LOOKING for: simple but impressive dinner recipes

folkvictorianMay 13, 2009

Hello, everyone! I've got two weekends coming up where we'll be hosting food-loving company. I'm hoping you can provide me with some nice recipes....these foodies are not food snobs but they're used to nicer things than my usual run-of-the-mill dinners.

Please keep in mind that I'm enthusiastic but not very experienced, so Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Bechamel Sauce is not going to happen! :o) Also, we live in rural WI so arugula is in short supply at the Wal-mart Supercenter. Any ideas will be very much appreciated!

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Rib Eye on the grill with some kind of infused butter (I like truffle butter) homemade cream Spinche (barefoot Contessa has a great recipe) and maybe roasted fingerling potato....Salad could be a iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing....This is similar to a very good steak house we go to and 90% of meal can be prepped ahead of time...Good Luck

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:28AM
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Here's a couple of my go-to, no-fail, everybody loves it recipes. With the pasta I would serve Woodie's fabulous garlic bread and a salad - I like Caesar, but maybe something with a simple vinaigrette would be good too. With the scampi I'd serve warm sourdough for sopping up the sauce along with a salad and either pasta or a baked potato. And naturally copious amounts of decent wine no matter what you're serving LOL.

I also like to serve pot roast to dinner guests - either beef or pork along with gravy, mashed potatoes and some sort of vegie. But that may be a little heavy for this time of year.

Personally, I like to stick with fairly simple dishes when I entertain. I don't think most people really expect elaborate meals, and as long as whatever you're serving is well-prepared I'm sure it will be enjoyed.


* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Pasta Tested and Approved

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion -- thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves -- minced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage -- casings removed
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 can diced peeled tomatoes with juices -- (14 1/2 ounce)
1 cup whipping cream
6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 pound penne pasta
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sautuntil golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes. Add sausage and sauté until golden brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 7 minutes. Drain any excess drippings from skillet. Add wine to skillet and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and simmer
3 minutes. Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.

Bring sauce to simmer. Pour sauce over pasta. Add 3/4 cup cheese and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons parsley.

Serves 6.

"Bon Appétit
February 1997
Landini Brothers Restaurant
Alexandria, Virginia"

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* 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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* Exported from MasterCook *


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

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3/4 cup butter -- (1 1/2 sticks) room temp
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 large garlic cloves -- minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano -- (generous) crumbled
1 1 pound loaf French bread -- halved lengthwise

Thoroughly combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Refrigerate. Bring to room temp before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 375*. Spread garlic butter on cut side of bread, wrap each half in foil. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate.) Place bread on baking sheet cut side up. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil from bread.

Preheat broiler. Broil cut side up until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

"Woodie - www.thathomesite.com"

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NOTES : I think this spread is enough for two loaves of bread, and I prefer to bake uncovered at 400F for about 10 minutes, then broil for a couple more to get it crispy on top.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 12:33PM
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This is fast and easy. We've served it to guest often.

Chicken Sauce Alla Romeo

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. olive oil
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
1 c.water
2 c. finely chopped cooked chicken
1/2 tsp. leaf sage, crumbled
1 tsp. salt
1 c. white cooking wine or regular white wine
1 lb. liguini cooked and drained
Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Heat butter and oil in a heavy skillet. Add onion and water. Boil until onion is soft. (If water boils away before onion is soft, add a little more water.

Stir in chicken, salt, sage and wine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 6-7 min. Serve hot over freshly cooked pasta with grated parmesan cheese on the side.

Serve with a green salad and Gilroy Garlic Bread.
I usually use angel hair pasta. The sauce seems to stick to the pasta better.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 5:48PM
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Eileen, Becky, and MST -- thank you so much! These are exactly the types of things I was looking for - some I can make ahead and others that I can easily make just before serving, and everyone can have a glass of wine while I do the cooking magic! I especially appreciate the go-alongs so that I know what else to serve. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated! Thank you thank you! -Colleen

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Chicken picatta or marsala is very quick and easy.
You split your chicken breasts ahead of time and refrigerate....then at the alst minute get out a big skillet, or 2 big skillets, heat a little butter and olive oil ands autee the chicken fora bout 2 minutes on a side....4 minuites total, remove to a heated plate, pour a little wine into the pan cook a minute, add a little chicken broth or more wine, soem capers, some grated lemon rind and chopped parsley, put the chicken back, cover and simmer while you plate the potatoes and veggie.
And for my money you can never go wrong with simply grilled salmon, roasted veggies and a green salad and crusty bread.
I try to follow a rule that a simple meat dish ( liek grilled steak or fish or chicken, deserves a complicateds everal ingredient side dish, while a sauced and marinated meat needs simple sides like roasted or baked potatoes and grilled asparagus with lemon butter.
Enjoy your guests....and don't try to make things too complicated....easy is good.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 1:11AM
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Thanks, Linda! I like the rule about a simple meat dish needs a more complicated side dish, especially if I can make the side dish ahead of time. "Easy is good" - yes!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 9:21PM
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Here's an old favourite of mine....old but good!

This was a simple but prize winning recipe in a cross country cooking contest sponsored by a Canadian womens' magazine in the 1960s.

I had it first at a dinner party where the hostess had made mimeographed copies of the recipe beforehand as she said everyone asked for it when she served this dish.
This was before the days of photocopiers ! LOL.

Tastes better if made one day ahead.

1 kilo of veal shoulder steak, cut into small bite-size pieces
2 medium onions, sliced
1 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teasp salt
1/2 teasp pepper
1 1/2 cups cashews (rinse if they are salted)
2 TBS butter
Worcestershire sauce

1). Grind garlic, salt and pepper together in mortar and pestle.

2). Roll veal pieces in this mixture in the mortar and then on a clean plate, being sure pieces are well coated.

3). Brown veal in butter in a saucepan. When brown, add onions, water, tomato sauce and cashews.

4). Simmer slowly until meat and nuts are both tender. About 40 minutes. It may need a bit of water added.

5). Thicken with a bit of flour and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.

6). Best served the next day. Goes well with rice and a crisp green salad.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 2:40PM
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