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Menu ideas?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

Twice a year, we get a bunch of friends together and rent a beach house for the weekend.  Everyone takes turns cooking... usually everyone tries to make a fairly lavish meal, but it also has to be the kind of meal that you can prepare most of in advance and that can feed at least 12.  People do things like ribs, enchiladas, lasagnas, (and a whole slew of breakfasts as well, but I'm up for dinner this time) ... but I'm running out of ideas!  I've already done prime rib, ribs, lamb shanks and chicken parm, so those are out.  I was going to do short ribs, but I'm not happy with the way my practice batches turn out (or maybe I just don't like short ribs), so I'm looking for a different option.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 13
how about the old fish in foil packs with veges or to make it sound fancy  "poisson en papillote". easy prep easy bake, yummy food and plenty for everyone. Fondue is coming back, or make a Cassoulet, a few recipes for it around here I am sure and it looks yummy and has to be filling with all those beans and sausage.
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #3 of 13
Fondue is also making a comeback, and can be a lot of fun in groups like that.

Were it me, I'd plan on three pots: A cheese fondue, a meat/veggie fondue, and a dessert fondue.

With a group that size you might need two of each. But, worst comes to worse, they can be rented.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 13
Another thought. Can you light fires on the beach where you stay? If so, how about an old-fashioned clam bake?

Nice thing about it as that you can all play on the beach while the ingredients cook themselves.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 13
All those seafood suggestions are awsome... Yeah for  clam bake and en papillote and asian salmon sounds delicious too.  Marinated Jumbo shrimp skewers can be predone at home and do up some veggie skewers too so easy,,, then you can kick back and relax when you get there ...... just grill em up whenever your ready to eat only takes a short time ,,,maybe throw on some grilled potato slices  pre marinated too at home.  
If seafood is not on the agenda ( but it is so fitting for the beach)  Some pre-marinated chicken souvlakis ...bring a Greek salad pre-done toss dressing when your ready to eat and bring your pre-done tzaiziki always a winner!
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post #6 of 13
you could do a nice big roast - depends on what kinda meat you like but pork and chicken are fantastic, as is beef - play with some marinades for the meats, roast up sweet potato, regular potato, pumpkin, beetroot, red onion, turnip, parsnip... whatever you fancy! doing roast pork with veges cooked in a mix of oil, seeded mustard and maple syrup is to DIE for, it never fails and ppl are often asking how i made it...

you could also do a big curry cookup, do a meat/vege curry, some dahl, pappadums, chutneys on the side, raita... beauty of this is that ALOT of it can be made ahead and reheated - in fact alot of indian food benefits from having time to let the flavours develop.

you could do an asian style pho - a big steaming pot of stock and some veg on the table with noodles in it, then let everyone put their own ingredients in to cook at the table- thinly sliced meats and veg.. eventually the broth takes on the flavour of everything ppl have been putting in it and it just gets better and better!

you can make pizza dough, and use a pasta roller to roll it out, spread it (on greaseproof paper or something) along the length of the table with bowls of toppings and everyone can make their own little section of pizza, then take turns in baking them in the oven or out on the campfire, same goes with baked potatoes - have mexican mince, cheddar, sour cream, bacon, spring onions, beans, whatever else you feel like then everyone wrap them in foil and chuck them on the fire/in the oven...

the last 2 are a bit more casual but still pretty delish!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all these great ideas!
I love the clambake idea, and all the others are fantastic too.
Especially the indian food ideas.  Now I have ideas for years to come.
As always, this forum is a huge help.
Thanks, everyone!
post #8 of 13
Here are some ideas on the appetizer side with a little imagination you can probable turn it into a entree.Clams Casino , New potatos with cream fraiche and caviar,Lamb patties with Eggplant relish.Focaccai  with Roasted Red Peppers and Kalamata Olives.Oven baked chipolte chicken flauntas, and one last one it is Thai, Lettuce wrap with Thai-style Ground pork salad (Larb). Hope these suggestions help.
post #9 of 13
If you live on the East Coast, Use Stripped bass for this idea, on the West Coast a similar fish would be Saltwater Bass either calico or sand bass, Corvina, or Corbina.

