Summer dinner party ideas
We are having a weeknight dinner party... friends are in town from Europe, and a Tuesday evening was the only date we could find. There will be 8 adults, 4 teenagers, and 3 younger kids.
I'm looking for menu ideas...
1) that will be easy enough to pull together in a few hours on a weekday evening (or that can be prepped ahead),
2) that DON'T involve grilling... our grill is broken :(
3) that are still elegant and impressive (these are foodies, French and Spanish nationality, so they know good food)
4) that ideally would work for adults, teens, and kids. But I'd be willing to make a big pan of homemade mac and cheese for the kids if need be.
Thanks for any suggestions!
I should also say that I'd love to incorporate some fresh, local produce from the farmer's market.
A friend of ours hosted a weeknight party as well for friends visiting from out of the country. She made it a potluck as she works full-time and there were 12 of us and cooked one of the two mains, a moussaka. The moussaka can be made ahead to a certain point. I made a chicken enchilada casserole with salsa verde (very refreshing for Summer dinner).
Started dinner off with a cheese platter, then salad and mains, and couple of people had brought different desserts (I'd suggest key lime pie or berry trifle). With lots of wine flowing & "catching up" chatter, evening was fantastic!
ps. I brought some of the leftover moussaka home and my teenage girls loved it.
This time of year (summer) I go for produce as well.
I would do a big pasta dish with lots of veggies - could add a protein (chicken?) - and big curls of parm regg - fresh basil. I like a medium sized tube shape for this (any of them are good).
I find everyone likes it and it is easy for people to "pick around" a specific veggie if they don't like it (thinking kids).
All chopping and even cooking the chicken can be done ahead - you could even blanch the veggies the night before if you really wanted to do that.
nooo, no recipe. I just wing ratatouille but I can give you approximations, you'll have to scale up though. The nice thing is ratatouille can definitely be made a day or two in advance. Then you just cut sheets of puff pastry and bake, then assemble the napoleons. You can even layer with some whipped herbed ricotta for a sort of deconstructed lasagne affair.