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Dec 11, 2012 05:58 PM

New dinner party ideas

I love to cook, but multi course meals are never very successful for me. I also seem to cook the same meals for friends all the time, although I vary a lot more for myself. I tend towards either carbonaras and amatricianas. I am having a dinner party this weekend with 4 of us, potentially 6. I have an open concept house so I can visit while cooking. My guests are foodies, but certainly not snobby about it, easy home cooking totally fine! I don't want to spend a fortune but would like to venture outside my comfort zone a little.

I have a whole bunch of thinly sliced pancetta in my fridge. I was originally thinking I would just do an amatriciana again, but thought a change might be good! Maybe I should wrap it around something instead?

Any thoughts on a dinner plan that will not break the bank or send me into a frenzy!! I know this is really vague, but I am open to any thoughts.

My SO has some ingredients he doesn't like, but I can usually work around that.

PS. I also have a freezer full of venison sausages (some cooked, some raw) and venison roasts/ground.

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  1. I'm not sure what kind of venison sausage you have (elk, boar, hare, deer, etc.), but what about breakfast with venison sausage gravy?

    1 Reply
    1. re: 1POINT21GW

      venison is actually always deer, and I will be sticking with dinner not breakfast (red wine just doesn't go with breakfast!)

    2. How about having a 'platter party? Use some of the sausages precooked and thinly sliced to save some $. A bunch of platters with a bunch of foods that your guests recognize. All the usual. BUT also lay out a couple of platters with the most unusual things on them like pickled octopus/squid. Little sardines in oil. Things you know your guests likely may have never tried. That way they have a choice between eating the 'same-old' or maybe being a bit daring and trying the 'jellied eel' or the 'reindeer pate'. You can buy these sorts of items in specialty shops. They mostly come in small cans so the cost isn't going to break the bank. You may be surprised by your guests reaction/s. Who knows, there may be the 'frog legs lover' out there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Puffin3

        an interesting idea Puffin, however I live in a small town and I definitely could not find those sort of items unfortunately.

      2. do you have any venison loin? if so, what about doing it in the style of a beef wellington (venison en croute)? I've done this a few times, once using the traditional mushroom duxelles layer between the vension and the pastry and once with a haggis stuffing and wilted spinach layer. you could do one large portion or individual parcels.

        2 Replies
        1. re: abby d

          I am not sure we have any loin left. but if we do it is a nice idea, did you find that you were able to keep the venison moist and rare enough for the pastry to cook?

          1. re: cleopatra999

            I did! there's a picture here:

            the stuffed pork loin sounds good too - I often do versions of that.

        2. My sister does a rosemary and garlic boneless pork loin wrapped in pancetta and roasted. It's very easy and quite delicious. I'm sure it would be a great way to cook venison loin, as well.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Terrie H.

            This sounds like the recipe you are talking about:

            this could be good as you say for either venison or pork (which is a nice reasonably priced meat).

            1. re: cleopatra999

              the more I look at it the more I like this recipe. do you think I could stuff it with some of my venison sausage, or would the flavours compete? I know the venison would be nice with the rosemary.

              1. re: cleopatra999

                The recipe you found on the food network site is similar to the one my sister makes. I personally wouldn't stuff it with sausage because it would take a longer time to cook the sausage to safe temperature and the loin would quite probably be overcooked. Using the venison sausage as a stuffing for a rump piece in a long-cooking braise would be delicious.

                1. re: Terrie H.

                  anlot of the recipes I found for sausage stuffed loin called for cooking the sausage first, which is what I was planning to do (if I go in this direction)

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    That would work. I was thinking of raw sausage.

          2. I am not familiar with venison sausage, but could you wrap it in slices of pancetta and then roast. Add handfuls of grapes to the pan so they cook down and you can make a wonderful sauce (after draining off the fat) with a little water and some balsamic. A great dish served with mashed potatoes.