Boyfriend's parents are coming over and I have no idea what to make!

My boyfriend's parents are coming over (for the first time) for dinner tomorrow night. What can I make that's quick and delicious or can be prepared tonight and reheated tomorrow night? Also, no pork please! Thank you!

  • Posted by: GourMel
  • March 3, 2015


MMH December 15, 2017
I'd love to know what you ended up serving. My go-to is roast chicken ala Ina. My Jeffrey says it's the simplest & most elegant & most delicious dish dish I prepare. I always have one waiting when he's been traveling.
Fat T. March 5, 2015
Okay Gourmel, spill
What did you end up making? How did it turn out?
GourMel March 5, 2015
Haha I made the menu described to Stephanie above. Everything turned out pretty well (I overcooked the pasta...Fail!) but his dad couldn't stop eating the ricotta crostini. No one left hungry :)
leigh F. March 4, 2015
Marcella Hazan's bolognese sauce just leave out ground pork. Merrill's baked pasta with chicken sausage Also, this use to be on food52, but I can't find it. Delicious. I add roasted eggplant to it and if you don't like lamb substitute beef. Very filling and a lot can be made ahead.
Kenzi W. March 4, 2015
Make this curried lentil soup! Can be done ahead of time, improves with age, and is impressive:
bamcnamara March 3, 2015
Yes---keep it simple and make def don't make anything that would compete with anything she's makes.....I must say hands down the best thing I've ever made to please everyone is It's not fancy but its delicious and unassuming. Good luck!!!!!
Healthline March 3, 2015
Brazil Nut-Crusted Tilapia with Sautéed Kale is a showstopper and only looks like you spent hours in the kitchen:
It would be great along with Lemon-Roasted Asparagus:
GourMel March 3, 2015
Funny you mention it, I just found that recipe this morning and was planning on make it as well as crostini with David Leibovitz's artichoke tapenade. I think dinner will be Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake and Raw Kale Salad with Lentils and Sweet Apricot Vinaigrette For dessert, Ricotta and cherry jam crostata Thanks for all of the responses!
Stephanie March 3, 2015
Yum! What time is dinner? ;-)
GourMel March 3, 2015
Ha! Come straight from work with wine ;)
cookinginvictoria March 3, 2015
That kale salad is delicious -- one of my family's staples! Sounds like a lovely menu. Good luck . . . hope that the meal goes really well and that everyone enjoys themselves! :)
Stephanie March 3, 2015
I think simple is great. However, one sure-fire way to impress is to have a few small bites ahead of the meal. A little dish of olives and Merrill's Crostini with Ricotta, Honey, and Lemon zest would be my suggestion.
ChefJune March 3, 2015
I agree with everything Nancy said. This is my go-to, last-minute company dish when I want to impress someone. It never fails.
GourMel March 3, 2015
This looks great! I agree with the above suggestions about making something I've done before, but will definitely give this a try so it's ready for next time. Thank you!
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 3, 2015
40 cloves of chicken - try Nigella's recipe.
ChefJune March 3, 2015
Don't you mean 40 cloves of garlic?
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 3, 2015
yes. 40 cloves of chicken.
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 3, 2015
one more time, lol. 40 cloves of garlic chicken. Love Nigella's version because I use a combo of skin on chicken breast & thighs and its delicious!
GourMel March 3, 2015
His mom's specialties and a lamb and rice stew and roast salmon and I know she's not a fan of shrimp, which is all fine because I was thinking going vegetarian might be easiest. Maybe Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake and an arugula or kale salad?
ktr March 3, 2015
That sounds like a delicious meal to me!
GourMel March 3, 2015
Thank you!
Nancy D. March 3, 2015
I have made that mushroom marsala pasta, and it is divine. Go for it.
ktr March 3, 2015
I agree with making something easy and preferably something you've made before. I'd also suggest asking your boyfriend what types of foods they prefer - for example, no matter how good what I make is, my father and father-in-law won't like it if it's not a basic "meat and potatoes" meal.

Voted the Best Reply!

Nancy March 3, 2015
1st breathe. 2nd ask your boyfriend a) what ekse beside pork they don't eat (allergies & aversions), b) his mother's specialty. Avoid making anything with A or B (no medical emergency, no competing with his mother). Make something tasty that you''ve done a million times and know is good. Doesn't matter if it's simple or not "impressive". This is not a time to make a new dish. Concentrate on the people. Let the good be good, but secondary. Good luck & enjoy the evening...
Nancy March 3, 2015
Should be "what else" & "let the food be good"
penelope March 3, 2015
The first, best option is always to make something you already feel comfortable making.

In your case I'd go for something like fish en papillote, if fish is a viable option. It's easy, makes a nice presentation, and hangs out in the oven while you and the guests enjoy an appetizer and glass of wine. You can prepare the parchment packets the night before and just pop them in the oven 30 minutes (or less, depending on thickness) before dinner. I'd serve with a winter citrus salad, which can also be made the night before, and a loaf of crusty French bread from your local bakery. Fruit sorbet (store bought) and shortbread (make the night before) for dessert. Good luck!
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