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Ideas for dinner with in-laws

pipistrello Mar 24, 2014 02:17 PM

My in-laws are staying with us this weekend and I'd like to make something to delight their taste buds. They are suspicious of most fish, so no barbequed sardines or clam pasta for them. They like BBQed meat and chicken. MIL is allergic to avocados. Any ideas are welcome. Thank you!

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  1. monfrancisco RE: pipistrello Mar 24, 2014 02:36 PM

    Tri-tip! Always a crowd pleaser at my place. Garlic bread or roasted spuds, Caesar or spinach salad, veg of your choice. Easy on the cook, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monfrancisco
      pipistrello RE: monfrancisco Mar 24, 2014 03:20 PM

      My FIL loves tri-tip; this is on my short list. Thank you!

    2. melpy RE: pipistrello Mar 24, 2014 02:40 PM

      What's the whether like where you are?

      I like middle Eastern food and bbqed meat and chicken are popular there. I would probably do a potato salad that is oil dressed with parsley. Some meat and lebneh yogurt cheese and some zucchini salad.

      My in laws like things plain. For them I would make BBQ chicken, baked beans, potato salad and maybe a something with broccoli. They are super picky and like really sweet food though.

      My parents tend to eat on the more French Italian palate. I would do a nice orange salad, maybe some grilled lamb or steak with haricot vert and garlic or shallots. Perhaps a light pasta or gnocchi and serve it in courses.

      3 Replies
      1. re: melpy
        pipistrello RE: melpy Mar 24, 2014 03:17 PM

        It's bright and sunny here (in San Francisco). I love the idea of BBQ chicken and a cold potato salad with a side of greens. Thanks melpy!

        1. re: pipistrello
          rudeboy RE: pipistrello Mar 25, 2014 06:11 AM

          If you are doing beans.....drain/rinse canned cannelini, simmer in ham base with *smoked* paprika and a good dose of cumin. That's been a very easy winner for me.

        2. re: melpy
          melpy RE: melpy Mar 25, 2014 07:58 AM

          How embarassing!

        3. tim irvine RE: pipistrello Mar 24, 2014 02:48 PM

          Carnitas tacos with cilantro rice and black beans.

          Hanger steak and fries

          Pappardelle Bolognese

          Pulled pork sliders and cole slaw

          Lamb shoulder Tagine with couscous and/or flat bread

          Several ideas in a wide range of effort

          3 Replies
          1. re: tim irvine
            pipistrello RE: tim irvine Mar 24, 2014 03:19 PM

            Wow, these sound amazing! How do you make your cilantro rice? I like how pappardelle bolognese and pulled pork sliders are elegant versions of the classic, crowd-pleasing spaghetti bolognese and hamburger.

            1. re: pipistrello
              tim irvine RE: pipistrello Mar 24, 2014 06:01 PM

              I do white rice in a light vegetable broth and toss a bunch of minced cilantro in before serving. Super easy. Or you can just do rice in broth and offer cilantro, onions, and lime wedges for people to add to taste. I always get that with black beans and tacos al pastor at my Sunday night restaurant. Hey, tacos al pastor would be another great option. Who doesn't like pork and pineapple?

              1. re: tim irvine
                pipistrello RE: tim irvine Mar 25, 2014 09:50 AM

                That sounds delicious, never thought of adding cilantro to rice like that. We often make "spanish rice", cooking tomato sauce and onion into the rice, but I would love to try another way. I imagine it would be a great burrito filling too. Yes to al pastor tacos!

          2. l
            lamlex RE: pipistrello Mar 24, 2014 03:54 PM

            Supposed to rain this week in Bay Area. I suggest Chicken and dumplings from All about Braising.

            1. Ttrockwood RE: pipistrello Mar 24, 2014 04:26 PM

              While you bbq the meat/chicken you can have this whole roasted cauliflower in the oven- its stupid easy (be sure to only blanch until halfway done) and an amazing table presentation. I prefer it with a romesco or chimichuri sauce.

              And this really easy combo of hearty greens (i recently used a mix of kale and radish greens) is great with nearly anything, i use more chopped olives (usually picholine ones from the olive bar).

              9 Replies
              1. re: Ttrockwood
                rudeboy RE: Ttrockwood Mar 25, 2014 06:16 AM

                TTrockwood. I roast cauliflower all the time, but never whole. This looks interesting. After reading the recipe, my first impression was 'too much cooking." Are you saying to cut back on the time in the boil? Do you think that the flavor of the boil would be more pronounced if you let the cauliflower steep in it cold for a few hours prior to boiling, and boil for, say 10 minutes?

