Dinner for 6 - drawing blanks - need help menu planning
- The Oracle Jan 14, 2014 10:23 AM
I'm having some older relative-types over for dinner (one in their 70's, two in their early 80's) and I'm completely blanking on what to serve. The weather has been pretty warm, and it's throwing me. I know one is not a big red meat eater. Spicy is ok. I'm not sure what food preferences the others like. Curries are ok (thai, indian, etc). Chicken for sure is ok. Fish would likely be ok.
I was considering doing Indian take out and plating/serving, but I wasn't crazy about the expense of it all (would run about $75).
I can churn out a decent chicken pot pie, and was thinking about that route (I like the make-ahead aspect). I would make two, 9-inch pies, and perhaps serve a green salad as a starter, and then dessert. Very budget friendly. However, it's fairly warm right now (80's for highs/50's for low), and chicken pot pie doesn't exactly match the current weather!
I thought about a lasagna, but I think it may be too much dairy for one of the guests.
Those are all my ideas for now. I'm open to any and all ideas! TIA!
re: The Oracle
Hm. Well, I agree that chicken pot pie doesn't seem terribly seasonal in 80-degree weather. I am a big fan of Indian food - if you want to save yourself some work, you could always order a variety of samosas/pakoras and maybe some naan from your favorite Indian takeout place, and then make rice, a chicken dish and a dal yourself. Indian food reheats well, IMO, so you could make the meat dish and dal a day ahead and just reheat before serving, that way all you'd have to do the day of is make rice.
If you'd rather do something more casserole-like, you could go with a sauteed/grilled fish or chicken prep and then serve a vegetable gratin alongside, using whatever is in season where you are.
I feel like a broken record since I recommend this all the time but it is really good and so easy. I make it for friends, family, and it's always a hit.
Indonesian Ginger Chicken
The Basmati rice that Ina pairs it with is good but even plain white rice or basmati rice is good. It's all about the sauce on any rice that's good.
In warmer months, I like to make a cucumber salad to go with it...specifically this one -- sweet & sour cucumbers with dill. I like to add red onion to it.
How about that chicken adobo recipe from NYT with coconut milk---but crisp up the chicken under the broiler at the end?
Serve with steamed rice and maybe a salad w/ peanut dressing? You could do dumplings, lumpia, edamame, etc. to start. A dessert with tropical fruit to finish.
re: The Oracle
Here ya go.
Cook's Country Jerk Chicken, paraphrased:
1 bunch scallions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons table salt
2 tablespoons molasses
2 habanero chiles, stemmed
1/4 cup oil
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 lime, cut into wedges
In the food processor, puree everything but the chicken and lime until almost a smooth paste. Wearing gloves or using a spoon (carefully!), rub 1 Tbsp. paste under the skin of each piece of chicken and seal in a Ziploc bag. Marinate 4 hrs. or up to 36 hrs. Broil, bake, or grill until crispy and the chicken juices run clear. Serve with lime wedges. This is a little on the salty side, so if you are sensitive to salt, you may want to cut back just slightly.