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What's your 'go to' recipe/meal when you're having guests?


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#1 BLBG

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:15 AM

Hi Ladies.

I need some rarely fail type meals which are great to make when entertaining...

I get myself in such a tizz at the thought of having people for dinner, even if it's just the inlaws

Please share your minimal fuss, never fail recipes.

Thanks in advance original.gif

#2 lisles

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:40 AM

I make pizza dough and provide lots of ingredients for topping, then let everyone make their own.  It's a good option when you have people with different preferences as they can pick and choose what they eat, and it's a bit of fun having everyone involved in the kitchen.

Add in a salad or two and some gelato for afterwards and everyone is happy!

#3 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:46 AM

My go-to is risotto.  Basic risotto is so easy and you can make it whatever you need.   You can do vegetarian, or different meats.   To make a really dressy risotto, I add seafood or roasted duck.
Serve with hot, crusty bread and a salad.

#4 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:58 AM

Anything that can be made in advance (or mostly in advance) OR that is quick:

lasagne, stews, quiche, salads, shepherds pie.

pasta and sauce - make the sauce in advance where possible, bake some vegies to stir through.

Any slow cooked thing that doesn't require a lot of attention while cooking - coq au vin (I always have pollo au vin blanc though!), slow cooked lamb shanks (yum), roast dinners

If it stresses you out I would choose something like lasagne which you can make the morning of entertaining, stick in the fridge until an hour or so before dinner time then stick it in the oven to cook. Make the salad in advance and stick some kind of bread/garlic bread in too - voila!

#5 tamjk

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:09 AM

A roast.

If I'm entertaining that is my go to meal. I'll usually do roast vegetables and steamed greens to go with it.  If you have a decent oven it is almost impossible to stuff a roast up.

#6 Matthias' mum

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:12 AM

Cannelloni is one I make regularly. Mix one packet frozen spinach with a tub of ricotta, add a little nutmeg and some seasoning and put it in a plastic bag. Snip the end off, and squirt into dry cannelloni shells. Lay out in a baking dish. Pour over a jar of passata. Season and sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on top (stops the sauce from being bitter). Add grated cheese and bake for about 45min at 180. If you want it a bit more interesting, you could add some cooked chopped pumpkin to the ricotta mixture, and use some nice bocconcini instead of grated cheese. It takes about 5-10 minutes to prepare, and people really like it. I serve it with a salad. For dessert, a chocolate self saucing pudding takes about 2 minutes to prepare, and is really yummy.
A roast dinner is another one, but can be expensive depending on the meat.

#7 esme weatherwax

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:16 AM

Burritos are so easy and everyone here eats them. They're messy so not for your formal type dinner!

I cook chicken with blackened cajun rub on it (Herbies makes a nice one), and make a big salsa with black beans, tomato, avocado, coriander, shallots, red chili and lime juice. Then just have extras for everyone to add what they like, cheese, jalapenos, sour cream, sometimes rice, etc. Everyone rolls their own in the wraps, it's great.

#8 fionah

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:18 AM

Roast lamb seasoned with garlic and rosemary, roast veggies, peas or broccoli and mint sauce and gravy.
Slow cooker chocolate pudding for dessert.
Goes down a treat and everyone loves it.

Fi original.gif

#9 BobTony

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:29 AM

This thai chicken and pumpkin curry except I usually add green beans or snowpeas for more colour as well.

#10 katiebear26

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:42 AM

i agree with a PP - anything that can be made at least mostly in advance. i use http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14443/pump...d+spinach+salad

you can add feta or red onion or anything else you like.

also if there are kids involved i like http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/19675/fryi...chicken+lasagne

it's really easy, although not something you can really do in advance as it dries out, but quick and you can throw vegies in. serve with a salad of some kind and crusty bread!

baked vegies with a dressing made from feta, olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of natural yoghurt (add all to taste) is really good too, blend the dressing ingredients beforehand and just drizzle over once the vegies are cooked. add to roast meat or steak and it's pretty easy and tasty.

i think the key thing is to know what you need to do when, i usually have a written timetable if i have a lot of people over and lots of food! i can't handle it otherwise.


edited for spelling.

Edited by katiebear26, 18 February 2013 - 08:43 AM.


#11 silverstreak

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:56 AM

Our chicken pesto pasta is always a winner. Very easy and tasty.

