What's the perfect menu when you're without an oven?

I invited out-of-town friends over for dinner, but now my oven is broke with no hope for repair before they arrive. What's the perfect menu -- from appetizer to dessert -- that can be pulled off with only a cooktop and grill?

  • Posted by: jkr7977
  • April 16, 2012


SKK April 17, 2012
Thank you for letting us know the shopping limitations when you are in a small town.
Here are some of my favorite recipes:
http://food52.com/recipes/16328_barca_tuna_sauce - This is an amazing pasta using canned tuna. If you can't find the jar of piquillo peppers, use any spicy kind you like. And here is a great way to make bacon bits http://food52.com/recipes/14640_perfect_bacon_bits
Or there is always http://food52.com/recipes/12352_okonomiyaki, great fun to make and taste and versatile so you can go with whatever you can find
This would be great on the grill, and use whatever bread you have if you can't get to naan. If you can't find fresh cherries, which aren't around here in Seattle, you can reconstitute dried cherries
Amazing fried chicken http://food52.com/recipes/12654_fingerlickin_finger_lakes_chicken
Amazing beef stew http://food52.com/recipes/2962_secret_ingredient_beef_stew
And this is an easy show-off dish
ChefJune April 17, 2012
This is a great time of year to serve pasta with pesto. and if you can't find basil and pine nuts, flat leaf parsley and walnuts also make a tasty version. Grill some pork chops or chicken thighs and toss a mixed greens (or mixed vegetable) salad. Poached pears for dessert.
mainesoul April 17, 2012
soup as a starter
jkr7977 April 17, 2012
Thanks! I'll have to remember this for an evening where I actually planned ahead (in addition to having a broken oven). The nearest Indian market is an hour+ away.
Sam1148 April 16, 2012
Most Asian dishes don't require an oven. Thai, Chinese, Japaneese and Indian are options.
Mediterranean: Grilled flat bread, grilled eggplant made into a Babaganoush, Greek Grilled fish, lamb or shrimp, Stuffed grape leaves (or cabbage leaf), Green beans or Broad Beans with Greek tomato sauce. A lemony rice, Greek salad. pistachio Ice Cream. An Indian market will have frozen Naan bread that just needs a brush of Ghee and a quick grilling and the stuffed leafs, Greek tomato sauce can and babaganoush can be made ahead.
mrslarkin April 16, 2012
Oh, been there done that, sadly. When my oven was not working, we made grilled pizza all the time. It's fun and easy.

I also made a lot of frittatas/Spanish tortillas on the stove top. Pasta, too.

Agree with hla and bgcb, puddings and ice cream would be very nice.
TheFritschKitchen April 16, 2012
You're in good shape if you have a grill!

I agree with grilled flat bread as an appetizer, or even toast up some bread on the grill (you'll get such pretty grill marks!) and make some bruschetta. Main dish, I would go with grilled lamb chops (yumm...) with a salad, or grilled egg plant. And to finish it up? Ice cream sundaes! Butterscotch and fudge sauces are easily home-made and to tie up the grilling theme, grill some pineapple or peach, even grilled apples for more toppings! And then invite me over too please...
hardlikearmour April 16, 2012
I'd start with some grilled pizza or flat bread as an appetizer. Or to keep it even simpler some nice cheese, olives, charcuterie, and quick pickles. A green salad and some grilled pork tenderloin as the main. For dessert you could make a pudding, mousse, or panna cotta with some berry coulis. Most everything could be made/prepped ahead, and pork tenderloin cooks quickly on the grill.
jkr7977 April 17, 2012
Flatbreads are a fantastic idea! Thanks so much (and feel free to "fork" over any of your fav flatbread recipes!
hardlikearmour April 17, 2012
I generally just use my favorite pizza dough recipe, and top it with whatever is appealing to me. I'm pretty sure Jim Lahey's no knead dough would grill fantastically.
Here's a recipe with the grilling technique: http://www.food52.com/recipes/9418_mediterranean_grilled_flatbread
Merrill's grilled flatbread looks yummy and includes a dough recipe: http://www.food52.com/recipes/5141_grilled_lemon_and_herb_flatbread
SKK April 16, 2012
Could you be a little more specific as to preferences? There are so many things you can do without an oven.
jkr7977 April 17, 2012
My preferences are based on our limitations (no oven, small gas grill and available grocer options). We live in a small town without any specialty grocers so suggestions like buying an assortment of cheeses and charcuterie won't really work. Due to the small town limitation, most seafood isn't what I would consider fresh either.
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