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Portia 05-08-2013 10:01 AM

Meal ideas for a large group
 
What is a good, LC, induction-friendly meal to make for a large group? We have a full house over the weekend and I am cooking at least one large meal - I don't generally cook for large groups so looking for some nice ideas. Thoughts?

Jes

nolcjunk 05-08-2013 10:05 AM

A roasted chicken/s

A big big salad with lots of different veg and a good lettuce/greens/herb mix, with different dressings and things like feta/blue cheese crumbles/pepperonici on the side.

A beef stew- you can make a giant cauldron of tasty beef and veg ahead of time.

halos 05-08-2013 10:13 AM

Taco salad- shells for those not low carbing

beef roast is a good crockpot meal

burgers on the grill

Portia 05-08-2013 10:14 AM

These are great - keep 'em coming! I was going to do a roast chicken but I would need to make 2 and that seemed like a hassle...maybe marinated cut up chicken (thighs, breasts etc.)?

Pami 05-08-2013 10:17 AM

I would do chili in a countertop roaster- or lacking that- in the oven. Any
hearty soup can easily be doubled, tripled or whatever is necessary to
feed a crowd. A lot of people (males especially) aren't happy with a salad
(even a chef's salad) but my friend makes an amazing salad with romaine,
chicken breast, dried cranberries, walnuts, feta and raspberry vinaigrette.
She served a VAT of that at a party one time- very well received.

nolcjunk 05-08-2013 10:33 AM

Deviled eggs are great too.

You might roast one chicken and then put another cut up chicken or chicken pieces into a soup.

Pami 05-08-2013 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nolcjunk (Post 16415039)
Deviled eggs are great too.

When I have deviled eggs, I don't wanna share! :p

Portia 05-08-2013 11:02 AM

Sorry - I didn't give enough information. I'm doing a sit-down dinner. Not formal, but not chili, burgers or soup. I could do soup as an appetizer, though.

I'm looking for "dinner party" food, if that makes sense. The last time this group was here I made flounder "roll ups", but this time I am leaning towards some kind of chicken. I of course can make a roast beef or roast chicken - just thought perhaps there were some good preparations or ideas out there for more of a special meal.

I have this idea of doing a huge chicken curry, but I haven't had any luck in the past - the coconut milk always separates no matter how low I keep the temp.

Maybe lamb "rogon josh?" Or chicken, sausage and peppers? Ugh.

You know when you're looking for something "a little special" but nothing sounds do-able?

peanutte 05-08-2013 11:07 AM

You've already gotten some good recommendations. When I have been in a situation where I needed to cook for my entire family, at holidays or on vacation, I sometimes do a bunch of roasted chicken thighs/drumsticks/breast pieces, and I make a vegetable and a huge salad, and maybe a starchy side like rice or potatoes for the rest of them. The reason I don't make whole roasted chickens is just that it's easier to pass a platter with chicken pieces, and if I'm cooking for 13-15 people I want it to be something that is easier for me. I don't want to be stuck in the kitchen cutting up chickens for that many people.

I sometimes make a regular non-low-carb main dish for them like chili (which isn't that high-carb if you are able to eat beans), and set out bowls of serve-yourself garnishes like shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion. Corn muffins on the side, a huge salad, and everybody is happy. A big pot of beef stew and a salad is a great suggestion, with some crusty bread for the carb eaters. (At this point in my maintenance, I don't fret about potatoes or carrots being in a stew--I can pick them out or eat a few, it's no big deal.)

I have even thrown a couple of frozen lasagnas in the oven when I'm at my mom's house. It's not a gourmet crowd; they just want to be fed.

I did do a taco or fajita-type salad once. I made the big salad ahead of time and served the grilled, seasoned chicken, onions, and peppers in a separate dish so people could take what they wanted. Again with the bowls of serve-yourself garnishes. Much of this can be done ahead of time so all you have to cook is the hot stuff. I provided tortilla chips and salsa for the carb-eaters and they all liked it a lot.

When it's a big group, I make sure to provide for myself by cooking some chicken breasts or boneless thighs ahead of time, and I can quickly heat one up and not have to fuss around. As long as I have some kind of meat for myself and plenty of salad, I am good.

