dinner next week. They enjoy good food and he is a seasoned cook. They are going to French Laundry for dinner while on an upcoming vacation.

What should I make? I am wracking my brain. They are both super nice so I'm sure that it won't be totally high pressure, but I'd like to make a great dinner and wow em. Dishes that can be mostly made in advance are great as I have a little guy running around.

Husband asked for no Indian or anything that could be considered "weird". I asked for clarification and he just said "you know". I was thinking Mediterranean, like maybe mousaka, pitas and a salad. (I am too into theme/ethnic nights)

Your help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

  1. s
    smtucker May 6, 2009 08:00 PM

    Forget the French Laundry. Just put it out of you mind! If you compete with that you will loose just based on anxiety! I would consider a classic roasted chicken, with lovely appetizers and a warm welcome. This is a "simple" meal that wows when well-prepared and can be made in advance, leaving you time to entertain and chat with your guests.

    1. BernalKC May 6, 2009 08:25 PM

      I see your go-to recipe is lasagna. That's a great foundation to build on. They're headed to French Laundry? So how about a 'tasting menu'? Line up a bunch of courses.

      Start with a soup. Easy to cook and serve.

      Move on to an antipasti selection: tomato, basl & fresh mozzarella is always a winner. Maybe add some crostini, melon & prosciutto, or whatever you find at your local Italian grocer... All of which can be prepped and plated ahead of time.

      Another course: beet salad with mixed greens and goat cheese. Another prep and plate ahead of time course.

      Time for the main event: lasagna.

      Is it time for a sorbet? Maybe served with a moscato?

      Finally, time for desert. As long as we're lining up all the Italian classics, why not tiramisu? Or panna cotta? Or maybe chocolate mousse? With coffee of course.

      Six courses sounds crazy, but I've tried to come up with ones that you can do almost entirely ahead of time. If you have pantry space you can even plate them ahead of time.

      4 Replies
      1. re: BernalKC
        m
        Main Line Tracey May 6, 2009 10:54 PM

        That sounds great! Tiramisu especially (one of my husband's favorites). You are right. Multiple courses won't be too hard if prepped in advance.

        1. re: BernalKC
          c
          cheesecake17 May 7, 2009 06:30 AM

          Sounds like a an awesome menu! I might actually make it myself, if my husband has a "Lost" finale party next week.

          One concern- is it too much cheese? Personally, I love cheese, but maybe for some it's too much?

          And regarding the sorbet- Ive actually seen sorbet made with moscato. If you make your own sorbet, maybe that's an option.,

          1. re: cheesecake17
            BernalKC May 7, 2009 08:55 AM

            Probably. I was winging it. Take the cheese off the salad and add some pralines instead. Or substitute a different antipasti combo -- I love all things pickled, including cured fish -- but that's just me.

            I've never made sorbet, but I do like to make a poor man's granita where I freeze lemonade in an ice cube tray and use the blender to crush them. I'm sure the approach would offend true granita lovers, but hey, it is sooo simple and it works for me. I've been meaning to try it with a desert wine -- maybe now I'll be inspired.

            1. re: BernalKC
              c
              cheesecake17 May 7, 2009 10:54 AM

              I make sorbet the same way you do, because I don't have an ice cream maker.

              I had a moscato and raspberry sorbet concoction at a restaurant- it was delicious.

        2. a
          Analisas mom May 7, 2009 06:25 AM

          braised short ribs with roasted garlic mashed potatos, a great salad and bread you can't go wrong. Always wow's people.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Analisas mom
            s
            Sal Vanilla May 7, 2009 11:38 AM

            MMMM that is a good suggestion. Easy, no tending, foolproof, pretty on the plate (I would serve something colorful next to the potatoes and meat) and the smell in your house when they come in will be very homey and welcoming!

            Now, what for a pre dinner nosh and what for cocktails and what for dessert??? ~Laughs~

            Have fun!

          2. t
            tnilsson May 7, 2009 11:49 AM

            What a jerk! What kind of an answer is "you know"?

            I'd second the roast chicken suggestion. It can't be seen as "weird" and is easy. Something like Zuni Cafe's roast chicken with bread salad. Perhaps some sliced tomatoes on the side. And I'd end with something simple like orange slices in rosemary-honey syrup (which may be another Zuni recipe and is really simple and nice). I'd add a nice dry rose wine and perhaps some simple cookie or biscotti to go with the dessert and there you have it.

            Lasagna and multiple courses just sound too heavy and involved to me, even if they are made ahead.

            1. n
              normalheightsfoodie May 7, 2009 12:21 PM

              How about a nice home cooked meal. You are not going to accomplish a tasting menu, There is one of you and at any resteraunt there is a staff.

              Shrimp Cocktail with martinis or wine/beer.

              Salad- fresh produce

              Tri-tip roast
              MAshed taters
              Asparagus

              cake the New York Times had a great Almond Cake recipe that looked great and simple yesterday.
              Good luck and stay relaxed.

              1. Phurstluv May 7, 2009 04:21 PM

                If everyone likes fish, try a grilled swordfish (can broil if no grill) topped with a greek salsa and served over a bed of lightly dressed mache & baby greens, with lemon juice & oil, s&p.
                I also plate this with some couscous around the fish & salad. It looks very pretty.

                The greek salsa consists of chopped & salted sweet grape tomatoes, feta, chopped Kalamatas, basil, parsley, fresh oregano or thyme, whatever herbs look best. Drizzle also with some lemon juice & f.g. pepper, mix together well, adding feta last. Can be made a few hours ahead. Refrigerate if made more than say 2 hours ahead, and just let come to room temp before topping the fish.

                Very mediterranean & a light summery dinner that's sure to impress them. Serve with a Pinot Grigio or Albarino white wine. And the Tiramisu could definitely go with, or a lighter, refreshing dessert like a panna cotta with your favorite or best berries & mint. Or I also like the granita & sorbet ideas.

                1. Amuse Bouches May 7, 2009 04:25 PM

                  Chicken Marbella, rice pilaf or potatoes, arugula salad and something light for dessert, like pavlova.

                  Chicken Marbella recipe here: http://savour-fare.com/2009/03/06/chi...

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