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Ideas for dinner with in-laws

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. 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

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

    2. 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

        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

          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. 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

            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

              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

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

            1. 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.
              http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/whol...

              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).
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              9 Replies
              1. re: Ttrockwood

                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

                  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

                  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);
                  http://www.chow.com/recipes/30122-par...

                  1. re: pipistrello

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

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: rudeboy

                            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

                          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.