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Your favourite, not too complicated, not too expensive, fancy enough for company meat dish please

I had planned a menu for a dinner party (with help from people here) but I tried the meat dish tonight for the first time and I was not that impressed.

I made pork tenderloin with a mustard glaze and caramelized apple. It was good but it didn't seem very fancy and it was a bit too much last minute fuss so I would be in the kitchen a while before the main course.

I am doing beef carpaccio for an hors d. then a seafood appetizer and a green salad so I was thinking I'd like the main to be pork or chicken but I"m open to brilliant ideas. What is your very most fav meat dish that is suitable for a proper plated meal.

Thanks!!!

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  1. Takes a bit of prep. but it's worth it:
    4 whole chicken breasts (boned) - figure about half a pound for each person
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp marjoram
    1/2 tsp chopped fresh chopped parsley
    1/4 pound jack cheese
    1 cup flour
    1 cup Sauterne
    Seasoned salt
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
    Remove skins and membrane from the boned chicken breast and cut in halves (I like to butterfly them - make it easier to flatten them out) making eight pieces.
    Place each piece between two layers of plastic wrap and flatten with mallet to 1/8 inch thick cutlets.
    Sprinkle with seasoned salt
    Whip the butter until fluffy. Stir oregano, marjoram and parsely into the whipped butter.
    Cut cheese lengthwise into 8 pieces and spread each piece of cheese with the herb/butter mixture, using about a third to a half of the butter mixture.
    Place stick of cheese on each cutlet and roll up, tucking in ends to seal tightly as you roll.
    Coat rolled cutlets with flour and shake off excess, then dip in beaten egg, then roll in bread crumbs to coat.
    Place side by side in flat baking dish and bake (preheated 375 degree oven) for 20 minutes
    Melt the remaining herb butter, stir in the Sauterne and pour this over the rolled cutlets.
    Continue baking, basting occasionally for 15 minutes longer or until chicken is golden brown and tender.
    Serve with pan liquids spooned over top. Garnish with parsely sprigs.
    Just don't over cook it - chicken breast cooks pretty quickly and can over-cook quite easily.
    Use a digital thermometer to determine when the internal temperature indicates it's reached it's "safe to eat" temperature.
    This is a crowd pleaser of the first order.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      OH MY GOSH! That sounds so good. Thanks for posting the recipe.

    2. very simple but delish - I had never used marjoram before. I love this Chicken Marjoram/Cherry tomatoes dish and it's pretty too.
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      1. a couple of my favorites are:
        Chicken Marsala
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        or

        Chicken with Spinach and Feta
        this one you can either serve as a stuffed boneless chicken breast or with the chicken cut into smaller pieces.

        Filling:
        Saute some onion
        add some garlic
        add container of baby spinach leaves and allow to cook down
        when all of the livid has evaporated add some feta cheese (as much or little as you like
        add juice of 1/2 lemon
        put to side

        if you're wrapping a chicken breast around this, slice it in half to make it thinner and the wrap it around filling, using toothpick to keep it closed.
        Brown it on all sides then add some chicken stock to the pan and let it simmer until juices run clear.

        If you want to use cut up chicken in this dish then saute them seperately and mix them in with the filling.

        I sometimes add a little cooked rice to the filling mixture if I'm using cut up pieces.

        Good luck

        1. On the assumption that you're doing restaurant plating, you could go with either seared duck magret with your choice of sauce (cherry, morels, lacque etc) or chicken cooked sous-vide in butter. Both aren't particularly complicated and relatively inexpensive. The chicken is particularly so since it's controlled low temp boil in a bag which comes out amazingly well and is impressive for your guests because you're using a "modern" technique. You'll need a Ziploc, a big pot and a thermometer as basic equipment or you can use fancier stuff if you already have access to them.

          For land animal, beef short ribs or pork belly. Proto-bacon's just amazing regardless of how you want to prepare it (e.g. rub with salt and five-spice and then roast), and the short ribs work best in braising. Since you've already got a beef component, pork would be an alternative.

          1. Another possibility is a stuffed, rolled roast. All the time is spent on the prep side, and once the roast is done, you just need to let it rest and slice it. You can even make a sauce ahead of time and slide some pan drippings into it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: weezycom

              This is such an impressive looking dish too. I agree. I've done a rolled stuffed flank steak and really enjoyed how easy but very delish it was. I stuffed mine with spinach, motz cheese, roasted red pepper.

            2. Joanne Weir has a recipe for Roasted Pork the Way the Tuscan Do that is always a hit when I serve it to company. In my photo this was just plated for family dining, but you could certainly plate it more elegantly for guests.

              http://www.joanneweir.com/recipes/mai...

               
               
              2 Replies
              1. re: decolady

                That Joanne Weir recipe looks delicious. Did you actually use the fennel pollen? I hate buying expensive fancy pants ingredients that I will never use again.

                1. re: sparkareno

                  I already had fennel pollen so yes, I did use it. I just adore Purple Haze Goat Cheese and when I could no longer get it locally, I started purchasing local goat cheese and seasoning it with fennel pollen and lavender. Here are some links with other ideas and recipes for using fennel pollen:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/557718

                  http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/in...

                  http://www.thespicehouse.com/recipes/...

                  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/br...

                  Don't be afraid to try it out on lots of things. It's very good sprinkled on vegetables. We really enjoy the flavour.

                  ETA: I don't remember if all of these are in the links, but Mario Batali and Anne Burrel both have recipes on the FNTV site that use fennel pollen.

              2. Hmmm. How did pork tenderloin with a mustard glaze and caramelized apple not seem fancy enough? That sounds great. I'm suspecting you're being a bit hard on yourself.

                Anyway, maybe I'm too practical minded, but if I were cooking for company and feeling stressed out about how everything turns out, I would avoid chicken breast and lean pork preparations (like pork tenderloin) that require pretty exact temperature management to avoid getting overdone, unless I were planning on not really being present much myself for the dinner party.

                I suggest three other options: (1) some kind of roast--perhaps a New York Strip [Top Loin] beef roast or maybe a bone in pork rib roast with some brining and dry marinade before; (2) a beef shanks braise that is actually better when done ahead and then reheated a day or two later; or (3) something like a chicken cacciatore.

                About option 1: you might think that it violates the "too expensive" matter, but I've found that the total cost of a dinner is sometimes less with a roast, because when I'm aiming to "fill" people with less substantial main courses, I end up spending tons of money on cheeses and appetizers and so forth, and it's kind of a wash, in the end.

                Anyway, best wishes for your dinner, and kudos to you for your efforts. I hope they appreciate them!