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Upscale Friday night dinner ideas

I am planning a really nice, upscale Friday night dinner for a small group of people. I want something with wow factor--steak would be great, but how can I cook it in advance and then hold it for the meal without it being overcooked or cold? I need an entree that can hold for at least 30-60 minutes after cooking. I'm willing to splurge on a cool protein (duck? a more interesting cut of meat?) but I would feel more comfortable doing that if I had a solid Chowhound-approved recipe and Shabbat strategy. Any ideas? I would also welcome any ideas for top notch salads, sides, desserts. Thanks!

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  1. Beef bourguignon will look impressive and will hold up, as will most stews. You can search the board for previous discussions on it and recipes.

    1. I think a perfectly grilled steak, cooked before Shabbat and served at room temp is a great idea.

      Personally, I love braises, stews, stuffed vegetables simmered in sauce and similar because they "hold" so well. They even reheat if you cook them Thursday after work. It's awfully hard to do roasted poultry with perfectly crisped skin, or a roast cooked to pink-center perfection and "hold" them between candle-lighting and whatever time everyone gets home from maariv.

      But it's hot outside. perfect steak served on a cutting board with appropriate condiments and side dishes sounds pretty great to me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AdinaA

        I like the steak idea--any tips on what to serve it with? I don't cook steak that much so I'm not sure how to "elevate" it beyond the basic mashed potatoes or whatever.

      2. How about a standing rib roast - this a thread form a couple of years ago - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8474...

        when visiting my parents we will have one for friday night -

        5 Replies
        1. re: weinstein5

          You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din

          1. re: weinstein5

            Great idea! Do you know where I can reliably find one in NYC?

            1. re: DevorahL

              Do not know in NYC - I can tell you where to get one in Chicago -

              As I posted it the older it is a delicate dance of timing to have the cooking done before the start of Shabbos -

              1. re: DevorahL

                The upscale uptown Manhattan butchers (Prime, Park East, Kosher Marketplace) have standing rib roasts. Likely Pomegranate would, too.

            2. I always thought Beef Wellington is very impressive and would likely hold well. That said, I don't know enough about beef to know what cut would stand in well for the traditional tenderloin, which is tough to find under supervision in the US.

              3 Replies
              1. re: CloggieGirl

                A rib eye would work just fine in Beef Wellington. Cook to a rare temp, crust will brown, then while holding/resting in your turned off oven it will come to medium rare/medium.

                Do not use eye of the chuck, it will be too tough for this dish. You need a cut that is soft when cooked, as most don't have Shabbos steak knifes as part of Shabbos silverware.

                ALTERNATIVE: Take any lean chuck and rough mince and mix with some chopped veg and spices. Form a log, cover with the mushrooms and roll in the pastry, bake until golden brown, Pre-slice and plate in the kitchen. Perfect for Shabbos when you don't want a guest to struggle cutting beef and maybe upset a wine glass on your white cloth. This also saves money, avoids cooking with an unfamiliar cut the first time for guests and by hand chopping to a rough mince it still has the tooth of steak not hamburger.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  Thank you, bagelman01, I think a ribeye Wellington is just the right wow factor I am looking for! I will go to Pomegranate and choose between that and standing rib roast depending on prices and what's available. Are there any tweaks you would make to a standard Beef Wellington recipe to accommodate the change in meat cut?

                  1. re: DevorahL

                    You don't need to tweak the recipe based on the change of beef cut, BUT if your recipe calls for any added salt in the duxelles half it because the beef has been kashered. Or if you are using canned instead of fresh mushrooms (and there is nothing wrong with that for Beef Wellington) but the no salt variety.

                    Use a meat thermometer, stop cooking at just over rare, turn the oven off and let the beef finish cooking as the oven cools. Should yield pink/medium doneness.

              2. Rack of veal is always a huge hit in our house. Cook it rare and it goes to medium while waiting in warmer for the meal