I would say the main thing is to do what you can do ahead of time so you can keep it simple for yourself. You don't want to be chopping and prepping and cleaning up in the middle of a chaotic full house (at least I don't!).

nolcjunk 05-08-2013 11:11 AM

I would make a really nice salad with lots of different veg (tossed with evoo/fresh lemon juice since you are doing a sit down dinner, and most people use commercial salad dressings so when they get a salad made with homemade dressing and actual veg, instead of just iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes, they love it), and then wild salmon with some kind of dill sauce and asparagus/mushrooms (I would either make the dill sauce creamy or the asparagus) . New potatoes would work well too but not if everyone is on induction. And, of course wine that goes well with fish.

bflogurl 05-08-2013 11:15 AM

I've done some of Linda Sue's casseroles with a giant salad for a group before. Worth taking a peek!

nolcjunk 05-08-2013 11:15 AM

And, the special factor also comes from presentation and plating -I've served beef stew before on white rectangular plates with garnishes and wild mushrooms on the side and it looked pretty good.

Pami 05-08-2013 11:19 AM

My "Perfect Prime Rib" might fit the bill for ya- take a look!
It has 4.5 stars out of 34 reviews.

Portia 05-08-2013 11:21 AM

I think I've found a poulet au vinegaire recipe that I can use - chicken thighs with shallots in red wine vinegar reduction. I think it would be nice with either artichokes or roasted veggies plus rice for the non-lc eaters. :)

Thank you so much for all the suggestions!

Portia 05-08-2013 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by peanutte (Post 16415090)
It's not a gourmet crowd; they just want to be fed.

I've got gourmet crowd - foodie central. :D They always serve wonderful meals, and while I'm not looking to outdo anyone, I don't want to go too simple or make something "every day", b/c it's a special occasion.

Fortunately, it's a large group, but not huge. I don't need serious volume. Completely agree with you re: the chicken pieces and that's more or less what I'm doing - found a nice recipe for chicken thighs to make in the skillet.

OR, I might go to Costco and see if they have filet mignon - that's SO easy, but also "special" enough, kwim?

Portia 05-08-2013 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pami (Post 16415108)
My "Perfect Prime Rib" might fit the bill for ya- take a look!
It has 4.5 stars out of 34 reviews.

Definitely going to consider that as well - thank you!!

peanutte 05-08-2013 11:44 AM

Do you have an outdoor grill, Portia? Because yeah, steaks can be super easy if you can grill several at once. You could do something like a wild mushroom/red wine sauce on the stove (I like the wild mushroom idea, nolcjunk) and add that as you're plating.
Quote:

I think I've found a poulet au vinegaire recipe that I can use - chicken thighs with shallots in red wine vinegar reduction. I think it would be nice with either artichokes or roasted veggies plus rice for the non-lc eaters.
That sounds perfect. You could roast brussels sprouts with some fennel too, and that way you wouldn't have to be hovering over the stove while the veggies cook.

Portia 05-08-2013 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by peanutte (Post 16415153)
Do you have an outdoor grill, Portia? Because yeah, steaks can be super easy if you can grill several at once. You could do something like a wild mushroom/red wine sauce on the stove (I like the wild mushroom idea, nolcjunk) and add that as you're plating.


That sounds perfect. You could roast brussels sprouts with some fennel too, and that way you wouldn't have to be hovering over the stove while the veggies cook.

Yes!! Thanks so much!! And it's nice to see you back, Peanutte.

Dottie 05-08-2013 03:19 PM

Baked or grilled (baked is better, no smokey taste - could even go pre-cooked) smothered with pasta sauce and cheese.
Tomato based sauce: top with sliced pepperoni and mozzarella.
Alfredo type sauce: mix sauce with spinach and top it all with a little extra parm.
Big green salad on the side with pepperoncini peppers, green and black olives, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, etc.

pocahontas 05-09-2013 12:36 PM

If you have a grill, you can put 2 "beer can style" chickens on, come back in an hour and 15 min and pure heaven! We rub ours down with a spice blend and put lemon halves and smashed garlic cloves in the beer. Barefoot Contessa also has a wonderful Lemon and Garlic roast chicken if you prefer to do in the oven. I serve this with a HUGE greek salad and either roasted potatoes or rice of some sort. Everyone always raves. It's my go to crowd pleaser.

emmapal 05-16-2013 09:12 AM

I always roast 2 chickens, every time. I just put 2 in a glass casserole at the same time, same idea as roasting a casserole full of 6 cornish hens. Used to be one for dinner, one for leftovers, but now with 6 kids we do both for dinner, lol! Now I have to do 4, 2 casseroles with 2 birds each. I also roast turkeys a lot for dinner plus leftovers, but for guests I often do a smoked turkey on the grill because it is so easy but turkey makes people think special. For us it is pretty normal to have a week night turkey dinner, though. I always have frozen leftover turkey shreds in the freezer for quick meals.

Point is, roasting birds is just as easy to do 1 as it is to do 4 all at the same time, or one BIG one ;p


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