Half a kilo of diced chicken breast.
Four diced rashers of bacon.
Half a green capsicum.
Half a red capsicum.
Spring onion.
A jar of basil pesto or sun dried tomato pesto.
Handful of chopped sun dried tomatoes if you like.
Olive oil and sesame oil.

Fry the bacon in olive oil until slightly crispy and then add the chicken and sesame oil (this is our special trick.)

When the chicken is turning golden, add the vegetables and fry for a few minutes, then stir through the pesto. Simmer the sauce whilst boiling a packet of the pasta of your choice (we like spiral pasta as it soaks up the sauce.)

When the pasta is ready, stir it through the sauce. Top with fresh grated parmesan and black pepper. This makes approximately six big bowls of pasta. Yummo!



#12 BLBG

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

Wow, thanks so much girls for all of the fab ideas.

All of them sound great. Now I might start trying them one by one before I invite guests, hubby can be my guinea pig original.gif

You all make it sound so easy, I'm jealous!! 😉

#13 busy&happy

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:18 PM

I recently had guests over for lunch. I served dips, fruit, cheese etc for nibbles than a nice cheese and chive pull apart from Bakers delight along with a beautiful homemade roasted pumpkin, basil, toasted pine nut and ricotta lasagne with salad. For desert, passionfruit and raspberry tart with whipped cream. So tasty!

#14 busy&happy

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:21 PM

My other favourite is roast lamb rubbed with garlic, lemon juice and oregano add potatoes in their skin to cook in lamb juices served with Greek salad.

#15 froglett

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

I did a slow roast Greek lamb on the weekend, very easy and everyone loved it.
Take 1 leg lamb (3kg feeds about 8 people), cut slits all over, then push anchovy, rosemary and garlic into each slit. Drizzle over olive oil and sea salt.
Cut 1 lemon and 2 red onions into quarters and put these on the bottom of a baking dish big enough to fit the lamb. Put the lamb on top, then pour in water or wine (red or white whatever you have on hand) to come 2cm up the side of the dish.
Put in a 140 deg oven for 2 hours till golden brown. Pull out, then cover with foil and back into the oven for a minimum of 4 hours. I put it in at 9 and served up at 7 that night. Once cooked (it should be falling apart), allow to rest for an hour before serving.
I served with pita bread, tzatziki and a Greek salad, just put everything on the table and everyone served themselves. Yum!

#16 Old Grey Mare

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:27 PM

Another roast fan here. I do mine in an oven bag - absolutely foolproof, even for me.

#17 premmie_29weeks

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

Beef eye fillet. It's expensive but not a crumb is wasted. I marinate with olive oil,garlic, salt and pepper, and whole grain mustard. Plus some fresh or dried rosemary. Add roasted potatoes and a big green saład.

Love a big summer fruit salad for dessert.

#18 Flaxen

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

My go to recipe is a roast as well.
Makes the  meat and 3 veg in laws happy, or for my friends i can spice up the meat and the veg, But if its mum coming over, i put a nice salad together instead of the roast veg.
Its what i cook when i dont have time to think, much less stand about in the kitchen stirring a pot!

ETA: I always use an oven bag too. Easy to clean up as well.

Edited by Flaxen, 18 February 2013 - 12:33 PM.


#19 Water Dragon

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

I usually do a BBQ and various things to go on it/with it - gourmet sausages, marinated chicken, some steak, vegies (sweet potato, pumpkin, asparagus, mushrooms, onion etc. etc.) and a salad or two, and a potato bake from scratch. It's very simple but causes the least amount of stress, especially if I enlist DH to cook it so I get a chance to actually SPEAK to people instead of getting stuck in the kitchen!

Dessert is normally pavlova.

#20 BLBG

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

QUOTE (busy&happy @ 18/02/2013, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I recently had guests over for lunch. I served dips, fruit, cheese etc for nibbles than a nice cheese and chive pull apart from Bakers delight along with a beautiful homemade roasted pumpkin, basil, toasted pine nut and ricotta lasagne with salad. For desert, passionfruit and raspberry tart with whipped cream. So tasty!


Mmmm your lasagna sounds delish, wish I was your lunch guest! Would u mind posting the recipe....? Just the sound of it makes me hungry x




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