LOOKING for: I need a whole menu

sayhellonowApril 18, 2008

I'm thinking of having a small group of friends over for a get-together on my patio (if it ever gets warm enough, that is). I'd like a really classy but really simple menu. If the recipes can be made ahead, it's even better. I don't know how to grill anything, so that's out. There will only be about six of us.

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Help us a bit with what you might like. Maybe a themed event complete with music, that could be fun.

Mexican/Tex Mex

Loaded Nachos or quesedillas as an appetizer
Chicken Enchiladas
Black beans
Flan for dessert


Gorgeous antipasto platter
Caesar Salad

Or you could do a wonderful BBQ style food fest pulled pork on a bun, slaw, potato salad, maybe some ribs, beer.

If we can come up with a menu you like believe me the recipes will follow.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 5:46PM
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Not much simpler than this:

2-4 limes
3 1/2 lbs chicken parts or chicken breasts
3 TBL butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 TBL brown sugar
14 oz can chicken broth
1 TBL grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 400°. Grate lime peel. Squeeze 2 TBL lime juice & toss juice with the chicken pieces. In a 9x13" roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Mix flour, salt & pepper. Dip chicken pieces in flour & then dip in butter. Arrange chicken pieces skin skide down in pan.
Mix lime zest & brown sugar & sprinkle over chicken. Pour broth & remaining lime juice into pan & bake uncovered 50 minutes, basting occasionally. Use 1/2 can of broth for boneless breasts & you can add more lime juice if desired.~~Of Tide & Thyme

I've used sliced onions with this when I couldn't get pearl onions.
24 fresh pearl onions
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, sliced diagonally
3 TBL olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan, optional

Blanch onions & drain: remove the skins. Blanch the green beans; drain. Heat the olive oil in a skillet until hot. Add the bell peppers. Saute just until tender. Stir in the beands, onions, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper. Cook just until heated through. Spoon into a serving bowl. Garnish w/freshly grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.~~Texas Ties

These can roast in the oven with the chicken:
3 TBL vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 TBL butter, melted
2 1/2 lbs new potatoes
2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper

Combine oil & butter in a 2 qt roasting pan. Add potatoes & stir to coat. Sprinkle w/rosemary, garlic salt & pepper. Stir well. Bake in a preheated 400° oven 30 minutes, stirring often, until tender & brown.~~Food for Thought

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:42PM
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What about a Greek/Mediterranean inspired menu?

Hummus with flatbread crackers
Stuffed Mushrooms
Wine, mixed drinks, or Sangria (punch or sparkling grape juice if you do not want to serve alcohol)

Chicken Oreganato

Greek Salad of chopped romaine lettuce, chopped cucumbers, green bell peppers, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, feta cheese crumbled, and a red wine vinaigrette

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes above


Artichoke & Rice Salad

Pita Bread wedges brushed with olive oil and warmed in the oven

Dessert of bakery baklava and assorted fancy cookies with or without some good quality ice cream or sorbet


Stuffed Mushrooms
Fill mushroom caps with Italian sausage and bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and broil for 2 minutes until lightly browned.

Chicken Oreganto

12 chicken thighs, skin off
2 TB crushed dried oregano
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon

Turn oven on to 450F. Wash chicken, pat dry. Mix oregano with s&p and rub over all the chicken pieces. Put in a shallow baking pan. Whisk oil with lemon juice, drizzle half over the chicken. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn chicken and drizzle on rest of oil-lemon mixture. Bake another 15-20 minutes, until chicken is done and juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Cool. Serve at room temp or warm.

I'd add extra chicken thighs up to 15-16 pieces and double the other ingredients. Then you'd have extras for another meal or lunch.

Artichoke and Rice Salad

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1/4 cup sliced olives
1 6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 t. dill weed
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Cook rice in broth. Cool. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Chase: I like your Tex-Mex menu, but I've never cooked any of those things. It would be less risky if only one dish was new to me because I could try it ahead of time. Also the green beans and stuffed mushrooms because sound good, but - if possible - I don't want to be cooking when guests arrive.

The Baked Lime Chicken could go into the oven before, and I could just keep it warm there until dinner. The Rice-Artichoke Salad sounds like it would appeal to most, and could be made ahead of time too.

I don't know if there will be a theme here. Any more suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 12:01PM
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I think a theme menu sounds fun, and I think just about everybody loves Italian. So here's a couple of ideas for you - most of this can be assembled or prepared ahead of time. The shrimp only takes 15 minutes to cook, so it goes in right before you're ready to sit down.


Appetizers: Bruschetta with tomato/basil topping, assorted olives and proscuitto (sp?) with melon

Main Course: Baked shrimp scampi, pasta (a shape like orzo - not noodles that are too messy to eat), sourdough bread and a green salad. You can bake the shrimp in a large casserole and set it in the middle of the table for people to serve themselves, and to dip their bread in the wonderful sauce. Of you can bake it in individual ramekins for a more elegant presentation.

Dessert: Tiramisu (buy it!), fresh fruit like strawberries and coffee

Beverages: A nice Sangiovese and a Pinot Grigio

* Exported from MasterCook *

Shrimp Scampi Bake

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 pounds medium raw shrimp -- shelled, deveined with tails attached

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. When the butter melts completely, remove from heat.
3. Arrange shrimp in a shallow baking dish. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.


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    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 12:40PM
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Becky, thanks so much! You know, I think you're right. Buying the Tiramisu is a great idea, and I do make a lovely bruschetta. I've never had the Baked Shrimp Scampi, but I love the pan-made scampi. Most everyone does like Italian food, so I think this might just do the trick.

Thanks everyone for all your great ideas. I will try some of them when I'm *not* having a party so I can do them when I *am.*

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 3:31PM
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