Invited 20 adults / 10 children for a dinner party this weekend. Can't decide on menu given #s!!! No pasta please.

As people arrive, I plan on serving 3 savory tarts, cheese and fruit. Dessert easy. Dinner: Kids eat what adults eat - no substitutions. Perhaps one chicken, one lamb, one lentil dish + rice? Ideas for recipes / menus???

  • Posted by: ubs2007
  • February 29, 2012
  • 24010 views
  • 34 Comments

24 Comments

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bigpan
bigpan February 29, 2012

I would do anything pasta - kids love and adults too. Good ol' spaghetti and meatballs.

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour February 29, 2012

Runaway Spoon's pastitsio: http://www.food52.com/recipes... - I've made this several times for guests with great success. It can be assembled ahead. I've made it both with lamb and with beef (lamb is better IMO, but beef is good too.) All it needs to be a complete meal is a salad or veggie side.
You could make Merrill's Farro Risotto for vegetarians: http://www.food52.com/recipes... It can also be made ahead. You could add some roasted butternut squash, or sautéed mushrooms, etc... to make it more of a main dish, too.

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phyllis
phyllis February 29, 2012

Surprisingly, kids move this dish. You will, you.

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lorigoldsby
lorigoldsby February 29, 2012

What about a couple of tagines with couscous? You can do a lamb and a chicken...add apricots...kids love the fruit!

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ubs2007
ubs2007 February 29, 2012

Great idea! Do you have any recipes? I don't own a tangine.

Sam1148
Sam1148 February 29, 2012

I'd second that idea..great for crowd. Use a meat tagine and a veggie tagine.
And for gluten free guests. This cauliflower couscous is great. It holds up very well.
http://www.food52.com/recipes...
To keep with the theme, some humus, pita breads, feta cheese, olives for appetizers, or side dish for bread.
Maybe a tabouli salad which can be prepped and dressed ahead of time. You could quinoa for the Bulgar wheat in the salad as it's sometimes easier to find. (that would be a lot of parsley chopping tho).

ubs2007
ubs2007 February 29, 2012

Great idea! Do you have any recipes? I also don't own a tangine to cook the lamb.

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codorniz
codorniz March 1, 2012

Do a search for "lamb tagine with prunes" (and almonds) and "chicken tagine with preserved lemons" and green olives. These are the classic ones and both of them are really satisfying. Tagines are basically stews and are usually eaten with bread. There's no need for them to be cooked in a tagine pot -- they'll taste great cooked in a regular pot or pressure cooker (they often are, then transferred to the ceramic/terracotta tagine for decorative reasons). Make a classic couscous topped with vegetables (carrots, zucchini, celery, garbanzo beans) as a side. Another possible side, search for a recipe for charmoula, use this to dress quartered potatoes (like a Moroccan potato salad) or peeled, boiled, cut carrots. Once the vegetables are dressed, sautee in a skillet to cook the cilantro in the charmoula.

ubs2007
ubs2007 February 29, 2012

Thanks so much! Any recipes? I don't own a tagine.

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ChefJune
ChefJune March 2, 2012

You don't need the vessel called a tagine in order to make the recipe. A covered baking dish will do.

ellenl
ellenl March 1, 2012

I don't know how "dinner party-ish" you want the menu to be----Silver Palate Chili For a Crowd is THE best .
A roast of any kind that will feed alot of people, roasted turkey and ham, plus plenty of vegs. there is a recipe on this site for israeli couscous with pistachios that is just wonderful and people love it.

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ellenl
ellenl March 1, 2012

I don't know how "dinner party-ish" you want the menu to be----Silver Palate Chili For a Crowd is THE best .
A roast of any kind that will feed alot of people, roasted turkey and ham, plus plenty of vegs. there is a recipe on this site for israeli couscous with pistachios that is just wonderful and people love it.

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ellenl
ellenl March 1, 2012

Sorry--I tried to find the israeli couscous recipe for you, but the recipe search still stinks and can't still no way to organize saved recipes, but it was probably around summer 2010 that it was posted. Can't recall who posted it, but it is just terrific.

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ellenl
ellenl March 1, 2012

Found it---couscous with summer squash, sultanas, pistachios and mint--the internet cooking princess.

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ubs2007
ubs2007 March 1, 2012

great! Thanks so much!

ellenl
ellenl March 1, 2012

Found it---couscous with summer squash, sultanas, pistachios and mint--the internet cooking princess.

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ellenl
ellenl March 1, 2012

Bon Appetit has a great recipe for meatballs with mint.

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Voted the Best Reply!

