Having a dinner party and don’t know what to make? Want to impress a date with a home-cooked meal? Following a recipe is one thing — putting together an entire dinner, especially for guests, can be quite another. Which is why I’ve pulled together like dishes and recipes (i.e. Italian, Mexican, etc.) into multi-course menus that will inspire you and impress your friends! For each menu, you’ll find a brief introduction and direction to the posts in which the recipes occur. I’ll continue creating new menus as the recipes accumulate. Enjoy!
Mexican Pork Fiesta
A fun meal for friends who love pork. In this case, the pozolé will act as a first course and you’ll want to use one large pork shoulder for BOTH dishes. Cut about 2/3 the meat of the bone for the cochinita pibil, leave the rest on for the pozolé. (And use slightly less water in making the pozolé than the recipe calls for.) This would comfortably feed 8 and you’d have leftovers. Torta anyone?
Italian Seafood Menu #1
For this menu, you would pair crudo, spaghetti with bottarga and roasted black cod. This is an elegant, light summer dinner. Add a fine gelato from Whole Foods or your local gelato guy to make it a four-course dinner! Mangia!
Sumptuous Spain Menu
This is a good summer dinner, especially if you cook the fideus on a barbecue or open fire. Delicious garlicky gazpacho, followed by delicious garlicky fideus.
Hawaiian Comfort Food
Easy to prepare, you can do almost all of it beforehand. Combine with island music and fruity rum drinks for an evening of aloha wherever you may be.
• “Aloha at Home, Wherever You May Be” (teriyaki chicken, lomi lomi salmon, macaroni salad, steamed rice and fresh fruit)
Casual Italian Dinner
Caesar salad and spaghetti Carbonara — perfect to eat out on the deck or patio on a warm late summer night with a nice zippy Italian white wine and some citronella candles to keep the unwanted guests away.
Great if you happen to be having Russians or Ukrainians over for dinner. Or if it’s National Russian Appreciation Day.
• The Russians Are Coming! (Chicken Kiev with rice pilaf and sauteed beet greens)