Lastinute dinnerparty menu ideas for the night before Thanksgiving

I am throwing a last minute dinner party at my house the night before Thanksgiving. I will be feeding a few of my sisters colleagues from France. I need something easy and delicious, but my mind is fried from Thanksgiving preparations. Any ideas would be appreciated.

A Pleasant Little Kitchen


lloreen November 20, 2012
The French love cheesecake. Really. They go nuts over it. My most successful offering to French guests was cheesecake brownies (recipe from David Lebowitz Everyone asked for the recipe. I would do that rather than try to cook something French or, worse, do an American version of a traditional French dish. You do not mess with the classics in France.
Avoid anything spicy....
AntoniaJames November 20, 2012
Is it convenient to grill? Tomorrow evening we're having:
This Flank Steak (without the Texas toast)

(If we couldn't grill, I'd pop the steak under the broiler.)
Broccoli Rabe with a squeeze of Meyer lemon (skipping the pine nuts in light of the Castagnaccio for dessert)

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary (using fresh rosemary), e.g.,
Castagnaccio (Italian Chestnut Cake)

If I were serving guests, I'd pick up a pint of really good lemon sorbet if I did not have time to make some. If sourcing chestnut flour were an issue, I'd make a pear clafoutis, or perhaps my prune clafoutis: I suspect your French guests would really like that.
If you want something to nibble on before serving the meal, make these:
Crispy Parmesan Kale Chips
You can turn down the heat and let the potatoes cook at a lower temperature for the few minutes it takes to crisp up the kale.

I'll actually be doing prep for Thanksgiving dinner while making this meal! Have fun. ;o)
Bevi November 20, 2012
At our gathering we always serve mac and cheese or stuffed shells. At the risk of being laughed off the site, the Prince Jumbo Shells recipe is easy and delicious to prepare. there are a number of great mac and cheese recipes on this site, and you can always upgrade by adding lobster pieces to the casserole. The comfort of relatively simple food before the big meal is a nice contrast among our family members. A really great salad and/or green vegetable rounds out the meal.
MTMitchell November 20, 2012
We're having macaroni and cheese, too -- we have people coming in at different times, and I wanted something that could stand waiting around if flights are late, etc. I'm using this as a base --
...and then putting out some other things that people can mix-in as they like -- chopped scallions, bacon, mushrooms and truffle oil, that kind of stuff. Macaroni and cheese is also a traditional "welcome home from traveling" meal in my family, so it seemed apt!
Kenzi W. November 20, 2012
And, because I can't resist, here are some more if you want to steer clear of Turkey day-type meals:,top_recipes
Kenzi W. November 20, 2012
Here's a great place to start:
Some of these are undoubtedly Thanksgiving fare, but others can easily be repurposed for a late-fall dinner party!
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