Sam1148
Sam1148 March 1, 2012

IMHO, for that many people and kids. I'd avoid olives. Although I love them, with 20 adults and 10 kids, you'll probably have more than a few people there that can't stand them. Same for some people with fruit in tagines. Again, I love it--but my partner, while he will eat it, doesn't really care for in a tagine. The spices are just fine for the flavor of a tagine for a crowd. The dried fruit--apricots, dates, etc could appear on the cheese plate.

Also, instead of the tabolui salad I mentioned; Prehaps a Greek salad, with bowls of olives (good ones, pitted please) on the side for olive lovers and a gravy boat for the dressing. (but lightly dress the salad and give them option to add more if they wish)

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ubs2007
ubs2007 March 1, 2012

Thank you so much! Really appreciate all of your suggestions!

BoulderFoodie
BoulderFoodie March 1, 2012

Here is a great tagine recipe using chicken and lemon and olives. A dutch oven is a great substitute if you don't have a tagine. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/chicken-tagine-with-lemon-and-olives.html

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ubs2007
ubs2007 March 1, 2012

This looks delicious! Thanks!

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 1, 2012

embrace your slow cooker if you have one, a pre-assembled casserole type dish is easy.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 1, 2012

Oldie but Goodie chicken recipe, http://www.epicurious.com...

BoulderFoodie
BoulderFoodie March 1, 2012

Chicken Marbella! One of my favorite go to recipes!

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susan g
susan g March 1, 2012

Tagines are a great suggestion. You don't have to have a bona fide "tagine' -- you can use a Dutch oven or similar pan that's wide, holds a lot, and has a domed lid (preferably) to hold in the fragrant essences from the steam. There are 14 tagine recipes on food52, all sorts, whatever sounds right to you!
http://www.food52.com/recipe...
If you have tarts as a first course, they won't be starving, will they! Good luck -- and report back to us.

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ubs2007
ubs2007 March 2, 2012

Thank you everyone for your fantastic suggestions!!! I've decided on three entrees: tagine chicken, chicken marbella and a lamb stew. I'll report back soon! I think I'll be cooking all day tomorrow and Sat.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 2, 2012

i would swap out the chicken tagine with a veggie lasagne.

sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 2, 2012

i would swap out the chicken tagine with a veggie lasagne.

Raquelita
Raquelita March 2, 2012

I'd hedge bets a little bit and add in a few large pans of roasted chunks of root veggies and squash: turnips, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash (and onions and garlic perhaps); sounds like you know what you're doing, but a mass of roasted veggies would be simple enough and ensure everyone is happy. I'd be concerned over a lack of veggie protein, but I'll admit I have only scanned the above responses.

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ChefJune
ChefJune March 2, 2012

When I'm feeding that many people at one time, I don't try to make every dish to feed the whole crowd. A baked rice dish could easily take the place of a pasta dish, since you don't want to serve pasta. Start it out as you would a pilaf, with the mirepoix, and layer it in a baking dish with additional vegetables, and perhaps cheeses and/or already cooked meats, to your (and guests) taste. Easy, not too pricy, do-ahead-able and delicious.

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lloreen
lloreen March 2, 2012

I would add a big pot of couscous mixed with herbs (mint and basil are kid-friendly) and drizzled with olive oil
and maybe a cold lentil salad.
My go-to greek lentil salad:
cook 2 cups of raw green (French) lentils in salted water until tender
combine in a large bowl with:
1 large cucumber, chopped fine
1 small carrot, shredded
1 green and 1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup crumbled, good quality feta

dress with the juice of one lemon, olive oil, sea salt

It sounds simple, and it is, but you can make it several hours before and people love it.

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ubs2007
ubs2007 March 6, 2012

Thank you everyone for the wonderful suggestions. The party was a hit and I barely had leftovers. Adults and kiddos are still in awe of all of the food.

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Sam1148
Sam1148 March 6, 2012

What was on the menu Ubs2007? I'm glad it was a hit.

ubs2007
ubs2007 March 9, 2012

Ahhh...yes!

Hor d'oevers: Two savory tarts, homemade yogurt dip, cheese, fruit and crackers

Dinner: Lamb with white beans, roasted chicken (instead of the tagine (started very late on cooking), chicken Marbella (as suggested above), Rahjma (kidney bean curry punjabi style), Roasted fennel, Kale with grapes and almonds in an orange vinagrette, Green beans (blanched), rice

Dessert: Two cakes, cookies and ice cream, tea, coffee and milk

Everything turned out great, but I didn't care for the Chicken Marbella (odd since I love almost everything on this site but the flavors just didn't seem to win me over)

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