what's yr fave make-ahead dinner party dish (or quick)?
I'm pregnant and pretty tired right now, having some friends round on Sat eve, will just be 4 of us. Want to make something a bit special but ideally make ahead or quick.
Any suggestions? Not really in the mood for very rich food or red meat as it can make me nauseous so was thinking some amazing fish would be nice.
Congrats! I just went through the same thing (now dealing with cooking and a 1 month old) and was determined to still entertain. Are you avoiding shellfish? If not, a shrimp scampi would work.
I'm actually not a big cooker of special fish (other than a salmon in martini sauce which you probably won't want to make). But one of my go to dinner party chicken dishes is chicken and artichokes. Easy and everyone likes. Saute chicken (cut into bite size pieces), then saute with artichoke hearts about 12 oz for every 1 lb of chicken. Season with salt, pepper and oregano and then squeeze aleomon or two over the whole thing. It takes only 10 min or so, s you dont need to worry about making ahead.
Chicken is always good and this stuffed spinach chicken has the advantage of being both an entree plus vegetable. You only need to serve rice, noodles, or some kind of starch with it. you can actually prepare the dish about 75% of the way, refrigerate it and reheat for another 30 minutes the day of serving. It's always a big hit. I find that chicken breasts on the bone always have more flavor
SPINACH STUFFED CHICKEN
4 large chicken breast on the bone with skin
1 pkg dry Knorr vegetable soup mix
8 oz. cream cheese (can use light)
1/2 cup sour cream (can use light)
can of water chestnuts, chopped coarsely
10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and WELL DRAINED
salt, pepper, paprika and chopped garlic
Using fingers, make pocket between skin and chicken flesh, leaving one side attached. Combine remaining ingredients to make stuffing. Place stuffing in prepared pocket, you may have some leftover stuffing. If you are careful not to contaminate with raw chicken juice, you can use this as dip with crackers. Season chicken with s&p, paprika and chopped garlic. Place in shallow, greased baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and roast at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil, baste chicken with accumulated juices, roast uncovered another 20-30 minutes, until done.
I've been itching to try this mustard baked fish. Seems to me you could prepare everything in the casserole dish ahead of time then throw in the oven 15 minutes before you want to eat. I bet you could roast some asparagus at the same time and service with a rice pilaf for a nice meal.
Here's a recipe I make often; sometimes hours before dinner and I keep it in the fridge til it's almost time to bake. I serve over spinach saute or spaghetti squash, but you could use pasta as well:
Shrimp, Tomatoes, & Feta Cheese
1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined, medium size (I use larger ones) or larger
6-8 oz. Aged Feta Cheese, crumbled (not just any feta, Mt. Vikos barrel aged or Dodoni, must be Greek, not French)
6-8 Fresh campari tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup Pitted Kalamata olives
3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. Fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
2 cloves Fresh garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Oregano, dried
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black pepper, freshly ground
Mix all the ingredients and place in a small baking casserole. Preheat oven and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6 as an appetizer, serves 4 with pasta.
my quick chicken dish is mayo chicken...
chicken breast,mayo,parmesan cheese and bread crumbs..
u coat the chicken breasts in mayo/cheese mix
then sprinkle...(i usually use italian flavor breadcrumbs) with bread crumbs...then bake at 425 for about 20-30 mins or until the chicken is cooked
i got it from hellmans..they call it parmesan crusted chicken
but i usually use dukes mayo... :-)
For an appetizer, there's a ridiculous easy crab dip I found on this board. I first made it just to see what would happen (not even thinking it would be that good!) and it was the first thing to be devoured - plate scraped clean:
8 oz pkg of cream cheese (softened)
1/4 c. mayo (you can use light)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 can crab meat (you can find this near the tuna can section)
1/2 c. grated parmesan
Blend cream cheese and mayo togethet until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread mixture in 9 inch pie plate or corningware. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes until light browned and bubbly. Serve immediately. To reheat you can throw in microwave for a couple of seconds.
re: The Oracle
I have a similar recipe from an old community cookbook that has been our family's favorite since I was a kid. Our recipe has a bit of horseradish (around 1 t.) instead of the parm and has you grate the onion instead of mince it. We top ours with sliced almonds and a sprinkle of paprika for a nice crunch. So yummy.
I don't know if you've been following the Jamie Oliver COTM threads, but many of his books have fish recipes where fish and veg and herbs etc are all roasted together in a one tray which is very easy. The one I made was seabass with sliced potatoes, mushrooms and herbs, and a salsa verde. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7691...
You could also try fish en papilotte, i.e. baked in paper parcels. You could try it with white wine, herbs and lemon, and serve with a tray of roasted veg, or go asian-inspired with ginger, lemongrass, chillies etc and serve with a stir-fry or a salad. The salad you couldmake ahead, and the rest you can stick in the oven and leave for a while.
Osso buco alla Milanese, unless that doesn't pass the red meat test. Better if made a day ahead. Or for same day, fish stew of the bouillabase/cioppino variety, assuming shellfish is ok.