Fancy, make-ahead, low-stress dinner party?

Hi all, I'm hosting a dinner party at the weekend for some really foodie friends. I don't want to spend all night in the kitchen so I'm looking for an unusual, make-ahead main course. To give you an idea of the vibe, the starter is going to be a pulled, smoked brisket croquette served with kimchee and spicy Korean sauce. I'll fry the croquettes in advance and reheat in the oven before serving. I'd like to mix up influences, so don't need to go Asian for the main. Any suggestions?

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17 Comments

CanadaDan April 23, 2015
For dinner parties, the last two i've had i made beet-cured salmon which you can (and should) make 1-3 days ahead and just slice and serve with some crustini and i also made a horseradish sauch (basically sour cream, dill, horseradish, lemon). I got amazing reviews from everyone so i made it a staple. write back if you want the recipe it's guartanteed easy, cheap, delish.
 
ChefJune April 23, 2015
That sounds great, Daniel, but I'd like to know where you get your salmon that it's cheap. In these parts salmon is quite pricy. I'm lucky to find it at $12.99 lb on special.
 
CanadaDan April 23, 2015
Hm that's around what I pay (in Canadian though). Right it's not cheap I guess but you don't need a lot per person as an appetizer. I buy about 75 grams per person (sorry you'll have to do the conversion yourself) as an appetizer but it's one of many apps you could easily half that ...
 
Garlic F. April 22, 2015
How about something you can serve at room temperature, so no reheating required. One of the best entrees I had was a smoked salmon served with assorted grilled vegetables. I do not like cooked salmon, but this was excellent. You can maybe use non-traditional veggies and whip up a sauce to serve with the entree.
 
caninechef April 23, 2015
This sounds perfect to me. The first course sounds complex with a lot going on and my immediate thought was a simple fish preparation to balance things out. But I was thinking fish, last minute, not what you asked for.
 
BurntCream April 23, 2015
Sounds lovely to me! I hadn't considered serving something that wasn't hot but it's a really smart idea. Many thanks!
 
BurntCream April 23, 2015
Also - great name!
 
Healthline April 22, 2015
Aloo Methi is a North Indian recipe that can easily be prepared ahead of time. It's vegetarian, but it could be a good options since you're serving beef in the appetizer round: http://www.healthline.com/health-recipes/aloo-methi
 
BurntCream April 23, 2015
Sounds great, and it is sometimes nice to go veggie after a meaty appetizer. Thank you for the tip!
 
Nancy April 22, 2015
if you have not done so, please have a look through search results in hotline for "dinner party" or even "dinner party, Asian" - many threads, ideas already here.
 
Stephanie April 22, 2015
In a similar vein as jacksonholefoodie, what about a curry based dish? The presentation might be a bit more rustic, but the flavor should be great for a foodie crowd, especially with a spicy start and if you're going "global" inspirations. Endless flavor/ingredient/serving possibilities there...
https://food52.com/recipes/30488-african-peanut-stew-domoda
https://food52.com/recipes/7838-country-captn-soul-gravy-for-noodles-the-post-thanksgiving-feed
https://food52.com/recipes/34117-bhartha-spicy-indian-eggplant
 
BurntCream April 23, 2015
Curry would be great - and always gets better the next day so a perfect make-ahead. Thanks for the links too!
 
Brain H. April 22, 2015
A Moroccan tagine can be made ahead of time and actually improves after a day in the fridge. For my last dinner party I made a lamb tagine, a spring vegetable tagine, and a big platter of couscous. Dessert was a really easy olive oil/almond/orange cake.
 
The T. April 22, 2015
How about a pumpkin seed, herb & garlic crusted pork tenderloin? Sear, roll in mustard, the the seed/herb paste and grill or roast 20min/lb.
 
BurntCream April 23, 2015
Sounds easy and delicious! Great tip.
 
TheFritschKitchen April 22, 2015
I was going to suggest Momofuku's bo saam, but that sounds like it might be too similar to your starter. Another option would be tamales. Don't know if they would qualify as fancy (although you could get creative with what you stuff in them), but they are make ahead and you can re-steam them right before serving. I've had duck tamales before and they were fantastic!
 
BurntCream April 23, 2015
Wow bo saam sounds amazing! I'd never heard of it before so thanks for the tip, it'll definitely make it to the table for another dinner party. I'd love to try my hand at tamales, duck sounds delicious!
 
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