How to put together a meal

by Stoves and Bros


 Me and my spread 

Me and my spread 

This year I was in charge of Christmas Eve dinner. I was a little intimidated by creating a cohesive dinner with a large number of servings. Putting together a meal doesn't have to be a daunting task. If you are having people over, do not feel the need to put together an elaborate menu: most people enjoy simple, hearty food and when you're making food for a large group you don't want to make anything that will be off putting to people. 

The simple formula is an appetizer like soup or salad (salad is great because you can prepare it the day before with dressing on the side and you don't have to heat it up) plus a protein dish, carb heavy dish (like pasta or rice), and some sort of vegetable. An easy combination for an entree would be steak, pasta, and broccoli rabe. 

When searching for recipes you want to keep the different elements coherent by using the same spices and similar types of cuisines. 

For my dinner, I wanted to do more classic European dishes with warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. After doing some research I decided on a simple spinach salad to start following with Wolfgang Puck's Spaetzle (a German dumpling/pasta), butternut squash, and apple glazed pork

For dessert I made Ina Garten's chocolate cake which is always a hit. 

Here's some variations that you can throw together when having people over or impressing your parents with the fact that you're a real person. 

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Steak dinner: 

Spinach salad

Risotto

Steak 

Brussels sprouts 

Healthy dinner: 

Mixed greens

Quinoa

Spicy Chicken

Fingerling Potatoes