Looking for main course for small dinner party

Help! I am hosting a small dinner party (5-6 people) next weekend, and I'm looking for a main dish. We'll be starting with buffalo chicken dip and spinach and artichoke dip, so I'd like to go with something light and healthy to balance that out for the main.

We tend to trade off dinners with these folks, so I'd like to stay away from Italian and beef roasts/braises, since I've served them that before. And, one of our guests is a vegetables-are-what-my-food-eats type (he requested the buffalo dip), so nothing too crazy or out there, but still healthy since the rest of us are pretty health conscious. Ideas?

  • Posted by: Dina
  • March 10, 2015
  • 7819 views
  • 19 Comments

12 Comments

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 10, 2015

I always suggest 40 cloves of garlic chicken (skin-on, bone-in) breasts & thighs - Nigella's recipe. It's so delicious, can be made-ahead and easy.

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ChefJune
ChefJune March 10, 2015

Interesting way to choreograph a dinner. The purpose of the appetizer is a few bites to get the mouth and mood ready for the main event. You're planning the heaviest part of the meal as the "taste teaser." I wouldn't recommend serving those dips together any time other than a "cocktail supper," where the whole event is built around grazing.

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Nancy
Nancy March 11, 2015

Building on ChefJune comment/idea. DO build a meal on dipping and grazing. Serve either the buffalo chicken or spinach artickoke dip to start (they're both so creamy, it seems a waste to serve them side by side...give one pride of place). Then for main a beef fondue in broth (European or Chinese recipe). Last cookies and fruit with a chocolate mousse.

mickle
mickle March 10, 2015

Country Greek salad, light dressing/no lettuce; roasted chicken, orzo or pearl couscous with roasted red peppers, shallots, eggplant, scallions, toasted pine nuts and lemon vinagrette; make a side dish of balsamic glazed petite carrots; dessert =Greek yogurt with honey drizzle and toasted walnuts OR caramel gelato

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Pegeen
Pegeen March 10, 2015

Secret Ingredient Beef Stew by Cara Eisenpress
https://food52.com/recipes...

It’s more like boeuf bourguignon than stew. Definitely take the time to browse the Reader Comments, because many recommend adding more carrots, celery, potatoes and even parsnips. I did, when I made it recently, and it was devoured. And omit the vinegar. I have an annotated copy from when I cooked it that I’d be happy to email to you. For example, I made a “dam” of noodles or mashed potatoes to enclose the stew on the flat plate. I also didn’t have time to refrigerate overnight and the result was fine.

Cozy dish for a winter’s night. All you need is good, crusty baguette, and a “winter” salad, say mixed greens, chopped apples or ripe pears, chopped walnuts, cider or maple vinaigrette.

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Pegeen
Pegeen March 10, 2015

p.s. And for the salad, some finely chopped red onion. And a few blooms of goat cheese to make it creamy when tossed.

Aliwaks
Aliwaks March 10, 2015

You know what would be fun... to do an soft taco "bar" so you can all make your own.. You can have some grilled fish, grilled veggies, stewed chicken or pulled pork and a big composed salad of sliced avocados & radishes with red onion & lime, and a bright fresh salsa. Maybe a nice big pot of black beans and some yellow rice. It'll be really casual and colorful, you can make margaritas... sort of a see ya later winter kind of a dinner party. (ohh and Mexican chocolate brownies + cinnamon ice cream & dulce du leche for dessert)

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Pegeen
Pegeen March 10, 2015

I'd like to have this tonight.

Pegeen
Pegeen March 10, 2015

ChefJune's "Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce"
https://food52.com/recipes...

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Healthline
Healthline March 10, 2015

These Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers are light enough to please your health-conscious guests, and your meat-eater friend too. And they can be prepared and assembled beforehand. Just pop them in the oven 15 minutes before serving: http://www.healthline.com/health-recipes/quinoa-and-turkey-stuffed-peppers

Pair with Carrots-Swede Vichy as a vibrant side: http://www.healthline.com/health-recipes/carrots-swede-vichy

Serve with

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour March 10, 2015

How about this: https://food52.com/recipes...
I'm guessing you could sub chicken or turkey sausage to cut the calories a bit.

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QueenSashy
QueenSashy March 10, 2015

I second ChefJune here. It might be challenging to start with wings and then go light from there. And I would not follow chicken with another chicken. For me the wings echo a standard “restaurant fare” so maybe you can follow with lamb burgers with yogurt and fennel slaw. Or vegetable lasagna (although it is technically not a main course).

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Pegeen
Pegeen March 10, 2015

QueenSashy, I'm not sure... for hungry people, a couple chicken wings and some dip aren't going to put hungry people off dinner. Maybe the trick is not to serve too many of those appetizers - keep it lean - and just serve dinner sooner.

Aliwaks
Aliwaks March 11, 2015

Dina is not making Chicken wings, she's making Buffalo Chicken Dip its like a cream cheese/blue cheese dip with hot sauce and I think shredded chicken,

QueenSashy
QueenSashy March 11, 2015

Aliwalks, you are totally correct -- my oversight -- thanks for pointing it out.

inpatskitchen
inpatskitchen March 10, 2015

For something elegant do a double recipe of Dad's Favorite Seafood Stew:https://food52.com/recipes...
Use a 28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes if you're not in a climate where super ripe tomatoes are available at this time of year. A nice green lettuce salad and crusty bread would be wonderful!

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Aliwaks
Aliwaks March 11, 2015

Dina I was thinking what if you did a "American Tapas" , your two dips and then maybe Asparagus wrapped in bacon, and a platter of roasted & steamed& raw veggies with bagna cuda, and just a bunch of fun finger food?

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Aliwaks
Aliwaks March 11, 2015

and sliders... turkey sliders or veggie sliders- sorry I am so projecting the dinner parties I want to go to on you ; )

saima
saima March 11, 2015

Coq au vin

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