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What is your Go To recipe for company if ....

you will be cleaning all day and won't have a whole lot of time to cook? There are no dietary restrictions or anything. I just want something tried and true that you turn to when you want something almost everyone likes and is pretty hard to mess up.

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  1. So, give us a little help; like what's in the pantry; is there time to run to the supermarket; how much time is there to prepare the meal (... "not a whole lot of time to cook" makes a rather blurred picture) and what cooking skills (or other limitations) might there be?

    1. sausage with peppers and onions. cold salads. gazpacho. all made in advance except the sausage.

      1. Anything that I call "heat & eat"--make ahead food that needs no fuss to re-heat. Make-ahead salad ingredients pre-cut & stored along with whatever entree/dessert can be done ahead.

        1. Can you do the cooking a day or two before? So many braises are even better when made a day or two ahead, skimmed of fat, and reheated to serve. Think short ribs, country-style ribs, coq au vin. Or for a standard low-fuss dish my sister and I have been making for about 100 years :) that never fails to please, you could marinate chicken pieces overnight in lemon juice, olive oil, many whole lightly crushed cloves of garlic, and rosemary sprigs in ziplocks together with whole green olives (preferably not the pimento stuffed kind, I really like picholines) and small red potatoes cut in half or quarters depending on size. You want plenty of the marinade and loads of garlic, it mellows with cooking. Tip the whole thing into a roasting pan and bake uncovered at 375 until done, probably about 45 minutes, depends on the size of your chicken pieces. For some reason, this is incredibly forgiving if it stays in too long. My sister adds baby carrots but I think they make it too sweet -- not that I have any trouble eating it at her house, it is a perennial winner. Green salad (or in summer, sliced tomatoes sprinkled with fresh basil) and crusty bread is all you need besides.

          3 Replies
          1. re: GretchenS

            The chicken recipe is making my mouth water. I won't be able to make it today due to the marinating time, but I might make it for Thursday. My company will be here for a week.

            1. re: anniam

              If time just gets away and guests are arriving today, either order out or go out to eat. Why add so much stress on yourself? Or set up a "serve yourself" omlette bar at home. Relax.

            2. I'm going to the market today because my pantry is pretty bare at the moment. I'll have around 3 hrs to cook as long as I can clean while I'm cooking. I had something in mind for today but it fell through which is why I'm here looking for help (-;