Several pounds of large shrimp, peeled and deveined.  (I recommend brining for 20 minutes.)

The following is just a rough idea of the recipe.

Assuming the Sea Bass is whole and scaled and cleaned, head either on or off, but the fish is whole.

• In heavy duty alum foil, mince garlic,layer sliced onions, sliced lemons, chopped parsley, some salt &pepper, paprika, lay the fish on its side on this lay.  On top of fish in the same order the lemon, onion, parsley, etc.  A few pats of butter, a couple of bay leaves, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dry white wine.  Seal & bake until fish is easily flaked (not over done).  Drain liquid in sauce pan add cream, taste for lemon and season flavor if needed add more squeezed lemon and seasoning (Old bay).  As thicken add shrimp cook shrimp until pink.
While shrimp is cooking.  Remove fish on platter lay garnish of sliced lemons and parsley, carefully open fish like a book skin side down. If the fish is done properly you can easily lift the bone out (use paper towels it will be hot).  Now pour the creamy fish/shrimp sauce over the top with the shrimp piled down the middle.  Serve immedietely.........

Lots of garlic bread, asparagus, some sangria,    a feast.......
post #10 of 13
ok lady on these short ribs, lets give them one more try. Get the short ribs sear them until they brown  and them put the in a roasting pan then add some mire poix( onions, celery, carrots) use 50% onions then 25% of celery and 25% carrots. add beef stock if you dont have any demi glace, and add some red wine( use your judgement as to how much flavor of the wine you want) make sure you add enough liquid to just cover the short ribs about half way up, and cover with foil paper and set in convectional oven at 250 degrees and if its a conventional oven set the temperature at 200 degrees ferenheit. You can make some sweet mashed potatoes and use some rainbow chard or any other vegetable in the green family and make a horseradish cream sauce for the short rib. in a bowl set your mashed potatoes first in the center of the bowl, and the sauted greens on top, and finish by setting the short ribs on top, adding some of the jus from the roasting pan on top. make sure you add the horseradish cream sauce on top of the rib or set on side to give your guests a choice. well i hope you enjoy your ribs.
post #11 of 13
ok lady on these short ribs, lets give them one more try. Get the short ribs sear them until they brown  and them put the in a roasting pan then add some mire poix( onions, celery, carrots) use 50% onions then 25% of celery and 25% carrots. add beef stock if you dont have any demi glace, and add some red wine( use your judgement as to how much flavor of the wine you want) make sure you add enough liquid to just cover the short ribs about half way up, and cover with foil paper and set in convectional oven at 250 degrees and if its a conventional oven set the temperature at 200 degrees ferenheit. You can make some sweet mashed potatoes and use some rainbow chard or any other vegetable in the green family and make a horseradish cream sauce for the short rib. in a bowl set your mashed potatoes first in the center of the bowl, and the sauted greens on top, and finish by setting the short ribs on top, adding some of the jus from the roasting pan on top. make sure you add the horseradish cream sauce on top of the rib or set on side to give your guests a choice. well i hope you enjoy your ribs.
post #12 of 13
ok lady on these short ribs, lets give them one more try. Get the short ribs sear them until they brown  and them put the in a roasting pan then add some mire poix( onions, celery, carrots) use 50% onions then 25% of celery and 25% carrots. add beef stock if you dont have any demi glace, and add some red wine( use your judgement as to how much flavor of the wine you want) make sure you add enough liquid to just cover the short ribs about half way up, and cover with foil paper and set in convectional oven at 250 degrees and if its a conventional oven set the temperature at 200 degrees ferenheit. You can make some sweet mashed potatoes and use some rainbow chard or any other vegetable in the green family and make a horseradish cream sauce for the short rib. in a bowl set your mashed potatoes first in the center of the bowl, and the sauted greens on top, and finish by setting the short ribs on top, adding some of the jus from the roasting pan on top. make sure you add the horseradish cream sauce on top of the rib or set on side to give your guests a choice. well i hope you enjoy your ribs.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, all!  That fish sounds delicious.  Gerry, I'll give your short ribs a try.
I love this site!  Everyone is always so helpful and has such great ideas.
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