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Meal Idea Challenge
Please help I'm lost

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#1 Prioritising Pooks

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

DP's family are coming for tea tomorrow night, so it is 4 adults plus me, DP and the bub.

No ideas. None. His parents are great cooks and offer bring over terrific meals, this time it's my turn to cook. I'll buy ingredients tomorrow morning.

Here are my limitations
-no pasta
-nothing with hot spices
-no mushrooms
-nothing really expensive (like seafood and fancy steaks)
-nothing very creaming or dairy based (a little bit of cheese or something would be ok)
-nothing vegetarian, these people like their meat
-I'm not a really fantastic cook and would prefer something not overly fiddly

Ok, hit me!

#2 skae

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

With that list, I would probably just put on a nice roast and have some yummy side dishes!

#3 rosie28

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

Depends on the weather where you are, but I'd be doing a BBQ with that list of limitations, some nice chicken skewers, home made hamburgers, salmon steaks perhaps? Then 2-3 nice salads, perhaps potato, green (spinach and pumpkin is my current go to for a green salad) and a tomato salad.

Depends on the weather where you are, but I'd be doing a BBQ with that list of limitations, some nice chicken skewers, home made hamburgers, salmon steaks perhaps? Then 2-3 nice salads, perhaps potato, green (spinach and pumpkin is my current go to for a green salad) and a tomato salad.

#4 SplashingRainbows

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

Do you have a slow cooker Pooks? I tend to find slow cooker stuff is fairly straightforward - buck it all in in the mining and cook some veg or rice to accompany it shortly before serving.

I like this fruity beef casserole

Or I do a tomato based casserole with 2 tins diced tomatoes (with garlic and onion to cheat!) some beef stock, veg - carrot zucchini capsicum, an of course beef.

Can do the above with chicken thighs and chicken stock if you'd prefer.

What do you feel most comfortable cooking. TBH I'd probably start there then build on that.

#5 ~iMum~

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:49 PM

Homemade chicken Kiev and veges?

#6 JingleJangle

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:56 PM

I would do a big salad with roasted sweet potato, red onion, capsicum, haloumi and salad greens.  A dressing of some sort with balsamic, mustard, honey and oil.  On the side, some nice grilled lamb.  And a big bowl of corn on the cobs, boiled and covered with a mixture of butter and lime juice.  Some chilli on the side for those that like it to add.  Some sourdough bread, or a big crusty baguette, on the side to mop up juices.

#7 Ange remplie

Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:00 PM

Hhmm.  With those limitations, I'd consider a lemon chicken tagine (I've got a recipe somewhere which doesn't require preserved lemons that I can dig out if it sounds like a good idea).  With couscous.

#8 Riotproof

Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:02 PM

I would do as pps suggest either a BBQ or a roast with some fancy sides. Or pizza on the BBQ, but you really need pizza stones for that and it's tricky with groups.

#9 JBH

Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

Lamb bake (a slightly amended Nigella recipe)
12 lamb shoulder or loin chops
3 baking potatoes (about 650g), washed but not peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried mint
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (you could leave out)
1 teaspoon salt
2 lemons
Small handful chopped parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 230c.
Put chops in a baking dish.
Cut potatoes into 2.5cm dice and tumble around the lamb.
Combine oil with garlic and drizzle over.
Sprinkle with mint, chilli and salt.
Zest one lemon over the lamb, then juice both and tip juice in.
Bake 1-1.5 hours.
Sprinkle parsley over, if using.

450g peas (fresh is lovely but frozen baby peas are just fine)
12 slices pancetta or substitute 4 rashers bacon - optional
Half cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Cook peas 1-2 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. Grill pancetta or bacon until crisp if using. Break into small pieces. Combine all ingredients.

#10 barrington

Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

DH's current favourite side is couscous, mixed with halved cherry tomatoes, avocado, spring onion and some italian dressing.  Served with grilled lamb or fish and a handful of lettuce leaves.  So easy to make and delicious.

#11 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

In the heat, what about fajitas, tacos, or something of that ilk?  Then it is an easy DIY assembly.  
You can make it as fancy or simple as you like - homemade guacamole, salsa etc, or just store bought.

#12 Prioritising Pooks

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:52 PM

Oh wow so many good suggestions! Thanks so so much! (sorry for late reply, DS was being... DS).

I always struggle to cook for this lot, and I ran out of ideas ages ago and just kept repeating the same safe bets.

Now I have to work out which one to do first!

Ange, that recipe sounds amazing!


#13 magicalmum

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

Tacos are great. Cheap, easy, fresh, and interactive if you let people make their own.
Good luck.

#14 Ange remplie

Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

Ok, here is recipe.  When I made this I thought it was sublime and DH thought it was ok, so take that for what it's worth!

16 tsp minced garlic
Bunch fresh coriander
Bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1.5kg chicken pieces (thigh fillets work well)
1 1/2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups water

1.  Finely chop coriander and parsley.  Mix well with garlic, onions, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and saffron.
2.  Pour over chicken and lemon slices in casserole dish.  Refrigerate for up to 24 hrs (minimum 3 hrs).
3.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees c.  Add water to casserole dish.  Cover and bake until chicken is cooked through (about an hour).

#15 Prioritising Pooks

Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

Oh wow yum yum yum...

#16 Mum--SA

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:30 PM

Lamb shanks might be on the " expensive " list .... but this is truly divine ..


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