Menu for pre-Thanksgiving dinner party?

Just found out that some family we love will be in town for dinner Tuesday so I want to make a lovely meal for them before they leave town again the next day. But we all know that we'll be stuffing ourselves senseless two days later at Thanksgiving. I'd love menu suggestions for a cold weather menu that won't run us for the feast two days hence. Thank you!

  • Posted by: JadeTree
  • November 22, 2015


AntoniaJames November 23, 2015
I realize I'm coming to this party a bit late, but:

I would serve Beef Burgundy or this pot roast with noodles. People love good old-fashioned egg noodles (lightly butter them), especially when served with comfort food like beef stew or pot roast. Both can and are indeed better when made the day before. I'd serve Merrill's Brussels sprouts with pancetta and croutons, or just a simple salad with April Bloomfield's lemon and caper dressing (Genius recipe) and end with a pear galette topped with maple whipped cream.
Let us know what you end up doing, please. ;o)
lloreen November 23, 2015
If you are looking for a warm winter dish in total contrast to Thanksgiving and a little lighter, I recommend this Brazilian salmon stew:
It's a warm and hearty stew but the flavors are bright and light. Also, you won't have to cook for days and you just need one big pot. I serve it over either brown rice or spaghetti squash. I made a double recipe for company once, thinking to have freezable left-overs, and they licked the pot clean...
I'd probably serve a light fennel and greens salad as a starter and maybe a pear tart or cake for dessert.
Nancy November 23, 2015
lloreen - your talk of Brazil reminded me of Frango no chureasco... brazilian chicken dish with lots of peppers, one from creamtea here and a couple others:
Wonderful on a cold night!
But is the chicken too close to the turkey to serve 2 nights in advance?...
Emily |. November 23, 2015
I love the idea of a comforting hearty soup as the main course. I love this one for fall, it is a bit different but still has the sweet potato and kale to keep with some traditional flavors:
Also goes great with champagne, to echo the sage advice above.
Leslie S. November 23, 2015
We also published this article last week that argues for Chinese food and Champagne—take a look, it might be a fun thing to try! It's what I'll be doing :)
ChefJune November 23, 2015
I just love this idea. And Champagne makes any meal a party.
Pia S. November 23, 2015
I'm in the same boat! I'm making a pretty simple dinner of fresh pasta with a light tomato sauce (enriched by almonds) and a bitter greens salad. For snack, I'm just doing an assortment of Spanish tapas (bits of chorizo, some tinned razor clams and smoked mussels, bread). I figure the handmade pasta makes it feel festive, but all the other prep is super easy and pretty light. Have a great dinner!
Nancy November 22, 2015
From the guests' POV, avoid the usual suspects, to make a contrast to Turkey Day.
From the hostess POV, make something you know well or they know increase the ease and comfort of the evening.
If you don't have some main dish pop immediately to mind, think of something you can do as a main-plus-toppings everyone can choose according to taste, like chili, curry or a taco bar.
Or a simple meal of soup, baked pasta dish and a fruit dessert.
Recommended by Food52