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Unexpected guest

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just got word that we are having a guest visit us for dinner tomorrow.  He's a distant relative of my husband, neither of us know him well enough to know what he likes or not to eat, the house needs some cleaning and I'm generally not in a big cooking mood.  What can I serve that is simple, elegant, that I can serve to someone who I don't know that still leaves plenty of time to tend to cleaning the house?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 9

Crockpot a pork shoulder for tacos.  Dessert can be a giant flan.  Buzz all your flan ingredients together and cook it up in the oven the day before.  Have it waiting in the fridge for dessert.

post #3 of 9

The crock-pot pork tacos sound delicious but may fall a little short on the "elegance" front. 

 

Grilled steak is the coward's way out, and a damn good one.  Steak, mashed, and creamed spinach or brussel sprouts.  If you go spinach, you can make it morning of, or even day before -- it only gets better.  Caesar salad to start, and store-bought cheesecake to finish.

 

If it's dinner for three or four, you can make a fancy-shmancy pan reduction to finish the steak.  If your stove is overloaded and you don't have the pan(s) to handle steak for your number of guests -- grill it and serve with a compound butter.  Compounds are making a big comeback, and are hard to beat for elegance.  Rib steak in particular goes well with a simple creamed horse-radish on the side and a jus on the plate.  Or you could go for an old fashioned fillet based classic like "Steak Diane," where most of the work is in the shopping.

 

Schnitzel -- veal, pork or even chicken is another possibility.  There are a lot of possibilities in terms of saucing, but it's hard to beat a lemon squeeze. 

 

All of this is extremely easy stuff which you can toss off behind your back blind-folded; and yes, it's elegant.  Good wine, nice china.

 

Good wine, nice china, and good luck,

BDL

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have a quart of heavy cream and a huge block of cheddar in the fridge.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 9

Individual cheese souffles  Fairly simple and impresses people disproportionate to the amount of work involved. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Oh my souffles? Tacos?  Schnitzle?  Much too labor intensive for me for this particular dinner haha!  I've never made a souffle.  I think I'll do a simple penne with mushrooms, peas and ham in a creamy tomato sauce.  Serve with some garlic bread and a fresh salad.  Fruit for dessert and I call it a day.  Boy am I lazy.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 9

Souffle has a reputation, but I've found it pretty easy to do in individual ramekins. Saute some onions, make that into a bechamel. Add cheese. Temper some egg yolks into the cheese sauce. Let that cool a bit while you prep the ramekins and beat the whites. Butter the ramekins and add  some grated parnesan. Roll the tilt the ramekin until the butter is coated with parm. Dump any extra parm into the next ramekin and repeat. Beat the egg whites. Fold the cheese sauce into the egg whites and pour evenly into the ramekins. Bake and serve immediately.

 

So yeah, there's some things to do in making a souffle, but none of them are really tricky.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 9

So, KK,

What did you prepare?

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I indeed ended up doing a penne with mushrooms, peas and prosciutto in a creamy tomato sauce, served with arugula salad with balsamic vinegraitte, toasted garlic bread and an argentinian malbec.  Apple pie from my local bakery and fresh fruit accompanied by port wine for dessert.  It was very good.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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