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Chops is a trusted home cook.
lasagna, Chicken Piccata, Meatloaf... Crusty Garlic BREAD AND A BIG SALAD -- DONE!
This link may offer you some inspiration, http://food52.com/blog...
Lisanne is a trusted home cook.
There was a contest for Your Best Cheap Feast that may have some ideas: http://food52.com/contests...
I'm always a fan of roast chicken and root vegetables and a salad.
Pat is a trusted home cook.
I'm having 14 people for a late lunch next week for my dad's 89th birthday. Guests will range in age from 4 to 89 and so to please all I'm doing mostaccioli with meat sauce (can be assembled ahead and thrown in the oven about an hour before dinner), baked Italian sausage with peppers and onions, an antipasto type lettuce salad and garlic bread. And of course cake and ice cream for dessert. Almost everything can be prepared ahead and all will be happy!
How simple or sophisticated did you want it? A killer Chili and Cornbread? Or Chicken Marbella? A Silver Palate classic super easy.
Meg is a trusted home cook.
For an informal crowd I make black bean chili (my recipe is on the site, Hilary's Chili). I've made it for 100 people! I serve cornbread or tortilla chips, guacamole, watermelon for dessert in summer. For a more formal crowd, I make Ed Giobbi's Lasagna or Molly Katzen's Spinach Lasagna lightened up with a tossed salad and garlic bread. Ice cream or sorbet for dessert with little cookies. Chickpea curry is nice for a crowd that needs a lower fat option. I have a recipe on the site-- serve with rice and plain yogurt. Very easy and quuick and cheap as well.
Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.
Moroccan tagines or couscous are perfect for making ahead of time as are khoresh (from Iran/Persia). Curries would work, too. If you want to make it very special, you could make appropriate appetizers or breads; otherwise, the only addition you would need is a salad.
If it's a upscale event I would say shrimp and apple salad in a endive leaf with mirco green garnish...also edible spoon w/anitcuchos a spicy mango sauce and a chow chow garnish
Tapas bar is an easy hit...set it up like you would a taco bar 3 protiens and an assortment of toppings. This is an easy and fum way to feed several people, I use it for caterings all the time and I make a cevishe of scallop and octopus on the side. This will entice your more adventerous eaters and make good conversation.
Thanks so much for your help, everyone!
So many options to choose from..... I'll be saving these suggestions for future get-togethers as well!
I recently made boeuf bourguignon (from Oui, Chef) for a party of 10 people and I had left overs. It's not a cheap dish to make (it calls for 2 full bottles of wine, and I don't believe in cooking with wine that I wouldn't be willing to drink), but it is actually best made ahead and then slowly reheated the day of the dinner. I have made a lot of different boeuf bourguignons, and though this one takes some time and isn't cheap, I have yet to find a better recipe. I truly love it! http://www.ouichefnetwork.com/oui_chef/2010/03/beef-bourguignon.html I am also a fan of making this Provençal pork stew, which I made a day or two ahead, and which easily feeds a crowd if served over mashed potatoes (and it's cheaper to make since pork neck and dried beans are so cheap). This particular recipe uses a pressure cooker, but it could easily be modified for 'normal' cooking. http://notwithoutsalt.com/2013/02/02/pressure-cooking-french-pork-stew-with-white-beans/
Boeuf bourguignon made an appearance in American kitchens in the '60s as "Company Beef Stew". That was always a favorite for big crowds.
A great big pesto pasta with grilled chicken and roasted broccoli thrown in, along with a generous handful of pine nuts, is a crowd pleaser and easy to assemble, especially if you have some frozen pesto on hand.
Another vote for boeuf bourginon. Or, any pasta ( preferably prepping the ingredients ahead, cooking the pasta towards the end and tossing together), salad or wilted greens, and a crostata for dessert. All super simple and easy.