I invited a group for a pre-concert dinner last summer, which turned out nicely and was easy to manage because I could make everything ahead. I started off with Aperol spritzers and Hugos along with black and green olives and a mix of roasted chick peas and raisins.The main dish was a meatload,Turkish style and seasoned with pomegranate molasses, dill, mint and feta. Along with that I served a selection of Middle Eastern salads--tabbuleh, baba ghanoush, what have you, and picked or marinated vegetables. Everyone loved it and ate heartily. clean-up was easy and we arrived in plenty of time for the concert.
Sorry I posted below that the OP outdid herself, but it was really you!
Sam is a trusted home cook.
For quick and easy. A shrimp boil using Zatarains seafood boil in the bag. (well about an hour depending on stove and how fast it can bring water to boil).
Super easy...if you boost up the flavors.
A big stock pot and a beer..a lemon cut in half and juiced. Warm that with the bag a few mins. The beer will extract more flavors from the bag.
Fill it salted water. Bring to boil, add some smoked sausage cut up. Bring back to boil. When the sausage floats...add some new potatoes cut in half. Prep about 4 ears of corn on the cob cut into thirds. Add those just when the potatoes are getting tender. Boil some more about 5 mins.
Add 1lb of shell on shrimp. Turn off the heat and let sit about 8 mins until the shrimp is pink and done.
Drain and dump into either a big salad bowl lined with newspaper or just on a picnic table on news print.
Cut up several lemons for the shrimp into wedges. And have some soft butter and cocktail sauce for the shrimp.
Super easy and something for everyone. Okay, add a salad too.
We went out to dinner with friends in D.C. It was crab legs with potatoes and corn like Sam's suggestion. The tables really were covered with newpaper, And everything dumped on the table. It was fun and guarantees easy clean up. With salad and good bread, it would be easy and as elegant as you want to make it, you could go out for coffee, etc. afterward.
How hot is it where you are? The other day, I made a Spanish tortilla and alioli (pretty much the same thing as aioli), a green salad, and dressed some sliced heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers with drizzled olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper and it was one of the most satisfying hot-weather dinners I've made in a long time. You can make the tortilla beforehand and serve it at room temperature (or even cold) and the salad and tomatoes come together really quickly so the whole dinner can happen as people arrive. It's flavorful, seasonal, and not too heavy so that you're not feeling overstuffed while sitting at the concert (and it's a great way to make something special for a lot of people out of relatively inexpensive ingredients). If it's something you're interested in, I would make two tortillas since it's not hard to put away two (or more) slices! And if you think you need anything more, it couldn't hurt to have some fruit or cheese or charcuterie to munch on beforehand.
For me, concerts typically mean a lot of jumping around and boozing it up, so I want something substantial but not heavy, and nothing too exotic. I'm thinking cheeses, crackers, crostinis, light pastas, etc.
Headed to a concert afterwards? I would think easy clean up. You don't want to have to do a mess of dishes before you go, and forget about when you get back.
I would do a simple BBQ. Nothing fancy. Throw some burgers, chicken legs or sausage on the grill. While your at it, throw some corn on the cob and potatoes on there too. Whip up a salad or two and you have a meal that everyone can grab as they want with minimal clean up afterwards.
I would do a nice cheese platter some good bone in rib eyes and asparagus on the grill with a mixed salad and some good assorted Italian cookies store bought for dessert
Well what kind of concert? Bach, country, or heavy metal? I'd take some clues off of that for the theme and mood.
Since you have to get everyone out the door on time and it is hot, do something light that you prepared ahead of time. I made a delicious gazpacho last night - it is a refreshing first course that you should make a day ahead. I like the idea for the Spanish tortilla with a salad - maybe add some slivers of prosciutto and other meats with some cheese, fig jam, bread and olives to start. End with something cool and refreshing - ice cream with fruit, lazy Mary's lemon tart etc.
It sounds like you out did yourself last time. I have done an assortment of Tapas (do ahead stuff served mostly at room temp) then with buffet style mains and salad after. Apps were roasted red peppers with garlic and capers (with and without anchovies) and toasted bread, roast asparagus (with and without proscuitto), tiny spanish meatballs with saffron, marinated shrimp with lemon and red onion, grapes rolled with roquefort/cream cheese then chopped nuts. Shots of chilled soup.
Mains were Sausage and Chicken arroz con pollo. Eggplant and Feta Gratin, Salad of romain and spinach with oranges and walnuts, vegan couscous.
Dessert was Chocolate Custard Tarts and a large pear and apple tart on puff pastry. We drank Sangria. Of course you don't need all that much food, buy you get the idea. It was harmonious. PM me if you want any recipes.
I also like the idea of the shrimp boil.
If you're looking for a group, fun seafood feast - paella or a seafood boil, not just shrimp.
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