Dinner for Ten?

A+M - I'm a home cook and some friends have asked me to cater a dinner party for ten at their house. I'm good with hors d'oeuvres, salad and dessert, but...the entree has me a little nervous. Might you suggest some easy crowd pleasers? Meat is a-ok, no shellfish due to some allergies. Thanks so much for your input - love your blog!

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8 Comments

Brain H. July 22, 2012
Paella with chicken and chorizo would be my top pick. Fun to cook on the grill in the summer. But I find that when cooking for others, I will be a happier, calmer hostess if I cook something that I have made many, many times, that I know will turn out perfectly, and so there will be no surprises.
 
chef O. July 18, 2012
I would ask your clients what kind of food would make them and their guests happy then find recipes that meet those criteria.
 
Ophelia July 18, 2012
A stuffed pork tenderloin would also be easy, I like to fill mine with tapanade and goat cheese. The trick would be making two or three rolls all of the same size so that they would cook at the same rate.

Depending on the weather a salad might be appropriate for the main course, a nicoise salad can be very elegant. In which case a chilled soup could be served, gazpacho maybe.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 18, 2012
Barefoot Contessa party recipes have never failed me.
 
lloreen July 18, 2012
I think braising is a good idea if you are working out of someone else's kitchen and it is your first time doing this. At least you don't have to worry about the timing because you pretty much just cook until the meat is tender and falling apart. Also, in the summer it is nice not to turn on the oven and you can braise on the stovetop or use the crockpot. Coq au vin is popular and delicious....I use Julia Child's recipe.
 
ChefJune July 18, 2012
I hate to be a killjoy, but it can be legally dangerous to cater a party for others from your home kitchen. It is not the same as giving a party of your own. Your liability as the caterer increases exponentially.

If you are going to be a caterer, you need to set up a business and be sure you cook in a commercial kitchen.
 

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Kristen M. July 18, 2012
Amanda has written a couple helpful, detailed Friday Night Dinner Party posts -- she's big on making things ahead for big groups, like short ribs and porchetta:

http://www.food52.com/blog/3332_friday_night_dinner_party_i
http://www.food52.com/blog/3692_friday_night_dinner_party_2

Or if you like grilling, you could do something like this -- it could be easily made ahead and multiplied to feed 10 (and it's really good!): http://www.food52.com/recipes/18091_spicy_grilled_chicken_salad_with_noodles
 
Jestei July 18, 2012
Believe it or not, I am a big fan of roasting fish for groups. The only stress point is keeping an eye on the time so as not to overcook. You can make this recipe's sauce easily on the stove; let it simmer in a long time. Instead of pan cooking, cook ten pieces of fish cut precisely the same size (you can substitute cod to make it less$) in the oven at 425 for a few minutes, then plate each piece with the sauce and some cous cous. http://food52.com/recipes/5625_halibut_w_basil_garlic_and_tomato
 
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