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Sep 13, 2010 11:07 PM

Your Go-To Company Is Coming Recipe.

My favorite thing about Chowhound is the ability to look through for people's best recipes, especially if they are nominated by several people from different areas. My husband and I are young and have just started entertaining. So I am looking for recipes that impress.

Some that I have already collected here are:

Zuni's Cafe Chicken and Bread Salad
Lemon Roasted Chicken

I am looking for all courses and main entrees that vary in elegance. Thanks!

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  1. I like do-ahead recipes, so short ribs a favorite. They are good served with mashed potatoes or polenta. There are some great short rib recipes on this board.
    If you have the Zuni cookbook, there are two of my favorite recipes in there that can be started ahead of time, then you don't have to do much after your company arrives other than serve. One is the Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, and the other is Slow Cooked Green Beans. I may have paraphrased the titles, but it will get you close. Those potatoes go with everything. They get better the longer they sit in the oven. Grill up some skirt steak, throw together a salad, and you're done. The beans go well with the short ribs or your roast chicken.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pcdarnell

      We're headed for braising weather. That means either short ribs (thanks, jfood) or brisket when company's coming.

      1. How adventurous are you and your friends/family, how are your knife skills and do you prefer family-style or individual service?

        Short ribs have already been mentioned twice and are really nice so what I'm going to suggest in support is that you learn Joel Robuchon's pommes purée recipe and technique; they are going to be some of the best mashed potato that you can serve and eat and only have a tiny amount of butter.

        Paella, cassoulet, garbure and pot au feu are nice casual family-style that will impress.

        9 Replies
        1. re: wattacetti

          I beg to differ regarding Chef Robuchon's pommes puree was featured on Anthony Bourdain's 100 episode in Paris last week. When the Chef was asked how much butter he uses in his recipe, he responded, "Two pounds of potatoes and half a pound of butter."

          1. re: attran99

            That depends on what you consider to be a tiny amount of butter.

            1. re: wattacetti

              I'm afraid that sounds like a lot of butter to me, too. I'm sure it's delicious, but I wouldn't characterize it as a tiny amount of butter.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I'm going to have to agree with you Dairy Queen. And on TV, the potatoes looked divine!

                1. re: attran99

                  This recipe comes up for discussion on Home Cooking now and then and I think the consensus seems to be that they are divine, although, one person described them as "gluey"--here's a recent discussion of those potatoes.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I still (respectfully) disagree with you both, primarily in that a serving of said purée is not a kg.

                    The recipe was developed at Jamin, and no three-star serves industrial quantities of anything. I still suggest that you try them before automatically stamping Diet Police judgement. The hard parts are getting the tamis (if you don't already have one) and having access to rattes.

                    EDIT: and good butter.

                    1. re: wattacetti

                      Did you read the comments in the thread I linked, including the person who tried the potatoes at the source and said they were gummy and actually refused a second portion? (So much for restricting portion sizes if they give you more anyway...)

                      I'm not calling the diet police, but I stand firm that I characterize that proportion of butter as "tiny". But, I guess I don't intend to eat mashed potatoes by the thimble full, either.


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Yes, actually I did, but it depends on how you like and want to serve your potato: smashed or lisse (Robuchon's is the latter).

                        And the portions aren't large even if they offer more.

                        1. re: wattacetti

                          The "gummy" potatoes were Robuchon's, not the smashed potatoes (from Ottolenghi) which is a different part of that discussion. The smashed potatoes are good, too, though I'm not sure I'd serve them to company as horseradish isn't as universally adored as butter seems to be.

                          I picked up a copy of Robuchon's book about 6 months ago and plan to make those potatoes this fall or winter because I'm certain they are delicious (with that tiny amount of butter.)

                          In the recipe in Simply French the Potato Puree calls for 16 TBSP of butter and serves 6-8. So the smallest serving (1/8 of the total recipe) would have 2 TBSP of butter in it. 1/6 would have more, of course. Anyway, not deadly, as long you're serving it to company once in a while (which is what the OP is after) and not to your family on a daily basis.


        2. I'm in the same situation as you- but we've been doing this for about 3 years. A few tips- if someone offers to bring something- agree- especially if you're working on a time consuming menu. Do prep work in advance- like snapping string beans or washing romaine lettuce.

          We also do lots of casual buffet type meals. It's much easier when 20 or 30 people are coming over for a hockey or football game.

          Some favorite recipes-
          - homemade hummus and pita chips
          - romaine salad with apples and breaded goat cheese
          - arugula salad with watermelon/figs and balsamic glazed cippolini onions
          - macaroni and cheese (not fancy but everyone LOVES it)
          - roasted chicken and potatoes
          - blanched string beans in whole grain mustard dressing
          - americanized chinese food- all homemade- lo mein, sesame chicken, pepepr steak, stir fried broccoli, fried rice...
          - pan fried breaded veal cutlets

          1. Shrimp scampi, lasagna, Korean BBQ, Prime rib roast, homemade pizzas, roasted asparagus, roasted corn, chicken tortilla soup, corn casserole, tiramisu, assorted cupcakes, etc. We started entertaining a few years ago, and have amassed quite a few "favorite" dishes to serve guests.