Boss is coming for dinner next Monday, and I want to do something easy and elegant (and if possible make ahead)...Please help!



PIIHA July 20, 2011
I also suggest braised short ribs. I braise them the day before, and put the entire dutch oven in the fridge. As it cools, all the fat will rise to the top and harden, which makes it very easy to remove the next day when you are ready to finish it. I particularly like Daniel Boulud's recipe:
MTMitchell July 20, 2011
I'm guessing the dinner already took place, but in case s/he comes over again...cold antipasto platter (buy the veggies or pickle them yourself, cheese, roasted red peppers, olives, bread, some Italian meats, figs), pasta with four cheese and fresh tomato sauce (diced fresh tomatos, basil, garlic, good olive oil, salt & pepper...ricotta plus your favorite other Italian cheeses, shredded -- I do fontina, parmesan, and mozzerella mixed together with a decent amount of black pepper, salt to taste, and milk or cream to thin it out if necessary). Boil the pasta (I like to use rigatoni or penne for this one), toss it with the cheese mixture, divide it all into bowls, top with some of the tomatoes and a little basil, and serve more tomatoes and parm on the side. Serve with a fancy salad and good bread. Love the almond tart idea for dessert. Hope you had a great dinner with your boss!
sarabclever July 20, 2011
In the old version of Bittman's HTCE, there was a recipe for a French beef stew, where you put everything together the night before, and let it marinate in the fridge overnight, and cook the next day. Bascially, onion, carrot, celery, thyme, bay, stewing beef, wine.
Sagegreen July 20, 2011
Creamtea's winning raw salad is wonderfully different as a side and makes up ahead of time, too. Do check on food preferences, like kosher, etc. in addition to gluten free, nuts, dairy, vegan, vegetarian, garlic hater, broccoli hater, fish hater, no red meat eater, allergic to olive is amazing how many restrictions you can uncover!
Courtney R. July 14, 2011
Make Ina Garten's slow braised short ribs. they cook all day, but can be done hours ahead of time. Just reheat. Find her recipe on
babytiger July 14, 2011
Beef cheek confit (or duck) - get the confit done ahead and crisp up the outside in a frying pan when ready to eat.

cakillgore July 14, 2011
FoodNetwork Magazine, March 2010 Issue. Herb-Crusted Shrimp!
LucyS July 14, 2011
I second the salmon idea, or any baked or poached fish or meat, really. Recently I made a butterflied leg of lamb with parsley, garlic, and mustard smeared on top. You can have it all ready to pop in the oven, with all the prep and sides done ahead. How about a big salad that you can toss at the last minute, and some crusty bread? Warm it in the oven while whatever meat you made is resting after cooking. That's usually my go-to dinner for friends when I don't want to do a lot of cooking while they're there.
inpatskitchen July 13, 2011
Oops! I forgot to give you the link:
inpatskitchen July 13, 2011
I like ( and make) variations of Ina Garten's Roasted Salmon Nicoise Platter, subbing in redskins, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and seasonal vegetables. All the parts can be made and refrigerated the day before and assembly just before serving. I'm not a big fan of arugula so I usually line the platter with baby romaine.
mnr_t July 13, 2011
Great ideas! Almond tart (many good recipes on Food 52) is the perfect make-ahead, way-easier than it looks, and suitable for adding fruit garnish at last minute summer dessert. Good Luck :D
mrslarkin July 13, 2011
These sound yummy. Do you know if boss has any dietary restrictions? Is she/he vegetarian/vegan/gluten intolerant etc.
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 13, 2011
Fillet of Beef Roast. Sear high heat on the stove finish off in the oven. Summery Salad to start. Good luck!
Allspice July 13, 2011
Pounded Chicken with Marinara sauce
Garlic and Chili Oil Pasta
Shredded Romaine and Arugula Salad
Pound Cake with mixed Berries.

You can marinate the chicken, make the marinara, and bake the pound cake on Sunday. You can also prep the lettuce and berries. The garlic chili oil is also something that can be made a day or two before. If you would like more info on how I make these dishes, I could send you a file with my method.

Good luck and have fun!
ibbeachnana July 13, 2011
I forgot to mention that I prepare the pork hours ahead of time.
ibbeachnana July 13, 2011
Easy, yes, but does it fall into the elegant category, not quite sure, but a wow presentation for sure Joanne Weir's Tuscan Pork, served it with a grilled panzanella salad and a fresh pepper salad, perfect for summer dining.

Photo is of it ready to be roasted and the recommended roasting temp in the recipe is way too high.

Recommended by Food52