Sam is a trusted home cook.
It's summer how about chilled items served in bowls.
Here's a good one: A few corn on the cob...grilled or baked. And remove the corn. Mix with drained/rinsed black beans. Some chopped green onions, parsley, (or cilantro) and a dressing of lime/olive oil/and a hint of cumin.
Okay: that's more a side dish. Depends on the crowd and their requirements.
IMHO a great crowd pleaser is a "shrimp boil" simple and easy to make. (and won't help vegans, if you have to put up with them).
A big bag of Zararains "crab/shrimp" boil. Put in 1 beer and the bag in a big pot..the beer will extract the falvors. With a lemon cut in half.
Then (keeping the bag in the pot) fill the pot with water and salt the water. Add in at certain times.
a) Sliced smoked susage at first...wait until it floats and add.
b) New potatoes.
(side trip: Cut up some shucked freash corn on the cob into thirds).
c) Add the corn after the potatoes get 'almost fork soft".
Boil a few mins more...
d) add the shrimp and turn off the heat. Wait 5 to 10 mins untill a test shrimp is done.
Drain and dump the entire thing out on news print (or butcher paper) with lemon slices...soft butter and cocktail sauce and good bread.
Super easy and you can use a large salad bowl lined with paper to serve. Or in a backyard party..just dumped flat on news paper. (okay use some sheet pans lined with butcher paper if you must).
Chile verde, boeuf borguinon, chicken cacciatore. You can find good recipes for all of them using Google.
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