                I can imagine all sorts of combinations for that boil, and various sauces or toppings for the final product. Thanks for sharing this.

                1. re: rudeboy
                  Ttrockwood RE: rudeboy Mar 25, 2014 08:53 PM

                  Yes, be wary of the boil time- poke the cauli and be sure there is still some resistance, i'd rather have a little "bite" to it than have it get overcooked.
                  I don't think "steeping" the cauli would make a difference....
                  Its really great with any number of sauces or even just some salt and pepper.

                2. re: Ttrockwood
                  pipistrello RE: Ttrockwood Mar 25, 2014 09:56 AM

                  I like the idea of roasting it whole. And the greens. Caulifower is a big favourite in our house. This Chow recipe is in regular rotation, it's a pseudo potato mash that goes really well with lamb (another thing the in-laws don't like alas);

                  1. re: pipistrello
                    rudeboy RE: pipistrello Mar 25, 2014 11:16 AM

                    Looks good and purist (and healthy). Are the parsnips really necessary? What do they add? I'm a parsnip novice.

                    1. re: rudeboy
                      Harters RE: rudeboy Mar 25, 2014 11:18 AM

                      Parsnips may be my favourite vegetable - so versatile. In the linked dish, they'll add an earthy sweetness - I like the idea of the combination with the more astringent cauli.

                      1. re: Harters
                        rudeboy RE: Harters Mar 25, 2014 11:25 AM

                        Okay, they're cheap enough to add anyhow. Maybe my palate doesn't pick up on that in the context of beef stew, for example. Cauliflower = astringent? That I definitely do not equate....

                        1. re: rudeboy
                          Harters RE: rudeboy Mar 25, 2014 12:03 PM

                          I'd pretty much always add parsnips to a stew, especially a beef or pork one.

                          1. re: rudeboy
                            nothingswrong RE: rudeboy Mar 26, 2014 01:01 AM

                            I was a parsnip novice until recently. Eat them roasted til very tender in just olive oil and salt and their flavor becomes very pronounced. Earthy, uber sweet, and very distinct from other root vegetables.

                        2. re: rudeboy
                          pipistrello RE: rudeboy Mar 25, 2014 11:56 AM

                          I think they give it a nuttiness that complements the cauliflower nicely. The milk in the recipe harmonizes everything so even if you don't like parnips on their own you may like them in this.

                    2. h
                      Harters RE: pipistrello Mar 25, 2014 07:17 AM

                      We struggle to cook for the out-laws. MiL likes fish on her plate so she can poke it about and then hide under something else. FiL's idea of a varied meal is a small piece of meat, next to a big piece of meat. Neither of them want anything at all "fancy" with their fish/meat. We find it easier to take them to a restaurant.

                      In liking BBQed meat, the OP has a great plus over our options. At least you can serve them something that's tasty.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Harters
                        pipistrello RE: Harters Mar 25, 2014 09:37 AM

                        Out-laws. Love it.

                        1. re: pipistrello
                          autumm RE: pipistrello Mar 25, 2014 08:59 PM

                          It's kinda fun being a food loving out law. Sometimes really simple well prepared can blow them away

                      2. f
                        foxspirit RE: pipistrello Mar 25, 2014 08:12 AM

                        If you're going for a little fancier how about BBQ'ed cornish game hens instead of chicken? Spatchcock them and they grill up nicely. Serve with a nice grilled corn salad or some couscous? Ribs are are always a favorite for my family as well. I do them most of the way in the oven and finish on the grill with some extra saucing.

                        1. t
                          truman RE: pipistrello Mar 25, 2014 08:52 AM

                          I've impressed my ILs (whose tastes sound like your ILs') with this menu - very much a "mix, throw in the oven, and forget it" set of prep work.

                          BBQ brisket - don't recall where my recipe came from, but the gist of it is: rub meat with BBQ seasoning mix, pour over 1 bottle beer mixed with about 1/2C bbq sauce, and throw it in the oven (325 for about 3 hours)

                          Triple Corn Spoon Bread - http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tripl... (I have baked the spoon bread at 325, with the brisket - just add about 10 min to the baking time


                          Something green - a big salad, perhaps

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: truman
                            pipistrello RE: truman Mar 25, 2014 09:57 AM

                            Yum. Yum. Yum. This is on my list. Thanks truman!

                          2. g
                            Gail RE: pipistrello Mar 25, 2014 12:12 PM

                            My "go-to" company dinner, made the day before...short ribs, bone in. Easy to lift off the excess fat after refrigeration, then reheat gently. Serve over buttered noodles, rice or mashed.

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